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16 Days of Activism Blog – Refuge Services

A diverse group of women

At Changing Pathways we have safe, temporary refuge accommodation for women and children who are no longer able to stay in their own homes due to the violence and abuse they are experiencing from their perpetrator. Our refuges are a place of safety, a place of support and a place of recovery. Akvinder, our Senior Refuge Practitioner shares an insight of a typical day in our refuge.

My daily tasks are many and varied but central to my work is the safety and well-being of our refuge residents.When I arrive at the refuge I complete our daily health and safety checks, before reviewing the refuge ‘day book’ to see if we have any maintenance or appointments for the day. I then check in with the residents to make sure everything is okay before organising a house meeting for the residents. At the house meeting we talk about any issues within the refuge and then discuss the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

After a quick bite to eat I attend a staff team meeting within the local authority to raise awareness of our service and inform them how they can refer. I then return to the refuge and have a key working session with one of my service users. During this session we review her support plan, checking the progress of our agreed actions. This also time for the service user to talk, share and recover from her experience. Before finishing for the day, I check in with the rest of the staff team, offering advice and support where necessary.

I am motivated in this work as I gain great satisfaction from making a positive impact on women’s lives. One of the stand out moments for me during my career was a service user’s daughter achieve the grades needed to progress to study for her A-Levels as due to the abuse that they had experienced she had poor school attendance. Moving to the refuge provided the safety and stability that she needed to be able to focus on her education.

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