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Support, Encourage, Enable

Women at Risk

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We continue to build upon the recommendations of Baroness Corston’s 2007 report into women in the criminal justice system and have developed a package of services which provide a gendered considered response to the issues of female offending behaviour.   Using this approach, we support a number of localised multi agency programmes where we are able to use our expertise in the provision of gender specific interventions to improve outcomes for women.

We view this as a key route to reducing instances of reoffending or to prevent the criminalisation of women with multiple and complex needs. Our programmes are receiving increasing regional and national recognition for their impact, with our work including pilot and innovative approaches which seek to increase the use of community sentencing options for women. 

We now offer a package of services which work with women at all points in the criminal justice system, as well as women at risk of offending, placing staff within police custody and prison settings to support engagement as well as further extending our community provision.

Through this work we are able to offer support to women experiencing a wide range of multiple disadvantages and which often place them on course to situations which can place them at significant risk of harm and vulnerability, including homelessness and sex working.

Current Programmes:


Targeted support for women who are in the Criminal Justice System, working to reduce the risk of reoffending by addressing the issues underpinning individual female offending behaviour.


An early intervention and diversionary offer which provides female led triage support for women in police custody across Lancashire. This pilot programme has been recognised nationally for it's impact and has now been extended across the county.

Achieve North West

CFO3 is co-financed by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and the European Social Fund (ESF) to support social inclusion through improving the employability prospects of disadvantaged ex-offenders.

Working with women with an ETE need in addition to at least 2 other complex pathway needs e.g. substance misuse, accommodation, mental and physical health. 

We offer support with accessing first step courses and further training as well as providing in house volunteering opportunities to gain experience and a reference.

Making Every Adult Matter (Blackburn with Darwen)

Working with some of the most vulnerable and complex individuals in the borough, our work within the MEAM project works to resettle local women who are currently either homeless or living in House of Multiple Occupancy through intensive one to one support.

Troubled Families (Blackburn with Darwen)

The provision of proactive keyworker support, working with those families with additional needs, for example supporting families whose children may not be attending school, supporting parents into employment or training and away from anti social behaviour or offending.   Key workers, ensure a single point of contact to liaise within a multi-agency context.


Under Liberate, Lancashire Women’s Centre will offer a gender specific response, working with women and girls only, to reduce the threat of organised crime, and reduce the vulnerability of perpetrators and victims. Their offer has been designed to respond to the needs of women who are vulnerable or at risk of engagement in organised crime and exploitative activity, and which is built upon recognition that the engagement risk factors are experienced by, and impact upon, women in a different way to men. For more information and a referral form click here. 

An Evaluation of the 'Vision', 'Avert' & 'Achieve' Interventions

This evaluation assessed three focused programmes provided to women by Lancashire Women’s Centres under their Women at Risk work stream. The research was undertaken by a team based at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

The evaluation included both quantitative and qualitative methods. Five hundred and sixty-one case records were analysed relating to women accessing the programmes in 2014 and 2015. Qualitative interviews were conducted with women involved in the various strands in order to ascertain further information, such as possible reasons for particular impacts and the relationship between service provision, providers and impacts, along with early impacts on reoffending. 

Click here to view the Full Report
How Can I Access Support?

We do not accept self referrals into these programmes, but to find out more about these activities (or to make an agency referral) please contact:

Vision - 
Karen Carter (Criminal Justice Project Manager)
Debbie Berry (Deputy Women At Risk Project Manager) 

Avert -
Karen Carter (Criminal Justice Project Manager)

Achieve North West - 
Mandy Taylor (Employment, Advice and Guidance Project Manager)

Making Every Adult Matter -
Tracey Arden - Service Manager (Blackburn & Preston)
Kara Raynor - Service Manager (East Lancashire) 

Troubled Families - 
Karen Carter (Criminal Justice Project Manager)