I first came to Getaway Girls in January 2011 and was involved in doing a culture programme. I was referred to Getaway Girls because of my behaviour at school, I was fighting, argueing with teachers and found school really boring.
When Getaway Girls came to my school it was totally different, it turned out I knew the worker. I started a 6 week programme and really enjoyed it. I was also in trouble at home, argueing with my mum, smoking weed. I needed something to do on a night so I joined the Positive ID group, at that time my confidence was low and I needed something to be enthusiastic about.
I worked on the art work , the grafitti and painting and found out about all the stuff in the museum like footbinding and the corsets women wore. We did an exhibition and I spoke at the launch held in the museum.
I went on residentials, did loads of activities in the summer like raft building, climbing, zumba and belly dancing.
Getaway Girls has helped me control my behaviour, given me something to do and helped me meet new people. I’ve built a better relationship with my mu, she can see that I’m doing good at Getaway Girls and school. I can now talk to my mum about certain things including problems.
Getaway Girls have given me the push I needed and I hope I will continue to grow!
I have been coming to Getaway Girl since I was 19. When I first joined my little girl was 2 years old and my other was 3 months.
I first heard about Getaway Girls through a friend and wanted to start coming because it sounded like fun for both me and the kids, I also thought it would be nice to be part of a mums group and to be around other young mums because I didn’t know any before joining.
When I first joined I was nervous about going into a large group of people that I didn’t know, and was a bit unsure of what to expect. A part of me also felt like the odd one out as I was the only one to have two children. During the first session I soon realised I had nothing to worry about, all the other mums were really welcoming and chatty. Now when new people join I always remember my first day and try to make them feel as welcomed as I did. I think you could say I am now one of the chattiest people in the group!
Since I’ve been coming to the mums group I have made loads of new friends and we meet up often outside the group which is nice for me and the children.
I worked on the Parents With Prospects programme so I could improve my parenting skills and gain a recognised qualification. We learnt about baby first aid, health and safety in the home and child illnesses.
During my time with Getaway Girls I have also had the opportunity to join the User’s Forum, this is a group for anyone who has been in any of the groups at Getaway Girls. As part of the Forum we have been trained on how to deliver sexual health sessions to other young people. This has involved learning about the different STI’s how to put condoms on correctly (which I found really embarrassing because I thought at my age I should of known how to do it!!!)
I am 21 I have being attended Getaway Girls for a few years now. The support I get from the organisation is great, Getaway Girls help with literally anything whether its in regards to myself or my son Kaylem who enjoys coming to the sessions and has bonded well with the rest of the kids.
I am now a Peer Educator through Getaway Girls which means I get the opportunity to go into schools to work with young people.
As a result of volunteering I have decided that this is the kind of work that I could do long term. I now want to do my Induction to Youth Work Training Course in which I will get a qualification. After I have completed this I will definitely moving on to do the next level.
I was referred to Getaway Girls by probation, when I first started my goals were to make new friends, become more confident within myself and start to make plans for my future. I feel I have achieved all of these goals now.
Getaway Girls has been a life changing experience for me and I feel the best is yet to come. I’m learning something new every week from basic life skills, to sexual health and body image to relationship issues. This is what makes it fun and always gets me excited wondering what I’ll be doing next week. I’ve been coming to mums group with my son and I love it .
I’m doing campaign Trail where we’re producing posters to get the message across to challenge myths and stereotypes about young mums. I’ve now started doing workshops with teenagers about peer pressure, decision making and gun and knife crime, and I want to start supporting young mums to help their kids. I’m starting the Introduction To Youth work training soon and I want to become a youth worker.
The workers at Getaway Girls are just like me. They are positive role models and I can talk to them about anything. I interviewed Flavia for her job. Getaway Girls has made me a better person. I know I have the help, knowledge and support and the rest is up to me.
I got involved with Getaway Girls through Cultivate when I was at High School. The best thing was I was I pushed myself to do things I didn’t think I could. Getaway Girls helps you channel yourself into doing something positive in the community.
I was a part of the Black History Month Programme where I developed my confidence and learned more about my culture. Many people forget how much “Black people” have contributed to the making the world the way it is. Learning about who you are and where you come from allows you to be proud of your identity. You will be more confident and confidence brings success.
Perfomance by Michelle Scally Clarke
Learning about other cultures eliminates ignorance and makes you more socially aware. I learned new skills like how to be tolerant of other people’s views and religions. I met a variety of people and now am able to socialise and respect other people.
Getaway Girls is a positive project that helped me. It should continue being a pillar in which it turns “ghetto” girls into sophisticated women with dreams and aspirations. Teaching them that getting pregnant is not the end of the world, you can still accomplish things. You can focus on showing girls that there is more to life than “Leeds”, pushing them never to settle for less and always aim to be self reliant.
Now studying for her Degree in Youth and Community Work
Department of Health
Through Young Minds and the Department of Health 5 young women from Getaway Girls had the opportunity to be involved in the Decision making and interviews for the partnerships from across the country who had been shortlisted to receive funding through Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies. The department of Health were very impressed by the young women’s motivation, enthusiasm and skills.
Passion 4 Fashion
We had the privilege of being part of Passion 4 Fashion 2011. 15 young women from Getaway Girls from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds took part including young women from Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia, Malawi. The young designed and made their own outfits from clothes from charity shops with support from a designer and one of our peer educators who is a fashion student. They took part in planning sessions including Catwalk Confidence. The whole project culminated in an amazing Fashion Show held at Leeds Town Hall with over sixty young women from housing support projects and Getaway Girls.
A launch of the work created by Getaway Girls mums and grandparents from the grandparent association took place today. Among the people attending was Cllr’s Ron Grahame and Khan Asghar. The young women read poems they have written that relate to being a ‘mum’ after being inspired by the grandmothers and poet Michelle Scally Clark.
The banner will be displayed at St James’ Hospital Maternity Unit from March 2012.
House of Lords
As part of the enquiry into young women and the penal system Getaway Girls was invited to submit evidence about our work on prevention and early intervention re young women and crime.
We were then invited to the house of Lords to talk about our work. Two peer educators told the audience about how they had benefitted from Getaway Girls.
Two other Young Women’s Projects also presented and a clear message was given that what works is long term, holistic work with young women. This is now being discussed at a national level by key decision-makers
Positive For Youth
2 young women from getaway Girls took part in the national Positive for Youth event in London which focused on the Positive for Youth statement and gave young people a chance to be consulted.
Our real stories from the girls themselves, let them tell you how this organisation made a difference.