why We Do what We Do

Our dedicated team at Vale of Glamorgan Domestic Abuse Services are here to help, support and advise you in your time of need.

Here are a few of our colleagues explaining their jobs and what they love about the work they do at Vale Domestic Abuse Services (DAS).


Tell us about your role and what a day looks like?

As a team leader for refuge, I work to provide short term refuge accommodation for people and families at risk. The team gets to know survivors and understand their needs and risk factors, and then settles them into the most appropriate refuge for their needs, supporting them with finances, paperwork, emotional and mental health needs. The aim is to get them to a place where they are safe from harm, their risk is reduced, and they are ready to move on to a safe permanent home. My team provides a place of safety for those that need it, giving them the time needed to heal.

How did you come to work with Vale DAS?

Since joining the charity four years ago as a Dispersed Accommodation Workers, I’ve covered various roles, working my way up to my current job as Team Leader.

Vale DAS provides me with opportunities for personal and professional growth, and I’m extremely proud to be part of a team that strives to empower people and change their lives for the better, and to be part of a supportive team that lifts each other up.

Why is Vale DAS important to you?

My role in Vale DAS is fulfilling, meaningful and at times challenging. Having experienced domestic abuse myself, I feel that I’m giving back to others in need of help. Vale DAS allows survivors to feel that they aren’t alone – we give options and empowerment to make important changes to lives.

What have you learned about yourself since you became involved in Vale DAS?

I’ve developed a high sense of self-efficacy at work, with support from leaders and colleagues enabling me to grow in confidence. I have a much clearer understanding of trauma and the effects of domestic abuse, and I’m able to use this to support survivors. I’ve learned that I can adapt quickly to new situations and self-reflect, so that I may improve continuously.

What would you say to others looking to work with survivors of domestic abuse?

Although my job is challenging at times, I feel rewarded when a life or lives change for the better. These changes may feel small, but to a survivor they can be a lifeline.

And, for those currently in an abusive relationship who may be unsure what to do?

Reach out and ask for help. We all need a little help sometimes and Vale DAS will be there to support you throughout your journey. We understand that every individual’s experience is unique to them. You are the experts in their own experience, and we can support you to achieve the life you deserve.

CR works in the refuge accommodation team

Tell us about your role and what a day looks like?

I work in refuge accommodation covering survivors from our three projects, dealing with everything from emotional to practical issues. I have weekly support sessions with survivors I work with, but they are always seen much more regularly even if it is just to check in and catch up on general day to day matters.

My job varies from helping people staying at Vale DAS services from out of the area to access GP surgeries to enrolling their children into local schools, and more. Similarly, if a survivor has financial issues, I help them apply for benefits or funding, as well as managing any debt.

When a family is leaving the refuge to move into independent living, I’ll apply for any available funding/grants for white goods, furniture or items for the children’s welfare. I’ll also liaise with the new housing officer to ensure there is a smooth transition from our project into their new property.

How did you come to work with Vale DAS?

Before joining Vale DAS, I worked at a substance misuse agency with offenders in the criminal justice system due to Class A drug use. I decided that it was time for a change and joined Vale DAS in 2016, and I haven’t looked back.

Why is Vale DAS important to you?

The work we do in helping survivors of domestic abuse is invaluable. Having a local agency working within the community is vital in understanding the issues survivors face. We offer varied packages of support enabling us to meet the needs of the survivors and their children, keeping them safe from harm and giving them an accessible pathway to a happy safe future.

What have you learned about yourself since you became involved in Vale DAS?

I realise that I am a good listener. I’m patient, sensitive to people’s needs and care that their needs are met. Even though I’m not in the survivor’s position, I realise how very fragile every situation is and how easily things can change.

What would you say to others looking to work with survivors of domestic abuse?

Do it! Offering guidance and support to survivors and families in need through no fault of their own, and being able to see them through their journey to a safe and happy future is, quite honestly, the best feeling.

Even if this is not the right time for them, you can offer guidance and advice to keep them as safe as possible and support them in their choices and the path they take moving forward.

giving a heart to another

KO works in the domestic abuse response team

Tell us about your role and what a day looks like?

My role is very fast paced and no two days are the same – it can be very challenging but also rewarding too! The domestic abuse response team is the first point of contact for survivors and provides specialist support to those subjected to domestic abuse and/or sexual violence. We advocate for the safety and well-being of those individuals, treating them with dignity and respect, and supporting them in ensuring they are aware of their rights and are empowered to make informed decisions about their life.

How did you come to work with Vale DAS?

During my time working at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, I saw first-hand the effect domestic abuse and/or sexual violence can have on people and the physiological trauma involved. This led me to wanting to work directly with survivors and raise awareness, so when a vacancy came up at Vale DAS, I jumped at the chance, and I feel very lucky to be part of the team.

Why is Vale DAS important to you?

Vale DAS continues to support individuals who are experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence – we are a team of highly trained practitioners, and we will empower you to understand your options and support you to make any decisions about the future. We don’t judge you, we are here to listen.

