The Christchurch Women's Centre

  Canterbury
Organisation page created in the Community category

The Women’s Centre urgently needs your help. Funding runs out at the end of February. We must stay open to support our struggling community.

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Free Services Volunteering Welfare

The Women’s Centre is a pivotal, not-for-profit, service within the Christchurch community, providing a range of low and no-cost services in a women-only environment.

The Women’s Centre has been operating for over 30 years on a very tight annual budget of $120,000. We have been running on the smell of an oily rag for a long time but we are now down to the fumes only. With funding left until the end of February 2017, we are in real danger of having to close.

The post-earthquake environment has seen the demand for our services increase significantly. The pressure on women, their families and community has increased due to long-term post-earthquake stress.

This is what our clients say about our service:

“Without your support, free counselling, kindness, and simply offering a safe ‘space’ to ‘just be’, this is one woman who probably wouldn’t have made it.”

“The Women’s Centre has always been a warm, welcoming and professionally run space with kind and happy faces that make such a difference. The counselling has been the best I have ever received and all for free. This makes me feel very committed to being the best version of myself that I can be, so that I can give back what has been given to me.”

“I am truly grateful for the support I have had. If it wasn’t for the Women’s Centre and the counsellor I am with, I hate to think where I would be.”

Without your help we will be just another statistic and service lost to a city in need. Over the past years Christchurch has lost many vital community organisations due to loss of funding in a struggling economy. The Women’s Centre desperately needs financial assistance to continue supporting the community and to grow our service.

We rely heavily on a dedicated team of volunteer support workers, counsellors, lawyers and board members in order to provide the following services:

• Free counselling – up to 20 sessions per client. Our volunteer counsellors deal with a wide range of issues, including domestic violence, trauma, relationship and grief work.

• One-to-one (crisis) support from one of our skilled staff members, either in person or by phone.

• A wide range of resources and information on other community services and agencies.

• A quiet women-only space where women can drop in for a coffee, chat, information or just time out.

• Low-cost self development courses on topics such as grief and loss, relationships and communication, self-esteem, anger management and non-violent communications.

• Free legal service – three days per month - 15 minutes with a female lawyer. One of the days is with a Japanese lawyer.

• Advocacy (supporting clients in contact with e.g. CYF and WINZ).

• Support and resources for lesbians.

• An extensive library with books on topics such as abuse (DV, emotional, mental, sexual), death and dying, drugs and alcohol, eating disorders, feminist politics, health (alternative/ emotional/ mental/ physical), parenting, relationships, self-awareness, sexuality, and spirituality.

• Low-rent rooms for other community organisations to see clients and/or have meetings/groups.

Organisation details

The Women’s Centre is a not-for-profit community organisation established in 1986, originally providing a place for women to obtain ongoing support and resources once they left the safe haven of Women’s Refuge.

Since the mid-nineties, the Centre has offered support to a much wider range of women. It is unique in the broad range of services it provides in Christchurch, in a safe, supportive, affirming, women-only environment.

Services provided range from social interaction and the sharing of information and resources at the drop-in Centre to in-depth therapeutic work within the counselling sessions.

For many women the Centre is a place to gather information, work through difficult issues, be supported, learn, or rest before going out into the wider world again.

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This organisation page was created on 24 Sep 2014.

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