The Ruby Project shortlisted for Innovation Award at Northern Enterprise Awards

This award celebrates socially conscious organisations, which use creative solutions/innovation in the business model/project design to deliver social impact.

‘Kim Worthington and Heather Bromilow are core members of our team at the Liverpool Women’s Turnaround Centre, where PSS provide support to women who are involved in the criminal justice system. Of course, the lives of these women is often not as simple as purely having a criminal background, and many are themselves victims of crime, namely emotional and physical abuse at the hands of partners.

With a background in domestic violence services before joining the PSS team Heather and Kim came to notice the multiple occasions on which women were presenting at the Royal Hospital and not hitting the threshold for local services and therefore not being identified as ‘at risk’. Having spoken to Dave Roberts the Head of Safeguarding at the Royal the team decided to write a proposal for a service which would address this gap by providing detailed training to front-line NHS staff in A&E and an on-call referral service for those staff to get immediate support for them women ideally whilst they are still on site.

The service was awarded Comic Relief funding and its success and great outcomes around reducing re-attendance at the hospital’s A&E department has resulted in further funding being awarded for Aintree hospital through the Big Lottery Fund. The team are also in talks with the Women’s hospital and hospital’s in other areas of the North West beyond the Liverpool City Region. Many in the sector have praised the way Heather and Kim completed a 3 month pilot with minimal funding and have now obtained nearly £200k worth of ongoing funding for the service with more to come. Their commitment to make identification of Domestic Violence a priority and meet the women where they are at their moment of need has resulted in approaches from across the NHS and the use of the service as an example of best practice on a local and national level.’