“It’s all about empowering women; getting involved and using our skills to help other women and girls. No.3 gives us that opportunity,” says Michelle McGrade on the work her organisation, Zonta, does with our No.3 project for young women experiencing homelessness in south London.
Zonta Club of London, is part of a worldwide organisation that is actively engaged in changing the lives of women and girls, both in and outside of Zonta. It was founded in 1919 to bring together women in executive positions; empowering women and helping them reach their rightful places in the professions that, at the time, rarely had female leaders.
The partnership began two years ago when they chose Oasis Community Housing as their Charity of the Year after hearing about our work with young women in Southwark.
“Just giving money without understanding more or being more actively involved didn’t feel right for us,” continues Michelle. “We’ve held a couple of pretty successful fundraising evenings and our members have also contributed by going into No.3 and holding careers and wellbeing sessions as well as supporting with CV writing.
“I did an evening on how to manage your money and set up a bank account. I was inspired by how enthusiastic and eager the women at No.3 were to learn. Many of them are dealing with so much other big-life stuff that sharing those little, practical life skills seemed to really help.”
No.3 houses up to 16 young women at a time. The project has run for more than 30 years and helped hundreds of young vulnerable women get back on their feet following, family breakdowns, abuse and childhoods in care.
Jen Gauden-Hand, who oversees No.3 as Oasis Community Housing’s Director of Housing, said: “We have two housing projects supporting young people experiencing homelessness in London, which are in high demand. The kind of support delivered by Zonta, from one woman to another, is invaluable.
“We need the support of our communities at a time like now, more than ever.”
Most recently Zonta Club of London has helped No.3 start on its refurbishment by re-flooring the entire downstairs of the property.