Emma Gibbons, Vulnerable Client Team Manager, discusses how PayPlan is better supporting clients who are victims of domestic abuse alongside Broxtowe Women’s Project.
Since 2015, PayPlan has recorded 705 client disclosures of domestic abuse (84% female and 15% male). Over half (54%) of the disclosures were made during 2018 alone, a significant increase on any previous year.
Every day, our teams talk to people about their financial situation. The support we offer means we’re ideally placed to signpost and provide additional support for victims of domestic abuse; the eyes and ears of other specialist providers.
Working in partnership
Our desire to understand more about survivors of domestic abuse, their barriers in escaping and rebuilding lives led us to discover Broxtowe Women’s Project. A small charity based in Nottingham, Broxtowe Women’s Project provides a confidential helpline and outreach service aimed at empowering women to survive domestic abuse.
Our philosophies and ambitions are similar. We both want to help people become financially independent and resilient.
Training and Awareness Officer Chris Harris came to our offices in Grantham to deliver ‘train the trainer’ sessions, which were designed to improve our awareness of domestic abuse and to help develop materials for internal training. Training that has now been rolled out to every debt adviser working at PayPlan.
The training sessions were informative, tailored and engaging. Chris was inspiring to listen to. Her breadth of knowledge and experience meant we were able to ask lots of questions that allowed us to understand how to adapt the content presented to suit our own needs.
The ongoing support Broxtowe Women’s Project has offered us has been exceptional. They have helped us to understand that smaller organisations, like them, would also benefit from learning more about our domestic abuse training and debt advice expertise. This has prompted reciprocal training and ongoing support.
Following the training, PayPlan is equipped to support disclosures from clients affected by domestic abuse. We feel confident that we have the correct procedures and processes in place, for both clients and advisers.
We also realise that there is more that we can do to help influence the financial services industry to raise awareness of and remove the barriers survivors face when escaping and rebuilding their lives.
I remember one of our first meetings with Broxtowe Women’s Project, they described themselves as small, but mighty! They were right. It’s been a pleasure.