Focus on BBO delivery partner - Nottingham Women's Centre

Posted 12.09.2019

Established in 1971, Nottingham Women’s Centre is one of the oldest of its kind in the UK.

Through delivery of Building Better Opportunities (and a wide range of other programmes) Nottingham Women’s Centre aims to help all women to gain the confidence and skills to achieve their potential and become stronger and more independent. Nottingham Women’s Centre provides a safe and supportive environment in which women can take part in training or activities, receive support and services, or campaign and becoming active in bringing about change, watch the film clip below for an overview of their work.

CHANGES Project for Female Offenders

The CHANGES Project at Nottingham Women’s Centre started in 2010 in response to the Corston report (2007), which made 43 recommendations for reform of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) when sentencing female offenders. The main recommendation was to divert women from short, harmful custodial sentences and instead provide holistic support, offered in a women-only environment.

Nine years on, CHANGES continue to work with women in the CJS, supporting on average 100 women per year. In June 2018, the Government released its Female Offender Strategy, which outlined its commitment to reducing the number of women entering the CJS.

The CHANGES Project runs a suite of programmes that are designed specifically for women, to help them reduce their risk of reoffending and develop their confidence, self-esteem and positive coping strategies. The groups include Healthy Emotions, Healthy Relationships and Anger Management.

As part of the assessment with the women, they highlight areas of their life where they may need extra support, recognising that often they have been victims themselves and as a result have suffered trauma. The benefit of the women attending Nottingham Women’s Centre is that they are able to access much more support, and mostly under the one roof, having appointments in one place can help reduce stress, anxiety and financial costs as well as help to build trust, in a friendly, trauma informed women-centered environment.

Nottingham Women’s Centre offer employment support through the Building Better Opportunities – Opportunity & Change programme. This programme is for people with multiple & complex needs.  The aim of the programme is to support people who have two of the following barriers:  Homelessness or vulnerable housing, misusing substances, mental health issues, experience of domestic abuse, current or ex-offenders.  They help women to resolve their complex needs and become socially and economically included through access to education, training and employment.  Each person is allocated a “navigator” who supports them to achieve their goals.

Nottingham Women’s Centre offer and guidance in a safe, welcoming environment. For more information on Nottingham Women’s Centre:

The Corston Report 10 years on reveals the scale of reversal to progress made in reforming the criminal justice system and reducing the women’s prison population following Baroness Corston’s recommendations, that, in 2007, received all-party support and Government backing.

BBO is having a significant impact on individual lives, supporting people to increase their confidence, independence and achieve their employment aspirations.

See what our participants have to say in these case studies …

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