What a difference a week makes – from apprehension to having fun!:
Drop-In Session 1 - 30/03/17
We (Caroline & Jess) were both feeling a little apprehensive as we arrived at Yarl’s Wood as we really didn’t know what to expect from the first drop-in session. The aim of the session was to find out what the detainees would like to get from the morning, and to meet new people who would like a befriender. We also hoped that we would meet those ‘harder to reach’ detainees – which we did! Of the 36 women that YWB currently visit, 14 attended the session, 13 new people came and spent some time with us and 7 initial visit forms were filled out. We met lots of young women from Iraq and Iran, and two young Eritrean girls. As part of our monitoring and evaluation work, we managed to get 6 people to fill out a quick survey about the session, and all of them said that it made them feel happier; they felt supported; less stressed; it was a safe space to talk and would recommend another resident to visit us at future sessions.
Drop-In Session 2 - 06/04/17
What fun we (Caroline & Jess) had at the (second) drop-in session! We had been given permission from Serco Management to take in some games for the sessions, and so we played Uno, coloured in postcards, and borrowed a music CD from the library. The feedback we received once again was extremely positive, and it had a very relaxed atmosphere. 26 people came to say hello and spend some time with us and we completed 6 initial visit forms. There were a few people that came along who feel that the drop in service will be enough for them for the moment, and therefore are not in need of a weekly visit from a befriender.