'I came to the UK five years ago that time I wasn't able to speak any English. By attending Shantona women centres ESOL courses two years at the moment I am studying GCSE English with Thomas Danby College. Also, I'm involved in childcare volunteer with Shantona. I have done ESOL entry one and two, childcare level one, let's play together, story sacks numeracy which was provided by Shantona women centre. I would like to thank Shantona for helping me improve my confidence. Also, I will suggest people like me should come to Shantona and attend the activity they are providing and support them to go further.'
'I used to walk past Shantona all the time without knowing what they did, until one day I was referred through social care services. I received support and realised there were other women just like me and that I wasn’t alone and my bad relationship experiences were not normal. I joined in with DV awareness raising sessions and workshops, they made such a huge difference and helped me regain my confidence enough to start speaking out about my own experiences of DV during the '16 days of action' event.'
'I have learned how to stay safe online and using social media. I have become more confident to talk about my problems with my support worker and my self-esteem is increasing'
'At first I accepted that forced marriage was part of the cultural norm, but now I realise that it is wrong'
'I have seen changes in the students, the students are considering the bigger picture more and other aspects of issues affecting them. When challenged about their views or behaviour I see a more reflective student as before. I see Shantona's role as an external agency that can provide targeted intervention for groups of our young people who require closer attention. School do not have the expertise and knowledge to provide such material at the level and intensity that Shantona can.'
'I feel much happier and confident that I’m getting my life back on track. I have started to attend groups to help expand my knowledge and make new friends.'
'When the girls started to come to the girl's group all they were interested in was turning 16 and being able to get married…now they realise how important their education is and are looking to the future and thinking about going to University and getting jobs. Through informal education, we have raised their aspirations'