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The Greater Manchester Women’s Support Alliance was created to provide support services to women offenders and those at risk of offending across all ten boroughs in Greater Manchester.

MISSION…

is to provide world-class support services to Women, from those at risk of offending to those serving a prison sentence, with the aim of preventing them entering the CJS, or helping them exit the Criminal Justice System and rebuild their lives, thereby fulfilling their individual potential and achieving their lifestyle ambitions.

VISION…

is to see an approach to Women within the Criminal Justice system which emphasises prevention, and which sees a reduction in the number of women sent to custody where a viable alternative is available, with resources consequently moved from the female prison estate to high-quality community provision.

VALUES

In delivering our services, we will work according to the following values →

A strong sense of Justice

A belief in our Service Users’ ability to change and develop, have a voice in and contribute towards our service delivery

A Belief in a common purpose and mutual support, both with Alliance members and partners

Transparency and Accountability

The promotion of Equality

An Evidence-Led approach to service delivery

Who We Are

The Greater Manchester Women’s Support Alliance (GMWSA) was established by seven organisations who are funded to delivery support services to women involved in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) across Greater Manchester. The seven local providers of women’s services  all  came together as the GMWSA in order  to ensure that our collective voice is heard by policy makers and commissioners of services and we represent the interests of our beneficiaries and service users, we share good practice and experience and ensure that no service operates in isolation. The Alliance has a presence in each of the 10 local authority areas across Greater Manchester.

The Alliance Team

In 2016, the Alliance was successful in securing funding from The Governments £12 million “Tampon Tax” Fund, which is an amount equivalent to VAT receipts from sanitary products each year and also from the Big Lottery ‘s Women and Girls Initiative Fund. With this funding, the Alliance was able to maintain the current service delivery at that time but also to create a number of new posts in order to develop services in line with recommendations from the interim report of the Whole System Approach Evaluation and other stakeholders.

Nikki Guy

Nikki has undertaken the role of Strategic Lead for the administration, reporting and management of the BLF and Tampon Tax Funds. In addition, Nikki has responsibility for  identifying relevant service development opportunities, submitting fund-raising applications and developing and maintaining effective partnership relationships and referral protocols with relevant criminal justice and other community agencies.

Kate Fraser

Kate was seconded from her role at Women In Prison to take up post as GMWSA Coordinator to take on line-management responsibilities and to offer support to the newly recruited Alliance staff delivering services across the GM area including the Prison Link Workers, Service User Involvement Workers and the Learning & Development Advisor.

Hira Khan & Joanne Clough

Service User Involvement Workers who are responsible for promoting access  to  service user involvement opportunities within  all of the Alliance organisations by leading on the development, delivery and co-production of an Alliance wide Service User Group. Focus is  given to promoting the engagement and participation of BME, young women, those with learning disabilities and other groups of hard to reach women across the Alliance areas.

Amy Harper & Gabriella Mansfield

Prison Link Workers responsible for the provision of advocacy, support, and advice services to women who are leaving HMP Styal and returning to the Greater Manchester area, ensuring that women leaving HMP Styal are linked in with ongoing support from their local GMWSA provider on release by providing pre-release support and up to 72 hours of intensive ‘Through the Gate’ support on day of release.

Katie Watson

Learning and Development Advisor responsible for working with GMWSA Leads to develop and implement the provision of a proactive learning and development service, designing, delivering and embedding learning initiatives for GMWSA staff, service users and external organisations. Katie  works toward the identification  and dissemination of  models of good practice from within and outside the Alliance that will assist GMWSA to deliver quality and continuous improvement.

WHAT WE DO

OUR WOMEN’S CENTRES OPERATE AS A CENTRAL HUB FOR REFERRALS FROM VARIOUS STAGES OF THE CJS:

Arrest – each women’s centre co deliver’s Greater Manchester Police’s ‘Triage’ scheme, in which all women arrested are automatically referred to their local women’s centre for support, either voluntarily, or as part of a Restorative Justice or Conditional Caution disposal depending on individual circumstances.

Community Sentence (including Problem Solving Courts) each women’s centre works with its local Community Rehabilitation Company and National Probation Service to co-deliver ‘Women only Reporting’ sessions for all women serving community orders, whether from the women’s centre itself, the CRC or NPS local office, or other community spaces dependent on local need.  Additionally, each women’s centre facilitates the delivery of ‘WISER’, the CRC’s one group programme to which women can be sentenced.

