Women-only homeless drop-in

A couple of years ago, we noticed a spike in the number of women coming to our homeless drop-in so we began trialling some women-only sessions. We interviewed Marzia from our drop-in team to find out more.

Why women-only sessions at our homeless drop-in?

The women’s group started two years ago as a way to make the drop-in more ‘woman-friendly’. When I first started working here, I noticed that it wasn’t a very welcoming place for women. Very few women used to come and those that did were isolated and vulnerable. We wanted to provide a safe and welcoming space for them.  

What can I expect  at the women’s drop-in?

We’ve done all kinds of things from fruit sculpting and jewellery-making to flower-arranging and origami. We’d love to be able to use a kitchen again as there’s something special about preparing a meal that brings people together.

When we ran cookery sessions for a brief spell, the women took turns to cook a meal they loved. Some chose a childhood favourite which they hadn’t eaten for years. Others, a dish they hadn’t eaten much off since living on the streets. We cooked all sort of things from elaborate European dishes and traditional British desserts, as well as Nigerian, Chinese, Mauritian and Indian dishes!

We had a visitor who finds it very hard to trust people. She hasn’t yet told us her name but slowly she’s opening up and has started to talk about her life and aspirations, spending a few hours socialising with her peers. This group can be a starting point for us to help people in a really significant way.

How does this help the women?

We offer a space where they can pick up some skills and take their minds off their worries for a few hours. Importantly, it’s a place where they can socialise and meet someone they can sit next to during our open homeless drop-in sessions.

We had a visitor who finds it very hard to trust people. She hasn’t yet told us her name but slowly she’s opening up and has started to talk about her life and aspirations, spending a few hours socialising with her peers. This group can be a starting point for us to help people in a really significant way.

Many of visitors struggle with regular attendance and commitment due to their chaotic lifestyles. By offering our short courses and keeping them flexible and relaxed, there’s no pressure and stress to add to their lives and the can come when they can.

Could you help us run a 6 week women-only session? We’d love to hear from you if you can. 

Who comes?

Our guests come from all over. Some are rough sleepers, abusing drugs and have a long history of homelessness, others are suffering mental health problems and/or seeking asylum seeker or refugee status.

Could you help us run a 6 week women-only session? We’d love to hear from you if you can. Please email Gary and Marzia or call 07572 290 655.

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