Monday, 25 June 2012

10 Years of A WAY OUT!

It's our 10th Birthday Today!

10 years ago today, a group of individuals with a passion to see freedom for those trapped in poverty, addiction and prostitution gathered together on a sofa and begun what is now known as A WAY OUT charity.  10 years later, A WAY OUT reaches on average over 1000 people per year in Stockton, through outreach, roadshows, schoolswork, crisis intervention work and more.  Through hot meals, workshops, craft sessions, courses, on the streets and in estates all over Stockton.

Reaching 10 years is an incredibly significant time for us.  It's an emotional time as we look back over the last 10 years; remembering conversations, moments, events, announcements and individuals.  The good times and the bad times. The celebrations and the commiserations. All the people we've reached, helped, and seen dramatic change in their lives. It's moving to remind ourselves of how many people we have seen changed, and how many individuals we need to thank for that change.  Volunteers, Staff, Supporters, Donors, Fundraisers and more.  Thank you for all you have done for A WAY OUT in the last 10 years.  We would not be where we are without you.  Thank you.

It's also an exciting time for us, turning 10 years old. We can't help but look forward in anticipation to what the next 10 years will hold. There are so many more people who do not yet know a way out in their lives.  People who are trapped in prostitution, drug or alcohol addiction, poverty, abuse and living on the streets.  There is so much more work to be done.  When we began in 2002, A WAY OUT reached out to around 100 people a year.  As we mentioned earlier, A WAY OUT now reach on average just over 1000 individual people through our various projects each year.  We want to reach 10,000 a year.  We want to see lives changed and people set free and helped through their poverty and addictions.

If you're reading this, you're one of the first to know that we are launching a campaign in conjunction with our 10th Anniversary.  It's called the 10:10 Campaign. We're looking back over 10 years, reflecting on all that's happened, thanking all those involved, and using this to look forward and inspire and develop the next 10 years. We are a growing charity. We want to continue to grow to meet and help more individuals in need. We are asking people to join us on that journey into the next 10 years.

Our 10:10 Campaign takes inspiration from John10:10 in the Bible; "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." We are campaigning to ask individuals to join us in helping more people have life to the full by supporting the work of A WAY OUT.  We are a Christian Charity and we specialise in engaging vulnerable and hard to reach women and young people. We use creative and innovative approaches to educate, support and empower these individuals to live safe, healthy and whole lives.  Life to the full.

Over the next few months, we'll explain how you can join in with our 10:10 campaign, and how you can further support the work of A WAY OUT. But for now, don't forget you can keep in touch with us on Twitter, or by following the #awo1010 campaign, on Facebook and sign up to our mailing list.  Thanks once again for your support, and joining us in the journey of the first 10 years. Hold tight - we're moving upwards for the next 10...

Love from A WAY OUT

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Be the First to Know

At the moment, we're developing how we communicate to you, our supporters about the exciting things we are up to here, how people's lives are changing, how projects are developing, and what we are working towards.
Our our e-newsletters are now going monthly, and that's a great way to find out first, some of the key new developments in our charity.  Delivered straight to your inbox with a friendly, family approach, it's free to receive, and you can sign up right here:

Subscribe to the A WAY OUT newsletter.

If you're a supporter, a regular giver, a volunteer, a client, a link charity, or just curious - feel free to sign up to our newsletter, and we promise to only send you an email once a month, plus the occasional special invitation to an exciting event.  There will be no spamming, we promise!

Don't forget there will also be the usual weekly blogs, and regular twitter updates and facebook updates.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Celebrating the Jubilee

The week before last, our staff and groups were busy preparing and enjoying jubilee celebrations.  Our womens group made bunting, and our girls group made crowns, fit for the Queen.

Lizzie, who works in Education Development took some photos of the girls group that ran one evening, and has shared with us a bit about what the Girls Group on a Monday does:

"Girls group takes place every Monday evening. Girls range from age 10-15 and come from diverse backgrounds, some girls come from extremely deprived estates with a high crime and unemployment rate, and where drug & alcohol misuse is also at a high. Last week, we held a Jubilee party . It included a buffet made be our lovely volunteer Linda. It included cakes, scones, sandwiches and strawberries. We had Jubilee quiz, a competition who could make the best Crown and of cause we handed out Jubilee themed prizes!
Royal bunting decorating the drop-in centre

Delicious Royal Jubilee Cakes
Crown-Making is a Tricky Business

A Crown fit for a Queen

A Selection of Crowns, made by the Girls
Our girls group aims to: allow opportunity to make new friends, to provide diversionary activities to prevent risky behaviours, to provide a safe place for the girls to hang out, to identify any additional needs where A Way Out can help them further, and to provide simple fun and enjoyment. Each week we provide a hot meal & fresh fruit and the girls take it turns to cook. We play games, provide arts & crafts, chat, play on the Wii and it wouldn’t be a girls group without doing our hair, make-up, nails and have magazines to read!

It looks as though the girls group enjoyed a great party time, and suitably decorated the centre, (and themselves!) in preparation for the Queen's Jubilee.  We hope everyone else had a chance to enjoy the bank holidays!

Love from A Way Out x
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