Friday, 25 September 2020

Reflection

Reflection is something many people will have had time to do during these last six months as life has changed for us all in some way. Everyone has a story and whether this is from childhood or as an adult, that story is part of who they are.

Since joining A Way Out this month, I have told my own story to colleagues about where my passion and driving force comes from and why community fundraising is so important to me. I went back to myself aged 15, and reflected upon what life would have looked like for me if I had not by chance received a single leaflet from a charity at a gala day which  became my lifeline.

Now as A Way Out’s Community Fundraising Co-ordinator  I’m excited to be that person who promotes the work they do and fundraises to keep the organisation’s vital services running.  I am also thrilled to be recruiting a team of community fundraising volunteers to help me do it.

The global pandemic has actively demonstrated how caring a community is when they come together, and it also means that A Way Out’s services are needed more now than ever to support vulnerable women, young people and families who have suffered hardship during the last six months.

If you have passion for community fundraising like me and want to help make a difference to people’s lives then email info@awayout.co.uk for an information pack and join our team!

Natalie King, Community Fundraiser

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, 28 August 2020

A Way Out Shines on…

When I was a child one of my fondest memories was time spent with my grandma, helping her to polish her collection of ‘brasses’, most especially the brass ‘companion set’ – a beautifully crafted set of tools which she used to tend to her coal fire.  Hard work polishing reaped the reward of gleaming brass, refreshed, clean and ready for action.

 

During the past few months A Way Out staff have continued to effectively support clients and have also taken time to polish their knowledge and skills – most especially increasing learning in relation to essential mental health issues and suicide prevention.  This is particularly in response to the impact and experience in relation to CV19 upon those the organisation supports.

 

The organisation has also been developing and polishing our service delivery, ensuring that all service delivery is client led alongside being CV19 compliant.  A Way Out’s Youth and Families service has devised and trailed a new appointment based family drop-in to support the pupils and families in the Bowesfield area of Stockton and delivered socially distanced, outdoor activities to young people and families in Port Clarence.  As A Way Out’s established Youth Service shines on, the service will also be used as a tool to establish and develop much needed support to young males in the area.

 

A Way Out’s support of vulnerable women and girls is also gleaming in the glow of 3 new staff appointments; supporting young women with additional needs; supporting females who have experienced grooming and exploitation; and supporting women serving custodial sentences.  A further 2 new appointments shine a light into the future of A Way Out focusing upon generating income by providing accredited training and concentrating upon community fundraising.

 

Although the past few months may have been hard work, A Way Out is polished, refreshed and ready for action. 

 

For further information about A Way Out’s services or how you can support the work please call 01642 655071 or email info@awayout.co.uk.



Friday, 31 July 2020

A Way Out Update


The end of July marks the first 12 months of A Way Out’s involvement as one of the six partners in the STAGE Project.  The Project brings together five organisations spanning the North East and Yorkshire to provide  trauma-informed  support for women and girls who have been groomed for sexual exploitation.

The work of each of the five partner organisations has confirmed the distressing truth that sexual exploitation is causing significant harm in our communities.  Across the North East and Yorkshire areas it has also shown to be apparent that those women and girls who have been targeted for sexual exploitation often have existing vulnerabilities, such as poverty, homelessness, poor mental health and past experiences of trauma.    

Since the STAGE Project began in July 2019, a total of 95 women have been referred across the 8 towns and cities supported by the project.  A Way Out has undertaken active and effective support, building up trust and relationship with women and girls who make painful disclosures.  Through partnership working across the North East and Yorkshire the STAGE Project has demonstrated that the issue of sexual exploitation is pervasive and systemic across all areas.  As women and girls continue reveal their horrific experiences and cases emerge, A Way Out and our partners involved in the STAGE project find it hugely saddening that women and girls continue to be sexually exploited.
The Stage Project has produced a briefing which recognises the link between housing, homelessness and sexual exploitation and contains a range of government recommendations including the creation of a new National Framework for Adult Survivors of Sexual Exploitation.

One of A Way Out’s objectives is to ensure the voice of the girls and women we support are listened to and heard on a local and a national  - the STAGE project is helping us to achieve this.

For more information contact info@awayout.co.uk or call 01642 655071.



For more information please go to www.awayout.co.uk, or contact 01642 655071, info@awayout.co.uk.

Friday, 3 July 2020

18 Years of Bringing Love Hope and Freedom



In June 2002 A Way Out Charity was formed.  18 years on the organisation has come of age.  The charity has developed and matured and, under the current situation of CV19, this maturity has provided a strong and sturdy base upon which to ensure that the families, young people, and women who rely on our services have continued to receive support.  


A Way Out is an organisation with its feet planted firmly in the North East; operating  ‘hands on’  at ground level supporting the needs of some of  Tees Valley’s most vulnerable people, and working hand in hand with partner organisations, agencies and funders.  A Way Out ensures that those supported by the organisation have a voice which is heard locally and nationally, voices which are listened to intently in order to essentially shape and focus delivery of A Way Out services.  A Way Out has eyes scanning horizons to ensure that the future of those we support is a future of sustainable hope.  A Way Out is an organisation with a heart of compassion for those we support and a heart of thankfulness for those who support the organisation.


