Well, it’s been a busy few days! Last Friday’s Royal visit (1 February) is still warming our hearts and we wanted to share some reflections with you.
It was a cold and snowy day. We opened the curtains to see a thick blanket of snow covering the ground. An instant concern that they might not be able to reach us but relief came with confirmation that they were on their way.
The arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was quietly done. An understated entrance through One25’s back yard, a visit kept secret to protect the women using our services from any unwanted attention.
The Duke and Duchess met with staff, volunteers and some of our funders. They listened to the huge challenges that women face and saw first-hand some of their incredible strength as Sam shared her story of how One25 helped her escape the streets. They witnessed how we give non-judgemental, unconditional love and support. They listened, they cared and then… they acted…
The Duchess of Sussex’s banana messages were lovingly written and beautifully encapsulate One25’s work with the women. This message of love and hope is carried by our volunteers and staff to women every day. This care is vital to their recovery and almost always the things that women who have moved on reflect back to us. As Sam told us after the visit:
"By being there in a non-judgemental, loving way you all made me see I could be more – and for that I will always be eternally grateful!"
One25 shares this message with every woman that we work with. To make sure as many women as possible can see the Duchess’s affirmations, we’ve made pictures of the original bananas which are on display in our van, drop-in and Peony service. We’ve turned the bananas into cakes which have been given out through these services and the women have really valued this. They’ve said:
"That’s such a good idea, it’s really lovely
That’s so so so kind of you all
- Service users at One25
It’s been great to share this positive message afresh with the women. The bananas may be gone but their message of love remains and for that we are truly thankful.
Welcome to you if you’ve heard about One25 because of the incredibly exciting Royal visit and you’re visiting our website for the first time!
One25 only exists because of the incredible supporters who give their time, skills and money to make this work possible. It costs around £1.2 million to keep the charity’s doors open and we appeal to anyone who would like to get involved to please join us.