PEER SUPPORT FOR WOMEN
WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN
WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN
We are women surviving domestic and/or sexual abuse; some of us are women who have been affected by the criminal justice system, some of us experience mental health difficulties and most of us are women who have experienced some level of isolation, disadvantage and loneliness at some point in our lives. We are survivors and are simply women supporting other women in our community. We know what we need to enhance our confidence and resilience, that is being other women in a non judgemental and friendly environment.
We are not counsellors or therapists, we are women who come together to support each other, to learn new skills and to enjoy opportunities in our own women safe community. We offer peer mentoring to other women, advocate on behalf of women and support each other in a non judgemental and inclusive way. We don’t ‘do to’ women, we do with women.
We offer social and skill development groups, various craft classes, outings, events and training opportunities. Our model is simple, but it works. We know this because our women tell us so, again and again. Each woman determines what she needs, when and how. Women know what they need to reinforce their own survival from abuse and together we make it happen.
Some of us are independent professionals from criminal justice backgrounds, with many years of experience of working with individuals who experience difficulties with mental health, disability, addiction, financial disadvantage or other welfare related issues. We are retired educators, business women, social workers and mental health practitioners. We even have a podiatrist within the team for those tough moments!
We are trained to use a variety of risk assessment tools to evaluate the specific level of risk in terms of domestic abuse. We have over two decades of experience in risk assessment and management. We are experienced in multi agency working and have had training in child protection and use of risk assessment tools such as DASH, SARA and other criminal justice based risk assessment tools.
Academic credentials: PhD student. MA Professional Development: The Dynamics of Domestic Violence (2016), MA in Ethics: Policing and Criminal Justice (2010); Leadership Certificate; Post graduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (Fellow of HEA) (2015); BA(hons) Community Justice (2003), Diploma in Probation Studies.
Beverley has over 30 years of experience in the field of criminal justice, working as a Police Officer & Family Protection Officer, supporting families affected by domestic abuse and other intra familial violence. She has 12 years of experience as a Probation Officer working one to one with clients who have perpetrated abuse. Beverley is a Senior Lecturer in violence prevention & criminology, teaching under graduate postgraduate level students from across the UK and abroad, particularly with regard to working with perpetrators of abuse, encouraging desistance and prevention of harm. Beverley has been a sessional Expert Risk Domestic Abuse Risk Assessor in London and is author of our OCN Level 3 accredited Reintegrative Mentoring programme.
Beverley worked with the Maltese Government as trainer on an EU funded, two year project, to train over 700 lead professionals in Malta in effective multi agency work to reduce risk connected with domestic and gender based violence. She is author of their Full Cooperation: Zero Violence Train the Trainer manual in interdisciplinary working practice and author of their multi agency risk assessment meeting guidance.
Both she and co-director Rachel have delivered professional domestic abuse risk training in the UK and in Europe and are accredited DASH (2009) risk checklist trainers.
Beverley is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Midland School for Social Entrepreneurs. She is currently undertaking PhD research into examining peer mentoring with women with multiple and complex needs at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.
Beverley received an award to recognise “great and valuable services to the community,” from the High Sheriff of Warwickshire, Mark Davies, in March 2018. She is also an individual member of Women Against Violence in Europe (WAVE) and one of 12 EU trainers working with European Network Work With Perpetrators (EN WWP).
Publications and Reports: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6288-2019
Rachel: Qualifications: MA Social Work, BSc Psychology (Hons)
Rachel is a qualified Social Worker and has experience working with vulnerable children, young people and adults. She is currently working within a specialist social work mental health team. Rachel has worked with young people at risk of sexual exploitation and those who have experienced domestic abuse.
Rachel has experience working with both adults and young people experiencing mental health difficulties and has an interest in raising awareness of mental health in the community. She enjoys supporting people to make positive changes in their lives and continues to do this as a Director of Cohort 4 and as a qualified Social Worker.
Rachel is programme writer and trainer for Cohort 4. She is an accredited DASH (2009) Risk Checklist trainer and has delivered domestic violence risk training to professionals in the UK and in Malta on behalf of Cohort 4.
Rachel is co author of the Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, Vol. 181(1) 2017, article, ‘The Multiple Impact of Peer Mentoring within Criminal Justice Settings to Mentees, to Mentors and to the Wider Community.’
She makes exceptionally good cup cakes.
Margaret brings wisdom, compassion, encouragement and balance to Cohort 4. She is an integral part of all that we do and achieve, with a career dedicated to education, life enhancement and positive life chances for individuals in many communities.
Margaret’s home made soup and training lunches are legendary with some of our training participants!
She is Trustee of Chinthowa Development Trust, an amazing charity supporting orphaned children in Malawi. Margaret inspires us as a team in the capacity of reaching out into communities to support others.
Maria is a woman we’ve worked with and admired for a while and when she agreed to join Cohort 4 as Directors we were delighted. She has worked to support community members with mental ill health for a number of years. She brings this specific knowledge and expertise to Cohort 4 along with her local Atherstone knowledge and quiet, calm presence to our Board of Directors.
Maria has been appointed as Mental Health Practitioner thanks to generous Covid-19 Resilience funding from the National Lottery Community Fund & Heart of England Community Foundation. We find her professional knowledge and approach invaluable when helping our women cope with the added anxieties and stress of social distancing and life adjustments during the presence of the Corona Virus.
Isabel: Qualifications: MA English & American Literature; BA (hons) English & American Literature
Isabel is the Zine Editor for ‘Peace of Mind’ our new project in Autumn 2020. This project is specifically for our women who are at risk of self harm. The Zine gives women a creative space to design their own uplifting monthly publication with stories, poetry, photographs, creations and Cohort 4 adventures.
Isabel has an MA in English & American Literature with a specialist area of interest in legacies of slavery and colonialism. She is a heritage and inclusion consultant who is working with Cohort 4 to enhance our accessibility to all women in our community.
Fay joins Cohort 4 as Project Support Worker responsible for 1:1 support work with our Just Bring You! group members. Since Covid-19 changed the operational structure of Cohort 4, Fay has also acted as our Activity Coordinator, working with our group members to occupy their time and to reduce anxiety during periods of social isolation and Covid lockdown.
For the last decade Fay has been a professional mentor managing a caseload of young people and young adults. Fay’s passion lies with mental health and in ways to maintain positive mental health. She has set up and delivered workshops including aspects of mental wellbeing, mindfulness and employability skills. Fay has been appointed as sessional activity and purpose project worker for our Safe & Well National Lottery Community Funded project during Covid-19, where the move from face to face social sessions to virtual contact and activities have added a new dimension to Cohort 4.
Fay is currently undertaking a Level 4 Diploma in Counselling and in her spare time likes to up cycle and repurpose old clothing.