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Auszug aus dem Pathway Project Newsletter - "Twin Towns - Same Experiences"

On 24 May the Hope Centre was delighted to welcome a delegation of women from Lichfield’s twin town, Limburg in Germany. The visitors were shown around the centre, and the teams swapped resources, ideas and working practices.

Domestic abuse is a problem worldwide so we were not surprised to hear about the way that they work and the number of people that they support. What did surprise us a little was that they are having the same sort of issues with increased use of drugs and alcohol, and the sharp increase in women with mental health issues. It was very interesting to discuss the ways in which they are tackling these.

We were pleased to hear that they receive funding from local fines for things like parking. The money really is ‘recycled’ into the local community. Maybe an idea for us to look into! Their work is quite similar focusing on safe accommodation and counselling for women. It was difficult to be very detailed due to the language difference but their English was far superior to my German.

The visitors were taken to a number of projects during their short stay and I am sure that they learned some interesting facts and enjoyed their visit. I believe that we found a very special connection through our work and shared experiences. Sabine Ungerheuer, the manager of their Frauenhaus (Women’s Refuge), was keen to share some ideas for the next International Women’s Day. We would love to be able to do a shared campaign or awareness raising event, running simulta- neously in our two countries. We will report back on any further projects that we are able to work together on.

Many thanks to Jenny Crosby, from Lichfield District Council, and her team of helpers who arranged the visit.