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DPCC visits women’s charity and community group in Bristol

From Left DPCC Claire Hiscott, Rachel Collins-White, Jenny Riley and Forward Maisokwadzo

The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC) Claire Hiscott early this week visited One25 and Free Talk as part of her engagement activities with services and communities. Both organisations are based in the heart of St Pauls, in Bristol.


The DPCC meet with One25 Chief Executive, Jenny Riley, and Operations Manager, Rachel Collins-White. One25 is a charity set up to provide specialist services to women street sex workers in Bristol. They support them to move from crisis and trauma towards independence in the community. At the core of its work, is a mobile van they use every night for outreach on the street

They discussed about One25’s new Health Hub set up last year, in partnership with BrisDoc, which provides vital access to healthcare for women. According to Mrs Rachel Collins-White, Operations Manager, through the Health Hub, women can get the flexible, sensitive support they need.

Open three afternoons a week, they can see a specialist nurse, sexual health nurse, and GP. Women can also access essentials such as sanitary products, condoms, alarms, takeaway food bags, and clothing.

Riley expressed One25’s commitment to develop strong partnerships and that they work with around 65 statutory, corporate, and charitable agencies. Riley also pointed out that they have a strong working relationship with the police.

Joint working is seen as the best way to help women find routes out of a life trapped in street sex work as well as support for those at risk or in recovery.

Although they expressed commitment to support women street workers and do what then can within their premises to provide a safe and welcoming space for women. However, they have great concerns about women’s safety and on-going drug dealing in the area.

Free Talk

The DPCC also visited Free Talk, a CIC based on 20-22 Hepburn Road, St Pauls where she met with its Founder and Chief Executive, Shadene Keeling. With the on-going incidents of serious youth violence and knife crime in Bristol, Free Talk has responded by offering bespoke services to the community.

Shadene says the focus of their programmes is to provide the tools for young people to create a positive mindset and new way of thinking. Young people will learn to recognize impulsions that may lead them to offending behaviour, and create strategies to encourage positive attitudes, relationships, behaviours, and cultures.

“The 12-week programme is a mixture of discussion and written exercises, undertaken as a cohort. This helps young people to realise they are not alone with their problems and create best practices in common situations, but also allows for more specific and introspective inner work,” said Shadene Keeling.

However, Shadene Keeling says lack of funding impact on their capacity to deliver their much-needed programmes in the community.

About how they run their services, Shadene Keeling says, “we work on a drop-in referral basis, and currently have referrals from external agencies, e.g. Probation, Off the Record, Youth groups, and self-referrals from the young people.”

“And that their current users are homeless people, gangs, vulnerable youth, substance misuse, children at risk of permanent exclusion, among others.”

According to Shadene Keeling they also run alternative learning education, and altogether they are supporting about 40 young people with whom they are paid for to support them. But almost a similar number of young people access their programmes, but they are not funded.