INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2019
At Caritas Anchor House, we are inspired by the strength and resilience of the women (and men) who come through our doors demonstrate every day.
International Women’s Day takes place every year on March 8th to celebrate and commemorate the countless achievements of women around the world. It’s also a time to recognise gender inequalities that still exist today, and talk about what we can do to combat them.
A balanced world is a better world. That’s why this year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter. We hosted an event this morning to celebrate the many achievements of our female service users, colleagues and community members, and to come together with the men in our community to think about how we can achieve balance.
The answers the group discussed were simple. To celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality. Women and men should support each other.
It is estimated that there are 68,000 women in the UK who are sleeping on the streets, or in temporary accommodation and emergency shelters. Women’s homelessness often occurs after prolonged experiences of trauma, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse by those closest to them. Violence and abuse are both a cause and consequence of women’s homelessness, with women experiencing further abuse, exploitation and violence while homeless.
Around one third (30%) of Caritas Anchor House residents are women. In 2018, we supported 68 women who had experienced homelessness to find their confidence and begin to rebuild their lives.
One woman we worked with, Hannah*, shares how she reached her goals in the face of adversity.
“I became homeless in 2018. I felt so alone. I was anxious about my future and was experiencing depression.
“When I was told I could move into Caritas Anchor House, I cried tears of joy and relief. I would have my own room and my own shower again! It was a chance to feel like myself again and get my life back on track.
“When I moved in I set a goal of getting a job, so I worked with the employment team at Caritas Anchor House. I got help to update my CV and encouragement to utilise my interest and experience in hospitality.
“I signed up for the 14 week Pret a Manger Rising Star Programme, which was a great opportunity for me. It was a chance to get back into work and gain valuable skills at front-of-house and at their office headquarters.
“I’ve just graduated and am so happy that I’ve been offered a job as a full time front-of-house barista! It’s been hard, but my life is getting back on track and I couldn’t be happier.”
Hannah’s manager shared, “She has been amazing from day one! She showed willingness and fit into the team like a glove. She never complains, is always in a good mood and staff and customers love her for her good sense of humour.”
Hannah is just one of the many inspiring women that we work with. To help more women like Hannah, please click here to make a donation.
*Name has been changed to protect client’s privacy