The Key is a project working with girls and young women aged 13-25 from across Leeds, funded by the Big Lottery Fund. We work with girls and young women who have experienced abusive relationships with someone, whether a family member or partner, or who are at risk of having an unhealthy relationship. There are three different strands to the project – our ongoing groups, individual support and our offer to youth settings. We provide transport, refreshments and crèche where needed.
“I’ve learnt that the thing is like you can actually get through it, so if you just like if I didn’t come here I do not know at all how I would cope with things at home but now I’ve come and I spoke to people about it.”
We have three ongoing groups – our girls group, young women’s group and Moving on Group. Both the girls and young women’s group cover topics such as self-esteem building, managing difficult emotions, identifying abusive relationships, looking at what we want in relationships, consent, different types of abuse, staying safe, the impact of abuse on children, healthy family relationships and much more! These groups meet weekly during term time in the city centre.
Our Moving on Group (MOG) is for those who have finished 18 sessions of our young women’s group. This group meets fortnightly and they look at some of the above issues in more depth, as well as looking at life skills and how to move on into the next steps of their lives, whether that’s going to college, volunteering or something else.
We offer individual support to those who currently attend our ongoing groups. This may be things like supporting people to access other services such as health care or housing support, working one on one around healthy relationships and staying safe, attending Child Protection meetings or helping develop confidence.
“Me personally, I think because I’ve come to The Key I would be able, I would have the confidence now to leave a relationship if it wasn’t healthy for me, no matter how it affects the other person you’d have to put yourself first.”
Finally, we offer schools, college and other youth settings both one-off sessions or 6-8 week programmes around healthy relationships and staying safe. If during these sessions one of the young women would like further support, she’s invited to become a member of our ongoing weekly groups. All of our work is free to attend.
All of our groups are really friendly and welcoming, we’re happy to come out for a chat with the young woman before she attends. If you’d like to know more about the project or would like to refer yourself or someone else, you can give us a call to find out if we currently have spaces or get more information here – http://www.womenshealthmatters.org.uk/what-we-do/the-key/