Money recovered from criminals supports the safety of women and girls

A self-defence and recovery programme for women is underway funded by money recovered from criminals, thanks to the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund.

16th August 2022

A self-defence and recovery programme for women is underway funded by money recovered from criminals as part of the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund.

The West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin, provided a grant of £5946.60 to the Springback Self-Defence and Recovery Programme at the Tetley in Leeds. This was part of over £200,000 of funding given to community safety projects across the region.

This programme uses a combination of discussion and martial arts to support women to recover from previous experiences and to address their concerns around safety.

The Mayor attended one of these workshops today seeing for herself how it teaches self-defence skills and other personal safety strategies.

Speaking about today’s visit, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin said:

“I have put the safety of women and girls at the heart of the work we are doing in the region.

“It was a joy to take part today and see the fantastic impact of a programme like Springback. It has only reinforced my commitment to ensure victims and survivors always come first.

“This important work in partnership with community projects, and local organisations is part of my drive to create a West Yorkshire that is safe, just, and inclusive.”

Lucy Fishwick, who runs Springback’s sessions, said:

“The sessions provide a safe space for women to explore strategies which will help them feel safer and be safer. Women have told me they have felt more confident and less anxious after our sessions.

“The Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund has made it possible for us to run the programme which is fully accessible to women who have very little money so wouldn’t be able to afford private martial arts classes. Everyone deserves a chance to feel safe whether they have income and status or not.

“Thanks to the Mayor we have a really inclusive project, and it was heart-warming to have her involved in the session.”

The Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund is funded by money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act by police and prosecutors. It offers grants of up to £6000 to voluntary and community groups, charities, and partners for innovative projects that address community safety.

To be awarded a grant, projects must address at least one of the cross-cutting themes of the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan. These themes are the safety of women and girls, early intervention and prevention, and equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Other projects working to improve the safety of women and girls in the region include a young women’s safer relationships programme in Bradford, the funding of a psychotherapist to support the victims of child sexual exploitation in Kirklees, and a boxercise class in Wakefield.

Springback’s Self-Defence and Recovery sessions are accessible to all women from Leeds. Classes are free or pay as you feel, and free transport and refreshments are available. If you or someone you know could benefit from these sessions, please get in touch with Lucy on