A Journey of Compassion and Empowerment
We are delighted to introduce the re-opening of the Women’s Centre, a place where compassion and empowerment thrive. Our team at the Community Women’s Centre is dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive space, guided by new strategy and values and feminist principles. In this joint blog post, we want to share the incredible journey that led us here.
At the Women’s Centre, we believe in making everyone feel welcome and valued. As we welcomed new team members into our community Team, we set up together space where each and every one of us could feel a sense of belonging, who bring diverse perspectives and skills. We are fortunate to have added a new position, Housing Specialist Project Workers, to our team. Our aim was to improve housing outcomes for women and provide increased support for project workers tackling housing issues. The goal was to empower not only the women who seek our assistance but also those within the Women’s Centre.
The resilience and courage demonstrated by the Women’s Centre have been invaluable, We actively involve the community, the Women, facilitators, and our community team all have a say in shaping our journey. ensuring that everyone feels like a vital part of our transformative journey. It is our goal for all clients to feel supported, safe, and trusting in every staff member, not just their Project worker. To reinforce this commitment, we conducted focus groups to redraft our code of conduct, reflecting the shared goals and values of our staff and clients, making our policies and procedures transparent and available to all women accessing the Women’s Centre.
Reopening one-to-one support for clients with demanding needs marks a significant milestone for us. With a new focus, we aim to address practical issues such as access to solicitors, immigration, trafficking, housing, and benefits. We are proud to collaborate with amazing partner organizations in London that enable us to extend our work and provide comprehensive support beyond our core capabilities.
Implementing change comes with its challenges, but we prioritise taking care of ourselves and supporting one another. We are committed to better supporting colleagues who have lived experiences ensuring that everyone feels like an important part of our transformative journey. We are engaged in meaningful conversations about what it truly means to us working in “black feminist organisations” approach in practice and how it can underpin our work. As an outcome of this commitment, a team member initiated an anti-racist book club at Hibiscus. Each month, we independently read a chapter of a book and meet to discuss our reflections and what we’ve learned.
The Women’s Centre is a space where well-being, safety, and personal growth are prioritised. We understand the struggles faced by vulnerable migrant women affected by the UK criminal justice system and immigration restrictions, such as language barriers, cultural discrimination, and financial difficulties. We also identified a gap in groups of clients who were not participating in activities that were already running in the Women’s Centre. To gain a deeper understanding of their interests, we organized focus group meetings held online and in person. These meetings proved to be very successful, raising clients’ awareness about existing and new activities they wish to attend or develop themselves.
We celebrate the achievements of the Community Team in bringing about positive changes. Each team member has contributed their unique knowledge and skills to the growth and transformation of the Women’s Centre and the well-being of our clients. We remain dedicated to ongoing growth and progress in our team to support and empower women.
At the Women’s Centre, compassion and collaboration are key. We strive to create a safe and inclusive space where women’s voices are not just heard but celebrated and amplified. This is just the beginning of our journey, and we remain committed to upholding the resilience and courage that the Women’s Centre has always represented and challenging oppressive systems.
Written by everyone in the Community Team