Photo Credit: Andrew Phillip
12 months is a short time when you have the massive mission of ending violence against women! Yet we have crammed 2017 full of activities which have ensured maximum impact of the work that we do.
Globally, it has been an eye-opening year for “women’s issues” from the #metoo campaign to the shocking story of an abuser killing himself and two children in a house fire. There has been the times where it would seem easier to block the world out of view but there is hope and there have, also, been many amazing and transformational stories of healing and women’s strength.
Here at Restored we have had another year of hard work as well as fundraising and awareness events. Perhaps our greatest success has been the launch of our Survivor’s Network, which now has over 50 women who receive blogs, book reviews and encouragement from us. Moreover, they now have the capacity to communicate with one another in a safe and secure moderated online forum.
We have also undertaken ground breaking research into the levels of domestic abuses in churches in Cumbria. Whilst the study is focused specifically on Cumbria, it will give an indication of levels of abuse nationally in the Church. This baseline study is the very first of its kind and we hope that this will spur churches in the UK to take more action to protect women. The results of this will be released in March 2018.
2017 saw the expansion of our First Man Standing campaign, with dedicated FMS bible studies. This series of 7 studies, which can be undertaken either in a group or alone, explores different topics relating to masculinity. This includes ‘what does the Bible say about masculinity’, modelling good relationships between men and women and how to be a good example to others. This expansion will be complimented by a yearlong programme for men, launching in 2018, helping to give more practical actions men can take to live as a first man standing.
Our fundraising for 2017 took on some exciting new feats! Our dedicated supporters never fail to be imaginative in their challenges; from 10km runs, walking the Thames Path to Mandy undertaking a Wingwalk! We cannot thank you all enough for your support! The big question is, what’s in store for next year? Any suggestions are more than welcome.
For International Woman’s Day in March, our Ambassador Bishop Rachel Treweek hosted an event for us at the House of Lords. Getting violence against women into the political agenda can be a hard task and this event was a fascinating experience, showing the bridge between the Church and the political sphere. Domestic abuse is an issue at the heart of both politics and the church and working together to get legislation passed is key. Restored will continue to advise on this agenda, attending an event at the UN in 2018.
In November, Restored hosted a sell-out concert at Guildford Cathedral. Packed full of 800 people, the Cathedral heard the wonderful voices of the London Welsh Male Voice Choir and the talented violinist Hannah Brooks-Hughes. The event was a great success for Restored, raising close to £10,000 for us!
Thank you for all of your support; whether prayers, volunteering or donations. We would not have been able to achieve anything without you. But there is still much more to do – here’s to 2018!