We are very proud to be the first Housing Association in East Anglia to receive accreditation from the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) – only 11 other Housing Associations nationwide have received this award.

Helen Tonks, CHS Head of Housing and Customer Services and Sharon Crosby DAHA Development Manager
Helen Tonks, CHS Head of Housing and Customer Services and Sharon Crosby DAHA Development Manager

CHS made a commitment last May to support people experiencing domestic abuse by signing up to the Make a Stand pledge which has been developed by the Chartered Institute of Housing in partnership with Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA), and to work towards achieving DAHA accreditation for good practice. We are in a privileged position to be able to raise awareness of domestic abuse and encourage our customers to seek our help, and to intervene to support them. Achieving accreditation has involved a great deal of work in reviewing our policies and practice, training our teams and strengthening our partnership working.

Upon confirming our DAHA accreditation the DAHA Development Manager Sharon Crosby commented “We are thrilled to be awarding our first DAHA Accreditation in East Anglia to CHS Group in recognition of their commitment to support both customers and staff who are affected by domestic abuse in a fair, compassionate and effective way and of the best practice standards that they have achieved.

During the DAHA assessment CHS demonstrated a proactive response to raising awareness of the indicators of domestic abuse that present to housing, working in partnership with other specialist agencies, and developing procedures and equipping staff to respond effectively.

We are particularly impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment shown by the members of the steering group who have been leading these changes under the energetic and dedicated leadership of Head of Housing and Customer Services, Helen Tonks, and how this has inspired staff resulting in over 15 Domestic Abuse Champions within the organisation.

They have an excellent tailored training plan to ensure that staff have the right level of knowledge required for their role and continue to refresh their development with a range of both external and internal training that took into account the diverse needs of those that they are supporting. “

CHS Champions accepting the DAHA accreditation
CHS Champions accepting the DAHA accreditation

Head of Housing and Customer Services, Helen Tonks said “Since CHS introduced these improvements, disclosures of domestic abuse have increased 5-fold which shows us that our approach is making a real difference to how customers see the support we are able to give them. This doesn’t mean ’job’ done for us and we will continue to develop our approaches, led by our team of committed colleagues.  This journey couldn’t have been possible with the support and advice from DAHA and other partners, and we want to say a big thank you to the passionate people and organisations doing so much to improve the way the housing sector better supports survivors and addresses the behaviour of perpetrators.”