How do we take the empowerment of female unity into our everyday lives?

For our International Women’s Day 2021 we took our celebrations online, for the first time in Carers Leeds history. Over 30 women met on Zoom to hear panellists share their stories and participate in workshops. The event felt like a moment of coming together, a space for connection in despite of isolation; a light in the dark.

We’re really excited to share some of the feedback from the event and invite you to honour the self-care and gratitude we experienced on International Women’s Day.

We are always open to your feedback and ideas for how we can take this spirit into the rest of the year.

Empowering, thought provoking, uplifting.
An inspirational, humbling, positive experience.
Excellent service, thank you Carers Leeds for providing support
Being in the group was like embracing the collective good.
Here’s is where strong women came together to become even stronger.
Inspiring, warm and very helpful at this difficult time.
Very interesting and encouraged us to learn from others in the group.
Our panelets were:
Alison Lowe: Chief Executive and LGTQ champion of Touchstone and an Honorary Alderwoman for the city of Leeds.
Angela Awuah: a former carer and Chief Executive of Mental Health The Arts, a creative arts academy for young people.
Emma Roberts: Neurodivergent survivor living with mental Illness, who developed Blueglassesgirl to use creativity to reduce ableism.

And here are some of the comments about their sessions:
Really interesting, humbled to hear their stories.
Fantastic talks uplifting and inspiring.
The panellist were very inspirational and very brave to share their individual personal stories I was inspired through all their adversities they still persevered to achieve their personal goals. So amazing, I am in awe of them all.
The creative writing and health care sessions were fascinating!
You are all very impressive, strong and articulate women.

Creative Writing

The creative writing workshop was sentence prompt poetry inspired by Kerri’s recent participation in Space2’s online creative writing workshops. The prompts helped enable us to explore identity and womanhood.

Huge thanks to everyone who took part and shared their work.

I am me, I am me!
I am a mum first,
But a carer as well.
My children are my world!

I am a warrior woman and I hold my own,
I am the juggler of it all, the thinker of it all,
I am doing my best, I’m tired but fulfilled,
I challenge situations where kindness does not prevail above all else,
and where folk don’t hold each other up
I am a women, soft yet strong, vulnerable yet powerful,
I am a warrior woman and I hold my own.

Life can be hard but it just makes me harder, I can do this, I got this.

I have come so far from my younger years,
Every trial. Every triumph. Has moulded me.
Formed me into a stronger, happier, more peaceful version of myself.

I am unique, I hold a privileged position I changeling anyone to fit my shoes for one day or two this position was bespoke for me only.

We collected a piece of volcanic rock on our walk, just to see what it felt like. It was fairly heavy, grey and black in colour and looked like honeycomb. It was very old and have told stories about where it came from and how it got here.

Being a woman is being kind to yourself, as we need to juggle many roles from day to day.

For more creative writing prompts and workshops, take a look at these links:

Space2: People’s Poetry, contact: nataliee@space2.org.uk

Swarthmore Education Centre: https://www.swarthmore.org.uk/course-finder?category=creative-writing-2

Creativity prompts: https://64millionartists.com/

Self-care

Self-care is important so that we can tackle every day as it comes and keep our resilience cups full. Jo ran a self-care workshop focusing on self-massage and the benefits of taking time to care for ourselves. There are lots of ways to practice self-care, it’s a great idea to find what works specifically for you.
  • Perhaps start by thinking about what is important to you…
  • What makes you feel relaxed?
  • What makes you feel energised?

Self-care planner available to download for free: https://www.blurtitout.org/product/free-download-an-utterly-useful-self-care-planner/

Join a course: Health & Leisure –  https://www.swarthmore.org.uk/course-finder?category=health-and-leisure&day-filter=&time-filter=&duration-filter=&search-course=

‘The self-care workshop was really enjoyable. It was really nice to take some time out for myself and recharge my batteries. Jo is super super positive and such a joy to spend time with. Thank you’

‘They were interesting and helped to focus on me as a person.’

‘Really great, I enjoyed taking time out to write down my thoughts’

‘It was quite enlightening and revealing!’

Events like International Women’s Day can help share learning and stories from other women to keep us motivated to stay kind to ourselves. Perhaps the real challenge is finding out what works for us? What can help make us feel united and cared for every day?

A huge thank you to everyone that made the event a place for togetherness. From the organisation, to panellists and those that attended and contributed so kindly.

Keep in touch and let us know your ideas.