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CITYMATTERS.LONDON December 2020 - January 2021 | Page 17 LIVERY COMPANIES/SOCIAL subscribe to our newsletter at AN Islington-based charity which supports some of the most marginalised women in society will be able to offer over 2,000 extra counselling sessions thanks to new funding. The Maya Centre, based in Archway, offers free counselling to women who have experienced trauma resulting from domestic violence, physical or sexual abuse, war or conflict. The charity is launching a new project aimed at women from black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee (BAMER) backgrounds whose mental health has suffered as a result of gender-based violence. The scheme, open to women from Islington and neighbouring boroughs, has been made possible by a £134,700 grant from City Bridge Trust. Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “Women from BAMER backgrounds often face all kinds of obstacles such as language and cultural barriers which may prevent them getting the help they need. “This funding will enable The Maya Centre to build on its many years of experience to deliver targeted, specialised, life-changing support to women who would otherwise fall by the wayside.” Most women targeted by the scheme are living in poverty and many have often faced trauma such as domestic or sexual abuse, so-called ‘honour-based’ violence or female genital mutilation. The City Bridge Trust funding will enable 700 extra counselling sessions a year over three years, helping 105 women, who can also access wellbeing and resilience workshops and complementary therapies such as holistic massage, yoga and reiki. Emma Brech, The Maya Centre Chief Executive Officer, said: “The women we work with often find themselves marginalized due to a range of factors including poverty, stigma and discrimination – so that the true nature of their trauma can remain hidden for a long time. “They need a trusting women-only environment where tailored support can be offered, reflected in the diverse language and cultural backgrounds of our specialist staff. “It may be some time before a woman feels able to disclose experiences of abuse or exploitation and it’s important that we are able to provide a safe, collaborative and nurturing space. “Often simply being able to talk about what has happened to them and realising they deserve better can have a profound effect – we see women’s lives transformed when they come here.” TRUST SUPPORT: City Bridge Trust’s Dhruv Patel. HONOURED: (clockwise) Captain Ant Chapman, Sgt Jonathan Biney, and Wg Cdr Dylan Eklund. The Company of Communicators enters its 20th year with a new Master, a new line-up of Wardens and new Freemen. Deborah Oliver takes over the helm as the 20th Master, following a successful term by Sarah Wait, which involved membership increasing by 40% despite the sector’s difficulties during the pandemic. Oliver, Director at Mackintosh Oliver Ltd, stepped down from her role as Director Engagement and Communications at the British Medical Association this summer and will focus on her year as Master. She was a Millennium Founder member of the Company. The new Master Communicator Deborah Oliver said: “As a Millennium Founder Member of the Company, I am very proud to follow in the footsteps of the previous 19 Masters as we enter our twentieth year. “There is a real forward momentum as we prepare to become a Worshipful Company. “These are challenging times for the SUPPORT FOR WOMEN ON THE MARGINS communication profession and for the organisations supporting and supplying it. 2020 has shown the fortitude and creativity of communicators across all sectors. “We will continue to expand our membership to bring a broad and diverse set of perspectives and to encourage the fellowship and contribution to society which are at the core of the Company.” The new Court now comprises: Deputy Master (and Past Master), Sarah Wait, Director of Forward Planning Services at Kantar, Media Division; Senior Warden, James Gurling OBE, Managing Director at MHP Communications; Middle Warden, Mark Glover, Chief Executive, Newington Communications and Executive Director, SECNewgate; Junior Warden, Neil Griffiths, Global Head of DE&I at Environmental Resources Management; Renter Warden (Treasurer), Sally Sykes, Director of Communications and Engagement at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Past President CIPR; Court Assistants: Sean Curtis-Ward, Anne Donoghue, Matt Fincham, Sarah Jurado, Shraddha Kaul, Jeremy Mooney, Helen Moore, Rosie Stone, Richard Walsh, Matthew West; and Clerk, Lady Jane Hilliard. AT THE HELM: new Master Deborah Oliver.

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