Women whose early years were scarred by profoundly traumatising experiences such as sexual or physical abuse, neglect or domestic violence inevitably carry those memories with them into their adult lives.
Many of the women we support here at the New Futures Project tell such stories and we see how those early experiences shape their adult lives in the form of poor mental health, homelessness and drug or alcohol use – and, put simply, poverty.
We believe the New Futures Project exists to help women break out of that crushing cycle.
To that end we are seeking financial support for a project which we believe could help up to 100 women make a break from the poverty trap in the course of a year.
Carl Martin, our direct services manager, said: “We see women who are really struggling and feel we can contribute some vital work in this area.”
If successful in that bid, we would continue to take practical steps to help our clients with services such as help dealing with housing issues, benefit payments and debt management while also ensuring they have access to clothing and food parcels when they need them.
However, we want to take a long-term, more considered approach to assisting these women.
So, we would like to employ an additional social worker to provide supervision and guidance to a team of eight social work students – all of whom are on placement with us from local universities as part of their undergraduate studies – who will work with a caseload of 10 to 12 women.
All clients will receive an individualised plan. This will include addressing immediate practical concerns such as debt, housing problems, claiming appropriate benefits, dealing with utility bills, while also ensuring they receive food parcels and donations of household goods such as furniture and bedding.
When necessary, we will refer women to other agencies to address issues such as domestic violence, drug or alcohol use and immigration support.
Throughout this, our social work placement students – who act under professional supervision – will act as key workers, case managing all support to ensure all organisations are working together in the women’s best interests.
Additionally, each client will receive an assessment from our counselling manager and will be allocated to a counselling volunteer for weekly, hour-long therapeutic sessions.
This counselling will be provided for up to one year and will address historic trauma and abuse, improve well-being and self-esteem and life functioning.
Using a trauma-informed approach, we will help each client identify how the trauma they have experienced is impacting on their ability to move forward in their lives and become financially better-off.
When the client is ready, we will help them gain access to education, training and employment support.
This, if successful, would potentially transform an individual’s fortunes – and that of their household.
Overall, we believe this could achieve generational change for our clients and their families.
New Futures was set up more than 20 years ago to support women involved in sex work.
However, we have evolved into a welfare and counselling service for women and young people dealing with sexual abuse or exploitation – frequently involving domestic violence, trafficking, poverty and debt, substance use or mental ill-health.
Call us on 0116 251 0803 or send us a message at: email@example.com
You can find us at 71 London Road, Leicester, LE2 0PE.