Caretakers, maintenance and repairs teams are often described as the ‘eyes and ears’ of housing estates. These frontline staff play a crucial role in spotting where residents may have issues and have a unique insight into people’s homes that office-based staff may not. With this in mind Solace, a leading specialist Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) charity have partnered with Roll Nine Productions and Islington Council to create a new training video for Islington’s caretaking and concierge staff.
Fiona Dwyer, CEO of Solace says, ‘Caretakers and repair operatives are in a prime position to identify and support domestic abuse survivors to get help. It’s fantastic that Islington Council has partnered with Solace and recognised that what has often been seen as ‘just a repair’ or written off as ASB will be identified as abuse in the future.’
Community-based staff are supported to recognise when domestic abuse is taking place and know how to take the next steps, especially during the pandemic when other support services would not have face to face contact with residents.
The bespoke training was developed by housing and domestic abuse specialists across Solace and Islington Council. The session provides an overview of the dynamics of domestic abuse; the signs and impacts on survivors and children; and the barriers to disclosing and reporting. The second half of the video provides practical information around how to respond to a disclosure or what to do if you suspect abuse is taking place. For many community-based staff, who are not desk based, attending online workshops during the pandemic is near impossible so this video provides an accessible way to engage with training and equip staff with the skills and tools needed to safeguard survivors.
Philomena Azu, Specialist - Domestic Violence & Abuse says, “Islington Council’s Homes and Communities are working towards DAHA Accreditation and recognise that Domestic Violence and Abuse training is an essential part of the role for our Housing front-line staff. Homes and Communities are grateful to partner with Solace, who are the experts in responding to violence against women and girls. This training video offers a unique, creative approach to supporting our frontline staff with responding safely and effectively to Domestic abuse and violence as part of their work for our communities.’
At Solace we pride ourselves on always looking for new ways to create innovative and inclusive training. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to access education so they can support those impacted by abuse and help them build safe, strong lives free from violence. If you are interested in working with Solace, get in touch with us at [email protected] to book a consultation.