Kate Ferguson's Recent Activity
Alana House opened in April 2010 following the Corston Report, which examined the problems of female offending. The project aims to empower women to avoid behaviour likely to lead to criminal offending and so reduce the number of women in custody. Last year, over 300 women sought help from the project. Higher referral rates continue to show a rising level of local need for the service.
Alana House is the only project of its kind in Reading, and fills a significant gap in services. Other statutory and voluntary groups that provide these services are often uncoordinated and in different locations. For women with chaotic lifestyles, this makes it difficult to get help. Alana House is a ‘one-stop-shop’ where women can get the majority of the help they need in one place, increasing the likelihood that woman will be able to address their needs and become independent women making a valuable contribution to society.
These sessions will allow the women to address their personal issues such as drugs and alcohol addiction, sex working, domestic violence, lack of education, training and employment, homelessness, and support them and their families, and improve their life chances. The Support Worker will produce an individual plan for each woman who will also benefit from specialist agencies including the Probation Service. Included in these sessions will be support, guidance and advice on budgeting and debt management, benefit applications, housing advice, tenancy issues and resettlement, personal development, education and employment. The aims of these support sessions are to reduce the women’s chaotic lifestyles and improve each woman’s independence and economic situation."
Reply To: Women, homelessness and the criminal justice system