Hart voor Vrouwen wereldwijd in de belangstelling van IIW
Hart voor Vrouwen wereldwijd in de belangstelling van IIW

“HEART FOR WOMEN”, AN ENTHUSIASTIC FIRST YEAR FOR INNER WHEEL NETHERLANDS’ NATIONAL PROJECT

Inner Wheel in the Netherlands has created a national project approach and named it the “National Service Project”, NSP. The aim is to strengthen the impact and image of Inner Wheel in the Netherlands. NSP will run for a duration of 3 years and to ensure continuity a National Service Committee will be in charge. NSP will give clubs the opportunity to unite and give members the chance to get really involved whilst expanding their Inner Wheel network.

The process is as follows: our clubs vote for one of the three nominated national charities, submitted by our members. In an election campaign, all three charities gain awareness amongst the members. An election date is set, and all clubs will submit their vote by then. The charity with the most votes will become the NSP for the ensuing 3 years.

At the end of 2020, the first NSP charity was chosen, the “Heart for Women” foundation (https://www.hartvoorvrouwen.nl/who-we-are/).

Our goal is to raise awareness regarding how to recognise and diagnose the symptoms of female heart conditions and to raise 100.000 Euros for further research into the female heart. Female and male symptoms regarding heart conditions present themselves differently (e.g. due to hormones). The medical world has only recently begun to recognise this. By gaining greater insight and understanding of these gender differences, we can begin to promote prevention to ensure healthier female hearts.

At the start of 2021, the National Service Committee was appointed. A network of “Heart for Women” throughout the Netherlands was created to enthuse our members in their regions. The official kick-off of our NSP for our IW members was launched by webinar due to COVID-19. With over five hundred participants this turned out to be an immensely powerful way to gain the buy-in of everyone for “Heart for Women”.

This has resulted in multiple enthusiastic events. What events have we seen? Bicycle rides, webinars, bingo evenings, bring & buy actions, presentations to all kinds of service clubs and more fun activities. Inspiring merchandise created by the members has been a valuable source of income, such as tea, chocolate, tea towels, bags, stamps, water bottles, face masks, cheese, etc. If you are interested, please do look at our website and our web shop:  https://www.innerwheel.nl/come-buy-webshop/

An event that gained great media attention nationwide is the Dress Red Day in The Netherlands. A day to highlight cardiovascular diseases in women. Such fun and so special to have a high tea (or high wine) with one hundred ladies all dressed in red. This was also great for bonding between the organising clubs. A recipe worth repeating every year!

The Fit Week in September emphasised the importance of exercise and fitness to all Inner Wheel members. It initiated numerous walking and cycling tours, special programmes at fitness locations and online yoga and cardio-balance classes.

National webinars are not only a way to raise awareness but also an interesting way to raise money. People are willing to pay for webinars with interesting speakers and the female heart appeals to a large audience. The webinar “What does stress do to your heart” in December 2021 raised 3,750 Euros, a great result.

Over the course of the first year, we managed to raise an amazing €81,000 of which €30,000 was donated to the charity last November. An inspiring result realised by truly uniting as Inner Wheel members. Together we stand, together we serve and together we achieve.

Marlies Arnoldus-Luiten & Sandy Blaauboer

 

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