Visit to the Hope Street Project

Thursday 15th September saw a visit to the Hope Street project in Southampton following up on the very interesting talk we had at the club meeting on 11 July.

One Small Thing is the charity setting up Hope Street. which is a Southampton-based project which is hoped to become a blueprint for other areas of the country and a centre of excellence for seeking to improve the position of women and their children within the justice system. For more information on the charity and the project see www.onesmallthing.org.uk

82% of women sent to prison in England and Wales have not committed serious or violent crimes. 60% of women receiving short prison sentences are mothers with their children ending up in care and them losing their homes.

The vast majority of women on remand do not receive a prison sentence but during that period of time will lose the custody of their children. The aim of the Hope Street project is to provide accommodation and services to help women, and effectively their children, where they are enabled to rebuild their lives.

The project aims to work within the community and there is a cafe open to the public, and community rooms, again available for use by outside bodies as well as the project. Further into the development are the private areas which comprise accommodation for women and their children in shared flats with communal kitchens etc  as well as a large communal lounge area and shared kitchen, away from the flats, to allow family visits and less intrusive community living. Finally, there will be with office accommodation seminar accommodation and counselling rooms for One Small Thing and kindred charities.

The Club members who attended all found the trip very worthwhile, the building interesting, both architecturally and conceptually, and the project very impressive.

Thanks to Graham Topping for organising.

Paul Russell

For photos click here: Hope Street visit

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