Sugar and Spice illustration, diverse range of women standing on a map of Greater Manchester

Sugar and Spice 13: Socialising, Skills, Self-Care, Sharing.

4-10th March 2019 @ various Manchester City Centre locations.

Sugar and Spice is our annual wellbeing festival, that's been running now for 13 years, to celebrate International Women’s Day for lesbian, bi and queer women.

Sugar and Spice is for all self-identifying women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, queer or questioning, all or part of the time, including trans women, B.A.M.E women and women of colour, older women, disabled/neurodivergent women, women who are seeking asylum or have no recourse to public funds, women of all faiths and backgrounds, and non-binary/gender fluid people and transfeminine people who want to access a women-centred space.

This year we have four themes: social, skills, self-care and sharing so you can look forward to 7 days of FREE workshops, talks and spaces.

Full Schedule Below


To book on to these workshops, please reserve your FREE tickets here:

Places are limited so if you can no longer make it, please cancel on Eventbrite.

If you require any support to help you attend this event, including BSL or language translation, or support with travel costs, please email

Sugar and Spice is made possible with support from the Big Lottery Fund.

Monday 4th

Dreams, Goals & Best Laid Plans: Setting Intentions You Can Stick To

Thoughtworks, Federation House


The road to hell is paved with good intentions.' Why is it so a hard to stay motivated? Why can't we stick to the plan? Often we have more than one agenda - the one we set consciously and the one we keep secret, even from ourselves. Discover your own hidden agendas and the ways in which they undermine the best of intentions.
Rachel Morris is a psychotherapist, writer & broadcaster with over twenty years clinical experience. She’s a regular contributor to the national press, television and radio and is the author of ‘The Single Parents’ Handbook’

Somatic Movement

Manchester City Centre Venue TBC


This somatic movement workshop is about self-care and connection, exploring the wonderful resources of our bodies. Creating space for movement, fun, creativity and expression, we will explore our personal boundaries, relationships with space, self and other in a dynamic and expressive workshop.

Fae is trained in chakra dancing and is studying for a Masters in dance and somatic well-being. She is interested in holding space where people can access their authentic selves through the forms of movement.

Tuesday 5th

Astrology 101

Thoughtworks, Federation House


Learn all about your birth/natal charts, the moon and its cycles and what it all means up there in the cosmos to down below on our planet.
All round creative and Astrology lover Rebecca Swarray has always been into her signs and the planets. Self taught and an avid student she believes Astrology really is a beneficial component to self care.

Wednesday 6th

Vegan Cooking

Manchester City Centre Venue TBC


Food and cooking has been a way to bring people together for generations. Join Maz in her community style workshop and create your own delicious vegan sweet and sour and dumplings. Suitable for all abilities and ages.
Maz is a Manchester based Streetfood trader and teacher who has worked around the globe: opening a restaurant in Lesbos, teaching communities to cook in Mauritius and training chefs in the UK. She is passionate about giving people the confidence to create simple and easy meals from scratch.

Sugar and Spice 13 logo
Friday 8th

Life Drawing for Women of Colour

Manchester City Centre Venue TBC


Explore your perception of your body in this interactive beginners’ life drawing session that’ll open up the discussion around body image and beauty standards.
Elliss Lewin-Turner is an interdisciplinary artist and event organiser creating spaces for queer people to grow and discover the beauty of comfort and community

Saturday 9th

LGBT Foundation

11am - 5pm

11am-12pm Mindfulness

This session is an opportunity to experience what mindfulness is all about, we will sample some of the content taught on the 8 week mindfulness based stress reduction course. This will involve some mediation practice, talking about what mindfulness is, and a little about stress in our busy lives. All you need to attend this workshop is an open mind- all welcome.
Karen, a proud Mancunian Lesbian with an adult child, trained as a mindfulness teacher in 2015, and completed the Mindful self-compassion course in 2018. Karen has a passion to share mindfulness practices with diverse groups of people and communities.

