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The Women's Programme: we're back, we're bigger and we're better than ever!

Published: 24 March 2017 Tags: workshops, services, womens programme By John Walding

Thanks to the Big Lottery Fund, from 2012-2016, the Women’s Programme provided specialist services, influenced National policy and ran dedicated campaigns for and in support of lesbian and bisexual (LB) women*. This work included

  1. Targeted health campaigns on issues such as mental health, sexual health and abuse
  2. Monthly skills workshops and our annual International Women's Day festival: Sugar and Spice
  3. Coordinating an external Women’s Advisory Panel and internal Women’s Leadership Group
  4. Guidance and training for mainstream service providers
  5. Sexual Health Outreach across Greater Manchester
  6. Monthly e-bulletin and Group: Bisexual and Lesbian Women in Manchester
  7. Volunteering and leadership opportunities

Thanks again to Big Lottery Fund, the Women’s Programme has received funding for a further three years to develop our existing programme to help make it more inclusive, accessible and relevant for a wider range of lesbian and bisexual women across Greater Manchester and introduce new ways of gaining skills and leadership opportunities!

So, in addition to all of the wonderful things above, the Women's Programme will now do three more things:

INTERSECTIONALITY ENGAGEMENT: working initially to increase engagement and access for lesbian and bisexual women who are also from minority ethnic backgrounds, are trans or are older - as these are the women who benefited least from our programme last time.

We aim to do this through

- targeted outreach with women from these groups across Greater Manchester

-hosting quarterly forums where lesbian and bisexual women from these groups can meet to discuss the issues that are important to them and think about how we can improve services and make change

- running awareness raising workshops with organisations and groups about what it means to be a lesbian or bisexual woman who also belongs to another minority group/

COMMUNITY LEADERS: helping lesbian and bisexual women make change in their communities by providing opportunities and coaching for lesbian and bisexual women to share and develop skills by running their own community activities or contributing to existing activities across Greater Manchester

NETREACH: engaging with lesbian and bisexual women about sex and relationships via online social networking sites. This will enable us to promote our services including helpline, counselling and pop-in support and help us reach lesbian and bisexual women who might not otherwise access our services.

I hope you'll join us in saying a big thank you to the Big Lottery Fund for enabling us to do this important work of supporting and helping to empower lesbian and bisexual women.

If you have any questions about the new programme, would like to know more or would like to become a volunteer, please drop Claudia an email!

* Our services for women are open to anyone who self-identifies as a woman some or all of the time and is lesbian, bisexual or questioning their sexual orientation. This includes non-binary or gender-fluid people who want to access a women's space.