We understand that everyone has their own unique experiences, circumstances and needs. We also recognise that these needs change throughout life.

Our highly experienced staff offer a range of community based and refuge accommodation based services to support women (16+), children and young people. Delivering tailored support packages to meet individual needs and requirements in relation to: accessibility, physical and mental health support needs, disability, ethnicity, religion, cultural, language and sexuality.

We also work with other specialist services that may be needed in order to provide a holistic package of support to meet the individual needs of all our clients.

We give our clients the time, space, information and support they need to explore their options, discuss their feelings / experiences and make informed decisions about their circumstances, lives and futures. Our specialist staff work closely with clients to develop tailored, client led Support and Safety Plans. Our service is strictly confidential and a great deal of care is taken to ensure our clients can access our services in a safe way.

We provide one-to-one emotional and practical support with options for specialist group support, peer support and recovery work.

Emotional Support

Emotional support is a key element of the work we deliver. Women who are, or have been, in abusive relationships may have very low self-esteem and confidence. They may also feel isolated, worthless and scared. We empower women by giving them the chance to talk about and explore their experiences, allow them to process what has happened and validate their experiences, as well as giving them the opportunity to regain and maintain control over their own lives. This support helps to build confidence, self-esteem, self-worth and empower clients to move on and promote lasting and positive change. We do this by:

  • Providing a safe space to talk and explore thoughts and feelings
  • Providing client led, outcome focused and holistic support planning
  • Empowering women to make informed life choices by helping them to understand the cycle of abuse
  • Offering advice and support around healthy relationships, consent, staying safe and protective behaviours
  • Offering client led peer support groups to share experiences and build support networks
  • Delivery of the Freedom Programme and other awareness and preventative programmes
  • Providing specialist tailored support to their child/ren
  • Offering one off support session or short term pieces of work where needs arise
  • Offering a weekly drop-in session for clients to access as they require for continued support
  • Helping to access specialist services, including counselling
  • Ensuring the clients cultural and religious needs are taken into consideration

Practical Support

By providing practical support, women can feel more in control of their situation and better able to make the decisions they need in order to start taking control of their lives and make informed choices about their current or future relationships. We aim to meet any practical needs that are required when staying in the relationship, planning to leave a relationship or in an emergency situation. Some of the ways we can help include:

  • Planning to leave abuse safely
  • Accessing emergency refuge or alternative accommodation
  • Accessing welfare benefits
  • Helping with budgeting and finances, including help to apply for funding, grants & emergency loans
  • Accessing schools & early education
  • Accessing training, education or employment
  • Registering with a GP / Dentist / Health Visitor and access health care
  • Referral into other specialist services (e.g. adult, children’s and family services, mental health services, drug, alcohol & substance misuse services)
  • Accessing specialist debt advice services
  • Accessing activities, trips, outings and access to local provisions for enjoyment and leisure activities
  • Attending court, advocating and liaison with legal services (for court orders / child contact / criminal procedures and other legal matters)
  • Acting as an advocate with other agencies and professionals such as Social Care and Children’s Social Care, Housing, Benefits Agency, Education, etc.
  • Accessing appropriate immigration advice and services
  • Helping with day to day living skills (familiarising clients with the local area and its services)
  • Helping with parenting, behaviour, routines and promoting health & well-being for the family
  • Accessing housing advice, options and supporting applications and sustaining tenancies
  • Helping to understand and be part of the MARAC process
  • Setting up a new home e.g. buying paint / carpets / furniture / organising utilities e.g. gas / electric
  • Accessing donated items received e.g. clothing, household items, toys and food

Support Planning

Each client has their own Support Plan which empowers them to identify their own needs, make their own choices and achieve their own outcomes, with the correct level of support required to do so.

The Support Plan not only assists the client around their practical and emotional support as a result of their experiences of abuse, but also covers other support the client may require. This includes health needs (physical and emotional), economic well-being and finances, staying safe, housing options, education, employment, training and involvement in services , activities and life within their local community.

We work closely with our clients to review their needs each step of the way to enable the best outcome for them and create lasting change.

Safety Planning

We work closely with clients to identify and minimise risks wherever possible by creating an individual Safety Plan and completing risk assessments that focus on being safe and staying safe. The plan will cover clients’ specific needs, known risks, possible risks, identify support required from other services and the practical steps that can be taken to reduce or manage risk.

The Safety Plan will be regularly reviewed and adapted for any changes in circumstances, this includes during the cycle of the abusive relationship, where risks are still present after the relationship has ended, where there are risks to others (including any child/ren), and where contact with the abuser continues despite the relationship ending.

Whilst assessing risks and formulating a Safety Plan there is a duty of care to the client, her children and others who may be at risk. With this in mind, it may be necessary to make referrals to other specialist services for support or protection. In these cases, the client will be consulted and informed (except in the event that by doing so it would put others at greater risk).

Remaining In The Relationship / Reducing The Risk

It is recognised that not all clients want to, or feel able to leave the relationship and staff will work with clients to empower them to make their own choices. A woman does not have control over the abuse but there are ways to reduce the potential for harm. A Safety Plan will identify both physical and psychological risks and look at practical things that can be done to limit the potential harm brought to the client and anyone around them at risk e.g child/ren if they have them, friends or extended family.

Planning To Leave

One of the most dangerous times for the escalation of abuse is when a woman makes the decision to leave the relationship. A planned escape is the safest way to leave, however it is recognised that this is not always possible. Staff will work closely with clients to prepare for a planned escape, as well as supporting clients in emergency situations.

After Leaving

Many women want to stay in the local area they have always lived in, however this is not always possible, practical or safe for women. Staff will work with clients to assess all risks and access the services needed to ensure, as far as possible, that they can stay safe. Staff can refer women to services both locally or nationally depending on where the client feels is a safe place to relocate.