verd de gris arts were delighted to be partnering with PAUSE Bradford to develop a new project supporting women who use the organisation’s services.

Pause is a national organisation that works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of children from their care.

Through an intense programme of support, it aims to break this cycle and give women the opportunity to reflect, tackle destructive patterns of behaviour, and to develop new skills and responses that can help them create a more positive future. In doing so, we aim to prevent the damaging consequences of thousands more children being taken into care.

“What a journey we have been on! All that life can offer: from joy and laughter, to anger, pain and loss.Through spoken and written word, drawing, painting, singing, using the breath to bring about calmness and help manage anxiety. With gentleness and tenderness these women grew to trust me, and each other. It was hard at first because the methodology was new to the women – we had to work together to build trust and understanding. But week by week, there were more words on the page, words that expressed the truth, the lives lived, the hearts and dreams that were broken.

The resulting book was been designed as 21 individual postcards, that can be kept together and enjoyed as a whole, or sent out as messages to a friend or someone dear. The art work is created by the group, the words their own.”

Our commitment and belief in the women we support at Pause Bradford runs through every action and ethos of the Pause organisation and network. Many of the women’s lives have been unbearably hard, filled with neglect, abuse and violence, right back to their own childhoods; nobody believed in them, so how could they ever believe in themselves? Pause Bradford do believe in our women, in each and every one of them.We walk alongside our women, to help them to turn their lives around, supporting them in gaining skills to navigate a difficult and harsh world.

Pause Bradford started the work with verd de gris arts to help our women to believe in themselves like we believe in them. We have seen, each week, their confidence and hope for a better future grow.Their once dim lights have begun to shine brightly again as they realise that things can be different.