Longhurst Group enters partnership to help equip new homes for domestic abuse survivors
30 August 2019
Longhurst Group has established a partnership with a student furnishing company to help equip accommodation for victims of domestic abuse.
We have linked with Lincoln-based My Student Essentials to order specialist packs to help support any domestic abuse survivor moving into new accommodation.
These can include kitchen packs with utensils, bedding packs with duvets and pillows and a bathroom pack including toothbrushes and shower mats.
Jennifer Coatsworth, Housing Manager at Longhurst Group, said: “This piece of work is all part of the Make a Stand project that we are proud to be a part of. As we know, very often, victims of domestic abuse often leave their home with nothing.
“We met up with My Student Essentials who provided the specimen pack to us. Having discussed it as a Housing Team, we have ordered a range of packs that will be spread across our offices to be used as the team see appropriate.
“Domestic abuse situations can be very distressing. Traditionally, we move the customer into a new property that is unfurnished.
“Now, thanks to the momentum of the Make a Stand project, we understand the need to better support survivors to give them the best chance to sustain the tenancy.
“To be able to set somebody up that has absolutely nothing and to give them the best chance to succeed in this new chapter in their life is amazing.
“The difference these small things can make to somebody is unbelievable. It is also lovely to be investing in a local family run business who share the passion and commitment too”.
Recently, the specimen pack provided was used in a domestic abuse situation. Colleagues had concerns that domestic abuse was taking place at a property. This was highlighted to the police and another of our teams assisted with the case.
When the police returned, the customer felt able to leave the property and we were able to give her temporary accommodation and use the specimen pack to set up the new accommodation she was to be allocated.
To be able to set somebody up that has absolutely nothing and to give them the best chance to succeed in this new chapter in their life is amazing.
Jennifer added: “The pack helped immensely. The fact we were able to provide this customer with fresh bedding and unopened items made such a big difference to her rather than moving into an empty property.
“It helped her to come to terms with what had happened and realise she could ask for help.
“The abuser in this case had taken absolutely everything, so to receive this pack was a visual sign to our customer that she can make a success of her new life and that there are people out there who will support her.”
My Student Essentials was created when its director, Daniel Rember, saw numerous students and families struggling with furnishing student digs while he worked in a Marks & Spencer store.
His business idea has now transformed into helping anyone who is moving into a new property in a distant location or at short notice, not just students.
As part of the link up, My Student Essentials has also designed a welcome pack for children.
Daniel said: “We’ve been working on a small scale with councils and other housing associations, but being based in Lincoln, we really wanted to work with a local housing association.
“Longhurst Group is doing lots of great work with people fleeing from domestic abuse who have nothing, so we felt it was a perfect opportunity for us to link up and help provide for vulnerable, essentially homeless, tenants and their children.
“We know that when vulnerable tenants move into a new home it can be completely empty. We want to have teams working in Lincolnshire and the surrounding areas that can go into properties at extremely short notice and completely fit them out with white goods, furniture and homeware.
“Tenants moving at very short notice, often in difficult circumstances, will appreciate being able to access a range of products very quickly to make the moving in experience easy and comfortable.”
To find out more about the Make a Stand campaign and our involvement in it, click here.