Christmas has come early for children of women on probation in Liverpool thanks to a charitable donation that truly reflects the festive spirit.
The Women’s Turnaround Centre, based in Eleanor Rathbone House, Derby Road, has received 31 bags of toys from the Cash for Kids charity to help ensure children of the centre’s 700 service users won’t go without this Christmas.
The centre is run by the Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company (M CRC). Resettlement case manager Jessica Ryan organised the donation, which will form part of a festive event organised by the centre.
Cash for Kids responds to the needs of children in our communities so they can live life to the full and realise their individual potential. The centre’s event will include making crafts and free hair and beauty sessions. Food, hygiene and sanitary products will also be made available.
Jessica said: “Many of the women we work with are homeless or in unstable accommodation and are unemployed, sometimes they find it a struggle putting food on the table – let alone buying presents.
“The donation from Cash for Kids is a lifeline. I’ve already had one of my service user’s in tears because she is so thankful that now she will be able to give her daughter something to unwrap on Christmas Day.
“Our job is to help rehabilitate people. It is absolutely the case that we must stop people from reoffending and keep people safe, but events like this are a brilliant way of showing our service users that we genuinely care and want them to be normal members of society.”
Interserve runs five Community Rehabilitation Companies including M CRC. The company’s apprenticeship division Interserve Learning & Employment will be providing the free hair and beauty sessions.
Laura Charlton, Cash for Kids Charity Manager, said: “We are delighted to support this project and meet the needs of the community.
“We fund raise all year round so that we can support vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people.
“We want to make a material difference to the lives of those who need it and our ultimate aim is to ensure our community is fully supported and able to live comfortable lives.”
Jessica, who has been a probation officer for three-and-a-half years, works with women in custody or on licence from custody.
She added: “Yes, these women have committed crime and that needs to be addressed, but that doesn’t mean that they should be stigmatised and that their children should go without.
“I therefore think that what Cash for Kids has done is fantastic and embodies the real Christmas spirit.”