Here at Stella, driving change for women is at the core of everything we do. But insurance is just the start for us. In fact, partnering with incredible organisations that are passionately pro-women allows us to deepen our impact and drive change at scale.
That’s why we’re so thrilled to share that Stella UK is proudly partnering with the Fly Anyway Foundation, founded by the incredible Dani Wallace.
Launched in 2020, the Fly Anyway Foundation supports survivors of domestic abuse by giving them access to some of the best business mentions and service providers across the UK (and beyond). Their aim is to help these resilient women build and sustain successful businesses through their “Business Builders” mentoring program.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Dani to find out more about the incredible work she’s doing and why she’s thrilled to be joining forces with Stella UK.
“I found myself in a position where business saved my life. Coming through the other side of domestic abuse, I found that I was completely unemployable.
However, I had all of the skill sets of an entrepreneur: I was resilient, I was intelligent, and I had business skills. I’d worked within businesses for a long time, but I never worked for myself I actually found that coming out of employment and working for myself gave me the autonomy to build my financial freedom, to build my self-confidence, and to empower me to take back the decision making in my life.
So the Fly Anyway Foundation is deeply rooted in the sense that just like bees (who aerodynamically should not be able to fly because their little wings shouldn’t get their little bodies off the ground), the bee doesn’t care what humans think is impossible, the bee flies anyway.
As survivors of domestic abuse, we’re often dismissed as people who have experienced trauma and therefore have so many barriers to creating the lives we desire and indeed deserve. The Fly Anyway Foundation is here to support the people who have got those incredible business ideas, who have those barriers to things like employment, to do that – to fly anyway.”
“One of the things that I’ve found the more that I speak to survivors and dig into the research is that survivors really struggle with decision-making autonomy, financial freedom, self-respect and self-reliance.
So we spent a lot of time researching what kind of support survivors need to regain these things and prevent the cycle of falling back into codependent and potentially toxic relationships in future.
We found that if you are self-sufficient, it’s much easier to hold boundaries. So in building businesses, in understanding yourself and your barriers to potential employment, and then being supported to create the life you want, that helps prevent that cycle of falling back into those relationships.
The Fly Anyway Foundation, through business mentoring, is helping people break that cycle – we can be a cycle of generational domestic abuse as well.
So it really gives our service users a chance to break that cycle by helping them build that autonomy, that self-esteem and that financial freedom for themselves.”
“Stella’s core values are around building women up in all of its aspects: within its insurance products, in its messaging, in its partnerships and beyond. These values really speak to the empowerment that is at the heart of the Fly Anyway Foundation.
I’m so delighted to be partnering with Stella because of this alignment. We want to help women regain empowerment, take back control, and celebrate their strengths.
Stella is such a voice of change and empowerment within the insurance space and it makes it a no-brainer for us to join forces.”
“So we have a five-year plan for the Fly Anyway Foundation. We’re starting with business building and employability. But as we grow together, we’re looking at post-crisis support, crisis support, and eventually, a national network of refugees here in the UK.
A strong partnership like that with Stella is going to enable us to do that, not only quicker, but with the right community around us to do it.
One of the dangers here, particularly in the UK, is that a lot of domestic abuse service provision is done very regionally by siloed, community-based organisations. We want to join these groups together and create a national programme, which is going to be possible with the support of Stella and our other partners.”
Find out more about the incredible work Dani and the Fly Anyway Foundation team are doing on their website.