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Whitworth House may be given a reprieve

Their funding could be extended

In a rare instance of moderately good news, Whitworth House, a hostel for young, vulnerable women, reported in February to be closing due to lack of funding, has had a recommendation that its funding will be extended for 18 months, which means it may not be closing on the 30th June 2019.

The news that this vital and sorely-needed part of the community would be closing led to widespread dismay, with a petition calling to Save Whitworth House gaining over 46,000 signatures.

The hostel was founded 20 years ago after a review showed that there was no provision to help vulnerable young women in Cambridge; this year, a Cambridgeshire County Council report claimed that the service was "not significantly different" to other services in the area and that there was an over-provision of services for young people.

However, today a paper was published by County Council officers , which recommends the hostel's funding be continued for another 18 months. This will be voted on on the 21st May. Liberal Democrat Councillor Ian Manning, who has been vocal in his support for Whitworth House, said in a press release today that "this is a fantastic example of a number of people coming together… recognising a problem and working together to solve it" but that "it's something that shouldn't have happened this way."

"I hope the committee will approve this recommendation… it is my firm belief that this is a service that could be expanded and support many many more women in need."

Cover image: Brett Tavarez