L-R: New Lynn Community Corrections Probation Officer Victoria Sherry, Onehunga Community Corrections Service Manager Anna Winn, Manukau Area Advisor Māori Tara Hape,  Panmure Community Corrections Community Work Supervisor Loretta Sullivan, and New Lynn Community Corrections Service Manager, Angela Allen.New Lynn Community Corrections recently hosted a Wāhine Day at the site for women on community-based sentences and orders from the central Auckland area.

More than 20 women attended the event, where the focus was on promoting health and wellbeing education with the support of organisations, such as Plunket, Dress for Success, Well Women & Family Trust, and Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

New Lynn Community Corrections Service Manager Angela Allen and her team, who organised the day, say they want to help women offenders learn more about continued support available to them when they leave Corrections’ care.

“A lot of the women simply don’t know what kind of services are available in the community,” Angela says. “So we work with partner organisations that can provide ongoing wrap-around assistance to women and their whānau.”

A presentation that was particularly well-received focused on understanding one’s body from a cultural perspective. The discussion included advice on how a woman could make herself heard by health professionals if she was concerned by changes she has noticed in her body.

The women also attended a session on how to make healing balm from the leaves of kawakawa, a New Zealand native herbaceous shrub.

“The women all walked away proud of making something useful and knowing the principles behind it,” Angela says. “This knowledge could even lead to the creation of a small business.”

This year’s Wāhine Day was the second organised by New Lynn Community Corrections, and by all accounts the event is growing in popularity – both among the women and organisations participating in the day seminar. The first event was held in 2020, and was inspired by International Women’s Day.

“Everything I learn here, I share with my daughter, who has a new-born, my first grandchild,” says a proud grandmother.

A woman who has been struggling with mental health challenges says, “Today was just so uplifting and empowering. Thank you.”

Angela hopes more seminars can be run in future, and topics as diverse as money management, trade employment opportunities, CV preparation and what to expect at job interviews, could be included.

Plunket presented the women with a range of handy baby items to take home.The Well Women & Family Trust had a mobile clinic available where women could have a free health check-up. Participants learned more about child and family nutrition.