Stepping up


In the fourth of a series of articles, April Mehmet reflects on two years of running Walk It Out, an initiative dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women in Redbridge

I founded Walk It Out back in April 2021, aiming to empower young females and women in Redbridge to improve their health and well-being, to raise awareness through female empowerment and, most importantly, to tackle crime in the borough. What a journey it’s been – a successful one.

Since my last article, Walk It Out has been nominated again for this year’s Mayor’s Community Awards (which we won in 2022). I am very proud of our achievements and it inspires me to continue empowering young girls and women in our communities.

We have been constantly campaigning to end male violence against women and have been providing a range of free activities and support, designed to build confidence in young girls and women, empowering them to become the best version of themselves.

We should be able to walk anywhere, anytime without the fear of being attacked. Street harassment is an issue in every society, but misogyny and sexual harassment in public has been so normalised that females find it difficult to speak up, so Walk it Out is an advocate and voice for the voiceless. Alongside our group activities, we also provide one-to-one mentorship for members of the group, allowing a space to confidentially discuss ongoing concerns and receive additional support and guidance. Our mission is to strengthen the voices of females.

We have been chosen by Tesco’s Community Grants scheme to share our project in-store, which will be put to a customer vote in local branches, including Wanstead (voting via the blue tokens will commence from the first week of April). Please vote as we are in need of funding to continue supporting local women.

What does being a woman mean to me? Women are all unique and that’s the beauty of us. We have the power, passion and positivity to change the world. I love being a woman; being a woman means I can be anything and everything I want to be. It means being able to fight for change on the issues that matter to us, being able to raise my voice on behalf of those who can’t, and standing alongside other women to show that they matter. A woman is the most powerful and beautiful creation ever! When asked who’s my role model, who do you look up to and who makes me feel good, the answer is simple. Me! I motivate and inspire myself everyday.

Walk it Out is in search of volunteers to lead park walks in Wanstead and the surrounding area, bringing women together in a safe space. If you are passionate about making a difference in your community, get in touch with your CV and cover letter. The best project you’ll ever work on is you!

For more information on how you can join a walk or support the Walk It Out initiative, call 07437 517 177 or visit wnstd.com/wio

Author: Editor