Richmond Ambassador’s ‘Resilience’ Screening Event is a Hit!

Richmond Ambassador’s ‘Resilience’ Screening Event is a Hit!

WAVE Trust 70/30 Ambassador, Daphne Cotton, hosted a hugely successful awareness-raising event on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) at The Exchange in Twickenham on 19th September.

‘Resilience: the Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope’ (Director James Redford) was seen by a packed audience, including policy makers from Richmond Council. Health leads, health professionals, headteachers and a variety of public and voluntary sector workers were amongst those attending. The screening was followed by a Q & A discussion with Twickenham MP Sir Vince Cable and a panel of experts comprising George Hosking (WAVE Trust), Dr Sarah Temple (Ehcap Ltd) and Shabira Papain (Best Beginnings)

The science of ‘Toxic Stress’ and the major findings that came out of the ACE Study (published 1998) are only now coming into the public domain, thanks in part to James Redford’s film. When children experience high doses of stress in their lives, the impact on their brains and their bodies can be devastating, often leading to lifelong health and social problems which tend to pass from generation to generation. Toxic stress is now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from poor academic performance, substance misuse, mental ill health, heart disease and cancer, to violence and criminality.

The power of the film is that it demonstrates the possibility of breaking the inter-generational cycle of damage by the healing effects of trauma-informed practice. Babies and children suffer ACEs, not because of bad parents but usually because of bad things that have happened to the parents themselves when they were young. It is time to really tackle the root causes of society’s problems and break this inter-generational cycle of violence, addiction and disease. This is what Daphne is hoping will happen in Richmond and elsewhere. Already the response from key people in the borough, including Cabinet Members from Richmond Council, has been very positive indeed.

Since the Twickenham event, Daphne has been to Glasgow where she met Dr Nadine Burke-Harris, the paediatrician featured in ‘Resilience’. Dr Burke-Harris was the keynote speaker at a conference in the city on 26 September, “Making Scotland the first ACE-Aware Nation”, which was attended by over 2000 delegates.

As a direct result of the Twickenham event, local Police Inspector Ed McDonagh, along with Detective Superintendent Tor Garnett of the London Met Training and Transformation division, have organized a screening of ‘Resilience’ at Cineworld, a 700-seat cinema in Leicester Square on 29 November. These were Tor’s words in an email to Daphne the morning following the Twickenham screening: “Huge congratulations on such an inspiring event . . . I would very much like to explore how we could spread this within the Met so that we could become a trauma-informed police service – following on the heels of Scotland, South Wales and Ayrshire”.

Daphne will be on the Q & A panel following the Leicester Square screening, along with two of the Met’s top brass, Commander Richard Smith, Safeguarding Lead and Commander Mark McEwan, Head of Profession, Crime Prevention, Inclusion and Engagement. Also on the panel will be Rachel Egan, Assistant Director Early Help, Wandsworth.
As Daphne said “The knowledge is catching fire, it is having an impact and there is a sense of momentum and a sense of hope that we might at last be able to put in place, right across the country, what is needed to make a real difference.”

If you would like to get involved in helping to create an ACE-aware trauma-informed community in Richmond and neighbouring boroughs, get in touch with local Ambassador, Daphne Cotton, daphnecotton26@gmail.com.

Successful meeting with Sir Vince Cable MP in Twickenham

Successful meeting with Sir Vince Cable MP in Twickenham

70/30 Ambassadors for Richmond, Daphne Cotton,  Amy Dobson and Wendy Gilley met with local MP, Sir Vince Cable to discuss the 70/30 Campaign and the importance of making primary prevention a priority for their community.

The ambassadors met Vince during a regular constituency surgery in Twickenham so time was limited, but all agreed that it had been a very positive first meeting.  Vince readily embraced the thrust of the campaign and did not hesitate when asked for his endorsement.  He seemed keen to help in any way he could, but reminded the group that the Liberal Democrats were unlikely to be in power for another 5 years!

He suggested other people in the party that 70/30 might like to engage with, such as Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem Health spokesman, (already a supporter) and Layla Moran, recently elected to Oxford West and Abingdon and a vociferous campaigner on education. He showed a keen interest in the pack prepared for his perusal and had a flick through during the meeting. 

The statistics for Richmond caught his attention, for example, “. . . the highest percentage of 15 year olds engaging in 3 or more risky behaviours in the UK (21.5%) . . . prevalence of smoking among 15 year olds more than twice the London average . . . 55% of 15 year olds reported being bullied in the previous 2 months, the highest proportion in London . . . a quarter of women in the borough will suffer domestic and sexual abuse from the age of 16 . . .

So engrossed in discussion were they all that the all important photo shoot was forgotten! However, Vince kindly agreed to face the camera a week later.  When asked if he had had a chance to look through the pack, he replied that he had been impressed by the Building Great Britons report and had already sent questions off to his Westminster team.

Twickenham Ambassador, Daphne Cotton, sheds light on breastfeeding crisis in UK and calls for action

Twickenham Ambassador, Daphne Cotton, sheds light on breastfeeding crisis in UK and calls for action

The UK is the worst country in the world for breastfeeding. This appears to be because we are ignorant about its importance. A recent UK survey revealed mothers gave lack of support, public attitudes and embarrassment as major factors in them giving up breastfeeding their child.

Science and neuroscience have identified countless benefits of breastfeeding, which include fewer infant infections, fewer sudden infant deaths, increased intelligence and protection against obesity and diabetes later in life, as well as reduced breast cancer rates for mothers.

If breastfeeding did not already exist, someone who invented it today would deserve a dual Nobel Prize in medicine and economics. For while ‘breast is best’ for lifelong health, it is also excellent economics.Lancet researcher

To read Daphne’s article in the Richmond & Twickenham Times see image (below).