Elle Johnston - Women of Inspiration 2017

What is your current role within the company?

Services Manager of Moray Women’s Aid

What is your background prior to working for this company/setting up your company?

I have a varied background but mostly in the care and support sectors

Worked as a nursing assistant in both mental health and Learning Disabilities, Housing and Residential Manager for older people, Qualified as a Social Worker in 2009.

My husband and I owned a pub for 5 years – it was in a small fishing community and sadly it was in this role that I saw many instances of violence and the poor treatment of many women – this was what spurred my passion for helping families in difficult situations

What makes your company and/or your role stand out?

My first job in this post was to set up a new refuge that would provide safe accommodation and support to women and children experiencing Domestic Abuse/Violence. Domestic Abuse is still a taboo subject and a cause many would like to believe did not exist – I believe it is part of my role to increase both the awareness of domestic violence in our communities and in some way prevent the lifelong harm that is incurred by many women and children.

Moray Women’s Aid’s aim first and foremost is to deliver respectful and empathetic services. However it is also to ensure that other services do the same and it is through developing close relationships with the other sectors involved we now have a stand out service in our community. A service that will go above and beyond – women and children deserve the right to be protected and enabled to have a life of their choosing.

What is your area of expertise / inspiration?

I guess I don’t consider myself an expert. I simply want to ensure that the voices of vulnerable women are children are heard.

Providing respectful and non-judgemental services is essential. I believe that we all have a right to a happy life full of opportunity and potential. 

What are your plans for the future?

Where do I begin – Elle has a dream – I would love to be able to expand our services to enable us to provide a one stop shop for women. This would include a Rape Crisis Centre (the nearest one to women in Moray is over 90 mins drive). Many of the children who are supported by Moray Women’s Aid have never had an inspiring ‘role model’ and I would really like to develop another service where children are supported by male support workers. Through this they would learn to understand that not all men are abusers and in the long term would be better able to have respectful relationships with their own partners and children.

What inspires or motivates you?

My motivation is respect for equality and diversity and I am inspired by those who can put their own ambitions and wants aside and step up without doubt and fear to ensure that others can achieve theirs