Rosie's story

Women’s Group by Rosie

What motivated me to start my voluntary work was a desire to assure refugee and asylum seeker women that there are people who are keen to care for and support them. I think there is a large section of society that shows unnecessary and unfair hostility towards asylum seekers and refugees.

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The women's group operates weekly to support refugee and asylum seeking women in a male free environment. They get together, make friends and gain support from the group and its volunteers. It provides a space where they feel relaxed and are at ease, able to ask questions, join activities and socialise in a safe environment.

In the women's group we do a wide range of activities including sewing, crafts, embroidery, english language support, themed parties and guest speakers. We recently had the police speak to us so that the women could ask questions and gain more information on how to access police services and feel safer within their community. This was a very useful session and the women had many questions to ask! The group runs a free childcare service so that women are able to socialise with each other at ease, and the children also get a chance to interact with each other!

I have volunteered with the women's group for six months now, I have seen the group build and become ever more successful. I have seen women flourish who were unsure of themselves when they first came, it is so important to help people make friends and begin settling into their community. It is very positive when I see those the group thrive and become more confident and optimistic, even though the group meets for only two hours a week.

As a student I don't have much experience but I hope I contribute in a small way. Volunteering with the Women’s Group at CRC has provided me with a unique and valuable experience which I don't believe I would find anywhere else. I have learnt how important this group is for the community of refugee women in Coventry. I have made great friends and met some wonderful and inspiring women.