Viv is the Manager of The Treasures Foundation, responsible for the three main houses and four move on flats. There are also six new separate flats coming online under her control soon and she runs the 24 hour staffing team. LHF recently awarded the foundation a grant to support their work. We asked her to tell us about the organisation and her role.
“I lead some groups and do 1:1 conflict resolution sessions. There are also often issues in the house to manage, family visits, children’s visits, and facilitating family contact.
For me, it’s all about integrating people back into society. My role, with my team, is to be present for people to help and support them.
I know what it’s like as I came to Treasures from prison almost ten years ago. I have been drug free ever since – apart from one lapse after four months which I was honest about and the Treasures team helped me get through. This is important as we value honesty. After a year living in the house I came back as a volunteer then got a full-time job as a support worker, then got promoted to lead support. Now I work with some of the women I lived with when I was here. They’ve moved on but we stay in touch and support them.
Why did I stay involved? I started as a volunteer as I had never worked, so needed to find a purpose. I was trained but they also allowed me to make mistakes. I never felt judged here and I don’t judge others. We tell our women that their past does not control their future.
Treasures is a loving place. People learn afresh how to interact and develop communications skills.
It is very different from other organisations, and I find it very satisfying. We work with people on an individual basis and with no time limits. I’ve been to lot of other services over 30 years and this is the first place that, for me, meets peoples needs wherever they are and whatever their background.
I spent a lot of time in prison, and now go back to visit clean. Because of my history the girls listen to me.
What do I hope for from my residents? Four of the girls in the house are now back doing permitted work. We get them to volunteer elsewhere to get more experience, so they can move on to other organisations. We work with them and help them to learn to live with professionals while managing addiction. They are vulnerable. And Treasures is there for as long as they need it.”
For more information about The Treasures Foundation go to Home – Treasures Foundation. You can find more information about LHF and the grants we award on this website.