Kairos Women Working Together

“Before I met Adele, I didn’t know being under 25 and a care leaver meant I got priority for housing. For me, rough sleeping is a certain route back into prison.”

West Midlands

Charity location

£150,000

Grant size

6 years

Funding period

Our partnership

Kairos Women Working Together is a Coventry-based charity supporting women caught up in street sex work, affected by or at risk of sexual exploitation in Coventry.

In 2010, Kairos received a Lloyds Bank Foundation grant for £21,700 over two years. This was followed by two consecutive grants of £75,000, each delivered over three years. All have been directed towards Kairos’s Prison Inreach programme, which works with women before and after their release from prison. They focus on housing, benefits, health, substance misuse, probation, family contact and personal development.

Rosie explains why long-term funding is needed to achieve these sorts of outcomes:

“This work is based on trust and relationships so it takes months or even years. When we first meet most of our service users, they are in crisis or survival mode and are just looking for clean needles, condoms and food; they aren’t ready to talk about change immediately. Often funders want to see transformation in a 12-month period but life isn’t like that; it takes years for our service users to deal with a lifetime of abuse, trauma and addiction and build a new life away from prostitution.”

Consequently, Kairos is grateful for Lloyds Bank Foundation’s ongoing support:

“There really aren’t many funders who are as flexible, understanding change takes time and not demanding big numbers every year. It’s a relief not to have to find people to work with just to meet targets.”

Kairos has also accessed developmental support alongside their grant, including consultancy and training for trustees and staff. Rosie says:

“Our Grant Manager, Peter Cunnison, is brilliant. It’s refreshing – funding can feel like a game you have to play, but I’ve been able to be honest with Peter about struggles we’ve been through with funding and governance. It’s fantastic that the Foundation helps us address those issues with top quality support without worrying about finding money for it.”

Kairos is “all about celebrating the small steps”. Rosie added:

“It’s hard to define success. One or two women fully exit our services each year but we also celebrate when someone hasn’t returned to prison for six months  hasn’t breached their probation terms or is thinking about rehab.”

Kairos support worker Adele notes the flexibility required to support service users:

“Stacey* grew up in care and on numerous occasions she’s struggled to access housing and healthcare. One day she called me in a panic – she’d been told she was being evicted from her post-release housing and was about to be put on the streets. I was due to go on holiday that afternoon but I couldn’t just leave her so I rushed round and got it all sorted.”

Adele’s intervention was a lifeline for Stacey who says she wouldn’t have known what to do:

“Before I met Adele, I didn’t know being under 25 and a care leaver meant I got priority for housing. For me, rough sleeping is a certain route back into prison.”

Like Stacey, service user Amanda* has been through many challenging situations with Adele by her side. She said:

“Adele has done more for me than my mum. It’s the little things that mean so much.”

Rosie sums up her feelings on Lloyds Bank Foundation’s support:

“I know Lloyds Bank Foundation understands – Paul Streets talks about funding issues others don’t and I know that when the sector moves on to the shiny new issue, they will still be there enabling grassroots charities to support some of our country’s most disadvantaged people.”

* Names have been changed

There really aren’t many funders who are as flexible, understanding change takes time and not demanding big numbers every year. It’s a relief not to have to find people to work with just to meet targets.

Rosie Hart, Director, Kairos Women Working Together

What do we mean by offending, prison or community service?

People with a history of offending which significantly impacts on everyday life; rehabilitation of people with a custodial or community service sentence, including prevention of reoffending.

Our Impact on Offending, Prison or Community Service in 2018

21

new grants helping people leaving prison or serving a community sentence

120

partnerships with small charities supporting people with a history of offending

2.2

years is the average length of our grants for Offending, Prison or Community Service charities

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