We are celebrating International Womens Day by highlighting the great work we do with female offenders. This is Jodie’s inspiring story:
“I committed my offence and the magistrate ordered me to do 15 hours with the West Yorkshire Probation CRC who then put me onto the Together Women Project. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I started my order. When I first met Donna my Probation Officer she gave me a timetable of what courses and groups I could attend. I went on lots of different activities like parenting classes, drug and alcohol workshops, life coaching classes, anger management groups, family links and nurturing parents’ classes.
Starting on the Together Women Project was the wakeup call I needed. I wanted to address all negative aspects of my life and the project offered everything I wanted. I finished my 15 hours very quickly and decided to stay on the project. I’ve been attending for more than 8 months now because there’s so much help on offer. I have a Support Worker called Sarah who helped me keep my house which I needed to get my children back. She also helped me work out how to reapply for the child benefits.
If it wasn’t for Donna and Sarah I’m sure I would be in a very dark place right now. I felt so lost and isolated. I was down, depressed and had nowhere to turn. With the support I’ve had my life is now very positive and I want to give something back. I wanted to help other women who are in my previous situation so I started volunteering on West Yorkshire Probation’s Right Direction programme where volunteers help offenders on their journey. Hopefully this will be a foot in the door for me; I’d really like to work for probation in the future. I just want to let people know that they’re not alone and there’s lots of help available. Now my kids are back with me and we’re very happy to be together.”