I don't usually write the blogs for 1 in Four, but today I felt the need to chime in with my own voice, my own experiences. I've been having a very rough week; a number of rough weeks to be honest. I have a TSW (Transitional Support Worker) through Good Shepherd Women's Services, and one of the recent meetings had my TSW suggesting I access another avenue of their services, in the form of a VAW (Violence Against Women) Counsellor. I agreed I needed more support than her position allowed her, and she sent off the request. I have now met twice with this additional support worker and one of those was just today.
I ended up spending the entire morning at Good Shepherd Women's Services. I'm not sure if it is an internal name, or from a previous incarnation, but through the many groups I have attended, and the many women I have interacted with, we tend to call this location "Outreach" -- and a more appropriate name I could not think of!
I had a 9:30am scheduled talk-therapy session with my worker at the site, but after driving my daughter to school and getting gas, I arrived to the building a little early. The wonderful staff who greeted me at their secure facility, helped me to fax some papers I needed to send to ODSP and then I went off to the Wellness Room to make myself a cup of tea and wait for my appointment. One of the great features of this building is that it is 'accessible' -- in the sense that, because of my knee pain, we were able to descend to the comfortable meeting space via elevator, rather than struggle with a flight of stairs.
I spent a fulfilling (albeit, very intense) hour with my amazing counsellor, departing with a To-Do List in hand. As we were walking back to the front doors, I asked if I could book some other appointments with the Wellness Coordinator, so she walked me back there and took her leave. As I sat down in this new office, the phone was ringing, and to my delight, the Wellness Coordinator said it was a client calling to cancel a reiki appointment for right then! I was asked if I'd like to fill the spot and believe me, I would like nothing more!!! Suddenly a tense morning turned into a relaxing hour long reiki session! I left a request to book the other appointments I wanted (foot care with Sister Rita and a manicure with another volunteer.)
As far as my understanding goes, all of these amazing services -- Massage, Reiki, Manicures, Yoga, Zumba ... they are all facilitated by exceptionally talented and qualified practitioners who are volunteering their time to come in and give back to women in the community.
If you are a woman in Hamilton, then these services are available to you -- all you need to do is call in and book an appointment, or check out the Calendar for upcoming drop-in times.
Good Shepherd is by no means the end of the line -- it just so happens to be an agency I live close to and am connected with. There are many agencies in Hamilton that offer wonderful services to women and children, of all nationalities -- many of them offered free of charge or for a very nominal sliding-scale fee and many of these groups and services also have the option to request an interpreter. Please check out both our Community Resources and Calendar and see what is available for you!by