One of the key lessons we have learned in the 20 years of WAVE’s existence is that a meaningful, universal shift to prevention is possible, and each one of us as citizens, constituents, mums and dads have a part to play in making this change happen.

Influencing change

Practitioners and policymakers around Britain often appreciate the potential of preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). There are, however, hurdles to jump before effective action is taken: these include funding constraints, a need to prioritise statutory responsibilities to deliver reactive services, and a lack of knowledge of what works in preventing ACEs.

Here you have a powerful voice as a constituent and a local resident. We can support you in speaking to your MP, ward councillor and other elected representatives – there is more on taking action here. [insert link]

WAVE also works directly with local areas to overcome these barriers and to help implementation of ACE-prevention strategies. If you are from a local authority and would like to know more about our implementation work, please contact us via our Contact Us page, or by calling WAVE's Croydon office on +44 (0)20 8688 3773 and asking for Anthoulla.

Presentations to local areas and interested parties 

Since our formation WAVE staff have delivered hundreds of presentations across the UK and internationally to a wide variety of audiences on subjects such as early intervention, primary prevention, ending violence, tackling domestic violence, ending child abuse and neglect and the creation of local and national policies to combat violence and abuse. 

Audiences have been as varied as 200 judges of the Western Circuit, Cabinet Ministers, Royal Colleges, local councils and Health and Wellbeing Boards, MPs and peers, and many professional groups. We have presented to the Governments of Ireland, Kazakhstan, Moldova and the UK.

Anyone interested in requesting a speaker from WAVE should contact Anthoulla Koutsoudi via our Contact Us page or by calling WAVE's Croydon office on +44 (0)20 8688 3773.

WAVE Trust ACE workshops

Since 2016, we have run 6-monthly 3-nation ACE workshops for senior civil servants and senior NHS, Education and Police staff from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our latest event in May 2018 was a 5-nations affair, also including senior representatives from England, the Republic of Ireland and Jersey.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council asked us to co-ordinate and run the first ever 4-Nation Police ACE workshop on how to create ACE-aware, Trauma-informed policing in 2017.

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in future workshops. You can contact Aidan Phillips via our Contact Us page or by calling WAVE's Croydon office on +44 (0)20 8688 3773.

WAVE government studies

WAVE has run major studies for the Department of Health, the Department of Education, the All Party Parliamentary Group for The 1,001 Critical Days, and the Scottish Government. We have provided advice on request to the governments of the Republic of Ireland, Moldova and Kazakhstan.

WAVE’s Department of Health study, Conception to Age 2: the Age of Opportunity, identified the main factors which local authorities find prevent them from pursuing a primary prevention approach.

Read the report:
Conception to age 2 - the age of opportunity

A Better Start 

The Big Lottery Fund’s £215m Fulfilling Lives: A Better Start initiative aims to deliver a step change in preventative approaches in pregnancy and the first three years of life to improve life chances of babies and young children.

The key features of the programme are:

  • An investment of £30-£50 million in 5 areas, each with a population of approximately 50,000 for 8 to 10 years.
  • Each area will run a variety of programmes and initiatives to improve outcomes for children in three key areas of development: social and emotional development; communication and language development; and nutrition.
  • There will be a ‘systems change’ in the way that local health, public services and the voluntary sector work together to put prevention in early life at the heart of service delivery and practice.

WAVE Trust helped to shape the design of the A Better Start initiative and advised Big Lottery on the social and emotional development aspects of the project.

WAVE’s CEO George Hosking sat on the steering committee of the project as an advisor, along with Naomi Eisenstadt (former national head of Sure Start) and Kate Billingham (former national head of Family Nurse Partnership). WAVE’s ‘Age of Opportunity’ report has provided many local areas with a basis for their social and emotional development plans.