Award-winning Alana House is to be celebrated at an open day on Friday 23 January

An award-winning project which helps women in Berkshire to lead crime-free lives is to be celebrated at an open day on Friday (23 January).

Alana House, based in Reading, is an innovative women’s community project that uses a holistic approach to support vulnerable and disadvantaged women with complex needs, including those involved in the criminal justice system.

Women seek information, support and advice for a variety of issues including domestic abuse, poverty, mental health, substance misuse, housing, education, unemployment, debt, childcare and anti-social behaviour.

Alana House, which is run by the charity Parents And Children Together (PACT), supports more than 70 women every month by helping them to become better parents, contributing members of society and economically independent.

Earlier this year, Alana House won the ‘Women’ category in the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Community Programmes Awards.

The awards recognise the most effective and innovative crime-cutting schemes in England and Wales.

Catryn Yousefi, Programmes Manager at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Well-resourced and well-structured community projects, such as Alana House, can challenge and change people for the better, in a way short prison sentences simply can't.

“I am delighted that PACT’s valuable and commendable work has been recognised by our award.”

Jan Fishwick, Chief Executive of PACT, said: "Alana House has made a difference to the lives of not only hundreds of vulnerable women, but also to their families and communities over the last four years.

“The service provided by Alana House enables these women to make positive changes and look ahead to a brighter future.

“Their stories are what inspire us to do what we do every day and to reach out to other women who may need our support.

“I am incredibly proud of our team at Alana House and that their passion and commitment has been recognised by the Howard League for Penal Reform.”