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Empowering Women: Breaking Free & Building Futures

Honeycomb Group champions women who have experienced homelessness this International Women’s Day.

Honeycomb Group’s homelessness specialist, Concrete, supports 17 women at their dedicated female-only 24/7 supported accommodation scheme.

Based in Stoke-on-Trent, the service provides a home for 17 women who have experienced homelessness and multiple disadvantages. It’s part of Destination:Home, a city-wide homelessness partnership, led by Concrete, that provides 24/7 support to people facing housing crisis.

Customer Ellie, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, moved into Concrete’s female scheme last year after experiencing domestic violence from her ex-partner. She has shared her story, in her own words, for International Women’s Day.

“Five years ago I was living in Stafford, near to my daughter and grandson. While I was there I reconnected with Craig (name also changed), my on-off partner of 18 years. We got back together and I decided to move back to Stoke with Craig as he needed to receive treatment in the city for a health condition. I was offered other places to live, but I decided to stay in Stoke to be with him"

“When we moved back to Stoke, Craig returned to substance misuse. He was abusive towards me and I couldn’t take it anymore so I left. I ended up living on the streets – then I was referred to Concrete.”

After being street homeless, Ellie was nervous about moving into her own space and managing her own accommodation.

“When I first moved in I felt scared. That’s because I was so used to being outdoors and for me, a tenancy was a real commitment. I’ve been here for six months now and it’s the longest I’ve ever stayed somewhere, so I feel really proud. It’s a huge personal achievement for me and it feels good. I have received lots of support since being here. Even though I have a specific worker that was allocated to me, I feel like I can talk to any of the staff. I feel safe here, but I’d like to take the next step soon and move on.”

Ellie admits that it hasn’t all been plain sailing, but any issues she has faced has made her more resilient and hopeful for the future. She said: “My resilience is much stronger since being with Concrete. There have been times I’ve felt like leaving, due to arguments between myself and other residents, but every time I left and headed to the bus stop, I always turned back.

“Now I think about my future, rather than just the present. I think about what I want to achieve when I move on.”

For Scheme Manager David Halliday and his team, International Women’s Day is more than just a one day celebration. He said: “We’re proud to support women like Ellie, who have been through so many disadvantages but never give up. For us, International Women’s Day is all about celebrating strong and inspirational women, which is something we do every single day at our scheme.”

Operations Manager Mariana Sabova added: “We keep our ladies safe, encourage them, support them and help them become the best version of themselves that they can possibly be. It’s truly a privilege to be part of their journey and we’re always filled with pride when they move on to their next chapter.”

Your donation will directly support these women in their journey back to volunteering, work or education. In the event that the total donations surpass the immediate needs, any surplus will be allocated to our general funds, ensuring that Concrete can sustain its vital work in 2024 and beyond.

Donations (4)

  • Anonymous
    • £10 
    • 3 mos
  • Rachel Lawton
    • £5 
    • 3 mos
  • Mariana Sabova
    • £20 
    • 3 mos
  • Katie Tams
    • £5 
    • 4 mos
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