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Te Puke group breaking boundaries for women

The Shine women workshop is helping a wider range of people. Photo: SunLive.

A Te Puke community hub wants to help Bay of Plenty women live in freedom, overcome trauma and discover their self-worth.

EmpowermentNZ is launching a free self-development workshop ‘Shine Women’ at the end of this month, aiming to teach women about their worth, strength and purpose.

“We have all been through our traumatic (stuff) aye, and we just can’t let it define us, because we end up living in these little boxes,” says programme coordinator Charli McLachlan.

“This workshop is about women establishing their own sense of self-worth and belonging, no matter what they have been through. They can use the skills to empower their lives rather than hide behind it.”

EmpowermentNZ social work manager Deborah Nicol says the workshop is needed because there is a lack of support for women in the community with self-esteem issues.

“I have come across too many women from all walks of life who don’t think very highly of themselves, beat themselves up, have anxiety, depression, and feel unworthy. They are sort of hidden from society.

“There is a lot of services for at-risk families, especially for kids that are at risk and women that have been victims of domestic violence.

“To be able to bring this workshop to the table for Te Puke for me was really important because I did see it as a gap.”

The nine-week course will involve conversations exploring self-worth, art-therapy, journaling and learning about self-care on a budget and nutrition routines.

It will also provide free childcare for mothers who are keen to attend.

Charli emphasises the importance of making the workshop accessible to all women, particularly those who would not normally have the opportunity to take time out for themselves.

“It needs to accessible to single mums, women who have been through traumatic experiences who can’t ever get out because they are stuck at home with the kids.”

Both Charli and Deborah say that an overwhelming amount of women have already registered their interest in the workshop, ranging from a teenage girl through to a woman in her nineties.

 “It is such a blessing to see that this programme speaks to women of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities.

“It’s really targeted at any women, no matter how old you are or where you have been in life,” says Charli.

“Women are looking to discover who they are. There’s definitely a yearning among them to connect and have a voice,” says Deborah.

Shine Women is an international programme written by Hillsong Church based in Australia.

Deborah says the programme is written in a way that is non-religious and can be applied in both church and community settings.

EmpowermentNZ Charitable Trust is a hub which functions to help the community thrive. It provides access to food, opportunities to connect with others, receive advocacy, budget help, social work and counselling.

For more information about the workshop, call Charli on: 021 027 74174 or visit: www.facebook.com/EmpowermentNZ. Women from outside of Te Puke are welcome to sign up.

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