DPFCC, Mike Johnson visited Gateway 4 Women (G4W) in Carlisle, to see first-hand how the centres are supporting vulnerable women. 

Cumbria Women’s Centre network is continuing to provide help to women across the county, with tailored services around the needs of local women through 1-on-1 sessions and support groups.

They provide support to women over the age of 18 on a drop-in basis regardless of their circumstances, where they live, sexual orientation, or background, assisting with a range of topics from domestic abuse and social isolation to financial management.

In the last 12 months, the G4W centre in Carlisle has supported 391 women, including 67 women who were from rural and isolated communities. 

During the year, 192 individuals have attended regular social activities and drop-in sessions, as a way of building new friendships, receiving peer support and improving health and wellbeing. This created a footfall of 2845 visits at the centre.

DPFCC Mike Johnson said: “The Women’s Centres in Cumbria can help with everything from counselling through to rehoming and financial support and the success of this county-wide support has been highlighted at my visit to Gateway 4 Women in Carlisle.

“They also give vital support to vulnerable women who are at risk of offending and entering the criminal justice system.

“The women’s centres in Cumbria have a range of additional courses, support groups and activities, and help women to access other services and specialist services when needed.

"For example, help is provided to those experiencing domestic and sexual abuse, at risk of homelessness and those who are struggling with their mental health.

“The centres help to build women’s confidence and to create positive opportunities going forward – they are a tremendous asset to our county.”

The manager at Gateway 4 Women added: “The women’s centre opened in Carlisle in 2017 and the need has surpassed our original expectations.

“We have registered and supported over 1,400 women from the local community and are so grateful for the continued support from the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and our other funders.”

A woman who regularly visits the centre comments: “The staff at Gateway 4 Women have nurtured and protected me. They treated me with great care and are always there for me when I need them.”