Winstanley Student Iysha was honoured to be named as a finalist in this years Liverpool City Region Creativity Awards.
Iysha who in late 2018 aged fifteen, moved to St. Helens with her mum Shana and two young brothers after fleeing from another North West town to escape domestic abuse. They arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a pram.
Since then Iysha and her mum have set up a domestic abuse support company called: St Helen’s The Best Me CIC, which aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse and make positive changes in the community.
Iysha who is in her first year at Winstanley studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths and is aspiring to be a doctor, advised that before lockdown they were running classes and support groups in the community, but lockdown soon put a stop to any face to face meetings. This did not dampen her spirits however and during lockdown she set up and ran zoom sessions with her mum to help domestic abuse survivors and sufferers find a ‘safe space’. She also ran an art competition and hopes to distribute sunflower seeds to people to plant as in Iysha’s words ‘a sunflower always makes people smile.’
If all this doesn’t show how inspirational Iysha is, she wants to go a step further and introduce a support and buddy group in college to help other students who may be a survivor from or be going through domestic violence or may just need a fellow student to talk to.
Iyesha said: ‘I hope by setting up a support group in college I can help other students who may need help, feel better about themselves. It is not uncommon for young people who experience domestic violence at a young age to be in an abusive relationship themselves in the future and I want to make a difference to stop this happening. I believe you have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else and that’s the message I want people to take from my experiences.’
According to the Office of National Statistics between April and June 2020 there had been a 7% increase in reported cases of domestic violence on the previous year, so Iysha’s support group will be more important than ever. You can find out more info about Iysha’s group at: https://www.sthelensbestme.com/
Well done Iysha, we are so proud of what you have accomplished and carry on being an inspiration to many other young people!