SENIORS IN FOCUS: Women’s personal empowerment

Women write artist journal to represent their journey in Turning the Page.

One of the many artworks created during the Turning the Page group sessions.

Funded through the United Way of Greater Victoria, Turning the Page is an art journaling group for women 50 plus to explore their own personal experience through a creative process.

“The group focusses around women’s personal empowerment and it’s delivered in a group format. We have three partners that we’ve initially approached before we got the funding…” said Community Programs Manager for Victoria Women’s Transition House Society Janet Henly.

Beacon Community Services at the SHOAL Centre is their peninsula partner, offering the space for the group and making connections with women in the community and referring them to the group.

“The group has an expressive art component to it where the facilitator of the program guides the women through telling part of their life story in a journal format…” said Henly.

The artistic journal format is called Turning the Page as it’s about exploring everything from safety and spirit to wounding and purpose.

Each group talks about that topic and how it relates to their lives on a more collective level as women. Each woman then creates a page artistically in their own book, and at the end of the group, they have an artistic journal that they’ve created which shows and represents their own journey.

“We’re looking at focussing on empowering women, offering older women an opportunity to connect with their peer group.

We’re looking at helping women form new relationships within their community. We’re trying to reduce isolation.”

The program began at the end of July and will run for 10 weeks until the end of September.

Another program will be offered in partnership with James Bay New Horizons Society, along with another partnership afterwards with the MS Society.

“We’re reaching out to different groups of women in the community…” said Henly.

The current sessions are full but people can register next year for the Sidney group session as it will take place in the late spring/ early summer of 2017.

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