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Newsletter May 2017

By Shauna at Savera UK


Welcome to the first ever Savera UK newsletter. 2017 has been a busy year so far for Savera UK since we received our Big Lottery Funding at the end of last year. It's a really exciting time for us and this newsletter will keep you up to date with all the fantastic work that Savera UK is doing. Please follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.


About Us

Savera Liverpool (Savera) was founded on 11th August 2010. The charity came into existence following the work and support from the Black and Racial Minorities (BRM) communities and domestic abuse group that was formed and led by Afrah Qassim, a Community Development Worker with Liverpool Primary Care Trust (PCT). This group was representative of almost all racial minority communities in Liverpool and comprised a number of key agencies working to address the issues of domestic abuse across the city. The aim of the group was to consult and engage with Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities to discern the effects of domestic abuse. The group aimed to identify the associated mental health implications and determine what the gaps in service were. Savera became a fully-registered charity in 2012 to meet some of those needs and acknowledges all the previous work from community groups and agencies in the development of the organisation in its establishment. The metamorphosis of ‘Savera Liverpool’ to ‘Savera UK’ is representative of a number of changes that have taken place at the charity since its inception. When Savera Liverpool was first created, it was intended to address a specific problem – as the name suggests – in the geographic locale of Liverpool. ‘Savera’ meaning ‘new beginning’ in Hindi, was symbolic of the support the charity would provide to those women who are at risk of domestic abuse and harmful practices comprised of honour-based violence (HBV), female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. The charity sought to bring awareness of these issues. It was clear then, that the mandate had to be expanded from a geographic perspective. More than this, as the charity continued its work, inbound enquiries showed that the issue was not limited by gender. Males are also vulnerable to HBV and require specific support and tools to address the challenges they face. It was decided that Savera’s scope must then be expanded. Savera UK thus exists to address, challenge and provide the tools to tackle this cultural taboo. Time and again the charity has found that the communities within which this violence takes place are not fully equipped to confront the issue. This too extends to the professionals who are tasked with being the first line of response. The work that Savera UK ensures to undertake will provide a multi-agency approach to ensure that no vulnerable individual will be left unaided and can rely on the institutions that are there to protect them. Savera UK operates across the United Kingdom to provide services to individuals from Black Minority Ethnic communities who are at risk of domestic abuse. The scope of Savera UK’s services may vary from area to area, dependent on the funding available within the specific region.

We will:

• Provide advice and one to one support for vulnerable individuals 

• Develop and deliver training, conferences and events that raise awareness aimed at tackling domestic abuse and harmful practices within BME communities

• Support professionals when working with survivors of domestic abuse and harmful practices within BME communities

• Cooperate with other charities, statutory authorities and agencies to exchange information and advice encouraging best practices and therefore improve service provision

• Promote and carry out research

We were proud to receive funding from the Women and Girls Initiative, of the National Lottery to continue our important work. The Women and Girls Initiative is awarding up to £45 million in projects, delivered by the women and girls sector, that provide ambitious, person-centred interventions to women and girls in need, or at risk of experiencing a wide variety of issues. The aim of this funding is to empower women and girls to take control of their lives.

A Message from our Patron

“Savera means new beginnings and the people Savera helps know exactly what that means. They are rescued from hopeless and desperate abusive relationships, or from families who are determined to harm them through forced marriage or FGM, and given hope, help and a home. These victims and survivors are the least likely in the UK to seek help because of issues such as honour and culture. However, they know that as Savera goes national, more of them will be saved from lives of despair. It is my privilege to be Savera’s patron, I can think of no better way of showing my admiration for the work they do and the lives they save.”Nazir Afzal

