It is hard to believe that it is only 6 months ago that I joined the team at Impact Funding Partners. I have been learning so much about the organisation and its ethos of fund management, as well as getting opportunities to increase my knowledge of the sector.
I work with 21 different organisations, all of which receive funding through the Equally Safe Violence Against Women and Girls fund and the Rape Crisis Specific Fund.
The most valuable thing for me has been getting out to visit the projects and meeting the staff who are involved in making such a difference in the sector. People can talk about their project with passion and pride in a way that can’t always be replicated in a written report.
Despite being extremely busy and working in a demanding environment, everyone has been so welcoming and I have had some great conversations about their achievements, challenges and plans. There is an evident care for women and young people affected by abuse and violence and their needs are clearly at the heart of the projects.
One of my main impressions is the energy and the joy that staff bring to their role, despite the difficult situations of the women they support. Demand on services is increasing, both in term of number of referrals and the complexity of the issues. Staff are having to build their knowledge of a combination of issues, including new legislations like the ground-breaking Domestic Abuse Act, navigating benefits like Universal Credit and supporting people with enduring mental health issues.
16 Days of Action has given a national platform and increased public awareness of violence against women and girls as well as showcasing the support that there is for women across the country and the positive impact that it has.
As we come to the end of this year’s campaign, I hope it has also given staff an opportunity to reflect on their achievements during the year and given them some time to re-energise by sharing ideas, projects and stories with each other. The energy and empathy they bring is an invaluable resource and without it the sector would be much poorer.