In 18 years the body of A Way Out has grown from infancy to an organisation incorporating 8 service areas supporting and empowering young people, families and vulnerable women and girls; women in custody, in prison and on release and supporting women who are finding the courage to disclose historic and current sexual exploitation.  A Way Out is actively working in collaboration to influence and shape guidance and policy at a local and national level.


A Way Out is committed to building upon the grounding of these 18 years and would like to express grateful thanks to those who have nurtured and supported the organisation in so many different ways.

For more information please go to www.awayout.co.uk, or contact 01642 655071, info@awayout.co.uk.


Friday, 5 June 2020

Standing...



A Way Out is renowned for standing beside vulnerable women, young people and families in Teesside, aiming to transform lives through an approach based on the non-judgmental and unconditional love which is at the heart of the Christian ethos of the organisation.

Pre-lockdown, standing beside our clients as they access our support and the services of our partner agencies was what we did – standing beside them for the long haul… over the past months A Way Out has quickly adapted to conditions which have made standing beside those in crisis difficult and unsafe.

Unable to stand beside the vulnerable, our staff have risen to the challenge to stand with clients in the face of increased hardship and critical need, providing emotional support, safety planning and responding to those in crisis. 

A Way Out’s staff have stood with women as they speak on the phone, hearing from women living in fear of violent and exploitative situations.  A Way Out staff have stood with these women, holding them on the phone, working with police, mental health, housing and other partner agencies to support these women to safety… and as they are held on the phone… they have also been held in prayers and thoughts by those who support the organisation.

A Way Out has also delivered around crisis 400 food parcels and activity packs across Teesside… thanks to the donations from supporters who have stood with A Way Out during this crisis. 

Embracing technology has also enabled A Way Out’s youth team to stand with Y6 pupils on a digital platform and provide on-line 1:1 support to those anxious about transitioning to Secondary school,
Would you like to stand with A Way Out? For further details email info@awayout.co.uk


Friday, 8 May 2020

Intensive Care

‘Intensive care’ is a term we are hearing daily.  It is an expression which may currently illicit feelings of fear and apprehension along with images of highly dedicated nursing staff, PPE, monitors and oxygen tubes.  These images appear daily alongside experience of heart-breaking losses and recovery victories.  In our homes many of us are caring intensively for ourselves and others as we stay home, care for loved ones and socially distance.


Like many local community groups, churches and charities, A Way Out has been maintaining care for the vulnerable under these highly restricting circumstances.  Daily A Way Out staff make contact via phone and texting; deliver food parcels/activity packs to relieve crisis during these extreme conditions.  Whilst employing this limited communication A Way Out has actually experienced an increase in client engagement.  This is a direct result of increase in needs related to compound complexities of mental health; issues of homelessness; and exploitation within the home and beyond.  Working with partner agencies A Way Out has continued to care intensively for vulnerable women, young people and families … and we are not the only ones…

Our supporters have also cared intensively providing support through donations – even thinking outside of the box whilst inside their homes - organising online fundraising events providing much needed financial support for A Way Out whilst raising spirits and wellbeing of the community taking part.

A Way Out and clients thank all of our supporters for caring so intensively.  If you would like to support our work please go to www.awayout.co.uk o


Friday, 10 April 2020

Shoulder to shoulder


A Way Out charity normally stands shoulder to shoulder with our staff, with volunteers and with supporters – reaching out, supporting and transforming the lives of some of the most vulnerable women, young people and families in Teesside.  But whilst social distancing, homeworking and ‘lockdown’, shoulder to shoulder is no longer a safe position.  The organisation has made weekly food parcel deliveries maintaining the required distance, and sustained contact, support and safety planning with clients remotely via phone, text or social media, but doing this shoulder to shoulder has not been permissible or safe.

We have all struggled with the 2m rule putting space between ourselves and friends and family.  But one thing can still happen personally between 2 people at a safe 2m distance… it can happen with those we are well acquainted, with those we love, with colleagues, with those we support professionally … even with strangers we pass on the street.  One thing that we can do is meet their gaze, eye to eye, and give a nod or a smile… a friendly encouragement that we are all in this together no matter who we are, or where we are.

When we distributed crisis parcels this week, our staff did not just deliver food and toiletries, they delivered a strong and valuable message to our clients who are battling with very real, challenging and tough impacts of social isolation.  A message delivered eye to eye, meeting their gaze, giving assurance that they are not invisible, that they matter and are loved.

For Christians Easter is a time when eyes gaze upon the cross and then turn to the empty tomb with a message that we all matter and we are all loved. 

Especially at this time we encourage you to meet someone’s gaze, share a smile – it’s permitted even when you are more than 2 metres apart!



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