Custody Release – resettlement support is provided by two Prison Link Workers, based in HMP Styal  who  provide advocacy, support, and advice services to women who are leaving HMP Styal and returning to Greater Manchester. They ensure that women leaving HMP Styal have access to a bespoke ‘Through the Gate’ support service on day of release and are linked in with ongoing support from their local GMWSA provider on release and create resettlement plans, based on the CRC BCST 2 Screening and/or Resettlement Review that support women to address their multiple needs and enable them to engage with Post Sentence Supervision and License Requirements upon release

‘At risk of’ – each women’s centre also offers it’s full range of services to women considered ‘at risk of’ offending, by nature of having at least 3 unmet support needs, to try and prevent women entering the criminal justice system in the first place. Such women access the centre’s through self-referral or referral from other agencies.

Emotional and practical support is available to women offenders and those at risk of reoffending from the 24 caseworkers that are employed by the women’s centres.  An assessment is completed to determine current needs including housing, mental health, substance misuse, education, employment, domestic abuse, confidence/self-esteem levels.

Women are supported to identify needs, risks, and relevant support networks and link into and access specialist local service provision, addressing exclusion and disadvantage in their communities.   The project also support the woman to increase positive engagement with partner agencies which will thus increase the number of women who complete community orders and licences and contribute to the reduction in re-offending.

WHY WE DO IT

Female offending generates significant fiscal, economic and social costs well beyond the direct costs to the Criminal Justice System. The Corston Report in 2007 identified the vulnerabilities of women in the CJS and recognised that there was a need to take a tailored, gender specific approach to female offending. Whilst women only constitute approximately 15% of the offender population (approximately 10,500 women in total) in Greater Manchester, they remain a significant group. The majority of women do not pose a high risk of harm to the public, but their offending is often prolific. The women have complex needs, and often access local services in a chaotic way whilst in crisis.

National policy, initiatives and changes have included the establishment in 2013 of The Advisory Board for Female Offenders and, the national roll out of the Transforming Rehabilitation  Programme, the largest reform to the CJS in recent history. These policies and national programmes will however only be successful if they are integrated and grounded in the communities that women live in, and if women have access to high quality services. Providing these services is one of the key objectives of the work of the Alliance.

It is nationally recognised that Greater Manchester (GM) has been forward thinking in developing a ‘Whole System Approach’ (WSA) to address this. The WSA is an integrated and collaborative approach to working with woman at risk of offending and women offenders across GM.  The WSA approach ensures support is accessible at any point when a woman comes into contact with the CJS.

The model draws on a multi-agency framework to embed gender specific approaches for women at key points in the CJS and is embedded into communities.  This approach has support both within and outside of the CJS, at local area and regional level, including Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner, the Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CGM CRC), National Probation Service(NPS), HMP Styal, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester Public Service Reform.

I believe the women’s centres, working together as the Greater Manchester Women’s Support Alliance, provide an opportunity for any women facing complex and multiple issues to be heard, supported and have the time to develop her own belief she can make the most of a bright and positive future.  I believe these centres, and the staff and volunteers who support them, alongside the women that use them help to build safer, stronger and better community for all of us.”

Martin Nugent
Justice and Rehabilitation, GM Public Service Reform

 

The members of the Alliance.

Click on the member's name below to find out more about the services they offer.

Eve’s Space

Eve’s Space supports female offenders and those at risk of offending through one-to-one support and group work, in order to address issues that could potentially cause reoffending and to provide the support to promote sustainable lifestyles. The project receives funding from Bolton Council BeSafe, the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner, and Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC).

“Urban Outreach has the rare ability to work with the most challenging and chaotic women and quickly establish a bond of trust and respect. You work with compassion, knowledge and great skill to enable clients to break down the emotional, psychological and social barriers that prevent them moving on towards a positive future.”

Bolton Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service

Eve’s Space is a women only service offering a safe and relaxing environment where you can get help from female support workers. We support female offenders and those at risk of offending through one-to-one support and group work, in order to address issues that could potentially cause reoffending and to provide the support to promote sustainable lifestyles.

The project receives funding from Bolton Council BeSafe, the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner, and Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC).

It is a free friendly service that can help you tackle some of the problems in your life.

If you can answer ‘yes’ to any the questions below you could get support from Eve’s Space:

Are you worried about getting into trouble with the police?

Are you due in court and would like some support?

Are you afraid of a custodial sentence?

Are you in custody and due to be released in to Bolton?

Are you worried about how to manage when you are released?

We will help you set goals and work to achieve them through one-to-one sessions and group work. We can be exible about where and when we can meet you. The service covers 3 month support plans.

