Brighter Futures is sad to announce the closure of Chepstow House, its service providing specialist help and support to women at risk of offending. The closure is taking place because of the withdrawal of funding from the Safer City Partnership Board of Stoke on Trent City Council.
Brighter Futures set up Chepstow House in 2010, following a successful £1.3 million bid to the Ministry of Justice to set up a women’s ‘One Stop Shop’. The service, delivered in partnership with several other local support agencies, provides a safe place for women to go and get help with problems, such as housing, relationships -including parenting and domestic violence, wellbeing – including mental health, and substance misuse and poverty – including welfare rights and unemployment.
Providing such a wide range of services under one roof has made it possible for vulnerable women to get help where they wouldn’t have done previously. This has enabled women to deal with multiple challenges at the same time and, in many cases, avoid problems escalating to a point at which offending becomes highly likely. In the last 12 months, support staff have seen an increase in women presenting as homeless and more women fleeing abusive relationships.