Of 44 women working withWomenCentre:Managing a serious health condition 64%Finding a safer place to live 27%Living with childhood abuse 51%Didn’t ﬁnish their education 76%Recent experience of domestic violence 85%Fractured family (for those with young families) 66%Children have experienced abuse (for those with 55%children) a severe level of mental illnessLiving with 55%Living with some mental illness 91%History of drug or alcohol misuse 52%Victim of crime 41%Perpetrator of crimes 39%Worried by debt or lack of money 65%
Public service responsesto complex needs areeven more complicated
An alternative hypothesis - ‘complex needs’are not really so complicated...‘complex needs’ is code for real poverty - themultiple and reinforcing erosion of personal
WomenCentre’s response to1. Start with the whole woman - gendered and holistic2. Oﬀer a positive and comprehensive model of support - every woman is a one-stop-shop3. Build a bond of trust - create the means for woman to do real work together4. Be a new kind of community - women, working together, to improve lives and communities.
in other words... personalised support through collective action
Total impact• Typical time in intensive case work - over 1 year• Our sample focused on women who were in the middle of their intensive of work• 100% of women said life has improved since working with WomenCentre; 100% said WomenCentre helped
Transformational86% of women felt more positive about their own future. 93%said WomenCentre had helped them with their attitude to theirfuture. 74% of women said they felt their life was worthwhile,while 72% said they had positive dreams for the future, theseincluded:• 68% wanted to be a good mother• 68% wanted to be a good friend• 46% wanted to be a helpful neighbour• 55% wanted to help in the community as a volunteer• 6% wanted to play a bigger role in their faith community• 42% wanted to be a good employee• 24% wanted to run their own business
changed behaviour [for women offenders] 100%better able to manage their relationships [for victims of 78%domestic violence]need to use drugs & alcohol reduced 73%health improved 95%management of health improved 89%felt better 93%had improved education 40%managing money better 51%found a new place to live 29%housing had improved 50%helped to feel safer at home 64%children were safer [where abuse suspected] 43%feel safer in their neighbourhood 53%
Quotes - key themes• Supportive & responsive - “Very supportive, if you can’t get hold of anyone someone always calls you back quickly.”• Transformational - “It made my life worth living.”• Secure - “If I needed help or anyone to talk to there was always someone there to help and it’s also conﬁdential.”• Social - “It’s a safe place where women can come together to socialise and learn to promote their own well being.”
• WomenCentre builds a real community through female identity• is holistic, because its identity does not come through ‘a specialism’• avoids the “privileged irresponsibility” of high status professional roles• instead, it develops a new kind of professionalism, with• transformational leadership - forgiving, supportive, mobile - modelling its support to women
Success Factors• Stickability - no passing the buck, triage or segmentation• Neo-professionalism - trained, committed, staﬀ team• Relationship building - through facing urgent problems• Personalisation - using all of person’s real wealth• Positive - ﬁnding the key that’s right for that person• Pragmatic - adapting around what works• Coherent - faith in the possibility of renewal
WomenCentre helpswomen make it through the maze
Complex funding...• In 2009-10 turnover was just over £1,000,000• 41 diﬀerent funding streams• average size is £25,000• 22 distinct projects• 33 reporting systems• with an average length of funding of 18 months• at best only 1 in 3 funding bids are successful• 2011 saw a 41% cut in funding!