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PRESS RELEASE – In Our Hearts
Inspiring book by mothers who live apart from their children

WomenCentre through its work in Kirklees has been pioneering an innovative piece of work with mothers who have, for many and varied reasons, had to leave their children.  The book In Our Hearts – Stories and Wisdom of Mothers Who Live Apart from Their Children brings out voices that are seldom heard and stories that are rarely shared.

Throughout history, mothers who live apart from their children have faced harsh judgement in Western Society. Clouded in shame, the story of a mother apart is often marginalised behind that of the child/children they have left behind; surrounded by myth and a reluctance to recognise the factors which led to a mother’s separation from her children.

In Our Hearts is the culmination of six years of collaborative working on this project. It is a result of creative workshops facilitated by the WomenCentre at their Kirklees base, and artists Dianne Darby and Kath Jones. In Our Hearts is not a text book. Written for and by mothers it is their open and honest experiences of initial separation, court proceedings, relationships with services; of mothers who have been able to have children returned to their care or contact increased, mothers who have no current contact at all and those for whom contact will remain limited. It has the versatility of being an aid and guide to learning for parents, families and professionals working in the field.

The book can be ordered through the WomenCentre webpage - http://womencentre.org.uk/in-our-hearts/  and for more information please call on 01484 450 866.


For further information and photo opportunities contact
Siobhan Beckwith, Project Lead, Mothers Living Apart from their Children, WomenCentre Kirklees 07583766291  or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or Veronika Susedkova, Admin Support, WomenCentre Kirklees 01484 450866 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Mothers Living Apart from Their Children Project
We are a very supportive group welcoming any mothers living apart from their children - whatever the reason.  Aside from the meetings group members receive regular mail-outs about activities including messages of support and encouragement. We recognise the powerlessness experienced by many women in our circumstances and also the stigma attached to living apart from your child.
 
Meetings happen fortnightly on Tuesdays: 1.00– 3.00                 
Every Thursday Dewsbury base 1.00-3.00
Please contact Siobhan Beckwith - 01484 450866/07583766291
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About WomenCentre
WomenCentre provides holistic, one-stop services at our centres in Huddersfield and Halifax and in the wider communities across Calderdale and Kirklees.
Our wide-ranging services include emotional and practical support on issues such as debt, benefits, mental or physical health, domestic violence, counselling, training and development and much more.

WomenCentre enables women to:
•    improve health and well-being
•    increase training and employment opportunities for improved economic conditions
•    raise self-confidence, self-esteem and social interaction skills
•    improve citizenship and social inclusion
•    support the development of positive, safe and stable circumstances and relationships
•    improve safety and wellbeing of their children

PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release

In Our Hearts

Inspiring book by mothers who live apart from their children

WomenCentre through its work in Kirklees has been pioneering an innovative piece of work with mothers who have, for many and varied reasons, had to leave their children.  The book In Our Hearts – Stories and Wisdom of Mothers Who Live Apart from Their Children brings out voices that are seldom heard and stories that are rarely shared.

Throughout history, mothers who live apart from their children have faced harsh judgement in Western Society. Clouded in shame, the story of a mother apart is often marginalised behind that of the child/children they have left behind; surrounded by myth and a reluctance to recognise the factors which led to a mother’s separation from her children.

In Our Hearts is the culmination of six years of collaborative working on this project. It is a result of creative workshops facilitated by the WomenCentre at their Kirklees base, and artists Dianne Darby and Kath Jones. In Our Hearts is not a text book. Written for and by mothers it is their open and honest experiences of initial separation, court proceedings, relationships with services; of mothers who have been able to have children returned to their care or contact increased, mothers who have no current contact at all and those for whom contact will remain limited. It has the versatility of being an aid and guide to learning for parents, families and professionals working in the field.

The book can be ordered through the WomenCentre webpage - http://womencentre.org.uk/in-our-hearts/ and for more information please call on 01484 450 866.

END

For further information and photo opportunities contact

Siobhan Beckwith, Project Lead, Mothers Living Apart from their Children, WomenCentre Kirklees 07583766291  or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or Veronika Susedkova, Admin Support, WomenCentre Kirklees 01484 450866 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Mothers Living Apart from Their Children Project

We are a very supportive group welcoming any mothers living apart from their children - whatever the reason.  Aside from the meetings group members receive regular mail-outs about activities including messages of support and encouragement. We recognise the powerlessness experienced by many women in our circumstances and also the stigma attached to living apart from your child.

