SWC is a local organisation run by women and provides local women with information, support, advice on local services and education.
Our aim is to provide an inclusive Women & Children Focused Resource to uphold our values of: Respect and Empowerment We will achieve this by: Maintaining Information, Advice & Support services which promote the rights of local women.
Providing opportunities for Furthering the perception and influence of SWC
We were very fortunate having been awarded Big Lottery funding which enables SWC to continue offering free DV Counselling to women who are victims. Where necessary we will refer women on to other specialist agencies. We will be running 2 more Freedom Programmes from September 2015 taking place at the Thomas Wall Centre & the Amy Johnson Children’s Centre in Sutton. Our own fundraising efforts keep other services and events running, combined with the kind help of our funders and donators. SWC are now offering a confidential telephone counselling service. Please check the Telephone Counselling service page for more information. We offer Play facilities (predominantly for under 5′s) while their mothers, grandmothers or guardians whilst making use of any of our facilities of the centre. A crèche is normally available. Please register your child to reserve your place. Children, mums, grandmothers or guardians can enjoy the Meet a Mum Toddler group on a Friday morning. We have a Drop in centre for women on Wednesday afternoons – 12.00 – 3.30pm. SWC supports a fully equipped IT suite & help (if required) on Windows 7 desktop computers & Windows 8 laptops. Help primarily is provided for women who are beginners or improvers at ‘Windows’ PC computing. How to find us: A detailed map can be found here We are locally situated near Sutton Main Line Station & bus routes – Nos. 154; 164; 151; 407; 627 & S4.
The campaign for a women’s centre goes back to 1982. A group of mainly professional women from the Wallington area had begun to meet in each others homes. A 12 strong committee was formed. Within the group evolved the idea of establishing a centre to assemble, in what they saw as progression in meeting local women’s needs. The initiative proved popular and they instituted regular monthly meetings in the Roundshaw Community Centre, also a public meeting to harvest further support.
In December 1983, the GLC awarded a grant towards a women’s centre. This permitted the Sutton Women’s Centre to be registered as a charity and limited company. The next steps were two-fold – to appoint a development worker to co-ordinate group activities, and importantly to locate suitable premises. The latter task proved more difficult than expected, there was some prejudice, and some called the application outrageous claiming it was unnecessary.
12 months later some concerns surfaced as no property purchase had yet been made, the worry was the grant would be withdrawn by the GLC. However, in 1985 contracts were exchanged for a two-up, two-down cottage at No3 Palmerston Road Sutton.
On 1st May 1985 Sutton Women’s Centre opened for business.
The GLC was abolished in 1986, Sutton Council took over the funding and we were well supported by the borough for many years. Due to the recent economic climate, Sutton Council were forced to withdraw our funding.
Fortunately we were awarded Big Lottery funding which will enable us to continue our Domestic Violence counselling. SWC is now offering a confidential Telephone Counselling service. Our own fundraising efforts will supplement in order to keep other SWC services open for women.
Over the years many women have come through the doors, some have sat on the management committee, some as workers, and many volunteers who are always welcome.
SWC (Sutton Women’s Centre) has, and in the future will continue to come under many different influences, but the aims and objectives of the women’s centre will always remain the same:
To provide a safe meeting place and drop-in centre for all women
To provide a free counselling service & support to meet women’s needs
To provide a helpful resource and information centre
To liaise with established local groups to develop activities, workshops & discussions to improve our services to women.
Thank you to all who continue to give us their support and encouragement.