Cash keeps more families together

Project worker Debbie Ellis, centre co-ordinator Charley Wilkinson and administrator Lisa Penton at Blackpool Women's Centre

Project worker Debbie Ellis, centre co-ordinator Charley Wilkinson and administrator Lisa Penton at Blackpool Women's Centre

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A VITAL resource for women in Blackpool is celebrating after receiving a one-off funding boost.

Blackpool Women’s Centre, based on Edward Street, will be able to help even more local women and address their offending, thanks to the £100,000 injection from the National Offender Management Service and the Corston Independent Funders Coalition.

The money is part of a national £3.2m package announced by the Ministry of Justice.

The funding will mean the centre can continue to provide a safe environment for women to get help and support to make changes in their lives – including drug and alcohol treatment.

And bosses hope they can expand services to help even more women.

Charley Wilkinson, centre coordinator, said with public sector spending cuts, funding was an issue of concern for all such organisations.

She said: “This is brilliant news and we are really pleased. It basically means it’s another 12 months of funding for us to continue the work we do with women.

“We’ve had 348 referrals since August when we first opened our doors and we have had really positive outcomes for a lot of women.

“What’s great is, many of the women we have helped are now helping to support others.”

The centre was officially opened in December.

Ms Wilkinson said with recent public spending cuts funding “is a concern for a lot of agencies.”

She added: “There is always the fear you won’t get funding, which might mean services have to change or even close. So we feel very fortunate.

“Obviously, we work very closely with the Ministry of Justice to do all we can to secure funding.

“We have lots of plans for the next year – including looking at the work we are doing, the services we are offering and seeing what services perhaps we can develop.

“We try to look at the woman holistically.

“The centre now has a clinical room so will be offering sexual health services as well.

“We are looking forward to another 12 months of work, another 12 months of helping local women. That’s what it’s all about, helping local women. And this funding will mean we can help more women.

“This is a valuable centre, because the support and empowerment we can help to give women saves money in the long-run – it helps prevent re-offending, which is one of our aims.

“It also helps keep families together, rather than children going into care.”