We can help with any of the following:

Family problems and rela onship issues

Drug and alcohol problems

Gaining access to training and employment

Money problems

Help with housing

Registering with a doctor and/or dentist

Support for victims of emotional and physical abuse

Through Eve’s Space you can:

•Discuss problems with a support worker

•Get help and support with attending appointments

•Develop new skills and con dence

•Work to address your problems

Women who are aged 18 or over and living in Bolton can access Eve’s Space.

Call us on 01204 385848 or click here to visit our site

Petrus

Petrus provides a range of services for women in Rochdale Borough as well as Rossendale and Oldham.

We have female-only supported housing at three sites across the Borough with a total of 21 bed-spaces, four mixed-gender services with 58 bed-spaces and 20 men-only bed-spaces.

Many of our female residents have experience of domestic abuse including controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour and can encompass physical, sexual, psychological, financial or emotional abuse. This can result in low self-esteem and self-confidence, feelings of helplessness and powerlessness, anxiety, depression and a lowered sense of self-worth, and can present as, substance use, offending, joblessness and homelessness.

Petrus works to enable victims to make informed decisions and choices about their own futures.

Our range of accommodation and other support services allows us to offer support at the appropriate level for each individual, promoting empowerment and resilience rather than dependency while protecting the most vulnerable and minimising risk.

We have a range of activities which have therapeutic value but can also promote engagement, resilience and employability, including gardening, singing, art and film projects, volunteering and employment training. Residents will also have free access to clothing, children’s toys etc. from the Petrus Community Store.

These existing Petrus services will provide added value to this contract as they will be easily accessible by the residents of the refuge and support them in rebuilding their lives.

Call us on 01706 345844 or visit our site here

POPS

POPS logo
POPS was first set up in 1988 with the establishment of a peer support group for offenders’ families by Farida Anderson MBE, who was herself supporting her partner through a custodial sentence. Recognising that there was no formal support for prisoners’ relatives, POPS was established to help families cope with the stress and isolation experienced by this hidden group who are so often labelled ‘GUILTY by association’.

“It was about twenty years ago when I found myself in an impossible position, after my husband was given a prison sentence. I did not know what to do, who to tell and where to turn to for help” Farida explains.

The picture Farida paints of this period in her life, is a lonely one, a difficult time; especially when she had to present herself as assured and in control when forced to wait quietly in a queue outside a prison, in all weathers visiting a loved one. In 1989 POPS was registered as a charity and joined the Federation of Prisoners’ Families Support Group. A year later on the 1st April HMP Manchester became the focus of the nation’s attention as prisoners staged a 25 day riot and rooftop protest in response to their treatment and living conditions. The protests became known as the Strangeways riots and became key in POPS history as HMP Manchester turned to POPS to assist and support prisoners’ families during the course of the disturbances providing vital information when all other means of communication had broken down.

The riot sparked a series of disturbances in prisons across the country and led to the government launching a public inquiry. POPS contributed to the resulting Woolf Report which concluded that prisoners had experienced intolerable conditions in the prison and recommended major changes to the prison system.

The recognition POPS received led to the charity participating in training schemes for prison based staff in 1991, building awareness of the particular needs of prisoners’ families.

From our earliest days POPS  has always had a strong concern for the welfare of Black and Minority Ethnic Offenders and their families and a passion to raise awareness of the inequalities faced by these groups. This manifested itself in 1992 in the establishment of the Black Prisoner Support Group which worked in HMP Lindholme, HMPYOI Moorland, HMPYOI Doncaster and HMP Wealstun to help Black prisoners develop an understanding of their culture and build their self-confidence. Over the years the Black Prisoner Support Group was involved in many innovative pieces of work including research funded by Greater Manchester Probation Service entitled ‘Black Voices – telling us how they feel’. In 1997 POPS coordinated the first national gathering of Black Prisoner Support Groups which set the stage for the development of the Coalition for Racial Justice (UK).

1997 was also the year that POPS undertook delivery of its first Visitor Centre service, in partnership with HMP Hindley, providing ‘on the spot’ support to visiting families.

POPS has grown tremendously since our early days supporting a handful of families. We now support over 200,000 families a year across services throughout our continuum of care and employ 85 staff and around 35 volunteers.

Call us on 0161 702 1000 or visit our site here

Salford Foundation

salford foundation
The Foundation works with a range of women at risk of entering the justice system and those who are already offenders with a view to addressing the factors that have contributed to their situation.
Call us on 0161 787 8500 or visit our site here

Stockport Women’s Centre

The Women’s Centre was born out of a huge social need within the local area of Stockport. In 1999 a NSPCC social worker  and a qualified psychotherapist set up a group working with women where there had been sexual abuse in the family.  The project supported by the NSPCC was called the ‘AFTA club’.

