YEP Letters: April 21

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As always, Alison Bellamy writes from the heart.

Her article is about the pioneering domestic abuse project STOP (which stands for Start Treating Others Positively) at risk of closing, which will in my opinion be devastating for Leeds (‘Project at risk after funding comes to an end’, YEP, April 15)

I have been a volunteer director of STOP for 20 years and a group facilitator working with mainly men who seek out STOP to change their negative behaviour towards their partners.

The Big Lottery and other funders have breathed life into the project to deliver some good work for men, women and also young people who want to stop and address their violent emotions towards others.

We have seen hundreds of group members change their behaviour and for many returned to their families whilst some do move on and build new relationships.

When an amount of £320m is projected as the mopping up cost to Leeds of domestic violence annually, it is frightening.

Working with and alongside individuals in group work settings can be liberating for those who abuse others when they are set free from this negative image that they can’t change their behaviour. Working with over 70 people per week from all backgrounds and ages etc is marvellous and STOP must continue to serve those who need their help.

STOP’s manager Kathy Grogan has dedicated over 25 years to helping people from Leeds to both change their lives first and the lives of their partners/children/other family members and colleagues at work. Kathy understands people and many trust her and her facilitators who work alongside her. It is rewarding to capture moments of ‘change’ in individuals. STOP has a good board of trustees and its chairperson Steve Arthur has years of experience as a police officer rising to the rank of inspector and he really believes in STOP as do other trustees/directors.

I pray that STOP continues and that good funders like the Big Lottery Fund will invest in this project that does save lives and is the lifeline that does work. Without STOP’s involvement in Leeds, our great city will be worse off. If it costs around £500,000 to run a successful project for three years, surely this will be cost effective for the city of Leeds?

David C Cousins, Trustee/Director of STOP, Green Court, Scholes, Leeds

Plenty of jobs available

REgarding THE letter from PN Aston (YEP, April 9) who says there are no jobs available I say what rubbish! Walk into any Job Centre in Leeds and there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs available.

The problem is of course, this would mean getting out of bed and working for a living!

D Daniel, York Road, Leeds

YEP Letters: April 25