What we will provide
Our vision is to utilise Number 3 to accommodate vulnerable single women leaving prison aged 18-35, offering them sanctuary and a safe place to start rebuilding their lives. YMCA Cheltenham in cooperation with The Nelson Trust (our referral pathway partner) intends to purchase and redevelop Number 3 to provide 4 x high-quality and discrete 1-bed studios to help young women leaving HMP Eastwood Park who do not have a safe or secure support network of their own to rely upon. With no one else to turn to we can, together, provide these young women with the help they need to restore their lives.
The Issues Facing Women Leaving Prison
In 2020 5,011 women were sent to prison. According to the campaign group Women In Prison, most women in prison in Britain are serving short sentences for non-violent offences, with many swept up into crime as a result of their own terrible experiences of poverty, trauma and abuse. Indeed, most women in prison are serving sentences of 12 months or less (according to the Prison Reform Trust) and almost half of these women have committed crimes to support somebody else’s drug use. According to the Government’s own Female Offender Strategy, 63% of women in prison are survivors of domestic abuse.
Women prison leavers can face several challenges that make recovery from prison life near impossible.
Some of the issues women leaving prison face include:
- Sex Trafficking
- Street Homelessness
- Domestic Violence
- Substance Abuse
- Forced Prostitution
- Suicide / Self Harm.
We intend to provide 24-7 support within a safe, protected and comfortable environment, blending the care and support we are known for at YMCA Cheltenham with the expertise and specialist guidance provided by The Nelson Trust. Evidence from The Nelson Trust shows that recovery is dramatically supported by an all-female approach. By supporting YMCA Cheltenham and The Nelson Trust you will be helping many young vulnerable women move on into a safe independent life of dignity going forward.
How you can help women leaving prison
With your support, we can offer a safe and welcoming environment, which will give vulnerable young women a fighting chance to turn their lives around.
Many of these women have children who are living with extended family, or in the care system who, without support may not have any other chance to be reconciled as a family.
Help us change lives. Help us restore potential where otherwise it may be lost. Help us help these young vulnerable women who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn.
What your donation can provide
£20: A welcome pack of toiletries
£50: Supported counselling for one week