Welcome Donna Cullimore, our new CEO

We’re excited to announce that Donna Cullimore has been appointed our new CEO.

Donna previously lived in the Highlands of Scotland and worked for Women‘s Aid setting up a purpose-built refuge for Caithness and Sutherland. Moving back to Southampton following a bereavement in the family, she started working for The Medaille Trust, setting up a safe house for women who were human trafficked into the sex industry.

For the last 10 years, Donna has worked for Stonham as a Business Contract Manager overseeing all their domestic abuse services, young people services and family intervention services for Hampshire. Donna has also acted as chair of the New Forest and Eastleigh Domestic Abuse forums and is currently a trustee for Southern Domestic Abuse services and a volunteer with Yellow Door.

Donna has 3 sons and 4 grandchildren and enjoys spending time with her family. She had this to say:

“I have always had a passion to help vulnerable people to live a life free from abuse. I welcome the opportunity to continue the wonderful work The Waterfall offer to vulnerable women.”

A note from Tricia

“The vision for The Waterfall came to me 23 years ago while reaching out to women in prostitution on the streets in Southampton, some of whom wanted to leave but were stuck; not knowing how and held back by their addictions. We have made a start in these first few years of running a programme and had the privilege of walking alongside brave women confronting fears and changing their destinies, but there is so much more to do to fulfil that vision and I’m really pleased to be handing over now to Donna to take The Waterfall to the next level of fruitfulness.

I’m very thankful to God for all the great people who have helped us to get The Waterfall off the ground. I’ll continue to be involved as a trustee and Genesis volunteer but am looking forward to having more time freed up to get involved in my local church and in developing The Rose Garden.”

Shrove Tuesday

What is Shrove Tuesday?

Wikipedia explains that:

Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake day) is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others this is a carnival day, and also the last day of “fat eating” or “gorging” before the fasting period of Lent.
This moveable feast is determined by Easter. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “absolve“. Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”
Being the last day of the liturgical season historically known as Shrovetide, before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent.

What does it mean to the Waterfall?

As a charity that aims to bring hope and restoration to women wanting to overcome addiction, and a charity with Christian roots, we see Shrove Tuesday and the proceeding period of Lent as an important time. 

Sometimes we all over indulge and when things aren’t going well we can find ourselves using food, shopping, gambling, alcohol or other substances as an attempt to feel better. When relationships start to break down and we rely more heavily on these coping strategies we can find ourselves on a downward spiral, distancing ourselves from human connection and sinking deeper towards a place of addiction.

Anyone that has had an addiction problem will know how difficult it is to break. It can take years of hard work, will involve a painful process of change and involves self reflection. Looking at ourselves, our relationships, our behaviour and choices is not easy. And without support can lead us to be over critical to the point of hating oneself.

The Waterfall Trust aims to support women struggling with addiction, to bring hope and restoration and guide women away from self loathing and other equally destructive thinking patterns. As an inclusive charity we welcome women seeking support, from all backgrounds, abilities, faiths and ethnic groups. Women-only projects help those who repeatedly enter destructive relationships (with people or substances) to address the roots and triggers of their behaviours without distraction.

Lent

Are you considering sacrificing something for the next 40 days? Would you consider giving something up and being sponsored to do so to raise money for the Waterfall Trust?

As a charity we also rely upon our supporters to financially support our work. We are not funded by the state so rely on people like you to help us. Could you give up chocolate for 40 days? Maybe alcohol would be more of a challenge? How about meat? Or coffee? Or your mobile phone?

Please consider challenging yourself for us and raising funds to help us.
You could set up a sponsorship page for us here and ask for sponsorship from friends and family members to recognise your efforts.

 

Equine Assisted Learning

This autumn some of our women were able to benefit from sessions at Tower House Horses. This isn’t riding. Its learning to communicate with horses and in the process, becoming aware of yourself. Horses respond to our behaviour and emotional output. So, in a way, they mirror how we feel. Women were learning different things about themselves which they can apply in other relationships, as well as gaining confidence through building a relationship of trust with the horse. The need to communicate clearly, the need for clear boundaries, the value of saying no to others and taking rest, allowing others to be, to take the time they need – some of the many things they learned. And what a beautiful place to spend a morning!

The Rose Garden

In September, The Waterfall started a new weekly event, in partnership with James Street church. We wanted to create a safe space where women could come to: find out how to know God, get to know him better, receive healing, learn how to minister healing to others and get to know other women on a similar journey. It’s called The Rose Garden. How is it different to our main programme? – its for women only, but they don’t have to be struggling with substance abuse and they don’t have to commit, just turn up when they want. If you’re a woman reading this and this excites you, you’re welcome to join us!

These first three months have been really exciting. We’ve quickly gathered a team of women from different churches. The team themselves have been excited how much they have grown personally and learned. We’ve seen God heal women physically and emotionally and the best for me (Tricia) was seeing a young lady who had only just come into relationship with God getting stuck into praying for others and seeing them receive healing.

Details: Mondays at James Street Church in St Mary’s, Southampton. 11.30am -1.30 pm (including lunch) except the third Monday of the month: 7.30pm- 9.30pm.