The Devenishgirl Connect programme offers an innovative and creative approach to supporting  women who may be marginalised either as a result of unemployment, lack of skills or qualifications - and who are also dealing with mental health issues. We have created our programme based on evidence from research, along with over 15 years’ experience of working primarily with young women in local communities within South West Birmingham, which shows that creativity, social connection, volunteering, improved health and fitness, talking to others and learning new skills can each improve our mental health and wellbeing.

A report by the Mental Health Foundation in 2017 showed that the last 15 years has seen an unprecedented rise in reported mental health problems amongst young women and girls. Increasingly, those applying to participate on our training programmes have mental health issues but lack the support and deal with those issues. In response to this, we have developed the Connect course.

Our  Connect course consists of:

Baking workshops

Health & wellbeing workshops

Walking group

Allotment sessions

Creative arts sessions

Optional counselling support

Shortbread with a story workshops

We are grateful to the National Lottery Community fund for providing us with a grant to run our pilot course. Seven women participated and we had some fantastic feedback about the course, how it impacted them and what we can do improve future courses.



For the past 4 years I have been a volunteer cook with Choirwithnoname - a charity supporting those impacted by homelessness - and was delighted to receive funding from Santander Discovery Foundation to run cookery classes for some of the members. Alongside the classes, we will also be creating our own cookbook wihich we hope will go on sale in 2019.

Check out some of the photos showing CWNN members enjoying their cookery - and baking - classes.

I'll be running more in Spring 2019.



Since launching in 2014, Devenishgirl has either delivered or co-delivered a range of short term training programmes and workshops for almost 50 marginalised young people aged 16-35. Our training programmes have enabled young people to gain full time employment, undertake work- based training, experience running a pop-up business and develop baking and cookery skills.

 In 2017 we helped a group of unemployed women set up a pop-up tearoom on their estate; delivered a food enteprise programme supporting 5 young women to gain the skills needed to gain a traineeship ot work within the catering industry and delivered seasonal cookery classes to over 20 poeple within the local community.

in 2018 we commenced our pilot Connect course  sessions and also began delivering our Something's cooking in the kitchen classes in partnership with Choirwithnoname.

So far in 2019 we have delivered the first full Connect course and in late May resume cooking classes for Choirwithnoname members.















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