It is with great sadness that One25 must reduce our services for marginalised women.
Since 2021, we have faced our biggest fundraising challenge to date. We have taken steps to grow our income, but this has been extremely challenging in the current climate. Therefore, we have had to draw on our reserves and are sadly now in a position where we cannot continue all our current work.
In the face of this, we have had to consider what is most critical for the women we support. We need to focus now on how to keep reaching the most marginalised women and support them to be safer.
Malcolm Richardson, One25 Chair of Trustees says: “All of One25’s services are needed and make a huge difference for marginalised women. However, in the current context we must take vital action focusing on the most critical needs and our unique provision to do our best for the women that we exist for. We are committed to ensuring One25’s long-term sustainability and hope that, in the future, we will be able to build back up and evolve future support to meet women’s needs.”
We are currently consulting with staff on a proposed restructure. This will continue our outreach van seven nights a week and our casework team will continue to support these women, reducing their isolation and connecting them to other services in the city. Regrettably we do not expect to be able to continue either our current drop-in service or our Peony service. One25’s Pause programmes will continue to run whilst funding is in place.
We are working hard to navigate our next steps as soon as possible and we would appreciate your patience as we work through what is an extremely challenging time for all of us.
One25’s CEO Jenny Riley says: “As we look to the future, we will continue to do the best that we can with the resources that we have, to listen to what the women tell us they need and respond as we are able. We are so very grateful for the dedicated staff, partners and supporters who have made so much possible over the years. We, and the women we support, need you as always. Thank you.”
Since 2021, we’ve seen the pandemic heavily exacerbate women’s needs and lead to increased instability. More recently, the cost of living crisis has made things even harder. One25 had steady growth of reserves over several years and strong income generation from 2019-21 (including Covid emergency grants and a one-off supporter-led fundraising event). This funding enabled us to invest in service delivery when it was greatly needed. This included extending some services and allowing staff to deliver services and give women more intensive support more effectively.
However, we have faced significant challenges to sustain this income level. Despite implementing a new income generation strategy in 2022, we have been unable to raise sufficient funding due to several factors. This includes operating in an increasingly competitive fundraising environment and facing rising costs of living and wider economic uncertainty. As a result, we have not been able to achieve the initial targets of our strategy yet.
In late 2022, as we built the budget for 2023/24 forwards, it became clear we would not be able to maintain 3 months of reserves, which we consider a vital minimum, at the end of our financial year. Therefore we have had to consider cost savings, keeping in mind what is most critical for the women we support.
One25 know how vital our support is for the women that we exist for. Our reduction of services will undoubtedly have an impact for these women, and we are extremely sad about this. The services that we will continue to deliver will provide support to the largest number of women possible within our current resources. We expect this to be around 200 women next year compared with 234 last year. We recognise the gaps that will be left and that we will potentially not be able to work as intensively as we have done to date. Where appropriate we will link women in with our outreach, casework and Pause programmes and with other services where possible. One25 work in partnership with more than 70 other organisations to provide much-needed support to women. As we plan for next steps, we will work even more closely with partners to minimise the gaps created by our reduced services. We do not yet know exactly what this will look like and will be working hard to establish this in the coming weeks and months.
We are committed to providing the best support that we can with the resources that we have. We are taking this action to ensure that we can continue to provide support and we will be working hard to support women through this time of transition.
We are hopeful about the future. We have a strong track record and a wealth of expertise in supporting highly marginalised women, as well as a dedicated and caring supporter base. We are taking action now to ensure that One25 can continue to deliver services for women in the coming years.
Our income generation strategy focuses on the positive steps One25 can take to increase income. We will build on the foundations of One25’s success to date with a particular focus on growing grants and donations.
We will continue to prioritise developing service provision in line with the women’s needs and ensure that they remain at the heart of One25.
We need your support as much now as ever before.
We are committed to continue providing our vital services to some of the most marginalised women in the city of Bristol and we rely on the kindness and support of our funders, companies and the community – people like you – to help us during these challenging times. Will you support us today and help us build towards our future? You can make a donation, or sign up to make a regular monthly gift, by clicking here. Your donations, however large or small, will help us to continue reaching and supporting marginalised women at a time of great need.
There are so many ways that you can help, from donating money or items, holding fundraising activities for us, to volunteering your time. If the company where you work would like to get involved, or your faith community, we would love to hear from you. You can also help by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to receive our updates and share them with others, to help spread the word about our work.
Thank you for all that you already do, please continue to stand with us and together we can build a stronger future for One25 and for the women to feel safe and thrive.