Jeannette Morris-Boam has been nominated by Sally Egan of Women’s Lives Leeds, a consortium of 11 organisations working together to empower women and girls in Leeds. Her nomination is supported by Nik Peasgood, Women’s Lives Leeds Contract Lead and the project’s Core Team and teams of specialist Complex Needs and by the Community Engagement Workers who are involved in frontline delivery all over the city.
Sally says “I’m nominating our Project Manager Jeannette because of the level of care and support she gives to every member of the Women’s Lives Leeds team, which brings about change in both the workplace and in the community. As soon as I sent an email out about this nomination, the team’s replies came pouring in about the positive impact that Jeannette has on them and their work.”
Who has she helped?
Sally says “The Women’s Lives Leeds team and the hundreds of women and girls in Leeds that they work with in Leeds each year. Jeanette has been a central part of the core team since Women’s Lives Leeds was set up in 2016, managing the project and supporting its teams of specialist Complex Needs and Community Engagement Workers who are involved in frontline delivery all over the city.
Their work is painstaking, complex and involves working with clients for long periods of time and through difficult events in their lives, which can also be stressful for the professionals supporting them.
Each Complex Needs Worker has her own specialism, including domestic abuse, post-pregnancy removal and mental health. The Community Engagement Workers run drop-ins and other events which take the project out to ‘harder to reach’ women, often giving them access to vital services and support for the first time.
About the support that she gives them, Jeannette’s team say “I think Jeannette’s hard work, resilience, determination and vision has made Women’s Lives Leeds what it is today.” “She always has your back – you know it so you’re confident! I advertise working for her to all my friends and they are mega jealous.” “I’ve never felt so supported at work in my life!”
They also describe her work with women and girls, saying “Jeannette is a role model for women from all backgrounds. She works hard to get things done and supports all staff to do their very best in supporting the work of women and girls in Leeds!”
“Jeannette works tirelessly to make Women’s Lives Leeds what it is – I have never known anyone make so many things happen! She’s always there if I need support or guidance (or just someone to vent at) and is brilliant at pulling the team together, making sure every voice is valued and all our individual strengths are recognised.”
What has she learnt? Any challenges?
“All through working life, you’re told that the biggest resource in a workplace is the workers and therefore it’s important to take care of them. However, not many places put anything concrete in place. Or maybe they just pay lip service…..tokenism at best!
Jeannette absolutely gets this and ensures that the workers on the service have the best support. She always calls back when you call, she’s honest and straightforward…i.e. If she doesn’t agree with you, she will say and she was instrumental in ensuring all workers have access to external supervision….absolutely VITAL in this type of work!”
“Jeannette instils confidence in the team, she trusts our judgement and ‘has our back’. She’s always at the end of the phone and there to listen and offer support.”
Sally says “Continuing to manage the Women’s Lives Leeds project, recruiting new staff for the Voices Project, funded by Comic Relief, which aims for Leeds to be the first UK city to be awarded UN ‘Women Friendly’ status and promoting Women’s Lives Leeds work at a local and national level.”
What advice, contacts or resources would help you?
“Putting the empowerment of women and girls on the agenda throughout Leeds and beyond.”
Why we’re sharing these stories
An individual or organisation from each of our five categories will be recognised at our Igniting Inspiration recognition event in November, but we want to publish all relevant stories to spread awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North!