A female plasterer who redecorates the homes of domestic abuse survivors for free has won a national award.
Naima Ben-Moussa, a plasterer originally from Buxton, Derbyshire, was named Trade Hero of the Year at the Construction Week UK awards.
Ms Ben-Moussa has now set up a charity to support the work she does.
She said of the award: “It was a total surprise. When they said my name out loud, my eyes welled up.”
‘One determined plasterer’
Ms Ben-Moussa, who began working as a plasterer two years ago, said she had been drawn towards helping abuse survivors after witnessing domestic violence as a child.
She was fostered and said this had “saved her life”, with her foster dad inspiring her current career.
She said her foster dad had owned a textile mill and she had helped him renovate a number of properties he owned.
“I decided to pick up a trowel and make him proud,” she said.
Last year, she set up a charity called Rebuilding Lives UK which works alongside charities such as Women’s Aid to help domestic abuse survivors renovate their homes, following violence.
Val Nuttall, an operations manager with Women’s Aid, said: “She’s very passionate about what she does and she wants to make a difference.
“We are very happy to work with her.”
She added the damage inflicted to abuse survivors’ homes was an often overlooked part of the recovery process following a violent relationship.
“It makes a big difference to people who can’t afford these repairs,” she added.
Greg Wilson, head of content from Fix Radio, a trade radio station that runs the awards in partnership with UK Construction Week, said: “We think [Naima’s] work and tireless dedication to helping survivors of domestic abuse to recover and rebuild their lives is absolutely inspiring.
“Naima is a fantastic example of what one determined plasterer can achieve.”