This month A Way Out’s Training Co-ordinator, Rachel shares some thoughts…..
Recently I re-watched a movie from a decade ago - ‘Pay It Forward’. It touched me back then, but resonated on a deeper level ten years on. A key message of the film is by practicing random acts of kindness, there is the hope of leading the world to becoming a better place. During my time at A Way Out I have witnessed an abundance of such acts, alongside those our incredibly supportive community who are beacons of light for the women and families the organisation supports… time gifted through volunteering; financial donations; donations of clothing, toiletries, food and Christmas gifts … for the individuals receiving support these are so greatly valued, without this support their world would be a very different place.
As a lead practitioner in supporting women who have experienced sexually exploitation, I am thankful for having been part of a team who experience the privilege of paying forward hope, safety, acceptance, empathy, trust and respect to some of the most vulnerable and marginalised females who have experienced violence, exploitation, complex trauma, and abuse. Some of these women sadly their lives have been cut short and on 17th December A Way Out marked International End Violence Against Sex Workers Day by remembering these women. We took some solace that their legacy now lives on through my current work. As Training Co-ordinator I train and develop professionals across the North East to be more effective in their support, by adapting practice and service delivery using the approach informed and ‘paid forward’ the experiences of these women. Through this platform their voices are not lost but amplified and live on for all to hear and learn from.
How might you be able to pay something forward that could cast the first ripple ….?
By Rachel Johnson.