Meetings happen fortnightly on Tuesdays: 1.00– 3.00                 

Every Thursday Dewsbury base 1.00-3.00

Please contact Siobhan Beckwith - 01484 450866/07583766291

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About WomenCentre

WomenCentre provides holistic, one-stop services at our centres in Huddersfield and Halifax and in the wider communities across Calderdale and Kirklees.

Our wide-ranging services include emotional and practical support on issues such as debt, benefits, mental or physical health, domestic violence, counselling, training and development and much more.

WomenCentre enables women to:

  • improve health and well-being
  • increase training and employment opportunities for improved economic conditions
  • raise self-confidence, self-esteem and social interaction skills
  • improve citizenship and social inclusion
  • support the development of positive, safe and stable circumstances and relationships
  • improve safety and wellbeing of their children

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WHEN DOES A CHILD'S VIEW COUNT?
It is important for parents – and the Family Court – to acknowledge the thoughts, wishes, and feelings of the children involved in a divorce. But at what age are they legally listened to? And what age is the right age to have them be a possibly integral part in the proceedings of their parents’ divorce?

In the Children Act 1989, it says that the court must hear the “ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned in light of his age and understanding”. A bit vague, perhaps. But it basically means that the judge must consider the age of the child before listening to anything he or she has to say, and judge accordingly. For example, a five year old would be considered as being completely different to a fifteen year old, even if they were living in the same household.

But there are other things that must be considered at the same time as the child’s age.

Factors such as how much the child’s view is influenced by one or both parents (a younger child may be more influenced than an older one), how much of the situation the child really understands, additional expert advice, and the conduct and bearing of the child – some children mature faster than others.

Therefore, the child’s age has almost very little to do with how much the judge takes from their testimony. If they are articulate, bright, and have a good grasp of what is happening, if they are not unduly influenced one way or the other by a parent or parents, and if they offer something pertinent to the case, they will be listened to, whether they are very young, or approaching 18 years old.

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Are your member details up to date?

We are corresponding more and more with members, and find that some postal and email addresses are not up to date. Updating your personal member information is an easy process. Please can you take a look at your details and update it as necessary, so we can keep you informed. Here's how you can update your information:

  • Log into your MATCH account, and hover over the image to select 'View your own profile'.
  • Select 'Edit' to update your personal information
  • Select the tab called 'Contact info'
  • Update your member details
  • Select 'Update' when you have finished at the bottom of the contact info page!

Alternatively send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can update this information for you.

Thank you

 

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LOCAL SUPPORT GROUPS
By: Julie MacGregor, Membership Secretary

At the beginning of June, we held the MATCH Annual General Meeting.  

It was a very successful event, resulting in a large number of members volunteering to help with the charity.  One of the strong themes of the meeting and several of the follow-on conversations was the desire to ensure that members had someone to talk to local to them.  Although the charity has a forum which enables mothers to talk online, it was felt that the 'personal touch' needed to be a vital part of our support for mothers.

As a result of the enthusiasm and commitment shown by a number of our members, we are very proud to announce that we have begun to create a network of Local Support Groups.  We are at the very early stages of this initiative and are still working through the practical steps involved.

The intention is to enable members to be able to reach out locally to other members in a similar situation.  In time local face-to-face meetings will start and mothers can feel better supported by knowing that someone nearby is there to help them.

Initial conversations have started with volunteers in Yorkshire, Cheshire, South Wales, Berkshire and Essex, London & W Midlands. We have already put in place some central help from the charity and committee, by providing email addresses to the volunteers coordinating these groups.  We will be providing further guidance and ideas on how to make these groups work as effectively as possible.

So if you would like to participate in one of these groups, please use the email addresses shown on the support group page available when you have become a member.

If you feel that you want to volunteer and start your own group, please make contact and we can advise how many members might be in your local area.

The committee and volunteers are very inspired by the passion shown by the members who have volunteered to get involved, many of whom are very keen to help other members, having been through the worst of their experiences and now wanting to help others in the same situation.

Please give this topic some serious thought and if you can spare some time, why not try to get involved in whatever way you can!

Julie - Membership Secretary
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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If you use twitter please follow us, and if you identify anything useful to tweet you can send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll get it up there ... thanks!

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