Tag: Savera UK client

Savera UK Clients taking part in self defence sessions

Savera UK clients learn self defence skills in Krav Maga sessions

Savera UK Clients taking part in self defence sessions
Savera UK Clients taking part in self defence sessions

Savera UK clients have learnt vital defence skills in sessions with Krav Maga System UK. Krav Maga, instructors Adrian and Maria explain, is a self defence system which “educates everyone on technical and tactical response in any dangerous situation”.

The sessions took place over six workshops, with Savera UK clients learning how to become confident in identifying a threat and acting to protect themselves. Maria said the purpose of the sessions was “for everyone who trains to be able to walk in peace by having the knowledge of awareness.”

Support Worker Nefeli, who organised the sessions for Savera UK clients, explained confidence-building workshops are particularly important for those who have experienced trauma. She said: “As women we often deal with uncomfortable situations, whether that’s in the street or in public spaces.

“Especially for survivors of abuse, increasing their self-efficacy beliefs – that ‘can do’ attitude – is key to rebuilding their lives. Learning to be assertive through posture, body language and voice can help clients break the vicious cycle of vulnerability and victimisation and better advocate for themselves.”

Nefeli said she was keen for the clients to learn self-defence to “equip clients with tangible and transferrable skills that would empower them in their new beginning”.

Maria, of Krav Maga System UK, said rather than freezing when a physical or verbal threat arises, clients were taught “to practise and to discover what their body and voice can do.” She said all of the Savera UK clients who attended the course were able to “use their body as a tool to defend themselves, and their voice to take control of the situation and ask for help”.

Maria added: “More importantly, everyone had fun and we managed to bring a smile to everyone’s face.”

Following the workshops, one client said: “My mental and physical wellbeing improved. I now feel confident to protect myself in difficult or risky situations.”

Another client said: “I found the workshop very engaging and I liked the spirit.”

Mums also said they felt better able to look after their family in threatening situations, with one client noting: “Going forward, I feel confident that I will be able to protect myself and my children from harm.”

Other clients said they felt more confident in dealing with “scary situations”, adding the techniques they learnt were “life-saving”.

The clients also praised Maria and Adrian for their motivating techniques, describing the sessions as “helpful, educational and informative”. One client said: “I enjoyed the learning process. The instructors are supportive and motivate you, boosting the learning process.”

Nefeli said: “All attendees reported benefitting from the sessions, which were popular with our core group, but also engaged non-frequent clients due to their interesting nature. It was a pleasure to see them grow in their abilities and confidence with each session and at the same time have so much fun, laughing and enjoying the drills.”

Nefeli added: “I have personally benefitted from self-defence classes and feel more confident in my ability to de-escalate situations or protect myself or companions if necessary. Having worked with Krav Maga System UK, I trusted the facilitators to deliver sessions sensitively and appropriately to avoid triggering clients’ trauma and make them equally informative and fun.”

These self-defence sessions were kindly funded by Merseyside Sport Partnership’s and Sport England’s ‘Tackling Inequalities Fund Project’.

Savera UK's festive party

Savera UK clients join Mrs Claus for festive party

Savera UK's festive party

Last week, Savera UK hosted a seasonal party for clients, which included a visit from a special Lapland resident.

All clients were invited to join the Covid regulation-compliant festivities where there was food, gifts and songs – including a rendition of Jingle Bells performed by some of the children.

Savera UK’s one-to-one Support Team organised hiring a room, decorating, setting up the gifts and getting on the phone to arrange the appearance of a special guest.

Thanks to their efforts Mrs Claus was on hand to give out gifts for both the children and their parents. We would like to thank Bookstart for donating gifts for the children and Brownlow Health Centre along with others for donating so we could buy gifts for our clients.

After checking that everyone was on the nice list, Mrs Claus handed out the gifts to excited children who couldn’t wait to open them.

Christmas gifts
Thank you to everyone who donated so Savera UK could provide gifts to clients

Savera UK Support Worker Emma, who helped organise the party and arranged the visit from Mrs Claus, said: “Often our clients don’t get the same opportunities as others and we wanted to make sure they experienced a Christmas party like the vast majority of other people.

“Christmas is all about magic and children and the fact that some families are from disadvantaged backgrounds should not mean that their children are denied these experiences.

“In addition, our clients have overcome so much hardship it is lovely to channel the Christmas spirit, especially with the challenges we have all faced during the pandemic.”

All clients were very thankful for the party, and one said: “It was amazing I liked the Mrs Santa idea. I enjoyed the food, drinks and I and the boys loved the gifts given as well. I love the fact that the gift was a surprise.”

Food parcels for Savera UK clients a the end-of-year party
Food parcels for Savera UK clients a the end-of-year party

Another Savera UK client said: “I and my kids attended the party, we really enjoyed it and had fun, the party venue was attractive and very well organised.

