Our Story

Changing Pathways (formerly known as Basildon Women’s Aid) has been an integral part of the local South Essex and Thurrock community for over forty years and over this time has supported thousands of women and their children to escape abusive relationships and move on with their lives.

Changing Pathways has a long history of service in its mission to support women experiencing domestic abuse. Over the years, the organisation has evolved as required, to remain aligned with the needs of the people we support.

History founded on Women’s Aid

Founded in 1977, during the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the first refuge house was opened in Basildon, Essex. Basildon Women’s Refuge grew over the years, achieving charity status and a second house in 1980.  By 2005, the current refuge site and move on accommodation had been acquired in Basildon, significantly increasing the number of women the refuge could provide safety to. The organisation now provides safe refuge accommodation for forty-three women and their children at any one time.

In 1999 the Refuge started to offer outreach services to women and children in the community for the first time. The opening of the Parklands Women’s Centre in 2001 extended its community based services. Located near the centre of Basildon the services were readily accessible to visitors and women needing our service. In 2011 the service was relocated to Parklands II site in Felmores when the old site was sold off to build new flats and houses. This centre away from our refuge sites is the main place that our group and therapy work takes place. Today the organisation reaches over 1,300 individuals each year.

In 2005 Basildon Women’s Refuge changed its name to Basildon Women’s Aid to reflect the more diverse work in the community carried out from its Outreach Centre. Following the merger Basildon Women’s Aid and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Services in 2015, Changing Pathways was created to take the organisation forward yet again, to develop and grow our specialist domestic abuse support services in South Essex and Thurrock.

Today, we are proud of the high quality support services that Changing Pathways offers to survivors of domestic abuse which have been accredited by Women’s Aid Federation England through their National Quality Standards. Learn more about our services.

Our Achievements

Changing Pathways has many achievements of which we are proud. These are the most recent and notable examples of our successes:

  • Provided support to 1,300 women and their families in 2017/18
  • Awarded funding from the Big Lottery Women and Girls Fund to develop and embed local specialist services for victims of stalking and harassment.
  • New delivery partner in the Brighter Futures Programme in Thurrock, delivering one to one support to explore the impact of domestic abuse on children.
  • Launched Project Maya, a specialist support service for BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) women experiencing ‘so called’ honour based abuse, forced marriage and for those with insecure immigration status and/or no recourse to public funds as part of a partnership with SOS Domestic Abuse Projects.
  • Partner in  the new South Essex Domestic Abuse Hub, proving a single point of access for domestic abuse support across Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford and Thurrock.
  • Awarded the Women’s Aid Federation of England National Quality Standards Award in 2017.