In May Membership at Kyra Tipped the 1,000 Mark
The number of women coming to Kyra Women’s Project, which has been operating in York for five and a half years, reached in May.
Each woman who comes to Kyra joins as a member. She can then avail of all of the services on offer. There are no entry requirements for coming to Kyra; nobody is turned away, and the support given is never time limited. The ethos of the project is inclusive and welcoming. Each women who comes is encouraged to build their confidence and make positive change in their lives. Whether it is coming along to our informal drop-in to make friends and have a chat, signing up to courses on self-esteem, assertiveness or cookery, joining the art or singing groups, or doing some gardening, the support is there.
Kyra’s CEO, Yvonne Copley, said, “I believe that the diversity of those coming to Kyra is our strength. Clearly our members believe in us as they keep coming in increasing numbers. What our members have in common is their willingness to create and be an active part of a supportive and nurturing community.”
Recently Kyra has been awarded funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to deliver outreach in York and to give a helping hand to those who might find it hard to make the first steps alone in coming to Kyra. Kyra has also received the endorsement of the Duke of York, through his Community Initiative, which provides a level of quality assurance as to the service on offer.
One member said, “I heard about Kyra long before I dared to even make an initial phone call. After endless rumination, pacing, keying in the number and deleting, ringing for one or two rings but then hanging up before anyone could answer, I finally called. A calm voice said, ‘Of course you can come, we’d like you to’ – she immediately made it so much lighter. Before Kyra I was scared to change, to speak, to start anything – I was literally housebound except for doctor appointments and weekly psychotherapy. Now – well, I just think what a huge amount of time lost and massive amount of energy I wasted unnecessarily – I needn’t have worried. To say the ladies at Kyra are my superheroes is no exaggeration.”
Whilst it is a difficult time to run a charity in York, Kyra has not only managed to survive but to thrive. There may be perception is that York is an affluent city and that poverty, isolation and exclusion are things that don’t happen here yet Kyra knows there are other realities in the city. Kyra continues to work tirelessly to provide a service that allows women to reflect on and change their behaviour, and to build their confidence and sense of self-worth.
Reflecting on the last five years, Yvonne Copley said, “At Kyra, our people are our strength and I would like to thank our members, staff, volunteers, trustees and the wider community all of whom have supported us in getting to this point.”