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.

 

 

The Key has been shortlisted for awards!

We’re so proud to announce that our young women’s healthy relationships project ‘The Key’ has been shortlisted for the Children and Young People Now Awards 2019! We’ve been shortlisted in THREE categories – the PSHE Education Award, the Early Intervention Award and the Safeguarding Award.

The project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and works with girls and young women aged 13-25 from across Leeds who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing, abusive relationships.  We offer group work programmes – one for girls, one for young women and a third for those moving on from the initial group programmes.  These focus on managing difficult emotions, improving confidence, identifying abuse in relationships and staying safe.  We can do some intensive individual support with group members where needed too, this might be around things like managing mental health or risk, accessing other support, confidence building, attending meetings and looking at what a healthy relationship is.

We also deliver group work programmes in schools looking at healthy relationships and staying safe, plus one-off ‘bitesize’ sessions on healthy relationships. It’s a fantastic project and we’re so proud of it.  Wish us luck at the awards!

 

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.