Blossom Newsletter - February 2021
Your six monthly update from the Blossom Project
In the past 6 months we have delivered:
270 1:1 support sessions
18 online group and peer support sessions
42 food parcels
120 well-being parcels
Zoe was referred to the project in 2019. At this time Zoe was struggling with anxiety as well as having recently left an abusive relationship. Upon commencing work with Zoe she had very little self worth and was unable to regulate her emotions. This became more challenging for her during lockdown due to feeling out of control and she struggled to manage this.
By engaging on a 1:1 basis with her key worker and attending group support, she now feels she is in a much better place emotionally and is now able to offer support to other young women. She says Blossom has helped her feel confident again and she has made
positive peer networks too!
Service Delivery Update
Throughout the past 6 months we have adapted our service delivery and have worked as flexibly as we can to ensure young women are supported. When restrictions have eased
we have had young women in the building for face to face appointments and we continue to offer digital support including telephone and video calls, text and Facebook message support.
In addition to this our online group takes place each week where young women can connect with one another and access peer support. So far topics have included sexual health sessions, mental health awareness, national slavery and human trafficking awareness and team building. We also celebrated the UN's 16 days of activism by encouraging the young women to take small steps to help end gender based violence.
We feel very proud to have been involved in contributing to national research produced by DMSS and the Tavistock Institute. Being part of the Women and Girls Initiative group has allowed a strong, united voice across projects working with women and girls. We have collectively produced briefings on topics such as; 'Increasing the voice and influence of girls and young women' and 'Why working with girls and young women matters'.
Youth Employment Initiative Support
Blossom’s Employability programme, funded by the European Social Fund began in September 2020. Since September we have engaged young women in structured 1:1 support sessions to help identify and work towards their long-term education, training and employment goals.
The support which is delivered virtually consists of developing soft skills such as confidence building, transferable skills such as communication, listening and problem solving skills and also practical sessions on CV building, application writing and interview skills.
Support for younger women
We have branched out and we can now offer girls and young women support from 13+.
Following demand for earlier support from partners over the years, the project is thrilled to be able to widen its reach to deliver support at this younger age. The girls and young women on caseload are already benefiting from confidence and resilience building activities as well as targeted sessions on topics such as; staying safe, positive relationships, peer pressure and much more! Some of the girls are looking forward to brighter days in the future where they are able to meet face to face in a group.
“I feel safer knowing I have support from Blossom”
– young woman aged 17
“Blossom gave me the chance to get out of my comfort zone and gave the chance to try new things outside of
my comfort zone"
- young woman aged 18
Learning from Covid-19 - what young women told us and what we have done:
The voices of the young women are informing us that they are struggling with lack of routine, missing physical connection with others, change and uncertainty, worry and sleeping difficulties. We have seen a rise in referrals made to our in-house psychotherapist for 1:1 counselling.
In response we are:
Offering connection (digitally and face to face where needed) more flexibly
Focusing on promoting positive well-being , working on goals and dreams post Covid-19
Supporting young women adjust to new rules, guidelines, and lockdown
Focusing on positives from lockdown - learning new skills, more self care time and learning to communicate in different ways