Trust partners with police to provide extra support for vulnerable women in custody | News

Trust partners with police to provide extra support for vulnerable women in custody

Group of people from left to right: Laura Semple from Head to Toe; Insp Nick Stubbs; Rachael Cooke, Support Time Recovery Worker; Sam Craft, Clinical Nurse Specialist; and Tracey Southwell from Head to Toe

Women being held in police custody are to be provided with wellbeing products and details of specialist advice helplines by staff at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

The free items – contained within a small, discreet bag – are the idea of CPFT’s Liaison and Diversion Service and have been funded by the Trust’s Head to Toe charity. They will be given to women being held in custody at Thorpe Wood police station in Peterborough.

The L&D Service is based in police stations as well as courts across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, providing assessments for any mental health or vulnerability needs.

The team also provide information about services such as health, housing, drug and alcohol services or probation with the aim of steering people away from the criminal justice system.

Rachael Cooke, Support Time Recovery Worker with the L&D service, (pictured, centre, with Laura Semple from Head to Toe, Insp Nick Stubbs, colleague Sam Craft and Tracey Southwell from Head to Toe) said: “We are always trying to think of ways to support those we come into contact with.

“Some of the women we see are particularly vulnerable. As well as wellbeing items such as wipes and sanitary products, the bags – which are small and can be easily carried and stored – also contain a fact sheet with emergency contacts which we know will be hugely beneficial, especially if they are in a coercive, controlling relationship they are trying to break free from.”

The bags will be given to women by staff from the Liaison and Diversion Service and officers from Cambridgeshire Police.

Sam Craft, clinical nurse specialist with the L&D Service, said: “This has all been Rachael’s idea – and we are all delighted that it has become a reality thanks to Head to Toe.”

Tracey Southwell, grants officer with the charity, said: “As soon as Rachael approached us we knew it was something we wanted to help with. We are committed to supporting our staff and benefitting the people they provide care and support to. The bags are a wonderful idea which will help so many vulnerable women.”

Inspector Nick Stubbs from the Thorpe Wood Custody Team said: “This is a really great initiative. We already work really closely with CPFT’s Liaison and Diversion Service and I will be asking my officers to give the bags to women who come into custody at the station.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about Head to Toe can contact the charity via

CPFT, which employs more than 4,500 staff, provides community physical health services for older people and adults with long term conditions, mental health services, children community services in Peterborough, social care and learning disability services. The Trust is also renowned for its research and development work.


Picture by Emily Nielsen 

For more information contact:
Andy Burrows
Deputy Head of Communications  

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