Thursday, 31 May 2012

Hello from the New Girl!

Hi! I'm Robyn, I'm new to the staff team at A Way Out in Stockton and I'm going to be the main blog scribbler from now on!  I hope to serve the A Way Out blog as well as the lovely Jenny did, who will be much missed in these offices.

To tell you a little about me, well, I run a business in Durham City part-time, and now work here in Stockton  part-time. I love to snap away with my camera and capture people through the lens, whenever I get the chance.  I thought for my first post here, I'd share with you what the A Way Out offices in Stockton are like through my eyes, the first things I've noticed working here just one week for this amazing charity.  I think you'll see, as I do, that the values and vision of this charity run deep within, in every member of staff, every project and throughout the whole office building.

All over the place, there are little boards, posters, flyers that echo the heart of A Way Out and what it stands for.

Preparations are already underway for the beginning of the 10 year anniversary celebrations...

And I genuinely have no idea why there is a potato with a face on one of the shelves...

The A Way Out offices are situated at the heart of Stockton, and hundreds of people will drive past the building each day, noting the recognisable logo printed on the side of the building.

The message and vision runs throughout...

Love from A Way Out x

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A Farewell Post

This may be more of a personal blog than you've been used to reading from A Way Out. 

It is my last day of work at A Way Out, the sun is shining, a new season is (hopefully) just around the corner and this is my farewell blog- a look back over the last fourteen or so months that I've been working here and a ponder over what I have learnt and what memories I will be taking away with me.

A Way Out is a remarkable, unique and inspiring charity. It is only ten years old (birthday on June 25th!), has just twenty-two members of staff (the vast majority of which work part-time) and it is working at a time when funds are being cut and purses are being drawn tighter. However, despite these potential challenges, A Way Out is growing in influence, impact and awareness.

When I started just over a year ago, we had three followers on Twitter, our Facebook page didn't exist and I don't think Pinterest had been invented! We now have hundreds of amazing followers who are engaging with us and showing their support through retweets, sharing posts, becoming volunteers, running events or joining the staff team!

I believe that A Way Out has always been doing amazing work in Stockton and the great thing about being in my position is that I can now see how many more people have now heard about that. I love to be able to hear about a new project, or an amazing life-changing story or a fantastic group activity and be able to turn that into a post that you can all read.

I am staggered by some of the stories that I hear from my colleagues about the situations our service users are living in on a daily basis, Katie and Daniel's stories are not exaggerations, they represent so many young people that we work with. But A Way Out is making a difference. Last year we reached hundreds of vulnerable young people and were able to offer them hope in dark situations, wholeness in the face of difficult family backgrounds and freedom from life-controlling addiction. 

And this is all down to the people. Our team is made up of an odd assortment of people from all across the UK with a wide variety of backgrounds and passions. We like to surf, do graffiti, travel, take photos, go to the gym, bake cakes, play live music, kayak, organise parties, go camping, look after our grandchildren... the list could go on. But one thing we are all really passionate about is reaching vulnerable women and young people in Teesside and seeing lives changed. Whether that is the Finance Administrator or the CEO, everyone has a heart for the work of A Way Out. I think that is one of the main reasons why this charity is so remarkable and inspiring and that is the biggest thing I will miss.

I have loved being a part of this charity and I will take away so much from my experience. And I will definitely be keeping up with what happens next because I think it's going to be very exciting...

Will you be following too?

Love from A Way Out x

p.s. next week the Love From A Way Out blog post will be coming to you from Robyn, our wonderful new Marketing Assistant. She is brilliant!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Potential of Pinning

You may have noticed that we have recently joined the social sharing site Pinterest. For those of you who aren't sure, Pinterest is a website that allows you to collect images and ideas onto an online pinboard visible to other internet users. (For a nice little introduction on how to use it then check out the Pinterest blog.)

For us at A Way Out this is a great thing! We are always looking for fresh ideas for craft workshops, fundraising events and campaigns. Pinterest allows us to be inspired by other organisations and individuals who are passionate about the same things as us and it also lets us share our thoughts and ideas with them.

Our Pinterest Page

Pinterest is all about sharing. If you have stumbled upon a great photo, motto or creative idea then why not let other people benefit from your discovery? We have an amazing team at A Way Out and we believe we've got a lot to share but we also know that we can learn so much from others too.

A Few of our Boards

So, if you're on Pinterest then why not check us out? You can follow one of our boards that you especially like the look of or just follow all our activity.

And maybe you have some ideas of other boards we could create? What would you like to see us pin about? Can you recommend some 'pinners' who can inspire us?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Buy a Heart and Change a Life

Like ethical, meaningful, life-changing gifts?

Then check out these beautiful sterling silver pendants for sale from A Way Out, designed by jewellery designer Four Beautiful Keys. 

Aren't they beautiful?

Made by hand, each one is completely unique and is available with or without a white water pearl. They come beautifully presented in a gift box with a print of the verse that inspired their creation.

They make brilliant presents for mums, sisters, daughters, friends or yourself!

Each necklace costs £27 and 50% of this goes straight into the life-changing work of A Way Out.

If you would like to purchase a necklace then you can buy via Paypal at the Four Beautiful Keys website or you can arrange to pay directly to A Way Out by popping by to see us in person or sending us an email at

Thursday, 3 May 2012

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