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Women Supporting Women: Peer Mentoring and Coaching Event University of Worcester, NCSPVA

Women Supporting Women: Peer Mentoring and Coaching Event University of Worcester, NCSPVA

Kristy O’Dowd and Myself, from Cohort 4, spoke at this event on 03/11/15 at The Hive in Worcester, to a full audience about how to support women in our communities surviving abuse, discrimination and disadvantage, including those affected by the criminal justice service.

Cohort 4 is a self supporting women’s group of survivors, self determining what we need to reinforce and promote survival, recovery, self confidence and hope. We spoke about the power of peer mentoring, the authenticity of this approach and the need for women safe spaces where the women themselves determine their own projects, design and lead them. Kristy spoke powerfully about her experience of being peer mentored and of peer mentoring other women. A clearly articulated presentation showing the radiating benefit of such work.

Our great friend Tracey McMahon presented interesting information and approaches linked to safe, housing, the notion of ‘home’ and the brilliant SHE project she leads in Burnley, Lancashire. Lucy Baldwin, Senior Lecturer from De Montford University, spoke with passion about women and mums in prison and her fantastic book ‘Mothering Justice:Working with Mothers in Criminal and Social Justice Settings,’ amazing presentation that really took our breath away at the cruelty, blame and harm caused when sending mums and sometimes their babies to prison. Clare McGregor promoted her book on ‘Coaching Behind Bars’ and spoke about the amazing work she has being doing in coaching women at HMP Styal in Cheshire. Making a difference!

The audience participation during the question & answer session was great and it is clear that #womensupportingwomen including peer mentoring, accommodation, the use of imprisonment and coaching are really important issues for women, mums and their children, actually, for our communities as a whole. It was Cohort 4’s pleasure to be able to join amazing women at this event.


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