Tears as Handsworth centre for women forced to close

Wednesday 13th March 2019 05:14 EDT

A centre in Handsworth that helps thousands of struggling women from across the city is about to close for the last time.

Distraught founder Usha Khera, pictured, and sole employee, daughter Daisy, are being forced to close the doors to the Women's Help Centre in Rookery Road, Handsworth after more than 30 years.

They have battled in vain to secure new grants, to raise funds and win council support but, amid swingeing austerity cuts, they have been left with too little income to meet a threefold rent increase from a new landlord. The lack of support has left them bewildered.

"The greater the cuts to public services, the more people come to us for help. They need us. New people are turning up every single day who need us. We do not know where people will go when we are not here," says Daisy.

The centre is a charity relying on volunteer help to support around 3,000 women a year of all cultures and backgrounds, some to deal with the crushing misery of poverty, despair, domestic abuse and cultural isolation; others to learn new skills in preparation for work.

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