We recently held two self discovery days on the 12th and 19th May for women in our seventh Wave of Change cohort! The days included activities led by Gemma Piper (Pretty Tough Things) and Jen Samani (@jensamanimakes), all of which incorporated an element of building positive mindsets, exploring next steps, and setting future goals. We were able to support Merseyway Workshop by bringing our sessions to their high street community venue and what a great space it is to showcase all the great work they do locally too.
Activities led by Gemma were different each session! During session 1 we made our own Affirmation Jars. The idea being the ladies would write affirmations and encouraging statements to themselves. On tough days or when they need a smile, they can open and read encouraging words and positivity. Gemma tasked the women to write something for everyone on the table and stick in their jar as a surprise.
Session 2 involved Pictures of Hope, where we focused on butterflies. Butterflies symbolise hope and new beginnings which felt very appropriate for our ladies. Each woman was tasked with creating a picture to include a butterfly along with a statement or affirmation that was relevant to their next step on the programme. Each of the ladies went home with a butterfly keyring to remind them to focus on the future.
Gemma said,"I’m so proud to be supporting the wonderful women on the Wave of Change programme. Women supporting women is something we need more of. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into planning the event on the 24th of June!"
Activities led by Jen included decorating plant pots with our positive ‘power words’ (words that we chose included ‘Brave’, ‘Fierce’, ‘Live’, ‘Heal’ and ‘Refocus’). We then planted our intentions/goals underneath our chosen plant so that it will flourish and grow as our intentions come to fruition. We also made our keys to happiness. We chose an antique key each that we were drawn to and decorated a wooden key ring with a word to remind us of something that makes us happy (for those times when we might need reminding). We also made affirmation bracelets using letter beads to remind us of how ace we are!
Jen said: “Being involved in the Personal Days has been such a privilege. Hearing women who have participated in the last Wave of Change programme share with each other their next steps and reflect on how much positive change they’ve noticed in themselves and how much more confident they now feel is so inspiring. Seeing women attending for the first time and unsure of what to expect when arriving and then literally growing before my eyes in one day-going home a few inches taller with a smile on their face, was super amazing! Having participated on a similar programme a year ago I know the value in this journey, and I’m so excited for the women who’ve signed up for Wave of Change 7, it’s going to be mega!”
Simone (Course Lead, Goodness Collective) had this to say: “I’ve loved the Personal Discovery sessions. It has been a real highlight to see previous women who have been a part of our programmes now delivering their own workshops or mentoring sessions. Being able to create real and often paid opportunities to our women is key to the project success. Creating an ‘open door’ of support so that women can reconnect to us and come back if they need to, means so much to me as a project lead. Knowing that women who may not have had anywhere to turn, now feeling safe to reach out to us without fear, has made every single day creating, planning and working on this programme extremely worthwhile. “
Beth (Course Lead, PIE) said: "After two years of running online sessions, we have loved being able to run the seventh programme with a bigger focus on face to face delivery. These sessions have not only allowed women to spend time being creative, and allowing their minds to really start to explore next steps, but also the chance to connect with both the course leaders, and other women on the programme for support."
All participants had the opportunity to catch up with their mentors, and discuss their next steps goals as we move towards the end of their Wave of Change programme. We also had a visit from our grant manager, Clair, from WEA. It was great for her to be able to see some of the work we do in action. All of our Wavers know how well we like to feed them and it also allows us to connect over food and refreshments from another amazing social enterprise operating in Stockport Start Point Cafe. We never take for granted that the cost of living is rising so knowing we can support women with a good meal whilst they are with us is hugely important! We have recently secured some top up funding, which will see Wave of Change women from throughout the seven programmes organise a celebration event on Friday 24th June at Stockport Art Gallery. Watch this space for more info!