As the work expanded it was acknowledged that there was a need for a local and accessible centre, which specialised in providing services for women surviving poverty, social exclusion and emotional trauma consequent to sexual and/or domestic abuse. Led by Pat Megram, the ‘AFTA club’ became Stockport Women’s Centre and in March 2001, was established as an independent charity.

Although much has changed since 2001, preventative and holistic support for the woman is still a focus. The Women’s Centre now offers a full range of services that stay true to our vision – to be acknowledged, respected and valued by the local community, and beyond, as the leading provider of innovative support services and therapeutic treatments for women.

Our services and activities have been developed in response to the expressed needs of the women; we work with and gaps in service provision which are offered within an ethos of valuing all women by listening, caring and encouraging.

Our aim is to improve self-esteem and confidence which, in turn, promotes good mental health in a safe and non-clinical environment.

All activities and services provided to the women are built upon through an assessment of need and supported by a multi-skilled team including social workers, counsellors, psychotherapists, complementary therapists, support workers, careers advisors, probation workers and include:

One to one work with women who are in need of extra support

Counselling and psychotherapy

Group work

Advice and support

Access to information and sign-posting

At any one time there are around 60 women who offer their time and support as volunteers.  The opportunity of volunteering allows women not only to learn and develop but also allows women to give something back to the wider community.

Call us on 0161 355 4455 or visit our site here

Well Women Wigan

Complementary Therapies

Using only fully qualified complementary therapists, the following treatments are available: Indian Head Massage, Reflexology and Full Body Massage. Indian Head massage is a traditional Indian technique of treating the upper back, neck, shoulders, face and scalp, whilst remaining full.

Counselling Services

At sometime in most women’s lives situations arise which lead us to feel upset, distressed, confused, anxious or depressed. These feelings may arise from a variety of reasons such as relationships, bereavement, illness, or it may be something that happened.

Women’s Support Group

Are you looking for friendship, fun and support? Then why don’t you come along to the Women’s Support Group? The Wednesday Women’s Group is an informal group which meets in a relaxed atmosphere. New members are welcome to come along.

Call us on 01942 681411 or visit our site here

Women and their Families

We’re a service for all women in the Tameside area. We provide peer group  and 1-2-1 support for women who want to make changes in their life but don’t know where to start.

A Custody Triage Service is also available to females when in custody, (Either in local police station or HMP). This service looks to enable assessment and referral to external agencies. Primarily we seek to facilitate diversion out of the criminal justice system  and facilitate rapid access to help or support- especially in a crisis situation.

OUR GROUPS

Wellbeing for Women and their Families.

Pennine Trust Health and Wellbeing – Mental health issues.

Parenting Support.

SMART – Addictive Behaviours.

Your Anchor – Support for family members of alcohol/drug users.

Early Attachment Support and Guidance.

Creative Writing.

Maths and English Courses.

Counselling Sessions – NLP.

Contact us for information on our other courses.

Our centres

Bank Street

Ashton-Under-Lyne

OL6 7DN

Ridgehill

School Crescent

Stalybridge

SK15 1EA

Hattersley

Melandra Crescent

Hattersley

Hyde

SK14 3RB

To find out more about us, please call our office on 07860 408902 or contact Tracey on 07590 828565

Women MATTA

Women MATTA is a Women’s Centre in Manchester that provides intense, holistic support to women affected by the criminal justice system and to those at risk.

It is a ‘one-stop-shop’ offering group work, one-to-one and counselling supporting women around:

Domestic violence/sexual abuse.

Mental health.

Substance misuse and alcohol addiction.

Debt or money issues.

Parenting support.

Housing and homelessness.

Education and employment.

General emotional well-being and physical well-being.

The Centre provides women with a safe and homely space in which to access gender-specialist support services.

The Centre has a clothing bank and IT access. As well as support services it is also a creative and community space offering drama and art workshops, theatre trips, a gardening project and more!

 

Call us on 0161 232 1778 or click here for more information.

Women of Worth

The Centre offers a safe and supportive environment run by women for women, without exclusion.

We strive to help women become emotionally resilient, stronger and more independent. To support women to achieve aims, reach potential and work towards their own personal fulfilment. To strengthen social inclusion and increase economic proficiency therefore reducing oppression, inequality and social exclusion.

The centre provides a  rolling programme of workshops that are relevant  to woman. These learning programmes provides the stepping stones to increase self belief and improved levels of confidence enabling them to address their issues and build a better life for themselves and their families.

 

Call us on 07999 533963

Let’s TALK!

Put your details in the form opposite and we’ll get back to you to talk more about the work we do. 

— The GMWSA Team

Alternatively contact one of the individual Alliance members here