Amareen, our Your Space Community Wellbeing Space and Support Service Worker, tells us what she’s been up to so far in 2020.
A week before the Corona virus starting keeping us all apart, we brought almost a hundred women and girls together! Each year we have a big celebration of our work, the women and girls who attend all of our projects come along, we invite funders and other professionals that we work alongside from across the city. It’s always an emotional, inspirational and fun event, and this year was no different.
We set up The Key in 2013 for two main reasons – firstly women in our domestic violence groups told us they wished that someone had talked to them about relationships or offered them support when they were much younger – often their first abusive relationships had started in their early teens. Secondly, because our group work in schools showed that girls and young women not only wanted to learn about healthy relationships and staying safe, but lots of them NEEDED it, whether because they were in an abusive relationship, or they witnessed or experienced abuse at home. We knew it was important to remove as many barriers to young women accessing the service as possible – we wanted to support people from across the city, so we didn’t have to turn people away if they didn’t live in a certain area. We knew we needed to provide transport – some women were anxious about making their own way there, or getting a bus, or wouldn’t be able to afford to get there themselves and we didn’t want problems with travel to stop people getting to the support they needed. At WHM we always try to provide a crèche where funding allows, because we know lots of women can’t attend groups if there isn’t a safe space for their children provided, we wanted interpreters for the same reason. Thankfully, the lovely folk at the National Lottery Community Fund completely agreed and funded the project, initially for three years.
The Wellbeing Group recently had a trip to Abbey House Museum where we learnt all about Leeds in the past, and had great fun trying on all the clothes! We enjoyed a warm drink in the café and shared stories from our childhood and how things had changed.
As you can see from the photos, we had a great day out with lots of laughter and fun! None of the women had been before and it opened up a new part of Leeds that they can explore. We are hoping to go back to look around Kirkstall Abbey in the summer and enjoy a picnic in the grounds.