Meet the team – Sara

My name is Sara and I began working at Nottingham Women’s Centre at the beginning of August.  I am a Welfare Rights Advisor, which means I provide support with issues relating to benefits, debt and finances.  I can help with a wide variety of problems and help to demystify the often very confusing benefit system.  One of the things I love about this job is that I am able to support women at all different stages by dealing with immediate crisis, helping to make benefit claims, accompanying to appointments, challenging benefit decisions and attending court hearings.

I can also help women gain more confidence and ability to deal with their day to day budgeting and make sure they are both making the most of their money and receiving all of the help they and their families are entitled to.

You will often find me with my head buried happily in a book researching the latest benefit regulations or negotiating with jobcentre advisors, the council, landlords and debt companies.  I love finding solutions to problems and find this job really rewarding.

More than this though, I always feel extremely privileged to meet so many fantastic women who share so much of their stories with me and inspire me every day with their experiences and their resilience.  Women from all walks of life face so many challenges……we are amazing!

I consider myself very lucky to have such a wonderful job in an environment that believes in and is constantly working toward the empowerment of women.

Meet the team – Saffron

My name is Saffron and I have been the Peer Support Coordinator nearly 6 months now. It’s been really exciting being part of developing the peer support service and I have been buzzing with ideas since the day I started. Being in a working environment where I am encouraged to just go for it has been an amazing experience!

To me, peer support is a massive part of this centre already as it’s about women helping women. It was decided quite early on that that what we would define our peer support service as – ‘women making a conscious decision to support other women’. That simple. To be a volunteer peer support worker you mainly need to have that passion and drive to do just that. The rest can be taught!

My role is about identifying the different areas within the Centre that would benefit from having that extra help of a peer support worker, creating and recruiting for the role. We have meet and greet peer support worker in the welcome space, educational peer support worker in our Functional English and Maths classes and peer support workers in many other areas of the Centre such as our Crafty Club and Mum and Toddler group.

Its massively important to me that the peer support workers get the guidance and encouragement that they need to achieve their goals too. Therefore, a lot of our time has been spent looking at how we can do this. We have developed core training for all volunteers, feedback forms, trial periods to ensure you’re in a role that is suitable, regular supervisions where we can look at individual needs as well as support back into employment. Peer support is about creating benefit and opportunity for all involved. If it sounds like something you would enjoy doing, don’t hesitate to contact me!