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Reducing the Risk is proud to have a close friendship with the 2021 winner of the John Latham Award. This is a Thames Valley award for those working within domestic abuse, winners have come from Health, Social Care, Local Authority etc.

This year, our good mate Jo McIntyre has been given this wonderful accolade. For those that don’t know Jo (she is one of our wonderful Associate Trainers), she gave us a biography.

Well done Jo!

I worked for Thames Valley Police for 12 years and within that time I worked in the control room and later was a trainer. When in control room I would volunteer to help the then Domestic Abuse officer, Anne, (just one person with a massive workload) with filing. She took me to a domestic abuse conference and my interest was started. I then delivered domestic abuse training for Control Room staff among a raft of other subjects, and became passionate about it. In 2006 I spotted a job advertised with two local authorities – it was a joint area post for a Domestic Abuse Reduction Coordinator. I put everything I had into the interview and got the job! It was a really interesting role and it gave me a whole new perspective on domestic abuse and violence against women and girls and it also gave me lots of new skills around working in partnership and building networks.

After 6 years I moved on and within a couple of years a colleague who I had worked with whilst in that role, Helen, contacted me and said they had an idea for a new service- offering free legal advice for anyone experiencing domestic abuse. I thought it sounded great and from there FLAG DV was born. I was not the leading voice of this charity to begin with as Helen, without doubt, did the lions share of the work and there was lots of work, but as time wore on and Helen stepped down, I found myself being the sole original Trustee and the person who others seemed to turn to. We have a great team of Trustees and gradually we are expanding our service to meet demand. Since starting in just West Berks and the surrounding area, we are now funded to work across the whole of the Thames Valley, and we are busier than ever since the lockdowns began. We are fortunate to have always had super committed and enthusiastic paid staff, and we have been able to expand our workforce to meet demand too. FLAG DV is offering a much needed service – giving anyone experiencing domestic abuse, knowledge and power to make informed decisions about their future.

In my day job I’m working for AAFDA (Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse), with another superbly committed team, supporting families bereaved after fatal domestic abuse. I also find time to deliver training for a couple of organisations including Reducing the Risk, which I enjoy immensely as I absolutely love the feeling when I see delegates leaving sessions with those ‘light bulb ‘moments having taken place.

Congratulations again Jo, we’re thrilled and honoured to have you as part of our training team.