Volunteering with Women Matta has been a life changing experience for me. Like many women I previously went through a bad time due to various reasons which resulted in me being unable to work for a while. I wanted to regain some of my lost confidence.
I have been doing the Free Friday Drop-In since it began nearly 2 yrs ago and I have LOVED everything about it. From the chaos to insanity and back each week is new experience! The most important thing I gain from the work is being able to see women move on with their lives and its such a privilege to feel I have been able to contribute somewhat to this.
At the Drop-In I usually undertake practical support work which can basically mean anything! From supporting someone with phone calls to benefit agencies, to referrals for a mental health assessment, but most importantly being there, not judging, listening and accepting the women for who they are and where they are at on their journey.
I also undertake practical support work outside the Drop-In. This has involved, again, anything and everything. More recently I have worked closely with a woman who had been using class A drugs for twenty years, her life was very chaotic. She has now been able to access many services through our support. Her life has changed completely. Out having coffee with her and other women one day we were laughing at the usual banter when she turned to me and said.......this is better than getting high. It was all the reward a volunteer could ever need to carry on doing what I do!!
What We Do:
WomenMATTA provide an intensive, holistic support service to women at risk of offending, women at risk of receiving custodial sentences and women who are released from custody after serving a sentence of less than 6 months.
We run a free drop in every Friday 1-4 where we provide a hot lunch, practical support (eg help with housing, benefits etc) and run a different activity each week. This is open to all women (18+) whether or not they are in the criminal justice system. The drop in is held at the Pankhurst Centre, 60-62 Nelson Street, Chorlton on Medlock, Manchester M13 9WP (in the MRI complex).
For more information please contact us on 0161 832 6544.
If you have anything you'd like to say or you would like to guest blog for us please let us know in the comments box or contact us (number above.)