GEMS (Giving Emotional & Motivational Support) This support group began in Norwich. A typical session would include craft activities, friendly discussion, refreshments and a healthy lunch. The support was aimed at women and their family, 18 years and over. As the women began to gain confidence and were able to make new friendships we noticed that many were meeting outside of the usual sessions and helping one another.
Some of the women had experienced exploitative relationships and situations of fear for their lives and well- being; Some of the women were going through devastating effects of drugs and addictions both on them and their families. Some needed a lot of support, others wanted to give support. The bottom line was: here was a group of women with a heart to bring about lasting change in hurting lives and it was a privilege for all of the team that they wanted to share their stories with us.
The women and their families who have had support have themselves developed lasting skills that has sustain them through the positive changes they have desired to make. They are experiencing a better lifestyle for themselves and their families. Paid work, volunteering roles with outside agencies, managing budgets, safe tenancies safeguarded because they are making positive choices about their future.
This group became client led at the beginning of 2015, and now know that guidance and support continues through our SOS line and contact visits at Sharel@Step, which they remain a part of.
We offer advocacy and support for those in need. This includes court visits, home visits, debt counselling, help with budgeting, attending medical appointments, and giving practical help with housing and provision of furniture.