Morgan Sindall Property Services (MSPS) along with Westminster City Council are collaborating on the Phoenix Programme, a pilot programme to support female survivors of domestic abuse to rebuild confidence and develop the skills to enter or re-enter the workplace.
According to the ONS, in the year ending March 2020, 1.6 million women aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse, (ONS, 2020) with many experiencing economic abuse, where access is denied to economic resources such as education and employment. Without a job, survivors are often unable to obtain safe and affordable housing or funds to provide for themselves or their children.
Enrolment for the programme is now open with the aim of supporting female survivors on their employability journey including an initial assessment of needs and aspirations followed by support with digital skills, CV preparation, mentoring, skills for work, work experience, interview preparation and managing finances. MSPS will also provide guaranteed interviews for roles within the business and with supply chain providers.
MSPS have also partnered with Smart Works, a UK charity that dresses and coaches unemployed women for success at their job interview. Smart Works will provide a bespoke dressing consultation to find an interview outfit that will provide the women on the programme with confidence ahead of their interview.
Anneka Gill, Head of Transformation, Morgan Sindall Property Services said: “Domestic abuse causes women to leave their abusive situation with very little, making it challenging for them to build an independent life. Working with Westminster City Council will allow us to share our support and resources, which will provide survivors with more choices and opportunities, helping rebuild their confidence and skills so they can gain long term employment. This is also a great opportunity for MSPS to increase workplace diversity by recognising the value of women affected by abuse and removing stereotypes.”
Cllr Liza Begum, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, Westminster City Council said: “Concern over domestic abuse rose during the lockdowns with many people, losing access to their support networks. Abuse is often hidden behind closed doors and within the home. Many women find it difficult talking about it or seeking the support they need. By working together with our partners, we can create a route out of abuse to help female survivors rebuild their lives.”
Sophie Rutherford, Head of London Service Delivery, Smart Works said: “Smart Works are so pleased to be working with Morgan Sindall Property Services to support women on the Phoenix Programme. We understand that female survivors of domestic abuse face many barriers to gaining long term employment, and collaborative programmes such as this one have a huge impact. At Smart Works, we know that when a woman looks and feels great about who she is, she can change her life. We can’t wait to welcome the women from the Phoenix Programme into our dressing rooms.”
The programme, which was developed in partnership with Addressing Domestic Abuse, a community interest company (CIC) will be tailored to survivor’s needs. It will be delivered by MSPS’ Social Value team who will work in collaboration with Westminster City Council to identify residents who may benefit from the programme.
Notes to Editors
About Smart Works
Smart Works is a dynamic, high profile and fast-growing UK charity that dresses and coaches unemployed women for success at their job interview. We empower each woman by giving her the clothes and the confidence she needs to succeed.
After visiting Smart Works, 72% secure a job within a month, gaining financial independence and transforming their lives. The Smart Works service is delivered in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle, Reading and Leeds. Over the past eight years, Smart Works has helped over 20,000 women. It is the charity’s mission that any woman who needs its service should be able to find her way to a Smart Works centre.
To find out more visit: https://smartworks.org.uk/
The Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant is a pledge by businesses to support women affected by abuse to enter or re-enter the workplace. Employers are invited to sign the covenant and identify opportunities within their businesses for women seeking sustainable employment opportunities.
This programme is designed to create positive, long term and sustainable solutions by supporting women affected by abuse to enter or re-enter the workplace.
This is achieved through a commitment by businesses to identify employability opportunities. This can include, but is not limited to: workplace skills, job opportunities, mentoring schemes, sector specific courses, internships, work experience, apprenticeships and much more.
To find out more visit: https://edacuk.org/