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Organisation: Anawim Women Working Together

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Anawim Women Working Together

Anawim support women over 18 who are involved in and around prostitution, offending behaviour, drug abuse, and sexual exploitation to move their lives forward.


Anawim Women Working Together was setup as a project in 1986 by Our Lady of Charity. They were later joined by Father Hudson Society who offered their expertise including the HR function, together supporting the Anawim Project Director in expanding the service. In April 2015 Anawim became its own charity (1159706).

What we do:
The staff at Anawim work very hard to give the best possible support to vulnerable chaotic women from Birmingham. Working to a very tight budget we offer a range of services at our holistic ‘one stop shop’ centre in Balsall Heath Birmingham.
We support women undertaking their community sentences as alternatives to custody and women who attend voluntarily who are referred from many different sources and through our outreach work into the prisons, hostels and on the street at night. We employ one to one interventions (including counselling), a wide range of courses (academic to practical training and therapeutic) and refer internally to specialised support services including Money Advice and the Domestic Violence. We work holistically in many aspects of the women's lives extending to their families and the wider community.

Aims:
• To help and support women over 18 who are involved in and around prostitution, offending behaviour, drug abuse, and sexual exploitation to move their lives forward.
• To provide a viable alternative to custody.
• To increase self-worth and recognise potential & offer hope.
• To keep families together where appropriate.
• To empower each woman and child towards independence, regular employment and dignity.
• To raise women’s self-awareness, trust and responsibility towards herself & her children
• To ensure the wider community are better informed about issues affecting the client group.
Objectives
• By providing a full timetable of courses and activities that raise self-esteem, confidence, skills, awareness and social responsibility.
• By providing good quality, professional counselling.
• By providing childcare at the centre with developmental checks, parenting assistance and support, plus educational, fun trips and outings.
• By providing space at the centre for women to drop in when needed to receive support, clothes, food, and use of the phone and Internet.
• By providing advocacy for the women and their children with social care and health, education, work providers and the criminal justice system and the wider community.
• By forming and maintaining partnerships with other statutory and voluntary sector agencies in order to provide a holistic package to the women.
• By providing assistance and support to women out on the street at night, in prison, at hostels, at court and in the bail hostel in a flexible way, responding where and when it is needed.

We include our clients in the development of the service by responding to need. Holding focus groups and thoroughly analysing feedback and suggestions, giving our clients a voice.

Between April 2015 and March 2016 653 women were referred to our centre. Along with the new clients we continued to support 203 existing clients.

Pathways Covered

Mental and physical health

Overview

Our Mental Health Project started in 2012 in conjunction with Staffordshire and West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company and the Department of Health. This was in response to the large number of women in the Criminal Justice System suffering from mental health issues that included Personality Disorder, Bi-Polar Disorder, Schizophrenia and severe anxiety and or/ depression. At Anawim we recognise the direct link between a woman’s experience of trauma in her childhood or adult life (be it from physical/ emotional/ sexual abuse/neglect) and her experiences of mental health issues. Often women experience very vivid and terrifying flashbacks, they may experience debilitating panic attacks or they may struggle in their relationships with others because of their past experiences. Therefore our Mental Health Team aims to work holistically with any client referred in to the service. We can support women at meetings with their local Community Mental Health Team, advocate on their behalf at GP appointments, provide emotional one to one support, conduct home visits to those women who (due to their mental health) are terrified of leaving their front door, provide support at medical assessments and provide practical support in gaining an understanding of their mental health diagnosis/ medication.

What we do

TREM

Trauma, Recovery and Empowerment is a step-by-step recovery group to help women who have experienced trauma.

It is often found that women who have experienced trauma:

  • Struggle with psychological, emotional and physical symptoms related to their experiences.
  • Use dysfunctional behaviours as a way of coping with trauma as they were not given the opportunities to develop helpful coping skills.
  • Struggle with difficult relationships, especially those with their family, their connection to their community and with themselves.
  • Experience powerlessness and feel unable to advocate for themselves.

The TREM group focuses on addressing these issues, helping with:

  • Identifying and understanding the psychological, emotional and physical symptoms and how they are related to their experiences.
  • Appreciating the problem-solving attempts locked and hidden in certain repetitive, unhelpful patterns and developing new skills and coping strategies.
  • Understanding and addressing misconceptions and misperceptions of the self, the body and sexuality.
  • Reflecting on healthy relationships, focusing on boundaries and communication.
  • Creating a healing community by providing a healing group.
  • Providing an opportunity for women to feel competence and empowerment, with an ability to trust their own perceptions.

