Celebration event marks end of five-year volunteer project at South Shields venue

A five-year project which has helped scores of women in South Tyneside has come to an end.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 5:00 am
Womens Health in South Tyneside volunteer five-year Big Lottery project comes to an end. Front from left co-ordinators Joy Nancarrow and Amy Van Zyl

Celebrations were in full-swing at Women’s Health In South Tyneside, last week, as volunteers past and present called into the centre in Mile End Road, South Shields, to join staff to mark the completion of the Big Lottery funded project.

Over five years, around 100 women have been supported to become volunteers in a variety of different roles by helping them to overcome personal barriers, including health problems, low confidence or perceived lack of experience.

During the event, those who accessed the 20-week volunteer skills course, returned to celebrate the success stories of the project as well as talk about the challenges they overcome and the skills they have gained.

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They also told of the further training they were able to access around specific roles such as the Listening Ear service where trained volunteers offer one-to-one support session for women when life’s challenges get too much

Teresa Wright, who set up and runs a stop smoking service at WHIST said: “I came to WHiST for support and joined lots of courses including a drama group.

“I have trained to offer stop smoking advice to women but I also became a qualified exercise tutor and now I am employed at WHiST to run an exercise class. There have been difficult times but the volunteer project has supported me through them.”

The event was organised by Volunteer Co ordinators Joy Nancarrow and Amy Van Zyl, who also welcomed representatives from other voluntary sector projects from across South Tyneside, to celebrate volunteer achievements.

WHIST is now seeking further funding to take the volunteer project forward with the support of the current services volunteers provide.

Meanwhile, plans are in place to mark the celebration of International Women’s Day.

The jam-packed programme of activities and performances have been put together for March 9 at the venue

This will be the third time WHIST has hosted the event supported by Crest, Apnar Ghar, Hindu Nari Sangh, Sangini, Angelou, Worky Ticket Theatre Company and Bright Futures.

International Women’s Day - a global event - celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Doors to the womens-only event open at 11am.