SPOTLIGHTING ENTERPRISING WOMEN
BY LYN PYPER, Administration & Partnership Support, Community Justice Glasgow
To mark Scotland’s Social Enterprise Week on 2nd-8th September 2019, Community Justice Glasgow held an event on in the headquarters they share with many community safety and justice partners. The event was held in the large open-plan atrium, where all staff and visitors to the building would see it and be able to get involved.
The event showcased two of our local social enterprises that were established by women involved in justice services, and continue to support women in this journey. These are Grace Chocolates, a community interest company that hand make the finest Belgian chocolates. Each chocolate is made by women who have touched the Scottish criminal justice system and are choosing to make positive changes in their lives. Through making and selling these chocolates the women receive support, training, work experience and the opportunity to raise their self-esteem and resilience which helps lower the barriers they face in finding meaningful employment.
The Turning Point Scotland 218 service also showcased their HOPE products, which are aromatherapy based oils and kits. These have been created by the women who use the service to improve mental and emotional wellbeing. The 218 Service provides an alternative to custody for women in the criminal justice system. It provides intensive support and group work to empower the women to address the root causes of their offending, helping to break the cycle of offending which can result in the ‘revolving door’ in the criminal justice system and prison service. Many of the women who access the 218 service have a wide range of mental and physical issues and an integrated health team and psychological therapy team to help support the women in addressing these.
Young people involved in the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) also came along with a charity bake sale, providing more information on the PSYV while also raising money for charity. The event also happened during the Oor Wullie Big Bucket Trail and the PSYV brought along one Oor Wullie dressed as a PC Murdoch!
Both the chocolates and aromatherapy products were very popular with staff and visitors who also took the time to learn the story behind the products, helping to raise awareness of the issues woman can face in moving on from involvement in justice services.