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Women 4 Women project opens in Hereford


Summary of story from BBC News, August 19, 2011

In the UK, Hereford’s ‘Here 4 Women’ shut down at the end of June but will be set up as a non-profit company in September.

The new ‘Women 4 Women’ project will be staffed by volunteers and will be able offer more services than before.

The centre in St Peter’s Square hit problems after the Ministry of Justice cut the money it provided.

Gillian Menzies, from the management committee, said they plan to open for five days a week, not just four: “We want to be there to offer more support. It’s too long a time between Thursday and Monday for women in a difficult situation to manage.”

Women 4 Women will be entirely run by volunteers, and professionals who previously offered a paid service will operate free sessions.

Around 200 women use the service which was set up two years ago and offers counselling as well as courses on literacy, debt management, relaxation and healthy eating.

Hereford City Council is providing £2,000 and Herefordshire County Council has matched that amount.

Ms Menzies said the organisation has enough money to open for six months but will require more cash if it is to last beyond that.

She said: “We’re looking to raise £15,000 within the first year – that would be the absolute minimum to ensure we can stay open in the long term.”

WVoN comment: Presumably this is David Cameron’s Big Society at work – cut the funding and get the community to pay for it instead.  However, the people behind the re-opening are to be applauded for keeping a much-needed service going; let us hope they manage to secure the funding they need.

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