“Got lots and lots of presents and a food parcel, our buggies and prams yesterday were so full. Our kids got entertained and they were really feeling good and enjoyed it.”

One client described the party as “fabulous” and said they had “great fun with friends” and “delicious food”.

Asked about the children’s reaction to Mrs Claus, Emma said: “They were so excited and genuinely believed I was Mrs Claus which highlighted their innocence and the magic of it all.”

Emma said her favourite part was “seeing their little faces light up and how they all waited patiently for a gift”.

She said: “To keep [the children] entertained whilst they were waiting we asked them to explain how they can be sure they were on the ‘good list.’ Some of the things they said were heart-warming and it made all of the efforts so worth it. My favourite thing of one the children asked was if I could pass a message onto the elves to request the LOL gift set.

“Most importantly – it was seeing how much they appreciated it, adults and children alike, and this is reflected in their feedback.”

The Savera UK team and Board, clients, and volunteers, would like to thank every single person who helped and supported us in the last year, we are so appreciative and grateful.  

Have a wonderful festive period and a Happy New Year.  

Savera UK will be closed from 5pm on Thursday, 23rd December until Tuesday, 4th January. If you need support during this period click here.

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Why do we not talk about 'honour'-based abuse web banner

‘Why do we not talk about ‘honour’-based abuse?’

Why do we not talk about 'honour'-based abuse web banner

In her first blog for Savera UK, an anonymous client explains her experience of ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA), why we don’t talk about this kind of abuse enough, and why looking at the bigger picture, as well as the most extreme cases, is important in gaining a better understanding. 

When I hear the words ‘honour’-based abuse, I immediately picture a fierce-looking middle-aged man, wearing a dhoti (a form of sarong that outwardly resembles loose trousers) holding an axe, ready to strike this young woman who is cowering on the ground as death stares her in the face. This image stopped me, for decades, from accepting that ‘honour’-based abuse is a problem in my culture. In fact, it stopped me from recognising that I, too, was a victim.

I worried, and not without good reason, that this image perpetuated classist and racist stereotypes of brown men, and especially those hailing from rural areas. From that worry, I assumed, incorrectly this time, that to accept that ‘honour’-based abuse was a real problem in my culture would give credence to the idea that men from my culture are barbaric and uniquely predisposed to crimes passionels (crimes of passion), an idea that had gained so much currency in the first decades of this century. Especially when I joined the first wave of international students in the US since 2001, I felt it was necessary to bring nuance to this picture. The racist and classist stereotyping had far-reaching consequences for me, personally, as it pushed me into a corner from where I could not defend myself against the abuses of my own culture. But that is, perhaps, a story for another time.

Looking back at this experience, however, allows me to understand one reason why the larger British society is reluctant to talk about ‘honour’-based abuse. In the world where anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and even Nazi revivalism abound, it is difficult, and even risky, to acknowledge anything negative about a vulnerable group. I have seen simple appeals for donations for refugees devolve into a clash of civilisations narrative. In this context, it is easy to believe that there is more than just apathy that is holding back British society from acknowledging ‘honour’-based abuse.

Watch survivor stories from Savera UK clients (1200 x 150 px)

But my good intentions did not save me from being victimised. Nor will the society’s collective strategic tactfulness save the countless young people of all genders who are being forced into marriages or otherwise abused in the name of so-called ‘honour’.

As mentioned earlier, I was so fixated on the axe-wielding, paan­-chewing male abuser image, that I was blinded to my own abuse. Probably similar to how constructions of domestic abuse as only physical abuse keep a lot of victims from recognising the emotional, verbal or financial abuse that they are experiencing. Something that has worked in the latter case is expanding our understanding, at the societal level, that abuse can present in more subtle forms, such as coercive control. In the same way, we need to nuance our understanding of ‘honour’-based abuse, and to learn more about how it works.

In my case, I was not abused by my father, but by my mother. No one held a gun to my head, but life seemed unliveable, and I was constantly fantasising about using one on myself. I was not forced on to a plane and sent away. Instead, I was groomed from childhood into thinking that moving permanently away from my family would be dishonourable. In speaking of my experience, I do not wish to speak over the women who do face these very blatant threats to their lives, safety and freedom. Instead, I wish to point out that very often society hears about only the most extreme cases, and that those cases are merely the tip of the iceberg. ‘Honour’-based abuse, like all forms of abuse, works at multiple levels in many insidious ways.

To really protect those vulnerable to ‘honour’-based abuse, we need to understand the bigger picture within which this abuse takes place. We need to develop a better collective understanding of the mechanics of this form of abuse. And our allies in wider British society need to listen to us when we say that ‘honour’-based abuse is a problem.

If you are at risk of HBA or want advice, please contact the Savera UK helpline on 0800 107 0726, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Savera UK is closed from 5pm Thursday, 23rd December 2021 until Tuesday, 4th January 2022. For support during this period click here.