Author Archive

Own My Life

2 February 2024

Own My Life

We started a new Own My Life course last month.

Own My Life is a 12-week in-person course to help women who have been subjected to abuse to regain ownership of their lives.

Own My Life has been described by those who’ve been in the domestic abuse sector for over 30 years (and those who are new to the sector) as “revolutionary”, “mind blowing” and “by far the best” resource available.

The first session was a hive of activity and discussion and produced the most impressive ‘Island’ exercise to date.

We are looking forward to the rest of the course.

Laura and Viv



8 September 2023

Beautiful poem, written by a young person in our service

Self Actualisation

Do we ever realise how miniscule we are?

Not even the fact the earth is so big

or our problems

or our dreams

I just find the life we have?

It’s short.


I’ve often been told I pick the bigger size of boots so I can grow into them

or that I overanalyse the picture

but I don’t

really I don’t

I like to realise the small details


the little things

I discover

are my fools gold

I don’t care if it gives me artificial limited pleasure

it’s still treasure to someone


the peels of nectarines

the rings of pine

the spine of a book being cracked

the smell of gingerbread


the vibrant prism of a pair of eyes

the silkiness of a forehead kiss

the boing of my hair bouncing back from silky fingers

my grandmothers hugs


drizzled honey

blueberry jam

salted fries

sour grapes

raspberry milkshakes even if I’m lactose intolerant

potent roses even if I have hay fever

spider webs even if they’re dust ridden

rom-cons even if I’m heart-broke

the scribble from my journal

the vibrations of songs booming out of my ears




the satisfactory release after a good cry

the heart palpitations when gabbling about what’s special to me

the embrace after a heated fight

the knee slapped sigh after a giggle


and it’s gone

it’s momentary

it’s lost

but you know what I love?

you can do it again




I understand in the big picture

that’s it’s the universe in this analogy

but every stroke of joy we experience






it is relied upon


and it’s not that big


written by Sydney, age 16.




Are you worried about someone you know?

25 August 2023



1 in 4 women in Scotland experience domestic abuse at some point during their lifetime. 80% of recorded incidents have a female victim with a male perpetrator.

Based on domestic abuse statistics, it’s likely that you will know someone who is experiencing, or has experienced an abusive relationship. It might be a family member, friend, neighbour, colleague or even someone you only see occasionally eg hairdresser. If you know, or suspect that someone you care about is experiencing domestic abuse, it can be upsetting and difficult to know what to do.

It’s human nature to try to help in times of need and for most people, their first instinct is to try to get someone to leave the abusive relationship. Unfortunately, it is almost never that simple.

There are many reasons why people stay with abusive partners, and a woman is often at most risk at the point of leaving or just after leaving the relationship. Whilst it’s understandable that you want to help, offering support and reassurance that you are there to listen when she/he is ready to talk is probably the most important thing you can do.

If you do suspect domestic abuse, do not ignore it. Women experiencing abuse are often scared, ashamed and confused, and many won’t realise it is domestic abuse or don’t want to accept that their partner is abusive. Providing a safe space to talk without judgement will be invaluable if someone discloses abuse.

We are here to offer support to women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.

7 July 2023


Royal Garden Party, training, events and future plans

On Tuesday 4th July, our CEO Fiona and Service Manager Nicola attended the Royal Garden Party at the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh. The weather could’ve been kinder but the rain didn’t dampen the spirits and it was an honour for our organisation to be represented at the prestigious event.

Our fundraising efforts continue, this time with An Afternoon at the Races, based on a race night but with fun activities added. See photo below. Everyone had a fun afternoon and we raised £552. Thanks to all sponsors, horse sponsors and those who came along and joined in the fun.

All staff are now up to date with Emergency First Aid at Work training, the last group of staff completed this at Stranraer college on Tuesday 4th July. Thanks to Katie for her excellent facilitation and for putting us through our paces.

Some of the staff team attended Fire Safety training, facilitated by Robert and Tony at Stranraer Fire Station. It was a really interesting and informative session and future plans include offering the training to the women in our service.

Our support team have been busy supporting women, children and young people in the community and our safe accommodation remains full.

During the summer holidays, various trips and outings are planned for women and families including a trip to Belfast, an outing to a local venue where little kids and big kids will be able to see alpacas and other animals and a trip to an adventure centre offering various activities. Exciting times ahead!

