Happy International Women’s Day!

We never miss a chance at celebrating one of the most important days in our calendar. International Women’s Day is especially important to us at MHDT as it gives us an opportunity to celebrate all the amazing women doing remarkable things in our community and beyond. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day (8 March)”Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”

This year, we are joining the rest of the world to celebrate the tremendous efforts made by women and girls globally to shape an equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 As always, we are taking this theme locally and are looking at the women right at our doorstep who have taken lead roles in delivering our COVID-19 response. Coming from all ages and backgrounds, we have women who have been at the forefront of providing diverse and inclusive projects in-person and online.  

Evidence has repeatedly shown that when women lead, we see positive results, and some of the most efficient and exemplary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have been spearheaded by women (UNWOMEN,2021). This has been evident in some of our critical COVID-19 emergency response projects some amazing women have led in Woodberry Down.  

We want to celebrate this by shining a light on some of our frontline staff, volunteers, and senior management team who have taken a lead role in delivering our COVID-19 responses.  

Here are some remarkable women in our community who been taking the lead in our COVID 19 response:  

 

Meet Finn,

Our Project Coordinator working at the Redmond Community Centre. Over the COVID-19 pandemic Finn has been overseeing all operations on the ground including the successful delivery of the Hackney Emergency Food Hub and Virtual Community Centre.

 

What does your role entail? 

My role entails overseeing the running of the food hub and supporting the ongoing projects. At the moment we are running the virtual community centre. 

 What has been the most challenging part of your role during the COVID 19 pandemic? 

Making sure everyone who asks for support from us is getting all the help they need. We often find its not just food insecurity people are struggling with it’s mental health issues, job insecurity, financial difficulties, loneliness. 

Why do you think it’s important to have International Women’s Day? 

Women across the world still don’t have basic rights and access to education and healthcare. More than ever there is still a fight to change stereotypes on what women can do, be and achieve. It’s important to spotlight women who are/ have achieved amazing things. 

What message would you like to leave for men and women on International Women’s Day? 

To educate and inform yourself of the amazing work women have achieved throughout history and in your local community currently. 

 

Meet Valy,

Valy is our deputy CEO and has been overseeing all of our COVID-19 programmes in line with our organisational strategy.  

What does your role entail? 

My focus is on developing and implementing creative ways to ensure the Trust’s sustainability, as well as having strategic and operational oversight of the work we do within the communities we work with. Since the pandemic hit, this has meant amongst other things; repurposing our community spaces to meet new needs; raising funds for our Emergency Response projects; liaising and collaborating with the local authorities, partner organisations and local community groups to ensure we are working collectively towards a common goal and reaching as many people as possible.  

How would you define women’s empowerment? 

To me women empowerment enables women to make their own choices and to take an active part in all spheres of life. It’s the right to have access to opportunities, education and resources. The right to have a voice and the ability to use that voice to influence and make key decisions in society. Empowering women and girls is powerful and plays a key role in developing communities and societies! 

Why do you think it’s important to have International Women’s Day and what is special about this years theme to you ? 

It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate all the trailblazing women around the world. It can be both inspiring and empowering. This year’s theme is especially important, as the pandemic is having a regressive effect on women‘s rights and opportunities. Therefore, I think it is now more vital than ever to shine a light on the need for women to be active participants in local, national and global decision-making processes and policy making. International Women’s Day is a call to action! 

 What message would you like to leave for men and women on International Women’s Day this year? 

In order for us to reach a more equal world, we need women at every table where decisions are being made!  

 

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Meet Lydia,

Our Chef who has been cooking hundreds of meals a week for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. 

What does your role entail?  My role entails facilitating the kitchen, cooking quality healthy meals and contributing to the day to day running of the Hub. 

What has been the most challenging part of your role so far?  The most challenging part to my role has been having to stop in between cooking and having to get the meals ready on time. 

Why do you think it’s important to have International Women’s Day? I think it’s important to have International Women’s day it celebrates what we are doing. 

What message would you like to leave for men and women on International Women’s Day?  My message I would leave to men and women on International day… Celebrate! 

 

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 Meet Derya,

Our Volunteer Coordinator, has been leading our volunteer program at the Redmond Community Centre.  

What does your role entail?  

As a volunteer coordinator I have the pleasant opportunity of meeting volunteers and bonding with them. These individuals support us with different projects that go on at the Redmond Community Centre. It’s great to see the positive impact that volunteering has on mental health as well as career progression. Additionally, this role enables me to see the increase in socialisation and community engagement. 

What has been the most challenging part of your role so far?  

Due to the pandemic, there has been a restriction on the number of activities that take place at the centre, therefore reducing opportunities. However, myself and the team aim to create more roles when we can and continue to offer one to one support. 

 Why do you think it’s important to have International Women’s Day? 

It is important to cherish and celebrate women who have made great contributions to our society and have inspired others to push their boundaries and pursue greater ambitions.  

What message would you like to leave for men and women on International Women’s Day? 

Give positive affirmations to people who are under-appreciated you will see that kindness and patience will open many doors and strengthen your relationships.