Derby women's charity moves into former home of 170-year-old convent

A regional charity that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged and vulnerable women in Derbyshire will be able to provide more support to those in need after moving to a bigger premises in Derby – following a commercial property deal supported by law firm Nelsons.

The award-winning Women’s Work, which was set up in 2003, had been based in Charnwood Street, Derby, for the past 17 years. During that time, the organisation has grown considerably – from working with around 200 women a year to almost 1,000 throughout 2019.  

The charity delivers a range of services, events, support, advocacy and practical workshops targeted at women who have complex and multifaceted needs, including those affected by drug and alcohol misuse, women offenders, women exploited through sex work and those fleeing domestic abuse.

Nelsons – which has offices in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham – provided advice to Women’s Work taking a lease at the former Sisters of Mercy Convent in Derby.

Martin Jinks, partner and expert commercial property solicitor at Nelsons, said:

“Women’s Work provides fantastic support for women in difficultly, and the new premises ensures the charity will be able to continue – and further expand – the work it does regionally.

“It is fantastic and extremely rewarding to be able to offer our expertise and support to good causes, such as Women's Work, that are able to provide many benefits to our surrounding communities.”

The Sisters of Mercy Convent was set up in Derby in 1849 in Nottingham Road and moved to the city centre in 1862. The convent closed in 2019 – and agreed to lease the city centre building to Women’s Work.

Martin and his wife, along with their brothers, sisters and children, were all taught, at some time, by the nuns from the convent. Martin said:

“It is great to see the convent building being put to such a good purpose and I pass my best wishes to the current sisters in their new home.”

Dionne Reid, founder and CEO of Women’s Work, added:

“We have experienced exponential growth over the past decade, and this has been the driver for the move to bigger premises to ensure we can continue to support women in a calm and welcoming environment.

“Our new building is a Grade II listed property that’s located in Derby city centre. The property has a long history and was most recently used as a convent for the Sisters of Mercy. It has beautiful gardens and, at approximately 7,000 sq ft, will provide Women’s Work with lots of scope to grow and develop our services.

“Nelsons provided excellent advice and support to us throughout the deal – making the process really simple and easy to understand. We’re looking forward to working with them again in the future.”

For more information on Nelsons’ commercial property team, please visit www.nelsonslaw.co.uk/commercial-property or call 0800 024 1976.

Picture: L-R Martin Jinks (Nelsons) and Dionne Reid (Women's Work)


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