Sister System have been working with Haringey Giving since 2020. Since then, they have been able to help us reach care affected girls and women transforming their lives and improving their future prospects. Sister System are based in Tottenham, in the heart of the community. Thanks to their own experience and knowledge, they have identified the need for support for care-affected youth. They created a system which is not only active in the hour of need but supports young women and girls in the long run.  Through their model of early intervention, they provide a vital, compelling and urgently needed empowerment structure.  We at Haringey Giving are delighted to have been able to fund Sister System to support young people in Haringey.  

Sister System group shot at awards

“I never used to be one with communities.  

I also never used to be someone confident in who I am.  

I was never able to find what makes me me.  

I joined in a state of being unsure.  

But I am here to stand and say that I am one step closer to knowing I am weird and that everyone else is too!  

At least I’m not the only one.  

And I have learnt how to see my future, see who I am and have people to talk to all at the same time.  

I have new friends that I never thought would be my friends.  

I can say that I am a part of a community and that my community has helped me heal both physically and mentally and has helped me see the true meaning of what this community can do”  

- Sister System Service user, age 18

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In just under 4 years, Sister System have grown from supporting 12, to over 420 women, better known to as Sis-Stars, that have been impacted by the care system.  Over a 1,000% growth in Sis-Stars, a testament to the growing need and impact oftheir services.  

We asked Amy Goodman from Sister System about working with Haringey Giving

How have you found us as a funder? Is there anything that’s different about us?   

“Haringey Giving have been a fantastic funder and supporter to Sister System for many years.  Their invaluable support has enabled and enhanced our work to support the most vulnerable care-affected girls and young women in Haringey.  They stepped up during Covid-19 when our referrals tripled and the needs of our community severely deteriorated, allowing us to meet their most basic physical needs, as well as their mental health needs.” 

“They are different than many funders because it is obvious that they are rooted in the community and embedded in Haringey, as a known organisation who really understands the needs of local people.  Girls are aware of their support and feel valued in their community as a result of this.”  

Have you received any other support from Haringey Giving or have you been involved in any other ways? 

Support with links to other local community organisations, we have been involved in local community projects such as the Cornerstone project, and opportunities for our Big Sisters (graduates from programmes who become paid co-curators and co-facilitators) to be involved in research.  We have received the funded project of the year 2021 and 2022 which has raised our profile.  We took part in the Haringey Expo 2022 which was a great event allowing us to meet lots of potential partner organisations. 

Are there specific challenges that people you support face in Haringey?   

97% of service users are violence against women and girls survivors, and 52% of gang-affiliated girls are care-affected.  They are ‘Silent Victims’ of child sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, isolation and economic deprivation.  Exacerbated by Covid-19 and cost of living crisis, they have critical deteriorating mental health, reduced economic outlook and a lack of supportive, positive relationships.

"Care-experienced people, especially young women and girls, face some of the most severe disadvantages of any section of the population: overrepresented among homeless people, in the criminal justice system and are twice as likely to die prematurely because of these severe levels of deprivation."

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How has our funding enabled people in Haringey to overcome challenges in their lives and take action on things that matter to them?  

Haringey Giving has supported us multiple times for our essential Covid-19 Empowerment Programme – in Spring 2020 supporting 20 girls with essential food & hygiene packages and weekly emergency virtual therapeutic and peer mentoring sessions in order to prevent the physical, mental and emotional crises they were in due to lockdown.   

Once again in early 2021, Haringey Giving enabled Sister System to support 36 girls with crucial fortnightly therapeutic mental wellness, boxing and yoga sessions.  Due to beneficiaries’ requests, four dance sessions were also added to the programme through partnering with another Haringey based organisation.  Girls developed their personal resilience, new skills, and a peer network.  We saw an increase in girls’ ability to work collaboratively towards positive solutions so they can become positive contributors within their community.  Additionally, 80% had an increase in confidence and sense of mental and physical wellbeing. 

Last year in 2022, Haringey Giving empowered Sister System to deliver ‘Sister System’s Got Talent’: a creative & reflective peer led and co-produced empowerment project to enable girls to collectively face and work to overcome challenges brought by the pandemic.   

The project allowed us to build strong partnerships with local creative/ arts organisations.  They developed their own podcast on the ‘life of a care-affected girl’ supported by Island Girls Rock and UnityExtra, empowering them to find their voice and share their unique experiences. Harnessing and building their talents, Big Sisters led creative writing, dance, and photography workshops.  Working in partnership with local theatre company, Cornucopia Theatre, they took part in performing arts workshops, building their confidence and learning new skills. 30 girls increased their mental wellbeing, sense of community belonging and increased their peer relationships in a safe space. They increased their team building skills and community cohesion, as well as their confidence and sense of worth through learning new skills.  

Most recently, we have just been funded for our Cost-of-Living Empowerment Programme, which is a resilience building and community safeguarding programme for girls and young women aged 13-24 in and/ or leaving care. It is a holistic support, co-curated programme, empowering our community to take action and address the low mental resilience, reduced capacity and decreased community safety brought by Covid & cost-of-living-crisis. It will tackle social isolation providing positive meaningful relationships and support physical and mental wellbeing in order to enable collective community and individual skills development for 15 girls. 

Why would you recommend that people or businesses support Haringey Giving? 

“Haringey Giving has been an essential lifeline to enable Sister System to support care-affected girls’ most basic physical needs and empower her to raise her mental resilience, forge pathways to education and employment and enable a life free from abuse. It has enhanced and allowed us to fulfil our community and partnership work and values.”  

To enable care affected girls overcome challenges we have supported Sister System through several different projects and were the first funder to do so:  

  • Together We Can COVID-19 fund, May 2020 - £5,000 granted - 36 girls supported through Covid-19 Empowerment Programme.  It included online mental health support and hygiene and food boxes.
  • Together We Can COVID19 fund, Feb 2021 – grant of £10, 000.  Provided 15 girls with tailor made therapeutic mental wellness and confidence building sessions.  
  • Together We Can fund, November 2021 -£5,000 - enabled 15 care affected girls create Sister System Got Talent programme and develop professional creative skills. 
  • Together We Can fund, Nov 2022 - £5,000 - ‘Cost-of-Living Empowerment Programme’ - a six-month long resilience building and community which is still running.

Sister System also won Haringey Giving funded project of the year 2021 and 2022.  Find out more here.  

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Sister System have been delivering amazing work, leading from the front and supporting young girls and women to take charge of their lives in a holistic and empowering way. We at Haringey Giving are grateful for all their hard work in supporting care affected girls and women. We are delighted too to be the funder who helped them on their way to bigger and even more impactful projects.

Inspired by this story?

We are hoping to help more excellent organisations such as Sister System to thrive in the future. Your support will help vital community projects enable people overcome challenges in their lives.

Your support this Haringey Giving Week will help us fund more excellent local projects and thanks to our funding partners your donation will be doubled while funds last.

Donate here     Fundraise here     Partner with us

Thank you for your support