Working with women offenders Cambridge

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new.


The Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre offers women from all backgrounds in and around Cambridge a range of on-site services.  We were founded in 1982 and our original purpose was to increase women’s employability and to support them into employment.  


Over the years we have found that women are in need of wider services which cover multiple needs such as confidence building, family and parenting issues, finance and debt management, functional skills such as English and Maths, together with conversational and social opportunities for women with English as a second language.  In response to this we run a range of services which make up the women’s community space that we have become.


Referrals come from lots of different sources: Self-referral, Probation services, HMP Peterborough, Police, GPs, Mental Health professionals, housing providers, Children’s Services. substance misuse agencies, local community agencies, families and friend often contact us if they have concerns or worries about someone they care about. 


We opened our Peterborough Women’s Centre is 2013 on Broadway, in Peterborough


The Dawn Project

Following publication of the Corston Report (2007) we worked closely with the MOJ and NOMS to develop and launch the Dawn Project, one of many national gender specific services set up to work with female offenders, ex-offenders and those at risk of offending. The overall aim of the project is to reduce offending, provide an alternative to custodial sentences for women and reduce the breaches of community orders. We work across Cambridgeshire which includes the probation areas of Cambridge, Peterborough,  and Huntingdon.


We offer a wide range of services and interventions specific to, what we refer to as the '9 pathways';


Education, training & employment

Health - physical & emotional 

Drugs & alcohol

Finance, benefits & debts

Children, family, relationships

Attitude, thinking & behaviour

Abuse, rape, domestic violence - referral to specialist  services 

Sex working

We work in partnership with crminal justice services faciliating: additional supervision of court orders; supervision of unpaid work activities; engagement support orders for sex workers;  delivery of WEWRAR (Women’s Emotional Wellbeing Rehabilative Activity Requirement), Victim Awareness, Volunteer & Mentoring opportunities.


Nurturing and valuing strong partnership links within our local communities and dedicated gender specific national organisations. 




Centre User


"When people are in a difficult situation, well you never know where to go, this is a place to come – a safe place, a place I feel accepted, respected, listened to – it's helped me to realise I do deserve respect. Coming to the Dawn Project at the centre has given me my life back, helped me to understand the rights and wrongs in my life, helped me change things, find trust again – it has made a difference to me and my family. I have found opportunities here, felt valued and been able to contribute, give something back. Life has changed for me – it’s great!"