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Charity expands skills courses to help women ‘reinvent themselves’

Elaine Butterfield, the interim executive director of the Women's Resource Centre, and Emma Ordona-Pratt, a programme co-ordinator at the WRC (Photograph by Fiona McWhirter)

A series of sessions designed to boost skills and self-esteem is being offered more widely after organisers saw a trend of residents who wished to reinvent themselves.

The Transformational Support Services Programme, run by the Women’s Resource Centre, will include free workshops on personal finance, health and communication.

Participation in earlier courses was by referral or through the Transformational Living Centre for Families but now people across the island are invited to attend.

Elaine Butterfield, the WRC’s interim executive director, said: “The real spearhead is that, based on what we’ve all just been through, women are finding the need to reinvent themselves."

She added that many people were "sitting back, doing some exploration“ and trying to decide whether they wanted to make changes in their lives.

Included in the programme are talks about empowerment, career development and social skills.

The next session – part of a legal series – is scheduled for January 24 and will be a lunch-and-learn event about maintenance orders, run by Kathy Burgess, of Burgess Family Law.

Other programme topics include relationships, meal planning and understanding money.

Ms Butterfield said: “There is also the psychosocial aspect where participants can receive coaching and counselling through the support services programme.”

Emma Ordona-Pratt, a programme co-ordinator at the WRC, added: “Each workshop provides excellent takeaways that benefit every participant.

“These workshops will help them develop new skills and gain new knowledge that they can apply for themselves personally and professionally.

“Thus I encourage women to attend and take advantage of these workshops.

“In addition, attending more workshops also boosts their confidence, not only because they are gaining skills and abilities but they have the opportunity to meet other participants and have the chance to share their experiences and thoughts with others, and learn from others’ experiences and ideas.”

Ms Butterfield highlighted that the programme was an “integral” part of the TLC for Families, which opened on Parson’s Road in Pembroke last year,

She added: “The difference is that what we have done in the past is solicit participants for the programme, the Women’s Resource Centre is now opening up this training to the public.

“We hope that women of all walks of life will come and check it out.”

Training and workshops will be either lunchtime sessions or held in the early evening, mostly in person although some could be virtual and there will be no charge.

Refreshments will be provided with donations towards the costs welcome.

The workshops are geared towards women but men may attend some, depending on the content.

Ms Butterfield said the training calendar runs up until April and it is hoped that women will want to take part in the entire series.

She added: “It includes a holistic approach to the needs that women have in their lifestyle when they are reinventing themselves.”

Ms Butterfield explained: “Some women are embracing the opportunity for change, so they need the skills in order to do that.

“It’s not just about work skills, it’s about life skills and how they see things.

“Women are now looking at the fact that, ‘I'd like to be more courageous’, therefore Jennifer Outerbridge-Smith will be coming along and doing a dynamic self-esteem and assertiveness workshop.

“Because there are so many people competing for work these days, we have Gordana Terkalas from Aecon, who is a human resource specialist, who talks about career readiness.

“We do some role-play about how you should act and how you should dress, not just during an interview but during the work process and in this new environment that you are not accustomed to.”

For more information or to sign up for the sessions, call 295-3882 or e-mail reception@wrcbermuda.com.

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Published January 18, 2023 at 8:07 am (Updated January 18, 2023 at 8:07 am)

Charity expands skills courses to help women ‘reinvent themselves’

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