‘Wonder Women’ project launched to support Peterborough women suffering from Covid

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A Peterborough women’s forum has teamed up with local partners to deliver ‘Wonder Women’ a project to support women overcome the effects of Covid-19, build confidence, meet with others, grow self-esteem and improve financial literacy.

The idea for the project originally materialised when members of the Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service (PCVS) Women’s Forum recognised that there were no specific activities supporting women in Peterborough and wanted to raise the profile of women in the city.

This need became more apparent and pressing from discussions taking place within the forum and social prescribing referrals, which showed women to have been negatively impacted by the pandemic through isolation and bereavement, domestic abuse and poor mental health from the effects of taking on multi-faceted roles such as being carers, parents, temporary teachers, income providers and home makers.

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To support this work, the forum was awarded £50,000 from the Thriving Communities Fund, delivered by Arts Council England, on behalf of the National Academy for Social Prescribing.

‘Wonder Women’ is a project to support women overcome the effects of Covid-19‘Wonder Women’ is a project to support women overcome the effects of Covid-19
‘Wonder Women’ is a project to support women overcome the effects of Covid-19

PCVS partnered with Living Sport, Metal, Arts & Minds, The Green Backyard and Peterborough primary care networks who are supporting and delivering the project to help women across Peterborough recover from Covid-19 through the power of social prescribing. This will enable health care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services to support their physical and mental health and wellbeing. 

The activities will be for female residents in Paston, New England and Gladstone/Central, with the hope that in future additional funding will be secured to hold further activities across more areas in the city.

Over the coming weeks, activities will include art workshops delivered through Metal and a national portfolio organisation funded by the Arts Council England.

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Meanwhile, Arts and Minds, which have been delivering projects to improve mental health through art over the past 10 years, will be offering arts for wellbeing, while Living Sport will organise sporting activities to improve physical health and wellbeing after consultation with the women in each of the residential areas.

The Green Backyard, which has been running a community garden for more than 10 years on the corner of London Road and Oundle Road, will lead on the environmental aspect by providing planting, growing and eco-activities.

Lauren Kendrick, PCVS’ communities development coordinator who facilitates the Women’s Forum, said: “What makes our project powerful and unique is that it is an idea from women in the community, led by women, for women.

“Participants’ voices will shape the project throughout as they will decide what further activity they want to see during the project. This in itself is empowering and will help to boost confidence and self-esteem.

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“Increased engagement in the community will also lead to improved health and wellbeing which will hopefully result in less referrals to service support agencies e.g. GPs, social services and link workers.

“We are so happy to support local women in this way and extremely proud to be part of the Thriving Communities programme and assist in unlocking the power of social prescribing in Peterborough.”

The Thriving Communities Fund has been made possible due to funding from the National Academy for Social Prescribing, Arts Council England, Natural England and Historic England, with support from NHS England and NHS Improvement, Sport England, the Office for Civil Society, the Money & Pensions Service and NHS Charities Together.

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