An update from Hannah W – our Wellbeing Case Worker for women seeking asylum

The funding for the Lloyds Wellbeing Case Worker is now one year in and I wanted to update everyone with a bit of information about my role and what I have been up to over the last 12 months. I attend Rainbow Hearts (group for women seeking asylum) most weeks and enjoy the opportunity to check in with women, meet new women and speak to those who may need a bit of extra support. I have worked with over 15 women over the last year, some have been just a little support with checking in at Rainbow Hearts and some have needed more intensive support.

 

As well as attending Rainbow Hearts I also see women on a one to one basis to provide emotional support, this can involve something as simple as helping a woman get out of the house by going for a coffee or a walk round the local park, or helping women to access support at other services such as RETAS, PAFRAS, Shantona and Bahar Women’s Association. I attend Meeting Point Women’s group regularly to meet new women as well as supporting partnership working. As part of the one to one sessions I have helped women to access volunteering opportunities through Voluntary Action Leeds, referred women for specialist counselling with Solace and supported women in accessing local services in their communities such as libraries and social groups. It’s a really varied role and I love it!

Spotlight on…… Fi, our Finance and Admin Manager!

We like to give people the chance to get to know the team, this time it’s lovely Fi’s turn to be under the spotlight.

 

What does your role involve?

All bookkeeping and accounting tasks, payroll, budgeting, planning and fundraising.  Managing the admin role of the organisation and being a member of the management team.

 

What’s your favourite thing about WHM?

The amazing women who work here and being part of a team that makes a difference in women’s lives.

 

What are 3 things that you enjoy going?

Walking with dogs, listening and dancing to music, hard sums.

 

If you had a magic wand, what would you do with it?

Bring in a basic income for all! So that everyone had enough money to live on and what you chose to do beyond that is up to you and your individual situation.  Work, study, be a musician, start your own business, care for others.  I know it’s all a bit pie in the sky but they have tried it out in other European countries with some success.

 

‘Hold Tight’ a poem about moving on from domestic abuse.

One of the women from our Leeds Domestic Violence Service groups recently wrote a poem for others going through similar experiences.  She read the poem at our Centenary Celebration in November and we really wanted to share it with you.

 

Hold Tight

What I want for you my dearest is that it stops here.

That your bruised, exploited mind and body

begins its healing here.

That you find within yourself the truth of who you are –

a unique, and solitary entity who stands alone,

who has her own song to sing,

her own story to write,

her own life to live –

free from the abusive, corrosive elements that wish you harm.

Hold tight my dearest,

hold tight to self belief as small as it may be –

just a spark perhaps –

yet as it breathes and lives your truth

it will set you free.

 

2018

A big celebration of our work and 100 year of suffrage.

2018 marks the 100 year anniversary of women of Great Britain starting to win the right to vote. We hosted a celebration for women we support, staff, Trustees and external guests.   A huge thanks to the Women’s Lives Leeds Centenary Celebration Community Outreach programme and White Rose for contributing to the funding of this event.                           

We were delighted to welcome Kim Leadbeater (MP Jo Cox’s sister) and Councillor Alison Lowe as our guest speakers. They spoke brilliantly, engaging the audience and sharing their passion for the work they are involved in and the importance of women using their voice and voting in local and national elections.

                                    

Women from our Rainbow Hearts group sang beautifully, their voices lifting hearts and spirits high! Many women we support shared a little of their story and their work with WHM. This is always a moving reminder of the value of what we do, the strength of the women and girls we support and how wonderfully they support each other.

                                

Women prepared display boards about their work with WHM and the themes of voting, change and rights. Many women also contributed to our ‘on the day vote’…..sharing their thoughts with us on…..”if I could vote for anything it would be……….”

                                   

Prior to the event in the morning, the women and girls we work with had joined staff and trustees for our AGM and used their voice to vote on matters relating to the governance of WHM.  As always, it was such an inspirational event and thanks to all of the wonderful women for being part of it with us.