12pm-1pm How to "mingle"

Scared of new people? Do you feel like you’re going to vomit at the mere idea of talking to a stranger? Can’t get over that time you spilt your drink on that baby? In this workshop, Michelle will help you mingle like the hero you are, using a combination games, fun and A SLIDE SHOW! Things you will learn:
- How to escape an awful conversation with a garbage person
- Techniques to keep the fear in check
- How to mingle your way to becoming the “talk of the season”
- How to stop worrying about what THEY think and just be fabulous
Michelle O’Toole is a journalist, comedian, podcaster and fried food expert. She is also a chronically anxious mess who has plenty of experience when it comes to battling social anxiety.

1-2pm Intro to Bhangra

Enjoy dancing to Music of Life and feel the Rhythm of Silence. Share techniques that we can use to help balance our lives physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, and learn how having a positive attitude helps you to be in "high spirits" to enable a positive, buoyant and optimistic attitude to life and the future.
Rinder Salan is a creator, mother, entrepreneur, artist, free spirit, who has worked in the public sector for 13 years. Her motto? To make the impossible possible.

2-3pm Your Scars and Self-Acceptance

True self-acceptance is revolutionary. In life we're either the ones orchestrating how it should be written, or the ones reading while allowing other people to write it for us. Recovering reader? You’re invited to a safe space where you can equip yourself with the tools, knowledge and love essential for rebellious self-acceptance.
Iesha Palmer, (she/they) is a thinker, a creative, a body-positive advocate and a lover of all things queer and all things erotic. As a burn survivor, Iesha has taken part in great projects like Behind The Scars; a photographic campaign by Sophie Mayanne. Iesha’s mission is to redefine the term “beauty” and share the revolutionary power of self-acceptance.

3-4pm Women in War Zones: Gender and Conflict

This session will explore the relationship between gender and conflict, focussing on gendered representation of conflict; gender violence in war; women as victims, aggressors, militants and peacemakers. We will also examine the gender norms of masculinity and femininity that are forged or challenged during instances of violent conflict.
Rubina Jasani is Social Anthropologist who is interested in violence and reconstruction, gender and sexuality and the role of lived religion in conflict zones. Working in conflict zones, she has developed an interest in the anthropology of suffering and have been conducting research on ethnicity, culture and mental illness within the South Asian diaspora in Britain

4-5pm Online Safety

What types of abuse are LGBTQ+ women most likely to face online, and how are we targeted? Examine different online tools and strategies to help protect yourself from online abuse, learn what to do if it happens and discover practical ways to help fight the day-to-day abuse you may receive.
Lauren Ingram is a bisexual and feminist writer, journalist and activist. She went viral and was trolled after speaking out about her sexual assault on social media in 2017, and subsequently appeared in a documentary in her home country of Australia.

11am-1pm "Where did we all go?" Older Visibility

Where did we all go? As Lesbian, bi and trans+ (LBT) women, what age do we become more invisible? Does it matter? Come along to this workshop to connect with other older* LBT women, and create some powerful messages about who we are and what we want.
*anyone that identifies with being "older" is welcome to attend.
Sarah Wilkinson is an older lesbian, who has been an activist since the Stop the Clause campaigns in the 1980s. She currently works for the Greater Manchester Ambition for Ageing programme’s Equality Board but is running this workshop in a personal capacity.

1-3pm Trans(+) Aesthetics: Makeup Made Easy

Learn the beauty basics and get makeup savvy with a live demo and free makeovers specifically for trans and nb folk with Beauty Matters by Phoebe Grace. This workshop is inclusive of all trans and nb people who want to wear make-up, including gender nonconforming folk.
Phoebe Grace runs Beauty Matters, mobile makeup and beauty for EVERYONE, with everything from contouring to manicures, hair removal to tanning on the menu.

