Hillingdon Women's Centre

Hillingdon Women's Centre

At a glance

Causes

  • Community safety / victim support / domestic violence
  • Counselling / advice
  • Local / community
  • Women

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
Local

Objectives

The aim of Hillingdon Women’s Centre (HWC) is to see a decrease in the isolation of women and help them work their way out of poverty by utilising the services of HWC to improve their lives. HWC does this through IAG (Information/Advice/Guidance) by increasing knowledge in the community.  This relates to increasing knowledge in areas including: domestic violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, rape, knock on effects of experiencing and witnessing domestic violence, cultural differences and similarities, difficulties peculiar to women, individual knowledge of women, access to legal information and therefore increased assertion of rights, skills, employability, confidence, self-esteem, health and well-being, friendship, participation in the community, social activities and appropriate signposting.

 

Our services are targeted at Women in the community, mainly from the London Borough of Hillingdon. However our reach is beyond the borough and we would offer advice and support to women outside the borough, especially as many women’s centres have closed down in recent years due to funding cuts.

Activities

General Drop-In

  • Women come into the centre for many reasons, including advice, DV Support, learning, general legal advise, benefit information, general support, paperwork assistance, social activity and much more.
  • As an organisation, HWC will enable a woman and her family, partner and friends to find the next best step forward for there situation, through research and current information already available in the centre or via the internet, as well as partnership working and making relevant referrals. Information and next step exploration is carried out in an professional, confidential and non-judgemental environment. This service is available during opening hours and is accessible via: individual visits to the centre, email and telephone. Drop-in is covered by All Centre Staff and selected relevant volunteers.
  • We provide domestic violence risk assessment for women and their families as we particularly see high numbers of domestic violence cases. HWC work with local authorities and signpost to the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) via Hillingdon Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Project (HIDVAP) and Westside. We discuss individually tailored, safeguarding from domestic violence, exit strategies; individual domestic violence crisis and escape planning support via the national domestic violence helpline.
  • We aim to specialise in IAG (Information/Advice/Guidance) and support areas and provide IAG on: legal matters, Benefits, employment, family, Housing matters, counselling, access to benefits calculations, access into safe accommodation (refuges), Basic learning ICT, financial management, employment support, parenting and well being and much more. Women can access these services via physically accessing the centre, email, telephone and various social media.

Legal Advice

We provide women with, 1-2-1, free and Low cost legal advice; all monies raised (via donations) contribute towards the running costs of the centre. If a woman cannot make a donation she still receives the advice. Women access our services to gain information related to their rights regarding domestic violence, rape and other abuses, housing, financial settlements, employment, family matters, probate and relationship issues. We have five fully qualified solicitors/Firms that provide legal advice on a voluntary basis; they have been qualified for at least three years and we have a number of long serving solicitors (17 plus year) whom are appreciated greatly.

TRAINING SERVICES

We aim to provide women with positive and affective training and up skilling in many areas.

We have facilitated and enable women to access courses and training related to: Employability, financial awareness, soft skills, best practise on providing advise related to benefits, housing, legal ect, health advise, self-improvement, self-esteem and confidence building Basic ICT, volunteering training and job search skills.

We are currently building our very own program to support women back in to the workplace providing our own tailored service to suit local women to enable them back into sustainable employment, and gain work experience, placements and develop there employability skills.

3D Women Launch 2016

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