DOZENS of vulnerable and isolated York women have turned to a new organisation for help in its first year of operation.

The Kyra Women's Project was set up at the end of 2013, and began work in last November.

A year later, organisers say that instead of the 30 women they were expecting to help in the first year more than three times that number have signed up.

With 98 women now on the Kyra books, the project is so heavily subscribed that organisers are already looking for a new, larger, home to accommodate all the groups it wants to run.

Kyra trustee and founder Yvonne Copley said: "We are growing all the time, and at this time of year it is more pronounced because at Christmas people can be more isolated or their problems can become exaggerated.

"We are outgrowing our space already. It was a great dream of mine to set up Kyra, but my fear now is that we might come to a point that we have to turn a woman away because we do not have the space to help her."

The project, which is currently based in a shared building on Marygate Lane, runs a twice monthly open drop-in session, along with various support groups and activities including a singing group, drumming circle, dance sessions, a gardening group, self esteem courses and CV workshops.

They are also planning to set up post natal depression support group and an eating disorder support group, to plug gaps in it has seen in York.

Completely volunteer run, the project has managed to keep costs down and stay self-sufficient but now the dedicated people behind the project are facing the challenge of applying for grant funding for a new bigger home.

Yvonne said they now work with lots of other organisations, see women referred to them by social work staff, GPs, and schools - but many women seek Kyra out themselves.

She added: "On one occassion, a woman came to Kyra and was obviously very distressed. We sat with her, and eventually learnt that she had a four month old baby but two months ago her partner had died. She'd had no intervention, no help, but within 24 hours we were able to get her some bereavement counselling.

"That's the type of situation we were set up to help in - women who currently have no help."

For more information on Kyra's work visit, or contact 01904 632332 or