Our Network

Over the years, a number of ‘branches’ of the Network have organically grown and evolved where interested people come together to consider how to promote and celebrate trauma informed practices.

One of the many strengths of the Network is its diversity. We don’t have to be trauma experts. We are simply intensely curious individuals who promote an open, learning culture. We are constantly reflecting and adapting in response to our learning which is shaped by those with lived experience of trauma and adversity.

Workforce Development

The first of our ‘branches’ emerged in July 2018 to find ways to share our learning and promote trauma informed cultures within organisations. Our Trauma Informed Practice course has been incredibly popular and well-evaluated reaching over 1,000 members of the Plymouth workforce throughout the pandemic.

A large workforce development survey, commissioned by Plymouth City Council in 2018, informed our training development. The survey found that 83% of Plymouth respondents saw trauma informed practice as a priority but only 28% had received any training.

In response, the workforce development branch of the Network developed a Trauma Informed Practice course which has kindly been coordinated by the Plymouth Safeguarding Children Partnership. This L3 certificated safeguarding course introduces the Network’s Approach to Envisioning Plymouth as a Trauma Informed City and explores the key values underpinning a trauma informed approach.

The Network responded to the pandemic and the tragic events in Keyham by developing reflective and psychoeducational workshops on vicarious and secondary trauma. We have also developed trauma informed practice webinars for primary healthcare professionals and businesses working in the private sector. The Network is proud to co-facilitate the NSPCC Sharing the Brain Story and Bystander Intervention training.

Over 3,000 members of the workforce have attended multi and single agency courses since January 2020.

One of the many strengths of the Network is its diversity with members from education, health, the voluntary and community sector, social care, the justice system and so much more.  We are constantly reflecting and adapting, updating and evolving our workforce development offers to respond to the needs of our City.

If you have experience of delivering education and training and would like to become a facilitator for the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network, please get in touch via the contact us form.

Inclusion and Resilience

This branch of the Network is an introspective space; we like to be a Network that reflects on itself so that we can better communicate and connect.

The Black Lives Matter Movement provided a real moment for reflection for us within the Network and compelled us to ask whether we are sufficiently inclusive to all. We want to create a space where we can explore issues of cultural and racial trauma and the long-term intergenerational impact of systemic discrimination and oppression.

We want to challenge our thinking about how race, class, gender and other individual characteristics “intersect” with one another and to campaign for culture change around issues of misogyny and male violence.

We want to be aspirational about challenging community expressions of disadvantage, thinking about events that traumatise at a community level and about organisational and system-induced trauma. Ultimately we want to help promote community resilience after community manifestations of adversity and trauma.

This is a Network that honours those who don’t always feel heard or have their advocacy and rights met. We seek to look at everything we do through an equality, diversity and inclusion lens as well as a trauma lens.

We recognise that our Network isn’t representative of the wider community and aspire to be as inclusive as possible. We seek a better understanding of the barriers that can get in the way of being part of the Network from the perspective of lived experience.

We welcome a diversity of voices from people from different backgrounds, cultures and identities. This group is for anyone who wishes to explore and challenge power dynamics within our systems and services and to strive for better inclusion for all.

The purpose of the Inclusion and Resilience branch:

  • To better understand, recognise and promote the impact a range of interplaying factors can have on a person’s life and seek to promote the Plymouth values as an approach to provide relational repair

  • Be a safe place to discuss, reflect and test out ideas and practice that will promote resilience and inclusion across the systems we live and work in

  • Be a reflective and kind space for anything produced by network members and ensure it is in line with our Trauma Lens values

  • To share learning and recommendations from our reflective space that can improve experiences for others and enable sharing of best practice

  • Lead communication planning on behalf of Trauma Informed Plymouth Network to ensure inclusivity with a focus on how we include communities, both geographic and communities of interest

This branch of the Network also offers a safe space for people, teams or organisations to share their own practice and seek feedback i.e. to share a draft document that has been reviewed and adapted using a trauma informed approach. We aim to embody our Trauma Lens values to create a safe space, to be a ‘critical friend’ and to promote a reciprocal and continuous learning culture. We strive to learn together, with everyone feeling valued and heard whilst trying to level power and imbalance. We all come away far richer as a result.

As a learning Network, we also seek to be supportive of those wishing to access the Network membership and Network resources to develop new learning and understanding around trauma informed practice. We welcome academic enquiry and are keen to share the Plymouth trauma informed journey with passionate and ethical researchers who are seeking to develop new insight in the field of trauma.

Join the conversation and help shape what we can achieve.

Lived Experience

The Lived Experience group is very much the heart of the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network.

