Self-defence classes a hit for women and girls

Free self-defences classes being held at Woodside community centre in Telford and Wrekin, have proven to be a big hit with women and girls.

Self-defence classes a hit for women and girls

Now in the fourth of a five week course, more than 30 people have been attending the hour-long sessions each week thanks to volunteer Bill Gilmour and the Modern CQC team, working with the council’s Safer and Stronger Communities project. 

Mr Gilmour teaches the modern close quarter combative (CQC) method of self-defence, developed by military, police and martial arts practitioners which prepares people for real life encounters. 

Councillor Paul Watling (Lab), Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Bill Gilmour and the team for giving up their time to run these sessions free of charge and enabling so many people taking advantage of the skills and knowledge they have.  

“We are very aware of the growing concerns women and girls have following national coverage of some awful cases of violence against women. 

Cabinet Member for Leisure, Public Health and Well-Being, Equalities and Partnerships, Councillor Kelly Middleton said: “We have already commissioned a survey in the borough to identify areas of concern for women and to make improvements if needed. These sessions support many of the women and girls who are looking to build their confidence and learn how to protect themselves, should they ever need to. 

“We’ve been happy to help provide the venue costs through the Safer and Stronger Communities project, allowing these classes to take place and benefitting so many people.” 

Mr Gilmour said: “I have taught across the West Midlands, and I thought it’s about time I did something for the town I live in. These classes are incredibly important. Although it is rare that attacks happen, women in particular often don’t have any education about the most basic self-defence. 

“A lot of it is about building confidence, giving women the power to not be victims, regardless of their age, strength, size or fitness. After just three sessions, we have already noticed a big difference in confidence, awareness and ability.”

“I’m continuing to work with the Council’s Safer and Stronger team and roll these classes out in other areas of Telford too. The co-operation and help from both the council and Police is helping to make a real difference.”

The current classes are free for women and girls to attend and take place at the Park Lane Community Centre, Woodside, TF7 5QZ, on Monday evenings for an hour, from 7.30pm. 

If the attendees want to continue their development, a women’s only class will be held along with mixed classes in Telford. For details of the next free course, visit the Modern CQC Facebook page or call Bill 07817 565 170.

The Safer & Stronger Communities project is led by Telford and Wrekin Council with support from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion. The joint initiative will see Telford & Wrekin Council contribute £2m and an additional £500k from the PCC invested into areas in Telford over the next two years.