I first found out about Sophie Hayes Foundation from my case worker at Hestia in 2020. She told me there was a programme that was helping women get into work called the Employability Programme, I was interested but unsure, my name was referred, and I was contacted by Sophie Hayes Foundation and enrolled.
The Employability Programme was divided into 2 parts: workshop and coaching. It was amazing and informative. I learnt new information about getting into work and writing CV’s etc, that I did not know previously, and I also met new friends, women like me looking to grow. After I finished the coaching sessions, my Sophie Hayes Foundation workshop coordinator asked if I was interested in joining a survivor network: a new networking programme for all programme participants. I was sceptical at first, as I wasn’t sure what it was about or if I would want to be part of such a network, but she said it would be a great leadership opportunity and because I love organizing and planning events, I would enjoy being part of the network’s new leadership.
Fast forward to about a month later, I got a call from someone at the Foundation they explained what the network was about and how it plans to help the all the woman that have been and will be in the future. This made me want to join and here I am today, on the CREW leadership team and writing a blog for the new Sophie Hayes Foundation website.
THE CREW: Creative Resilient Empowered Women: Before we became CREW we were known as the “survivor network” . When we met for the first time, we agreed we didn’t like that name, we needed to change it to something more powerful and empowering. The team spent a lot of time-sharing ideas and words that represented the women in the Foundation’s programmes. As we talked we agreed every woman has the potential to be Creative, Resilient, and Empowered in one way or the other, and we each have our uniqueness that makes us strong as human beings. Also, CREW sounded like a good strong name.
We bring women of the Sophie Hayes Foundation together several times a year for activities and events to help learn or gain new skills, share things that make us happy, meet new people, make new friends and just be ourselves. We have the ability to lift and help each other in various ways that we could not imagine. It’s called empowerment.
It has been an amazing journey being here from the beginning, a part of the CREW leadership team working with some many amazing people. I love everything, from being able to gain more confidence in my ability to speak publicly which I never thought I could do, to learning what it takes to being part of a team working together on projects.
I have learnt from our women, there is something everyone can learn from whether its creative or just the simplest thing like learning how to use a computer to most complex things like learning how to write a blog…this is the first one I have ever written!
I am excited to see what the future will bring for us in CREW and I want to be a part of growing it, growing my leadership skills, help plan Sophie Hayes Foundation events so I can one day have a career as an event planner.
You do not need any experience or previous skills to be part of the CREW. You just need to be your amazing and vibrant self and be open to saying “YES, I CAN DO THIS, YES, I WILL DO THIS, YES THIS IS MY LIFE”