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Exciting launch of RENEW! I : Mel’s Corner Nottingham Women’s Conference

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NCVS Skillsbank Wolan – Breaking the silence!

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Fundraising update

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New Garden Project

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Daycare Staff Spotlight

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Christmas wishes Soup kitchen

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Nottingham Women’s Centre has received over £260,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for its innovative project to help around 650 women improve their mental health and well-being through a counseling and empowerment scheme. The project called RENEW which stands for “Re-energised, Empowered and Networked Women” is the first of its kind in Nottingham which combines the therapeutic benefits of empowerment with one to one counseling in a women-only space. RENEW provides the opportunity to access one to one support and attend empowerment sessions. A trained psychotherapist will introduce women to non-medical therapeutic techniques in a group setting and encourage the women to build empowering relationships to increase confidence, self-esteem and psychological wellbeing. Creative therapy sessions will be offered including singing, drawing, creative writing and healthy cooking. To find out more about our exciting plans for RENEW, come along to our course information day and speak to Emma or Linda.

Find out about our courses and activities at our next Course Information Day: Tuesday 10th December 10am — 2pm


Mel’s Corner It’s at this time of year that we look back on a year’s worth of achievements and begin to consider the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us. 2013 was a big year for Nottingham Women’s Centre in many ways. We were successful in applying to two large funders – the Heritage Lottery and the Big Lottery – allowing us to launch two completely new projects at the Centre. The first, WoLAN (Women’s Liberation in Nottingham and After) is a one year project and now over half-way through. Through WoLAN we’ve connected with a whole new generation of volunteers (101 volunteers at the time of writing this, most of whom are under 30) and reconnected with inspirational women from our past. I cannot wait to see the final exhibition from the project in March next year. The second project, RENEW (Re-energised, Empowered and Networked Women) is only just beginning. This new mental health project will increase the support we can offer women with common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. This type of project has never been needed more than it is now – with the 'squeeze' that austerity puts on people's

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finances (particularly women’s) contributing to a sharp rise in the number of people affected by mental health issues In addition to 2013 being a year of growth for us, we also continued to deliver our core services and as we look ahead to 2014, we hope to again maintain a steady ship. One of the key challenges ahead for us is the transition of Probation services from the public sector to the private sector next year. We have worked with Probation for nearly 4 years, delivering the CHANGES project to women offenders. The impact of the proposed reorganisation is very much unknown at the moment but we are confident in what we can bring to the table and will be fighting hard to maintain this successful service. All in all, if this was an end of year school report I think we’d probably be well on track for an ‘A’ grade this year. With that in mind, I want to end this update by saying a huge thank you to all of the staff, volunteers and trustees of the Centre, each of whom has played their part in making this such a successful year.

Our AGM is on 5th December, 5.30pm—7pm. Please join us!


Nottingham Women’s Conference and Fringe

Festival Nottingham Women’s Conference was held on 21st September. It took place at the Indian Community Centre in Nottingham, and was packed out by 163 women, all eager to discuss, share and listen to a wide range of feminist issues. There were also over 40 fringe events in the weeks surrounding the conference, raising the profile of prominent issues for women. The event was chaired by Finn MacKay, the founder of the London Feminist Network but featured a huge range of speakers like Julia Long, a feminist academic and campaigner, Chris Herries, first female Chair of Co-operatives UK and

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On 7 November, Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service launched their exciting new project: Nottingham Skillsbank. The project’s motto captures its objective in one phrase: ‘Bitesized Volunteering for busy people’. It aims to place skilled individuals with the desire to volunteer in to voluntary organisations that need them. This provides local voluntary groups with a new wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon, which otherwise might not be available to them.

Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters There were workshops, information from local and national campaigns and a campaigning space for women to network about their own campaigns and ideas. It was a really successful event, and one NWC are very proud to have sponsored and been involved with. A big thanks goes to Nottingham Feminist Action Network (NFAN) and everyone involved for a great conference and a fabulous month of feminist activity. Here is what some attendees had to say: ‘Exceptionally powerful and moving’ ‘I am going to call myself a feminist for the first time!’ ‘Inspired to start a new project off the back of this event!’

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aims to improve the quality of volunteering and encourage skilled professionals to engage with their l o c a l c o m m u n i t y — g r ea t f o r u s ! It’s a brilliant project in that it is entirely flexible, useful and builds good relations with local people. Nottingham CVS has over 40 years experience in the voluntary sector so they are excellently informed about local voluntary services and skilled people in Nottingham. Who knows what this could mean for volunteering at NWC? Watch this space!

