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24 September 2013

Gifted to flourish

Gifted to flourish

by Jacqueline Laing

This project has been nominated for the 2013 Inspire awards run by Inspire magazine in partnership with us at the Evangelical Alliance.

Women with life-controlling issues are being given back their lives through a project designed to help them recognise that they are a gift to society.

Gifted, a project based in north Lincolnshire, has to date helped 14 women overcome issues such as substance-abuse, various disorders and domestic violence.

The project, run by New Life Church Scunthorpe, started seven months ago and is managed by a team of 20 staff and volunteers.

The 12-bedroom house gives 24/7 support and offers a safe environment where women can receive love, value and acceptance while dealing with their issues.

Gifted was born out of a strong desire to impact community and based on New Life Church's vision for transforming people and transforming places. Their research into women and their needs revealed that there were more than 2,000 women suffering domestic abuse and 200 women would benefit from a residential recovery programme with immediate effect.

New Life secured a property early last year and, with the help of volunteers, turned it into the beautiful home it is today.

As well as offering women a safe place to stay, Gifted runs a programme called Outcome Star. The tried and tested programme is implemented through a range of activities including goalsetting, health and beauty sessions and one-to-one counselling.

The aim is to take the women on a journey addressing emotional, physical, spiritual and vocational needs using a three phase approach.'Cherish, Nourish, Flourish' helps them settle, recognise, cope and become independent - starting with volunteering within the house. The hope is that by the end of the programme, the women have developed the skills that they need to venture back into the world with housing, employment, confidence and hope.

Gifted is supported by a number of qualified professionals as well as local health and intervention services, ensuring the women get the help that they need.

A Gifted client who wishes to remain anonymous said: "Being in the Gifted house has totally changed my outlook on life. I have gained my confidence back, gone on courses I would never have gone on before. The staff are amazing and I am extremely grateful for all their help and support".

Sarah Westfield, programme director, said: "The Gifted team are amazing. As well as those who are blessed enough to be paid, we have amazing volunteers who cover around 140 hours a week. They are transforming people and for that we give God praise."

To find out more about the project visit their website at:www.youareagift.org

More information on the Inspire Awards and how to make your nomination: Inspire Awards