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To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017 we brought together our own international women to have fun together  and provide mutual support. In total 21 mums between 19 to 42 years attended the event. 1 Spanish, 1 Russian, 1 Albanian, 2 Bulgarian, 6 Latin Americans, and 10 Somali women. The mums brought in total 17 children  aged between two weeks to four years. We provided childcare from 10.30am to 2pm.

The event, run by our Bright Beginnings team and supported by our Wellbeing Service, started with registering and refreshments for the mums at 10.30. Some of the women were so eager to attend that they arrived half an hour early at 10am while the team was still setting up the room. By the time the Colombian Zumba instructor started her class, the room was full of mums and their very young sleepy babies.

The toddlers and older babies were happily playing in the crèche that was set up in our Conference Room. Two Ofsted registered childminders looked after them as well as one Somali Grandma who came to especially look after her three granddaughters (who were all dressed up as little princesses).

All the women were very keen on the physical exercise classes and enjoyed the Zumba as well as the gentle exercise class. The Henna artist was so popular that she volunteered to say longer that the agreed two hours so that all the mums who wanted a henna design on their hands could get one.

Susan from the Wellbeing Service team came to speak to some to the women informally about mental health, wellbeing and the services they offer. Njomeza and Kelly from the Women’s Therapy Centre also attend the event to speak to the women about their therapeutic services.

After the classes the women enjoyed a Turkish lunch together. This was a great opportunity for the women to meet new mums from other communities and practise their English. All women were very happy about the event and the Russian mum even said that it was the best group she had ever attend in London.