Senior BAME Support Worker Sharon Wilson talks about her work in our Doncaster Women's Centre and Community Hub on building trusting relationships founded on solidarity.
Changing Lives Doncaster is a Women’s Centre and Community hub, my role is senior BAME worker. I fell into this role through my work in the pandemic. Women and children in our community were hit severely leaving many families without food and isolated from their community with little understanding of a national crisis. We worked together to overcome barriers to accessing support.
When we returned to somewhat normality, I continued to work with women attending the centre and build trusting relationships. The centre is currently thriving with around 170 women from 33 different countries attending regularly. We deliver a range of classes including healthy relationships and Healthy Living.
Attendance of these two classes is 50 women a week. We speak about all topics including what a healthy relationship looks like for you, what to do if you find yourself overwhelmed in your marriage and what you would wish for your friends and family. We spoke about the differences in our relationships culturally, and how we can support each other without judgement. We created the hashtag #SolidarityWithSisters which covered support across all areas.
Many of the women are currently suffering the effects of world conflict, they have lost family and friends due to violence, this suffering spans many countries and we find ourselves in solidarity with our sisters.
We are also aware that women live with long term domestic abuse in their marriage and the way out of the relationship is clouded with guilt and mistrust and we find ourselves in solidarity with our sisters. When we have disclosure, we work alongside the women, supporting them into a safer space. Not all spaces are culturally appropriate, and we often need to reach out further, but we find solidarity with our sisters in the most unexpected areas.
The women at Changing Lives Doncaster show such strength daily. Their voices may be quieter, their faith unbounding, their struggles private. But their resilience is solid, their friendships unwavering and their strength unquestionable as they stand in solidarity with our sisters.
If any of the issues we’ve raised affect you or someone you know and you need support, you can get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01912738891. You can find out more about the type of support we offer here.