SOUTHALL BLACK SISTERS

VACANCIES

Working at Southall Black Sisters

Originally set up in 1979, Southall Black Sisters (SBS) has established itself as an iconic organisation based in West London, but with a national reach and reputation for its landmark legal interventions, its contributions to changes in policy for the benefit of Black and minoritised women, and its unique approach to casework and advocacy.

We are a specialist organisation, led by and for Black and minoritised women, committed to preventing and challenging all forms of violence against women and girls. By its very nature, our work addresses issues of multiple or intersectional discrimination, involving the simultaneous experience of race, gender, class, caste and other forms of inequality.

Southall Black Sisters is committed to maintaining a supportive working environment, where team members feel valued, empowered and safe. To that end, our employees benefit from:

  • 25 days of annual leave (pro rata) excluding Bank Holidays, increasing by 1 additional day per completed year of service up to a maximum of 30 days, plus additional days off between Christmas and New Year
  • Hybrid working can be considered
  • A comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme, including access to confidential support from MBACP therapists to help you to deal with personal and professional issues that could be affecting your home life or work life, physical/mental health, or general wellbeing
  • Clinical supervision with an MBACP therapist to explore issues arising from casework
  • A focus on continued learning and development through accredited training delivered by experts in their field
  • Career development pathways and support
  • The opportunity to learn and grow within an organisation renowned for inspiring political activism and campaigning successes
  • Employer eye care scheme
  • Employer pension contribution
  • Charity worker discounts

Current Opportunities

Domestic Violence Advocate x 2

Contract Type:  1 year FTC with possibility of extension

Hours: Full Time (35 hours per week)

Responsible to:  Advocacy Service Manager

Salary: £26k – £29k depending on qualification and experience                                                

Place of Work: Southall (hybrid working can be considered)                              

Interview Date: To be conducted on a rolling basis until both vacancies have been filled  

Southall Black Sisters is looking for 2 Domestic Violence Advocates to join our dynamic team in Southall to provide high-quality advice, support, and advocacy services to victims of domestic abuse and other forms of gender-based violence, including forced marriage, rape and sexual abuse, so-called honour crimes, and related issues such as immigration, asylum, and No Recourse to Public Funds.

You will assist women to access support under various destitution schemes, promote social inclusion, encourage independence, and develop the personal resilience of women using our advocacy service.
Working within a multi-agency framework, you will ensure women’s needs are met by encouraging engagement with a range of SBS and external services, keeping service users at the heart of all service delivery.

Job Purpose:

  • To provide high-quality and comprehensive advice, information, practical and advocacy support relating to domestic and other forms of gender-based violence perpetrated against Black and minoritised women and children.
  • To assist with educational, developmental, policy and campaigning work arising from advice and casework.
  • To promote the aims and objectives of SBS as a specialist organisation for Black and minoritised women and children.

Independent Domestic Violence Advocate Job Description & Person Specification

Application Process

To apply for this post, please email a completed application form and Equality & Diversity Monitoring Form to hr@southallblacksisters.co.uk.

Your application form must evidence how your knowledge, skills and experience meet the requirements of the job description and person specification.

Please include ‘Independent Domestic Violence Advocate’ in the subject line of your email.

Due to the nature of our work, this post is open to Black and South Asian women only (exempt under the Equality Act 2010 Schedule 9, Part 1). 

 

Testimonials from our staff and volunteers, past and present:

Vidya, Domestic Violence Advocate
“SBS operates according to one golden rule: that no woman in need is ever turned away. From my time with the organisation, I can honestly say that this runs true. The frontline team does its very best to do right by its service users amid considerable systemic constraints – including a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants, and austerity cuts to housing, social services, legal aid and welfare benefits. In my time at SBS, I have learned to challenge the unacceptable and to work hard to find creative solutions to seemingly impossible problems.

The work of an advocate is challenging, to say the least, but it is also immensely rewarding. While the women who approach us for assistance come with stories of unspeakable cruelty and injustice, these are almost always tempered with touching accounts of kindness, strength and survival. SBS plays a significant role in bringing some relief to vulnerable women and children in times of crisis, and I am grateful to have had the chance to do the same.”

