Police and Crime Commissioner visits Milton Keynes support centre for women in the criminal justice system

    On Friday, 9 February, Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, visited C2C Social Action in Milton Keynes to find out more about their work supporting women in the criminal justice system.

    Originally based in Northamptonshire, C2C expanded their services to Milton Keynes last autumn opening a one-stop-shop where women involved in the criminal justice system can access support. The hub acts as a drop-in centre Monday to Friday providing activities, advice services and emotional support to women in the criminal justice system and their families.

    The charity also runs several specialised workshops including “Habits to Happiness” which aims to promote positive mental well-being through small, manageable changes, a healing trauma course, a five-week programme to help participants understand trauma and learn strategies to cope with the impact, and a budgeting course.

    Since opening last September, the hub has supported over 60 local women.

    The PCC’s visit came after C2C received £6755 from his Community Fund for a new cookery course that will help participants develop basic cooking skills and teach them healthy recipes which can be made on a budget and with minimal equipment.

    Matthew said: “It was great to meet the team at C2C and learn more about their work. I was also pleased to learn that the team has already established strong links with Thames Valley Police and that a third of the women referred to them by the force have engaged with their support.

    “It is important that support such as this exists for individuals involved in the criminal justice system, not only to help them move forward with their lives but breaking the cycle of offending also protects the wider community and ensures fewer people become victims of crime.

    “I was pleased to support C2C’s new cookery course with a grant from my Community Fund.”

    Jessica Morrison, Women’s Lead and Engagement Coordinator at C2C, said: “The cooking on a budget course offers women the opportunity to expand their skill set to cook for themselves and their family. The recipes offer women opportunities to enjoy cost-effective and tasty meals to satisfy the whole family.

    “The course will initially be run over 7 weeks where we will focus on learning the techniques to create one meal out of the programme each week with the goal that by the end of the course women will feel confident that they can create a weeks’ worth of wholesome, tasty meals on a budget.

    “Budgeting, fine motor, cognitive, and interpersonal skills including confidence, accountability, creativity and communication are just a few of the abilities taught in the course.

    “The course is completely free and open to women vulnerable to the criminal justice system in Milton Keynes. No prior cooking experience will be required to register.

    “Spaces are limited for health and safety reasons so be sure to book in advance through email MKWC@c2csocialaction.com to secure your place or find out more information.”

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