Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping was on hand at The Changing Lives ‘Reach Out! Celebration’ Event 2015 to mark the achievements of nine young women aged 16-25 who have completed a course specially designed to help them plan how to change their lives.
Part of a national charity, the Changing Lives’ centre in Clarendon Street provides structured learning, group work and person-centred support to reduce the risk of sexual exploitation, substance misuse and offending.
Commissioner Tipping, who donated £20,000 to help fund the project, commented: “I was absolutely delighted to be able to take part in this event and see for myself the benefits that Changing Lives generates for local women, girls and our community.
“These young women have worked hard to create a better future for themselves by making lasting changes through learning skills and gaining the confidence they need to change direction. It’s important that we help people to take such life-changing steps which reduce the risks of them either becoming a victim of crime or committing an offence.”
Changing Lives reaches out to people experiencing problems that include homelessness and addiction, and its Women’s Services help vulnerable women and girls with a wide range of needs.
Ciara Smyth, Changing Lives Programme Manager, said: “We are always encouraged to see the changes that can be achieved by women who access support and are able to make positive changes in their lives. At events like these, we share these positive real life stories, that with the right support, at the right time, people can and do change their lives for the better. We are proud of the women we work with and are pleased that they have been able to find a way forward that will bring them happiness and fulfilment.”
Changing Lives provides a variety of support for women in the Criminal Justice System, which includes education, training and employment programmes in local prisons. They also run group work for those at risk of offending or sexual exploitation, and offer counselling and volunteering opportunities.
Changing Lives is the only national provider of women’s services working in some of the most deprived areas of England and Wales, It is supported by social enterprises which include charity shops, a furniture warehouse, a food re-distribution scheme and a property maintenance service. For more information, visit www.changing-lives.org.uk
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Monday 9th February 2015