Spotlight on….Leeanne!

If you read our blog or newsletter, you’ll know that we like to give you a chance to get to know us better.  This time we find out more about Leeanne, she’s worked on lots of projects during her time with WHM and currently works on our Best Start Peer Support course, Inside Out & Rosebuds groups and also supports our Women’s Lives Leeds Partnership and MVP. She’s very busy!

Spotlight on…Leeanne –  

What does your role involve?

I run groups at Women’s Health Matters, for women whose children aren’t living with them and courses in partnership with Touchstone for parents and carers of young children.

What’s your favourite thing about WHM?

All the women I come into contact with – all the amazing, wonderful women who I work with and have become my second family, and the incredible women who come to our groups who inspire me every day with their kindness, strength and support of each other.

What are 3 things you enjoy doing?

Watching the tv – dull but it’s a great switch off

Spending time with family and friends

Getting outside and walking

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

Could I create magic wands for everyone with my magic wand please?!

 

Here’s Leeanne on the left with our lovely Elaine.

 

Summertime and the living is….busy!

Although it already feels like summer was a million years ago, as usual it was a busy time here at WHM.  As some of our groups close over the summer holidays, we use it as a time to go on trips if we can, or catch up with women and girls for one to one appointments (and sometimes even to go on holiday ourselves!).  Here are some of the highlights of our summer.

Hannah, or Rainbow Hearts Wellbeing Case Worker supports women on a one to one basis. She fills us in on some of the things she’s been up to over summer –

“As the Wellbeing Case Worker working with women who are seeking asylum I have recently been focusing on the link between mental health and physical health. I have supported women in getting Leeds Cards so they can access reduced cost gym and swimming sessions. This has helped women to build up their support networks and get to know their local area better, as well as improving their physical health. Women seeking asylum often struggle to access gyms or exercise classes due to the cost, the Leeds Card offers women the opportunity to be able to go to the gym or go swimming at a reduced cost which makes it more accessible for all women to attend. The women who have been have enjoyed the sessions and are keen to keep going!”

Picnics featured A LOT in our summer trips, with Rainbow Hearts, Breathing Space and our Leeds Domestic Violence Service groups.

Tayba fills us in on the Breathing Space trips –

“The women and children enjoyed a picnic in Temple Newsam and a walk around the farm where they got to see a pig giving birth. This was all topped off by some cooling ice-cream and lollies. Many of us were also running away from the swarm of wasps! A great day out though.

On another trip, the women also went to Roundhay Park and had a picnic, again enjoying the greenery with the beautiful sunshine. Walking in nature is one of the things we talk about when we look at self-care in our groups.

The final trip for the Summer break was to Meanwood Farm. Again, connecting with nature and animals is very therapeutic and a fun day out with the kids.

Finally, the women expressed their appreciation and gratitude for having the opportunity to have day trips with the children during the summer break, which can be very testing for 6 weeks. Days out don’t have to cost much, kids get to run about, you get to take a break from boring chores perhaps- a great way to keep some boredom at bay!”

 

Rainbow Hearts also enjoyed a gorgeous day in Roundhay Park in the summer and took one of our favourite photos ever –

 

Lastly, our girls and young women’s project The Key went on an awesome trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Some of the day was a bit rainy, but that didn’t stop us having a great day. They were filming the TV show ‘Big Week at the Zoo’ while we were there so we were able to have a bit of a nosey at that too. We had such a fantastic time, with one little boy saying his favourite animals were ‘the monkeybears’!  You can tell Sarah was on photo taking duty as, by the end of the day, we had only taken photos of otters!

Thanks to all the team, the women & girls who came along, and also the children who joined us too for making it a summer to remember.

 

 

MVP goes to EXPO!

We recently went to an exciting event in Manchester – the NHS EXPO.  Our Lucy Potter, Chair of the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) went along to present with her colleagues and alongside Karen Poole and Annemarie Henshaw, on ‘How to succeed at system level planning’.

Lucy (on the left in the photo) was, as always, representing the voices of those people who access the Local Maternity System (LMS) in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. It was a chance to make clear how important the MVP is as a way of hearing from those who access maternity services in our area and how it helps improve maternity care for all.  Lucy showed how the 7 MVPs have helped families not only have an input, but their experiences have helped shape the services and maternity experiences of women and other families in the region. Fantastic work Lucy!

 

 

An update on our team – lots of changes.

We’ve had lots of changes here at WHM over the last month or two.  Three wonderful members of our team have moved on to pastures new.  We’ve said goodbye to our fantastic Director Ruth who has really steered the organisation forwards over the last four years. Fi, our Finance Manager, has been with the organisation for a long time and will be so missed.  As you may have seen from a previous blog post, our amazing Administrator Elaine has also moved on after years of keeping us all organised and cared for.  Although we’re so pleased for the three of them, we’re really sad to see them go and wish them all the luck in the world with their onward journeys!

 

This means we’ve welcomed some lovely new faces to our team – Rachel and Bridget.  Rachel Kelly is our new Chief Executive and Bridget Walker is our Finance & Office Manager.  They’ve already fit right into our office of passionate women, and we’re really thankful to have them.  We’ll introduce Bridget soon, but would like to introduce you to Rachel with our usual ‘spotlight on’ questions.

What does your role involve?

I’m currently going through a handover with my predecessor and learning lots about our vital programmes and the women and girls that we work with and support. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to my new role, bringing my own experiences and skills to Women’s Health Matters, working with our partners and supporters and continuing to develop our services.

What’s your favourite thing about WHM?

I think there are going to have to be two favourites so far; the fantastic staff team that are here, so warm, welcoming, experienced and passionate. And the privilege and pride I have already felt, when hearing the real stories and experiences of our women and girls and the positive differences our projects are making to them on their journeys.

What are 3 things do you enjoy doing?

I love reading and getting transported to somewhere new with a good book.

I’m trying to keep myself fit and especially enjoy swimming.

I enjoy spending time with friends and family, especially if it involves a curry!

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

Where to start… I would eradicate poverty across the world and ensure everyone lives in a safe and stable world, with opportunities to love, learn, grow and succeed.