Arch helps hundreds of people across Staffordshire, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, victims of domestic abuse, people suffering from poor mental wellbeing and anyone struggling to maintain their independence or their tenancy. Without a great workforce, we couldn’t deliver our aim of creating opportunities for people to transform their lives.

Kathryn Wagg is a domestic abuse practitioner and has been working for Arch for 3 years in our Stoke based refuge for women and children fleeing from domestic abuse. She tells us a bit about her job and what working for Arch is like.

I am the first point of contact for any referrals or enquiry’s into refuge. We get referrals from different agencies including social workers, the police or from ladies themselves, often these phone calls are from women who are very distressed and often with complex needs. I take the information in a calm manner and if there were any immediate safeguarding concerns I report these to the police. If we do not have a vacancy in refuge I would check the database to see where has vacancies and signpost them to the correct agencies who can support.

I admit new customers into the refuge and support them by insuring that they have all their benefits in place. If women are being finically controlled they may not have any benefits in their own name or know what they are entitled to claim and I support the women with this.

I am responsible for the maintenance of the flats and oversea the flat checks. As we always have a full waiting list, it is important to get the flats turned around as quick as possible so that a new customer can move in quickly. By completing regular flat checks and staying on top of maintenance issues we can turn flats around quickly.

My job is very rewarding. Often when a customer gets admitted into refuge they can feel scared and uncertain about moving, maybe even more so if they are moving from a different area. With the support of all the staff who work in the refuge, it’s really rewarding to see people’s confidence growing. We have good working relationships with the customers whilst maintaining professional boundaries.

Before working for Arch, I was a customer services manager in a supermarket. After I had my children I decided I wanted a career change. I had previously completed a degree in sociology and I wanted to implement what I had learnt in my degree to my job.  My first job for Arch was an assistant domestic abuse practitioner working the night shift in the refuge. I really enjoyed this job as I had not done anything like it before and it gave me good experience. I was lone working and so had the responsibility to make a lot of decisions for myself with the support of the on call manager who can be called in a crisis and are always really supportive.

Working nights was really good whilst my children were small. I would put them to bed first and then come to work for 8pm and then would be home with them by 9am and with them all day. However when my children were older and  started to school, I applied for a promotion to become a Domestic Abuse Practitioner which involved working in the day it was great and career progression for me.

Arch is really flexible, I feel I have managed the happy balance of juggling work and family life. I work full time but I am still able to attend school activates with my children. My manager is really approachable and understands the importance of family life which I felt was missing from my previous job in the supermarket.

To me, it doesn’t feel like work, there’s a lovely atmosphere and everyone in the team is really supportive.

Interested in finding out more about working Arch? Our recruitment open day is happening on Wednesday 27 February. Drop in between 2pm – 8pm to the board room at 308 London Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 5AB.