Helping women make peace with their past


Peaced Together

A former NHS nurse has set up a course for women that want to improve their self-esteem, confidence and make peace with their past.

Practice nurse Stephanie O’Leary set up Healthy Living Healthy Lives to design and deliver a range of projects to improve the six foundations of personal wellbeing, these being emotional, social, physical, mental, financial and spiritual.


Stephanie said: “One of our beliefs is that people don’t want a hand out they want a hand up. We have run many courses including growing kids community allotment, ‘we can work it out’ and coffee mornings all helping people improves self-esteem, confidence and skills. ”

One of the projects currently is a creative arts course for women called peaced together. The course lasts ten weeks. Using and making crafts, it encourages women to reflect on any events that have caused sadness, anxiety and pain.

Stephanie said: “One of the activities we do is we take broken up bits of pottery and put all the broken pieces back together into a mosaic. It helps women come to terms with brokenness and pain in their past and helps them move forward.

“In the last 18 months we have supported more than 60 women on these courses. We currently run courses in Abridge near Romford and Ongar near Brentwood but we are on the lookout for more locations.

“One lady found it difficult to forgive her father for various reasons but worked through it and she has forgiven and forged a new relationship with him.”

The course has no funding from government, so there is a charge of £5 weekly, however, if ladies are facing financial hardship then please speak to Stephanie, as she endeavours to help women stay on the course.


Stephanie continued: “We employ one administrator but for everything else we rely on volunteers. Altogether we have 20. I am currently trying to find the course some funding to help pay for it – I spend a lot of time writing funding bids.”

If anyone would like to help fund or has any fundraising ideas please contact the website

Or if you would like more information about the Peaced Together course please get in touch via the website.


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