Future awareness raising events include:

Stranraer show – 26th July

Wigtown show – 2nd August

Kirkcolm Blue Light Event – 6th August

NS Initiative shop – 12th August

Oyster festival – 15th – 17th September

Morrisons – 24th & 25th September



Saying Goodbye to Shame

7 July 2023


Saying goodbye to shame | Scottish Women’s Aid (

Awareness raising and Fundraising

9 June 2023


We are always grateful for support from our community and we aim to reach as many people as possible to raise awareness of our service and how we support women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. Thanks to Community Reuse Shop, and Tesco Stranraer for their support. We have raised £109.20 in donations this week.

A huge thank you to everyone who donated money, stopped to say hello and supported us in any other way.


19 May 2023


A lot going on….

What a busy few weeks it’s been. We’ve been out and about across Wigtownshire, raising awareness of our service and how we support women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. From attending Portpatrick Craft Fair displaying and selling goods made at our Women’s Wellbeing Group, to attending a Health & Wellbeing event in Whithorn then an information stand at Cairnryan Hall open day followed the next day by pitching our gazebo at a road safety event, with promotional materials and free fun activities for all. The weather wasn’t kind to us that day but people came to support the event and our stall had a steady stream of visitors.

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the New Town Hall in Whithorn to see the brand new facilities and came away enthused about what a fantastic asset it is to the community and the whole area. There’s a modern, bright and spacious hall where groups can hire out space for meetings, fundraising activities and much more, and an impressive new 18 bed bunkhouse which caters for individuals or groups. All rooms are en suite and there’s a large fully equipped kitchen for those who wish to cook. It’s definitely worth a visit. More information can be found here Bunkhouse – All Roads Lead to Whithorn

Our safe accommodation remains full and the support team have been busy supporting women, children and young people across Wigtownshire. We continue to evaluate our work to make sure we are delivering the best service possible.

After the success of our 2022 winter fundraiser, we are now working on a spring/summer event, more details will be posted soon.

Lastly, thanks to the following people who have supported us by fundraising on our behalf, or through donating funds in support of the work we do.

Urquharts Opticians – £300 awarded from the Community Fund

Bank of Scotland Stranraer – £922 raised from raffle ticket sales and book sales in the local branch

Newton Stewart Golf Club – money donated at request of winning quiz team


International Women’s Day and more

10 March 2023


International Women’s Day…..and more

To celebrate International Women’s Day we held a coffee morning, which was open to all.

Staff members Denise and Jodie volunteered hours of their own time baking a huge selection of delicious goodies to ensure that there was something to suit all tastes on the day. Video available on our Facebook page Wigtownshire Women’s Aid | Stranraer | Facebook.

Total raised on the day was just under £200, thank you to everyone who came along and supported us.

Thursday 9th brought us a lovely surprise from a group of young people from Stranraer Academy who recently participated in the YPI and wanted to continue to support our organisation. To highlight the issue of domestic abuse and celebrate International Women’s Day, 6 young people organised a baking sale which raised over £90 with all proceeds being donated to us. How amazing is that? Thanks to Mr Dornan who came to the office with the donation.

Today, we received a fantastic donation of £500 from Wigtown Community Shop. The shop raises funds through sales in the shop and proceeds are divided between local groups and organisations based on an application basis.

All funds raised or donated will be used to support women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.



Friday round up

17 February 2023


Friday round up

Busy, busy, busy. That’s the vibe around the office this week again. Our support staff have been out and about in the community supporting women, children and young people and the office has been busy with calls and visitors.

Our Community Engagement Worker had the privilege of attending not one, but two YPI finals at local secondary schools. On Wednesday Viv went along to Stranraer Academy to watch the final with one group representing Wigtownshire Women’s Aid. On Thursday it was the young people from Douglas Ewart High Schools turn, again with one group representing Wigtownshire Women’s Aid. The young people from both schools did us and themselves proud but we were unlucky this time. All credit to all the young people who took part and especially those who made it to the final, the level of work produced was fantastic and the judges faced a difficult task of choosing a winner in each school. Well done to Apex (Stranraer) and Newton Stewart Men’s Shed, the £3000 prize will help both groups immensely.


What is YPI?


Generous donation

3 February 2023


Thank you

We were invited along to the Ryan Centre on Wednesday evening to receive a cheque donation from proceeds from Stranraer Santa Float.

29 local groups were presented with a cheque in support of the work they do, we were extremely lucky to receive £300 which is a fantastic amount. The money will be used to support women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.

The Santa float was fantastic and brought so much joy to the community. Thanks to Stranraer YMCA and Stranraer and Rhins Young Farmers for everything they do to facilitate this.

Thank you.