It has come about after a successful pilot scheme, run with the University of Nottingham in 2012. It

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Breaking the Silence — WoLAN Shouts it Out! This week women took to the streets of Nottingham and reclaimed the night. Meanwhile Nottingham Women’s Centre history project has been reclaiming history, reclaiming women’s voices and hearing loud and clear stories of women making history in Nottingham. Zaimal one of the main organisers of the Reclaim the Night march speaks out about the ‘silences that we face’ as one of the forms of violence that we experience both locally and globally. Silencing is a major tool to keep imbalanced power structures firmly in their place and women’s lives restricted. In Women Now a 1970s publication by the Nottingham Women’s Liberation Group, an article called ‘Know Thy Place’ talks of silencing as one of the barriers women can face the normalising of the version of a world where the people are kept down to allow other’s privilege to be kept intact. Silencing is necessary for abuse of power to continue from the lies and deceit and of victim blaming to trying to crush the power of an unbreakable spirit such as 24 year old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova the punk-singer and activist who spoke out in song against Russian human rights violations. Amnesty international reports as I write that Nadia is still missing. Days ago she disappeared on her way to a Siberian prison camp being punished for refusing to be silenced on appalling prison conditions.

Half-way through the WoLAN project we have now gathered over twenty stories of people who in their own way made stones for bridges of liberty under which flow rivers of hope from which we can drink and be refreshed. Artists, writers, activists, cooks, gardeners, musicians, radical bookshop workers, scholars, psychologists, counsellors and one Lord Mayor joined voices so far. We now have 101 volunteers signed to the project there is room for you too! Come and help prepare for our exhibition which at Angel Row gallery throughout March where we can sing the praises of these everyday heroines and join them in making history through film, art work, interviews and song. Or come and join us and find your voice writing or singing at these WoLAN Events:

Writing for Healing: 25 November, 6.00pm7.30pm at Nottingham Women’s Centre. Just come This week Val Lunn, Director of Women’s Aid along on the night. spoke out about the history in women’s struggle for liberation an idea which goes beyond equality Sing it! December date TBA. Look out for posters change to the ideal of women being free to be true in the centre. to their selves and their dreams. In her Reclaim the We want to hear your voice: contact Night speech Val points out that ‘change has never natasha@nottinghamwomenscentre.com been offered or given to us...change has happened ring 0115 941 1475. because we have demanded it and fought for it’.

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FUNspiring ways to support the women's centre December is almost upon us and it is always a great time to take stock - it has been a very busy few months for the fundraising and marketing team at Nottingham Women’s Centre – apart from RENEW and the 2014 Year of Adventure Initiative, we have had some new and exciting projects that we have been spreading the word about and others that we need to find funding for within the new climate of “partnership and collaboration”. One of such projects is our library project (LIB-erate) which is now looking positive with respect to funding- we have had to put this on hold in the past due to a shortfall in funding. Thankfully, one of our corporate partners has recently offered a generous £9000 match funding with the condition that we find the rest of the funding - the entire project costs £27,000. If you know of anyone that can help, please do get in touch with Olumide at development@nottinghamwomenscentre.com or call 0115 941 1475. We would also be happy to hear from you if you would like to support the work we do with a fundraising initiative of your own in aid of Nottingham Women’s Centre.

Our 2014 Year of Adventure project is progressing brilliantly. We have added Zorbing and Skydiving to our suite of challenge events – thanks to everyone who have signed up to be part of the project so far. If you would like more info or need a fundraising pack, kindly email Steph at fundraising@nottinghamwomenscentre.com. Our focus really is to challenge and empower women and most importantly to have FUN whilst raising money for a great cause – so we have kept costs and time commitment to a minimum to ensure that no woman is excluded and yes, Nottingham Women’s Centre staff and some of our partners will be taking on the challenge too! We know that there is strength in numbers, so we are counting on as many women as possible to sign up to help us achieve this amazing feat. If you are one of those who thinks firewalking is too mild, then Zorbing and Skydiving might just be for you. Adrenaline, fun, inspiration, friendship and a sense of achievement – all that we need to usher in 2014! Finally, we are always on the look-out for skilled fundraising/marketing volunteers – so either get in touch directly or via the new NCVS Skillsbank at http://www.nottinghamcvs.co.uk/volunteering/ skillsbank

Peace, NWC’s Fundraising and Marketing Team

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Nottingham Women’s Centre: Garden Initiative It is time for the Nottingham Women’s Centre garden to end its sleepy way of life and finally once again let the women at the Centre benefit from it. For the next year the Nottingham Women’s Centre Garden Initiative has made it its mission to let the garden become a place to meet other women from the centre, or even get some alone time, a place to get some fresh air and sun, enjoy a tea with fresh herbs from the garden or a nice treat made with vegetables or fruits from the Centre’s garden. So, where is this mysterious place? You can see the garden’s treetops from the café and maybe next time you are looking outside the window, you might take a trip down there?! Although the project is still in its infancy, it has already come a long way. The project is supported by “Treedom Forestry”, an organization for forest education & wellbeing experiences for children and adults and led by one of our volunteers. And since the beginning of November it is also funded by the

