From education to employment

Charity supporting women in prison gets major funding boost

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A Stockwell charity has received a grant to boost its national campaign supporting women trapped in the criminal justice system.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, awarded £446,000 to Women in Prison (WIP) for the scheme.

The programme will help up to 180 women facing complex challenges who can become trapped in a revolving door of imprisonment through reoffending or recall.

The funding will pay for advice, guidance, education and training to support women who have experienced domestic abuse, homelessness, substance misuse and mental health issues. Access to housing and employment advice, specialist probation officers and group services to help rehabilitation into the community will be available.

The charity aims to address the root causes of crime whilst reducing the risk of re-offending and the disproportionately high rates of deaths following release from prison.

Alison Gowman, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, commented:

“This charity provides a vitally important service for the community, helping women trapped in a cycle of reoffending.

“Its work is changing lives, putting people back on the right path and giving these women a brighter and more positive future.

“We are committed to investing in all London’s communities and making the capital a fairer and better place to live.”

Kate Paradine, Chief Executive Officer of Women In Prison, said:

“In the first year after leaving prison, women need a high level of support to address a range of challenges.

“Through our women’s centres and hubs we deliver a package of specialist individual support to provide a positive impact on women and their families.

“This funding will enable us to expand our services to reach more women across London.

“Investment in services like this is vital if the government is to achieve the aim of reducing the women’s prison population which is set out in its ‘Female Offenders Strategy.”

Offering alternative services to custody and specialist community-based support for women, WIP operates in all women’s prisons across England and runs three women’s centres in Manchester, London and Woking.

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.

The Trust has awarded around 7,900 grants totaling over £400 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.

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