Poetry and artwork created by the residents of Corona House, CHS Group’s service for women who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, are being published in a new book, Here I Am, which will be launched at Waterstones, Cambridge on Friday 6 March, as part of its International Women’s Day celebrations.

Compiled by the support team at Corona House, Here I Am will feature a variety of moving and impactful poetry and artwork which showcases the lived experiences of women who currently live at, or have previously lived at, Corona House, as well as members of the Corona House Community.

Based in Cambridge, Corona House provides accommodation and support for six women aged 18-64 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The Corona House Community is a wider network of women in need who visit the service on a regular basis for social and lunch events, advice sessions, creative workshops and trips out. During their time at Corona House, women receive a high level of support required to help them overcome their personal challenges and become independent, for example: care and support to make positive changes and recover, and advice and guidance to get into daytime activities, training, education and employment.

Here I Am will be available to purchase for £7 at the launch event at Waterstones on Friday 6 March from 5.30pm-7.30pm and will be displayed at Waterstones throughout the weekend, in celebration of International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March. Thereafter, the book will be available to purchase from the Museum of Cambridge, Castle Hill. During the Waterstones event, women of Corona House will deliver readings of the poetry, and original versions of the artwork will be displayed.

Caroline Mackechnie-Jarvis, Manager at Corona House, commented: “We aim to create a welcome, safe place where women who are struggling can feel they can be themselves and, importantly, can seek help. Poetry and art are invaluable platforms for our women to express their feelings and process whatever it is they are going through, and we run weekly workshops for our residents and the Corona House Community. The therapeutic process of making and creating is so important for our women, and over the years we’ve also been overwhelmed by the incredible pieces of work that the women have created. This book provides a powerful insight into the lives and minds of some of the women in need in our city, but it is also a demonstration of their talents. They really are an inspiring group of women and should feel very proud.”

All proceeds from Here I Am will go towards funding CHS Group’s Corona House service