'I've got my mojo back' - free holistic workshops helping women into work

A participant from the Bloom project, run by The Feed, which helps women back into the workplace

A participant from the Bloom project, run by The Feed, which helps women back into the workplace - Credit: The Feed

Women who struggle getting into work because of a traumatic past are getting a much-needed confidence boost thanks to a social enterprise.

The Bloom project, run by The Feed - a Norwich-based not-for-profit social enterprise - teaches women who may have lived through an abusive relationship, addictions, been homeless or had mental health issues holistic and creative skills.

It spans across 12 weeks and is also open to women who have been out of the workplace and are lacking in self-esteem because of this.

So far over the past 18 months since it started over 30 women have completed the course, funded by the Aviva Loneliness and Isolation Fund.

Hollie Crudge (left) from The Feed and Sharon Papiez, who has completed a Bloom project 12-week workshop

Hollie Crudge (left) from The Feed and Sharon Papiez, who has completed a Bloom project 12-week workshop - Credit: The Feed

Sharon Papiez, 52, who completed the course this summer, said: "I suffer from anxiety. The course has boosted my confidence and has helped me immensely.

"The first time I came here I nearly collapsed but everyone was so welcoming. It felt like a family. Everyone had their own history. You are working together and it helps relieve the anxiety.

"I have got my mojo back. I'm a lot more confident and want to get back to work."

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Mrs Papiez, who used to work in catering, is keen to go back into the industry, adding: "I have had to re-evaluate myself and talked about things. I'm a different person to when I started the course."

Led by three staff, it is held once a week in the city and any woman aged 18 and over can take part in the free sessions either by self-referring or getting a professionals to refer them.

Activities include yoga, mindfulness, dance and art therapy, improving emotional awareness and job seeking skills.

Women taking part in a Bloom project art session run by The Feed

Women taking part in a Bloom project art session run by The Feed - Credit: The Feed

Georgina Finn, a support team opportunities coach for the course, said: "It is about giving women coping strategies and helping them move forward. The nicest thing is the sense of community they have and the friendships that develop from the course."

The Feed, which started around eight years ago, supports around 100 adults who face barriers getting into work through a variety of issues.

It is funded through its cafés in Waterloo Park, Prince of Wales Road and Bowthorpe's Kettle Foods Factory as well as attracting grants.

Visit https://thefeed.org.uk for more information.

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