2017 Shortlist | The Preston Road Women’s Centre
The Preston Road Women’s Centre
Winner – Embracing Opportunity and Harnessing Risk
Who they are
WINNER, which is the name of the Preston Road Women’s Centre offers a range of services and activities under one roof for women and children experiencing trauma and disadvantage.
What they’ve achieved
Through the inclusion, involvement and engagement of service users, Preston Women’s Centre recognised the need for safe, high quality accommodation for women escaping domestic abuse.
Working with the local authority, the charity got involved in the government’s Empty Homes Partnership – an initiative designed to put derelict properties to good use. As part of the programme, staff at Preston Road Women’s Centre agreed to source, acquire and refurbish each property to make sure it met the needs of its service users.
The judges described the board as the “muscle group” within the organisation. They built a solid business case for the initiative, and ensured effective financial oversight so it could fully embrace this transformational opportunity.
The success it has achieved is clear. National statistics show that on average women return to abusive relationships seven times. Thanks to the accommodation and support it offers, Preston Road Women’s Centre empowers more women to make the break first time.
Why they’re a winner
The board remained “on mission” while making bold decisions and changing the structure and operation of the organisation. They displayed a deep involvement and valuable engagement throughout the process, evidenced by the appointment of a board champion to deliver advice and internal consultancy to staff members. This ensured that staff were able to harness risks and use their strengths and experience to push to a sustainable future while retaining existing values.
Through their efforts the board and staff have transformed Preston Road Women’s Centre. The organisation has delivered incredible impact, and successfully created a fresh model while making it sustainable and taking on the new challenge of property management. Judges agree that the scale of what it has
achieved is incredible.