Still time to snap up free personal safety classes for women

Personal safety classes set up in a bid to help provide women with personal safety skills proved so popular, they were fully booked within 48 hours.

But there is still a chance to snap up a free place on the sessions, set up by Amber Valley Borough Council, in partnership with Derbyshire Kickboxing.

In September, the local authority announced that it was providing 100 self-defence classes in the borough to empower women.

This was to be introduced alongside a raft of other safety measures, including trimming overgrown hedges and improving street lighting, which are on-going.

The first round of the hour-long classes, which take place at the leisure centres in Alfreton, Belper, Heanor and Ripley and are open to women and girls aged from seven years old, started last week.

The sessions teach self-defence techniques, as well as skills to improve personal safety.

The second round of classes will start in January.

Councillor Sean Carter, Amber Valley Borough Council’s deputy cabinet member for community safety, said: "It’s been a great success so far.

"We don’t have a big problem, as such, in Amber Valley, but it’s nice that the sessions have been well received and I’m really pleased that people are getting behind it.

"Anything that is going to make the women and girls of Amber Valley feel safe, has got to help.

"We know there is work to be done around violence against women and girls and society needs to work as a whole to change behaviours."

Sally Price, the council’s Community Safety Manager, said: "It’s a really positive initiative that we are providing practical support for women.

"We understand the importance of addressing this issue directly with men, and we plan to work with our partners to look at initiatives to do this in the future. However, we also think that it’s important that women have the opportunity to engage in these sessions and learn new techniques and skills to improve confidence and empowerment."

News of the further sessions comes in the 16 days of action following White Ribbon Day 2021, a campaign to encourage communities to say 'no' to violence against women.

The second round will be open in January and people are asked to register their interest by logging onto www.ambervalley.gov.uk/personalsafetyclasses and completing the booking form.

The council will let those interested know whether they are eligible for a free space, as well as make them aware of the dates of the new sessions.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 570222 or email enquiry@ambervalley.gov.uk