Thank you to everyone who came to our AGM and open day on the 5th September 2023. We are truly grateful for the amazing turn out, and thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with you all!
Here is part of our report from our CEO Karen Christie and we shall be updating you all about the full event soon!
Thank you to everyone who has come along today. For those of you who are new to the organisation, it may be surprise you to know that this organisation has been delivering services to women in Sefton since 1989 and received charity status in 1992. There have been many changes to the organisations, over the years, both in terms of where the charity has been based and the services that it provides, however the charity continues to focus on providing services and support to women, and for the past 3 years, teenage girls.
Focusing on 2022-23, we have said farewell to some long standing members of staff
as well as welcoming new members into the organisation. Rita Till and Joan McArdle retired in April 2022. They had both been with the organisation for over 16 years. We had a leaving party for them in April 2022.
In May 2023, we received the very sad news that Joan had passed away. Joan was the Counselling and Wellbeing Manager at the centre and I speak for all the team when I say that she has left a huge hole both personally and professionally with us all.
In March 2023 - Sue McGregor, retired from her role as Young Persons Counsellor and in August 2022 Michelle left her finance position with us. Donna also left in February 2023
One of our Trustees June, also retired from the board last year.
Changes and new members of the team:
• We welcomed Galina to the organisation in April 2022, she heads up the counselling team in the role of Counselling and Wellbeing Manager. • Jane was promoted to the role of Counselling Co-ordinator in April 2022
• Nicola who had previously volunteered for us, joined us in March 2023 as the Young Persons Counselling Co-ordinator
• Cathy, who had also previously volunteered for us, joined us in November 2022.
In 2022, we launched a Bereavement support group and we continued to deliver the emotional support group. Both of these groups were delivered and facilitated by Barbara, a counsellor who has been with us for over 7 years.
We had two new holistic Therapists join us during this period. Linda, joined us in April 2022. Linda is qualified to work with and provide therapies to women who are undergoing treatment for cancer. Diana joined us in January 2023. Diana provides therapies such as cupping, massage as well as Breath work and mindfulness group sessions.
We have made some changes to our services and we are no longer delivering an outreach service. We decided to use these resources to providing a more diverse adult counselling service. This has meant that we can now provide counselling to
women at home via telephone and online.
In February 2023, we launched our Women’s Hub in Southport (this was in partnership with SWACA and Light for Life. We currently provide adult counselling services from that base but going forward we hope to provide young people’s counselling from there too.
We were commissioned by SWACA to deliver a counselling service for women affected by domestic abuse. This year was its 2nd year of delivery. We deliver an adult counselling service to women who live in Sefton. We have been providing a teenage girls counselling service for the last couple of years from Litherland and Southport Family Wellbeing Centre.
We funded 3 art courses last year, each one seems to have been more successful than the last.
We delivered a Winter Clothing Grant on behalf of Sefton Council which helped local women to purchase items that would help them keep warm during a winter in which we experienced increases in fuel by 200%. This helped 10 women and 25 children to stay warm.
The following information will give you an insight into the services that we have provided during the year.
The services that we provided during the year included:
• Counselling for women, teenage girls and women who had experienced or were experiencing domestic abuse.
• A Befriending service – for women in the community who are isolated or lonely.
• We provided food bank vouchers as well winter grants to enable people to purchase a coat or something warm for winter.
• Activity groups such as card making, knitting, art group, confidence building workshops etc.
• We also refer clients to advice and information to women who required services other than our own.
April 2022 – March 2023
We supported 2867 women and 133 teenage girls between April 2022 and March 2023. 886 women had never used our services before.
• We provided 3501 counselling appointments to 813 women.
• 411 counselling appointments to 133 teenager girls.
• We recruited 11 new befrienders throughout the year, this year which means a total of 25 volunteer befrienders supported the service throughout the year. They supported 41 clients with 341 community visits, home visits or telephone calls during the year.
• 45 women accessed 76 support groups sessions facilitated by our counsellor. They met weekly and we provide access to afternoon as well as evening groups.
• We supported 72 clients who were or had been in a domestic abuse relationship with 324 counselling sessions
• Our Therapists provided 1463 Therapy sessions
• We have had 86 volunteers working across all areas of the organisation (including Trustees) during the year. They have gifted the charity with 8000 of volunteering hours. This equates to approximately £84,943.84 worth of support from our volunteers.
This year we have a new service called ‘Your Mind Matters’. This service is for 16 -
25 year olds who are struggling with their mental health. The team provide both one to one support, advocacy and we will shortly be setting up a support group. All three members of the team – Jeni, Shelley and Laura, have worked or volunteered with us previously.
We have recruited 4 new trustees this year who bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to the organisation. They are Louise, Andrea, Laura and Angela.
Georgina became our Volunteer Co-ordinator in May of this year.
We continue to deliver a teenage girls counselling service and this year it is funded by Alder Hey. We will continue to provide this from our Southport and Litherland offices. We have received some funding this year to deliver free sessions of Mindfulness, Yoga and Breath work sessions. We ran a free 12 week programme called Arts for the Blues this year and we will be running Arts and Therapy sessions shortly.
We have also been distributing summer clothing vouchers on behalf of the council.
**Our full report from our Chair of Trustee's and CEO will be available to read in the coming weeks**