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Drop in centre for vulnerable women in the heart of Torquay.

We meet on Mondays 11.30am – 2pm and Wednesdays  1.30pm – 4pm

We have free lunch on Mondays and Tea/Coffee and cake on Wednesdays.

We have a craft table on both days, this is where you can relax and make beautiful items to take home and enjoy.

We rent the top floor of the Salvation Army building, Market Street, Torquay.  If the Salvation Army Community Larder is not in operation (they have the front door open and let us know you have arrived, usually on a Monday), please press the intercom button on the right hand side of the front door, someone will answer the intercom and come down to the door to let you in.  There is a lift to the top floor.

Want to talk to someone before coming in please call

Leader/Founder – Ros Ede Tel: 07895155965

Deputy Leader – Fleur Barr Tel : 07511195010

email : Fleur.barr@gmail.com

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About Us

Ladies Lounge is a “women’s-only drop-in” in the centre of Torquay set up to support the most vulnerable women in Torbay in need of emotional support, advice and information.

Specifically targeting those women involved in sex working, street sleeping, suffering with mental health, domestic violence and substance misuse issues.  Such women are often both involved in crime and victims of it, trapped in destructive lifestyles and with little or no positive associations, often subject of various types of abuse.  Due to the nature of their circumstances it is estimated that many of these crimes often go unreported.  We are also trained to help victims of domestic abuse and receive referrals from Torbay Domestic Abuse Service to support these vulnerable women.  These women often feel trapped, have low self-esteem and suffer from poor mental health.  Ladies lounge is a voluntary run, women only safe space.  Volunteers provide a safe environment, engaging with attendees in conversation and signposting them towards specialist service providers and helping them to keep that connection i.e. assisting them in keeping important appointments etc.  They meet other vulnerable women, where they talk and share experiences and feel less isolated.  The crafting table is set up during every session and women here learn new skills, and the creativity takes their minds away from their struggles.  Creativity is known to reduce stress and anxiety.

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Our ladies often come in after suffering from all kinds of emotional struggles, but when they leave us it is very rewarding to see the transformation that has taken place.  They leave with their heads held high and the feeling that someone cares and has listened to their troubles even if it is for just a few hours.  This image illustrates well the difference from them coming in and out of ladies’ lounge.

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How can you help? Please donate!

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Follow this link below to donate directly with our Givey.com account, this is the quickest, safest and easiest way for you to donate your money to our Charity.  Thank you so much for your support, every pound goes directly to our vulnerable women, no donations towards administrative costs and we are ALL Volunteers, no paid employees for this small charity. Thank you!

https://www.givey.com/torbayladiesloungecio

 

Training and how to volunteer

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Volunteers don’t necessarily have to have the time they just have a heart!

5 reasons to volunteer:

  1. Develop new skills
  2. Help a cause that lights you up
  3. Meet new people
  4. Connect with the community
  5. Make a difference to someone’s life

We are a registered charity and a team of 15 trained volunteers.  The training programme is as follows:

  • Drugs and alcohol awareness
  • Listening skills
  • Mental health issues
  • Domestic abuse
  • Roles and responsibilities/DBS checks
  • Trauma training
  • First aid
  • Safeguarding
  • Conflict resolution
  • Other training will be supplied as needs are identified

Volunteers support in ladies lounge with some of the following roles

  • Physically setting up the room, moving tables and chairs into place etc.
  • Bringing in cakes and lunch items (all reimbursed)
  • Cooking lunch on a Monday
  • Making teas/coffees
  • Listening and talking to the Ladies
  • Craft activities, assisting with making items with the ladies at the craft table
  • Giving talks and presentations

Note – volunteers are not expected to do all these roles, these are just examples of the work we do and a volunteer is not expected to attend every session, just what works for them.

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We warmly invite anyone considering becoming a volunteer to contact Ros Ede for an informal discussion and to obtain an application form.

Ros Ede : 07895155965 or email: Ladieslounge@talktalk.net

It is rewarding to see the changes that take place in a woman’s life when she is appreciated, cared for and encouraged.

