Bognor women’s centre opens first office

From left: Anabell Alexander, Julie Budge and Birdy Davenport in the campaign office of Our Sister's House
From left: Anabell Alexander, Julie Budge and Birdy Davenport in the campaign office of Our Sister's House

SUPPORTERS of a women’s centre for Bognor Regis and Chichester have their first premises.

Our Sister’s House moved into the former nail bair in Bognor town centre last week.

Seven women sought help from the campaign office in its first few days.

Julie Budge, one of the community interest company’s directors, said: “One woman said her daughter had an eating disorder, her mother had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and she was in a loveless marriage.

“She just wanted to sit and talk to another woman, get some support and be listened to. She stayed for a few hours. I gave her some assistance by contacting some of the agencies that I know of.

“Another woman was in desperate need of housing. But the situation turned out to be more complicated than that. Like most women, it was not just one matter.”

She said the response to the office showed the need for the centre.

“Having our own premises has taken us up to another level. People can see we are here and what we do. Some sources of funding will only give money if we have a premises we can tell them about,” she said.

The campaign office in London Road is open from 9am-3pm weekdays. Opening on evenings and Saturdays is being planned to enable more women to visit the premises.

Workshops are planned in holistic therapy, SHINE self-esteem and talking circles.

Our Sister’s House has nine directors. Their next aim is to launch a community share issue and a crowdfunding bid to raise money to buy a permanent property as a one-stop shop for women.

This is intended to be the former Royal British Legion club in Clifton Road. Our Sister’s House stopped the sale of the building and its request for it to become an asset of community value was accepted.

This has given it until November to raise the £150,000 value of the site. Even if this is not accepted, the Royal British Legion has give a bid for community use priority until 2020.

“We want to talk to the Legion in the next few months to see if we can be in a prime position about the building’s future,” said Julie.

Two staff have been taken on by Our Sister’s House to launch its uprecycle cothing enterprise.

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