A ‘ground-breaking’ conference drawing together professionals who help people affected by traumatic experiences has been held at Wrexham Glyndwr University.

The event was organised by the university’s criminology and criminal justice team and the Early Action Together programme.

It looked at the different approaches which are used by the various organisations who support people who have experienced trauma and adversity – including those affected by such experiences in childhood by what are known to professionals as adverse childhood experiences.

People who have been affected by such experiences can display complex behavioural responses – and conference participants spoke of some of the ways they have worked with people by taking their experience into account and developing trauma-informed approaches to support them.

Wrexham Glyndwr University Graduate Teaching Assistant in Criminology, Tegan Brierley-Sollis, helped to organise the conference.

She said: “This event was put on by the university working alongside the Early Action Together programme and that collaborative spirit was very much in evidence throughout the day.

“The event itself drew students from across the university – not only from our Criminology and Criminal Justice degrees, but also from our Policing, Public Health and Wellbeing and Mental Health and Wellbeing courses among others.

“It was also evident in the ways in which various agencies work with people who have faced trauma and adversity – by working together and taking trauma-informed approaches to behaviour, agencies can make an impact not only on the individual, but also by wider society, by acknowledging peoples’ strengths and promoting their resiliency.”

In total more than 100 people took part in the conference, with external organisations and members of the public taking part alongside Glyndwr’s students.

Support Consultant for the Early Action Together Programme Andrew Bennett said: “What struck me was the real buzz among the attendees about the importance and relevance of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) aware and trauma informed approaches.

“Engaging, informing and empowering communities is key to strengthening individual and community resilience and thereby preventing and mitigating ACEs.”

Mark Gilman, Managing Director of the Discovering Health consultancy also took part in the conference – where he spoke about the work he does challenging addiction.

He said: “This was a ground breaking conference. The self-medication of

trauma lies at the heart of the most challenging forms of addiction that face modern treatment responses.”

Students studying Criminology and Criminal Justice at Wrexham Glyndwr University will be taking their degree in a subject area rated first in the UK for student satisfaction and top 20 for graduate prospects by the Complete University Guide 2020*, and first in Wales and third in the UK for teaching, assessment and feedback and academic support in the National Student Survey 2019.**

Find out more about Wrexham Glyndwr University’s BSc (Hons) in Criminology and Criminal Justice here: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Undergraduatecourses/CriminologyandCriminalJustice/

A picture from the event is attached – from left Sarah Dubberley, Programme Leader, Criminology and Criminal Justice; Dusty Kennedy, National Partnership Lead, National ACE Approach to Policing Vulnerability Programme; Andrew Bennett, Programme Support Consultant, Early Action Together Programme; Jo Seymour (Project Manager Healthy Home, Healthy People – Warm Wales; Mark Gilman , Managing Director, Discovering Health and Tegan Brierley-Sollis, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Criminology and Criminal Justice.