July: Lynsey

Lynsey has worked in domestic abuse support for 11 years and her journey started off as a trainee support worker at Harbour, working with women and children in Refuge’s. Lynsey then went on to continue the domestic abuse support with families as Outreach support and became a qualified support worker. In 2013 she qualified as an IDVA after completing the qualification with SafeLives, and has been the lead in the SDAC and MARAC over the years, supporting women through the CJS and family courts.

In 2018 Lynsey joined My Sisters Place as an IDVA and delivered Freedom Programmes, along with leading on MARAC and continuing to support women and children. During the pandemic she was successful in gaining a Team Leader position and more recently became a Service Manager.

Lynsey Gibson 2

What made you decide to work with people experiencing domestic abuse?

Being a single mum at the time and overcoming some of my own challenges, I wanted to help other families in difficult situations. After I was given an opportunity to train to facilitate a parenting programme, and volunteering with Barnardo’s for mentoring support-this helped me gain the confidence to apply for a role in domestic abuse. This was the start of the passion to help those experiencing domestic abuse.

What keeps you going when the work gets tough?

The team of colleagues I have around me and have the pleasure to work alongside help me to keep going after a particularly tough day. But also the positive stories about the women we have supported, they remind me why I do the job that I do.

What is the biggest challenge and the biggest reward in your role?

One of the biggest challenges was trying to provide domestic support remotely during the pandemic when the support would be predominately face to face, and turning my bedroom into an office. Day to day the biggest challenges are the ever increasing demand on the service for the support. The biggest reward in my role has been the times my colleagues and I have helped to make a difference.

What are you most proud of so far?

I’m proud of the amazing women I have got to work a long side over the years, and also proud that many women have trusted me with their story. When it comes to myself, I am mostly proud of being able to progress from a trainee all those years ago into the Service Manager role today.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering this career, what would it be?

I would say once you gain a passion for working with people experiencing domestic abuse, you will never look back. Be sure to practice plenty of self-care along the way.

Lynsey’s nominator said “Lynsey works tirelessly, not only supporting women through the pandemic but also her team. She has kept them motivated and uplifted throughout, and gone above and beyond to put in extra support to those who have struggled. This includes both staff and clients alike.”

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 communications@safelives.org.uk with ‘Star of the Month’ as the subject line.