Other support services

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Funded by London Councils, Ascent is a partnership project that is part of the London Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Consortium, delivering a range of services to support women affected by domestic and/or sexual violence.  Solace is lead partner, working with 14 organisations, on the Ascent Advice & Counselling partnership. This pan-London collaboration provides specialist counselling and advice services to women and girls affected by domestic/ sexual violence. Services include 1 to 1 counselling; 1-1 advice; group work, legal advice and training and No Recourse to Public Funds assistance

Ascent Advice and Counselling 

Ascent Advice and Counselling (A&C), funded by London Councils is a partnership led by Solace along with 13 specialist VAWG partners delivering services to women across London. The services provided under this project include 1-1 counselling; bespoke group work, specialist advice, No Recourse Fund providing living expenses for those who are No Recourse to Public Funds; a London Family Law Line, Legal guides and training. This project is run by specialist organisations, led by and for women, many of whom are BME specialists. The Partnership operates a Hub and Spoke model with 2 advice hubs (East and West), a London Family Law Advice Line and advice spokes across all of London. Advice is provided by phone via the advice lines and via face to face casework for up to 12 weeks.

Ascent Advice Plus, funded by MOPAC, enhances the Ascent Advice offer available across London by adding extra capacity to the advice service by:

  • Increased capacity on the advice hubs (East and West), enabling timely access to initial advice and support;
  • Additional advice caseworker posts to ensure each specialist partner has increased capacity to respond flexibly to the diverse needs of victims/survivors and to work with women for up to 26 weeks;
  • Additional part-time legal advisor to expand Rights of Women London Family Law advice line’s capacity to provide advice around legal options;
  • Inclusion of additional consultancy expertise to assist in meeting a broader range of diverse needs, including LBT, deaf and disabled women and women with learning disabilities.
  • Extension of reach through the provision of accessibility funds for each partner for venue costs and interpreting across all London boroughs.

Ascent Leaflet 

Consonant offers immigration legal services and helps people acquire the skills and knowledge needed so they can build successful lives in the UK, like English and computer skills.
They help people improve their job prospects, find work and get more involved in the communities and decisions that affect them. 

Consonant offers immigration legal services and helps people acquire the skills and knowledge needed so they can build successful lives in the UK, like English and computer skills.
They help people improve their job prospects, find work and get more involved in the communities and decisions that affect them. 

The Hear2Change project works with young people in schools and community with the aim of changing attitudes to Violence Against Women and Girls. The project provides support to young people through workshops, assemblies and one-to-one advocacy work for those who have experienced or are at risk of, violence and abuse.

Hear2Change is is 12 weeks group programme looking at root causes and strains of VAWG; young people participating can gain AQA Level 1 and Level 2 Awards. We provide individual advocacy support to young people impacted by any type of abuse, teachers training to support their understanding of trauma and how to spot the signs of abuse, as well as supporting parents and assemblies through peer to peer campaigning. 

Westminister 

We are a women-only service, offering holistic, intensive, trauma-informed support in line with Housing First principles, and support is separate to the offer of housing. Housing First in Westminster is provided via a partnership with housing associations who typically offer 1 bedroom flats dispersed across London, service users can submit preferences for location/floor level etc according to their needs. Tenancies are assured shorthold tenancies and are usually offered for a probationary period of 1 year, then can be transferred to long-term or permanent tenancies.

Housing First Project workers support service users in accessing furniture, setting up bills and rent payments, maximising income, accessing local services and re-integrating with the community. As we are Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) professionals, we also offer services similar to Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA services) such as referrals for orders, sanctuary schemes, risk assessments and safety planning etc. Keyworkers visit at least once a week (Covid restrictions permitting) and have a small caseload so can offer fairly flexible support, however, all flats are general needs so not suitable to anyone who would not be able to cope in independent accommodation.

Referral criteria: affected by VAWG, homelessness/vulnerably housed, and experience of multiple disadvantage, including being affected by substance misuse, physical or mental health issues, contact with criminal justice system and having children removed from care.

Due to the long-term nature of the support that we offer, vacancies come up infrequently so please check capacity before submitting a referral.

Housing First Westminster Leaflet 

Islington

We offer holistic, intensive, trauma-informed support to women experiencing multiple disadvantage, VAWG and (street) homelessness. We only provide services to women; and support with improving safety, accessing long-term secure accommodation, access to legal services, finances and welfare benefits, emotional support, and practical support in accessing drug and alcohol services, mental and physical health services and re-integrating into the community. 

Referral criteria is that women must have an experience of VAWG and multiple disadvantage, including having unstable or unsafe accommodation.

Due to the long-term nature of the support that we offer, vacancies come up infrequently so please check capacity before submitting a referral.

Housing First Islington Leaflet 

Housing Justice is a Christian charity working to address homelessness and housing need. They run a London Hosting project where destitute asylum seekers are hosted by people with a spare room. They support Winter Night Shelters across the UK.

Migrant Support provides support to people affected by displacement and exploitation. They provide accommodation and financial support to those seeking asylum, support with resettlement of refugees, and advice and support around the EU Settlement Scheme.

Praxis provides expert support to migrants and refugees in the UK. They have an East London base and provide immigration advice and support with housing, homelessness, benefits, health, and welfare.
Praxis run a housing project where they provide safe accommodation to families with no access to normal welfare support system.
They run peer-led support groups to build confidence, develop skills and forge friendships.

Refugees at Home is a UK charity which connects those with a spare room in their home to refugees and asylum seekers in need of somewhere to stay.

The Project is a partnership between Solace Women’s Aid, Southwark Council and Commonweal Housing, providing support in temporary accommodation to women and their children who have experienced homelessness as a result of domestic abuse (or other forms of violence against women and girls(VAWG) ). There are 8 self-contained family sized units located in Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich.

Eligibility Criteria

Solace will accept an applicant into the project who meets the following criteria: 

  • They are women over 18 years with children who have fled Violence Against Women Girls (VAWG) and are homeless because of VAWG
  • They have low-medium support needs
  • The vacant property is suitable for their needs
  •  They are willing to engage with support and will sign an agreement to this affect
  • They will adhere to all terms in the Service User Agreement