Betterdays helping Merseyside domestic violence survivors build new lives

Since November 2012 Cynthia Monteverde has run Betterdays Homes in Merseyside, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence and their families. Tony McDonough reports.

Cynthia Monteverde, top left, with former Betterdays client, Victoria, bottom left, and staff members Joana Nogueira and Dawn Manktelow

‘Be Bold for Change’ is the theme of International Women’s Day this week (March 8) and Cynthia Monteverde can testify to the power of that message.

Since November 2012 Cynthia has run Betterdays Homes in Merseyside, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence and their families.

And while the facility provides an initial place of safety it also offers a springboard to allow people to get on with their lives.

Earlier in her career, Cynthia worked in children’s homes and she spoke of one client from those days, a lady called Victoria, who as a young adult, was in and out of abusive relationships.

Victoria came to Betterdays in 2014 and has since moved on to became the manager of a retail store and set up her own business. She also got married and is now buying a home.

Cynthia said: “When speaking to Victoria now you can hear the strength within her voice.

“I think she has finally got it this time. She returned to Betterdays to thank us for the support that she received from us and spent and hour-and-a-half speaking and answering questions from current clients.

“It was an inspiration for us all to witness this.”

Cynthia is always looking at ways to add the the services Betterdays can offer and she has just secured £9,500 from the Lottery Fund to deliver personal development classes.

She added: “That can only give people more strength and help them improve their self-confidence.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our services and we now have books in our library that will help the children understand domestic violence from their perspective.”

Betterdays has also the support of Liverpool-based Epic Apartments entrepreneur, Fiona Beer.

“Fiona takes time out to visit the Ladies here at Betterdays,” said Cynthia.

“She sits with the ladies talking to them, looking for ways that she can support them and make a difference.”

Cynthia also talked about another client who was with the organisation for six month and has now returned to volunteer while she studies for her NVQ in Social Care.

“One of the things that we all encourage the women to do is to give back to the community and to see them reaching out to other ladies who are going through the same thing as they did makes us extremely proud of them and the staff team for a job well done.”

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