Reminder about our enquiry and information service.

Do you have any enquiries about your health and wellbeing?

Our service is confidential, and we can give you information or signpost you to our own or other local and national support services.  You can get in touch on 0113 2762851 or email admin@womenshealthmatters.org.uk

We also have a weekly information stall on Fridays in Leeds Market, so you can come and see our friendly faces in person, at the One You base, from 11am to 1pm!

*Please note – the stall is closed Friday 22nd & 29th December and 5th January.*

Spotlight on our staff! Hello from Lizzie.

Here’s another ‘getting to know you’ post about one of our team members. This time, it’s the lovely Lizzie’s turn to introduce herself and her work!

 

Spotlight on our staff

What does your role involve?

I started as the Development Worker for Rainbow Hearts at the end of June 2017. We offer weekly sessions for women seeking asylum in Leeds. I have been helping develop the group’s work around supporting the womens’ mental health and well-being. Going through the asylum system is extremely stressful and women benefit from having a safe-space where they can meet, make new friends and support each other.

 We have started a volunteer programme where women from the group have been trained and supported to facilitate activities and offer practical and emotional help to their peers. I have also been strengthening our partnerships to ensure the women we support have access to the information and services they need, and that women in Leeds are aware of our work.

What’s your favourite thing at Womens Health Matters?

I love the women-centered approach that runs through the whole organisation – its so great to work somewhere where we can prioritise support that is guided by the women’s needs and everyone is treated as an individual.

 

What are three things you like to do?

 I have been doing a pottery course for a while – I’m not very arty but doing something creative takes you out of your bubble for a few hours a week.  I also love walking and watching crime/legal dramas.

 

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

For the women we support – free childcare would be an easy fix! It stops so many women accessing services they need.

 

16 Days of Action & what healthy relationships mean to us.

Some of our team have been out and about recently meeting people at events for the 16 Days of Action.  The 16 Days cover the time from “International Human Rights Defenders Day (29 November), World Aids Day (1 December) and the anniversary of the Montreal École Polytechnique Massacre (6 December). This is to highlight the connection between human rights and domestic violence.”  There’s a different theme each year and there are always lots of events going on across the city (and around the world!) to highlight the issue of domestic violence. You can find more info about it here.

 

We’ve been meeting professionals at the Third Sector Safeguarding Meeting, at the 16 Days event at Tech North and at the Bangladeshi Centre to tell them about our work with women and girls experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic abuse.

 

In some of our girls groups, we’ve been asking what we think of when we talk about a ‘healthy relationship’, they came up with loads of suggestions!

We spoke to some of our women’s groups about the dv support they’d like to see in Leeds if they had a magic wand.  Their fantastic suggestions including more outreach work, more advocate support in court, someone to meet you when you leave court after having your children removed due to domestic violence to support you with what comes next and easier & quicker access to mental health services.  They also said they’d like mental health service to have crèche facilities as they can’t access them if they have nowhere safe for their children to be!

 

They also said there should be much more early intervention support with boys and girls in school, to look at how to be in a healthy relationship and respect each other.  All fantastic suggestions we think!

 

 

Talking consent & World Mental Health Day 2017

 

Some of the members of the team from The Key were invited to attend events at two colleges last week. Sarah and Aneira went along to Leeds City College as part of their event focussing on consent. We like to have activities on our stall, so we asked young women (and lots of staff who wanted to play!) to identify what words/ sounds/ signs may means someone is consenting, not consenting or unsure. Lots of giggles were had but everyone was great at it and we had some really useful chats.

The following day we attended Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College’s event as part of World Mental Health Day 2017. Lots of other great organisations were there too including Forward Leeds, Carers Leeds and our lovely friends at Women’s Lives Leeds.

We talked to so many young women and staff about the work we do and about healthy relationships.  Our activity for that event was asking people to think about how unhealthy or healthy relationships can impact our mood and mental health.

We had so many responses!

People had lots of suggestions about how an unhealthy relationship might impact your mental health…..

Make you stressed and not allow you to concentrate on important things, make you insecure, depression, sad, upset, angry, lower self-esteem and confidence, make you self-conscious, anxious, feel unloved, make you feel small & not good about yourself, may cause ill-health as it can make you depressed and stressed out, feeling worn out, make you feel trapped, lonely & guilty like it’s your fault, makes my mood anti-social and lonely, if in education, then it’ll negatively affect performance, lose hope, negative vibes are soaked up into us & we may convey them onto others accidentally. May lead to domestic violence.

 

When it came to how healthy relationships affect our mood and mental wellbeing, they also had loads of ideas including…..

Make you more happy and positive, it will make you feel more loved and valued in life. Boost your confidence, make you satisfied and happy, make me care about others around me, confident in the fact you have someone you can trust & speak to, being in a healthy relationship is good for the mind, you will feel happy and healthy. It can turn mood into a positive, happy state in which boosts & creates healthy living. Secure, excited about life, makes you confident, feeling joy, increased confidence in life & self-confidence, you know that someone cares about you, good vibes make us flowery & positive!

 

We had a great time at both events and, as always, it was fab to talk to so many switched-on young women!! See you next time. =)