Commissioner Celebrates Cumbria’s Women Centre Network
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall has enabled countywide support for all women across Cumbria and is marking the success of the Cumbria Women Centre’s network at Gateway for Women, Carlisle on 3 March at 3pm.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall comments: “When I came into post in 2016 I visited the women’s centre in Barrow ‘Women’s Community Matters’ and saw first-hand the exceptional support services available to women. I quickly realised there was a real need for a safe place for all vulnerable people, particularly for women who often also have dependent children, to be available across the county.
“To prevent the service from being a postcode lottery, we have used the expertise and successful model of ‘Women Community Matters’ and over time, worked with other partners, to replicate similar centres in the north and the west of the county to provide access to a range of support services, peer support and one-to-one help.
“A consistent service throughout Cumbria was desperately needed and all three women’s centres – Women Out West, Gateway for Women (in the north) and Women Community Matters are making big differences to women and the communities they live in, thanks to the inspirational leaders and their teams.
“Today is about celebrating the Cumbria Women’s Centres and their incredibly dedicated teams, many of whom are volunteers, across our county. We have developed a thriving network of centres where women can have a single point of access to support services when they really need it.
“Any woman can access the centres and receive wrap around support on a drop-in basis regardless of their circumstances, where they live, age, sexual orientation and background.
“The woman centre’s provide vital support to vulnerable women at risk of offending, who may if unsupported, be on the verge of entering the criminal justice system. Each of the centres have a range of additional courses, support groups and activities, and also support women to access other services and specialist help when needed.
Superintendent Sarah Jackson said: “The women’s centres are a great advocacy service which support women to achieve their goals.
“The help and support they provide women are invaluable, along with the practical advice they provide, including connecting women with services which can have a positive impact on their lives.”
Gateway for Women comment: “We are delighted to host this event that recognises the importance of having Women’s Centre’s available countywide. Since opening in October 2017, we have seen increasing numbers of women needing and accessing support with a multitude of needs.
“The feedback from our clients has been extremely positive and many have commented that they were unaware of the support available and without the single point of access through the Women’s Centre, they would have continued to struggle without the support they so greatly needed.”
One woman who recently used the services commented: “I would not be here without the support of the compassionate team at Gateway 4 Women. My confidence has grown and I have started to feel better about me. I am not alone anymore.”
A woman from ‘Women Community Matters’ comments: “I truly believe that if I hadn’t been told to come here, I wouldn’t be here to tell my story. Although I feel much better than I was before visiting, I know that if I need help again, the centre will always be there for me. To say thank you for everything, I now volunteer at the centre. It has given me a life, not merely an existence.”