At Yorkshire Businesswoman we are all about introducing people and so we were delighted to learn that two of our partners Scriba PR and Blossom Training, who met for the first time at one of the Yorkshire Businesswoman networking events, where Scriba managing director Katie Mallinson was guest speaker, got together and below Scriba explains what happened next:

The Scriba team made the trip to John Smith’s stadium in Huddersfield, for a slightly unconventional team building day. Taking a break from typing, we embarked on a jam-packed day of self-defense - under the brilliant instruction of the Blossom training and development team.

Founded by Madeleine France (Maddie)and her co-managing director, Rachael Allen, Blossom is a safe and empowering space for people to learn how to protect themselves, in a secure and legal way – should they need to.

And the importance of such an organisation has never been clearer. In March 2019-2020, the Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated 1.6 million women aged 16 to 74 in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse – which is around 7% of the female population. The crime survey also estimated that 3% of women aged 16 to 74 in England and Wales experienced sexual assault (including attempts), and 5% experienced stalking. These trends have remained similar over the last 10 years, and unfortunately, this is only the cases that have been reported – most are not.

Kickstarting the day of learning with an insight into just how prevalent this problem is, as well as understanding how to protect ourselves in a way that is responsible, Rachael guided us though the importance of upholding the law– without the need for weapons, or aggression.

We were given a whistle stop tour of the psychology behind our fight or flight mentality as humans, and the parts of our brain that come into play when we are in a threatening situation. Rachel explained that, because our physical training is stored in our primal brains, our logical thought goes out of the window when under duress – which is why our instincts help to defend us and alleviate a tense situation.

With our book learnings gathered, we delved into the physical side of self-defence – forming pairs and exercising moves developed, tailored, and demonstrated by Maddie. All the techniques that we learned had also been medically certified and risk assessed by Prof. Brendon Stubbs BSc, MSc, MCSP, PHD.

We discovered the strength of our own bodies, how to utilise parts of us that had previously seemed weak, and, crucially, the power of using your own voice. It’s incredible the difference we all felt when we moved past our embarrassment and yelled as we practiced.

The Blossom duo took the time to explain the value in every element of our coaching – why we protect certain parts of ourselves, why we avoid certain actions, and why they have a ‘safe-space’ at every session, in case some of the work they do brings up difficult emotions or memories.

The highest ever number of rapes was recorded by police in the year ending March 2022 – 70,330. In that same period, charges brought in just 2,223 rape cases. If our risk is increasing, we need to take action quickly. Thanks to programmes like Blossom, and incredible women like Maddie and Rachael, we can put women in control, and take our own action to keep ourselves safe.
Blossom offers both free and paid programs, so that no-one is left behind. If you want to feel empowered and take your safety into your own hands, please contact Blossom.

If you have been affected by any of the information covered in this blog, there are a number of resources that can help:
Rape Crisis
Victim Support
Women’s Aid