Have you got a story to tell?
The Haven Wolverhampton is searching for women, children, volunteers and professionals with a connection to the organisation who would like to share their stories to mark The Haven’s 50th anniversary.
Founded in 1973, 2023 will see The Haven’s 50th year supporting women and children who have been subjected to domestic abuse and violence or have experienced homelessness. Their ‘50 Stories for 50 Years’ campaign aims to highlight the impact of The Haven’s services, from its inception in the seventies, through to the present day.
They want to hear from a wide variety of people, including women and children who have accessed any of the many services they have provided over the years, including emergency accommodation, community support and counselling.
Professionals and volunteers who have worked for or with The Haven over its 50 years are also encouraged to share their stories, to paint a full picture of the support provided by the charity in its five decades.
Past service users and professionals are invited to complete a short form expressing interest in sharing their stories here.
All communication can be anonymous, and stories can be explored in as much or as little detail as needed.
The stories gathered will form a crucial part of the organisation’s 50th anniversary year, with these stories set to be shared on The Haven’s social media channels and website, and in their newsletter.
Stories like that of survivor and fundraiser Wendy Bennett will help to highlight the wonderful work carried out by the organisation over the last 50 years, as well as put the voices of women and children at its heart. It is hoped that women and children who are currently being subjected to abuse will see themselves in the stories gathered, encouraging them to pick up the phone and access life-changing support.
Wendy recalled, “Twenty years ago, for mine and my children’s safety and survival, I made the hardest and best decision I’ve ever had to make: I left behind everyone and everything I had ever known to start a new life in Wolverhampton.
“I was at the lowest point in my life, and the Haven literally saved my life.
“Lots of women suffer in silence from domestic abuse and violence. They don’t know that there are places like The Haven that will help and support them. The help and guidance I received from the Haven was invaluable and I will be forever thankful.”
To mark her anniversary, on the 10th September 2022, Wendy walked a marathon and raised over £1000 for The Haven as a result.
“Taking on the challenge meant giving back. The Haven truly put me back on my feet and guided me to my best life.
“The hardest part of the day was at around the 20-mile mark, when I started to get blisters on my feet. But my favourite moment was right at the end; I turned the corner to see family and friends all waiting for me and cheering. I felt so emotional and extremely proud that I had accomplished the marathon and exceeded my fundraising target.”
The Haven Wolverhampton’s Chief Executive, Popinder Kaur, said: “Sharing women and children’s stories first-hand demonstrates the impact of the crucial work we do here at The Haven. Hearing how our services have helped women and children to build confidence, move to a safe place, both mentally and physically, and live their lives on their own terms is the best way to mark our 50th year as a charity.
“Telling the stories of survivors who’ve regained their lives acts as a catalyst. They encourage other women and children who have yet to start their journey to reach out; they can picture themselves telling their stories on the other side, in a safe and happy place, both mentally and physically.
“But it’s important to say that no matter what your involvement with our organisation over the last 50 years, whether you accessed support first-hand or worked for a partner organisation, we’d love to hear from you.
“Each story will be handled with care and sensitivity, and we can’t wait to hear yours.”
Visit The Haven’s 50 Stories for 50 Years page to find out more and submit your story.
Click here to read Wendy’s story.
Alternatively, contact The Haven’s Communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
About The Haven Wolverhampton
- For more information, please contact Alexandra Spencer and Pamilerin Beckley at email@example.com
- The Haven Wolverhampton is a registered charity – number 1065427
- The Haven Wolverhampton is a company ltd by guarantee (registered in England) – number 03159029