Women at the Centre

Authors: Simon Duffy and Clare Hyde

The authors explore the astonishingly positive work of WomenCentre in tackling crime, domestic violence, mental illness and well-being for women and their families. The book describes the innovative approach taken by WomenCentre and sets out the results of research into its impact for women with the most complex needs.

Women at the Centre helps us to understand the tremendous difficulties facing the lives of many women and children in modern Britain:

  • Poverty and the many traps built into the welfare system
  • The complacency and limited focus of many public services
  • The failure to address on-going issues of equality and power

WomenCentre helps women tackle these problems. It combines personalisation and collective community action to deliver some of the most powerful outcomes for women, families and the whole community:

  • Slashes reoffending rates to less than 5%
  • Helps women escape dependency on drugs and alcohol
  • Ensures the safety of women and children from violence and abuse
  • Supports women to transforms their own mental and physical health
  • Gets women learning, volunteering and moving out of poverty

Women at the Centre also explores the challenges faced by any innovative organisation. Government rhetoric suggests we are moving into a time where there might be real interest in local communities, the positive role of civil society and the value of social innovations. But the reality is the reverse. Even as this book was going to print WomenCentre faced a 41% cut in funding - from an already low level.

Women at the Centre describes the way in which the strength of local communities is being undermined - not by local government - but by centralised systems that are insensitive to the needs and values of local leaders.

A short summary of the report is available to read below:


The publisher is The Centre for Welfare Reform.

Women at the Centre © Simon Duffy and Clare Hyde 2011.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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