Pact is pleased to announce that we have received £90,000 from the Smallwood Trust as a Community Grant Partner. These funds will be used to distribute emergency welfare grants to financially vulnerable women leaving prison, helping to reduce the risk of their reoffending, and to build the financial resilience of women coping with the challenges of having a family member in custody.

The Community Grant Partnership is a core pillar of the Smallwood Trust’s mission to tackle gendered poverty in the UK and its commitment to shifting power to local organisations working closely with vulnerable women.

Since 2020, Pact and the Smallwood Trust have worked together to support 212 women in the community, providing essential items such as mobile phones (necessary for probation, benefits claims and job seeking), appliances, clothing, bedding and identification. Most recently, we have supported women struggling with rising utility costs by supplying food vouchers, freeing up household cash for use on gas or electricity meters.

Pact’s Deputy CEO Ellen Green said:  “Being a Smallwood Trust Community Grant Partner will allow us to help many more women through our emergency welfare fund. Such support is a real lifeline for women as they navigate securing accommodation and benefits, re-entering the workplace and – significantly - reconnecting with children and family.

“Reoffending costs the UK £18 billion each year, so not only does this support benefit women's health and wellbeing, it ultimately benefits the taxpayer. In offering women the best possible start following their release from prison, we can significantly improve their chances of living positive, healthy lives free from crime.”

Smallwood’s Head of Programmes Emma Crump said: “We are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Pact for a further three years. It is crucial that women leaving prison have a place where they will not be judged and will be supported through a time of economic and emotional uncertainty. The Emergency Welfare Fund will undoubtedly enable women with convictions to build resilience and prepare for their future.”