One Small Thing, a charity dedicated to redesigning the justice system for women and their children, has received a social investment loan of £380k from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC).
The loan, from SASC’s Community Investment Fund, is enabling the charity to develop five self-contained flats in Southampton, to provide the first move on accommodation for women from One Small Thing’s pioneering Hope Street project, plus a large restorative outdoor space. The charity will also provide education, work activities, training opportunities and trauma informed support for women who enter the justice system.
One Small Thing, founded and led by prison philanthropist Lady Edwina Grosvenor[i], is currently building Hope Street, a purpose-built residential community across Hampshire to provide support services to women in a holistic environment conducive to healing trauma as well as sustaining long term positive change.
Hope Street will enable women to meet the requirements of their community sentence in a safe and nurturing environment, where their children can live with them and they can receive the therapy, treatment and support they need.
The Hope Street Hub – due to complete in Spring 2023 – supports the thinking behind the 2018 Female Offender Strategy[ii], which has a strong focus on community-based solutions.
The number of women sent to prison is disproportionately high for minor offences: only one in five women will have committed a violent offence compared to one in three in the general prison population[iii].
Most women in prison have experienced trauma in their lives: seven in ten have suffered domestic violence and over half have experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse during childhood. 67% of women in prison reported that they had a mental health problem, and many experience unemployment or homelessness on release.
Of the 877 women arrested in Hampshire between 1st November 2018 and 31st October 2019, 33% were from Southampton. Women from Southampton who receive a custodial sentence are sent out of area, often more than 60 miles away from their home, making it very difficult for their families to visit them[iv].
Claire Hubbertsey, Chief Executive of One Small Thing said, “We are hugely grateful for the commitment of SASC to social justice and the support they are providing to us through the Community Investment Fund.
Their vision and commitment will enable us to create a restorative environment that will enable women to thrive and access vital services, without the added trauma of being separated from their children.”
Ben Rick, Co-Founder and CEO of SASC said, “One Small Thing’s Hope Street has been designed for women and with women and is the culmination of significant research and consultation. The loan will enable them to offer the much needed first move on accommodation for women from Hope Street which will enable them to continue to positively impact their life outcomes.”
For more information on One Small Thing visit: www.onesmallthing.org.uk
For more information on SASC visit: www.socialandsustainable.com