THE latest round of personal development support for Liverpool women will be launched this month, after the first exceeded all targets.
Change It: Progress to Success is a three-year scheme which aims to help more than 500 of the hardest to reach women in Liverpool boost their confidence and resilience.
Organised by award-winning Liverpool social enterprise The Women’s Organisation, courses around the city have already helped almost 150 women during 2017.
Weekly sessions were delivered in children’s centres around the city, making it easier for women to attend.
More than 200 childcare places were provided, ensuring opportunities went right into the heart of our communities and making it easier for women with childcare issues to attend.
Organisers believe it is essential to provide a broad basis of support for women who, research shows, are among the biggest groups affected by ongoing austerity cuts.
A report by Liverpool City Council in 2017 revealed that women comprise 60% of working age Council Tax Support claimants across the city and so are disproportionately affected by the reduction in help with Council Tax.
It also claimed that 65% of claimants affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ are women, while of the households affected by the Reduced Benefit Cap, 80% are one-parent households, among which more than 90% are women.
Liz Parsons, Labour councillor for Childwall, said: “I was lucky to be involved in some of the early consultation discussions with The Women’s Organisation for this programme and it has been fantastic to see these conversations develop into the service that is being delivered in our children’s centres.
“The programme helps women develop the skills they need to know what they want to do, to believe that they deserve the opportunity to do it, and to be confident enough to go out and grab their dreams with both hands.”
The courses help participants to become more assertive, break negative thinking habits, manage change, and set achievable goals. A dedicated team of advisers then continues to work with clients on a one-to-one basis to help them towards a successful conclusion.
Maureen, a counsellor, mother of two and grandmother of two, completed her course at The Women’s Organisation’s St James Street headquarters in the Baltic Triangle. She said the sessions are pitched perfectly for all participants: “Despite our different backgrounds and stories we quickly realised we had a lot in common.
“As a counsellor I am passionate about helping people to grow and learn more about themselves – now it was my turn, and getting back to basics was really useful.”
She added: “By the end of the eight weeks we each had a different perspective, a new drive and clearer direction. I discovered a new level of confidence, increased assertiveness, and I finally found my voice. All of this enabled me to push through some recent crushing fears, to finally make a life-changing decision I had been wrestling with for a while.”
Change It: Progress to Success dates for January/February are:
January 17: 54 St James Street (Four sessions)
January 18: Stoneycroft Children’s Centre (Eight sessions)
January 26: Picton Children’s Centre (Eight sessions)
February 18: Everton Children’s Centre (Five weeks)
Women in the Liverpool area can book a place or find out more about the programme by contacting The Women’s Organisation’s engagement team on 0151-706 8111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Organisations who would like to refer someone onto the programme can use the same contact details.