A charity project that looks after women who have been trapped in cycles of prostitution, drug addiction, physical abuse and homelessness in Bethnal Green has celebrated its fifth anniversary this year.
Create: U-Turn at Bethnal Green’s U-Turn Women’s Centre, provides the women with access to support workers and counselling.
Cofounder and chief executive of Create, Nicky Goulder said: “I feel privileged to have witnessed the friendships and confidence that have blossomed during our creative:u-turn workshops in Bethnal Green and I can’t wait to see the results of their hard work at the upcoming film-screening at the Bishopsgate Institute.”
Marie* has been attending the project for three years. One of three daughters, Marie was chosen by her mother to be sold to men from an early age. After revealing that she liked women, she was forced into a physically and emotionally abusive marriage by her family to ‘cure’ her of being a lesbian.
When her husband abandoned her and her daughter, Marie became a sex worker. Her daughter and second child were taken away from her by her family. Marie is now addicted to gambling.
She said: “I come to the U-Turn project up to four days a week. It’s a lovely centre, and keeps me occupied and from going to certain places I really shouldn’t go. I’ve made friends here and Rio [the manager] helps us a lot.”
Go to createarts.org.uk
* Name changed to protect anonymity.