Celebrating a great year
Celebrating the work of volunteers in an incredible year
We have been celebratingour volunteers and our successes at a special thank you event for our annual general meeting last week.
Ann Clarkson, our Centre Co-ordinator said "None of our services are possible without our amazing volunteers. “Many of them have been through difficult times themselves, so they have a real empathy with the people using the centre. They keep the show on the road and work so hard to help others who are often scared, and are at their lowest ebb emotionally and physically. We always use the AGM to say thank you to them and publicly recognise them for the stars that they are”.
The Centre also presented a commemorative vase to Councillor Mary Glew in recognition for her support as one of her official charities during her office as Mayor. Cllr Glew was delighted; “This is a very special charity - I have supported their work for many years as I believe in the enormous difference they make to the lives of local women. The volunteers are incredible, selfless women and I applaud every one of them.”
As part of the celebrations, Treasurer Lisa Hilder shared some of the Centre’s highlights of the past year, which included a £300,000 award for their volunteering project, and a £120,000 grant from BBC Children In Need to fund a three-year project aimed at helping girls and young women who are experiencing domestic violence.
Humber Business Week event – 3 June
The next venture for the Centre is an event as part of Humber Business Week, to showcase their ethical property investment model. Lisa explains: “In recent years we’ve developed our own investment arm, supporting and encouraging landlords and potential landlords to find properties that will act as safe houses for women and children in need. The landlords get a buy to let property that generates an income year on year, the families get safe, affordable accommodation and the Preston Road Centre receives income from managing the property. We now have 90 properties, which is fantastic. It’s an ethical investment which generates a good return, and helps us not only to house women in crisis safely, but to generate income which supports the rest of our services for women and girls.”
You can find out more about the work of the Preston Road Women’s Centre at www.purplehouse.co.uk
Local Firm makes us their charity of the year
Hull-based electrical engineering firm Kirkby Lindsey has chosen the Preston Road Women’s Centre as their charity of the year.
Kirkby Lindsey is well known across Humberside as an electrical motor specialist. Company director,Jackie Kirkby explains why the firm has chosen to support the Preston Road Centre; “Domestic abuse blights the lives of women and children. Through the Hull Soroptimists I have experienced working with the Purple House and I have seen that whatever you give this wonderful organisation not a penny is wasted. All our staff are passionate about dealing locally so they wanted their efforts to help the women and children of Hull - and who could resist a partnership with the title of ‘Winner’? It is optimistic, aims to improve lives, is innovative and every woman who crosses the threshold is a winner; she has taken a positive step forward to safety, to take control and leave the violence behind. We believe everyone in our city deserves to have a safeand secure home.”
Centre Coordinator Ann Clarkson is delighted with the news; “It’s great to know that we have supporters like Kirkby Lindsey, who recognise the importance of helping women and families that are struggling in difficult situations and who are helping us to empower local women and girls to realise their potential. Financially their support is helpful, of course, but it’s also a boost knowing that they will be spreading the word about the work we do and what we stand for.”
Jackie knows that, as well as financial support, giving women and children a positive experience is tremendously beneficial and that giving time can be as valuable as giving money; “Allowing time away from the stresses of life helps to heal emotional wounds and we have some plans in the pipeline to support the women and families who use the Purple House, including a day trip away. Jo Thorsby of the Mermaid Boutique in South Cave is also planning to support us with a fashion experience later in the year and a member of our staff has offered unpaid office training for a few hours a month to women registered with Purple House wanting to return to work. One thing is certain: we shall do our best to be a good friend to Winner.”
Annual stakeholder survey
Tell us what you think! Today we are launching our annual stakeholder survey. Please take 5 minutes to tell us what you think we do well and what could be improved. Find the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/C66LWNB Thank you!
Children in Need support Young Women
Three year funding boost for young women from BBC Children in Need
The Girlz Only young women's Group has been awarded £120,000 to fund a three-year project aimed at helping girls and young women who are experiencing domestic violence, either first hand, or to another member of their family.
Targeted at girls and teenagers aged between 10 and 18, the crucial service has three aims:
1. Reducing young women’s experience of abuse in their own relationships
2. Supporting young women living in a family where a parent, carer or relative is being abused
3. Enabling young survivors to find their voice, to influence policies and services relating to young people’s abusive relationships.
The service, which starts on 1 April 2015, will provide practical and emotional support on a 1:1 basis; group sessions and a peer mentor system, pairing participants with other young women who have been through similar experiences; and accredited courses aimed at understanding abusive relationships, reducing repeat victimisation and raising self-esteem, confidence and aspirations.
Kim Simpson, Young Women’s Participation Project Worker, explains: “We know that teenage girls are most at risk of experiencing violence in their relationships and yet 81% will never get support. Young people find it difficult to define and identify signs of abuse in their relationship, and when they do seek help, they find domestic violence services are typically aimed at adult women. We also know there’s a big need to support young women in understanding and dealing with issues around abuse in parents’ or other relatives’ relationships. This service is badly needed, and we are delighted we now have the means to provide it.
She continues; “We already welcome young women to our youth club, and it was they who identified abusive relationships as an issue which was important – although they found it difficult to identify with the term ‘domestic violence’ in the context of their relationships. We have involved our youth club in the planning of this project and delivered a pilot project to youth groups over the last year, to raise awareness of the issue. This has helped us to understand young people’s perceptions and attitudes around abuse in relationships – and also how important it is to provide to support to young people experiencing abuse in other people’s relationships. We can’t wait to get going – it will make a real, tangible difference to local young people.”
One 14-year old member of the youth club agrees; “When you talk about “domestic violence” it makes me think of adults like your mum and dad - you don’t think of what is happening in yours or your friends’ relationships as “domestic violence”. There needs to be something (information or services) focused around young relationships. I think that way more people would get help”.
The Lord Mayor of Hull, Councillor Mary Glew said “This is wonderful news for the women’s centre – I have supported their work for many years as I believe in the massive difference they make to the lives of local women. This new grant is well-deserved and will continue to benefit young women in East Hull in so many ways.”
Once the project goes live on 1 April, young women will be able to self-refer to the project, and the Centre will also work with other agencies, such as social services and the school multi-agency referral team (SMART).
Lottery project begins
This month our new Volunteer project has got off to a flying start!
Funded for five years by the Big Lottery Fund, this project will help 50 women into work. OUr first success has already happened with one of our volunteers securing paid employment this week.
12 new volunteers are undertaking training in January ready to start work in the centre in February