Eve’s Space is a women’s centre in Bolton that supports women who are at risk of offending or who have previously offended. The service aims to address the issues that put women at risk and help them to rebuild their lives.

We spoke to Hannah Matthews, Adults team leader at Eve’s Space. 


Eve’s Space was set up in 2011 and offers a safe environment for women to access support from a variety of organisations and support workers. Eve’s Space is part of the Greater Manchester Women’s Support Alliance. The women’s centre is delivered by the charitable organisation Urban Outreach as part of their support for adults living in Bolton. Eve’s Space is joint funded by the Combined Authority for Greater Manchester (GMCA), as well as funding received via the Greater Manchester Women's Support Alliance. The women’s support alliance consists of Eve’s Space, along with eight other women’s centres across Greater Manchester. The aim of the alliance is to share practice and work collaboratively to secure the best outcomes for the women they support. 

What they do and who they are

Women in contact with the criminal justice system are more likely to have experienced trauma, including gender-based violence, and are more likely to have caring responsibilities than men in contact with the criminal justice system. Eve’s Space aims to understand the issues that women who offend or are at risk of offending face and respond to their distinct needs. The team comprises two full time case workers, two part-time case workers and one team leader, all of whom are case holding. One caseworker specialises in domestic violence and abuse, another caseworker specialises in supporting sex workers or those who have previously been involved in sex work. 

Eve’s Space offers women support with a range of issues including debt, accessing benefits, substance misuse, employment, training and finding appropriate accommodation. Once a woman communicates her needs, the team takes a holistic approach to addressing the multitude of issues women at risk of offending/reoffending face. Emphasis is placed on the importance of building a good relationship between the Eve’s Space worker and the woman.

One of the key aims of the centre is to encourage collaboration between the different professionals working with the same woman. Two days a week GMPS staff visit the centre. Being co-located with probation provides a safe, women-only environment for probation appointments and encourages women to engage with their community orders or adhere to the conditions of their licence. As well as the Probation Service, a number of other organisations provide regular support to the women at the centre. Representatives from employment and training services attend regularly to help women get back into work. The centre is visited weekly by Holding Families and Holding Families Plus. The former works with families dealing with problematic drug or alcohol use, while the latter is an adaptation of this service, working with the children and families of alcohol and substance dependent parents who are in prison. Early help workers as well as local domestic violence services are also regularly invited to the centre. 

Every quarter Eve’s Space host a women’s health day with healthcare assistants at the centre to do routine check-ups. Answer Cancer, Greater Manchester cancer screening programme attend, as well as professionals working to address smoking cessation and diabetes. 


The criterion for referral is women living in Bolton, who are at risk of offending or who have already offended. The risk of offending is decided on a case-by-case basis. Hannah explains that drug and alcohol issues and domestic violence are both usually high-risk factors. Eve’s Space aim to support women before they enter the system or before they reoffend. A majority of referrals come from probation officers, but others come from police officers, prisons and courts as well as non-statutory agencies. Women can also refer themselves.  


Eve’s Space was evaluated in 2019 in tandem with the 8 other women’s centres across Greater Manchester by Manchester Metropolitan University. The evaluation found that co-location made the partnerships between organisations much stronger and in turn, improved the relationship between support workers and women. Data from Eve’s Space for 2021/2022 shows that from the 92 cases that were closed, 92% made positive progress in their mental health,18% were able to resolve finance or debt issues, 44% of women were able to address alcohol issues and 26% were able to address drug issues. Finally, 48% of women said their accommodation needs had been met. 

If you would like to learn more about Eve’s Space, please contact Hannah.Matthews@urbanoutreach.co.uk 

Case study by Leontine Gnaly, 2023

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