Young women in Leeds have many strengths and talents which they use to support themselves, other young women, the community, city and nationally. Some girls and young women also face challenges and lack opportunities whilst growing up. Young women new to the country face additional barriers including language, support to settle in, problems accessing services, or struggling at school and face racism and many myths and stereotypes about their lives. Vulnerable young women are also more likely to be living in poverty, to become pregnant at a younger age. Therefore they have multiple disadvantages which lead to inequalities in their life chances. Harehills, the area where Getaway Girls is based experiences some of the highest levels of multiple deprivation and is in top 5% in the country- I
It’s great to have a safe, young women only space where they can relax, make friends, talk to people who understand, try new activities, build confidence and have fun. Getaway Girls offers this space.
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.
Getaway Girls has been supporting girls and young women aged 11-25 in Leeds to build confidence, resilience and aspirations for 30 years. The project has made a positive difference to thousands of young women’s lives over 30 years and works with around 800 young women per year.
We 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.
Young women say:
As a teenager, I struggled at school. I was bullied and had a mentor to support me. I spent a lot of time in the mentor’s office. At college I messed about, got in with the wrong people, got drunk a lot and got pregnant. I was really badly judged for being pregnant at 17 and fell out with all my family.
I didn’t think I had a future and got a bit lost, becoming very isolated and withdrawn. I just staying at home all the time. I had a worker who visited me at home who told me about Getaway Girls as she wanted to get me out of the house. I joined the mums’ group and loved Getaway Girls straight away. I felt welcome, supported and understood. I finally had someone who could support me and help me. Through Getaway Girls I started to feel more confident and less isolated. I started thinking about my future.
Getaway Girls helps girls and young women like me to grow. It empowers you to know someone believes in you. It would have been harder to do what I want to do without the support Getaway Girls..
I joined a school group at Allerton Grange that Getaway Girls was running. We talked about everything. I realised Getaway Girls was in Harehills where I lived so I went to 13-16 group and the summer scheme where I could have fun and get support. I’m a carer and I always had lots to do at home when I wasn’t at school. Sometimes I felt down and not very confident. I had individual support time. I love music but I was a bit scared about going to music sessions that Getaway Girls were running with Lifeforce. I went with a Getaway Girls worker and I attended our Sister Salon music sessions and Women in music workshops. I had my first Djing gig at the Wardrobe and Getaway Girls supported me.. I set up my own business as a DJ at events and I run music / Djing workshops for other girls. My message to other girls is -be who they want to be. I am a member of Global Girls and have planned and run workshops, campaigning and I facilitate the Girls Forum. I led the Valentine’s Day Campaign with the message Love not Control. I am now studying at University. Getaway Girls is still a big part of my life. All the support and opportunities I got from Getaway Girls- building on my strengths and being there when I need them. Now I try to be a role model and support other girls to get the support I had.
I’ve always had mental health problems ever since I was thirteen and it’s still ongoing now. I was involved in CAMHS when I was younger. I went into the hospital when I was seventeen and then there was no support when I turned eighteen. I hadn’t been to any places like Getaway Girls before.
“I’d never been to a place that made me feel so welcome. I felt like I’d found my place. It feels like a home from home. No one judges you. I always look forward to going to Getaway Girls.”I go to Side by Side group. We do lots of crafts and talk about everything including positive thinking and feeling good about ourselves and I also have 1-2-1’s. It helps knowing I have someone to talk to!
So why are we crowdfunding?
We want to continue supporting young women in Leeds.
Please pledge now as we continue on this journey and let's help more girls to access this fantastic support in the future.
Thanks for your support!