Apprentice Awarded in Birmingham for Domestic Abuse Toolkit.


This year the “Look Beyond” campaign for National Apprenticeship Week focused on the impact that apprentices can make in the UK. The objective of this is to change the perception that all an apprentice does is make the tea or coffee for the team.

We therefore would like to introduce Amee (pictured holding the award in the photo above), who is Community Liaison Manager at MD Group; Amee is currently studying ‘Associate Project Management’ through the apprenticeship scheme to increase her skills and knowledge and we are excited to report that Amee was instrumental in her company winning the Delegates Choice Award for a unique Domestic Abuse Toolkit at the annual National Housing Maintenance Forum (NHMF).

In summer 2018 the Chartered Institute for Housing started it’s #MakeAStand campaign, encouraging maintenance firm in the social housing sector, like Amee’s company, MD Group, to pledge their support to people experiencing domestic abuse. MD Group was the first contractor to sign up to this Supporters Pledge and Amee was given the reins to drive forward this promise.

Working closely with the company’s Managing Director, Jane Nelson, Amee helped to create a Domestic Abuse toolkit, designed so that maintenance operatives can recognise the signs of domestic abuse when they are working in the homes of people across the UK. The toolkit provides a comprehensive guide to the various forms of abuse, including: Coercive Control, Financial Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Physical / Sexual Abuse, Harassment and Stalking and Online or Digital Abuse. With this guide, these professionals who spend their days in the homes of thousands of people, can spot the signs of potential abuse, report it and stop it.

Amee worked on behalf of the Domestic Abuse South West Steering Group (made up of social housing leaders in the South West) and project managed an event hosted at Bristol City Football Club. Over one hundred delegates from the social housing and maintenance sectors attended and listened to talks from key speakers such as the Lead Change Maker Office of the Future Generations Commissioner, South Wales and the President of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and, crucially, Domestic abuse survivors who bravely shared their stories. Amee worked with Homes in Sedgemoor, Westward Housing, The Guinness Partnership and other social housing providers in planning the event and all went on to acknowledge that it was a great success.

The objective of the event was to raise awareness of the prevalence of domestic abuse and how to report it and to get as many maintenance companies in the social housing sector to pledge their support to the CIH’s #MakeAStand campaign to help stop domestic abuse. The domestic abuse toolkit was launched at the event, giving all maintenance contractors an easy-to-use training tool to use with their own employees. Amee ensured that the toolkit was put into a simple PowerPoint format and placed on her company’s website for all contractors to access and use.

Some 400 delegates at the annual NHMF Conference Awards Evening voted via an app for the Toolkit to win the Delegates Choice Award and Amee was delighted to join her colleagues and a client from Westward Housing on the stage to receive the Award. Jane Nelson comments: “Amee is at the centre of the photo of the team receiving the NHMF Award because Amee was at the very centre of making this important initiative happen. As Project Manager, she had to deliver a myriad of interlinking tasks on time and within budget and to the high standard necessary for such a high-profile and extensively distributed training tool. We are all delighted with the outcome and it is no exaggeration to say that this toolkit may help save lives”.

We send Amee huge congratulations on the thoroughly deserved recognition that she and MD Group have received for this work. She has clearly shown how valuable an Apprentice can be – and nobody expects her to make the tea!