‘Changing our Heads’ : evaluation of the partnership between Shpresa Programme and Solace Women’s Aid to develop a specialist service for Albanian Speaking Women experiencing violence in London

Coy, Maddy and Sharp-Jeffs, Nicola (2016) ‘Changing our Heads’ : evaluation of the partnership between Shpresa Programme and Solace Women’s Aid to develop a specialist service for Albanian Speaking Women experiencing violence in London. Project Report. Trust for London, London.


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Abstract / Description

In 2012, Shpresa programme, an Albanian community organisation, developed a partnership with Solace Women’s Aid (Solace), a specialist VAWG support service, to engage Albanian Speaking Women (ASW) in London around experiences of violence and abuse. There are three elements of support and intervention in the project:

• workshops on domestic violence, delivered by an Albanian speaking worker, which are incorporated into Shpresa’s women’s support group sessions (the ARISE project);
• individual casework, also delivered by an Albanian speaking worker based at Solace (the Empower project); and
• workshops with children and young people about domestic violence.

While some organisations provide specialist support for women from Eastern European communities who are experiencing violence (see Thiara, 2015), this project is the first to combine the expertise of an Albanian community organisation and a VAWG service provider. This meant a knowledge exchange between the two organisations, extending the skills and capacity of Shpresa staff and volunteers about domestic violence, and of Solace about the needs of Albanian speaking women (ASW), was core to the partnership. The project was funded by Trust for London and the Henry Smith Charity.

In September 2013, the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) at London Metropolitan University were commissioned by Trust for London to evaluate the project. The evaluation brief required a focus on what lessons can be learned from this model of provision – a small community organisation acting as service commissioner - to inform the development of sustainable services for women from newly arrived communities in London. This final report is based on two years of delivery of the project, from 1st October 2013 to 30th September 2015. As a small scale process evaluation, the children’s workshops were not included.1

The report:

• sets out the background to the partnership between Shpresa and Solace;
• provides an overview of the project context by summarising what is known about Albanian communities in the UK and on Albanian-speaking women and violence;
• outlines the evaluation methodology;
• presents evidence of how the project met its objectives; and
• offers reflections on this model of partnership for future commissioning.

The title of the report - ‘Changing our Heads’ - refers to the way that workers spoke about the process of challenging attitudes and values, and also speaks to changes in practices that were necessary by each organisation in this new partnership.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Albanian women -- Services for; domestic violence; domestic abuse
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Generic CWASU
Date Deposited: 21 May 2018 08:29
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2021 16:04
URI: https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/1480


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