The Girls House

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Pat Trembath
Posts: 613
Joined: 2 Oct 2004 10:54

The Girls House

Post by Pat Trembath »

Good to see the old Curtain Shop on the corner of Queensthorpe Road back in use again, even if it is only for 8 weeks.

The Girls House Project opens tomorrow (3pm - 7 pm Monday to Friday) and is for girls and young women only. Check out their website on www.thegirlshouse.co.uk , which is still being updated. The following is taken from the website:

"The Girls House is part of a campaign launched by the Young Peoples Health Project. The aim of the campaign is to engage young females in order to provide them with:

- Introduction and access to local services
- Information about their rights if assaulted
- Opportunities to explore personal boundaries and effective ways of enforcing it;
- Opportunities to learn from engagement with other females and to explore their own understandings of themselves as females.

As part of the project we have set up a temporary space in Sydenham Road for females only called The Girls House.

The Girls House opens on 25th January 2010 and will be open for 8 weeks. During this time we will be running various courses, sessions and workshops. Have a look at the programmes page for more information."
Eagle
Posts: 10658
Joined: 7 Oct 2004 06:36
Location: F Hill

Post by Eagle »

Pat I apprecate you have done a lot of good works for Sydenham but am a bit baffled by your post.

1. Is is not counter to discrimination law as you appear to ban males.

You give 4 headings
a. What services , sutrly they can contact the bus company or GP surgery without any help.
b. Surely a matter for The Met
c and d . Both of these leave me completely baffled. What on earth do they mean in non PC English.

I am not complaining about Pat's post or the organistion but just confused.
dickp
Posts: 567
Joined: 7 Jan 2005 14:39
Location: Cardiff

Post by dickp »

Nope. Me too.

Cost of putting on service. A billion dollars. People who use service. Five (four because it was raining).

I look forward to being proved wrong...
stone-penge
Posts: 281
Joined: 5 Nov 2004 14:40
Location: Newlands park

Post by stone-penge »

Yes because the state having to stump up funds for services to young girls who get knocked up/abused by others/fall out of education/whatever/ is some much cheaper then providing them with a bit of information and education to avoid such pitfalls.

:roll:
bensonby
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Joined: 18 Jun 2008 12:28
Location: Kent

Post by bensonby »

Eagle wrote: 1. Is is not counter to discrimination law as you appear to ban males.
Nope.
dickp
Posts: 567
Joined: 7 Jan 2005 14:39
Location: Cardiff

Post by dickp »

Yes, but it is nonsensical to offer exactly the same services that are already offered by other agencies - and then offer it in a building on the high street made almost entirely of glass.

Cos that's going to guarantee privacy on sensitive matters, isn't it?
leenewham
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Joined: 2 Sep 2007 11:58
Location: SYDENHAM
Contact:

Post by leenewham »

Eagle wrote: 1. Is is not counter to discrimination law as you appear to ban males.
Nope.

Men aren't allowed in gymophobics, ladies changing rooms, there are men only clubs, clubs have ladies nights etc etc etc...
stone-penge
Posts: 281
Joined: 5 Nov 2004 14:40
Location: Newlands park

Post by stone-penge »

If only there existed some cheap. lightweight, sheet formed, cellulose based material that could provide temporary opacity to windows!
Weeble
Posts: 358
Joined: 1 Nov 2004 17:56
Location: Sydenham

Post by Weeble »

Eagle wrote:a. What services , sutrly they can contact the bus company or GP surgery without any help.
But young women often don't go to the GP themselves because it seems intimidating, and they don't know what other services are available (walk-in clinics etc), they're worried about their parents finding out (can be a big concern if talking about contraception etc)
b. Surely a matter for The Met
Are they likely to listen to the Met or approach them if they've been assaulted? Maybe this will encourage them to do so?

c and d . Both of these leave me completely baffled. What on earth do they mean in non PC English.
I'd wager it's things like talking about self-esteem and self-respect - to give them the confidence to say no if they don't want to get into a sexual situation, or to talk about using a condom, or not succumbing to peer pressure over drink and drugs etc.

I don't know anything about this project but I know similar high-street schemes have been very successful in other locations, hope it does the same here.
dickp
Posts: 567
Joined: 7 Jan 2005 14:39
Location: Cardiff

Post by dickp »

It's almost as if younsters don't have access to trusted teachers, heath vistors, personal and social education classes, the internet, family planning clinics, and hundreds of leaflets shoved about this kind of stuff their face at every turn.

I know I'd far rather walk into a high street shop and discuss my problems with a complete stranger who won't be there next week.

Maybe I will make a freedom of information request at the end of the project on how many people actually used it.

Who's betting less than 10? In total.
MiniFox
Posts: 191
Joined: 8 Oct 2007 20:32
Location: Lawrie Park Road

Post by MiniFox »

I welcome the use of vacant units by projects such as these and I read Pat's post with real pleasure that the high street is running preventative and empowering projects such as this and the previous exhibition regarding the high street changes

I don't think there is anything pc about helping girls gain a sense of their own worth and an understanding of how lacking self regard makes them vulnerable.

