Voice to safeguard domestic abuse services in the county by incorporating the Sunflower Centre into its family of services

Voice is to safeguard the provision of domestic abuse support in the county by incorporating the Sunflower Centre into its services.

The Sunflower Centre, which provides specialist support to the highest risk victims of domestic abuse in the county, is a partnership funded service, with funding coming from the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Northamptonshire County Council, Nene and Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups and the seven districts and borough councils.

However, with changes afoot across local governance in the county, Voice has offered to incorporate the Sunflower Centre within its structure in order to provide resilience to this vital service for victims of abuse.

As part of the changes, Sunflower Centre staff will transfer to Voice and continue to run the service. The move will also see partner service working even closer together, with Voice, the Sunflower Centre and Northamptonshire Rape Crisis now working out of a single building.

Incorporating the Sunflower Centre in to Voice comes on the second anniversary of Voice being run by its own in-house team, a move that has resulted in significant improvements in service delivery and victim satisfaction.

Voice was bought in house to the Office of Northamptonshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold on 1st October 2017 and since then, has continued to improve contact rates and service levels with victims and witnesses. In August 2019, Voice contacted 98.9% of over 3,000 victims of crime within a 72- hour window at the same time as providing regular ongoing emotional support to over 275 victims of crime, anti-social behaviour and road harm incidents.

Fiona Campbell, Chief Executive of Voice, said:

“The Sunflower Centre is a vital resource for some of the most vulnerable people in the county and ensuring its continued operation has been of paramount importance to Voice, in line with our remit to ensure we provide help and support to victims of crime, whether they have reported crime to the police or not. Our priority is to ensure these services continue to be available to those who need them.

“I’m delighted that by incorporating the Sunflower Centre into Voice, we are able to both protect vulnerable people and simplify the process for victims of crime, with Voice being the single point of contact for anyone in need of help and support.”

Stephen Mold, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, whose office funds Voice, added:

“Putting Victims at the Heart of Justice is one of the cornerstones of my Police and Crime Plan and I’m confident that by incorporating the Sunflower Centre in to its services, Voice is ensuring that we continue to deliver the support needed by some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“The Sunflower Centre is a wonderful service that is respected and highly thought of by the police and partner agencies throughout the county. I’m looking forward to seeing Voice build on this to continue to offer victims and witness of crime some of the very best care available in the UK.

“The Voice service has gone from strength to strength since I brought it in house in October 2017 and this move continues to improve how we support people in the county.

“More victims are being contacted more quickly, ensuring that the impact of crime is minimised and they remain at the heart of justice.”