What We Do

Support for Survivors

Therapeutic Support Groups and Individual Counselling

Tailored to the needs of women themselves, we provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space where participants can discuss their experiences with trained counsellors, begin to understand the effects of FGM on their physical and mental health and rebuild their emotional wellbeing and resilience. These groups are held in neutral spaces such as libraries that women can access easily. We pay childcare and travel costs to ensure that all barriers to access are removed.

Additional Support and Advocacy

We provide additional support and advocacy for women accessing the service ensuring that they are supported to attend the sessions and providing referrals to onward organisations that they may need for their wider wellbeing.

NHS FGM Clinics

The Dahlia Project is working with NHS England in two of its new pilot FGM Clinics in Waltham Forest and Brent to provide counselling. Designed to provide a holistic service, these are community based clinics that offer a range of support services for women with FGM. Our counsellors are present at the clinic to provide one to one therapeutic counselling and support.

Newham FGM Prevention Service

Working in partnership with Hestia, we run the Newham FGM Prevention Service on behalf of the London Borough of Newham. Our trained staff provide training on how to support and safeguard girls and women who might be affected by FGM. We also provide confidential one-to-one support for women affected by FGM and refer on to specialist services. For more information, email alima@manorgardenscentre.org

Community Education and Empowerment

Post-therapy Empowerment Sessions

We run monthly empowerment groups for women who have participated in our therapeutic groups and want to continue meeting together in a non-therapeutic way. These groups are designed as safe spaces where the women can come and be themselves with their peers away from the daily challenges, which are often present in their lives.

Dahlia Ambassador Programme

We are developing the Dahlia Ambassador Programme, which will support women who have participated in our therapeutic groups to influence and lead change.

Community Workshops

Working in partnership with a specialist FGM midwife, we deliver workshops on women’s health, FGM and wellbeing for practising communities. These workshops are tailored to the participants that we work with ensuring that we provide an interpreter and an accessible known venue. We encourage dialogue and debate as for many women this may be the first time that they have discussed FGM openly and it’s important that their voices are heard. At the base of all our work is child protection and ensuring that girls are protected and prevented from having FGM. But we know that engaging with women of all generations and empowering them with information about the health risks and consequences means that they have greater understanding of their own bodies and will therefore help to protect girls in their community.

Influencing Policy and Practice

Training for Therapists and Frontline Professionals

We deliver training to therapists and frontline professionals so that universal services are fully equipped to identify survivors, those at risk, and provide support around FGM. Visit the Access Our Services page to find out more on how you can receive training.

Resources for Policymakers and Frontline Professionals

We develop and publish Resources for policymakers and frontline professionals in order to inform best practice and bring about policy change

Advocating for Policy Change

We are working to ensure FGM is mandatory training for all frontline professionals working with women and children. We also use our research and evaluation of our services to inform best practice and bring about policy change.

Working in Partnership

We work and deliver in partnership, to enhance best practice and maximise our impact. Our partners include The National FGM Centre, Hestia, NHS England and Islington Council, amongst others.

Raising Awareness and Support

Press and Media Work

We regularly engage with and participate in a range of press and media, and support our survivors to share their own stories.  For any media enquiries, please contact us on 020 7561 5287 or email felicity@manorgardenscentre.org

These groups are designed as safe spaces where the women can come and be themselves with their peers away from the daily challenges, which are often present in their lives.

Awareness campaigns

We highlight issues associated with FGM, which are presented to us by the women we work with. Women are now talking to us about Breast Ironing, a process in which young pubescent girls’ breasts are ironed, pounded, and/or massaged (usually by their close relatives) to prevent them from developing and/or to reduce their size. The UN has identified the practice as one of five forgotten crimes against women.

Breast Ironing can result in second degree burns, bruising, tissue rupture, inflammation, infection, fluid retention, inverted nipples, and mastitis. It can often cause extreme pain, swelling, fever, and abscess formation. Mental health impacts on those affected include psychological distress, depression, anxiety, intense fear, and shame, among others. We aim to highlight this practice here in the UK, raise awareness of the harmful practice and support survivors.


Conferences and Events

We hold regular conferences and events to share best practice across services and sectors, influence policy and practice, and raise awareness and support towards ending FGM. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to hear about upcoming conferences and events, please email dahlia@manorgardenscentre.org

Our Strategy