Sabera – Mental Health Link Worker
I have been working with women in the community supporting and empowering them so that they can make brighter futures for themselves. I have been working on projects about healthy eating, being more active and improving mental wellbeing, working in partnership with St. Philips Academy, Iqra Academy, Dixons Manningham Primary, Kensington Partnership, Picton Medical Practice and Khidmat Centre.
We have reached out to many women, for example the young mums at the Iqra and Dixon Manningham Primary schools, helping them create healthy nutritious meals which take time, budget and dietary needs into consideration. The ladies can now make healthy packed lunches for their children and cook recipes that their whole family can enjoy together. They have learnt to reduce red meat in their diet and also have meat free days! Their relationship with food has completely changed.
Foodz and Moodz was a club running for one hour a week for 6 weeks with primary school children based around encouraging healthy nutrition – and much enjoyed by all.
The over 50s Weight Management/Peer Support group has also been very successful, we have built a great relationship with Khidmat Centre where their service users have worked hard to improve their diet and incorporate some form of exercise into their day to improve both their physical and mental wellbeing. The ladies enjoy meeting up every week, learning, exercising and enjoying a nutritious meal made by me! Many of these ladies are lonely, isolated and have underlying medical conditions so a group such as this gives them space to enjoy company but at the same time learn. They value the sessions which tackle fear and replaces it with hope.
Sessions at St Philips Academy, which we named Wellness Wednesday also proved to very popular. These sessions were planned to give women a voice, the mums and grandmothers of children at the school were keen to learn about what is happening in their area and how we can make improvements. The sessions provide women a safe platform to express their opinions and also share ideas. Some ladies have commented that since taking part in lively debates and discussions they have discovered a new strength within them and are proud pf themselves; this has boosted their confidence.
Talk Therapy sessions at Picton Medical Practice have helped to reach out to women that have been feeling overwhelmed with stress-related issues. These women have been identified by Practice staff who refer them to us to learn a little more about them. Through talking they are slowly able to understand what they are going through, and by lending them an ear that listens well and a voice that offers them encouragement they start to feel a little differently about themselves. And although their issues don’t go away overnight they do start to feel a little better. They are offered support and optimism.
We have been overwhelmed with the positive feedback we have received from the women we have supported over the year and look forward to continue doing further great partnership work with various organisations.
Case Study: Client H – “I have benefitted well from the Healthy Mums programme as it has taught to me to make nutritious meals from scratch, something I rarely did. We relied on take-away meals 3 to 4 times a week and I paid for the children to have school dinners. I did very little cooking. But that has all changed! I work long hours and used that as an excuse of not having time to cook. I was fortunate to have some time off work during the week, luckily on Thursdays when Girlington Community Centre are delivering the Healthy Mums programme at my children’s school. I signed up immediately! Each week we are guided to make good lifestyle choices through diet and exercise and the whole of my family are benefitting from the advice given by GCC. I now make packed lunches for all of us and have reduced take-away meals to just once a week. We are grateful to GCC for their encouragement, education and support. The sessions have been delivered in a very informal setting which has made learning easy and fun. My family are now eating much healthier meals and we also are saving money!”
Jamshad – Health Support Worker
Case study: Client ‘J’ is an older lady who lives on her own. After her husband died, her step children forced her out of the house. She eventually secured a Council house with the help of her sister, but became very vulnerable due to multiple health issues. She had lost all hope and trust in people. Her sister talked to me and I was able to make contact with ‘J’ and arrange an access bus to pick her up and drop her off to the activities at the Centre during the week. When she first attended the activities, she had no confidence and felt isolated. After a couple of weeks of coming to the coffee morning, she gained confidence, made new friends, felt healthy with the massage and exercise and says she feels there's still life left in her. Her mental and physical health have improved and she is grateful we have given her a lifeline and looks forward to the weekly activities.