Page 1

Sponsored by the European Integration Fund

Women’s Services Quarterly Report July – September 2012

Olivia Herron Senior Manager, Development The Arbour | Women's Services 115 Harford Street London E1 4FG Charity Registration: Director: Chairman: w: t: +44 (0) 207 7803112 m: 07766 701088 e:

303238 Jitka Markova Nigel Salisbury

Women’s Services Quarterly Report July – September 2012

Contents The Arbour Women’s Services Migrant Women’s Mentoring & Social Inclusion Project Update Quarterly Results in Numbers Equal Opportunities Monitoring Connecting Mums Project Update Our Aims in Numbers Empowerment & Leadership Project Introduction Our Aims in Numbers Outcomes for Participants for Contributors for Wider Society Plans for the Future Feedback

Migrant Women’s Mentoring & Social Inclusion Project

Connecting Mums Project

Empowerment & Leadership Project

Project Co-ordinator: Caitilin McMillan Funders: European Integration Fund Feminist Review Trust th 29 May 1961 Charitable Trust Maurice & Hilda Laing Charitable Trust Oak Foundation Ruben Foundation UNITE Foundation Wakefield & Tetley Trust

Project Co-ordinator: Sasha Staskova Funders: European Integration Fund Department for Community & Local Government Undisclosed Funder

Project Co-ordinator: Vix Garner Funders: European Integration Fund

General Funding The Drapers’ Company The Girdlers’ Company

The Arbour Women’s Services The Arbour’s Women’s Services aims to increase the community participation and social, political and economic integration of some of the most vulnerable within the Tower Hamlets community – young (18-30), Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women who have migrated to the UK in the past year to join British-born husbands. This challenge is undertaken through three key projects, the BAME Young Women’s Social Inclusion Project, Connecting Mums and the Empowerment & Leadership Project.

Migrant Women’s Mentoring & Social Inclusion Project (MWMSIP) Personal Development sessions have seen women’s engagement levels continue to grow as the project has continued to push comfort levels and introduce activities in to our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. English language film clubs, conversation classes, crafts sessions and cycling and photography workshops have been received with great enthusiasm with our women gaining both new skills and a greater sense of belonging in their groups.

MWMSIP Quarterly Results in Numbers

112 ESOL classes

3 development workshops

Course retention of 92 students

6 mentor/mentee matches

Exams passed of 76 students 8%




Passed 92%



MWMSIP Equal Opportunities Monitoring


Ethnicity of 76 Participants 5% 3% 3% 6% White Other

Age of 76 Participants 11% 1% 25%

Bangladeshi 80%

Somali African Asian Other


Under 25 26-35 36-45 Over 45

Connecting Mums Project Redesigned to provide a supportive, multifaceted project that will fully support the needs of newly-migrant women who are new to motherhood. Maintaining the basic elements of mentoring, Connecting Mums now delivers a project with breadth and sustainability. The project consists of 5 modules that develop from each other whilst continuing to support one another. Three long-term successfully settled and community-driven migrant women deliver Peer-Facilitated Parenting Classes to new mothers on well established and effective parenting models, before moving in to the delivery of informal, weekly, Family Learning Activities to groups of up to 10 women offering a range of learning opportunities for both mothers and children. Language development will be a continual focus, with English for Motherhood offering women short courses in order to allow them to fully engage with the local support services there to assist them. Once more confident, Out and About sessions will promote the benefits of engaging support services through visiting play groups, Sure Start activities and children’s libraries, a process that will offer opportunities for migrant women to meet other mothers as well as enabling their children to play in a mixed environment.

The social bonds and child-rearing skills developed during this time will continue to exist beyond the life of the project, and as women entering the scheme are referred from social service and ESOL providers beyond the borough, Connecting Mums is in a position to have a substantial impact on the current and future generation’s integration.

