Monthly Archives: March 2018

What difference does Treasures make? Having an impact

What difference does Treasures make?

Our houses hold up to 9 women at any one time so we think the figures below (from financial year ended June 2017) are impressive. As well as statistics here we share words from the women themselves. We have kept these mainly in the words and grammar of the women themselves with just slight editing to shorten them to a convenient size for reading. Here we’ve picked out just a few of the changes that we’ve tracked and we are looking to track even more with our updated Theory of Change.

 Change 1: Giving back to the community through increased numbers volunteering

Result: 5 women went into voluntary work.

In their own words: ‘When I arrived I would be in my room all the time because I didn’t like being seen, I didn’t want to talk to anyone and if someone spoke to me I’d give yes no I’m alright answers. I was unsure about everyone. Since I have been here, I can be around people for the first time in my life, I trust (the staff) 100% I have confidence now I can look people in the eye when I’m talking to them, being at Treasures is the best thing that happened to me, being here saves my life I have hope today, I have confidence I can stand up for myself. I now do voluntary work in a charity shop. I can be seen and not want to hide I couldn’t do any of this without the support, love and care Treasures gives me.’

Change 2: Improved ability to live in suitable accommodation

Result: 5 women moved into their own accommodation

 In their own words: ‘I came to Treasures news year’s eve from Crisis at Christmas. I had been living on the streets for seven years and in and out of prison and a drug dependency of 26 years. The world I was living in was unsafe so when I come to Treasures to live it changed my unsafe world from danger to feeling safe that I was ok that I was not a bad person that I was priceless and worth it. It was a long and painful process that (staff) had the time to walk beside me with. I started to find room in my heart to love myself. I suffered a long time in life but today through Treasures I’m no longer a victim but turning out to be a beautiful lady.  In 2013 I did not see any of my children. Through the help and support of Treasures I was reunited with my children and two of them live with me at the weekends, I have my own flat and the courage to live my life.’  

 Change 3: Increased ability to live addiction free

In their own words: 10 women referred to Steps2Recovery, 7 completed it successfully.

Case study: ‘Since I arrived I have felt hugely supported by staff. Not comfortable with venturing out on my own I was taken to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings every day with (staff) and other residents. I have started the steps2recovery programme which Mandy referred me to and although I initially had mixed feelings about this, it is a great opportunity for which I’m now hugely grateful.’

 

 

Thank you for making these changes possible. Your support is changing lives.

We’re pleased that with these measures we were able to pick up an award for our transformational work. You can read about it here and see the video that FSI did for us here. 

Is there a need to support women coming out of prison?

In 2007 the Corston report made a number of recommendations. 10 years on the group Women in Prisons evaluated whether those recommendations had resulted in positive change. They used a traffic light system to denote whether progress had been made…or not. Here is an extract. The bold section is the original recommendation and the italics the response. This recommendation was marked red.

‘The accommodation pathway is the most in need of speedy, fundamental, gender-speci c reform and should be reviewed urgently, taking account of the comments in my report. In particular, more supported accommodation should be provided for women on release to break the cycle of repeat offending and custody and the intentional homelessness criterion for ex- prisoners should be abolished.

The housing situation for women leaving prison is even more desperate today than when the Corston report was published ten years ago. The Prison Reform Trust and Women in Prison briefing “Home truths: housing for women in the criminal justice system”, published in 2016, outlines how local councils gate-keep their limited housing supply. This situation is compounded by the fact that women are systematically deemed “intentionally homeless” for going to prison, the scarcity of supported accommodation places and the absence of joined-up thinking to manage the human trauma and reoffending risks caused by homelessness.’

The full report can be found at: http://www.womeninprison.org.uk/perch/resources/corston-report-10-years-on.pdf

Is there a need to support women coming out of prisons? The answer seems to be a resounding ‘yes’!