The EVA Recovery Programme at Harbour Housing

Date: 14th March

The EVA recovery programme is focused on meeting each resident where they are in their own journey. The aim is to support women’s recovery from their experiences and trauma at a pace which is appropriate for them. The programme is underpinned by voluntary engagement; the co-developing and co-delivering of the sessions allows for a trauma informed and responsive approach to engagement. The programme currently provides a weekly ‘Talk and Tea’ session and monthly ‘Coffee with…’ sessions, allowing the opportunity for discussion on differing themes which residents may be impacted by or interested in. The facilitation is underpinned by honesty and optimism to provide hope in building a better future, in whatever form this might take. Utilising Harbour’s elastic tolerance model, the aim is to limit the number of barriers to participation.

EVA Recovery Programme

The Framework

The sessions so far have focussed on themes such as the concept of a home, managing relationships, manifesting goals and vision planning, consent, identity, emotional wellbeing and your voice. This programme is about holding space for residents for where they are now and not where they ‘should’ be in their journey. The aim is to build resilience. Work can be done on what is a healthy relationship, how do you recover from domestic abuse but if the underpinnings of resilience, self-care, empowerment and confidence are not built, recovery can be harder to achieve. Lots of the activities are based around providing residents with various toolboxes, whether those are mental or practical, to build resilience.

The delivery of this programme is codesigned. Harbour staff provide some structure around the theme and every week residents choose the theme for the next week. The approach is quite adaptable and can suit the feelings and interests of the women.  At the end of every session, Harbour staff will informally run the session plan past the residents for the next one, so as we are delivering the sessions, we are also codeveloping a programme. The result of this will be a whole quarter worth of resources which have been codesigned with the residents.

"The constant development of the programme is quite exciting"

Kate Ashby-Smith has been leading the facilitation of this programme and she says, “The overall feedback from residents has been positive. We have provided opportunities for reflective feedback. If we are going to truly coproduce something with residents we have to be open to all their feedback and we have developed the relationship and environment to say ‘what do you think of that activity? Should we use it again?’ And take their true feedback to develop our work because we are coproducing it. The constant development of the programme is quite exciting and one of my ambitions for the future is to support the residents through the work to feel comfortable enough to deliver it to their peers.”