A Message from our Founder

"Savera UK is committed to change and by challenging the status quo, we seek to give voices to those who are silenced by so called ‘honour’ based violence. We have already broken down a lot of barriers in our local communities and we want to give more people a way out and make sure that cases, such as what happened to Shafilea Ahmed and Banaz Mahmod (who are both victims of 'honour' killings) can never happen again. Our hard work and commitment has been acknowledged by the Women and Girls Initiative, who recognise how important this work is to our communities on a local, regional and national scale. We are now able to continue the work that we are already doing and more. With this I am delighted to say that we have now completed our staff recruitment and delighted to say they have already made great development in such a short time and showing commitment and passion to this work. As a co-founder of Savera UK, I would like to welcome you to our first newsletter, to bring news and update you of the work we are doing. I want to welcome Savera UK’s new staff and we are thrilled to have them as part of the team. Want to say a huge thank you to the fantastic Savera UK Board of Directors, who are so committed and dedicated to their role as board members to ensure the organisation is working to its mission. I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been involved and supported Savera UK since its establishment, thank you to all our funders past and present with special thanks to the Big Lottery Fund (Women and Girls initiative), Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Merseyside Police and Police Crime Commissioner. Everyone's involvement has ensured Savera UK has got to where it is today. " - Afrah Qassim





Job Opportunities

Savera UK is currently inviting proposals for the evaluation of the Big Lottery funding that was granted to the charity in 2016. The Big Lottery funding came directly from the ‘Women’s and Girls Initiative’ (WGI) which requires a full evaluation throughout the duration of the three-year term the funding has been provided for. The contract is for a 3-year evaluation consultancy project with a budget up to 20k. If you are interested, please click here to download the description and details of how to apply or go to our website.


Volunteer for Us

Savera UK are always looking for volunteers. Whether it's to get involved with all of our upcoming events or having specialised experience that would be of value to us then we want to know! Please download our Expression of Interest Form or email shaunal@saverauk.co.uk for more information. We will be holding a volunteer induction in just a few months time for our successful applicants so please respond by Friday 23rd June.





International Women's Day

31st March 2017


Savera UK had an active part in the organising the International Women's Day event, including RASA, WHISC, Women Reach Women CIC, The Black-E, John Moores' students, Amani services, CHAT, and was coordinated by Liverpool Community Development Service (LCDS). The event was funded by CitySafe and LCDS. The venue was provided for free by the Black-E. The aim of the Liverpool International Women's Day event was to integrate and unify women across communities in empowering and also empowering humanity where each woman and girl can exercise her choice in getting an education, therefore giving the freedom to make their own life choices. The event gave an opportunity for women to participate without restriction, as well as celebrate and remind us of the inequalities that still need to be addressed. It was also about promoting support services that women can access without feeling fearful or questioned and mostly having fun and meeting new women. The event was a great success where 180 women attended and the age range was from 15 to 65+ (young children who attended were not included in the numbers). Women came from many different backgrounds and from all over Merseyside. This is one of the only events that bring women from different backgrounds and welcomes them to celebrate us as women and tackle issues that effect and impact on us as women. The event also aims to integrate, share experiences, give support, support access to services and reduce isolation.


The Handless Project Friday

19th May - Sunday 21st May

"...and by sunrise she set out on her way and walked the whole day until night fell”. – The Girl Without Hands, by The Brothers Grimm

The Handless Project: Journey is an all-night vigil and 24 hour pilgrimage launched by Aleasha Chaunté. It is inspired by the fairy tale The Handless Maiden – an enigmatic tale about a girl whose father cuts off her hands to save himself from a bad deal. In the story, the maiden travels looking for a place to finally recover. This event imagines her journey as a public ritual performance. Aleasha and two collaborators - Vicci Riley and Joanne Tremarco - will travel around the city incorporating silent walks, a ‘sleepover’ at Unity Theatre, shared meals, song, and celebration.

Savera UK was delighted to take part in such a unique and inspiring project, where some of our women had the chance to get involved and participate in the Handless Project that looked at identifying places in the city that represented a struggle for the women and places that represent support healing. The project helped women to express those feelings and what people are doing to heal. The project was great for those participants as it helped them get involved and look into what can be done to help them heal.


