My Sisters' House

Who we are:

Why a women's Centre ?

Women’s Centres are not new – there are 72 in the UK , some like Brighton Women’s Centre have been running 40 years.

We wanted West Sussex to have one and so set it up in 2014. We have adopted the Women Centred Working way of working: This is an evidenced based initiative to encourage the design and delivery of more effective services for women who are facing multiple disadvantages. Women centred ways of working can get to the root causes of complex problems by integrating and tailoring services around women’s specific needs. There is powerful evidence of the effectiveness of this approach from existing projects in local communities. Women Centred Working has been set up to share good practice, change thinking and promote effective, women centred approaches on a wider national basis. Our approach is to provide services in a women centred way. They are:

  • safe, supportive and community-based
  • holistic and multi-agency
  • tailored around the needs of individuals
  • co-produced along with service users
  • effective, outcome-focused and preventative
  • able to demonstrate evidence of cost-effectiveness

Since opening our first drop-in, in June 2015 we have supported 135 women. We work with any women with any issue. To-date; 68% of our cases have had domestic abuse / abuse in their background either from families as a child or past/ present partners. It is essential that every woman who begins a journey with us should be supported in a consistent way. This ensures safeguarding is paramount from the first meeting onward with clear procedures in respect of confidentiality and a clear assessment. At the centre of our contact - a clear, equal pathway of our provision, detailed records and case management and review.

Our original mission was to open one FULLY OPERATIONAL CENTRE offering counselling, coaching, training and IAG. But having piloted the drop-in we realise how successful the model is and taking into account local needs, local views and user led we recognise the values:

  • Very accessible / very visible
  • Comfortable , inviting, warm space not to big or threatening
  • Low cost - Supported by local volunteers
  • Tapping into local expertise & organisations

Our vision is thus to develop similar drop-in venues in Chichester and Littlehampton.

What difference do we want to make?

We want women to have confidence and courage, but more than that:

Connection: that women feel included, not alone or isolated

  • Relationships: their relationships are rich, positive, rewarding, trusting and respectful
  • Resilience and Emotional Well Being: they can manage their state of mind and take responsibility for how they feel
  • Meaningful Experiences: that what they experience daily makes sense and allows them to flourish
  • Purpose and Contribution: that they know that what they do matters
  • Self-efficacy and Goal Realisation: they have a belief in their abilities, skills and purpose.
  • Love; The Self Variety.
  • Empowerment: that the path they choose is right for them