Women's centre in Peterborough celebrates 10 year anniversary - but says it faces 'crippling costs and intensifying cases'

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The charity says the pandemic and cost of living rises are having ‘real-time repercussions’

A women’s centre in Peterborough is celebrating its 10th anniversary of “vital service” to those that need support.

The Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre (CWRC) expanded to Peterborough in 2013, opening its second location at 58 Broadway Street.

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Over the past decade, the charity says it has provided a “safe, trauma-informed environment for all who walk through our doors” including emotional support, practical advice on finance and career development and training and workshops.

Cambridge Women's Resources Centre opened its second location on Broadway in Peterborough in 2013Cambridge Women's Resources Centre opened its second location on Broadway in Peterborough in 2013
Cambridge Women's Resources Centre opened its second location on Broadway in Peterborough in 2013

It particularly supports women who are survivors of domestic, financial and sexual abuse, but also helps women who are undergoing issues with housing, healthcare, parenting and more.

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But CWRC is at a particularly critical time, its CEO Stef Martinsen-Barker says, with the “real-time repercussions” from the pandemic and cost of living rises increasing demand for support and stretching resources.

“Despite crippling costs and intensifying cases, CWRC remains resilient in the face of increasing demands,” Ms Martinsen-Barker said.

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“Crucially, financial help is urgently needed for us to continue providing vital services for women across Peterborough. The harsh reality for women has escalated and the task ahead of us is vast.”

In honour of their 10-year anniversary, the charity is trying to raise £10,000, encouraging supporters to donate money raised from “bake sales, head shaves, abseils, bike rides, theme nights, dog walkies, keepy-uppies, quizzing, crafting, fun runs, workouts or ambitious adventures”.

The CWRC relies on donations, but also receives funding from various groups including Cambridge City Council (CCC), the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and the National Lottery.

Peterborough councillor Katy Cole (Labour, Dogsthorpe), a survivor of domestic abuse who has met with CWRC, wants the city to “take the lead across the country” on supporting vulnerable women.

She’s also campaigned with Women’s Aid – which is one of the many organisations CWRC counts among its partners – to open their own drop in women’s centre in Peterborough.

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