The history of the London ACEs Hub (LAH) is a journey of connections and learnings.
Simon Partridge, a survivor, writer and activist, was familiar with the ACEs approach and, as a result of the film Resilience, became interested in taking community action forward. At the beginning of 2018 at a seminar on sexual abuse, he met again Dr Felicity de Zulueta, a psychiatrist committed to unveiling and understanding the roots of trauma. They were both speakers at the event and, over a post-seminar coffee, they discovered a mutual interest in “framing” trauma issues in ACEs terms and disseminating ACEs awareness in London.
This was given momentum by the upcoming conference “Making Scotland the World’s First ACE-Aware Nation” in Glasgow in September 2018. Via the resourceful ACEs Connection (presently PACEs Connection), Simon saw a post by Tiane Graziottin about the event. He contacted her and they met near her canal boat in East London. They identified a shared enthusiasm about the Glasgow success and the desire to facilitate a similar movement in London.
Simon organised a coffee with Felicity and Tiane, which led to further stimulating meetings, joined also by Roger Grimshaw, a colleague of Felicity’s working in criminal justice. These conversations ignited the birth of the network that later became the London ACEs Hub.
The first scoping meeting took place in February 2019 at Body & Soul and had fourteen participants. It was chaired by Simon and Tiane and hosted by Rebecca Brennan, who worked for Body & Soul at the time. The subsequent monthly gatherings happened at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and were hosted by Roger Grimshaw. Since April 2020, the meetings of the network have taken place virtually in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group has strengthened and evolved to create a shared identity and respond to changing contexts. Our purpose and aims have expanded to reflect collective experiences and goals. The infographic below, developed during the network initial year, presents the wide scope of the group's original shared vision and purpose:
Infographic designed by Simon Partridge and Martin Pirongs.
An initial pan-London ACEs conference was planned for March 2020 in association with Confer. The event was postponed to 18 September 2021 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can find information on the conference here.
In July 2021, the London ACEs Hub became a Community Interest Company (CIC). This development was the outcome of multiple considerations and consultations with LAH members and a desire to officialise the activities of the network. This also allows the LAH to receive donations and funding to expand its initiatives and the reach of its message and, most importantly, to continue its commitments to benefit all communities of Greater London.
Roger, Tiane and Simon have become the founding CIC Directors along with Leroy Logan, who has been a part of the network since the first meeting in 2019. Leroy brings a wide range of experiences to the group as a retired Metropolitan Police Superintendent and a former chairman and founding member of the Black Police Association. Felicity has become the LAH's first CIC Patron in recognition of her important contributions to trauma-informed care and the creation of the LAH.
A Coordination Group (CG), led by Tiane and Roger as the Co-Chairs, was also set up to manage the activities of the LAH in a collective manner under the new CIC structure. The founding members of the CG were as follows: Derek Williams, Koya Cassandra Conteh, Mpume Mpofu, Rebecca White, and Vittoria De Meo.
What brings the LAH network together is the passion to promote awareness of ACEs and the traumas that they often cause and the commitment to building individual and collective resilience to create a compassionate, caring and fairer Greater London.
Nice to see you here sharing part of this journey.
Tiane and Simon and Simon and Felicity during their second meeting to address the birth of an ACE-focused network in London, November 2018.
From left to right: Leroy, Roger, Tiane and Simon, founding directors, during the celebration of the LAH CIC application, London, June 2021.