We came together to reflect on a difficult year, to appreciate the hard work of those who strive for a better society for women and girls and to look to the future at what we all can do to better respond to the needs of women and girls.
We were welcomed by Christine Losecaat, Chair of Advance.
Our Keynote Speaker, Diana Luchford, CEO, MOPAC spoke of the link between women’s offending behaviour and their experience of domestic abuse, the importance of women only, safe spaces and the Mayor’s vision and dedication in improving outcomes for women in contact with the criminal justice system.
Advance CEO, Niki Scordi hosted a conversation with women survivors. They spoke about their experiences of abuse and trauma, and how support within the community impacted their journey and led them to supporting other women. They discussed the importance of safe spaces for young women in the community to address their particular needs.
Members from our partner organisation, Clean Break performed extracts from a piece of work, which invited women from 12 prisons in England and Wales to submit creative writing pieces about prison life, prison during covid-19, women’s voices and hope. A panel reflecting Clean Break’s community then selected a range of pieces which formed an e-book, titled Voices from Prison.
About Clean Break
Clean Break is a women’s theatre company, founded in 1979 by two women in prison who believed in the power of theatre to transform lives. Our vision is of a society where women can realise their full potential, free from criminalisation.
We pursue this vision by producing ground-breaking theatre which puts women’s voices at its heart and creates lasting change by challenging injustice in and beyond the criminal justice system.
Through theatre workshops and projects in prisons and in the community, which build confidence, resilience and wellbeing, we transform the lives of women who are caught up in the criminal justice system, or at risk of entering it.
Advance’s vision is a world in which women and children lead safe, violence-free and equal lives, so that they can flourish and actively contribute to society. The charity works with women who experience domestic abuse to be safe and lead the lives they choose, and women who have committed crime or are at risk of offending to break the cycle.
As well as providing direct support, Advance works in a coordinated community response with statutory services, government agencies and other women’s charities to ensure a holistic approach to the needs of women and girls. Find out more
About Advance Women’s Centres
Advance women centres are safe women-only spaces where women feel they have some where to go, where they can open up and be themselves; somewhere they can learn, laugh and heal. Our service aims to foster an environment of collaboration, creativity and collective empowerment.
As Rachel, a woman with lived experience, said ‘Everyone needs a place to go like this’ where women can:
- meet our keyworkers for one-to-one support
- join in group activities, including workshops and courses
- enjoy drop-in coffee mornings and open days
- meet other women with shared experiences
No-one should be left behind. Women demand better.