Young female learners at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London have been finding out how to keep themselves and their belongings safe around College and on the street from a successful former learner who has trained with American Special Forces units.
College alumna Sev Necati set up her own business, providing a wide range of training, after studying computing and business qualifications at the College. After studying at Southbank University – an experience she says the College prepared her for very well – Sev studied as a fitness trainer in the UK and America, including time spent with a Special Forces team. Now she delivers training courses through her company, and has worked with Haringey Local Authority and the Metropolitan Police among others.
At the sixth of a recent series of taster sessions held in the College’s Tottenham Centre gym, Sev explained how the idea for the classes first came about: “I met the College’s Vice Principal Jane O’Neill through an event organised by the Metropolitan Police. We got talking and she invited me to come in and give these short introduction sessions to the College’s female learners. They’ve gone down so well that I’m now hoping to be run another series of classes at the College’s Enfield Centre too.
The tasters last an hour, and cover some basic ideas and practical techniques for how to act if threatened or attacked. Each group of learners has had the chance to role-play situations that they may face in their daily lives, such as being confronted by a mugger. Sev explains: “The emphasis is on awareness and avoiding physical confrontation if possible – that’s why I prefer the term ‘self-protection’ to ‘self-defence’. I also teach people about the law and their rights.”
Sev has certainly enjoyed revisiting the College, and said: “It has changed a lot since I studied here – the facilities like the gym where I’ve held classes are great. I’ve been impressed with the receptive attitude of the learners too – they’re keen to pick up the techniques, and have thrown themselves into the role plays.”
Feedback from learners has likewise been overwhelmingly positive. Amongst the anonymous comments received, many commented not only on how helpful the sessions had been, but also how enjoyable.