This blog was due to be written back in April but time seems to have flown by and suddenly it is June! We wanted to summarise what we achieved in our first year and thank all the people who have helped make Physical Empowerment CIC’s first year such a successful venture.
The initial £10,000 grant we got from the National Lottery Community Fund Wales meant that we could get our bilingual website built, hire a part-time intern to do the social media plus run courses for women in Port Talbot. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi. Thank you for believing in Physical Empowerment CIC.
We then secured a small grant from the Mynydd Brombil Community Fund in Port Talbot which has allowed us to start running the follow-up sessions for the women on our books. Thank you very much, we appreciate every penny.
Streetlight UK is an organisation which has been behind the idea of Physical Empowerment from the very start. The Allen Lane Foundation chose to support us with a grant of £7,500 which is amazing. We have an online training session followed by a full day of face-to-face training booked in with their staff and volunteers. We then hope to plan so we can work out the best way to get Physical Empowerment training directly to sex workers who need it.
We are delighted to have two new directors on board; Hayley Hughes and Keith Collyer. They have a variety of expertise between them in areas ranging from close quarter combat through to creating training programmes and managing finances.
It has been a steep learning curve since March 2021 and the team have worked hard. We are proud of what we have achieved in the first year and especially proud that we have various people who are keen to volunteer with Physical Empowerment because they have seen the difference it can make to people’s lives.
We have learned that some organisations and “professionals” are not all that they seem but we have also learned that a lot of people have very good and kind hearts, sometimes they just need encouragement to share them. We have tried to constantly evaluate everything we have done and get feedback from the people we are working with at all stages so we can constantly improve.
We have seen incredibly positive results from men and women working together to heal physical trauma. We have seen women who said they would never touch a man again be able to complete a physical pressure test against a male instructor after nine weeks of training in one session per week. The feeling you get when you see the women achieve this is not something I can easily put into words.
We have partnered up with Community Ventures CIC, who run community centres in Port Talbot, and have been awarded funding to run a pilot project for teenagers. We are in the process of applying for match funding so we know we can continue to offer support longer term.
Community Ventures CIC have offered us a permanent room in Port Talbot so we are in the process of revamping that and applying for funding so we can kit it out.
It is all very exciting and positive and we are thankful every day to have the opportunity to do this work that truly makes a difference to peoples’ lives.
If you'd like to talk to us, join one of our courses or are in need of our help, please contact us!