If you are interested in the work we do, come along and enjoy a cuppa and a chat and observe what we get up to!

To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect. YOU JUST HAVE TO CARE!

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What do we do?

The volunteers role is to listen and encourage our ladies to look forward and to see they can plan for a better future.  We offer various activities that help with relaxation and conversation i.e. we run a craft table at every session, where ladies can gain new skills and make items they can use and take home.  For example use the sewing machines to make cushion covers, aprons , table cloths, bags and zip bags.  We use acrylics, clay and other materials to make ornaments, fridge magnets and jewellery.  Making these items with other vulnerable women helps to reduce stress and anxiety.  Women do not have to “be” creative to enjoy the creative experience.  The craft table is often filled with laughter and smiles as the ladies relax and make new friends.  They often feel less isolated and keeping ladies’ lounge in their weekly timetable gives them a sense of structure to their week and something to look forward to and friendships gained here are supportive for recovery.  Women are supported all the way when crafting by the volunteers, they frequently feel nervous about taking on new challenges but at the end of their session it is rewarding to see how their confidence grows.  This has been especially noted when watching them use the sewing machines.  Very few ladies have ever used one before coming to ladies’ lounge, now they walk in weekly holding their bags and items they have made, feeling proud of their own achievements.  It makes volunteering very rewarding too.

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We encourage ladies to share their dreams and to ultimately help them to achieve them.  We appreciate that progress can come with small steps and it is lovely to see someone who, to start with, wants to sit near the door for easy escape, who then starts to join in with others, starts to smile, laugh and even enjoys a nutritious lunch with everyone, making positive friendships along the way.  Ladies will often walk in head down, slumped forward, little eye contact, but leave smiling, good eye contact, head held high and say how much they look forward to coming back again.  They gain in height from their arrival, which makes volunteering so worthwhile on every duty.

Our ladies are encouraged to look for voluntary work which will go towards restoring their self-esteem.  As their confidence builds we help them to get involved in training that will give them the opportunity to look for paid employment, allowing them to lead independent and satisfying lifestyles.

Our vision is to see these ladies free from fear, anxiety and stress and able to enjoy their lives.

 

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Craft Fairs – St Annes Hall, Babbacombe, Torquay – fund raising

We hold craft fairs in order to help raise much needed funds for ladies lounge.  Here is a photo of one of volunteers behind the craft fair table.  This was a very successful event and we thank the local community for all their support.

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Ros and Roger

The driving force behind Ladies’ Lounge

“I only wanted to be a volunteer” Says Ros pictured below on the left with her husband Roger

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“Rog and I had the privilege of setting up Torbay Street Pastors in 2007, training volunteers, getting Churches on board, carrying out DBS checks and supplying all 39 (at the time) with uniforms.  Our first night on 8th March 2008 was scary and amazing, all 39 of us went on the streets to start with before we passed over at midnight to a team of 4 Street Pastors and a team of Prayer Pastors.  We enjoyed 7 wonderful years with 130 volunteers, Street and Prayer Pastors, and as an Ascension Trust Rep., seeing 22 locations throughout Devon and Cornwall set up Street Pastors in their home towns.  I stepped down in 2014 thinking that was it!  Rog continued as a Trustee and Treasurer until March 2017.

A month or so from leaving Street Pastors I was approached to attend a meeting about supporting vulnerable women, I was so excited thinking I would be a volunteer at last! I attended the meeting to launch a women-only-drop-in centre held by Torbay Safer Communities, with whom I had become very involved whilst running Torbay Street Pastors.  The idea of the drop-in was shared, and I asked where all the volunteers were…I was given old fashioned looks by all present and the penny dropped.  Here was another project to set up – whoopee!!  After finding and training up volunteers we opened our doors on the 26th January 2015 and no one turned up!!!  However, this is not the case today and we routinely see over 20 women on both Mondays and Wednesdays, from a range of backgrounds.  People ask us if we see success, and yes we have seen our women leave to train and take on paid employment, but to see a smile, hear laughter and see our ladies leave after a session in a much happier frame of mind means the world to us.

