Our Community Domestic Violence Team Supervisor’s Story

I joined Behind Closed Doors 14 years ago as a volunteer. At that time BCD was a small organisation supporting victims of domestic abuse who lived in the North West area of Leeds, with a focus on reaching rural communities. At the time I joined BCD there were 4 paid workers and myself volunteering. Whilst volunteering, I was given one to one training that enabled me to gain the skills, knowledge and experience of front line working. An opportunity arose for me to apply for a position as a part time paid member of the team; which I was successful in securing and I also continued to volunteer for the remaining half of the week due to the growing need of the service. I then progressed into being a full-time member of staff.

I started my journey with BCD after having lived experience of domestic abuse. I accessed support to flee the abusive relationship along with my four children. We went into a refuge and over time began to rebuild our lives.

In my personal experience it was difficult to leave the relationship but the hardest thing was dealing with all the practicalities on my own with very little support available at that time. Therefore when I started volunteering at BCD it was so important to me to offer that support to people who had experienced the same thing.

Over time BCD has grown and developed its services that are now offered city wide.

During my time at BCD I have been involved with the recruitment and also the mentoring of volunteers. I recognise how important the volunteer role is and how people like myself can progress in their careers. I was supported by my line manager to develop my leadership skills and this led to career progression for me, when I was promoted to Senior Community DV Team Practitioner.

2020 proved to be an extremely difficult year not only did we face the coronavirus pandemic, we have had to adapt to new ways of working and delivering the services remotely. We have remained extremely busy but are committed to offering the best support we can under some extreme circumstances.

BCD has re-structured its management team this year and I have secured a further promotion to Community DV Team Supervisor. I feel really positive about the future of BCD as we continue to develop the services we offer. My journey has been one of growth and positivity and I am so glad that I took that chance and applied to become a volunteer with BCD.

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