A step forward

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Earlier this year, April Mehmet founded Walk It Out, a project dedicated to empowering women in Redbridge. Organised walks offering a safe and supportive environment now take place in Wanstead Park

I am April. I was raised in Stoke Newington and moved to Ilford, where my journey began, but my passion to empower women to believe in themselves started in Chadwell Heath, where I reside now. Growing up wasn’t easy, especially after my father passed away in my first year of secondary school. This made me grow up much quicker and gave me great responsibility. I had no choice but to be strong; I knew no other way. I just battled through life by clenching on to my dreams and never giving up hope.

Writing this article has brought me back to memory lane and reminded me of what I stand for and my strength. Going through all the things I did, from bereavement, bullying, domestic abuse and mental health in my family, made me the woman I am today and I feel very proud of my achievements. Everyone should have a positive role model and I wished I had someone like me at school or around me to push me to reach my goals. It was this thought that inspired me in April 2021 to create Walk it Out.

Helping others always gave me satisfaction and a feel-good factor, so in my spare time, I would support and mentor in my community, but I always wanted to start my own organisation. I wanted women to know and feel they can also achieve their goals in life and to never give up on their dreams. Lockdown 2020 really made me think about what could be going on behind closed doors, and I wanted to reach out knowing that domestic abuse had risen and anxieties had increased after the death of Sarah Everard.

Being a parent myself, I could see the struggles women were facing and I wanted to support females in my area. The only way I could do this during the pandemic was to walk and talk through parks in Redbridge, so I made a post on social media and received a huge response. I then arranged my first walk and started installing positive mindsets, building confidence and resilience in women, making a positive impact on their lives.

My aim is to empower and raise awareness for women, creating a safe environment where women feel acknowledged, heard and valued. I believe that supporting and guiding young females and women in overcoming their challenges, facing their fears, building their self-esteem and conquering themselves, will lead to better relationships and better decision-making, allowing women to feel stronger and more in control.

We have now started our walks every Sunday morning at 11am in Wanstead Park, with beautiful lakes, scenery and interesting history.

Ladies, I am very excited to be making positive changes in the community. Come and join us and feel empowered.

For more information on Walk It Out, visit wnstd.com/walkitout or follow the group on Twitter and Instagram @walk__it__out

Author: Editor