Little did our co-founders, Gill and Linda, know that in 20 years’ time, Storm Skills Training would become the successful not-for-profit, social enterprise that it is today.
The meeting of our co-founders
In 1997, it was a chance job advertisement in a national paper for a Trainer and Researcher that introduced Dr. Gill Green to Storm Skills Training. It was an opportunity to work on a 12-month project with Professor Linda Gask at the University of Manchester.
After the project:
- Gill stepped away for a few years, remaining in research but working with prisons on a different project.
- Linda continued to receive requests for Storm Skills Training long after two larger studies into the training model’s efficacy and feasibility had been published.
Linda realised that this was only just the beginning for Storm Skills Training.
What else would be possible?
Extending our impact to the other side of the globe
It wasn’t long until the project grew. New packages were being created and we were even starting to expand our reach to an international audience – Australia.
In 2013, Gill visited Australia to train up a new group of facilitators, this is when she first met Bianca Romanyk, (our now CEO!). Bianca was one of the amazing trainee facilitators that Gill trained. Bianca had just started a brand new role as a Capacity Building and Development Officer, delivering Storm Skills Training in schools across Australia, as part of a suicide postvention support service for schools. At this stage, Bianca could see the positive impact the training had on school communities. Her passion for suicide prevention and Storm Skills Training continued to grow.
Bianca had an instant connection with Storm Skills Training – she left the training session feeling so empowered that she knew there was something she could do to help school communities to have more effective conversations about suicide. She wanted everyone to feel the same.
After the training, Gill returned back to the UK to continue developing Storm Skills Training. Bianca continued making an impact on the other side of the globe delivering Storm Skills Training.
Bianca teams up with Gill at Storm Skills Training CIC…
Gill returns to Australia to train up more facilitators, and upgrade Bianca and her colleagues to the newest version of Storm Skills Training – Version 3. It was during this time that Bianca and Gill discussed Bianca’s impending move to the UK. And an agreement to meet when she got there, to discuss the possibilities of working together. Bianca was thrilled.
Needless to say, Bianca did move to the UK. She worked with Gill to get Version 4 out to customers. And took a lead role in leading the organisation through the pandemic and into the online world.
Storm Skills Training today
Today, Storm Skills Training is more than just a training package. We are a successful social enterprise that continues to benefit the self-harm and suicide prevention community. Although Storm Skills Training has evolved over time, the training methodologies that were developed back then are what we use today.
Our training package continues to be built on a solid foundation of:
- The latest evidence, research, lived experience, and best practice.
Research shows that our training methodologies make a difference to the skills, attitudes, and confidence of frontline team members, across a number of different settings. From schools and prisons to frontline mental health teams.
Today, Storm Skills Training CIC continues to benefit the self-harm and suicide prevention community. We continue to believe that no one should profit from the distress of others. We exist to provide Self-harm and Suicide Prevention training, and being successful in the training we deliver means we can extend our impact beyond this. Every penny we generate is used for the sole purpose of benefiting the self-harm and suicide prevention community, and so we can continue our work to help us work toward achieving our vision and mission.
We are still working to improve engagement, conversation, and interventions with people in distress to help prevent suicide.
We’re passionate about reducing the incidence and impact of self-harm and suicide. And we are working towards our mission of;
More effective conversations that help reduce distress and fewer lives lost to self-harm and suicide.