Trevi House, a local women’s charity in Plymouth, has won a contract to deliver the Pause programme in partnership with Plymouth City Council.


Pause is a proven programme that supports women to break the devastating cycle of having multiple children removed through care proceedings. 11,000 mothers had more than one child removed between 2007 and 2014, placing a huge strain on the care system[1]


Over the lifetime of this contract, Pause Plymouth will give up to 48 women the opportunity to take a ‘pause’ from the periods of chaos and anger that typically follow care proceedings, creating instead a space for them to reflect, learn and aspire. By joining the Pause Plymouth programme, women will receive intensive bespoke support that has not previously been available to them, helping them to avoid or break this cycle.


This is vital work. Across the UK, care applications are at their highest level since 2012, with a total of 72,670 children in care[2].  Two-thirds of cases involve parental substance misuse, while 25% of women who have had a child removed go onto have another child.  This often leads to repeated removals.


Pause Plymouth will be delivered by Trevi House, working in collaboration with Plymouth City Council. It has been structured as a ‘social outcomes contract’, with the Council committing to pay for successful outcomes. Up-front funding and ongoing support is being arranged by Bridges Fund Management, a specialist impact investor with extensive experience of delivering outcomes contracts.


Trevi House will also be supported by Pause. Jules Hillier, Chief Executive of Pause (national) said: We are delighted to be working in partnership with Trevi House and Plymouth City Council to bring Pause to Plymouth. Trevi House understands the approach that makes Pause so effective for women who are caught in a cycle of repeat pregnancies and removals. By combining our experience and expertise, we hope many women in Plymouth will be supported to create the space to make changes in their lives.”


Trevi House has 25 years’ experience of working with women whose needs closely mirror those of the women Pause Plymouth will support, including trauma in their own childhood, learning difficulties, history of domestic and / or sexual violence, issues around relationships, homelessness, social isolation, poor mental health, addiction, criminogenic behaviours and poverty. Over those 25 years, Trevi House has worked with hundreds of women and their children, getting mum off drugs or alcohol for good and giving her the skills to be the best parent she possibly can.


As well as running a 24-7 residential rehabilitation centre for mothers and children in the city, in 2016 Trevi House set up an outreach centre – the Sunflower Women’s Centre, based on Mutley Plain. 


Hannah Shead, CEO of Trevi states: “I am really pleased to see Pause come to Plymouth, to help women dealing with the trauma of having children removed to move on, as women and as mothers.  Many of the women that are admitted to Trevi House have previously had numerous children removed. We know the subsequent trauma caused if they become pregnant again before having the opportunity to recover.”


“We believe that the work of Pause complements our existing work and provides the much-needed support for cases where reunification is not achievable.  It would be easy to write these women off – but given the right support, nurture and specialist interventions, change is absolutely possible. We know that because we see it every day!”


“The Trevi Management team will now work hard to ensure that we recruit the best possible candidates to fill the Pause project roles so that we can begin to work with the women who need this life changing service most.”


Pause Plymouth will start working with women from April 2019. Opportunities to be part of the Pause Plymouth team will be advertised on the Trevi House website from this week. Go to and click on “get involved”.