Gemma Fox 0

Save our North Wales Women's Centre

369 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
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369 people have signed. Add your voice!
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Petition Information The North Wales Women's Centre is facing a funding crisis. We are presently lobbying the Welsh Assembly for funding to bridge a rapidly approaching revenue gap. To date the Welsh Assembly Government have been hugely supportive of our work not least by the provision of money to purchase our building last month – but as times are hard for us all and particularly those holding the public purse strings we need to alert Ministers as to the false economy of allowing our centre to close. We don’t expect long term support as much work has been done for securing future funding – but as with many voluntary sector organisations – the delay in roll out of Convergence contracts has impacted on our future plans. We have recently heard that an initial informal request for support has not been successful. Our intention is not to antagonise Ministers as their support has been evident so far – we just need to be sure that all the implications of losing this resource have been taken into account before it is too late. Background Information We are a dedicated Women’s Centre providing services to women whatever their background or situation and along side this we are delivering on strategies and targets outlined as priority by both Central and National governments. We deliver on so many different issues affecting women – too many to list here but providing services to support the “Tackling Domestic Abuse Strategy Wales” and “ Ministry of Justice recommendations for services to Women” are two priority areas we are delivering on as follows: Tackling Domestic Abuse - Strategy vision and the NWWC The centre is providing “better, more equitable, accessible and effective service provision” through provision of a safe and informal place for women to meet and engage with specialist people and organisations. We also employ an ‘Independent Domestic Violence Advisor’ on behalf of the Community Safety Partnership. This position is funded by Home Office/ Denbighshire Community Safety Partnership and provides specialist support to women who are attending special courts for Domestic Violence. We facilitate the ‘Freedom Programme’ delivered by Women’s Aid and Denbighshire Social Services. We take referrals from Women’s Aid and also refer women to Women’s Aid. We provide advice and support or referrals to specialists on various issues resulting from domestic abuse. Most importantly women feel safe at the centre. “ Supporting Women Ex Offenders or those at risk of offending” “Baroness Corston set out a clear vision in 2007 of how we should ensure measures are in place for women who come into contact with the criminal justice system. The vulnerabilities which characterise many women in the criminal justice system include mental health problems, drug misuse, sexual and domestic abuse and concerns about their children's welfare cannot be ignored. By getting to the route of the very specific problems encountered by many of the women who end up in prison, we can contribute to the wider goal of a safer society. We want to ensure sentences in each individual case are tailored to tackle their offending behaviour and its causes to cut re offending. (Maria Eagle MP, Ministerial Champion for Women in the Criminal Justice System June 2008) Fawcett responds to the Corston Report (13/03/07): “1. Women offenders and those at risk of offending, need local community-based services, close to their families and networked into local services. 2. To reduce crime and improve women's lives it is crucial to address women's complex needs, including poverty and debt, mental health problems, abuse and domestic violence, addictions, and housing. Our centre is delivering on these measures through it’s delivery of the Ministry of Justice funded ‘Turnaround Project’ (in partnership with National Offender Management Services and North Wales Probation Service). The centre has long been dedicated to improving women's lives through support, training, friendship and counselling to women of all ages and circumstances. The centre also provides wide ranging volunteering opportunities with over 80 women registered as volunteers. We are located in Rhyl West ward, identified as No 1 on the index of deprivation in Wales. The ward is also in a Communities First area and is part of a newly designated Strategic Regeneration Area. How can such a well established regeneration project be allowed to finish at a time when these resources are needed more than ever The impact of not having this service will cost our public services much more than the short term input we are asking for. To date we have supported over 1000 women – for some of these women it has been a lifeline – and many of these women are prepared to march on the Assembly to support us in securing our future. If you are in agreement with our petition and wish to support us please sign up in order to illustrate to ministers just how much this service is needed. Thank you for your support This petition will be sent to Minister Leighton Andrews at the Welsh Assembly Government at the beginning of May 09. 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