April: Deana

Deana Young is a senior support worker in Women’s Aid North East Lincs with almost 20 years’ experience and knowledge. Deana works with families living in the refuge to empower them and support them to live independently. The range of support is client led, risk assessed and designed to provide families with the tools needed to live freely from domestic abuse.

What made you decide to work with people experiencing domestic abuse?

I began working for Women’s Aid North East Lincs as a volunteer in 2000, and shortly after gained a paid post. I’ve always felt passionately about being able to provide essential support to victims of abuse. I still feel as strongly today about supporting victims as I did the day I started.

What keeps you going when the work gets tough?

Knowing and seeing with my own eyes the difference that can be made to people’s lives with the right support. I have seen time and time again how families can make changes that let them lead safe and independent lives. I love being part of a great team at Women’s Aid North East Lincs, we support each other when things get tough, especially when services are hit by funding cuts. Oh and lots of chocolate!

What are you most proud of so far?

I am proud of all the families over the years that have successfully moved on to live independently from services, in particular those that have been doubted, had complex needs and worked hard to change their lives for the better. I am proud to see how many families I have supported who now live safe, happy healthy lives.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering this career, what would it be?

No one can put into words the immense job satisfaction gained by working with victims of domestic abuse. I recognise how fab it is to work at Women’s Aid however hard it gets sometimes. Every day is different, every family is different, every family in need of it deserves to receive the same passionate support I always try to give.

 

Deana was nominated by one of her former clients who said: 'She is always on hand if you need her and goes the extra mile to help you sort things out. She attends appointments with you and make a special effort to spend time with children and builds a relationship with them too to make them feel comfortable and safe....she deserves to have her truly compassionate and helpful nature recognised. She is one in a million.'

Do you know a professional who has gone above and beyond to change the response to domestic abuse and keep survivors and their families safe? Nominate someone for Star of the Month by emailing communications@safelives.org.uk with ‘Star of the Month’ as the subject line