The Pause advisory group is a group of Pause graduates from across the UK who come together to help Pause’s board of trustees, senior leadership team and national team make decisions about how and why we do things as an organisation.
The advisory group has now been running for one year. Highlights from the first year include:
Their goals for the next year are:
- To continue meeting monthly
- To recruit some new members—we’re very excited to be welcoming some brilliant women from Pause Practices that aren’t currently represented!
- To meet in-person in February (Covid permitting)
- To strengthen the relationship with the trustees
Some of topics that the advisory group have been involved in are:
- A nutrition programme for Pause women
- The Relationships with Children project
- Supporting Pause women with budgeting
- The Pause podcast
- Supporting women as lockdown eases
- Influencing priorities and how to get women involved in our influencing work
- Resources that explain what Pause is
- Engaging women during Covid
- Supporting women to get online
- …and much more!
Phoebe is Pause’s Women’s Involvement Officer and supports the advisory group. Here are her reflections from the first year of the advisory group:
It has been a real privilege to work with the Pause advisory group and to learn together over the last year. Although women who work with Pause have been involved in Pause’s work in a range of ways over the past few years, this is the first time we’ve had a group of Graduates who meet regularly and help us make decisions about how and why we do things as an organisation. The women in the advisory group are so passionate about improving things for other women, and although they have some shared experiences, I think one of the main strengths of the group is the variety of perspectives and how the women have learnt to communicate those. They have challenged us at times and reassured us that we are on the right track at other times, and because of them, Pause is improving. We’re looking forward to building on the foundations of the first year of the advisory group and continuing to strengthen and improve how we learn from the women we work with.
Here is what Vanessa from the advisory group has to say about the first year:
Hi everyone, I am Vanessa, a Pause Graduate from the North East and part of the Pause advisory group. We have been going for just a little over a year now, and what a year it has been with the chances we are given and the changes we want to make. And who knows better than us who have lived through it all. It’s our experiences that Pause learns from and that curves their way of working with us.
Pause was the only organisation that I knew of that learns from people who have been through what they aim to change. Pause helps us make time for ourselves. At first, I didn’t know what that was, as in my eyes I was only a mam, I wasn’t a person for myself. 3 years later and with the help and support Pause have given me I am a strong enough now to tell my story and stand up for change.
Being part of the advisory group, Pause staff and trustees come to us with what they want to change and ask our opinions on things that they are planning for the future. They also ask us about how they work with new women. We love to hear from new Pause graduates and have some new women joining our advisory group from different parts of the country soon. We want to find out about how things work in the different areas to try and have consistency for everyone up and down the country not different in all areas like the system is at the moment. If it wasn’t for Pause and the advisory group, I would not have been given the opportunities that I have. I have helped with some of the reports and recently wrote the foreword for the #TimeToDeliver report too. The advisory group has also helped me to start working with Cafcass to help change their way of working with families and help them improve.
I have loved working with the Pause advisory group. I have met some of the most amazing women, as it is made up of people from down the country who have worked with Pause, who I would never of had the opportunity to meet before. We talk about tough things and it can be serious, but we do have our ice breakers (this is always left to Phoebe who likes to ask the same question about tv shows/ movies we would recommend 🤣🤣). But the national team are amazing, they are always in contact with us and keeping us updated on things that we have been discussing.