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31st July 2015

Spotlight on our women’s attendance centre

FEMALE offenders are benefitting from a scheme that teaches a wide range of skills and aims to improve people’s health.

The Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company runs a Senior Attendance Centre for women on Saturdays, as well as two for men.

Attendance Centres are for offenders aged from 18 to 24 who have committed a crime that passes the custody threshold. Each session last for three hours and includes a range of activities.

The order, which can be made by sentencers as part of a community order or suspended sentence order, is aimed at addressing offending behaviour.

Nadine Roberts, probation service officer, is responsible for the women’s centre, which is hosted at Salford’s Together Women’s Project (TWP) and is supported by a creche´.

Nadine said: “The centre achieves fantastic results. It’s a tough punishment because you lose a chunk of your Saturday. However, the positive knock-on benefits can be really good – especially because it introduces women to the TWP, from which they can access allsorts of help.

“For example, we’ve taught cooking skills and had tremendous fun learning how to cook wholesome stews. One of the ladies, who previously struggled peeling a carrot, began taking photos of the stews she started cooking at home for her family.”

Offenders can be required to attend for between 12 to 36 hours at the centre, which was launched five-years-ago.

As well as learning how to cook, recent activities have included help writing cvs, advice about how to deal with domestic violence and work aimed at reducing re-offending.

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