A Triumph on International Women’s Day

On Tuesday 8 March, Creative Support celebrated International Women’s Day with a fun filled day of inspirational speakers, activities, workshops and dancing. The event raised an impressive £532, which will be donated to Manchester Women’s Aid and is earmarked to help abused women who have insecure immigration status and therefore have no recourse to public funds.

More than 120 Creative Support service users, staff and partnership representatives gathered in Manchester to enjoy a jam packed day featuring inspirational women speakers, ‘Being An Inspirational Woman’ empowerment workshops, a recycled fashion workshop hosted by JUNK, a clothes swap, bollywood dancing, holistic therapies, a ‘Tree of Inspiration’, a raffle and homemade cupcakes. This was a rare chance for some of Creative Support’s service users to enjoy the company of other women and some pampering, whilst supporting a worthwhile cause and gaining inspiration from positive role models.

Guest speakers from Manchester Women’s Aid and George House Trust shared inspiring stories about overcoming adversity and living with HIV. Claire Haslam, Creative Support service user, gave a powerful and inspirational talk about her personal experiences of mental health. The recycled fashion workshop hosted by JUNK, the quirky boutique of Northern Quarter fame, was a huge hit with participants who created flower brooches and stylish hair clips from scraps of fabric and decorated t-shirts. The clothes swap was busy all day as everyone took advantage of the unique opportunity to exchange their old clothes, shoes and accessories for nearly new ones. The bollywood dance performance was a surprise hit as service users joined the dancers on stage and throughout the day women contributed thoughts and colourful creations to the ‘Tree of Inspiration’.

Charlotte, Creative Support service user says: I had such a wonderful time, it was a fantastic day.  I enjoyed the empowerment workshop because it made me realise that every woman is inspirational and that means me too. We made some beautiful flower brooches and I swapped some old handbags for a new dress and everyone told me I look beautiful in it!

Anna Lunts, Chief Executive of Creative Support says: It is so important that all women are empowered, especially those who might be at a greater risk of social isolation because of a learning disability or mental health needs. The event was such a success; I’m already looking forward to next year!

Ishbel Cooke, project manager at Manchester Women’s Aid says: It was a great day and we are so grateful for donations because they allow us to provide prescription costs, food, toiletries and other essential items to support women through leaving their abusive partner.

The £532 donated to Manchester Women’s Aid will help women like Aminda who says: ‘Without the help of Women’s Aid I would not be here now. Really. They have helped me get justice for my abuse and to find a new, safe life for me and my children. Now I volunteer for Women’s Aid and one day I would like to support women like me to be empowered to overcome domestic and sexual abuse’.




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