What have you learned about yourself since you became involved in Vale DAS?

I’ve learned how important my work is, and that domestic abuse and /or sexual violence is not driven by anger first and foremost, its driven by a need for and a sense of entitlement to power and control. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and it’s important that I continue to advocate for the individuals experiencing this and speak out against it on their behalf.

And, for those currently in an abusive relationship who may be unsure what to do?

I would say that they do have a voice and they do have choices in life, they are not alone. There are specialist, confidential services that can support you – whether you have left your partner or not. They can help keep you safe and offer emotional and practical support.

About Our Team

Carryn Williams – Chair of Vale Domestic Abuse Services

Carryn Williams started his working life as a youth worker and was appointed as Chair of Vale Domestic Abuse Services following a long-standing career working with both adults and children in the Social Services sector.

Highly experienced in helping agencies work better together across Social Services, Health, Housing, Employment Support, Charitable and Voluntary Organisations, Carryn took up the role following his retirement in 2018, having also worked as a trainer and development worker in the voluntary sector, and a community worker, among other things.

Carryn says: “It’s my honour to be Chair of Vale DAS. I live in the Vale of Glamorgan and know how important our service is to our community. I am passionate about supporting survivors of domestic abuse and their children. I am proud that we provide services which empower survivors to plan their future safely and with hope that life can be different. I am proud that we respect survivors and their children, listen and hear their stories and their wishes about their future.”

Lorraine Griffiths – Vice Chair

Lorraine Griffiths has worked within the Support and Housing Sectors for the last 30 years; she has a degree in Housing and Development.

Lorraine, is currently Assistant Director with the Pobl Group, and her key areas of responsibility are for the Support and Supported Housing Projects in RCT, Merthyr, Vale, Cardiff, Monmouthshire and Torfaen Local authority areas. She currently has 27 projects within her area of responsibility.

Lorraine has worked for Pobl for the last 7 years and for the previous 12 years she was a member of the Supporting People Team in RCT. Her responsibilities included audits, commissioning and management and establishment of the single point of access. Prior to this she worked in general needs Housing management.

Sian Erickson – Trustee and Safeguarding Lead

Hello, My name is Sian Erickson, and I am honoured to serve a safeguarding trustee for Vale Domestic Abuse Services. With experience as a nurse, health visitor and trainer and currently as a trainee psychotherapist, I have dedicated my professional career to promote the wellbeing of individuals, families of all forms and communities. 

I am passionate about creating safe environments that nurture healthy relationships, stimulate personal growth, and help individuals identify a sense of purpose. As a reflective practitioner my ultimate goal is to support and facilitate the journey towards wellbeing for individuals, families and communities, so that they can live safe fulfilled and satisfying lives.

Vicky Friis – Chief Executive

Vicky is passionate about ending violence against women and girls, domestic abuse, and sexual violence. Her mission is to create safe spaces for women and their families so they can rebuild their lives after trauma.

Vicky comes to her position as CEO with years of experience in charities, statutory organizations, and the private sector. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in business, she has completed several advanced leadership and sector-specific programs. Prior to joining Vale Domestic Abuse Services, she served as CEO of CarmDAS where she developed services, built partnerships, increased revenue, and created a cohesive, well-trained team.

Vicky is a trustee of Welsh Women’s Aid and works actively to foster collective impact with communities, stakeholders, commissioners, and policy makers. Outside of her professional career, Vicky enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and (trying to) keep fit and healthy outside of her professional career. Learning new things and exploring new places are her favourite things to do.

Vicky says “I consider it a privilege to work at Vale Domestic Abuse Services. I am honoured that survivors share their most private details at their lowest points with my colleagues and I. My belief is that people have strengths, even when they do not see them in themselves. I want to inspire and support women to use their strengths and skills so that life can be different for them.”

Lisa Ware – Deputy Chief Executive

Hello, I’m Lisa, I have worked in Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence services for over 20 years and joined Vale Domestic Abuse Services 16 months ago as the Operations Manager.

I started out as a volunteer many years ago, initially not thinking that this field of work would be my long-term career, but it did not take long for me to realise that this area of work is exactly where I needed to be. I have worked in lots of different roles including refuge support worker, IDVA, Children & Young People’s worker, I have delivered group work and workshops and attended events to raise awareness of domestic abuse and wider violence against women issues.

In my current role, I oversee all the operational side of the service which I could not do without the support of my team leaders and a passionate and dedicated frontline team.

I am proud to be working with an organization which ensures survivors of abuse are central to all decisions, where the staff, volunteers and students share the vision and values of ValeDAS and go above and beyond to ensure survivors really do believe that life can be different.

We are evolving and growing with new projects on the horizon and I am excited to see what the future holds!

Carryn Williams-Chair of Trustees.

Lorraine Griffiths-Vice Chair of Trustees.

Sian Erickson-Safeguarding Lead.

Michelle Matthews.

Kara Conlon.

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