Thursday, 26 January 2012

Changing Hearts, Changing Lives

Heart 2 Change is a really exciting project that began in November as part of the Recovery Programme at A Way Out. The idea is to support 16-24 year old women who have been coming to A Way Out groups for a little while and who are committed to working further on life skills and personal development.

A typical week could look a bit like this:

Monday- Sports and Fitness e.g. spinning, netball, pilates...

Tuesday- Therapeutic Group Sessions to build confidence and self-esteem

Wednesday- Community Drop-In and Celebrate Recovery, a Christian recovery program (optional)

Thursday- Life Skills e.g. cooking, budgeting, numeracy

Friday- Voluntary placement

In addition to this, the girls on the Heart 2 Change program are each allocated a mentor who meets with them on a weekly basis in 121 sessions to be an extra support and provide an opportunity to explore any practical support needed while on the course.

This program is a fantastic course and is running really well so far. All of the girls have reduced their alcohol consumption since November and as you will know from our previous blogs, alcohol abuse is a serious problem in the North-East and amongst many of our clients. We're excited to see where this program goes in the future!

Obviously there are costs attached to running a project such as this and if you felt you could support Heart 2 Change is any way, no matter how small, we'd be really grateful. It costs £100 per girl per week to run the program and we currently have five young women enrolled. If you are interested in giving anything towards this cost then you can find out details of how to give on our website.

Love from A Way Out x

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Why is A Way Out so good at what it does?

A Way Out is a Christian charity and we are fully reliant on God and grateful for the way in which he has blessed our work and made it so effective. One of the biggest things we are thankful for is the amazing team here that are so passionate about seeing lives changed and who work so hard to make that happen.

We have just updated our staff page on the website and we thought that it would be appropriate to dedicate this week's blog to our team. So here's a little introduction to a few people:

Sarah Jane is our Community Fundraiser. She is the mastermind behind Rags and Muffins, Total Warrior, Transporter Bridge Bungee Jump, Winter Ball and much more... If you are interested in anything to do with events then she's the person to talk to! For all the latest on our events visit our website page here.

Mark is our Community Development Worker. A lot of his work is based in Grangetown and the TS6 area of Teesside which is a relatively new venture for A Way Out. He is pioneering new projects to engage young people, give them skills for the future and build their aspirations. For more on the Grangetown projects, you can visit our blogs here.

Iona only joined the staff team in November after volunteering for A Way Out when she was a student at Durham University. She works specifically with girls and young women who are struggling with their attitudes to alcohol. This is so important in the North-East at the moment and for more on this issue you can read our blogs here.

We don't know how A Way Out kept going before Rob started last year! He sorts out our computers when they stop working, makes sure we keep the office nice and tidy, manages our hours holidays, fixes the internet... the list goes on!

To meet all our staff then check out our Meet the Team page on the website:

If you want to get involved with A Way Out and work with us then check out our opportunities for volunteering on the website. You could work with clients, help with fundraising, work in the cafe or help with admin. Just get in touch and we'll find a space for you!

Love from A Way Out x

Thursday, 12 January 2012

"The True Price of Alcohol"

Who else watched Inside Out North East and Cumbria on Monday night? 

It was a fascinating and worrying insight into the binge drinking culture of the North-East and the impact that this has on our health, the health of those around us and the strain it puts on the NHS. These are some of the scary statistics to come out of the program:

If you get a chance to watch it, you can follow the link to iplayer here but it will only to available until 8pm on Monday 16th January.

The program started off by focussing on the NHS and the way that its service is compromised by the number of alcohol-related incidents it has to deal with every year. It also discussed the issue of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), a little know but serious condition which can cause a child to be born with life-long brain damage if the mother has been drinking whilst pregnant. Finally, Mike Parr from BBC Radio Tees undertook a one month fast from his usual 37 units of alcohol a week and went teetotal for the whole of December. When he began drinking again he found that his craving from alcohol had reduced and he was able to reduce his general intake per week.

There is so much more that I could say but the best thing is probably for you to watch this yourselves. It's only 30 minutes long and well worth it if you are concerned about the local culture of binge drinking, if you know someone who struggles to drink safely or if you yourself find this a difficulty.

This all seems like a lot of bad news but there is a way forward! A Way Out has been aware of this issue for a long time. We work with clients on a daily basis who struggle with binge drinking and we see complete transformation in their lives. At the end of November we employed a new member of staff whose role is to reach and support young women who are struggling to control their drinking habits. Partnering with local specialist organisations we provide the support needed to help these young women to reach their goals of safe, healthy and whole lives for themselves and their families.

If you would like to do something to help then there are so many ways in which you can support A Way Out so we can continue to transform Teesside. To find out more, visit our website.

Love from A Way Out x

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Excellence, Equality, Passion and Faith. What drives you?

Over the next few months we are going to be having a look at our website and trying to make it brighter and better so that it's really easy for people like you to find out what we're up to, how we can help you and maybe how you can help us!

We thought that freshening up our Values and Beliefs section was a good place to start so you can find out what really drives us and keeps us going. These are some of the values we hold closest to our hearts:

You can find these uploaded onto our new Values and Beliefs page at Keep an eye out for new developments in the future!

Love from A Way Out x
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