Choose to Challenge: Umuada

Today is International Women’s Day. This year we are being asked to Choose to Challenge. To help forge a gender equal world and take action for equality.

Across the world people are standing with their hand held high to say 'I’m in!’

Donna, Domestic Abuse Manager at Umuada explains why this year, more than ever we need to be celebrating International Women’s Day:

This year we won’t be able to celebrate International Women’s Day in the way we may have done in the past. Instead we’ll be looking to do something a little bit different.

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on the last year and this feels like the perfect time to not only share the ‘sad’, but to also celebrate the ‘good’ of the last few months.

The sad truth is that in the last year we have seen a higher number of women seeking refuge than ever before. Last year we received 21 calls in the space of five hours for one single available bed space. That’s 21 different women, 21 different stories.

But on the positive we have managed to source funding to buy four additional properties in the local community. Three of which are already set up and offering a place of refuge for three women and their children.

These community based homes have allowed us to offer support to larger families, and families that are ready to leave the refuge, but still need a low level of support from our colleagues. The team at Umuada have taken on this additional work with enthusiasm.

Setting up four new refuge homes in the community was no easy task in the middle of an international pandemic, but thanks to our colleagues across NCHA, particularly the Property Service team, we’ve managed to do it.

Thank you to my incredible team for their dedication and care. Together we are supporting women towards a place of freedom and independence.

That truly is something to celebrate and be grateful for in such difficult times.

Umuada is a 12 bed space refuge supporting women and their families.

Visit our Domestic Abuse pages to find out more about the services we offer.

Further reading: Janet at Derbyshire WISH explains why this year’s theme is so important.


Image credit: pikisuperstar for freepik