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“In the past year, we have met and supported so many incredible women”

International Women’s Day 2021 #IWD2021

 

Story by Nathalie Renaud, Elizabeth House Community Centre 

 

Covid-19 forced Elizabeth House Community Centre to close on 19 March 2020 but it re-opened on 20 March 2020 as a community Food Hub. 

In the past year, we have met and supported so many incredible women despite the unrelenting hardships thrown at them, made 100 times worst by the pandemic. We wish you could meet Sue, Sakina, Caroline, Maxine, Michelle, Angela, Marie, Cira, Rehab, Dawn, Katie, Pearl, Julie, Abi, Katherine, Gina to name only some of the women we have worked with this past year. Some have sadly passed away, others are still in temporary accommodation and living with the constant threat of losing their home, many more are battling with mental health issues and unemployment, but isolation and poverty are definitely the dominant issues experienced by too many women in our community.  

To respond to some of the needs, we launched a support group, provided food and essentials to hundreds of women, referred dozens for specialised support, ensured mothers had presents to give their children for Christmas, helped a mother of five to move away from her abusive husband, tracked a young woman who had been trafficked out of the country. The stories are endless and so many lives have been touched. It’s been an incredibly difficult but revealing year. 

We are in awe of the many women and girls who have generously given their time and skills (70% of over 100 volunteers are women) to help others. During this pandemic, women in our community have proven that they are strong, resilient, resourceful, generous and combative. We will continue to work with them so more women are empowered to improve their lives.