Donna’s mother was unable to care for her due to a diagnosis of schizophrenia and alcohol dependency. As a result She was taken into local authority care at the age of 9. She had been through a number of unsuccessful foster placements before leaving care at the age of 16 to spend the next 4 years in hostels and sleeping rough. Her vulnerabilities and homelessness led to her mixing with other vulnerable and chaotic individuals, eventually being introduced to the man who would become the father of her 2 children. Her first daughter was removed at birth when Donna was 17. She continued to have a relationship with the father but he was physically violent, emotionally abusive and controlling and she described the next few years as ‘living on a knife edge’. When she first came to New Dawn New Day her partner was 3 months into serving 4 year prison sentence for supplying heroin and Donna was about to give birth to their second child. She had been supported by social services into getting a flat for her the baby by and there was a safeguarding plan in place.

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When Nikita first contact us she had just turned 19. She had moved to England from Eastern Europe with her partner and child but had recently become homeless after fleeing violence from her partner. She was living in a hostel with her child and was struggling to cope. As a vulnerable young woman she found it difficult to withhold contact with the violent partner who had a large and intimidating family and, as a result of this, her child had been taken into foster care. English was not Nikita’s first language and she struggled with understanding safeguarding and legal procedures. She was terrified of losing contact with her child as he was being considered for an adoption placement.

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Jenna was referred to Just to the Just Women Project on a probation order. She was 31 at the time and had built up debts totalling £12,000 which led to the offence of fraud by misrepresentation. She was deeply regretful of her offence, felt very ashamed. She had just avoided a prison sentence and was referred to the Just Women project as an alternative community sentence. She was stressed and frightened when she first arrived at the Women’s Centre and was very tearful.

Her background was rather unsettled having lived with her grandparents from the age of 6 due to her mother being violent and abusive and, after a few sessions with her Outreach Worker, it was clearly she was suffering from unresolved childhood trauma. As part of her support plan we were able to offer her counselling which she attended weekly. She was also supported to see a specialist debt and money advisor who helped her to look at her options and take action over her debts and finances. This alleviated some of the stress and anxiety surrounding this.

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Kayla was referred to New Dawn New Day as she was leaving prison on licence. She had served a series of short sentences mostly in connection with her drug and alcohol use.

Kayla first appeared to be a tough and confident young woman who did not feel she needed any support and just wanted to get on with her life.

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