Getaway Girls


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Since 1987, Getaway Girls has been providing support for hundreds of young women every year out of their base in a little corner of Leeds.

And now, after celebrating their 25th year anniversary last year, the charity is still going strong with as much commitment and dedication as ever before.

Getaway Girls aims to help young women, aged between 11 and 25, build friendships and confidence whilst also providing a safe outlet to support girls who just need someone to talk to.

Projects are run on a daily basis and can be held in the short term or long term, for people of all backgrounds, with many countries represented by visitors to the site.

SUPPORT: Getaway Girls is a charity which offers girls the chance to build up their confidence and aspirations in an environment which offers co-operation and support (l-r) Naimah Kazi, Devin Kelly (Sessional Youth Worker), Salma Rouf and Alia Nessa

SUPPORT: Getaway Girls is a charity which offers girls the chance to build up their confidence and aspirations in an environment which offers co-operation and support (l-r) Naimah Kazi, Devin Kelly (Sessional Youth Worker), Salma Rouf and Alia Nessa

Schools across the city have even benefitted from the support group who often work closely with the team, providing an eight week course to aid with confidence building, self-esteem, and decision making.

Older girls, who have used the services when they were younger, have the opportunity to become peer educators and get involved with doing youth work, whilst receiving training in the field at the same time.

Flavia Docherty, Director at Getaway Girls, explained why she believed the charity continued to run successfully out of their modest building on Bayswater Grove.

“To say it broadly, we are here to help raise the confidence and aspirations in young women,” she said.

“We work with a whole range of young women from lots of different backgrounds. It’s not just for the youngest girls that we have support either, we also have groups for young mums.

MILESTONE: Over the past 25 years, thousands of young women have been involved with Getaway Girls

MILESTONE: Over the past 25 years, thousands of young women have been involved with Getaway Girls

“Two girls who came here when they were younger have come so far that they now actually work here as well which is great for the current girls to see.”

One project currently running out of the site is called Global Girls, which looks at similarities and differences between young women in the UK and around the world.

Two girls currently partaking in the activities are 14-year-old Salma Rouf and her cousin, Naimah Kazi, 13.
Both girls have been attending Getaway Girls for the past seven months and explained what they were currently working on.

“At the moment we are doing the Global Girls project and it is just us talking about different issues around the world like body issues, expectations, and racism,” they said.

“We try to focus on recent events happening all over the world and recently we have been looking at the Nigerian kidnapping.

“We are currently doing a magazine, to cover all the issues with activities and information in.”

Naimah also explained why the pair were enjoying the group so much, adding: “It’s fun, you learn something in a fun way which is different to school.

“For me it has really given me a confidence boost as well. I used to be quite shy and didn’t talk that much but now I’ve noticed improvements in school as well. I’m much louder with my friends and even did a speech in front of a big group which I would never have done before.”

The teenager’s mother, and former Getaway Girl attendee herself, Alia Nessa, reiterated her daughter’s sentiments.

“I have noticed a big change in Naimah as well and that is why I wanted her to come here,” she said.
“I was part of Getaway Girls nearly 20 years ago and I knew she’d benefit from coming to these activities, meeting new people and just gaining confidence as a teenager.

“She’d have never done some of the things which she has done if it hadn’t been for a place like this.”

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