Who We Are

History and Background

Women Connect First was established on 1 March 2001, St. David’s Day, to empower Black & Minority Ethnic Women in Cardiff and South East Wales by offering a range of services and training in order to improve their livelihoods and employability. The organisation has moved on since and has expanded its services.

At present we cater for a wider client group and offer a range of services including advice, advocacy, counselling, and a wide range of training programmes and volunteering opportunities amongst others. WCF targets, in particular, disadvantaged, isolated and marginalised Black and Minority Ethnic women, who are experiencing multiple layers of depravation, discrimination and exclusion in accessing services and employment.

Our mission is to empower and improve the lives of disadvantaged BME women and communities in South Wales, to help them realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to Welsh society.

Vision

The structural inequality that holds back Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women in Wales is reversed, they and their families realise their full potential and make a positive and welcomed contribution to Welsh society.

Mission

To offer holistic services in a safe space that empower BME women and their families, enhances their lives and ensure their voices are heard across Wales in order to improve policy and practice to respond to their needs

Aim

To maximise the participation of BME women and their families, including those who are Refugee, or Asylum Seekers or from other disadvantaged backgrounds, in opportunities that bring together people from diverse backgrounds to learn together, support each other, shape and influence policy and services and promote greater understanding of and integration into Welsh life.

Outcomes

  • The lives of BME women their families are enriched
  • BME women are seen and their views and opinions heard and acted on
  • BME women are part of national and global movements

Values

Equality and Diversity: Feminism; antiracism; and social justice

Community Development: Peer-led co-production; holistic, asset-based services

Individual Development: Independence, confidence and feeling at home in Wales

Environmentalism: Sustainable development
Governance: Accountability, continuous improvement

Partnership working: BME women focused; outcomes focused; opportunities for allConfidence, independence, feeling at home in WalesConfidence, independence, feeling at home in Wales
Confidence, independence, feeling at home in Wales

Strategic Aims

1. Continue to support and empower BME Women and their families
2. Expand the provision, reach and influence of WCF
3. Improve processes, e.g., marketing and communications
4. Fund the mission (see Funding Strategy)

Planned Activities

Support to BME women

Drop-in service; Counselling and Advocacy; ESOL and other classes; Volunteering Opportunities; Events and outings; Healthy Mind Healthy Body Project; Restore and Appreciate Diversity (ReAD) (Hate Crime Project); support for mental health

Support to Older BME women

Golden Years Project / Let’s Age Well Project: For 50 years+ for 100+ women annually and focusing on friendship, combating loneliness, health and wellbeing e.g. yoga and cycling, sewing, trips, coffee mornings; World Café and its WC On Wheels off shoot.

Support to BME Children and Young People

Little Rainbow Creche and After School Clubs to increase skills and confidence amongst children and young people and their parents

Support to families

We Can Work it out Project in partnership with SRCDC and Oasis; Family outings during school holidays
Representing BME women

Strategic partnerships: including attendance at Welsh Government Ministerial Meetings, Equalities Steering Group and Race Wales Forum; Hearing the Voices of BAME Women in Wales research project

Headline Performance Measures 2019-2020

  • 1,590 women used WCF services
  • 250 women per week used WCF services
  • 45 children per week attend the registered crèche
  • 40 children per week attend the After-School Club
  • 143 participants attended Healthy Mind, Healthy Body in its first year
  • 20 women undertook Peer mentoring training with Adult Learning Wales

Our Current Projects

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