A project developed by a group of Gwent housing providers has been awarded for its creative approach to tackling domestic abuse.
The ‘Free from Fear’ project was awarded the Pat Chown – Capturing Creativity award by Community Housing Cymru for its development of a web portal for housing staff to use when responding to reports, incidents and disclosures of domestic abuse.
Social landlords involved in the project include Bron Afon Community Housing, Charter Housing, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Derwen Cymru, Linc Cymru Melin Homes, Monmouthshire Housing, Newport City Homes, United Welsh Housing Association, and Tai Calon Community Housing.
The Free from Fear partnership was established to ensure a more effective service for social housing tenants in Gwent suffering from domestic abuse. Together it funded research and development of a paper-based toolkit, but realised that this was impractical for staff to carry with them. The web portal www.freefromfear.wales was developed in 2017, supported by funding from Welsh Government’s VAWDASV programme (violence against women sexual violence and domestic abuse). The website provides housing staff with an online resource accessible on smartphones, tablets and laptops.
A spokesperson for the Gwent Free from Fear partnership said “We are extremely grateful to receive the Pat Chown award. The Free from Fear project is leading the way in Wales in dealing with domestic abuse within the housing sector. The online tool kit is now also being adopted by housing providers Wales-wide, helping more people live free from fear.”
The Capturing Creativity Award was set up eighteen years ago by Community Housing Cymru in memory of Pat Chown, a significant figure in the Wales housing sector who was committed to finding new ways of working. The award recognises innovation and new ideas to deal with common problems. As well as the award, Gwent Free from Fear partnership received a £1,000 donation for their chosen charity Welsh Women’s Aid.