A safe, just and equal world for women

Advance Women’s Centres use grant to host wellbeing events

March 22, 2024
Thanks to a grant from the Fidelity UK Foundation, three of our regional teams were able to organise a series of activities for women who’ve had contact with the criminal justice system and are receiving support from Advance.

Fidelity is an independent grant-making foundation that provides funds to non-profit organisations in the UK to help them fulfil their mission.

Motivational talks

The events began with two sessions in Essex and Hertfordshire, which focused on equipping women with tools to improve and protect their wellbeing. Service Manager Shannon said: “Leanne came and gave us a fantastic interactive speech on her life, including her experience of substance use. She took us through six steps to boost mental health and gave us a lot of food for thought. Everyone chipped in and shared personal experiences, tips and advice.”

One woman who attended added: “Leanne was incredible. I’m going to take on her advice about ‘a slither of recovery’ to give myself a few minutes of me-time every day.”

The other group were joined by Shanara Hibbert, a wellbeing and careers coach and professional athlete, who coached them on ‘five ways to wellbeing’. She also showed them her Tedx Talk and then led a discussion on burnout and how it isn’t always linked to work.

Advance Hampshire Wellness Festival

The Hampshire team used the grant to host an International Women’s Day-themed Wellness Festival. Women attending did some mindful crafting, made their own aromatherapy and danced their troubles away. Every part of the day was focused on celebrating and uplifting women, including the food which was provided by a local female-run catering company.

The area’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, and Women’s Strategic Lead for South Central Probation, Helen Morris, also came along. They spoke to Service Manager Charlotte about how they can all work together and do even more to support women in contact with the criminal justice system.

Helen said: “The passion of staff and drive to achieve the best for women unites us. Celebrating International Women’s Day together has provided a chance to stop and reflect on our partnership and just how important it is.”

Natural relaxation

Over in Kent, women connected with the great outdoors at Tyland Barn nature reserve, where they enjoyed a two-hour wellbeing session. This included a wildlife alphabet activity, walk around the reserve and some mindfulness exercises, finished off with a cup of homemade nettle tea.

Keyworker Juli-ann said: “It’s so important to be able to facilitate an environment where women can engage in a natural setting. Advance is fully supportive of events that empower women to access wellbeing activities that enable them to grow, helping them improve their self-worth and feel part of their own journey.”

Nikki Cresswell, Wilder Wellbeing Officer for Kent Wildlife Trust, added: “We’ve been delighted to have Advance here for the first time and hope that it’s the start of an ongoing relationship with the charity.”

You can support us to support more women with a donation via our JustGiving page.

Skip to content