We work closely with women across the criminal justice system – from those recently released from prison to women who are still serving a sentence and those who have offended for the first time.
Our support aims to deter women from reoffending or breaking conditions of their license or probation, along with improving their mental health and giving them more opportunities for the future.
Leaving prison can be incredibly distressing for those with little or no support in the community, or those who have financial difficulties and a range of other complex needs. But our open-door policy enables us to engage with women and break down barriers so they have someone to turn to for advice. If you’re on license or have a community sentence, we can work alongside your probation officer around the details of your support plan. If you are coming to us from the courts or prison service, we can support you to increase your confidence and self-esteem, as well as learn new skills that can help you to find a job. We want to equip you with everything you need to become more independent, make more informed choices and have a better chance of a brighter future.
How we can help
We have various support projects, which include Prison In-reach and Enrichment work at HMP Foston Hall and HMP Drake Hall as well as our onsite accommodation Dawn House for those newly released from prison, and early intervention schemes. Find out more below.
The overall impact of our services helps us to develop women’s life skills, enabling them to better cope with challenging situations in the future, understand how to navigate housing and benefits systems and learn ways to manage their mental health and addictions to substances. This can all reduce their risk of reoffending and the likelihood of them going back to prison.
At Dawn House, Anawim provides a unique style of accommodation for women who have recently left prison and are transitioning back into the community.
Women stay for between six and nine months, or longer if needed, until they are ready and equipped to move into a new safe home in the community.
We help develop confidence and skills in everyone who stays in Dawn House through training and support, so they can become more independent and work towards getting a job. Former residents have gone on to work in our centre, become peer mentors and even co-deliver therapeutic courses.
Enabling women to progress and feel less isolated and marginalised is extremely important to the Dawn House team, because without a stable place to live, it’s harder for women to find work, engage in training, re-establish contact with their children and families, or integrate successfully into the community.
Even after leaving Dawn House, the support from our team doesn’t end. We’re here as long as women need us, to enable them to thrive independently in their own home. We can also help further by offering furniture and other household donations from our supporters as they get started in their own place.
Knowing that this step of moving-on can be incredibly overwhelming for our women, we encourage self-care, mindfulness and provide ideas and tips around how to manage any emotions or triggers which are likely to arise. We are also at-hand to help if they find it difficult to adjust.
“If I could sum up Dawn House in one word it would be safe. Anawim gave me the confidence to do many things like get a cleaning job and branch out on my own with my own accommodation so I can have my own piece of security and independence. Dawn House has helped me build friendships and trust other human beings again. I will be forever grateful for the time I spent here. It will forever be a blessing.” – Linda*
*Name changed for confidentiality
Project New Chance is one of our early intervention schemes that helps to divert first-time and low-level offenders away from prison and reduce their risk of reoffending.
Working in partnership with West Midlands Police and the Crime Commissioner, women are referred to us if they have received a conditional caution, conditional discharge or community resolution.
Our caseworkers are able to focus on the deeper, complex issues and build a relationship with each woman as she engages in our services and gets support for everything from housing to mental health, substance and alcohol misuse, domestic violence, sexual trauma and financial issues.
“For some of our residents life will always present challenges, however seeing our women grow in confidence and believing that there can be a life after prison is inspiring. Our service gives women the right tools to rise to those challenges and overcome them.” – Anawim case worker
Employability Skills Courses and Opportunities
We are proactive in encouraging women to take part in courses and make the most of opportunities at Anawim that can improve their work skills and chances of finding a job.
Anawim’s courses include everything from improving confidence and self-esteem, to budgeting and managing finances and emotional resilience training workshops.
We also have work placements at our centres that give women the chance to build up experience towards a career in office work, events, counselling and much more.
We are keen to ensure that women who have a history of offending behaviour and a criminal record are aware of their options and feel confident to re-enter into employment, education or volunteering, so we support each woman to understand the conditions of her record and the opportunities that are available to her.
Our Prison In-reach Caseworkers build relationships with women in HMP Drake Hall and HMP Foston Hall every week with confidential and non-judgmental advice. They then continue to support them after their release.
Our Enrichment Workers in the CAMEO unit at HMP Foston Hall provide therapeutic activities in the evenings and at weekends, when women are most vulnerable after having worked through deep trauma. This work is significantly reducing incidents of self-harm within prison. For women with personality disorders, understanding how mental health contributes to offending behaviour, and supporting them with their challenges in prison. This is one part of the mental health services that we provide.