In Funding Stories, Reducing isolation & disadvantage

Project: Peer mentoring response to COVID-19
Grant: £3,000
Fund: Bucks Coronavirus Response Appeal

Startup support women whose lives have come into contact with the Criminal Justice System as well as young women who are seriously disadvantaged by social, economic and family circumstances.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Startup maintained its commitment to support vulnerable young women whilst unable to meet in person. They ran Zoom training and workshops for those in their ‘Breaking the Cycle’ programme as well as other unemployed women facing challenges in their lives, with referrals from hostels, refuges and women’s centres as well as other organisations in Buckinghamshire.

The project is Startup’s response to support women in deprived communities, trying to come to terms with the impact of the coronavirus crisis. These women are experiencing isolation, increased mental health challenges with many concerned about their financial position and loss of contact with support networks and friends. Between May and November 2020 over 76 women from Bucks have been able to access a range of virtual workshops, with this funding specifically supporting 30 local women.

A number of the Zoom workshops were tailored to the specific needs of certain groups, for example those seeing increased mental health challenges or domestic violence since COVID-19. Startup has been able to extend its reach to the most isolated and vulnerable women who have accessed the workshops via Zoom, which they haven’t been able to in the community.

One of the women Startup have helped through their ‘Breaking the Cycle’ programme is Emily. The video below tells Emily’s story of change:

Emily’s story