Friday, March 16, 2018

"I Could Feel My Mood Lift Week By Week" - Linda Reflects on 'Change It' Experience

Change It: Progress to Success is all about empowering women to realise their true potential and turn that potential into success. We’ve met some fantastic women in the past year, all looking to make positive change in their life and begin building the future they really want.

We love nothing more than shouting about the successes of the women who have completed the programme. Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda, who recently recently completed Change It and has a wonderful story to tell ..

“My name is Linda, I’m 57 and I recently attended the “Change It” course. Someone who had completed the course highly recommended it to me, believing it had helped her so much.

At the time I was not in a very good headspace. Being a single parent for 18 years had not been an easy ride (as I am sure most single mums will relate to!). Financial struggles had, over the years, taken its toll and my confidence and self-esteem had taken a bit of a beating. However, I still had a bit of fight in me and, with the full support of my three children, I undertook a degree in English Language and Education Studies. My intention was to travel and teach English as a second language.

However, 5 days after completing my degree, a bad attack of sciatica left me on my stomach on the floor (literally) for almost 6 weeks. Long story short, I had severe disc problems in my back but surgery was too risky and I was told nothing could be done except for pain relief as and when needed. My hopes were dashed and I became quite severely depressed. Where did I go from here? 

I felt I had no sense of purpose (Wow, I’d forgotten how low I’d become until writing this!). Jobs I had done over the years had been to fit in around my kids and I really wanted it to be “my time” now they were young adults.

I attended a few therapy classes to help with my low mood; anxiety management, mindfulness, CBT and then became aware of “Change It” whilst attending one of these classes. The person who told me about it was so enthusiastic and really sold it so I thought I’d give it a go… and I was glad I did! Each session was filled with positivity. Our Tutor, Jenny was so good and each minute was packed with enjoyable exercises and delivered in such a thorough and professional way. We all got on so well and had lots of fun and l came away eager for the following week.

I honestly felt as though this course had been designed for me specifically. It was so reassuring to know that the way I had been feeling was not uncommon. I have always been a “glass half full” kind of person but was now full of self-pity and, to be honest, not liking myself very much. But, each session covered all of this and I could literally feel my mood lifted week by week. By the end of the five week course I felt that I could face what life has to offer, good or bad, and have the confidence once again to deal with it. 

Even my eldest daughter, who lives in Australia noticed a positive change in me each time we spoke via skype. She said I seemed so much happier now. And the best thing was that I didn’t feel like I would slip back as the sessions were full of achievement, challenges and action plans which I can refer to whenever I feel I need to.

I am now in a much better place emotionally; I feel I am taking back control of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I know I still have quite a way to go to full recovery but for the first time in years I feel hopeful again and am actually feeling excited about the next chapter of my life.

So, if you’re reading this and thinking “Is this course for me?” I would say to you “YES IT IS!” I would recommend this course for everyone, young or old, happy or sad. It will equip you with the necessary tools to improve (or maintain) your confidence and you will have such a fun time in the process, 

I promise!”

Thanks to Linda for sharing her incredible story!

We have a number of Change It programmes taking place in Liverpool’s Children’s Centres and here at The Women’s Organisation:

Speke, The Reach at Parklands, 10th April (5 sessions)

54 St James Street, 11th April (4 sessions)

Picton Children's Centre, 20th April (8 sessions)

54 St James Street, 16th May, (4 sessions)

If you’d like to find out more information about the programme or book a place, contact us on 0151 706 8111 or and find out how we can support you.

Monday, March 12, 2018

✊♀️ ‘Women Are Our Sisters, Not Our Competition’ International Women's Day 2018 at The Women’s Organisation

As another International Women’s Day passes by we take our time to reflect on the day… and we can truly say this one was one of our favourites!

International Women’s Day is a day of coming together to support your fellow women and this is exactly what we did at 54 St James Street! We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who attended our event and got involved in celebrating International Women’s Day 2018 with us!

It's always a busy time for us at The Women's Organisation and this year was no exception - We were joined by over 80 women to celebrate the day and hear from our 4 Panelists (Jo Anderson, Jayne Smith, Councillor Liz Parsons and Michelle Charters) speaking at our International Women’s Day theme ‘Women are our sisters, not our competition’ which was all about the power and support that can be received from women in our lives and communities.

Our Panelists with CEO of The Women's Organisation Maggie O'Carroll and Event Chair Pamela Ball

Joined by our event chair Pamela Ball, our panel shared their backgrounds, times in which they had faced challenges and how they dealt with them, but also some light-hearted inspiring stories about the numerous women that had supported them and continue to support them in their life before opening the discussion up to our 80 guests.

Many topics were discussed during the 2-hour event ranging from education, getting involved within the local community and information on where to seek help and support.During the event we also asked our guests how they would pledge to #PressforProgress which was IWD2018’s key theme and here are some of the responses…

I, pledge to #PressforProgress by...
We asked our guests how the event changed their perception of other women and in what way and some of the responses included Get more involved in local politicsTo actively seek out some young women who I can coach and It reminds me that there are women out there willing to help, to challenge systems, to share skills and to ultimately support each other to succeed

They all sound absolutely brilliant!

We also received some great feedback from the women that attended our event:
I feel empowered!
Fabulous inspiring women making up the panel
Inspirational session
Look forward to connecting with The Women’s Organisation in the future
Brilliant day! Inspiring and empowering
Good day – inspiring and empowering

We had such a great day celebrating International Women's Day and happy that we could be in an environment full of inspirational women! 

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank LCVS Together for Liverpool for Good for funding our event, our panel and also the women who took their time to attend the day.

If you missed out on our International Women's Day Business Club event we have more events for you to catch at 54 St James Street:

Meet The Media - 18th April 2018 
Show Me The Money - 15th May 2018