Christian charity offers step towards new life
Norwich Christian charity STEP's mission is to create a safe environment for vulnerable women and to help rebuild broken lives. They offer meals, advocacy and Bible studies as some of the ways to support these women.
STEP stands for Standing Together Encouraging People and many of the charity's clients face extreme difficulties on a daily basis around issues of poverty, abuse, violence, homelessness, substance misuse, marginalisation and prejudices.
Sarah George, manager of STEP says, "We started up STEP nearly two years ago as a non-labelling Christian project to support vulnerable women wanting to come out of exploitative situations. Many of our women, although not all, have been "working girls" and have drug and alcohol addictions and need alot of support to come out of their previous lifestyle and to stay out of it. This is where we come in. We are keen for the women to leave any labelling behind that would hold them to their old lifestyle.
We hold evening meals for women and their children, Bible study, family days out and regular home visits. We also provide advocacy and support for court visits, attendance at local drug clinics, help with debt, housing etc. S.T.E.P. operates under the umbrella of Community Action Norwich who are kindly allowing us to use their premises at New Hope Christian Centre."
The charity serves the whole Norwich area and provides a safe "family" environment in which women can grow and heal and where they know they will be accepted and encouraged to move forward with a healthier lifestyle. Friendships are forged and peer support is encouraged. One of the women is now one of STEP's valued volunteers and another has had our support into part-time paid employment.
Many of the women are exploring what it is to be a Christian and are finding their own relationship with God gives them the strength to face the inevitable challenges they face. Sarah says, "Our Bible studies are great fun and we use alot of visual aids to help with learning and we have found that this has helped everyone to engage, discuss and enjoy our sessions."
What the clients say:
“What STEP means to me is friendship, companionship... a chance to get together with friends in a comfortable environment. A listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, support in times of need and a wonderful sense of belonging.” Jeanette.
“Everyone at STEP is friendly and caring, they are always willing to listen and talk through our problems. They have lovely food! The groups they run are very interesting and informative as well as fun.” Debbie
- If you would like to help STEP with their work with vulnerable women in the community or would like them to speak at your church or group, please contact them through Community Action Norwich on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07912 496051.
- In order to continue this crucial work, STEP relies on voluntary help and donations.