8 years ago, Kendra became a service user at Foundation as she fled from her partner after 12 years of domestic abuse. During her time at Foundation the support workers helped her build her confidence back up, they supported her with non-molestation orders and other services, and the biggest thing they did for her was to introduce her to the Freedom Program. The program had a huge impact on her life and helped her to feel empowered and move forward in life. After doing this she knew that one day she would come back and volunteer at Foundation. Kendra knew she needed to come back and help other women, just like Foundation had helped her.
This is where Kendra’s journey began - just over 2 years ago Kendra asked if she could volunteer and Foundation welcomed her with open arms. She began to do the Freedom Program with the facilitator, after 6 months they believed she could do this on her own. From that day on she put her heart and soul into helping women. A year later there was a job opportunity for a housing support assistant, and to Kendra’s amazement she got the job. Kendra has been with Foundation for over a year now and facilitates the Freedom Program, supports women in refuge and supports IDVA outreach.
What keeps you going when the work gets tough?
When times are tough, I reflect on far I have come knowing my children and grandchildren are proud of me. I never thought I would be doing what I believe to be great work. This is what keeps me going. I know that millions of women with the right support can rebuild their life like I have.
What is the biggest challenge and the biggest reward in your role?
The biggest challenge is learning to adapt during Covid-19. Every day there will be a new hurdle, but we find new ways of keeping contact with clients. When dealing with clients there are no stories that are the same, I have to adapt to every client and work within their needs.
What are you most proud of so far?
The biggest reward for me is doing what I love. The feedback I receive from clients who access the Freedom Program and the clients I help to support in refuge and IDVA is truly amazing. It is the best part of the job, knowing you have helped someone to safety or are helping them rebuild their life. This is the biggest reward. I have help raise awareness, telling my story for the campaign there is No Excuse for Abuse. I have also helped the SafeLives programme Domestic Abuse Matters; raising awareness is massive for me because I did not know what help was out there until I needed help myself. Helping women and children suffering abuse, helping to get the message out there about all the services, and knowing you could have impacted someone’s life is a wonderful feeling.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering this career, what would it be?
One piece of advice I would give to anyone wanting to do this this line of work is, please do it, the work is rewarding, I feel honoured to work for an amazing company and to work with other fantastic services across board.
Kendra's colleague said "Kendra’s openness and support to the women we have in our refuge has been amazing. Many of the women we support have said that Kendra has given them hope. Kendra has worked for Foundation for over a year now but volunteered for a year before securing a permanent role. Kendra is an inspiration.”
Do you know a professional who has gone above and beyond to change the response to domestic abuse and keep survivors and their families safe? Nominate someone for Star of the Month by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Star of the Month’ as the subject line.