"It's almost as if younsters don't have access to trusted teachers, heath vistors, personal and social education classes, the internet, family planning clinics, and hundreds of leaflets shoved about this kind of stuff their face at every turn"

Other projects and services such as GPs, teachers and social services are usually about mopping up afterwards. And if you are heading off to get information via the web or a leaflet, it's probably because it's happening to you already. Teachers can and do get involved - which is a minefield for them. My best friend is one part teacher, three parts social worker. He treads an impossible, thankless path, usually after something has or is occurring. This project is about preventing girls getting caught up in the mire of these situations to start with. Ambitious. These are things we can only trult learn as we develop, preferably from our families, not authorities, but so often we don't.
This project, from the website, looks like it's pitched at meeting kids at their level to deliver this message. If they get ten people through the door, then that's because these are abstract concepts, difficult to grasp if you havent learned them over time in the way you are treated when your sense of self and self worth are still developing and the girls they need to reach are difficult to get to. From bitter experience, most abuse is by someone the abused person knows and trusts: they often don't even recognise that's what is happening, doubly so if they have grown up not feeling valued. You can be the brightest person and astonishingly not twig you are being abused. You know all the cliches, but when it happens to you not put it all together. It's hard to explain. It's a very difficult message to instill and I wish them all the very best. If they reach ten girls and save them from the life sentence of abuse, then good for them.
And yes, boys suffer abuse too, but I do think its probably wise to reach out to them, separately.
Sorry to pontificate, but it's an issue I feel strongly about
dickp
Posts: 567
Joined: 7 Jan 2005 14:39
Location: Cardiff

Post by dickp »

Let's use some made-up figures to illustrate a point.

Cost of producing booklet, outlining all stakeholders that students can turn to for advice on these topics (research wages, production, printing, distribition costs): £15K.

Number of students given information to: 15,000.

Cost per student (both genders) of information: £1.

Cost of renting out shop and providing advice in person (mainly staff wages, also fit-out costs, utilities, rent etc): £15K.

Number of students given advice to: 150 (let's be really generous here).

Cost per student (female only) of advice: £100.
Wispy Wonder
Posts: 137
Joined: 11 Jan 2006 22:13
Location: Sydenham

Post by Wispy Wonder »

If I were a vulnerable, abused or confused girl, do you really think I'd feel comfortable walking into a prominent High St building housing a clinic to deal with certain, well advertised problems? A building that my friends and family might actually see me entering and leaving, and probably jump to their own conclusions about?

No - I'd sooner go somewhere more private and maintain whatever brave front I put on the situation.

I'm all for the vacant shops being put to use but if user discretion is of little importance, why not just turn it into a clap clinic? I bet you'd get more users, and of both sexes.

W. Wonder
MiniFox
Posts: 191
Joined: 8 Oct 2007 20:32
Location: Lawrie Park Road

Post by MiniFox »

If I were a vulnerable, abused or confused girl, do you really think I'd feel comfortable walking into a prominent High St building housing a clinic to deal with certain, well advertised problems?

Actually, I might have done as I am not sure it's really obvious from the frontage what its for... The venture isn't exclusively about abused girls going to discuss their problems..! :cry: It has 4 briefs and a lot of their features include singstar, playmats etc to get girls to go in and hang out. In many ways I'd have felt more anonymous than in a gp surgery or police station

This forum really saddens me. It's just a group trying to help make a meaningful difference where it matters in a space otherwise vacant.
I'm all in on this subject, now
leenewham
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Joined: 2 Sep 2007 11:58
Location: SYDENHAM
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Post by leenewham »

It was successful in Lewisham High Street apparently.

I'm sure it will be here. I don't understand this almost aggressive stance towards using empty spaces in Sydenham.

Best of luck to them.
dickp
Posts: 567
Joined: 7 Jan 2005 14:39
Location: Cardiff

Post by dickp »

As a taxpayer (several of whose private sector mates got made redundant last week), I feel honoured to be paying for:

- State of the art Dance Mat!

- Playsation 3 Singstar game!

- Computers with internet access

- Chillax area with magazines and books

So, if there's free money to spaff around - how about giving it to an existing youth club? Or would that be too boring?
sydeman
Posts: 148
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 07:15
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by sydeman »

I agree with Dickp. I am getting abid tired that the political classes nowadays seem to think that the only way to sort things out is to spend taxpayers money. We have had over 11 years of Labour and their political ways and all the promises of doing good for society have come to nothing...so what do they do, they spend more money in trying to solve it...can they not see it is not working! It is strange, but the one thing which i would have thought would be a major influence in childrens lives is missing from all the above comments...that of the role of parents, or parent, in a childs life? why is it always the state which has to interfere in peoples lives, yet it is blamed for all the things which go wrong. Give people back a bit more independence and give them responsibility instead of molycoddling them all the time, and giving them the impression the state knows best.
stone-penge
Posts: 281
Joined: 5 Nov 2004 14:40
Location: Newlands park

Post by stone-penge »

I too would like to see a return to the days when these young children knew their place: Up a chimney with a dustpan and brush in their hands.
Weeble
Posts: 358
Joined: 1 Nov 2004 17:56
Location: Sydenham

Post by Weeble »

Echo your sentiments exactly minifox.

The negativity and apparent hostility to this project is very depressing to read.

Is it too difficult to comprehend that the kind of kids who are likely to be most in need of help are likely to be most reticent about approaching traditional 'authority' figures like GPs, teachers etc and have less support from family and friends. And that spending £100 on a dancemat and a singstar game might be just the thing to tempt them in to a non-threatening, informal environment where they can be gently introduced to issues they're scared about confronting?

Do you think a leaflet is going to hit home, or even be read? Get real.
digime2007
Posts: 258
Joined: 10 Sep 2007 18:26
Location: Sydenhham

Post by digime2007 »

I despair at some of the negative comments on here.

dickp, sydeman and co. what's your expertise in this area? Have you read the research on the effectiveness of interventions like these? Do you have factual information to share disputing the success of the Lewisham project? Have you been through the accounts and come to conclusions regarding cost effectiveness compared to other options (booklets: lol)?

Projects like these might not be a magic wand solution but they are worthy attempts to make a difference to peoples lives and therefore the community and society we live in.

It's narrow minded to dismiss them on the basis of ignorance and assumption. Yes, a minuscule proportion of your taxes go on services like these but this is something you should be proud of.
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