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Promotion of Health, Opportunity
Equality, Benevolence & Empowerment
for black and ethnic minority
women and children

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Social work placements

Phoebe is a learning centre and has Social Work students from the University of East Anglia(UEA), Norwich. University Campus Suffolk and Anglia Ruskin University. We pride ourselves as being a learning centre, where students gain confidence in their practice and excel in their work. Our work has offered an important learning opportunity for students who may never have experienced working with black and minority ethnic groups.We have qualified practice educators who are experienced in nurturing student social workers and equiping them with skills for future good practice with women and children.

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The placement provided me with experiences working with service users with varying backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, ages, languages, nationalities and religions. This work highlighted my learning surrounding anti-discriminatory practice and cultural competence. Many of the women who came into the centre are marginalized by society because of their nationality. Thompson (2012) explains the importance of valuing and affirming diversity as part of anti-discriminatory practice (Thompson, 2012: 5). Differences between people should be appreciated and we need to be aware of how difference can lead to unfair discrimination and oppression as a result of power-related processes. For example, I was aware of how certain questions in risk assessments might need to be rephrased to be appropriate. The current anti-immigrant political climate was something I was aware of. The service users often conveyed an understanding of the negative stereotyping and hatred surrounding immigrants and benefits. I was aware of how this might make them feel reluctant to seek help and support and spoke to them about their right to access what they needed, to feel safe, live a life of dignity and respect, where they did not feel fearful every day. In that way, through anti-discriminatory practice, a more radical social work approach came through, and the fundamental social work values and principles were brought into my engagement with service users.

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My placement at PHOEBE has been such a great learning oppotunity, providing me my first experience of social work. I had the opportunity to develop several skills such as professional conduct, organisation and problem solving. I have been able to work with a variety of different service users such as the adults at the English Classes and the Girls at the self-esteem workshops, this now means I know how to work with both service user groups.

I am grateful for this wonderful oppotunity that PHOEBE has given me and will implement this all when I go onto to do future placements.

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My placement at Phoebe Centre was very beneficial as I developed a variety of skills such as organisation and confidence. I was able to go out of my comfort zone to help others that were in the same situation I was in several years ago - adaptation. I believe that I made an important impact on the lives of various people by teaching them the English language, and to be able to translate words that they did not know as I speak two languages. I helped out in a workshop designed to increase the self-esteem of young girls, and felt like I was making a difference and helping to change the influence of social expectations from media and peer-pressure. I learnt a lot about support and culture, equality and diversity, and acceptance of everyone. I witnessed various people coming into Phoebe centre, reaching out for help due to their horrible experiences. It opened my eyes to a world I wasn't very familiar with. I am a college student, I socialise mostly with people in the same situation as me. I have a loving family, a warm house, and supportive friends. I also have the benefit of living in a country that is not in war, has jobs available, and is not economically challenged. In my time at Phoebe, I met people that were not as lucky as me and were struggling in life. The language barrier itself is a big influence on how to make a living in the UK as a lot of jobs require the English basics. Without learning, people cannot survive. The majority of black or ethnical women and children has suffered great mental damage from growing up surrounded by war, disease and death. Phoebe centre gives them the opportunity to be support until they adapt to their new life in the UK. I feel privileged to have worked with inspiring people that think of others before themselves. I admire their hard work to ensure that everyone, from all backgrounds and cultures, have a new start and the chance to live better.

I just want to thank Phoebe centre, their wonderful staff has increased my knowledge extremely.
Shelter from Abuse
Fleeing from domestic violence? We can help you and your children find a safe place

We are committed to helping improve the lives of BME women and children suffering from domestic abuse. Our centre provides advice sessions and workshops run by specialists who can offer assistance relating to domestic violence cases, immigration status, health, welfare benefits and more. Women from all cultures and backgrounds are welcome, we have worked with women from China, all parts of Africa, India, the Philipines.
In 2010, we opened some safe houses where women fleeing domestic violence could seek shelter. However, due to difficulty in funding, we were unable to sustain these houses, hence we work in partnership with other women's organisations which offer shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

We also:

  • Help victims access their benefits e.g. housing, child or income support

  • Help source legal advice and representation

  • Provide free confidential counselling services

  • Provide drop-in and telephone support and advocacy for all

  • Provide opportunities for victims to improve their self-esteem, self-worth, social and economic situations

  • Create understandings between agencies about the problem of domestic violence within the community

  • Advocate on behalf of female victims with no public funds

The team of social workers and volunteers at our women’s centre are kind, compassionate and understand the complexities of domestic violence and the on-going psychological effects. We will work closely with you to help you feel safe again and begin the difficult process of rebuilding your life.

If you need to escape from domestic violence or need to protect your children from an abusive partner, visit our drop-in centre or contactus today on 01473 231 566  or email admin@phoebecentre.org.uk, to speak with one of our qualified social workers.

'A Helper of Many'

19, Tower Street

Citizen Advice Bureau Building

Ipswich, Suffolk



Telephone— 00 44 1473 231566