Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, has partnered with 'Self Defence with Clare' to provide free classes for women and girls in Cheshire East.
Drawing on owner Clare Challinor's martial arts experience, the four-hour course is designed to offer simple and practical self-defence support to women and girls and improve the confidence they can have while out and about at night.
One of the Commissioner's key priorities is to make Cheshire's streets safer for women and girls, and when approach by Clare he saw an opportunity to work with her to achieve this aim.
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said:
"I want to ensure that the voices of women and girls are amplified in discussions around their safety. I was really pleased when Clare approached me to discuss her idea and I encourage anyone who feels they might benefit to sign up to a class in their area.
"One thing I often hear is that people want practical advice and support when it comes to their safety. Based on how this course is received by attendees, I want to expand the benefits further across the county.
"It's vital to look at the bigger picture and I know that practical support like this must go hand-in-hand with efforts to change behaviour in wider society too, because violence against women and girls is always the perpetrator's responsibility. That's why in my successful bids to the Safer Streets Fund I've secured educational packages for schools to teach young people about unacceptable behaviours and attitudes towards women and girls."
The course is open to women and girls from the age of 11 upwards and will be delivered over four weeks. Participants will be asked to complete a short anonymous survey before and after the course so that its impact can be measured.
Attendance at all four sessions is encouraged in order to get the full benefit of the course, but it's important for people to do what they feel comfortable with.
Clare Challinor, who will be leading the self-defence classes, said:
"I feel that everyone can benefit from learning self-defence. The aim is to remove yourself from a situation that could potentially escalate. The course will teach you simple but effective ways to do this by using technique and not strength."
Classes have been grouped and will be taking place in the following areas on the dates and times stated:
Congleton (09:30 – 10:30)
Macclesfield (11:15 – 12:15)
Poynton (13:15 – 14:15)
All on Wed 28 September, Wed 5 October, Wed 12 October and Wed 19 October
Venues will be confirmed to participants once registered for the course.
To book your place on the course, email firstname.lastname@example.org