Pathway Project

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Pathway Project's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Pathway Project is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Kathy Coe, CEO
Joy Blackmore, a Patron of
Pathway, at our Patrons event
Pathway Project is one of the UK’s leading charities helping
to support victims of domestic abuse. Supporting adults,
young people and children, they have grown from strength
to strength since their inception in 1991. The charity has been
awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and has been
widely recognised for its invaluable contribution to the sector.
CEO Kathy Coe has personal experience of these issues and
established the charity to ensure that sufferers were able to
access a comprehensive support system.
It was 11 o’clock on a June night in 1988 when my life finally began – the night I
escaped from a violent and abusive man. I fought my way through the front door
with my three children, each carrying a carrier bag containing their nightclothes.
We got to the car and fled to a friend, who let us stay until we sorted out a more
permanent solution. That was when I realised that the fight was not over, as there
was little understanding and concern about domestic abuse.
Since that day, I have spent my life trying to change the lives of other people in the
same position. Pathway Project was born from this process. In my time as a charity
CEO, I have been able to be part of helping over 30,000 families. I am very proud
that our service consistently delivers excellence, professionalism and innovation,
despite many challenges, and that we always deliver what we promise – a true
model of integrity.
»CEO: Kathy Coe
»Established in 1991
»Based in Lichfield, Tamworth
and East Staffordshire
»Services: Domestic violence
and sexual abuse support
»No. of employees: 42
»Received the Queen’s Award
for Voluntary Service
Pathway Project
Highlighting best practice
The development of Pathway
We pride ourselves on working with
our users on the design, delivery and
quality of the services we provide. This
has given us a unique insight into what
is needed.
We work to deliver support that
meets the needs of those who need
early intervention and preventative
services, for those who are in the low
to medium risk levels and for those
who are high risk. Our service began
with a 24-hour helpline before we
developed a refuge provision and
progressed to providing children’s and
In 2003, when Supporting People
funding was introduced, we were
able to provide the support that we
knew was desperately lacking in the
sector, and we grew to meet this need
with our first well-funded service.
We were able to develop a new 24-
hour refuge and move into another
Since that time, we have developed
a whole new range of services. As
well as maintaining our 24-hour
helpline, we have added two women’s
refuges, additional children’s services,
an outreach service, independent
domestic violence advisors,
independent sexual violence advisors,
a young women and girls worker, early
intervention services based with police
teams, a counselling service, group
work, and training and volunteer
mentoring services. We also run legal
clinics and apply for court orders,
and we run a programme for isolated
children who have struggled to build
friendships, called Action Kids.
Measuring our success
The most powerful measure of success
in domestic and sexual abuse work is
the effect that we have on the lives
of those we help. The number of
women dying nationally as a result of
domestic abuse has stubbornly held at
two each week for many years now,
but the number of incidents has been
rising year on year. This means that, in
real terms, the excellent organisations
available across the country have
prevented a rise in the number
We also measure our success by
the accolades that our organisation
has received. We have attained the
Women’s Aid National Quality Mark
and Investors in People accreditation,
and we were recognised in 2012 with
the Queen’s Award for Voluntary
Service – an MBE for organisations.
We were also chosen by the home
secretary to become a designated
organisation for police super-
complaints. Designated organisations
raise issues on behalf of the public
when there are trends in recorded
complaints against police.
Lorna Walker, our Chair,
thanking our patrons for
their annual contribution
I am very
proud that our
The impact of financial
Our charity was built on hope
and faith. We face struggles and
challenges with courage and
determination. Sadly, since 2010, the
local funding for a range of services
has disappeared. Failing to support
organisations such as ours is akin to
refusing to invest in roadworks. Just
as potholes appear and get bigger,
problems develop and more people
fall through the cracks.
The increase in competitive tendering
has placed us up against large
national organisations that compete
aggressively to win these contracts.
They offer non-specialist, short-term
services, which means that they can
provide figures that appear to make
their value for money much higher
than it is. The truth is that short-term
work alone will not change lives.
Sadly, we have just lost our largest
contract to such an organisation.
Because of this, we are now only a
month away from losing a valued
part of our organisation, alongside 13
highly skilled staff. Many of them will
choose to take different jobs, rather
than work for this other company.
Their skills and experience may be
lost from a sector that desperately
However, we are supporting our staff
and service users as best we can, and
we will rebuild. We know that our
work is too valuable to let go. As long
as families are depending on us, we
will continue to work on their behalf.
Overcoming these challenges
This year has brought us the most
intense struggles that we have faced,
but we are planning to overcome
these challenges and find a new
way forward. We are now working
with a mentoring organisation called
Pilotlight, who have been immensely
helpful. We are planning for a new
future in which we will be able to
assess our shortcomings, find new
funding streams and build on our
income generation strategy.
We are skilled when it comes to
supporting families, and we will
continue to deliver what is needed to
save, empower and enrich lives.
We will
continue to
deliver what is
needed to save,
empower and
enrich lives
Pathway and the amazing staff have supported and helped me over
the last 20 months. Pathway were the first people to believe and
understand what was happening to me. You listened to me and
made me realise I wasn’t going mad and have continued to support
me in my ongoing case. Without Pathway, it’s no understatement
to say that I would not be here now. You have given me the chance
to be able to protect my children and give them the life every child
Our two winners of
the Maggie Stewart
Outstanding Volunteer
Award 2017: Sarah
Wade and Ros Robb

This article was sponsored by Pathway Project. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister