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PCC’s continuing pledge to stand up for victims with multi-million pound investment

18 October 2023

Support for victims of sexual violence across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has entered a new era with the start of a major contract announced by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones.

The new combined Frankie Worker Service and all-age Sexual Crime Therapeutic Service began on 1 October 2023 and will continue to March 2029 with the PCC committing funding of up to £4,794,482 over the five and a half year period.

The Frankie Worker Service involves one-to-one therapeutic counselling and play therapy support to children and young people aged 0-18 years who are victims of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or female genital mutilation.

The all-age Sexual Crime Therapeutic Service provides a telephone helpline, therapeutic support and activities to help adults, children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse, assault, rape or violence at any time in their lives.

Per year, the PCC funding is up to £871,724, with partnership funding from Integrated Care Boards, NHS England, and Hampshire County Council providing an additional £356,803 per year, so the total allocated annual provision is up to £1,228,527.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, said: “Victims of sexual violence need to be supported at all times, heard at all times, and given every opportunity to rebuild their lives with robust support services that are effective and transformative.

“I’m making sure that we don’t let down victims of sexual violence, by ensuring that  not only is the right support in place for years to come, but that it’s consistent, flexible, personalised and accessible for every victim.”

Frankie Worker Services were commissioned in 2017 and are inspired by a 21 year old survivor of child sexual abuse who wasn’t offered trauma support and believed that had her trauma been dealt with, she would have coped and recovered better.

As well as funding the Sexual Crime Therapeutic all-age provision for the two counties, the Police and Crime Commissioner had also funded three Frankie Worker Services in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth along with funding from 2017 in partnership with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and more recently Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) when they were established in 2022.

These arrangements ended on 30 September 2023 paving the way for the combined single provision.

PCC Donna Jones added: “I’ve been committed to improving the outcomes for victims since being elected as your Police Commissioner, and this new contract not only brings into alignment provision across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for a single combined Frankie Worker Service and Sexual Crime Therapeutic Service, but it now sits alongside the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) services that also go up to March 2029.

“This means there is now equal provision for victims of sexual violence across the whole of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and I will continue to represent the voices of all victims, and provide the life-changing support that they need.”

The partnership funding for the new combined contract has come from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight NHS Integrated Care Board, the Frimley NHS Integrated Care Board, NHS England and Hampshire County Council.

Jenny Erwin, the Mental Health, Learning Disabilities & Autism and Children’s Care Director of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: “This is a great example of partnership working between the NHS, the ICB, police and local authority. The new Frankie Worker Service will be available to all children and young people who are victims of sexual assault across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and it is a project that we are very proud to be part of.

“Transforming children and young people’s mental health services is integral to the NHS Long-Term Plan, and the Frankie Worker Service plays a leading role in supporting the mental health of vulnerable children and young people, improving their access, experience and outcomes.”

Between 2017 and 2023 there were 1,049 referrals into the three Frankie Worker Services. Meanwhile, from 2020 to 2023 a total of 3,177 referrals were received into the Sexual Crime Therapeutic provision – 288 children and young people, and 2,889 adults.

Several organisations are involved in the new combined contract – Yellow Door is the provider of the Frankie Worker Service while Community First, YOU Trust and Yellow Door are all the service providers of the Sexual Crime Therapeutic provision.

The Sexual Crime Therapeutic Service aims to promote safeguarding and improving the well-being and welfare of those who have experienced sexual assault, abuse, rape and violence. The provision may include one-to-one counselling, group counselling, retreats, workshops and psycho-educational sessions.

In July this year, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary implemented the Operation Soteria Bluestone National Operating Model aimed at transforming the policing response to rape and other sexual offences.

All 43 forces in England and Wales have signed up to Operation Soteria with police officers conducting suspect, rather than victim-focused, investigations and better supporting victims of these crimes.