Volunteering and User Involvement Manager
Hestia | Maya House 1st & 2nd Floors| 134 – 138 Borough High Street|SE1 1LB
‘Hestia has been working closely with Stay Safe UK and we are really grateful to have such a passionate organisation on board with us. Stay Safe UK volunteer their time to provide self-defence workshops to women who are supported across Hestia’s services (including those who have experienced domestic abuse, have been trafficked, have complex needs and/or struggle with mental health issues). The women who have benefited from these sessions have expressed that the instructor created a safe, relaxed and friendly environment for them to learn basic self-defence and protection skills. The sessions provided the women with a space to ask questions, share ideas and participate fully in all the exercises. After the session the women expressed gaining confidence and feeling less afraid when leaving the home.’
'I am a Coordinator of Arts, overseeing PE, Dance, Drama, Music, Food and Art and Design at an all-girls secondary academy in South East London. I organised for Stay Safe U.K. to deliver a teacher training INSET on self-defence to the academy’s PE team. The instuctor provided us with an insight into the need for self-defence and led us expertly through the warning signs and preventions that could potentially stop abuse from happening.He then led the team through self-defence techniques that could be applied in situations.The instructions were clear, with the instuctor correcting any issues immediately to make sure we were precise in our execution of the movements. The way the exercises were layered meant that they got harder as we progressed and gave us time to build on the previous technique. “I felt that we went at a pace that allowed me to really master the technique before moving on; this gave me confidence to be able to teach the technique properly to students”. (Teacher)
Each teacher left the workshop feeling confident that they would be able to teach each technique to the girls within a classroom setting. All teachers practiced at home with their partners and commented on how well they could get out of the physical scenarios using the techniques taught. This made them feel even more confident about being able to help the students feel as though they could use them in an external setting.
From the workshop I created a scheme of learning to implement the self-defence course to our year 11 core PE classes. I liaised with Stay Safe Uk to ensure I had covered all the pointers he had given us in the session and instuctors and advisors were available to offer helpful and informative comments to make sure I covered all topics thoroughly. The scheme covered the theory side of preventing and spotting abuse to how to deal with a physical attack.
Each teacher taught the scheme to year 11 students and the students were responsive to the physical aspects. “I really didn’t think I’d be able to get out of their grip, but I did and it gave me such confidence!” (Year 11 student). They enjoyed trying them out on each other, pushing each other to hold them with more force. “I like that I was taught three different techniques, so if I couldn’t use one, I could try the other and get out of the hold.” (Year 11 student). They particularly enjoyed seeing the teachers struggle out of situations, but always manage to find a way out. Their understanding of abuse and avoiding potentially abusive situations deepened and they had lots of questions, which when taking to our instuctor, he gladly answered and helped with.
The worksheets were a bit too text heavy for some of our students, so we worked with Stay Safe UK and adapted them to be more student friendly and I know they have adapted them to ensure that they can be more widely used in secondary and primary schools. We have rolled out the scheme of learning across our core PE lessons in year 9 and 10 and hope to build on the scheme to further develop students’ awareness and knowledge of self-defence.
I would definitely recommend Stay Safe UK to any school looking to incorporate safety information to their pupils. As a company they offer a wide range of course on all aspect of personal safety and understand well the situations that schools face when working with external organisations.'
The theoretical information provided during the course is easy to follow and readily applied to a potentially real life situation. The practical elements of the course are specifically designed to help women escape from a larger, stronger opponent. Importantly, the techniques are not complicated to apply should a real attack occur. The course is an enjoyable way to learn self-defense in a safe environment.
I left the course with knowledge of how to identify and avoid a threatening situation but also left armed with the confidence in what to do if I do come across that online frog!
Stay Safe UK provided an experienced and trustworthy trainer, who provides essential life long safety skills. I would unreservedly recommend his self defense class for women.'