Innovative women’s project receives cash boost

The Wonder + Project, which aims to keep vulnerable women out of the criminal justice system, has been given a welcome cash boost to help further develop its vital work in Norfolk. St Giles is delighted to receive an award of £44K from Nationwide Building Society to support the project.

The project provides holistic care and support for women in the community who are involved in or at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system. St Giles caseworkers address underlying issues which are holding the women back from progressing and moving forward with their lives.

The initiative has already received £180K of funding from the OPCCN (Office Of The Police & Crime Commissioner for Norfolk) and Norfolk County Council Public Health.

St Giles case worker Clare Johns said:

“We listen to our clients and help them piece their lives back together.  Many of the women we support have undergone real trauma, but we are there to help them move on, boost their skills and find employment.

“We work together to draw up plans to help them move forward and tackle issues they’re facing around debt. We also offer up coping strategies as often they are dealing with overwhelming amounts of stress.”

Charlotte, a former Wonder + client, has now turned her life around and is now employed by St Giles and supporting other women who need it. She has since gone on complete the St Giles Learning to Advise course, through another St Giles initiative, The East of England Peer Hub.

“Thanks to Wonder+, I feel optimistic and better able to deal with daily life. The compassion they showed me made me believe in myself again and I owe so much to WONDER+ and the amazing work they do. I now have the best tools to go on and help others, I also have the best support network I have ever had. Thanks to them I can now give back and I can honestly say that I don’t even class my old life as my own anymore.”

Stacey Kemp, Senior Branch Manager, Nationwide Building Society, said:

“Helping local communities is at the heart of what it means to be building a society for Nationwide. Thanks to our Community Grants Programme, we are so thrilled to be able award a £44k grant to St. Giles. Local charities have had a tough couple of years and it’s important we try and support and help them continue their valuable work.”

St Giles has a team of dedicated support workers who meet with the women to assess their needs, put in place a support plan and facilitate access to services.

Women can also self-refer to the project. Among the project referrals, nearly 100 have been self-referrals by women who have heard about the project through housing providers, job centres or foodbanks.

To read more about Charlotte’s story, visit: Charlotte’s story – St Giles (stgilestrust.org.uk)

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