Specialist housing provider Stonewater has announced the appointment of Nicola Lambe, former chief executive at Ashiana Sheffield, as its head of domestic abuse support.
Nicola has more than two decades of experience working with adults, children and young people fleeing domestic and sexual abuse. Throughout her career, Nicola has supported women with complex needs from some of the most marginalised groups in today’s society – including black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee (BAMER) women, as well as women in the criminal justice system.
Currently supporting more than 500 people across its supported housing and domestic abuse services, Stonewater has increased its provision of specialist support services over the past three years in light of rising demand.
This includes opening its own LGBTQ+ Safe Space and South Hampshire Women’s Refuge. Stonewater was also commissioned to deliver a specialist outreach service (DAS+) for women with multiple support needs and a history of experiencing domestic abuse.
More recently the not-for-profit housing association has been commissioned as the service provider for a refuge in Brighton and Hove and a newly regenerated refuge in Bedford, which is now able to accommodate up to ten women and their children.
To strengthen its domestic abuse support offering, Stonewater has created a new dedicated team that will be overseen by Nicola – complementing the organisation’s strategic direction. This new approach will enable Stonewater to develop and provide a strong offer for customers and colleagues alike, across all teams, services and areas of operation.
Nicola will also lead on Stonewater’s national refugee response, utilising her knowledge and expertise in this area to further develop the organisations specialist accommodation and support model.
“Providing a safe sanctuary for those who need it, requires us to be innovative and forward-thinking in our approach, whilst also ensuring we’re inclusive,” said Helena Doyle, Stonewater’s customer experience director, wellbeing and support.
“Nicola has a wealth of experience in this area and a deep commitment to addressing equalities and domestic abuse. Our decision to introduce this role follows us welcoming ten colleagues over the last year to support our team with the increased need for domestic abuse services. Nicola’s strong value base aligns very closely with the values that underpin all our work at Stonewater and I’m really looking forward to working with her to further develop our services.”
Commenting on her appointment, Nicola said: “I’m a firm believer that no one should live in fear of abuse and Stonewater has already demonstrated its commitment to tackling the issue and improving the lives of those affected – particularly for those from marginalised groups.
Lambe commented on her new role: “It is an honour to be appointed as the first head of domestic abuse support at Stonewater and to support the organisation in shaping and delivering services that enable survivors to rebuild their lives, free from fear and harm.”
If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please contact Refuge’s 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. For more information about Stonewater’s Domestic Abuse support, visit its website.
Image: Nicola Lambe, courtesy Stonewater.