Radhika, Legal Policy & Campaigns Officer
“Do you enjoy a challenge? Are you a driven, creatively minded individual who wants to use your skills in a varied, busy and innovative environment? Are you motivated to use the law, policy and human rights to transform the lives of vulnerable and marginalised women and children suffering gender-based violence? Do you want to be part of an organisation which not only changes but saves lives? Then I urge you to apply for this role. Over the past few years, I have had the honour of working alongside our director Pragna Patel and with the dedicated, hugely experienced team at SBS. I have helped shape SBS’ campaigns, strategic litigation, policy and lobbying work, on issues such as transnational marriage abandonment, policing, transnational violence against women, immigration laws, legal aid, gender segregation in schools, the impact of parallel legal systems on women, and many other vital issues that touch the lives of BME women and children. I have also had the immense privilege of working directly with service users on some of our more complex cases. This has opened my eyes both to the crucial importance of domestic violence advocacy and of having a user-centred service. It has shown me the immense strength, resilience and courage of women who have suffered terrible violations of their rights and dignity.

Every day I play a part in helping survivors of abuse access safety, justice and support – whether that is changing the life of one woman by helping her seek redress for being abused and abandoned abroad, or of hundreds and thousands of women through our ongoing challenges to unjust and discriminatory policies which marginalise migrant women. Can you leave work every day saying you made a positive difference? I can.”

Biba, Volunteer
“I have been volunteering with SBS for 2 years. I was keen to volunteer at SBS as I was keen to learn more about actively promoting women’s rights here in the UK. I have done work as a volunteer that I never imagined myself able to do, from accompanying clients to legal meetings, taking detailed client statements, and finding refuges for clients in need.

I have really enjoyed volunteering at SBS, as I have learnt so much from everyone in the office, and from all the tasks I have been given to do. I have learnt that even the mundane jobs such as filing play a vital part in keeping a woman safe from danger, and getting her the justice she deserves. Every day is a new challenge, and I leave grateful that I could do something that has made a positive change to someone’s life.

I can honestly say its one of the most interesting things I’ve done, I have met some wonderful people, and I would recommend volunteering at SBS to anyone who is up for a rewarding challenge.”

Natasha, Volunteer
“I’ve really enjoyed the 6 months I have volunteered at SBS. They are a very hands-on team and you get a real in-depth understanding of the work that they do. You get to experience first hand what a positive and life-changing effect they have on so many women.

As a volunteer, I have had many different roles: Admin Support – helping with the website, social media, reception. Advocacy Support – Refuge Searches for clients, case filing and upkeep. Client Support – Accompany clients to meetings at the Job Centre or to see their Solicitors.

Working with SBS has really helped me to put everything into perspective personally and professionally. Although I am only a supporting role, I genuinely feel that a win for SBS is a win for me.”

Courtney, Volunteer
“Volunteering at SBS has been one of the most interesting and rewarding jobs I have had to date. I have been working there for almost a year, in which I have witnessed first hand that social change is possible, and charity work truly does make an incredible difference to the lives of individuals. My time at SBS has been highly educational and I have been able to gain an invaluable insight into UK immigration law, the role of racism and nativism in UK institutions, harmful religious practices, and negative societal and cultural traditions that all have a significant impact on the lives of BME women. It has been highly motivating to know that the work I do for this organisation is part of a wealth of emotional and practical support for vulnerable women that mitigates the impact of racial and gender inequalities in society and ensures that basic human rights are upheld, and needs are met. The women at SBS work incredibly hard to support women in need in the UK and abroad, and their passion and commitment to fighting inequality and injustice is something that I hope will continue to inspire me throughout the rest of my political career.”
Akshaya, Volunteer
“As a student social worker, volunteering at SBS has been an invaluable experience! Although my role was admin based, it gave me an insight into the complex casework SBS advocates carry out. The experience has given me an opportunity to further develop my skills in information gathering by listening to how others carry out risk assessments!

It was also a positive experience to see all the staff members in SBS campaigning for the same course so strongly! I felt welcomed into the organisation by all the staff members including senior management. Everyone has also been accommodating of my needs as a students, giving up time to explain the policies and campaigns run by SBS.

I am very grateful for the placement where I had a great opportunity to learn more about the great work SBS carry out.”

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Violence is a crime! Do not suffer in silence…

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