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Concrete creates new role to offer specialist support to women who have experienced domestic abuse

Concrete creates new role to offer specialist support to women who have experienced domestic abuse

This month we’re welcoming a new staff member to Concrete!

Thanks to New Burdens funding, the team at our 24/7 female service in Stoke-on-Trent have recruited a brand-new Specialist Practitioner.

The new role will ‘bridge the gap’ between the team and local domestic abuse services. This will help them provide the best possible support to women who have faced domestic abuse and continue to be impacted by it.

We spoke to Service Manager Mariana, who oversees our 24/7 female service. She told us more about the role and what it will mean for the women we support.

“Our new Specialist Practitioner has years of experience working with women and men with multiple disadvantages within the homelessness and educational sector,” said Mariana.

“Their vast knowledge of complex needs, domestic abuse and exploitation – and the impact that it has – will be invaluable to women and their recovery.

“They will work around the clock at our female only supported accommodation service to expand on the support that we already deliver. We recognise that there’s a need for a more flexible approach for women who have experienced, or are still experiencing, domestic abuse.”

Service Manager Mariana leads our 24/7 female service

Women at our female service have complex needs and multiple disadvantages. This can include poor mental health and drug and alcohol misuse, all alongside domestic abuse experience.

“This is exactly why we wanted to have a specialist role in-house,” explained Mariana.

“We already provide vital support to women so the experience and expertise of the new Specialist Practitioner will complement our team and be an amazing additional resource. We can bridge the gap between ourselves and other local services and advocate for them while we work through their additional support needs.

“We always make good use of our multi-agency working with other services like CDAS, Savana and vulnerability hubs, alongside statutory services. This includes adults social care and Staffordshire Police. Collectively we create and provide women with places of safety and lots of person-centred support.”

The new staff member will also help female customers recognise when they might have been impacted by abuse, but not realise it.

Mariana said: “This can be difficult for them to identify as not all domestic abuse presents as physical violence. Many women that we support will have experienced psychological abuse, financial abuse, controlling behaviour, isolation and unhealthy relationships. This can be difficult for them to identify because it has become so normalised in their lives.

“At Concrete we are committed to improving the lives of women in Stoke-on-Trent. We challenge stigma and misconceptions though educating, empowering and supporting women.”

Alongside providing women with support to meet their complex and domestic abuse needs, the new Specialist Practitioner will work on developing women’s soft skills and improving their general wellbeing.

“They will work on raising the self-esteem of our women to help them become more confident and independent. This is a key part of their recovery journeys,” said Mariana.

“We’re really excited about the role and can’t wait to see the impact that the new member of our Concrete family has. The women that we support are at the heart of everything we do and we’re always working hard to provide them with the best person-centred support.”

Find out more about how we’re making homelessness history for women, men and young people across Staffordshire and beyond.

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