'Life-changing' service for vulnerable women faces closure

The Glen Clova Project supports women with issues such as trauma and addiction.

A service described as “life-changing” for vulnerable women in Angus is under threat of closure.

The Glen Clova Project supports women, many of whom have children, with issues such as trauma and addiction.

But funding is set to expire in less than two months, with the council yet to confirm if it will be extended.

Lisa, not her real name, has received support for 18 months after escaping an abusive relationship.

“I was so broken and so in pieces, I was a mess,” she told STV News.

“I’ve never ever had a service where it’s women supporting women. It’s just so caring, so nurturing. It makes you feel at ease to see that they care.

“I’ve had other support in the past but never like this, it’s totally different.”

The project has helped around 170 women since launching in 2019, targeting those who have either slipped through the cracks or haven’t received the appropriate help.

The project's Arbroath centre.

Another woman, whose two young babies died with a year of each other, told STV News: “I don’t think I’m ever going to be the same, but this gives me a stepping stone.

“I’ve never had to grieve for anyone. So to go from that to losing my babies, I thought ‘how am I going to do it, how am I going to get through life?’.

“I’d be in a very bad place [without this project]. There’s a certain comfort about this service. I can talk to them about anything, and I won’t feel judged.

Woman have spoken anonymously about the support they have received.

“It’s like another family. I’m not scared to say anything, no matter how bad it is.”

Staff are worried about the future as the Glen Cova project, which has received £750,000 in the past four years, reaches a crossroads.

“We have really trusting relationships and they find it easy to come to us and seek help,” said centre manager Alison Hendry.

“It’d be a huge concern if they didn’t have that. [Without the funding] it would no longer be here.”

An independent review carried out last year described the service as “life-changing” and its work received praise from councillors at a meeting in October.

Funding decisions will be made when Angus Council sets out its budget in March.

A council spokesperson said: “The project has received cross party support and praise for the invaluable service it provides.

“But it wouldn’t be appropriate to pre-empt the outcome of the 2023-24 budget setting, or speculate on discussions that take place across our services during the budget-setting process.”

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