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Resilient Women programme receives vital funding

Published: 7 April 2020

Resilient Women - CoLab Resilient Women programme receives vital funding

A support group for vulnerable and disadvantaged women in Exeter has been awarded a £1,000 Covid-19 Action Fund Grant.

CoLab Virtually Resilient Women Programme has become the latest initiative to benefit from the £1million Fund.

The Action Fund was launched last week in tandem with support service Exeter Community Wellbeing. It enables organisations to get rapid access to small grants to allow them to work on local projects to support those people and communities most affected by the pandemic.

So far a total of almost £35,000 has been dished out to community groups and charities as part of the Fund.

CoLab Exeter offers a whole range of one-to-one and group support for women in the city, particularly those who may be disadvantaged. This includes women who have multiple and complex needs, like homelessness, mental health issues, domestic and sexual violence, contact with the justice system and other issues.

Jeanie Lynch at Co-Lab said they were currently working with up to 50 vulnerable women a week by phone and social media, helping them stay connected, reduce isolation and develop new skills and confidence.

The group has 136 women on their register and funding would enable them to broaden their offer out to more people.

“‘We are starting to get calls about women’s welfare from people in the community, and so this grant will help us be there to respond,” said Jeanie. “Our aim is to offer a series of daily online and Skype workshops, activity, one-to-one support and advocacy for women in the city.”

Themes include mindfulness, creative writing, learning and employment, self-care and adult literacy.

“The funding would enable us to build on this offer during a time that we are not fully physically operational. Women have also offered to create a series of peer support opportunities, drawing on their own skills and resilience to support each other during this time and this funding would enable us to support them further to do this,” she added.

Cllr Amal Ghusain, Lead Councillor of Equalities, Diversity and Communities, said: “The group carry out some fantastic work in Exeter and this project is vitally important for a substantial number of vulnerable women across the city.”

Also benefitting from a £3,000 grant is Matthews Hall in Topsham, who have been awarded the money to help them deal with lost revenue from cancelled hall bookings as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak.

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