Connecting Mums Aims in Numbers

3 Peer-Educators

90 migrant women

2x6 week ESOL courses

30 Family Learning Activities

Participants gaining knowledge and understanding of a different 1% culture and community


Gained understanding

Participants who improve communication and English skills 17% 83%

Improved english skills


9x6 week parenting courses

8 Out and About sessions

Participants playing a more active role in their children’s education


Being more active

Empowerment & Leadership Project The Empowerment & Leadership Project guides newly-arrived migrant woman to become leaders and peer-mentors in the local community, shape change both in themselves and in the world around them. Improved quality of life will come through not just increased English language skills and increased access to the local community, but the women themselves enacting the change they wish to see. Culminating in a user led final project in which women are tasked with the design and implementation of a small scale community event, the Empowerment & Leadership Project consists of five interwoven modules that contribute to the success of the event. Building on the foundation of ESOL, the project imparts negotiating and debating skills, teaching women ways to assess their feelings and assert their opinions. Computer Information Technology (CIT) classes cover the basic computer skills demanded in the modern workplace and provide women with the knowledge to create the products necessary to plan and publicise a community event. The volunteering and community engagement aspect of the project has already attracted interest from the Tower Hamlet’s Strategic Housing team. Facing an under-representation of women in the resident’s meetings across the estates of Whitechapel the ability of our women to engage with and inspire confidence in the female residents of the estates is being explored.

Key to the Empowerment & Leadership Project is its research element. Through exploring the progress of the project, the needs of the women and barriers they face, the lessons learnt will be developed in to a training programme for public, private and third sector employees and officials in order to help develop understanding and forge the way in integration. Focusing on the leadership skills necessary to control a project, women learn how to structure and deliver a presentation, engage with local resources for the planning of the event and participate in wellbeing workshops in order to explore their own interests and strengths. Participating in community engagement & volunteering work, such as shadowing instructors at local youth centres, allows for the implementation of previously learnt presentation skills as well as the opportunity to make connections across the community and promote their own upcoming and course concluding event.

Empowerment & Leadership Aims in Numbers

45 participants

192 hours of Leadership

192 hours of English sessions

96 hours of ICT sessions

160 hours of field sessions 10 hours of final project prep

Participants with the necessary English language skills to settle in 5% the UK

Participants feel more confident about the integration process and the role of government 25%


Settling language skills

Participants feel more positive about their involvement in delivering integration agenda 20%


Confident in their involvement

Participants have increased self confidence 1%



Confident about integration

Participants confident to support support new migrants 1%


Support new migrants

Participants have improved quality of life 1%



Improved quality of life

Outcomes for Participants Our projects continue to deliver improved levels of spoken English, confidence and local area and multi-cultural knowledge through the delivery of our ESOL classes and Mentoring programme but we continue to push our projects and the benefits they will provide to individuals and the community. Contribution to the local community As Connecting Mums builds improved knowledge of the local area and a growing confidence in the community, a consequence of increased feelings of positivity is increased participation in the civic and social life of the community. The Empowerment & Leadership Project offers women an opportunity to deliver their own project with a specific focus on contributing to the community. Furthermore it arms them with the skills needed to continue to contribute. Active support of their children’s education Learning the English language, child-rearing skills and the local services available to help them develop their child is a huge step towards giving their children the best chance to succeed in education and employment in the UK. Not only do the things learnt on the Connecting Mums Project benefit the next generation but they give the women themselves a great sense of achievement in their own lives. The Empowerment & Leadership Project allows women to develop into role models, with the skill and ambition harnessed on the course providing a great example for their children. Enhancing employability Increased English language skills and knowledge of local services helps participants develop skills useful for further voluntary or paid work. The skills gained on the Empowerment & Leadership course will enable women to approach the job market equipped with IT, presentation and planning skills.

Outcomes for Contributors Creation of Peer-Educators Connecting Mums has provided local women, from migrant backgrounds, opportunities to help their local community and women who are in the position they once were. These women will develop in their own mentoring skills.

Outcomes for Wider Society Increased social, economic and political contribution from BAME groups The project aims to support women who will be able to provide strong female role models for their wider community. As evident from the interest of the Tower Hamlet’s Strategic Housing team, the Employment & Leadership Project has the ability to develop the confidence and civic impact of its participants. This has the ability to benefit the estates and beyond and women become more represented across all areas.

