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Leeds businesses collaborate to host women empowerment event

Ellie MacDonald, Darren Good and Jyoti Matoo

Three -based businesses are working in collaboration to host a female empowerment self-defence workshop, following one editor in chief’s frightening encounter with a stalker.

, editor in chief of fashion magazine; Voir, was followed by a man whilst walking home from in November 2017. Realising she was being followed, Jyoti turned around, facing the man and stopping him in his tracks. 

When watching back the CCTV footage of the ordeal, it was then that Jyoti realised just how close the stalker had got to her. 

Following her frightening experience, Jyoti wanted to do something positive to empower the women of Leeds to defend themselves, should they be in a similar situation.  

Ahead of International Women’s Day, on Tuesday 6 March 2018, Voir, GoodSense Training and MacComms, will host , a women’s self-defence workshop, at Voir’s headquarters at Pinnacle in Leeds City Centre. 

The event will run from 5.30pm until 8pm, and will feature a range of strategies and techniques for women to defend themselves against an attacker.

Women Empowered is a comprehensive self-defence program for women, based on verbal, physical and psychological defence strategies which have been tested and proven effective over two decades. 

Personal safety and conflict resolution expert, and managing director of GoodSense Training, Darren Good, will lead the session. Darren will provide key insights into the way in which women are attacked in comparison to men, as well as specific physical techniques to deter or cease an attack.

Founded in 1996, GoodSense Training delivers training to public, private and third sectors, providing people with the confidence, skill and understanding to prevent and manage difficult situations.

Having studied self-defence systems since the age of 16, Darren is a master practitioner in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and has expertise in coaching to drive behavior change. Darren is also a member of the Institute of Conflict Resolution and works closely with the National Federation for Personal Safety to maintain his evidence based on current legal aspects. 

Voir and MacComms are both run by leading Yorkshire businesswomen, keen to highlight issues affecting females. 

Leeds-based , MacComms, aims to empower women through its work. Founder and managing director Ellie MacDonald regularly speaks at events to inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs and was keen to support Jyoti and Darren to help raise awareness of the event to equip women with the skills to defend themselves. 

The three companies were first introduced via the NatWest Entrepreneurial Spark business acceleration programme. The event is free to attend, with a collection to raise donations for Leeds-based young women’s , .   

Getaway Girls empowers girls and young women aged 11-25 to build up confidence, develop new skills and take positive risks in an environment which offers cooperation and support. 

Jyoti said: “I’m so lucky, my intuition was telling me that something wasn’t right and I’m so glad that I turned around when I did, who knows what could have happened!   

“I decided to host the women’s empowerment self-defence session as I want to help other women to stay safe. You never know when something like this is going to happen, this event will empower women to understand how to respond if they find themselves in a similar situation.

“The money raised from this event will go to Getaway Girls, an organisation which works towards empowering young women, I personally used to attend a group at Getaway Girls so it is the perfect fit.  

“I would like to thank Darren from GoodSense and the MacComms team for working with me to put this together, we have been working hard to ensure that something positive comes from such a terrible situation.   

Spaces for the Women Empowered self-defence event are available on a first come first serve basis through Eventbrite: 

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