TREM is an intensive 20 week course covering the following topics:

1. Introductory Session
2. What do you know and how do you feel about your body?
3. Physical and emotional boundaries
4. Self-esteem and self-soothing
5. Intimacy and trust
6. Sexuality and sex with a partner
7. Gaining an understanding of trauma
8. The body remembers what the mind forgets
9. Physical and sexual abuse
10. Emotional abuse
11. Institutional abuse
12. Abuse and psychological or emotional symptoms
13. Trauma and addictive or compulsive behaviour & self-destructive behaviours
14. Abuse and relationships
15. Family life, myths and distortions
16. Decision making and communication
17. Blame, acceptance and forgiveness
18. Feeling out of control
19. Personal healing & truth and myths about abuse
20. What it means to be a woman & closing rituals

The course is facilitated by a Clinical Psychologist, Mental Health Probation Officer and an Anawim Mental Health Support Worker.

How to access

Balsall Heath centre
228 Mary Street, Balsall Heath
Birmingham B12 9RJ
Email: referrals@anawim.co.uk
Tel: 0121 440 5296

Please send any non casework related queries to admin@anawim.co.uk

Domestic Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Sex Work

Overview

Anawim is a Women's Centre based in Birmingham that provides a holistic service to women across the city.

What we do

Over the past year counselling at Anawim has continued to grow. For most of the year the counselling team consisted of four part time workers, who saw two to three women a week, and Sr. Enda who works four days a week, counselling twelve to fifteen women. In October we were joined by another trained counsellor, and a level 5 student of Therapeutic Counselling, both of whom see two women each week. In the past twelve months we have been able to offer 526 counselling sessions to 42 clients in our centre at Anawim. Despite this we have a considerable number on our waiting list.

While the problems which the women present continue to be domestic and sexual abuse, one element of this abuse that we are continually made aware of are the lasting consequences; even decades later women are struggling to come to terms with the experience. Our work in counselling is to help them in this struggle. Confirmation that our efforts have had positive impact is apparent by some of the comments from the women themselves when evaluating their counselling.

“It has helped me immensely and helped my self-confidence to grow”

“I have found counselling eye opening. I have really felt a connection with the counsellor and learned so much about myself. Most important, the counsellor understands me.”

"Counselling has helped me to work through all the above (referring to confidence, relationships, anxiety, depression etc.). I am almost completely a new person.”

“Since the beginning of counselling, it has been a journey of discovery. Counsellors are, invaluable as people and can heal, enhance and save many lives, also help people to move on.”

“Undiscovered, or buried feelings, are brought to the surface and people with certain addictions, or mental health issues, can benefit greatly, from being able to express painful feelings, to a person who is totally neutral, non-biased, or judgmental but ask the right questions tactfully and with compassion and empathy.”

“I have grown so much over the months of counselling; I have had and would like to be a counsellor myself, as I have had much life experience, in helping others through my own suffering.

It also helps, if you relate well to the person, who is counselling you, which I do.”

Another woman who has had extensive support said she has since broken off contact with manipulative people, Let go of friends who have abused her, is now Eating more healthy and self-harming less. She has started indoor climbing and is no longer home alone 24/7 she has been able to move from area she grew up in, away from harmful people.

Thank you to our one to one counselling volunteers that dedicate their time to support our counselling clients

How to access

Balsall Heath centre
228 Mary Street, Balsall Heath
Birmingham B12 9RJ
Email: referrals@anawim.co.uk
Tel: 0121 440 5296

Children and families

Overview

Our family Support service works with and empowers women to be the best parent they can be

What we do

The support we offer is diverse and can include the following:

  • Providing for a new baby
  • Antenatal support
  • New baby classes and advice
  • Creche sessions
  • Stay & Play
  • Mother and Baby coffee mornings
  • Parenting classes
  • Safeguarding advice
  • Advocacy at all multi agency meetings
  • Court and child protection reports
  • Support plans to address an women and her family’s needs
  • Emotional support with women who have had their children removed
  • Support and action plans for women who are looking to have their children returned.
  • Support around increasing confidence in parenting
  • Outings and events
  • Holiday activities
  • Donations of childrens clothing and toys
  • Home Visits
  • Mentoring to new moms and those having their children returned
  • Referrals to other organisations where needed

We do all of the above alongside all the general support offered by Anawim.

