WomenCentre has developed a sophisticated and dynamic model of support. It integrates the best features of personalisation - supporting women to get their lives back on track; yet it works through collective action - using a mixture of peer support, volunteering and professional support.
WomenCentre started as women's health collective and it remains focused on the wellbeing of all women and their families. It is based in Halifax and works across Calderdale and Kirklees. Over time its model of working has developed. It works to strengthen the capacities of all local women - but it combines this approach with a focus on women with the most severe needs.
At the heart of the model is the relationship which forms between women, working together to:
It is particularly important that women are not asked to bounce around between services and professionals. Instead WomenCentre offers a coherent and supportive community of women who will work to resolve any and all problems - getting the right external support where that's necessary.
None of this is possible without building a bond of trust between women.
Instead of targeting support WomenCentre offers a coherent and dynamic model of support that enables women to get the right level of support for them:
Women are always seen as on a dynamic and personalised path to their own recovery, their own citizenship. Support does not make women dependent - instead the service models the kind of progress that WomenCentre knows is possible for all women - however bad things might be.
The publisher is The Centre for Welfare Reform.
WomenCentre Model © 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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Simon Duffy and Clare Hyde explain how WomenCentre achieves its astonishing outcomes and explore the difficulties faced by innovative organisations in the welfare system.
The WomenCentre offers an empowering, sophisticated and innovative model for meeting the needs of vulnerable women.
WomenCentre is one the most effective and innovative organisations in the UK - combining personalisation with community action.
WomenCentre is a pioneering social innovation based in Halifax. Local women have come together to support those of them who face the gravest difficulties.