Help Anawim celebrate 30yrs

Help Anawim celebrate 30yrs
Birmingham-based charity, Anawim, is celebrating 30 years of helping vulnerable women across the city and needs support to raise funds for its vital work. Anawim helps women who are damaged by destructive experiences to turn their lives around and face the future with hope and courage. It equips them with skills and confidence to change their lives for the better.

It offers specialist support services to women caught up in the criminal justice system, reducing their chances of reoffending and helping them learn the skills they need to make changes. By offering alternatives to custody, training courses, counselling and advice, Anawim reduces the chances of the women reoffending by up to 94%.

Anawim is holding a series of events throughout the year to celebrate its 30th birthday, culminating in the opening of a brand new support facility with crisis accommodation in December, funded by local trust, The Jabbs Foundation. This will mean it is the only women’s centre in the country with supported accommodation and support services in one place.

As part of their birthday celebrations, they are holding an evening reception with a silent auction to help raise funds for their life saving work. They are calling on local businesses to donate prizes for the auction to help make the event a great success. Donations so far include spa days, massages, hairdressing, concert with CBSO, and a tour of the House of Lords.

They are also asking for donations, both financial and practical, for the new crisis accommodation, which will offer short-term accommodation to women released from prison, drop-in activities and a response service offering help as needs arise, including rape and sexual violence. Often, women arrive with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Anawim will provide them with toiletries, basic clothing and other essential items to help them back on their feet, as well as offering round-the-clock support to help the women back into the community.

They are also offering their facilities and expertise to schools in the area, to help with their pastoral work with families. In October, they will hold an event for schools to hear about how they can partner with Anawim to support children and young people.

Anawim’s wide ranging services grew from humble origins, as two sisters from Our Lady of Charity moved to Balsall Health in 1986 to befriend and support women. Partnering with Father Hudson’s Care and local churches, the sisters supported women in court, visited them in hospital and in prison and walked the streets at night to reach out to those who needed help.

In the early ‘90s, they opened a safe house for women and their children, and they launched the Women’s Development Centre to improve literacy and other vital skills that the women missed out on through their chaotic home lives.

They visited Brockhill Prison weekly, helping women to prepare for their release. Here they realised that short sentences for women are detrimental, with more than 50% reoffending. To combat this, they developed alternatives to custody, working with magistrates, judges and probation staff to offer work placements, rehabilitation and mental health support. These were so successful that the re-offending rate for women attending Anawim dropped to between three and six percent.

Based on this success, more specialist services developed including domestic violence advice, family support, early interventions and prison outreach. The new accommodation is another step to improving the lives of vulnerable women across the city.

Anawim continues to develop new ways to support women who need them. They are always looking for volunteers and donations to help them in their mission. If you would like to get involved by volunteering, donating items for the crisis accommodation, offering prizes for their auction or through financial support, please Or visit their website, to learn more.

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