Commissioners, charity workers and women accessing Changing Lives services took part in a walking football tournament to commemorate the International Day for the Eradication of Violence against Women.
Hosted at the Newcastle United Foundation, the women played several matches on Friday 25 November, also known as White Ribbon Day, and which coincides with the start of the UN's 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Keeping in line with this year’s theme, #TheGoal, Changing Lives wanted to mark the annual event in a way which would unite all the people who work together within its women’s services, from those commissioning the support to the women who benefit from it.
Speaking about the tournament, Laura McIntyre, Head of Women’s Services, said: “It’s brilliant to see everyone here today and bringing people together has been a real achievement.
“Seeing all these women come together in sport and celebrating their success has been a fantastic way to mark White Ribbon Day.”
White Ribbon’s focus with #TheGoal campaign is to raise awareness about the challenges — and dangers — women and girls face in traditionally male-dominated contexts like the football pitch, but also public transportation.
The charity explains that with White Ribbon Day falling on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup, there has never a better time to focus on the good that can come from unifying and supporting one common cause. #TheGoal brings men and boys together to think about how they can make a positive difference to achieve equality and safety for women and girls. #TheGoal unites people to start playing as a team to end violence against women and girls.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness said: "I fully support White Ribbon Day as we all have a right to feel safe.
“That’s why events such as this are so important. They increase awareness of issues which women in particular face in our communities, they help to promote behaviour change and they demonstrate the commitment from all those involved. We are stronger when we work together to eradicate the dangers."
Dawn Harrison, Criminal Justice Service Manager, who organised the tournament, added, “Today’s event has been about turning up and showing our combined support for a much bigger message. Everyone taking part today is committed to that message on more than just one day of the year.
"What we do know is that when we come together, our support has a better outcome for the women we support and it’s events like today that highlight the importance of this collaboration.”