Innovation Fund Feedback from our friends at FOR WOMEN
Vittoria was awarded the Innovation Fund to deliver a project FOR WOMEN called The Happiness Corner. The project aimed to provide women the opportunity to reflect and gain the right tools to transform and live a meaningful life. It also aimed to explore the positives of mental health (positive psychology principles), highlighting the positive normalisation through group work and 1:1’s.
The programme ran the 3rd October 2019 to 9th January 2020 with a total of 15 sessions being delivered at Bay 20 in North Kensington. Vittoria stated that they also delivered an extra session at the Mum’s Club in South Kensington on 6th December 2019.
Each session ran from 11:00 am to 2.30 pm. At the start of each session 3 minutes of mindfulness, check-in. It would then be a 2 hour awareness session and presentation which involved discussions, sharing of views and life experiences. From 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm a light meal is served and each participant you wanted additional support had a 20 minute 1:1 slot during the meal time.
Some of the themes that were covered over the weeks include Mental Health Awareness (two parts), Positive Thinking (two parts), The Art of Communication and Compassion, The Benefits of telling or listening to a story, What would you tell your younger self, Self-Awareness a Pathway to Happiness, The benefits of volunteering, Self-Care and learning about the NHS and our local NHS Trust (CNWL) and Feeling your thoughts – How to challenge our negative thoughts.
Vittoria said that the programme is very much based on looking at life from other perspectives creating and believing in the effect of self-empowerment, self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-reflection, emotional intelligence.
Over the duration of the 15 sessions, FOR WOMEN reached 45 women through The Happiness Corner programme and a total of 131 women attended. The average amount of women present in each session was between 8 and 9. Vittoria stated that 50% of the women attended more than 5 sessions and 20% attended 11 sessions out of 15.
Some of the feedback from participants included:
- Accepting myself as I am – knowing that all our brains are different, and feeling part of a collaborative group who are listening plus learning from each other is an AMAZING bottom-up, solid process. THANK YOU!
- It was a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
- I hope that this will create a ripple effect in communities nationwide, as these connections are vital to be established for a transformation in society in 21st Grass roots are vital to sustain the growth of the tree.
- I really enjoyed when we discussed what we love about one another.
- I really enjoyed the session – amazing women and Vittoria you are an example!
- Very touching experience – Triggering emotions and actions and thoughts in my own life. DEEP GRATITUDE.
- Very enriching program. Grateful to be part of this circle of women.
- With gratitude for creating and leading the helpful Women Wellbeing the Happiness Corner group – I found your group very thought provoking; such an interesting opportunity to share a glimpse of each of the women’s journey and perspectives.
- A heartfelt thank you for this amazing highly effective opportunity.
Vittoria said that she wanted the sessions to continue for another 3 months, has applied for another £2,500 grant with Community Westway and was successful. From 30th January to 12th April 2020 FOR WOMEN will deliver other 11 sessions.
Vittoria stated the achievement is that almost half of the women are taking a step forward in their life. They have applied to do volunteering work with Turning Point and K&C Volunteer Centre. They also joined the local Health Watch. Two or three women have expressed their interest also in becoming more involved with FOR WOMEN for future plans. These are amazing results considering that most of the women who have attended our activity have had mental health issues/breakdowns and therefore low esteem and feeling isolated and lonely.
Vittoria fed back “The opportunity FOR WOMEN had through the Innovation Fund has been crucial because it has created the right platform to understand where to stand and how to proceed as future plans. Through the delivery of the 15 sessions we have understood that FOR WOMEN is a unique, innovative and inclusive organisation whose aim is to inspire and encourage women to tap into their true potential, believe in the social connection and the quality of self-awareness through self-reflection. Thanks to the Innovation Fund FOR WOMEN has understood that we need to take a step forward in order to be able to make this possible”.
Vittoria said that thanks to the Innovation Fund we have understood that FOR WOMEN needs to grow and this is why we have taken the following decision:
- To register as CIC (Community Interest Company) before end of January 2020.
- To be able to apply to funding which can help us become operational (website, social media, desk-office space, laptop/s and other equipment, part time salaries of two staff).
- Expand our activities/programmes.