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Meet the UK plasterer transforming the homes of abuse survivors

clock 2 months ago
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Naima Ben-Moussa is a UK-based plasterer who redecorates the homes of domestic abuse survivors at no cost. She was recently awarded ‘Trade Hero of the Year’ at UK Construction Week in London, for her services to the construction community.

After experiencing domestic violence and sexual abuse as a young woman, Naima relocated from Devon to Derbyshire, achieved a plasterer qualification, and founded the charity ‘Rebuilding Lives UK’ in 2021.

The organisation

Rebuilding Lives UK collaborates with organisations such as Women’s Aid in Manchester. They help domestic abuse survivors renovate their homes following instances of violence.

“When the work had been completed, I just cried because of the relief it brought me… I was at an all-time low with no escape and Naima gave me a way out.”

– An anonymous survivor story from Rebuilding Lives UK

Rebuilding Lives UK provides survivors of domestic abuse with a variety of support to transform their houses and their lives, and Naima’s own experience as a survivor has helped to shape the best practices of Rebuilding Lives UK. For example, a priority of the organisation is ensuring that their clients feel safe and listened to. Sometimes, this involves signposting survivors towards counselling and progressive resources in their area.

In addition, the safety of the domestic abuse survivors is, in part, ensured by the cooperation of trusted tradespeople. The volunteer tradespeople need to meet the charity’s stringent checks and criteria. They are also well versed in the charity’s code of conduct. Additionally, skilled volunteer tradespeople can contact the organisation to become involved or notify the charity of projects in their area.

The award

When plasterer Naima Ben-Moussa won ‘Trade Hero of the Year’ at UK construction week, she said…

“It was a total surprise. When they said my name out loud, my eyes welled up.”

UK Construction week took place from the 3rd to the 5th of May 2022 in London’s ExCel centre. On the evening of Wednesday the 4th, a number of shortlisted tradespeople were in attendance at the second annual Tradesperson of the Year of Awards, hoping to take home an award from their category.

Martyn Coles, director of Coles Scaffolding, was recognised as ‘Highly Commended’ in the same category as Naima Ben-Moussa. He was awarded for his continuing support of fellow scaffolder Todd Scanlon and his college education. (Read about Todd Scanlon winning apprentice of the year at the On The Tools awards here.)

If you want to help Naima Ben-Moussa raise £250k for Rebuilding Lives UK, you can donate to their JustGiving Crowdfunding Page.
If you’re a skilled tradesperson who wants to lend support, contact trades@rebuildinglives-uk.org.

Do you know a tradesperson who needs a shout-out? Tell us your story,

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