On International Women’s Day 2019 we’d like to shine a light on some of the great organisations, and some of the great women, we’ve worked with recently. The day is a brilliant opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements!
Warwickshire Young Carers help improve the lives of young carers across Warwickshire by offering free and confidential support.
Chloe was referred as an 8-year-old by her primary school in Rugby.
She was helping to care for her brother with severe autism and other disabilities, giving her limited access to the activities her peers could do. Due to her brother’s high level of need she was very restricted.
Thanks to a grant from the Foundation, Chloe was given the opportunity to perform music with Bath Philharmonia.
Despite never playing a musical instrument before, the musicians soon discovered that she had a natural aptitude for playing the violin. The eight-day sessions resulted in a performance to invited guests, with each young carer receiving a certificate.
Her Project Worker contacted the Warwickshire Music Hub in a bid to help support her talent. They were able to provide her with a violin, free of charge, and discounted violin lessons.
She later went on to perform at the Warwickshire Young Carer’s AGM demonstrating her newly found talent and boosted confidence. Now, with regular access to social opportunities with children in similar situations, she’s able to pursue a new talent and has increased her social circle.
Rugby RoSA offers free confidential support for anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse.
The Foundation supported the organisation with a grant of £5,000 to help fund a qualified practitioner to support its members.
One beneficiary from this award, who wished to remain anonymous, said:
“I was incredibly anxious about my first session, I was defensive and didn’t think I’d be able to let anybody in as I find it hard to trust. My counsellor was very patient with me and I began to feel safe and open up to her more and more as the weeks went by.
“RoSA were very accommodating, I was seen in my local area at a time that fitted around my working commitments. I found my counsellor to be professional, patient and caring and most importantly, I found a safe space to talk about what happened to me.
“With their support I’ve managed to turn my life around and start to really live the way I imagined.”
RoSA helps individuals take important steps in reclaiming their lives:
“I need to value and prioritise myself in order to find happiness. I’ve become more assertive and real with people rather than fearing I won’t be liked, I’m starting to find myself.”
RMC Wolverhampton supports refugees and migrants through their various needs and is part of the Foundation’s Community Matters programme.
Sitting in on one of the Centre’s ‘English Speakers of Other Languages’ (ESOL) classes, we saw the enjoyment that the participants get from learning.
We spoke with Ghousoun, a refugee who recently fled Syria with her husband and children:
“Before I came to this country, I had no English, all I knew was some words, A B C, hello!
“It’s hard because in my country we don’t speak English, I want to speak good because conversation with people is good, and I like to talk!
“I’ve been coming here for 1 year and 8 months. RMC have helped me a lot with forms, CVs and when I need to telephone for a GP.”
It’s hard to comprehend that just 2 years ago Ghousoun had to leave her country and home:
“There’s war in my country, it is not safe. Here is safe.
“In Syria my children didn’t go to school and they had to stay in the home and don’t learn anything but in the UK my daughter goes to school, and my son goes to college.
“I’m very happy here because it’s safe, more people are polite. When I go somewhere, and they know I don’t speak they tell me ‘it’s ok’, they wait, understand and they help me.”
Ghousoun and her family are making the most out of a stressful situation, seizing opportunities with both hands:
“Me and my husband are both studying and after I learn more English, I would like to go to university and study Adult Education.”
The Baby Support Hub works with mothers with young babies, providing different sessions and support helping to tackle mental health problems, social isolation and bonding issues while improving confidence.
After some trepidation, Sophie, found the service highly beneficial:
“Before I had my little one, I planned out all the baby groups that I’d go to when my husband had gone back to work, but doing this was so difficult, just getting out was a daily drama.
“People often talk about mums with postnatal depression, but you don’t think it will happen to you.
“When my little boy was 19 weeks, I found out about the Baby Hub on Facebook, I watched their posts and comments and one Thursday morning, feeling very nervous, I joined the group. It was the best thing I’ve ever done!”
It was difficult for Sophie but it’s clear the group has had an impact on her life:
“I suffered with anxiety after my son was born and I found it so hard.
“I had my down days after the birth, I spent most of my time crying alone.
“It’s a great support group, especially for us first timers. I’ve learnt so much since going and made some amazing friends! The ladies who run the group each week are brilliant, nothing is too much for them, and honestly, I think it’s the best group we go to.
“I wanted to say a big thank you, my life is so different now.”
To find out more about International Women’s Day, please click here.
If you want to support the Foundation and do more locally, please click here.