Members shape and inform the direction the Network takes. The Lived Experience group is currently redefining its terms of reference to ensure all its work aligns with the trauma informed values at the heart of the Network.

The group strives to be a safe place to connect, share and grow. We seek to find opportunities for the voice of Lived Experience to inform, challenge and steer thinking, policy and practices in our city with the ambition of creating system-wide change.

For more information contact the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network Coordinator

  • Safe

  • Person-centred

  • Kind

  • Empowering

  • Collaborative


The education branch of the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network provides a reflective, learning space for mainstream, specialist and higher education staff to embed trauma informed practices throughout the education system.

Many of our Plymouth schools have participated in the Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools program with Trauma Informed Schools UK (TISUK). Our education branch also provides a forum for schools to reflect on, and integrate, learning from the program.

The emotional well-being of our education staff is paramount in nurturing the well-being of our children and young people. The education branch seeks to provide a safe space for staff to share their experience of working in the education system.

In July 2022, Courtlands Special School delivered a reflective session for the Network to share their learning about their journey to becoming a trauma informed school.

Care Experience

Our newest branch emerged in March 2022 for adoptive families, foster and connected carers and special guardians – and all those working with care experienced individuals.

The purpose of the Care Experience branch:

  • Breakdown barriers and raise the profile of all those who care for care experienced individuals

  • To explore how services for care experienced individuals can be improved

  • To create a space where parents can bring a parenting challenge and it be explored from a PACE / DDP perspective

  • To create a platform to pool resources and disseminate information

  • To develop recorded video content in the form of a series of films that provide a voice for children in care and for foster/ adoptive parents and/ or special guardians

  • To share learning around specific challenges such as foetal alcohol syndrome

  • To create opportunities for buddying without eliciting shame

  • To focus on mitigating the impact of early trauma on babies; to develop training about what early developmental trauma looks like

  • To hold the child in care in the centre with carers with different legal roles, education and health as the influences and supports around the child

Criminal Justice – Changing Futures Transformation

The Changing Futures program is a £64 million joint initiative by the Department of Levelling Up, Homes and Communities (formerly the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) and the National Lottery Community Fund. Plymouth is one of only 15 areas to be awarded the funding. Changing Futures as a program is governed by Plymouth City Council.

Changing Futures has established a Peninsula-wide Criminal Justice program that seeks to deliver whole system transformation to better support those who experience multiple disadvantage within the systems and services relating to homelessness, substance use, mental health issues, domestic abuse, and who have contact with the criminal justice system.

While the Changing Futures Criminal Justice program is not a ‘branch’ or part of the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network, it does seek to connect different parts of the criminal justice system in a joint mission to become more trauma informed and responsive. It seeks to do this by sharing learning, and ensuring that people with lived experience are involved as equal partners in this journey. The programme wants to create a culture of learning and inclusivity, that is realistic about the impact of the criminal justice system, for the people caught within the system itself and the staff working within it.

There is a strong evidence base to support trauma informed ways of working but they often remain elusive in criminal justice policies, procedures and commissioning processes. The programme seeks to address this gap and advocate for a kinder, fairer more compassionate system that moves away from punishment towards accountability and support, allowing people to exit the system feeling empowered and able to live the lives they desire.

If you are interested in learning more about the Changing Futures Criminal Justice Program please contact us.

Plymouth Mental Health Collective

The Plymouth Mental Health Collective Branch aims to connect grassroots organisations to other organisations in the sector, providing opportunities for collaboration and partnership, information and resource sharing, building capacity in the sector, and creating a stronger sense of community.

Social Media for Plymouth Mental Health Collective

For more information contact the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network Coordinator

  • Greater visibility: improving prominence leading to greater support and funding opportunities

  • Be a platform for change: advocating change and raising awareness about important issues

  • Improvements to funding: providing opportunities to diversify sources by identifying new donors, sponsors, and partners

  • Improving connections: providing opportunities for collaboration and partnership between grassroots and other organisations

  • Be a sharing circle: providing access to information and resources that organisations may not have, such as funding opportunities, training, and expertise

  • Building a sense of community: inclusive collaboration, leading to improved support, teamwork and trust

  • Capacity building: providing professional development opportunities between organisations, and sharing best practices

  • Leveraging strengths: collaborating to achieve shared goals and outcomes

Join our movement for change

Our ambition is for Plymouth to be a trauma-informed city. Our independent network is open to anyone connected with Plymouth with a desire to learn about and promote trauma informed ways of being. You too can join our Network and help Plymouth become a safer and kinder place, where the impact of trauma and adversity is both recognised and responded to with sensitivity and compassion.