We also have a partnership with RASA (Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre) and also the Merseyside Police Crime Commissioner. The Harmful Practices Training was successfully commissioned through RASA as part of their successful tender bid for services for victims of sexual offences by the Merseyside PCC, who then commissioned Savera UK to coordinate and deliver training sessions within Merseyside (St Helens, Sefton, Liverpool, Wirral, and Knowsley). The aim of the training is to “examine issues in relation to Forced Marriage, Honour Based Violence, and Female Genital Mutilation as well as provide information and support as available and share good practice. Our final session will be delivered in Knowsley on 30th May.

Wirral Connect

We are working closely with Wirral Connect on creating a presence in the Wirral, raising awareness about harmful practices and domestic abuse as well as having a close partnership for Savera UK projects. We have been commissioned by Wirral Connect to raise awareness of domestic abuse and harmful practices to BME communities within the Wirral. We have been commissioned to run 10 sessions with professional organisations. Also as part of the partnership, we are delivering a conference with Wirral Connect (sponsored by MSB Solicitors) on 14th July, the national remembrance day for those killed in the name of so called 'honour'. For information on how you can attend this conference, please email info@saverauk.co.uk.

Merseyside School Project

We are currently working on a school project which includes four schools across Merseyside (funded by Merseyside Police and Police Crime Commissioner). This project includes engaging young people in creating materials such as posters, films and radio shows to raise awareness of Domestic Abuse and Harmful Practices, as well as educate them on the subject. These projects are ongoing and there will be an update in our next newsletter. We're very excited for this partnership and can't wait to see continue with our great work.



Thank Yous 

We would really like to say a big thank you to our board members for their hard work, dedication and support. Furthermore, we'd like to also thank the Big Lottery Fund (Women and Girls Initiative), Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the PCC for helping to make this possible and believing in our cause.

We want to say a big thank you to Joanne Tremarco who raised £525 for Savera UK.

Joanne Tremarco is a Liverpool based visual artist and performer who runs her own Theatre Company FoolSize Theatre. Her work celebrates sexual diversity and aims at empowering and educating women through improvised plays that blend comedy and tragedy. For many years, Joanne has been disseminating information about the shape and size of the clitoris and so was delighted when a French company made a downloadable 3D design available for free. It was pre Christmas and she quickly saw a similarity between the clitoris and mistletoe and so got to work hand painting batches of 'Clitletoe' to sell to her friends. More orders came in than she could imagine and so spent many a late night with her fingers covered in green paint and many mornings in line at post offices as she sent parcels all over the place; some even went as far as USA! Joanne was determined to find a local charity that supported women who had experienced or were at risk of FGM. She was particularly impressed by Savera's approach to working with community's to support change of practices and attitudes. Joanne is currently working with Savera UK as an artist as part of Aleasha Chaunte's Handless Project. www.foolsizetheatre.com

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13th June | Harmful Practices Training (Liverpool) FREE: book now through LSCB AM or PM sessions


3rd July | Volunteer Induction Week

12th July | Harmful Practices Training (Liverpool) FREE: book now through LSCB AM or PM sessions

14th July | National Remembrance Day 


Contact info@saverauk.co.uk for more details about our events.



We have begun to implement a new team referral pathway at Savera UK. This will make the referral process much smoother and ensure that our clients are fully supported in a much more organised and concise way. We have been working on a suitability criteria to confirm that we are the correct pathway for the client so that we can give them all the support they need.

IMPORTANT: We no longer accept referrals through email. **If you would like more information about our new team referral pathway or would like to request a referral form, please contact us at info@saverauk.co.uk


We would like to welcome our new starters to the Savera UK team! Tania has been recruited as our Service Development Manager and Shauna is our new Administrator. We also have two brand new part-time Support Workers, Julie-Ann and Naomi. We're so pleased that our team is growing and can't wait to see what our new members have to offer.


We mostly depend on donations to help deliver and support people accessing our services. Your support is vital for us to be able to provide the services required to those who needs them. If you would like anymore information about how you can donate to Savera UK in any way please call us on 0151 709 6588 or email info@saverauk.co.uk.

* Financial donations: email info@saverauk.co.uk

* Donate time: go to our website or download our Expression of Interest form

* Household donations: email info@saverauk.co.uk