Caritas Anchor House

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Caritas Anchor House hosts International Women’s Day reception

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Caritas Anchor House hosts International Women’s Day reception

13th March 2017
Caritas Anchor House has hosted a breakfast reception to mark International Women’s Day. The theme of the event was Be Bold for Change, and this was reflected through each of the personal stories of success, as well as challenges, that were heard.

International Women’s Day is a global event which encourages all to celebrate the economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In holding the reception, in partnership with the Newham Chamber of Commerce and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Caritas Anchor House was able to honour the contributions women make to society.

The event was hosted by Caritas Anchor House patron and ITN newsreader Julie Etchingham, who chaired a panel of successful women from all different walks of life. The panellists included actress and singer Anita Dobson and Caritas Anchor House resident Debbie Brown. Also on the panel was Claire Burlison Green (CEO of the fast-growing Clubbercise), Dr Carrie Dunn (a sports journalist and academic), Kamel Hothi (Lloyds Banking Group), Sarah Morris (Chief People Officer, Aviva), and Helen Pert (Institute of Fundraising Convention Board).

Ms Hothi spoke about the responsibilities she has as a women and mother, but also about the passion she has for her career, which is a part of her identity. She also highlighted the importance of addressing mental health needs, particularly for women, who are more likely than men to have a common mental health problem in England.

The theme, Be Bold for Change, is hugely relevant to the lives of female residents at Caritas Anchor House.  Debbie Brown, a current Caritas Anchor House resident, spoke passionately about how, with our support, she has gained the strength to turn her life around after being homeless for four years. Since coming to Caritas Anchor House, Debbie has taken part in training and volunteering opportunities, has built up her confidence by running a local market stall and receives ongoing, holistic support for her needs. Debbie thanked Caritas Anchor House for the opportunities that she had been given and said that with the skills that that she had learnt – as well as her restored trust, faith and confidence – she was able to be a better mother, friend, colleague and citizen.

Linda Maytum-Wilson, Deputy CEO at Caritas Anchor House, said “It was inspiring to hear from women with such diverse stories yet with some common themes running through their successes and challenges.

“Being authentic and true to our values, knowing when to compromise and when to hold firm, networking and seeking support, believing in the judgment of those who championed and encouraged us to do what we might not ourselves believe we can do.”

Natalie Smith, an attendee on the day, said “It was fascinating and inspiring to hear how each of the speakers have been 'bold', while retaining their individual authenticity.

“I appreciated their candour - sharing how they've each risen to the challenge of both circumstances and opportunities given they're varying circumstances and above all their encouragement for others.”

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