What’s the problem?
It's hard to settle in when you move to a new town, even harder when it's in a new country - this means a new school, new language, trying to fit in and worst of all, missing your family and friends.
Moving to a new country is hard. But it doesn’t have to be difficult forever. And that’s why the Getaway Girls Syrian Friendship Group exists.
What’s the answer?
It’s great to have a safe, girl’s only space where young women new to the country can relax, make friends, talk to people who understand, try new activities, build confidence and have fun. Getaway Girls offers this space and support for Syrian Girls in partnership with the Syrian Community of Leeds.
We think that young women need three things in order to thrive:
Getaway Girls recognise that everyone’s needs are different, so workers can provide support for young women so they can achieve their full potential, some examples of support we have provided include settling into new schools, bullying and building confidence and self-esteem.
Getaway Girls provide new opportunities for young women which helps them to develop new skills and take positive risks in an environment which offers co-operation and support, such as training to mentor other young women, music performances and adventure education.
We provide lots of opportunities for the girls to make new friends and participate in fun activities, some examples of activities the girls have enjoyed include dance, creative writing, graffiti art, arts and crafts, pamper days swimming, trapeze, Mother’s Day Celebration and Race for Life.
What the girls say…..
Getaway Girls empowers young women to build confidence and resilience, develop new skills and take positive risks in an environment which offers co-operation and support. We achieve this through individual support, group work, outreach, detached, residential opportunities creative arts, sports development, adventure education, training, peer support and opportunities for voice and influence.
We support very diverse groups of young women in terms of cultural backgrounds and needs.
We respond quickly and flexibly to needs identified by vulnerable young women and look for solutions to barriers young women face. Getaway Girls has been empowering girls and young women for the past 28 years and is the only young women's organisation in Leeds. The organisation is important locally, regionally, nationally, within the youth work sector and the Women's Sector. Getaway Girls demonstrates that women’s centred strengths based approaches work effectively when supporting disadvantaged young women. We support very vulnerable young women who face a range of risks and vulnerabilities to transform their lives.
Getaway Girls has become established as a key organisation in Harehills and in Leeds and has strong partnerships. The organisation is represented at a strategic level and has solid operational level partnerships with statutory and third sector organisations and is involved in the range of networks and forums throughout the City. When Getaway Girls started 28 years ago it was a very different climate for Girls work and for youth work in general. We were one of many girls projects throughout the country, there was a Girls Resource centre in Leeds and a National organisation for work with girls and young women. These have all now ended and Getaway Girls is one of a small number of girls and young women's organisations throughout the country focusing on empowering young women to lead the Lives they want. It is also a challenging time for Youth Work with reductions in Youth Work across the country. Getaway Girls continue to offer effective support through strength based Youth Work approaches. The Director won the National Youth Work Award in 2014 based on 35 years of supporting vulnerable young people.
So why are we crowdfunding?
We’ve been supporting Syrian girls new to the country for over 18 months now. The Syrian Girls Friendship Group started as a pilot Welcome Project for Syrian Girls in Leeds in response to a need for Syrian girls to meet who felt isolated and didn't get involved with activities outside school. The project began with a welcome session for mums and daughters and from there, the girls and young women asked for a group on a Sunday as the girls come from across the whole of Leeds. 20 girls and young women have attended the group each week. The group is a very lively group with games, fun, laughter, food and music in Arabic and English. We previously received a small amount of funding to set up the group but we are no longer funded for this work. We need to raise £10,000 in order to continue to run this group and also widen the project so that the older young women who have been attending the group can train as mentors for younger girls so they can offer further support and groups for girls to build confidence and feel welcomed in the community.
We can only do this with your support. Please pledge now as we continue on this journey and let's help more Syrian girls to access this fantastic support in the future.
Thanks for your support!