4 Wings and Palm House
UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
On Friday, 25 November the Palm House welcomed the staff and women from 4 Wings, a charity initially established to work with survivors of abuse and trauma but which now also supports asylum-seeking and refugee women who have often risked their lives to flee from their own country.
Palm House volunteers had established a link with 4 Wings over a year ago and a group had visited their head office in the centre of Liverpool and heard many of the women’s harrowing testimonies of the pitfalls of the Refugee and Asylum procedures in the U.K. COVID had hampered some of the ideas Palm House volunteers had discussed for helping the women, but during lockdown our ‘Yarns in the Palms’ (a knitting group) who ‘met up’ on Zoom, donated many knitted items to this charity. What began as a simple arrangement of dropping off donated knitted items has grown into a true exchange of friendship.
Kate had particularly chosen this day to invite 4 Wings to the Palm House as it was the annual date to mark the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. We were all asked to acknowledge our support by wearing something Orange to represent a brighter future free from violence against women and girls. The Palm House was also lit up in orange later in the day to support this premise.
Following refreshments, poems celebrating women’s strength in adversity were read by both the women from 4Wings and Palm House Volunteers. We also heard at first hand some of the women’s traumatic stories of why they had fled their home countries. One of the women was able to tell us, although clearly finding this extremely traumatic, about the terrible situation for many of the women in Iran.
She talked of how her own brother has been shot after taking part in a protest march, and how protesting women are mistreated, being subject to rape, many of whom have also ‘vanished’ under the oppressive Iranian regime.
On a lighter note we all had lots of fun learning the rudiments of ‘belly dancing’ (needless to say that some of us were better than others … but we all had a good laugh!)
Several of our Palm House volunteers have suggested that they would be willing to act as Mentors to any of the women who would like to trial becoming a volunteer in the Palm House and this initiative will begin in the New Year.
4 Wings also suggested another way in which we could help. They would like volunteers to consider being part of a What’s-app group where 4Wings would post requests for our unwanted items which could be passed on to those women in need. More details of this initiative is to follow.
Friday was a very special day for both 4 Wings and the Palm House which affirmed our friendship and support.
Made possible with the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund .