A Hull project which provides support to vulnerable women who are homeless or at risk of offending is benefiting from a £2,500 grant from the Neil Hudgell Trust.

The Together Women Project works with more than 500 women every year, putting the kettle on and opening the doors when they need it most.

Centre manager Jill Gledhill said the project base in George Street, city centre, has been in desperate need of a shower room, as some of the most vulnerable women do not have access to such facilities, need clean clothes and ongoing support.

Now, the trust has awarded the grant to the project and work on installing the shower is expected to start in the coming weeks – a move Jill said will enable them to support the women for longer.

She said:

“Receiving this grant is absolutely fantastic. When we found out we had been successful, we had a real buzz around the centre and everyone was over the moon.

The trust is helping to benefit so many people and it does a wonderful job, leaving a real legacy for projects and groups in Hull.

We help women from all backgrounds, whether they have drug or alcohol problems, fear for their personal safety, have parenting issues, have become homeless, or are affected by domestic violence.

We look at a whole range of issues and everyone is individual. They can just turn up and we can refer them to other services to get the help or support they need.”

Together women is constantly looking for new funding streams to ensure its doors can remain open and Jill said the grant has lifted a weight off the team’s shoulders.

“Having this shower fitted means the women will stay longer and we can engage with them better, carrying out more meaningful work with them,” she said.

One lady had been walking around the city centre with slippers on, which had holes in, and she was homeless.

Another was sleeping rough in a tent and someone threw a brick at it, which made a hole in the side, and it hit her on the head. This is what we see a lot of the time and we want to help these women.”

The Together women Project was established in December 2006, with funding from the Ministry of Justice, to develop and test a new gender-specific community approach to women offenders and women at risk of offending.

Following a successful pilot, the project, which runs across Yorkshire and has a base in Hull, became an independent charity in April 2009, expanding to work with women beyond offenders and those at risk of offending.

Jo Hudgell, chair of the trust, said: “Together women is doing a fantastic job in supporting women when they need it most, when perhaps they don’t know where else to turn.

“We hope that by installing the shower, women using the project will have a little more comfortable experience during their stay.”

A total of £100,000 is available from the Neil Hudgell Trust over a 12-month period and groups can apply for grants of up to £5,000.

Visit here for more information about the Neil Hudgell Trust.