Plans for the Future The Olympics introduced our women to new ideas about sport and participation which we hope to cultivate in low-level sports clubs as part of the MWMSIP. Sport has an incredible ability to build group unity as well as self-confidence, but the first barriers we will work to overcome are women’s beliefs in their own ability to engage in sports and use and their physicality. We will continue to develop links with community organisations, such as Tower Hamlet’s Council, who can benefit from the skills of the women of the Empowerment & Leadership Project. Our women are in a unique position, with the ability to move between and communicate with those under-represented and isolated in the community and those with the power to instigate change. Looking further into the future, the Empowerment & Leadership Project will develop to support a research post. At The Arbour we are in a unique position, for as well as increasing the acceptance of migrant groups within their host communities The Arbour’s work allows for the gathering and analysis of research in to the needs of different categories of third country nationals and the success of current national integration strategies. By measuring the progress of integration policies we are able to contribute to the two-way process underlying integration policies by developing platforms for consultation of third country nationals.

Feedback Migrant Women’s Mentoring & Social Inclusion Project (MWMSIP) ESOL Student - Parma Sultana “When I first came in England I couldn’t know how to speak English, I didn’t understand English, so much. Even when I used to see other people speaking English I used to feel very nerbous and shames on myself. . . . . . In my ESOL class I have made many friends I have visited lots of new/famous places in London such as Westminster parliament, British museum, central London, Geffrey museum, Stepney city firm. I had learnd lots of new things such as how to use tabe map, tube. Even I’m registered in library, I can borrow books, it was a good opportunity for me coming into E2 class” Mentoring Programme Mentee - Najat “When I came to the UK, I didn’t have any friends. I know some wife from my husband’s job, she is nice. But my mentor is my first real friend in the UK. We did so much together – we went to the gym, to market, cinema, shopping, cafe, park – everything we do all the time and she is so kind and patient and helps me so much with my English. I feel good about living in the UK. It is better when you know someone and you can have friends” Mentoring Programme Mentor - Emma “I get a great sense of achievement from our meetings. I can see that she’s grown much more confident. She’s now working in an office doing some admin and taking phone calls. It’s so nice knowing that you can have a positive impact on someone’s life. I like the way the mentoring project is set out – not only do you have your weekly meetings with your mentee, but you also have the Keeping in Touch sessions which are a great way to check-in in person and get some extra training and information”

Connecting Mums Project Connecting Mums Peer Educator - Mariam Mariam attended the Connecting Mums Pilot Project in July 2011 after recently given birth to a baby girl. She is very knowledgeable about different communities and has a natural gift for bringing people together regardless of their backgrounds. Living in the UK and mixing with other mums has given her a unique insight into how Bengali women are perceived by the host community and she often views her own community as ‘other’. She is particularly concerned that Bengali mums are currently not setting good examples surrounding health, hygiene and wellbeing for themselves and their children. She has proved to be an excellent role model for other mums due to her great leadership and observation skills and direct approach. She has spoken at length during coffee mornings on similarities and differences between English culture and Bengali culture. Connecting Mums Mentee - Fatama “I have learnt to speak better English and ask more questions to other mums. They know lots of things, especially things I didn’t know – especially the school system. For me the UK school system is hard. I don’t understand the things my daughter does. It’s very confusing, but other mums help me and I know that it can be difficult even for English mums! Now I can ask the teacher at my daughter’s school to explain her homework and now I think I can be more helpful to my daughter”

Empowerment & Leadership Project Leadership Student – Sahar “I really enjoy this course! So far, we have done presentations, debating and we went to an art exhibition about Islam. It was very interesting! This is a fantastic course and my teachers are so nice and they make me feel comfortable and happy” Leadership Student – Yasmin “In my country women don’t have opportunity to be in leadership so this is good when we come to leadership course at the Arbour. Maybe I can do something new in the future and get a good job so for me it’s very important”

The Arbour’s Eid Card Featuring Mariam – Peer-Educator and created using and woven mehndi designs

The Arbour Women's Services Quarterly Report July - Sept 2012  

The Arbour Women's Services Quarterly Report July - Sept 2012