Our Story

The Trauma Informed Plymouth Network is a collaborative network of intensely curious and passionate people. With a wide diversity of professional and personal experience, we are keen to learn together and promote trauma-informed and shame-sensitive practice.

About us

Established in April 2018, the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network developed as an innovative response to the emerging evidence regarding childhood adversity and the impact of trauma on people, communities, and those delivering services.

We started as a conversation between a small handful of people. That conversation has grown and grown to become a collaborative, community network of hundreds of people from the statutory, voluntary and community sectors alongside people with lived experience of trauma.

We are all passionate to bring about trauma informed system-wide change that is shame-sensitive and promotes the genuine co-production of services with people with lived experience.

We are an independent, grassroots movement with a vision and ambition to make Plymouth a trauma informed city.

We offer connection, embrace the value of healthy and trusted relationships and celebrate the strength that can grow from adversity.

What is our approach to being trauma informed?

Our approach to being trauma informed is inclusive. Anyone can be affected by trauma and therefore trauma is about all of us. Trauma changes how our bodies and brains work, how we think, how we feel, how we experience the world and how we connect with others.

“After trauma the world is experienced with a different nervous system. The survivor’s energy now becomes focused on suppressing inner chaos, at the expense of spontaneous involvement in their lives”
Bessel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score

A trauma informed approach is a values-based approach which changes the question from ‘what’s wrong with you?’ to ‘what happened to you?’ Being trauma-informed is not just about what we do – it encourages us to think about how we do things.

A trauma informed approach recognises the signs and expressions of trauma, responds with validation and empathy and seeks to avoid causing further harm. At the heart of our approach are the values of safety, kindness, empowerment, collaboration and being person centred. We believe the world seen through the lens of trauma is a different world that needs more courageous responses and solutions.

Community Interest Company

In December 2021 the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network was registered with Companies House as a Community Interest Company (CIC), company number: 13814514.

The purpose of the CIC is to enable the Network to continue to develop through:

Governance – In order to safeguard the independence & integrity of the network as a collaborative, democratic and reflective learning space for everyone, it is clear effective leadership is required.

Good governance ensures the movement remains true to its aims and values, continues to support the needs of its members, is able to resolve conflict and speaks with a consistent voice. Having explored a variety of options and following consultation with the network, the move to establish a CIC felt the best fit with our values.

Amplifying the Network Voice – Becoming a constituted body as a CIC ensures the Network is an identifiable stakeholder in its own right in terms of how it connects to and works with other city partners and systems. This helps to empower our members by providing clearer Network representation within the city partnerships arena.

Growth – Being a CIC enables us to be more forward thinking and sustainable in our development, improve our infrastructure and access funding and other opportunities for growth.

The purpose of the CIC is to enable the Network to continue to develop through:

All CIC directors are Network members who are unpaid volunteers. The role of the directors is to preserve and support the smooth running and development of the Network in line with our principles and to ensure it benefits the wider community. It is also about ensuring the duties and responsibilities of a CIC are appropriately discharged.

The founding directors are: Simon Hardwick, Anna Moss, Oliver Mackie and Shelley Shaw.
There are a number of other appointed CIC directors who assist in developing the network.

Our aims

To review and reflect upon the emerging evidence regarding trauma informed approaches & adverse childhood experiences and continue to define an approach that envisions Plymouth as a trauma informed city.

To promote the Trauma Informed Plymouth Network’s approach to envisioning Plymouth as a trauma informed city within communities, agencies, and partnership systems.

To promote the Plymouth Trauma Lens as a consistent, universal, and transformational narrative for a trauma informed city, that aspires to be courageously prevention focused.

To work alongside & support communities, agencies, and partnership systems in becoming trauma aware and shame-sensitive.

To promote a system level response to the trauma informed approach and to support system change as a critical friend.

To ensure the voice of lived experience is respected, valued, and placed at the centre of trauma informed and shame-sensitive practice.

Join our movement for change

We aspire to help the city of Plymouth become trauma informed. Our independent Network is open to anyone connected to Plymouth with a desire to share experiences and learning around trauma. You too can join our Network and help Plymouth become a safer and kinder place, where the impact of adversity and trauma is both recognised and responded.