From its community houses in Stroud, The Nelson Trust provides residential addiction treatment to men and women. They also support women in the community who are in contact with the criminal justice system through three Women’s Centres in Gloucester, Swindon and Bridgwater.
CEO John Trolan said, “Bishop Rachel shares many of our concerns around addiction and women in the Criminal Justice System. She has provided invaluable support over the past few years and we are delighted she has accepted the invitation to represent us as our President.”
Bishop Rachel has spoken on a number of occasions in the House of Lords, calling for a change to the way women are treated in the justice system.
She said, “We know that women in the justice system get caught in the so-called revolving door with short prison sentences. Women lose their homes; they often lose custody of their children, even to adoption. This often then exacerbates the downward spiral into more serious offences and an inability to secure employment.
“We know that it costs approximately £47k per year to keep a woman in prison, but women’s centres can work effectively with approximately £4k per woman each year. Properly resourced women’s centres can provide an opportunity for women to receive a holistic trauma-informed approach of rehabilitation.”
Bishop Rachel campaigns to raise awareness of the incredible work that takes place through Women’s Centres especially through the Nelson Trust and every year hosts an event in the House of Lords or Commons to keep momentum behind her message.
In 2019 the event focussed on the vital need of finding suitable accommodation for women released from prison. In addition, the Diocese of Gloucester have partnered with us on our Re-Unite project, by providing a home for women released from prison to be reunited with their children.
Commenting on her new role as President of The Nelson Trust, Bishop Rachel said, “It is an honour to have been invited to become President of the Nelson Trust. I connected with the Nelson Trust very soon after arriving in Gloucester and have seen first-hand the incredible service they provide and how what they do transforms lives. I am passionate about working to support the most disadvantaged women in our communities and to see every woman flourish and become the person that I believe God has created them to be.”