Stepping Stones was set up in 2008 as a Community Interest Company (CIC) by Karen Godfrey who had identified a gap in Luton for specialist women only provision for those who misuse drugs and alcohol.
Within the first year, we recognised that the majority of women attending our services had multiple and complex issues that acted as the precursor to substance misuse, predominantly trauma and the impact of domestic abuse.
Since we started our growth has followed this organic path of learning and adapting based on the needs of our clients. It has led to the development of a broad set of services that includes dedicated adult and children support programmes. Our portfolio of services reflects this evolution and is fully geared to meet a wide range of needs and fully integrates with partner agencies working locally.
We also recognised that the majority of women who visited us also had childcare issues that acted as a major barrier to individual development, primarily, limited access to the appropriate childcare support, and specifically access to registered premises that also catered for their child’s needs. This led to Stepping Stones achieving ‘OFSTED’ accreditation to enable us to support mother and child at the same location. Nowadays our childcare services are more than just an enabler, they form a critical part of our parenting offer to mums and carers.
Stepping Stones became a charity in 2015. As an organisation we were always very socially minded and client driven, so this doesn’t change what we are about; but has introduced a different type of governance to oversee our work and strategic development.