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In a beautiful sunny Birmingham we met 12 women and some of their children for our third BEAMs workshop. Some women arrived together, some women seemed to know each other, whilst for some this was their first meeting. This was our largest gathering of women so far (12 Women). Thanks to Nimo who hosted the day (from SOS Education Organisation) and Joy from Flourish who was on hand.

1. Ideas Map

There was lots of sharing experience with each other, connecting, confirming. Women in one group felt that if the work is put in antenatally, it makes the postnatal time easier, they wanted to be prepared. This included signposting to a number they could call to help them.

Women in the second group described how they wanted consistent information at multiple time points with the opportunity to go back and look at it, in multiple formats. We discussed these different formats with lots of innovative and clear ideas shared. The involvement of community groups in health information sharing was emphasised.

2. Circle of Trust

We again took a consensus approach to placement of trusted people on our circle of trust. The circle of trust emphasised the importance of family, friends and peers in the discussion of health experiences. These networks hold an important role in a woman’s decision-making to seek care. Some health care professionals had earned a position in this inner circle as they were kind, caring, and supportive.

The role of schools as a venue that was trusted for women to attend outside the home was highlighted. We talked about how women could reliably access health information here.

3. Place-based identities

The majority of the women focused on the large map of the world. They showed strong family and identity ties to overseas locations alongside their UK base. This brought new cultural insights into our discussions and built upon the contributions of previous workshops.