I have been attending the Young Women’s Project for over a year.
I would say that when I started I was an angry person who got myself into a lot of trouble. I have been through a lot in my life and feel this was the reason I was so angry – I bottled it up which made it worse. I did speak to a person at school when I was younger and didn’t like how they dealt with me, I felt judged and they felt sorry for me which is not what I wanted or needed.
Since attending the project I have built up great trust with the staff, I feel genuinely cared about and after sometime I started attending 1-1 sessions which I found hard at first but felt comfortable enough to open up and be honest about my past. I felt relief to be able to talk about it and not be judged. I was listened to, respected and given advice and taught techniques which really helped me overcome my past and my anger issues. I have a book which I write affirmations in and my goals – it helps to track my progress and helps get things off my mind. This really helps and makes me proud to see how I have changed, I feel much better about myself.
The sessions are just as important to my progress and we all really enjoy attending. We have done and learnt so much. We have meetings with staff so they get our ideas about what we should be doing – we all agree as a group. We have done drama, cooking, exercise, a programme of sexual exploitation and made a film, the baby project was good, we took home an electronic baby to see how it would be to be a teenage parent. We have taken part in things we never would before, we did the Duke of Edinburgh award – I would never go camping but feel safe stepping out of my comfort zone with the group.
We have bonded as a group and matured, we look out for each other and new members who join. I feel trusted by the staff as they give us opportunities.
It’s helped us all develop and grow, we feel part of the project not just young people who come and take part. We have a say, we are listened to and respected. The project has positively impacted my life and the life of those who attend in so many ways. We have grown in confidence, feel better about ourselves, more positive and know how to take care of ourselves.