Bright Futures

“You need that role model, and I have always looked up to my caseworker because she is confident and empowered, and it made me realise I want to be like her."

North East

Charity Location

£99,713

Grant Size

3 Years

Funding Period

Our Partnership

Bright Futures helps young women to navigate family relationships and friendships and offer guidance around education and training. The charity works with young women in their local communities across these issues and supports them to increase their self-esteem and confidence. 

The funding the charity has received from Lloyds Bank Foundation contributes towards their work to support women who have been sexually exploited or trafficked. The grant covers the core costs of the charity and contributes towards the salary of a Project Worker.

The charity ensures that women who have been exploited or trafficked can access the help they need. They support them with court hearings, ensure they have a safe place to stay, and provide training around independent living - such as budgeting - and offer peer support groups, one example being their young mums' groups.

One woman supported by the charity describes how it felt to be welcome by Bright Futures:

 

“After the abuse and what had happened, I didn’t feel safe. I was constantly on edge, so it was nice to come into a place that felt a bit like home and where I felt relaxed."

 

Bright Futures is embedded in their local community and have built a strong network of over 15 local organisations to ensure women get the support they deserve and are entitled to. Northumbria Police and South Tyneside Council work alongside the charity on their domestic abuse work, and the charity also provides training within their community.

The Bright Futures team have an innovate approach to their work; not only do they provide training, but they have also created a mobile app called 'Bright Futures Personal Safety App'The app offers information and advice about issues affecting the young women they support. This ranges from substance dependency and NPS (formerly known as legal highs) to mental health and self-harm, grooming and exploitation. The app is also available to schools to use when teaching young women about healthy relationships.

Dom, a Project Worker at Bright Futures, has supported women who have experienced sexual exploitation, trafficking, or domestic abuse. Dom set up a group with some of the women she supports – their next step will be to create a podcast and 'Stay Safe' posters for pubs and schools and make 'little bags of hope' for women in the community. These bags contain information on Bright Futures, tea bags, sweets, and testimonials from people who have been supported by the charity.

Dom also supports women to build their confidence through pursuing their interests. She helped one woman to produce an educational video that will be used in schools. Dom is just one of the charity's team who is having a significant impact on the lives of young women of South Tyneside. One of the women who was supported by the charity explains how the lessons she learnt at the charity will have a lasting impact:

 

"I tried to remember the lessons that she taught me back then, and I think I am a confident, empowered young woman now. Bright Futures has really set me up on a good path for the rest of my life."

 

The charity is an accredited centre with One Awards. They deliver a range of accredited courses for schools, colleagues, and community groups around healthy relationships, young women's safety, and life and social development. Bright Futures was also awarded North East Charity of the Year 2020 and will continue to empower, educate and help the young women of South Shields.

"I felt that I was surrounded by people who had my best interest at heart.”

Bright Futures Member

What do we mean by Sexual Abuse and Exploitation?

Two women speak on a sofa

People who have experienced sexual abuse and exploitation, which may include any of the following:sexual abuse, violence or exploitation; female genital mutilation; adults who experience trauma from historic sexual abuse or exploitation people involved in sex work where it has a significant adverse impact on their lives.

We’re more than just a funder

We work in partnership with small and local charities. We are committed to funding them for longer, providing development support and influencing policy. Through this partnership, we help charities help more people dealing with complex social issues and help charities to be stronger and improve wider policy and practice.

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