About our founder, Serena Fordham...
When Serena started her first business in 2013, she had just been made redundant during maternity leave. Her daughter Ella was just one at the time and she had been struggling post-natal depression that had been made worse by the isolation and misunderstanding she faced after the loss of her job and the early .
While Serena was convinced she wanted to make her business work, she struggled to find support that was accessible with a young child on her hands.
So, she thought of HER Place...
By March 2022, we are looking to establish ‘HER Place’- a Norwich/Norfolk based hub for women. In the centre there will be comfortable seating, tables for meeting/networking, eating/drinking, hotdesks with WIFI, car parking and event space for physical, work-based and wellbeing activities (see floor plan- Appendix A). The aim of HER Place is to provide spaces for:
1. Women/mums to train, work, meet and relax in a safe female only environment
2. Mums to bring children, providing childcare and entertainment while they develop
3. Bringing nearby communities of mums together, while educating them on other support services available to themselves and their families
4. Training, events and workshops (especially aimed at supporting mental health/wellbeing/fitness and business/employability)
There has been vast evidence that the Covid-19 pandemic has also resulted in even more UK mums struggling to balance their work and domestic lives, with adding pressure on mental health, isolation and restrictions on work opportunities. (2021 Guardian survey).
Plus, Pre-pandemic (2019), 75.1% of UK mothers with dependent children were in work in the UK, which has since dropped to below 71% due to job losses and business closures during the last year. When compared with the 92.6% of working fathers with dependent children in work this shows that there is still a substantial gap between the opportunities that UK mothers and fathers have to remain or enter back into the workforce after they have children - mainly due to lack of childcare, confidence, skills and support.
We feel that now is the time to bring these women together for support, empowerment and training. HER Place would result in a community of happier and healthier mothers, a more positive environment for their children to grow in, plus increased employability rates in our community.