Karen, one of our Project Workers, recently received some fantastic feedback from a woman who had just finished attending one of our LDVS domestic violence support groups – 

“I must admit on my first time at the group meeting I had no idea what to expect and didn’t really want to talk to anyone. I had no confidence and felt that no one could have been through what I had been through so how could they understand or answer any of the questions that I had failed to find the answers to myself.

I was welcomed and given a coffee and almost immediately felt at ease. I soon began to realise that the meetings were about me and the future rather than trying to understand what had happened in the past.

Over the next few weeks it become clear that the questions I thought I needed to be answered had become insignificant and the future was mine to grasp. I found comfort in listening to the others in the group and realised I was not alone with my thoughts anymore as other members of the group were in my position. Some had started to find ways to move on and some were struggling but we were all in it together.

On the weeks where we analysed what we had been through it made you realise why we felt the way we did but we always looked at things from two opposing viewpoints and discussed how we could turn the negatives into positives. It was amazing to see some people arrive in the depth of despair lacking in hope and then see them blossom and grow in confidence and self worth.

I saw and felt this week by week in myself. Karen would encourage us and made us believe that we could get through this. That there was light at the end of the tunnel. That we could get our lives back on track and they would be so much better, even if it meant doing it alone. She made us believe that we were what she said we were ‘strong, independent women’!

I recently left the group knowing I am back in charge of my life and my future. It has not been easy but the support Karen, Andrea and other members of the group gave me has been invaluable. I will never forget the support in emotional and practical terms which I received. I have found the confidence now to do a voluntary job as a receptionist and I love it.

I can live a life with my head held high. I have so much admiration for the way Karen has directed us and encouraged us to be the best we can be and will always be glad that I join the group.”

Our latest project – Your Space

We are delighted to have joined with lead partner Touchstone and Holbeck Elderly Aid to deliver a fabulous new service – Your Space.

The service will deliver and promote a range of activities, awareness campaigns and signposting for people who live in LS8, LS9, LS10 and LS11. We will work with individuals and communities to develop and identify the tools, skills and know-how to live happy, healthy lives, and to maintain their wellbeing.  Leeds City Council funds the service and Leeds Beckett University, Centre for Health Promotion Research are our evaluation partners.

We launched in April and are working hard to get lots of activities and publicity reaching into the communities.  The team have already attended community events, festivals and galas, group work sessions, employee wellbeing sessions and other activities in the local areas with lots of positive conversations going on.  The Your Space curry and chat evening was recently hosted in Holbeck – yum!  Lots more to come as the sun starts to shine….and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @YourSpaceLeeds

Rosebuds gets arty with Mentally Healthy Leeds.

Rosebuds is one of our groups for women who are living apart from their children, meeting weekly at the Tetley Art Gallery.  It’s funded by Leeds Trust as part of their year long support of projects working in the community to overcome loneliness. 

                                                                                                                          

As part of this important piece of work, we have been working with Mentally Healthy Leeds who have provided us with a wonderful worker, Belinda Sawyer.  She has been in to the group twice and run really fun and thought provoking sessions on the nature of femininity in the world and self-identity.  The women have really enjoyed these sessions, and we had lots of really interesting conversations, thinking about who we are as women and how we present and communicate this to the world.  From eating chocolate mindfully to making masks, we have really enjoyed the fun activities that Belinda runs.  We are really looking forward to seeing what she has planned for us next!  Thanks so much to Mentally Healthy Leeds at Touchstone, we really appreciate your input.

 

                                                                                      

Could you be our new Trustee?

Are you interested in joining our fantastic Board of Trustees?

During the recent Volunteers Week in June we wrote about our fabulous seven Trustees – the people who share ultimate responsibility for governing a charity and directing how it is managed and run.

We will be advertising for new female Trustees shortly and we are especially looking for:

  • A Treasurer
  • A Trustee with senior management experience in the voluntary sector
  • A Trustee who is a fundraiser or has significant fundraising experience

Our Trustees are a committed and passionate about the work that we do and their meetings combine hard work and humour to help make the important decisions required of Trustees!  If you have one of these skill sets and want to learn more about our upcoming recruitment and a bit more about us and our Board then give our Director Ruth a call on 0113 276 2851 or drop her a line on ruth@womenshealthmatters.org.uk

Here’s what some of our current Trustees say their favourite thing about WHM is……..

“All the staff and all the trustees have a uniting belief that women can and should be in control of their own lives and health. It’s a great team to be part of.”

“Attending the AGM always makes me be proud of what women can achieve, despite often extreme adverse situations. It is so positive to see how women’s lives can change, given the right support and help through WHM.”

“The staff are so enthusiastic about their work, and knowing we’re making a real difference to women who perhaps don’t have anyone else who really cares about them makes all the hard work worthwhile.”