SHE has officially opened her doors.
After a year of research and evaluation from many people, I did it.
The answer is in the community and the community of Burnley, Lancashire, has welcomed SHE.
We offer a 12-month support programme. SHE offers a range of arts & crafts projects, empowerment and the opportunity to help the team develop the project so it becomes a hub for women in Burnley.
We have formed strong links with Inspire in Burnley for drug and alcohol support. We have training courses for self-employment and those great people at Timpson, will guide on employment, interviews and preparation for work.
The SHE project has a great team at the helm. Professional women trained in social work, a former Police Officer and a former Refuge support worker of nine years. A steering panel will guide delivery and meet once a month to ensure delivery is working.
Our accommodation is now ready and we can house three women from today. The team have worked on the female model for housing. This was important to me. A woman has to have safe, stable accommodation. My time in a hostel as a😰😐 middle-aged woman showed me the lack of support for homeless women and I know this to be a national problem. I was placed in a dirty room, no towels, no food, no kettle. It was grim and while I have nothing against young men, sharing a bathroom with a man half my age was not ideal. However, all is not lost. This experience showed me how not to offer accommodation for women. Our house is warm welcoming, safe and has everything I did not when I was placed in that room for three nights last year.
The team pounded the streets with letters to local retailers and communities. My garage was full of donations from kind people with all those lovely pieces that make a house a home. The great guys at RDA Burnley, donated a brand new end-of-season sofa for our cute little sitting room. The kindness of people in a town whose people do not have much themselves, is immense. It is true, those who have very little give so much and truly would give you the clothes they were standing up in. *Take note Westminister*
Our accommodation is supported living. We will help you through all that nasty paperwork, there is no hefty deposit to find, we will be with you when you need help through the minefield of benefit applications and we will ensure you are secure and are there if you need us. Weekly house meetings will be held and you will be supported as much or as little as you need. This is your new beginning. We are your stepping stone to move you forward to a brighter future. Subject to risk assessment, three women of no fixed abode can now move forward with stable accommodation to begin their baby steps.
We have a second property which will be ready in the next couple of months.
Our office address is on the home page. Our office telephone number will be updated today.
We are grateful to Carol, Irene, Carly and all the people at BRPCVS for the warm welcome we have received in our new office.
There are many people I would like to thank for their help and support over the last year. Lyndon Harris & Dan Bunting who have worked behind the scenes in guiding me. Diana Rose, editor of Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, Rita Pal, Natasha Phillips, James Timpson, Raymond Lunn for his excellent insight into the CJS, Flo Kraus for guidance and correcting my words, Kim Cano for introducing me to the US penal system by relaying her family’s experience with her book, On The Inside (and our project One in, One Out) Anita Bellows for always supporting my shouty blogs, Mark Fletton for his insight into the CJS, JP Riley, (who can forget his unique insight into Chris Grayling?). Most of all, the professional women who have given their time to deliver SHE with years of experience to offer. Kayla Barker, Max Scott, Elizabeth Barnes, Sam Fisher, Julie Hensby & Bradley Hensby.
We have an open evening on 16th October from 6pm onwards, tickets are free. We hope you will come and join us.
Welcome to SHE.