We need your help!

Please get in touch if you ….

  • are already implementing the approach,
  • would like to join our Ambassador Network (training and support provided)
  • or just want to know more
  • We know that there is some great work already happening across North Somerset and we need your help to identify and map it!

As part of the Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) integrated care strategy, North Somerset has committed to adopt a trauma informed approach. To support this ambition, North Somerset Council has recruited Claire Ritchie as a Trauma Informed Practice Officer. Claire will lead on a co-produced programme of work and training, developing an action plan building on existing practice, tailored to meet local needs, and informed by the BNSSG practice framework found HERE.

Watch this space for more information.

Trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as harmful or life threatening. While unique to the individual, generally the experience of trauma can cause lasting adverse effects, limiting the ability to function and achieve mental, physical, social, emotional or spiritual well-being.

Working definition of trauma-informed practice

        Figure 1 BNSSG Defining trauma informed practice

  1. Realise that trauma can affect individuals, groups and communities

Trauma-informed practice is an approach to health and care interventions which is grounded in the understanding that trauma exposure can impact an individual’s neurological, biological, psychological and social development.

  1. Recognise the signs, symptoms and widespread impact of trauma

Trauma-informed practice aims to increase practitioners’ awareness of how trauma can negatively impact on individuals and communities, and their ability to feel safe or develop trusting relationships with health and care services and their staff.

It aims to improve the accessibility and quality of services by creating culturally sensitive, safe services that people trust and want to use. It seeks to prepare practitioners to work in collaboration and partnership with people and empower them to make choices about their health and wellbeing.

Trauma-informed practice acknowledges the need to see beyond an individual’s presenting behaviours and to ask, ‘What does this person need?’ rather than ‘What is wrong with this person?’.

  1. Prevent re-traumatisation

It seeks to avoid re-traumatisation which is the re-experiencing of thoughts, feelings or sensations experienced at the time of a traumatic event or circumstance in a person’s past. Re-traumatisation is generally triggered by reminders of previous trauma which may or may not be potentially traumatic in themselves.

The purpose of trauma-informed practice is not to treat trauma-related difficulties, which is the role of trauma-specialist services and practitioners. Instead, it seeks to address the barriers that people affected by trauma can experience when accessing health and care services.

  1. Trauma Informed Practice in North Somerset

Along with our partners across BNSSG we have made a commitment to embed trauma informed practice within our services and systems by signing a pledge. Our priorities are co-producing a work plan and training programme which will be informed by the BNSSG framework https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-definition-of-trauma-informed-practice/working-definition-of-trauma-informed-practice

Not sure if your able to include the pledge somewhere please? It would be helpful is you can. Copy below and attached


Trauma-Informed Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire:

A pledge for partners


The pledge represents an opportunity for organisations, strategic groups and boards serving the people and communities of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) to make an active commitment towards embedding a trauma-informed approach across services and systems. We hope that by organisations identifying two key actions to take forward over the next 12 months, this will encourage an active and ongoing commitment to change.


  1. We recognise that experiences of trauma and adversity are common and can have a profound, wide-reaching impact on the lives of individuals, families and communities.These are experiences which can take place across the life course and over generations and can influence how people interact, interpret the world and engage with services. We commit to developing our knowledge and understanding in this area to improve the design and delivery of our services. We recognise that early intervention and prevention approaches are integral to helping people live fulfilling lives. We will work together with individuals, families and communities to build on existing strengths and maximise opportunities for recovery.


  1. We recognise that some individuals and groups are disproportionally affected by trauma and adversity.These experiences can be compounded by collective trauma and structural inequalities, such as poverty and racism. We commit to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. This involves developing our knowledge and understanding through an intersectional lens and working to address the underlying systemic causes that contribute to inequality and disadvantage wherever possible.


  1. We acknowledge that our organisations are made up of individuals who may have experienced trauma and adversity in their lives. We will prioritise the health and wellbeing of our workforce, acknowledging that staff could be negatively impacted by their work. Within our organisations we commit to leading with compassion as we build a trauma-informed approach into our cultures and processes.


  1. We will develop and promote a shared approach across the systemand commit to adopting the trauma-informed principles and model set out in the BNSSG Trauma-Informed Practice Framework.


  1. We recognise that embedding a trauma-informed approach is an ongoing journey that requires long-term commitment. We will look for opportunities to build longevity into our organisational strategies and policies. We will work collaboratively across organisations to best support our collective aim of becoming a trauma-informed system.


  1. We will support and promote an inclusive approach, valuing the contributions and expertise of all communities and sectors. We will actively involve and listen to individuals, families and communities with lived experience and commit to building meaningful coproduction into our processes where possible.


  1. We recognise the importance of evaluation and measuring impact. We will seek opportunities to develop and share best practice, contributing to the evolving evidence base around trauma-informed work. We will foster a reflective and supportive learning culture where we feel safe to innovate and challenge what needs to be changed.


  1. We will communicate and actively promote the importance of trauma-informed practice. We will champion and look for opportunities to influence at every level, from local policy to wider conversations on the trauma-informed approach.