Anti Slavery and Homelessness Development Officer
Nicole is one of two coordinators at the West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network’s SafePlace project: a pre-NRM supported accommodation for adult male survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery in the West Midlands. Nicole manages the day to day activities of the SafePlace, coordinating each survivor’s support plan. This includes offering advice and advocacy for service users in areas such as: housing, the National Referral Mechanism, access to legal advice, police matters, access to health and drug and alcohol dependency services.
Before joining the SafePlace team Nicole had worked in a range of different settings working for one of the biggest homelessness charities in Birmingham, offering crisis intervention through community outreach within the city centre supporting entrenched rough sleepers as well as prevention-based work in the biggest multi agency hub. This role included completing housing assessments alongside statutory services such as Birmingham City Council and Children’s Services. Nicole also has experience from a hospital setting working in A&E, supporting victims of serious youth violence and exploitation providing hospital based youth work to prevent readmissions by providing support around safeguarding, rehousing, education, training and employment, drug and alcohol as well as scaffolding them into the necessary services they require. This role provided the ‘teachable moment’ for them to say, “I want out of this lifestyle and I am ready for change”. Not only serious youth violence, Nicole would support victims of human trafficking and modern slavery from resus, on ward as well as in the community, providing long term assistance, as well as conducting risk assessments and comprehensive support plans.
Nicole strongly believes that human trafficking and modern slavery survivors should be aware, as well as provided the appropriate support that they are entitled to. Nicole is passionate about advocating for those who need a voice the most, ensuring they are encouraged to make informed choices and decisions about their care and future, ensuring professionals are survivor centred from the get-go. Nicole feels strongly about being trauma informed and providing awareness and education to external organisations relating to the importance of the victim care standards and what best practice looks like when encountering survivors.