Offering A Lifeline

A Liverpool-based charity dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of women and their families has enjoyed being part of the “Steve Morgan Foundation family” after seeing a positive impact from a three-year grant.

The Women’s Information and Support Centre (WHISC) has provided a range of services since being launched in 1984, including counselling, complimentary therapies, ‘drop-in’ sessions and support groups.

Funding over the last three years from the Steve Morgan Foundation not only helped the charity at a time of cuts in other funding, it also helped them employ a mental health worker.

“Our mental health worker, employed thanks to a generous grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation, has been able to befriend, support and advise vulnerable women suffering from mental ill health,” says Caroline Willcocks, Manager at WHISC.

“We still have a few months of the project remaining, but she has already supported 833 women since February, 2017.

“She has also run support groups for women suffering from anxiety and depression, and a group for those affected by domestic abuse, as well as initiating activities such as knitting and taking up the ukulele. 

“She has been a lifeline for women who have no one else to talk to, and who are finding it impossible to access timely NHS talking treatments. 

“The project generally has helped to underline WHISC’s role as a mental health charity, offering befriending, and wellbeing activities , and has led to many GP referrals to our service.”

The Steve Morgan Foundation provided a grant of £61,587 towards the Mental Health Worker and a further £34,000 for core costs after WHIST lost their funding from the CCG.

It is estimated that the one-to-one support given to women accessing the charity, based on the average cost of a GP appointment, has saved the NHS over £25,000.

Ninety-nine per cent of the women giving feedback said their confidence and self-esteem had improved as a result of receiving this support from WHISC.

In turn, concentrating on one-to-one support has also added to the skills of the WHISC staff and volunteers, with all staff – and ten volunteers – taking training in Solution Focused Therapy, Mental Health First Aid, and Listening skills. 

As a result of developing a group for women who were victims of domestic abuse, WHISC has forged stronger relationships with agencies such as Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service, and South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service.

Caroline added: “We would like to thank the Trustees of Steve Morgan Foundation for this generous funding, which has enabled us to support hundreds of vulnerable women in times of crisis and distress. 

“We have enjoyed being part of the Steve Morgan ‘family’, and it was good to meet the other charities that are funded at the two conferences we have attended.”

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