3-5pm Crafts and Crumbs

Take a break to have a cuppa and get creative! Using DIY methods and inspiration from historical designs, Pip will help you create your own badge designs to share our identity as subtly or loudly as we please! Meanwhile, Jay will help you get your creative juices flowing and produce designs through embroidery, collaging, free-sewing and painting.
Jay is a local creative with experience in a variety of different crafts. They run a small business selling their creations, and have a keen interest in craftivism and the sharing of skills. Pip Williams (they/she) is a bisexual activist, writer, and veterinary student who can't wait to escape London. They run a small business selling queer- and trans-themed pins via Etsy

Sunday 10th

LGBT Foundation


12-1pm Car Maintenance

Research shows nearly 64% of female motorists don't feel comfortable visiting a garage for repairs, servicing or car checks. That’s why Kwik Fit are coming to you. Learn about the importance of your tyres and the signs to look out for when they need attention, as well as how to change a wheel, how to go about regular vehicle checks, and top up your fluid levels.
Established in 1971, Kwik Fit is one of the largest independent automotive parts, repair and replacement specialists in the world. Kwik Fit, the UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company, hosts a number of women’s evening events across the country, primarily aimed at women who want to learn a bit more about their car, and as a result feel more comfortable if they ever need to go to a garage.

1-2pm Rope Bondage

Japanese rope bondage, or shibari, is a popular form of kink play that is sexy, intimate and visually stunning. It is also incredibly versatile, easy to learn (if you can tie shoelaces you already have all the skills you need) and inexpensive. Perfect for anyone wishing to explore or expand their kinky side in a relaxed, safe and queer conscious environment. Please wear a top that's comfortable and won't be ruined by rope or rope fibres (a dark t-shirt is ideal) and bring a bottle of water.
J (they/them) is Manchester based, works for the sex worker support charity National Ugly Mugs and divides their free time between dancing and poetry performance. The have been practicing and teaching shibari (and a host of other kinks) with an emphasis on consent, communication and inclusivity for over five years.

2-3pm Computer Skills

Become a dab hand at Microsoft programmes (Excel/Word/Outlook), Facebook (privacy settings, picture uploads, creating invites), and getting the most out of your Smartphone. We’ll cover the basics and then open up for questions. Whatever your question, from how to copy and paste to how to reduce picture file size – come along and ask! There is no such thing a “annoying question”.
Monica has 2 years work experience in IT, and hours of personal use to add to that knowledge. Monica loves showing people new things and making information as accessible as possible. If you have a question you would like to be covered in the start of the session – please email

3-4pm Singing in harmony with SHE

Singing in harmony: choir singing has been recognised to improve mental wellbeing and a great way to connect to others. This workshop is for anyone who enjoys singing and wants to do it with others! A taster session of a typical rehearsal with SHE choir, we'll take you through a warm-up and then teach you a few mini songs in a fun and safe way.
Genevieve and Jill are from SHE Choir Manchester, a free, fun, unauditioned and non-hierarchical choir for all self-identifying women. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays 6-8pm at Old Bank, NOMA and new members are welcome to join at any time.

2-4pm Forms party: Getting the Boring Stuff Done

Get a clearer understanding of how to do several common forms, what things you'll need to complete them, and tips and tricks to have your applications be successful, as well as clear guidelines for when to submit. The focus will be on:
1. Student Finance and student grants
2. Changing your name, title and gender officially
3. Disability benefits
4. NHS forms, including complaints and prescription exemptions.
Josie and Ezra live in Bolton with their five year old son. They have been married for four years and in that time have been through a huge amount of administrative work. Josie is a linguist by trade and Ezra is a forensic anthropologist. They both have an affinity for boring things!

To book on click here.

Venue Addresses


5 Richmond Street, Manchester M1 3HF
(accessible venue, gender neutral toilets. private space)


Federation House, 2 Federation Street, Manchester M4 4AH
(accessible venue, gender neutral toilets, exclusive use of the space)

Getting here:

By car: Manchester's ring road connects Manchester to motorways north, south, east and west. For details about parking visit Visit Manchester's transport page.

By train: Arriving in to Manchester Piccadilly? It's a 5 minute walk to LGBT Foundation. Arriving in to Manchester Victoria? It's a 17 minute walk to LGBT Foundation.

By Megabus: Fares can be as cheap as £1 both to and from Manchester. If you're arriving in to Manchester Shudehill Interchange it's a 14 minute walk to LGBT Foundation.

Staying overnight in Manchester:

Hatters Hostel: Mixed dorm room start at £27 when staying over on the Saturday night.