Our Star of the Month for April is Carly Lucas. Carly is the Service Manager of Jersey Domestic Abuse Service – the first service of its kind on the island. Carly has been with the service from the beginning, and has worked hard over the years to forge links with other agencies and in the local community.
What made you decide to work with victims and survivors of domestic abuse?
Throughout my life I have always wanted to be able to help others, those whose lives could be made different by having someone there to support them, walk side by side with them on their journey, meeting them where they are at and supporting them within that. I have always believed in the capacity for change and having previously worked in mental health and alcohol and drug services I have witnessed the challenges and resistance that change can bring. Being an Idva allows you to challenge that, to get alongside someone, to help them understand the situation they are in and develop their sense of self whilst also guiding them through their options and choices and assisting with making
their wishes become reality.
What is it like to be an Idva in Jersey?
Being an Idva in Jersey has its unique challenges; we are a small Island with its own legislation, housing and benefits systems. Being an Island, it isn't easy for people to be able to free themselves – but on the plus side as we are a small community, we are able to build those personal links between agencies. This allows us to work in partnership to ensure that everything that can be done is done in order to protect those who are at risk of and experiencing harm.
What keeps you going when the work gets tough?
I am hugely passionate about my work and want to make a difference, so when work gets tough you always have to remember why you are doing it, and that by facing challenges we are striving to ensure that someone is able to feel safe and free from the abuse they have been experiencing. I wouldn't be me unless I was pushing myself to do better and striving to achieve, but I also have four incredible children that always bring a smile to my face and can brighten even the most difficult of days. They keep me grounded and help me put everything in perspective.
What are you most proud of in your time as an Idva so far?
I am most proud of my clients who have found the courage to break the cycle, this never fails to amaze me. The strength that they find within themselves to fight for a better life when they are at their lowest is inspirational to us all.
I have been hugely fortunate to be a part of this journey for many people, and I am therefore proud of the work that both my colleague and myself have put into our Idva service that has allowed it to become what it is today. I can only hope that within my new role as Service Manager I can continue to develop the service so that it is able to be there to support many more people in their time of need.
Sue Walters, who nominated Carly, says: 'Carly has been a pioneer in Jersey...She continually and quietly raises awareness of domestic abuse, gaining support from all agencies. Her reputation as an advocate is recognised, and we recognise how hard she works to engage with survivors and at the same time develop the service, so that now we are beginning to expand the Idva service, and work for example in the hospital. Carly is definitely a star!'
Carly's clients: 'It is hard to find people who truly care about their clients these days and I just want you to know how grateful I am for your kindness and guidance.’
‘You gave me courage when I needed it, you went above and beyond. You never judged me, just did what you could to help. I know it’s your job but things you did to help me were not what you were expected to do. Your kind, caring, compassionate nature came out and I will be forever grateful.’
Do you know a professional who has gone above and beyond to change the response to domestic abuse and keep survivors and their families safe? Nominate someone for Star of the Month by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Star of the Month’ as the subject line