Why we started

Yvonne and Blonde Lady

Founded in 2013, the Kyra Women’s Project was the brainchild of Yvonne Copley. Yvonne was aware that after any intervention or when people are feeling vulnerable and alone, there is a need for support. Through research and after meeting with a range of organisations in York, she learned that many women had to wait a considerable length of time to receive the specialist intervention and support they desperately needed. This occurred at a time when they were vulnerable, often isolated and at risk of making poor decisions. In addition, a lack of support following formal specialist treatments diminished their effectiveness of primary intervention and its outcomes.

Kyra Women’s Project began as a support centre for women, run by women, providing encouragement, companionship, information, training, and importantly, a sense of belonging.

Kyra supports women to help overcome challenges and make change in their lives. It acts as a support group to prevent a relapse in behaviour and develop new habits.

Our Trustees

Annie Stirk

Annie Stirk




What we do

Our vision is to provide non-judgmental support and information to all women. Whatever their reason for seeking help we recognise that women face challenges in their lives that are distinct from those of men.  Our services are tailored to support women to make the changes they need, at their own pace. Watch this short video to find out more about Kyra and to hear what it means to some of the women who have been helped by the project.

We have five objectives:

  • To provide a safe, non-judgemental environment for women
  • To promote equality and inclusion
  • To address social isolation and develop sustainable support networks for women
  • To improve well-being outcomes for children and families
  • To develop partnerships with statutory, voluntary and private sector services to meet the needs of women and the community

Meet Kyra Women

A Letter From E.

Read E’s story about leaving her home and an abusive relationship, and re-building her confidence and life in a new home.

Your Smile by BKG

A short poem by a member, shared at a Kyra Poetry Lunch – a fab social occasion where women leave, feeling stronger, more encouraged and their voices heard. Topics have included; my first bra, loss and grief, autumn, anger, relationships, life in the mature years and duvet days.

Ode to my distant friend... anger by BKG.

Another poem from BKG: “Many people see the word poetry and are put off, thinking it’s a bit intellectual and not for them. Kyra Poetry Lunches are more like Ruby Wax and Victoria Wood mixed with Kyra members’ voices.”

G.’s Experience Managing Stress

“It is hard when you’re stressed remembering what I have been taught over the last year and not giving up on trying…”

How I Came To Kyra by E.

“I grew as a person…..Kyra offered me much more than a course, it gave me strength to be me!”

How I feel now by K.

Read how K’s negative feelings about herself prior to starting a course had changed by the end of it.

A Poem from M.

“When I’m ready, if I want to. Help is there but never forced.” Read M’s poem about her Kyra experience.

X’s Story.

I was relieved to hear that there is a group out there to help women with their confidence and self esteem…”

The Creative Writing Course by A.

I arrived in a heightened state of anxiety….. It has reignited my enthusiasm and has enabled me to go on to do so many others things.”

How Kyra Helped Me by J.

“Too often in the past I feel I’ve been judged because of my past, my mental health issues and because of my physical disability. I have now gained confidence both personally and socially.”

R’s Journey with Kyra.

Follow R’s journey with post-natal depression, her first impressions of Kyra, experiences at a course and Singing Club, and ultimately running a PND course for other women.

Reports & Statistics

Annual Report 2014

Our Annual Report for 2014 includes information about our first year of operation, the projects and services we delivered and feedback from the women we supported. Download Report

Annual Report 2015

2015 was a big year for Kyra Women’s Project. Our Annual Report provides an update on the activity of the project over the last year, and gives details of the projects and services that we delivered and feedback from the women that we have been supporting. Click here to read the report.

Our Patron

We are so pleased to have actress Penelope Wilton OBE as our patron.

Penelope who was recently presented with an Olivier Award for her role in the west end play Taken at Midnight has starred in many roles on stage and in film and television. Her credits are many and include playing Jean Ainslie in The Second Best Marigold Hotel, Isobel Crawley in Downton Abbey and Harriet Jones in Doctor Who.


Our Supporters

Kyra would not survive without the generous financial and service support of many organisations and individual donors.  Without it, we would not have been able to achieve so much.  Their generosity has enabled us to give women the time, safety and support to enable their lives to improve. Kyra are delighted to receive funding from The Comic Relief Local Communities Programme and would like to thank the Two Ridings Community Foundation in supporting us. logo banner

Our Volunteers

The Kyra Women’s Project has over 25 volunteers.  All our volunteers are women and have completed specialist training. They provide one to one coaching support to encourage other women to pursue their own development, helping them to make change. We rely almost entirely on the commitment and enthusiasm of volunteers, who offer their time and expertise to support the project and the women who use it. Their dedication and generosity is an inspiration to us. If you are passionate about helping other women and would like to volunteer email us at gill@kyra.org.uk or call 01904 632332.