Stepping Stones - How has the Tackling Inequalities Fund helped?

Stepping Stones - How has the Tackling Inequalities Fund helped?

Posted: Mon, 29 Mar 2021 09:39

Stepping Stones is a charity that supports vulnerable women in Luton and Central Bedfordshire. The women accessing the services offered by Stepping Stones have a multitude of complex needs, ranging from mental health issues, substance misuse and female offenders, with approximately 84% of these women experiencing domestic abuse.

Stepping Stones run sessions for vulnerable women around parenting tips, impact of domestic abuse as well as emotional practical sessions to help them deal with safety issues. More examples of the wide-ranging support that Stepping Stones offer include employment and training support, access to donated food and clothing and on-site childcare, making the service as accessible as it possibly can be.

The pandemic made it increasingly difficult for Stepping Stones to operate, due to the nature of their work. Many vulnerable women who had relied on stopping by the office to access these vital services where now forced into lockdown, unable to access resources and services to help them through their complex needs.

Through the Tackling Inequalities Fund, Stepping Stones were able to join forces with Emma from the community interest company, Let's Get Going. Emma provided online movement sessions for the vulnerable women who access Stepping Stones services, and tailored the sessions to be suitable for their young children to join in as well. This service has been a lifeline for many women in vulnerabe situations who no longer had physical access to the services that Stepping Stones provide.

The funding provided to Stepping Stones has allowed them to redefine their business objectives. Since having benefitted from Tackling Inequalities Fund support, Stepping Stones now have a more emphasized focus on health for the women and their children to help develop their independence and embed a healthier lifestyle into theirs and their family's lives.

A core piece of Stepping Stones work revolves around offering a formalized training programme that the women can access, allowing them to be involved in the services as a volunteer. This provides them with experience to put on their CV, thus increasing their employability. This piece of work has been able to continue through the support of the Tackling Inequalities Fund.

Tags: Luton, Stepping Stones, covid, covid-19, evaluation, impact, tackling inequalities fund