Client Samantha Rose (Sami) singlehandedly runs a Community Interest Company providing whole day wellbeing walks to small groups of asylum seekers, refugees & survivors of modern slavery in the North West. She is now looking into funding options and has big dreams to run the organisation full time. We caught up with Sami to chat about how she got started, the difference the organisation has made so far, and why it needs funding.
How it started
The story starts in 2016, when Sami met a young Nigerian woman in the city centre. The woman had just arrived in Liverpool as an asylum seeker and spoke about feeling isolated and struggling to live off £5 a day.
The pair arranged a walk in Sefton Park. They had an ice cream, and the young woman rode a bike for the first time! Sami saw the difference something so simple could make, and GloryWalks was born.
Since then, Sami has taken over a hundred clients from all around the world on walks across the North West and Yorkshire. Her clients are often suspended in states of uncertainty and anxiety while waiting on home office decisions which can take months or years. As an experienced support worker for victims of human trafficking, she has the skillset and experience necessary to provide a safe space for those in need. The day trips are a chance to switch off, exercise, & socialise, and in turn can aid sleep – all of which helps to promote good mental health.
Sami says what keeps her going is the noticeable difference she sees in clients by the end of the day. Here are few testimonials she has shared:
Setting up a CIC (Community Interest Company)
Until recently, Sami was self-funding the project alongside her work as a support worker. In 2020 she registered as a Community Interest Company.
A CIC is a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders. In becoming a CIC, Sami hopes to work full time, providing invaluable wellbeing walks to those who need it.
Each GloryWalks trip costs around £200 to run and requires a lot of preparation, from preparing backpacks, to completing paperwork and chasing referrals.
With refugees having approximately £6 to live off per day, most clients won’t have had breakfast. GloryWalks provide two meals, a backpack, a waterproof, and anything else needed to facilitate the walk. With £2500 per month, Sami would be able to support 400 clients a year.
Coming to The Women’s Organisation
Sami connected with The Women’s Organisation as a growth client in April 2023, and was assigned business advisor Carole.
“Carole has been great! She listened and helped me to identify areas I needed support in, then signed me up for courses run by the Women’s Organisation which were very helpful! I am an external processor so our 1-2-1 meetings were also very helpful when discussing moving GloryWalks forward!”
As we know, any project or business needs a great, concise pitch, so Carole directed Sami to our ‘How to Pitch-Perfect’ session!
“The pitching course helped me to condense everything about glory walks in the space of a few minutes and helped me identify what things are important and what isn’t. I felt more confident pitching, and it was great to speak to others who are all in the same boat.”
The quest for funding
During our Pitch-Perfect course, Sami was directed to Liverpool SOUP, an event-based non-profit giving community members a chance to learn about inspiring projects running across the Liverpool city region and how to support them.
Sami’s pitching application was one of four accepted. Her pitch connected her with invaluable resources and contacts, such as an events shelter to help when running sports and picnic afternoons on the park for clients.
Sami also recently gave an interview on BBC Radio Merseyside breakfast about GloryWalks!
What’s next for GloryWalks?
GloryWalks has a growing list of referrals, but operations are paused while Sami searches for funding. Ideally, Sami would like to focus on small groups of 5 or 6, finding this more beneficial for connections and trust. She needs an 8-9 seater minibus to facilitate a trips and ensure her clients have the space they need to feel comfortable.
You can find out more about GloryWalks and support them via the links below:
To enquire about accessing business support or career development courses, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0151 706 8111