When collecting feedback from our first women’s networking event last week, I was particularly encouraged by one attendee’s assertion that not only was she inspired by the work she’d just heard about, but also by the fact “that many of us are sharing common issues”.
This, in essence, was the motivation behind bringing the group together. While researching our Innovation and Learning theme, Improving the Wellbeing of Women and Girls, I, along with others members of the team, have been lucky enough to encounter some truly inspirational people and organisations delivering services to women. I’ve visited innovative charities and social enterprises, attended and presented at relevant conferences across the country, and networked with people who are brimming with energy and ideas.
The motivation behind organising last week’s event was to bring much of this energy into one room and encourage new connections and idea sharing. While we have encountered a few similar networking groups in England, this was a rare opportunity for social enterprises working with women in Scotland to get together and it turned out exactly as we hoped; informal, friendly and full of lively discussion from people who instantly hit it off through their shared aspirations and goals.
The timing was also ideal, as the first of two Women’s Centres, Heart and Soul, in our Women’s Centre Programme prepares to launch in Cumnock next month. Through this programme, the Trust is providing funding and support for the development of two asset-based and community-led Women’s Centres focused on meeting the needs and aspirations of women and girls, including those who are most vulnerable.
Our interest in improving well-being for women, and particularly women who are at risk of negative outcomes as a result of specific social or structural issues that they face, was borne out of our involvement in the criminal justice sector. You can find out more about the background to this work here.
Following the success of the first networking event, our next event is scheduled for September and will actually take place in Heart and Soul. If you think you may have something to offer, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me via firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested to know that the opening of Heart and Soul on 15th July is open to all and we’d love to see as many people attend as possible - more details will be shared on our website and social media channels nearer the time.
In the meantime, I’d encourage you to follow us on Twitter @RobertsonTrust for all the latest updates on this programme going forward. We will also be sharing all relevant news and learning on our website throughout the duration of the programme.
Please note that awards made our Innovation and Learning themes differ from awards made in our Open Grants Programme and cannot be applied for directly. Find out more here.