Major Oak Fund, through Nottingham Community Foundation. With all this support it is finally time to get started! We certainly do not get put off by the winter fiercely approaching. Before the first frost strikes Nottingham the bulbs for the spring bloomers have to be hidden. What is more inviting than to start the gardening season and be greeted by a sea of tulips? We also have to decide what exactly we want to plant as well as where and when, so that by the first sunbeam we can start the garden’s transformation. Why not JOIN US?! We are still looking for volunteers who enjoy working in the garden, or who have their own allotment and would like to share their knowledge with us, or who just want to try it out and experience the benefits of working outside Contact admin@nottinghamwomenscentre.com for more information.

Helping women achieve In August we held an away day for our staff and volunteers to review our work and plan for the year ahead. We also did an exercise to look at our core values as an organisation and all came up with some similar things – our emphasis on empowerment, our ‘family’ environment and the flexibility we show in the way we work to try to accommodate different needs. Do you agree? Let us know.

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Update from the Daycare! The daycare has been busier than ever with lots of children and lots of activities to keep them happy! We’ve been enjoying the last bit of sunshine in the garden and are very excited about the Sensory Garden Project which should make the garden even more fun for the kids. We’ve also had some new equipment and soft play donated by the City Council which the children really love.

Please note that the daycare will be closed for Christmas from 20th December to 6th January.

We would also like to welcome Charlotte to our team. She is currently a NVQ2 and working towards her Level 3. Welcome to the team, Charlotte! We are now looking forward to Christmas which we’ll be celebrating with a party – dates to follow.

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Pop in to the centre & fill an application form, email membership@nottingahmwomenscentre.com or visit our website at www.nottinghamwomenscentre.com

Staff Spotlight: Steph I’ve been an intern here at NWC since late September working with Olumide. As I only come in for one day a week, it’s an interesting but brief snap shot in to the work the centre does for women in Nottingham. As someone who had no idea this bustling place even existed, it’s enlightening and actually really refreshing to experience. The centre is such a warm and welcoming place to work and visit. As an English student at the University of Nottingham, I’m very involved with voluntary support services for Students in the city, so it’s really nice to be involved in a different organisation that provides valuable and much-needed support to another area. A big part of my role so far has been helping to organise the ‘2014 Year of Adventure’. It’s really exciting! I love the fact that it’s not just about fundraising but about empowering women to do really challenging things at the same time. A little bit of shameless plugging: You should all sign up! I love

working in the office because it satisfies my need to be super busy and crazily organised! I’m a huge fan of ‘to do’ lists! I’m originally from Oxford but I’m in my last year of university now. Hopefully, London awaits on the horizon after graduation! I have two very cute, very chubby West highland terriers who are the loves of my life. They’re a mischievous twosome! I love nothing more than snuggling up with a cup of tea and an episode of Jonathan Creek! I’m a compulsive cleaner so everything in my house has to be immaculate and ordered at all times, even my wardrobe. Colour coordination is the key!

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Christmas at NWC! Here at Nottingham Women’s Centre, we’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a happy new year! Christmas is an exciting time for everyone, and at this special time of year we would like to thank all our hard-working volunteers who contribute so much of their time and enthusiasm to making the centre the place that it is! It’s been a big year for us, and who knows what the next year will bring for NWC?

We will be closed during the following periods over Christmas: Wednesday 25th December Wednesday 1st January We will be back open on Thursday 2nd January.

Christmas Eve Soup Kitchen Just because the year is drawing to an end, doesn’t mean the centre is slowing down! This Christmas Eve, we’re running a soup kitchen! All are welcome to attend, and volunteers to help run the kitchen would be very welcome. This is a was a very popular and heart-warming event last year so we are very pleased to be able to bring in back. Come along to enjoy tasty food, warm beverages, cake and (most importantly of all) presents for children!! The soup kitchen will be open on Christmas Eve between 10am-3pm for anyone who wants to pop in and enjoy the festive atmosphere!

Have a contribution for the next newsletter? Do you have a story, news to share, a recipe or health tip? Submit your ideas and / or contributions to: development@nottinghamwomenscentre.com

Contact: 30 Chaucer Street Nottingham NG1 5LP Tel: 0115 941 1475

Newsletter edited by Steph Lockwood

Winter 2013 newsletter final  
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