Contact Centre

We offer a space in the Creche that can accommodate contact sessions for mothers who are currently apart from their children. The families have access to a child friendly environment as well as the kitchen area to prepare bottles or food. This can be arranged through our Family Support Worker

How to access

Balsall Heath centre
228 Mary Street, Balsall Heath
Birmingham B12 9RJ
Email: referrals@anawim.co.uk
Tel: 0121 440 5296

Please send any non casework related queries to admin@anawim.co.uk

Finance, benefit and debt

Overview

Money Advice


We are a new project within Anawim, being set-up by a Specialist Money Adviser in 2014 - our team has very recently expanded to include a Trainee Money Adviser and 2 Volunteers and we draw on Central staff for management and for support with monitoring and evaluation.

What we do

We are all working to develop a well-resourced office-base in what used to house a crèche. Anawim Support workers refer clients to our Specialist Money Advice Service – this continues Anawim’s holistic One Stop Shop approach.

We recognise the impact that our clients’ complex needs have on their financial capability. The vast majority of women who attend Anawim have financial difficulties and are ill-equipped to deal with their financial affairs effectively. They often come to us with no income and nowhere to live. Many are under great pressure from creditors and utility companies. Many are reliant on welfare benefits, at least when they begin their journey with us, and their demographic is one of the hardest hit by the effects of Welfare Reform. The impact of government spending cuts is also localised with Birmingham City Council cutting its expenditure considerably harder than the national average further compounding the layers of inequality felt by our women and their families.

We work in partnership with other agencies such as Shelter, Crisis, Midland Heart and the Re-unite project to create bespoke pathways for our clients, offering them practical strategies to tackle financial pressures. We aim to offer an individual, tailored solution to each woman’s financial problems.

We are currently able to provide a variety of the following services to women, dependent on their initial and ongoing needs:-

  • Good quality, professional advice by an accredited adviser
  • Individual Face-to-face appointments at the centre
  • 3-way appointments with Support Workers
  • Telephone Advice
  • Home visits
  • Benefit checks and calculations
  • Advice on Income Maximisation
  • Money Mentoring
  • Support plans to address future financial needs
  • Support around increasing confidence in money management
  • Negotiation with creditors and landlords
  • Back to work advice
  • Self-employment advice
  • Debt advice
  • Debt Relief Orders
  • Advocacy and Representation at The County Court on Debt and Money-Related Re-possession issues
  • Advocacy and Representation at Disability Tribunals
  • Advocacy at multi agency meetings
  • Attendance with clients at Work Capability Assessments and Disability Medicals
  • Referrals to external organisations where needed
  • Staff Training

Going forward

We aim to continue our ambitious programme, intending to remain at the forefront of proposed changes and expanding our service to all women at their point of entry to Anawim. We aim to evolve the most complete service to our clients empowering our women to manage their family’s finances with confidence.

How to access

Balsall Heath centre
228 Mary Street, Balsall Heath
Birmingham B12 9RJ
Email: referrals@anawim.co.uk
Tel: 0121 440 5296

Please send any non casework related queries to admin@anawim.co.uk

Alcohol

Overview

Rehabilitation Services

Anawim works with the Probation Service to offer alternatives to custody and additional rehabilitation services for women involved in the criminal justice system. Many women who come before the courts have multiple needs associated with their offending behaviour which, if left unmet, are likely to contribute to offending behaviour in the future. The objective of Anawim's work within the criminal justice system is to enable women to address these needs in order to avoid re-offending and lead more productive lives for themselves, their families and the wider community.

What we do

The Method - Case Management and Outcomes Star

Our case management system provides for structured intervention with clear timescales, procedures and objectives. All women referred to Anawim, whether on an Order or not, receive a full assessment using Outcomes Star, which measures their needs across ten areas (such as accommodation, finance, health)on a scale of 1 - 10. The woman works with her caseworker to develop an action plan designed to address the needs identified, which in turn results in a programme of interventions focussed on achieving improvements and therefore reducing the risk of reoffending.

Interventions include:

  • Financial and debt advice
  • Drug and alcohol support from support organisations working on site, such as the A-Team & Addaction
  • Counselling from our in-house counselling service
  • Accommodation advice from Sifa Resettlement and the Neighbourhood office
  • Health
  • One to one support from case workers as and when required
  • Support with family issues – from our family support team
  • Advocacy at appointments
  • Courses – including academic courses, arts and self-esteem.
  • Employment support

Outcomes

The success of the action plan is measured during regular reviews. All outcomes are logged, so that any progress that a woman achieves, or that is achieved by the service as whole, is monitored and assessed on an on-going basis, ensuring that the service is transparent and accountable.

The progress of all women in the criminal justice system is assessed in relation to the nine criminal justice pathways (accommodation, employment, finance and debt, drugs and alcohol, children and families, health, attitudes and behaviour, abuse and prostitution). Regular reports are submitted to ensure that targets are being achieved.

