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 

Cambridge Hpuse have a safer renting programme designed to protect tenants who are victimised by criminal landlords by providing specialist advice, advocacy and support. 

Safer Renting’s are to:

  • Prevent homelessness, particularly by intervening in illegal evictions.

  • Support private renters to negotiate better conditions in their homes.

  • Enable private renters to leave a criminal landlord on their own terms, with compensation whenever possible.

  • Inform government policy and best practice by analysing and communicating how criminal landlords are exploiting the London housing crisis at the expense of tenants.

Hackney Migrant Centre runs a weekly drop-in advice service with the help of volunteers and professional advisers.
Visitors to the service receive initial immigration, housing and welfare advice; as well as advice on accessing a GP and dealing with charges for hospital care. Outside the drop-in, they charity works with visitors to resolve the problems facing 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.

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

 

Advocacy 

Barnet SASS provides practical and emotional support to anyone aged 16+ who resides in the Borough of Barnet and experiencing domestic abuse, honour based violence and forced marriage. 

  • Consent based service the only exception is if the client was referred to service through the MARAC. Barnet SASS is a core Domestic Violence service in the Borough; we are also offering support to the survivors who have been referred to MARAC.
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) are co-located at different partner agency services; Colindale police station (3day per week), MH Service (4 days per week)and Adult/Children’s MASH (4 days per week).  Everyone is working from home.
  • We are working with all level of risk usually up to 3 months.
  • We are working with all genders.
  • We are also delivering the ARISE Course twice per year.
  • We are also one of the lead DV agency for the One-Stop Shop which is an advice surgery provided by some agencies including,  housing, anti-social behaviour officer from the Barnet Homes, family solicitors, and cybercare,

IRIS

IRIS Advocate is only accepting IRIS trained GPs, providing longer-term support. We are only working with standard to medium cases. 

We only accept referrals from Greenfield Medical Practice, Vale Drive Medical, The Old Courthouse, Langstone Way, Heathfielde Medical Centre, Wentworth Medical, Lichfield Grove, St Andrews Medical, St Georges Medical Practice, Millway Medical, Jai, Watling, Penhurst, Wakeman, East Barnet Health Care, Woodland Medical, Parkview Medical, Dr Azim and Partners, Supreme Medical Centre, Everglade Medical Centre, The Speedwell Practice, Temple Fortune, Oakleigh Road Health Centre, Freirn Barnet Medical Centre, Longrove Surgery, Village Surgery, Lane End Medical Centre, Brunswick Park, Hendon Way.

Barnet Service Leaflet