Some people come to New Futures because they’ve reached a point in their lives where they need help. Others come here because they have the skills and empathy required to offer that support.
In one woman’s case both statements are true.
She began working with the project in 2018 pro-bono, drawing on her legal background, particularly her knowledge of the criminal justice system, to assist women who had reported allegations of crime to the police and the courts in their journey and challenge any unjust decisions.
As her bond with the charity deepened, she took on greater responsibilities and her role now is to provide oversight and advice on its management and work.
She said: “Initially, I came here because I wanted to do what I could for the very vulnerable women New Futures works with,” she says.
“At that time it was about women who were involved in prostitution, but it has grown so much since then and has become a broader, all-encompassing project which does so much to empower women.
“What it does is vitally important and it’s still growing.”
It was an unexpected twist, to say the least, when she ran into her own struggles with her mental health, which were in part linked to her recently learning she was neurodivergent.
“I got to the point when I realised I needed to seek help, but I wasn’t sure what to do or where to go”.
“I asked Della (Della Cavner is the director of New Futures) if she knew anyone and she said ‘Why don’t you see someone here?’.
“I did and it’s been amazing. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done and people say they have seen changes in me, such as being more positive, having a better understanding of myself, my growing confidence and making better decisions to protect myself from people who cause emotional abuse.
“I came here originally to use my professional expertise to help other people, but the project has been a great support to me when I needed it.”
“In many ways, the things I’m receiving counselling for are minor compared to a lot of the other women who come here.”
“I’m very lucky. I have a roof over my head and a job. So many people don’t have those basics, which makes them even more vulnerable.”
“A lot of us are very much about looking after our physical health, but forget about our mental health. I now feel I am looking after my mental help with the support of the New Futures Project”.
“New Futures is a lifeline for so many people now. I didn’t see it coming when I first came here, but that includes me.”
New Futures was set up more than 20 years ago to support women involved in sex work.
However, we have evolved into a welfare and counselling service for women and young people dealing with sexual abuse or exploitation – frequently involving domestic violence, trafficking, poverty and debt, substance use or mental ill-health.
Call us on 0116 251 0803 or send us a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find us at 71 London Road, Leicester, LE2 0PE.