The case management system provides a clear beginning, middle and end point to a woman's involvement with Anawim, always working towards independence. However, the fact that the Centre is here to support any of the women who encounter a crisis or need additional advice is crucial to our success in diverting women away from crime and negative lifestyles on an enduring basis.

We are encouraged that current indicators suggest that our approach is successful in reducing reoffending rates. For more detailed information about Anawim's model please download Making the Case.

How to access

Balsall Heath centre
228 Mary Street, Balsall Heath
Birmingham B12 9RJ
Email: referrals@anawim.co.uk
Tel: 0121 440 5296

Drugs

Overview

Rehabilitation Services
Anawim works with the Probation Service to offer alternatives to custody and additional rehabilitation services for women involved in the criminal justice system. Many women who come before the courts have multiple needs associated with their offending behaviour which, if left unmet, are likely to contribute to offending behaviour in the future. The objective of Anawim's work within the criminal justice system is to enable women to address these needs in order to avoid re-offending and lead more productive lives for themselves, their families and the wider community.

What we do

Community Payback

Since 2007 Anawim has provided support services to women serving Community Payback orders. Currently, women deemed suitable by the Probation Service have the option of spending 20% of their work hours at Anawim to focus of education, training and employment, in order to provide them with the tools to find and sustain employment.

Rehabilitation Activity Requirement

Since 2009 Anawim has been approved to provide Specified Activity Orders for women offenders, this year 2015, this became Rehabilitation Activity Requirements, which offer the courts an alternative to custody for women with more serious offending histories than those undertaking Community Payback. These women often have multiple needs contributing to high reoffending risk and therefore require interventions across range of areas to reduce the risk of reoffending.

The Method - Case Management and Outcomes Star

Our case management system provides for structured intervention with clear timescales, procedures and objectives. All women referred to Anawim, whether on an Order or not, receive a full assessment using Outcomes Star, which measures their needs across ten areas (such as accommodation, finance, health)on a scale of 1 - 10. The woman works with her caseworker to develop an action plan designed to address the needs identified, which in turn results in a programme of interventions focussed on achieving improvements and therefore reducing the risk of reoffending.

Interventions include:

  • Financial and debt advice
  • Drug and alcohol support from support organisations working on site, such as the A-Team & Addaction
  • Counselling from our in-house counselling service
  • Accommodation advice from Sifa Resettlement and the Neighbourhood office
  • Health
  • One to one support from case workers as and when required
  • Support with family issues – from our family support team
  • Advocacy at appointments
  • Courses – including academic courses, arts and self-esteem.
  • Employment support

Outcomes

The success of the action plan is measured during regular reviews. All outcomes are logged, so that any progress that a woman achieves, or that is achieved by the service as whole, is monitored and assessed on an on-going basis, ensuring that the service is transparent and accountable.

The progress of all women in the criminal justice system is assessed in relation to the nine criminal justice pathways (accommodation, employment, finance and debt, drugs and alcohol, children and families, health, attitudes and behaviour, abuse and prostitution). Regular reports are submitted to ensure that targets are being achieved.

The case management system provides a clear beginning, middle and end point to a woman's involvement with Anawim, always working towards independence. However, the fact that the Centre is here to support any of the women who encounter a crisis or need additional advice is crucial to our success in diverting women away from crime and negative lifestyles on an enduring basis.

We are encouraged that current indicators suggest that our approach is successful in reducing reoffending rates. For more detailed information about Anawim's model please download Making the Case.

How to access

Balsall Heath centre
228 Mary Street, Balsall Heath
Birmingham B12 9RJ
Email: referrals@anawim.co.uk
Tel: 0121 440 5296

Attitudes, thinking and behaviour

Overview

Mental Health Alternatives & Early Interventions
We are a new project within Anawim. We aim to support women who may have offended at a low level and those vulnerable to crime by providing early intervention. We are linked in with the liaison and diversion pilot in custody, who are identifying alternatives to custody and will assist in getting women the treatment they require to be able to move forward productively. We achieve this by assessing individuals and diverting them into support services that cater to their individual needs such as mental health intervention, debt and benefit support, long term key working at our centre and identifying other community support.

We are also supporting West Midlands Police with the Community Resolutions and Conditional Cautioning. Which women committing low level crime, would be given an alternative to receiving a fine, caution or court appearance. Our team consists of two caseworkers and a coordinator.

How to access

Balsall Heath centre
228 Mary Street, Balsall Heath
Birmingham B12 9RJ
Email: referrals@anawim.co.uk
Tel: 0121 440 5296

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