Awards4All funds Freedom Programme Support Group Leicester, enabling Clare Walker Consultancy to continue running this fantastic support group for women affected by domestic abuse. 

However, it is with great sadness that the Leicester Support Group has had to close temporarily. For some of you, missing our weekly ‘touchbase’ sessions can feel like losing grip on things. Domestic abuse by definition and in so many ways, isolates us. In a bid to not let this virus add to that isolation caused by socially isolating, our wonderful volunteers are more than happy to make themselves available for a chat. If this is you, either now or later, give Clare a call and we can sort that out for you.  0116 2701935 See Blog: COVID-19 – What’s Changed for CWC?

Clare Walker Consultancy CIC are so proud of the progress, support and development of all the woman who come and attend our Freedom Programme; from across the years. The regular attenders, those who just join for the 1 programme, those who pop in now and again to touch base and of course our wonderful volunteers who give a little extra for the good of all. 

As some of you may be aware, the Freedom Programme Support Group Leicester has been funded out of private funding within the company for many years.  And this year, we are very excited to have been awarded money from the community fund at The National Lottery: Awards4All. 

This is going to enable us to expand and deliver more for our beneficiaries.  The women support each other within the group, outside of that group, create friendships and different life paths going forward – for some a very different direction to what they had considered, prior attending the Freedom Programme. These incredibly strong women deserve something extra, something back and with the money from Awards4All we’re very excited at being able to do, just that. With the imminent launch of our follow-on programme; Freedom Forever – this has been 1 of the most popular requests from the women. There will be more updates on when and where that will be available and how to refer to it, coming soon.

There are additional activities and provisions we can now offer from the benefit of the Awards4All funding, one of which is a monthly coffee morning in the community. This is where 1 Saturday a month we meet in a café, the woman can bring their children or they can leave them at home with a friend or family member if they choose to, and it’s just a lovely kind of ‘family time’ where we can all sit around and chat and get to know each other a little bit more.  Because one of the other things that we have been fed back from woman attending Freedom Programme, is that there isn’t enough time in the sessions, to just chill, get to know each other a little more, or talk over certain detail a little bit more deeply. We are aware that for some of the women, the prospect of coming onto the city for a coffee socially, on a Saturday morning, is not something they necessarily would feel confident to do, but with the security of meeting others who they already know each other’s faces if nothing else – gives them that confidence to do so and reduce their isolation as well as socialise their children. For some of the women if their ex-perpetrator is still local, Saturday morning trips into the city is not a prospect to consider, usually. Plus, it introduces the women to a child friendly space, that can become familiar, thereby potentially reducing their isolation too and hopefully for the good of the business that runs the café, they’ll feel able to return there in other circumstances too.

In terms of reducing that isolation, we have also set up a group which is online, we use an App to do that. Again, this was requested by the women and is led by the women with lots of support, encouragement, affirmations and information shared amongst themselves there. 

 “As the person who introduced the Freedom Programme to Leicester back in 2003, I am so proud of each and every woman who has come through the group. Not everyone gets to complete, but what they contribute when they are there, is astounding. Even the women who are no longer able to access the group, are still active, supportive, lovely participants within the social App group that we have.  And obviously anybody is more than welcome to come and join us on our monthly coffee mornings, to touch base, chat or have a squeeze. It’s a real privilege that we all enjoy. Without my staff and volunteers, this couldn’t be achieved. And without the financial support of Awards4All this tiny but significant add on, couldn’t be achieved either”

Clare Walker: Founder of Clare Walker Consultancy

During the week celebrating International Women’s Day, felt like the right time for us to meet up; myself, my staff and volunteers for a mapping meeting. Looking at the best ways to get what it is the women want or need additional to groups and social activities. We discussed how we can develop, evolve and grow, what we offer to the women, that is enabled through the financial support of the Awards4All grant.

This peer led extra offer, again from what the woman who have gone, or are still going through post abuse processes – psychologically, emotionally as well as practically. Have also attended/attending the Freedom Programme, identifying what other knowledge and information they feel they need, but also for them to offer what they can give; as a part of that ‘programme of events’. Which will snuggle in-between or alongside the Freedom Programme sessions in bite size chunks.

Many women have asked over the years, “What can I give? I want to give something back, attending your Freedom Programme has been life changing for me”. The women who come to group are from all backgrounds, sectors and with a raft of skills amongst them, so now we are able to create a framework for those who wish too – to give something back, for others it will be access to more informed on a given topic or an enjoyed item to take away – which is fabulously exciting!

Words just fail as to how excited we all are about this. We look forward to updating you via the No More blog and our many social media platforms. And of course, keeping The National Lottery Community Fund up to date with our progress. Thankyou Awards4All for giving us this opportunity to give a little more back.

Clare Walker Consultancy CIC is organically growing, we have branding and behind the scenes development work to do – so watch this space, it’s all systems go! 

#PeerLed #DomesticAbuse #Survivors #SocialIsolation #SocialExclusion #EmpowermentForWomen

See facebook.com/TNLCommunityFund and twitter.com/TNLComFund 

For more information about the Freedom Programme Support Group see the Support Group page 

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For more information about Clare Walker Consultancy’s Expert Speaker, Expert Witness or Training services contact Clare on 0116 2701935 or email clare@clarewalkerconsultancy.com