Roger and I thought that once we were 60/65 we would retire!  However, we now have the privilege of being an integral part of Ladies’ Lounge – Roger is the Charity Trustee/Treasurer and myself a Trustee/Leader.  I guess in God’s Kingdom you never retire!!!”

Quotes from ladies we have helped

“I am so grateful for the care and support I have received from Ladies’ Lounge – if it hadn’t been for them I would be living on the streets” T

“Ladies’ Lounge is a safe haven” S

“Ladies Lounge has done me the world of good” P

“Thank God for Ladies’ Lounge, that’s all I can say” A

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Here is a poem from one of our Ladies

The Wall 

“On the other side they think I’m better when…

I’m medicated and I’m on a hospital ward.

But every brick of that wall has helped put me here. 

I feel better when the newspapers report boring headlines and twitter is trending about real stories.  Not myth or mystery.”

Anon

We are a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, raising our own funds and so donations are always gratefully received, please contact Ros Ede for donation bank details Tel: 07895 155965

Email: ladieslounge@talktalk.net

Torbay Ladies Lounge CIO Number: 1171754

Address: Ladies’ Lounge, c/o Salvation Army Building, 27 Market Street, Torquay

Our partnership organisations includes the following:

Hanburys’ Famous Fish and chips, Babbacombe, Torquay – David Hanbury and his team have very generously supported Ladies’ Lounge, by providing lunches for our ladies on the last Monday of every month.  This support is incredibly appreciated by our volunteers and our ladies.  In return he had a painted dustbin for Babbacombe downs, done by one of our volnteers.

https://hanburys.net/

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Ladies’ Lounge is working with Positive People – Torbay Community Development Trust to produce a decorative table cloth that will go around women’s groups in the bay to be transformed to promote and encourage participation to encourage their health and well being.  In the photo Ros is holding up the table cloth with Fleur a volunteer after it has been decorated by the ladies.

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Ladies Lounge also work in partnership with Devon Recovery Learning Community and Torquay Museum to provide free creative mental health courses.  The first course was run in November 2018.  Find out about access to free courses for mental health recovery here http://www.devonrlc.co.uk The photo below shows Course Tutor and Ladies Lounge volunteer, Fleur Barr with Basil Greenwood, Director, Torquay Museum.

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with both Ladies Lounge and Devon Recovery Learning Community.  Providing local mental health creative recovery courses at the museum, will result in improving the mental health of local people.  This initiative will meet the needs of vulnerable adults in Torbay who often struggle to access recovery services” Basil Greenwood, Director, Torquay Museum

To listen to Fleur Barr talk about Ladies’ Lounge and the Museum course on the BBC Radio Devon Kerry White Breakfast show on the 17th November 2018 please follow this link below, interview starts approx 13 mins in the programme.  Thank you Kerry for all your support.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03nh6g4

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We need your vote please to help us support our ladies further. We are working in Partnership with Torquay United Sports Community Trust.  We are hoping to be successful with a bid for funding to support our vulnerable ladies even further by providing a custom made exercise programme.  Exercise is known to help mental health and well being.  It will be great for both the physical and emotional health of our ladies. The exercise programme will be what the women have chosen, so far they are keen on ideas such as dance, the gym and outside walking in groups. Follow this link please to help us to be successful in our bid:

https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/4-2001

Below is Fleur Barr (Ladies Lounge Volunteer) with Emma Potter – Inclusions Manager, Torquay United Community Sports Trust, both Ladies spent time with the ladies to find out what they wanted from a fitness programme during a Ladies Lounge session.

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Other partners include the following organisations:

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Quotes from ladies we have helped

“I am so grateful for the care and support I have received from Ladies’ Lounge – if it hadn’t been for them I would be living on the streets” T

“Ladies’ Lounge is a safe haven” S

“Ladies Lounge has done me the world of good” P

“Thank God for Ladies’ Lounge, that’s all I can say” A

Quotes from our lovely ladies