AN Aberystwyth University research project on elder abuse has appointed a new support worker for Carmarthenshire.

Former Dyfed-Powys Police officer Lynn Rees has joined the Dewis/Choice team which is based in the Centre for the Study of Ageing, Abuse and Neglect at Aberystwyth Law School.

Funded by the National Lottery, the main aim of the Choice/Dewis project is to explore welfare and justice opportunities, including civil, criminal and family based approaches, for older people who experience abuse.

Earlier research by the project identified significant difficulties experienced by older victims of elder abuse in accessing domestic abuse support services and pursuing justice options.

As a former police officer Lynn has many years’ experience of working in the areas of domestic abuse and safeguarding, and is looking forward to working with Dewis/Choice partner organisations in Carmarthenshire.

In his role as Support Worker, Lynn will work with older people in Carmarthenshire who are victims of abuse by family members.

Speaking about his appointment Lynn said: “This is an important project that addresses the often-hidden problem of the abuse of older people in domestic settings. I look forward to working with the team.”

Professor Alan Clarke from the Dewis Choice project said: “We are delighted to welcome Lynn to the Dewis/Choice project. Raising awareness of elder abuse within communities is a key element of the project and over the coming months, Lynn will be working with older members of the community and gathering evidence from evolving case studies to inform our future findings and policy recommendations. Through Lynn’s appointment we look forward to working with our partner organisations in Carmarthenshire.”

The Dewis/Choice project is also partnered with the City of Cardiff Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Age Cymru, Dyfed-Powys Police, South Wales Police, Safer Wales, Hafan Cymru and Welsh Women’s Aid.

In January 2017 the project launched its Cardiff base with the appointment of Carmel Boston, a qualified Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor as a Support Worker.

Dewis/Choice is a multi-disciplinary project involving lawyers, criminologists and social policy experts at Aberystwyth University.

The £1.3m research project on Elder Abuse and Justice was awarded £890,000 grant by the Big Lottery Fund in 2015.

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