To improve the lives of the people in the community of Glasgow:
MsMissMrs is a social enterprise based in the north of Glasgow which works with women and girls to improve their self-esteem, often after traumatic life events.
Using her own experience as a framework, founder Sylvia Douglas has designed Get S.E.T., a six-week recovery programme based around developing self-care techniques and providing women with the tools to manage their physical, mental, social and emotional health.
“We generally come in when women have tried all the other services. They’ve experienced counselling, they’ve been on medication, they could have gone onto family mediation or sought help from their GP and just felt that the solution had to come from themselves in the end,” community relationship manager Louise McAllister explains.
Big Lottery money funds places on the self-care plan for individuals, but organisations can pay for groups of up to 10 women to take the course, which comes with an ASDAN Life Skills accreditation in self-awareness.
The programme largely is run from the MsMissMrs wellbeing hub in Glasgow’s Maryhill, a safe space where women can come to relax, regroup, socialise or simply catch up with the team over a cup of tea, although larger groups can see the course moved to other spaces.
More recently, MsMissMrs has developed a Get S.E.T. workbook for girls and young women, an education programme aimed at young women and girls aged 12-16 years old. Content is developed to encourage healthy self-esteem and personal strategies for coping with the challenges of adolescence. The programme, structured around a 72-page workbook, is currently being piloted in schools across Glasgow after a number of schools showed an interest in the programme.
MsMissMrs also provide yoga classes and other holistic therapies to the public, while conversation cafés are held for women to share and discuss issues when resources allow.
The Get S.E.T. programme is funded through the sale of ‘Empowerment Pants’: quirky, fun and striking underwear initially designed as a one-off fundraiser to kickstart MsMissMrs’ activities. Due to their popularity, however, the pants have become a regular income stream and have so far funded places on the Get S.E.T. programme for over 100 women.
“We still have people buying the pants and wearing them over their leggings for marathons and things like that. We’ve also had people buying them when they’re going through their chemotherapy treatment as well – they really are used for empowerment, which is amazing,” beams Louise.
Since becoming fully accredited, MsMissMrs has been able to charge organisations for running the Get S.E.T. programme for women in their workforce, while the hub is available for hire for other activities which promote wellbeing.
Get S.E.T. has been extended to teachers and youth workers, who receive training to work through the 72-page workbook independently, using the hub as their accreditation centre.
One of the financial challenges facing MsMissMrs is the increasing number of referrals they are receiving from link workers: “There are paid workers in place to seek out activities for clients to do during the day and during the week – we’ve been identified as one of them.
“That means we see money going into workers, development workers, project workers, rather than activities or programmes, or other departments of the NHS trying to come up with programmes maybe rather than adopting ours, which is already there.”
Over 300 women and girls have completed MsMissMrs accredited programmes so far.
Both schools that the team has worked with over the last year have reported a marked decrease in antisocial behaviour, while all of the girls on the programme surpassed expectations during their exams.
Working with employers to implement Continuing Professional Development programmes also helps to reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace, leading to higher productivity and fewer sick days.