The charity is working with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), which provides mental health services in County Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire, to develop a range of training materials to educate their staff and service users about stalking.
The Alice Ruggles Trust was founded in 2017 by Clive Ruggles and Sue Hills, after the death of their daughter Alice at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, following a relentless campaign of stalking.
As part of their work with TEWV, they have developed a stalking awareness leaflet for young people using their children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) explaining what stalking is, what it looks like, and what to do if you are a victim.
They have also created a webinar and an awareness booklet for staff, a video to be used in staff safeguarding training, and are in the process of organising the delivery of short training courses for CAHMS staff as well as other resources.
“Among those who may come into contact with potential stalking victims or perpetrators are healthcare professionals. It’s important that our staff can recognise the signs and are educated in how to handle these situations.
Claire Bainbridge, Consultant Forensic Psychologist at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
Claire added: “We saw the work and training that the Alice Ruggles Trust was doing within other public sector organisations and thought it was a great opportunity to raise awareness of stalking with our staff and service users in the healthcare sector.
“We’re proud to be the first NHS trust to work with the charity and raise awareness of such an important issue.”
Clive Ruggles, co-founder of The Alice Ruggles Trust, said: “What happened to Alice showed that we desperately need stalking victims to recognise the seriousness of what is happening to them and seek help sooner.
“We need to ensure that today’s adolescents and young adults recognise if they, or someone they know, are experiencing stalking or are exhibiting stalking behaviours and know what to do, what advice to give, and how to seek help.
“Collaborations such as these are hugely important; safeguarding professionals have a vital role in helping reduce the risks from stalking, and having a powerful personal story at the heart of our training makes it all the more effective.”
Since its inception, the Alice Ruggles Trust has taken part in professional training events throughout England and Wales involving the police, CPS, judiciary, probation officers, domestic abuse case workers, and social and health services.
The charity provides a range of training packages, often in cooperation with other agencies and charities. It has also held several conferences bringing together professional practitioners and academics to discuss advances in understanding stalking and best practice in tackling it.