A popular personal safety course for women and girls is returning to Hackney next month.
It offers practical and realistic self-defence skills in a safe, female-only environment and hopes to encourage a healthier lifestyle once the course finishes.
Sessions take place each Sunday at Gascoyne Community Centre in Gascoyne Road from 4 February and run between 3.30pm and 5.30pm.
The classes, which are open to any female over the age of 13, follow hot on the heels of a successful course held in November at Morningside Community Centre.
Single mother-of-two Karen signed up for those sessions and has seen a significant improvement in her confidence as a result.
She said: “I became involved in the course because I wanted to take more responsibility for my own safety.
“I have learnt how to use my voice and make the person around me think twice about coming towards me in an aggressive way, giving me the confidence to be able to hit back if someone attacked me, as well as getting away.
“I feel less intimidated by others and feel I would be able to assist others as well as not feel panic inside me, like I did before.”
Course leader Sev Necati commented: “I am pleased that people are finding these courses inspirational and that they are learning important, confidence-building skills.
“I look forward to welcoming more women and girls along to Gascoyne Community Centre next month and would encourage people to sign up.”
Toby Moore, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, added: “We are pleased to be working with Sev to deliver these courses and hope this next course is just as successful.”
Anyone interested in the course should complete an expression of interest form by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. People offered a place will need to pay a £10.50 deposit.
The project is being funded by Sanctuary’s Community Investment Fund, supporting projects which benefit Sanctuary residents and their communities.