The Duke and Duchess of Sussex today visited Tomorrow’s Women Wirral, a probation-backed charity, to meet vulnerable women in Birkenhead and learn about their experiences.
Tomorrow’s Women Wirral (TWW) supports women in vulnerable circumstances and was launched in 2011. The women-only centre, which is part-funded by Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company (M CRC), offers a wide range of services to all adult women within the community, including women on probation, or on licence from custody.
M CRC delivers probation services to low and medium risk offenders and is one of five CRCs run by Interserve.
Five women employed by M CRC met with the Duke and Duchess during their visit to TWW, at Beckwith Street East (pictured above). They also met with the charity’s staff and service users.
TWW offers an extensive range of courses and workshops for more than 6,500 women annually. Attendees can access support groups aimed at addressing issues such as: mental health, domestic abuse, substance misuse and debt – among many others.
Hazel Bygrove, a senior case manager for M CRC, said: “It was fantastic to meet the Duke and Duchess. I’ve never met Royalty before and in all honesty never thought that I ever would, but the reason why I think it’s important is because their visit has shown that they care about our work and about the people we work with.
“I am passionate about probation and the service we deliver, and in Merseyside we have excellent women’s centres that deliver extremely high-quality work. Probation is a challenging job, and so it really matters that the Duke and Duchess chose to visit TWW to highlight the work the partnership undertakes.”
Hazel was introduced to the Duke and Duchess together with M CRC’s probation case manager Kerry Howard, resettlement worker Anne-Marie Summers and case coordinators Jemma Peczek and Serena Casey.
Angela Murphy, TWW’s chief executive, said: “It’s been a whirlwind and I am absolutely thrilled that the Duke and Duchess asked to visit our centre.
“They stayed longer than they were supposed to which I think indicates how much they care about the work we do. They met every service user and took care to make a real connection with each of them, which has deeply impressed me.
“It’s amazing how the Royal visit has raised our profile and that really matters because the work we do with vulnerable women in Merseyside makes an incredible difference to people’s lives.
“This has given all of us – staff and service users – a real boost.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited TWW as part of a wider tour of Birkenhead, which included unveiling a statue in honour of the Great War poet Wilfred Owen and visiting other community based organisations.