We have been endeavoring to establish our work with our female clients for a while as Women’s groups are notoriously difficult to start and to maintain. We have tried various activities with them such as taking them to the local college to have their hair cut and coloured, having their nails painted and for a while putting false nails on.
This was quite challenging as it involved super-glue! There were a few times when I thought I may have to go home with them as we seemed well and truly stuck!! We want to provide a place where they can come and do “normal” stuff and which allows them a break from what is an incredibly hard existence. Simple activities like these help to just give them back a sense of their identity and worth and allow them a small space to be the women they are. They need a space that is male-free too as life among the street drinkers is male dominated, and often they are involved in relationships where they are manipulated and controlled. So this space can become an oasis for them and that is what we want. On Friday we invited a Hairdresser in to the Project, who also does professional manicures!
We thought we would start with manicures and then Charis could see the clients and talk to them about their hair and come in at another time to do their hair. Only one client came in which was ok as she received some good positive one to one attention. She spent a long time massaging and putting treatments on the hands and all the time some lovely conversations were taking place and a lot of laughter too.
All “normal” stuff which a lot of us take so easily for granted. Having a good chat and just being able to talk in a safe place with people who are interested in you is of such value. I even had my nails done and went home with some very pink nails! The session continued after the centre had closed so this became even more special. We will keep persisting with our lovely ladies knowing that it is slow work but very rewarding and enjoyable. We are always thinking about new ways to engage with them and to bring some lightness into their world.