It's All About Women

Post date 14 March 2019

Nearly 100 women came together on Saturday to celebrate International Women’s Day, Easton and Lawrence Hill style. It was part of our popular Festival of Solutions series, which brings residents together to find solutions to problems in their neighbourhoods.

The morning session brought together a panel of local activists who spoke about the challenges they had faced when setting up community projects. We’ve included some more information and contact details below if you would like to find out more about the women involved (as they are well worth checking out!). After a question and answer session, the hall was buzzing with discussion. One participant said she enjoyed “hearing the stories from the panel and realising that each woman’s project came from an individual experience plus a decision to act. Humbling and great to feel such an optimism.”

After a delicious lunch cooked by Somali Kitchen – a women-led social enterprise, we were joined by Interculture CIC who delivered a wide-ranging panel discussion about the cultural expectations around women’s appearance. Definitely some food for thought!

We’ve had some great feedback from participants about what went well, and what we can change, and we will be using this to make our next event even better. You can see some of the photos from the day here, and a big thanks to Bnar Sardar our photographer and Irene Zikusoka our filmmaker. Watch the film here. Also a big thanks to Carla from The Network for helping to plan and deliver the event.

Some of the women we worked with:

Autism Independence (AI) is a Bristol-based organisation working with families and local authorities to help transform the lives of children with autism. AI provide consultancy, training and guidance for those in a range of professions to bridge the gap between families and providers and help practitioners in education, social care and the health services deliver culturally sensitive support for families affected by autism. Autism Independence is led by Nura Aabe. Learn more

Bridging Gaps is a group of parents from Hannah More Primary School. They run training for schools, local organisations and businesses. They organised training at different venues across the city including schools, Engine Shed - and even on a ferryboat. The training sessions help people to be more culturally aware, more open-minded and more confident to speak to people from different backgrounds. If you would like to know more or book training you can email them at

MINIMO group is a group of Somali women running intergenerational projects. They work with older Somali women to combat social isolation. The group meet once a month at the Barton Hill Settlement. To get in touch please contact Sarah Dailly

Stand Strong - Hannah Clay runs self-defence classes for women in Easton. She has been practicing self-defence for many years, and have seen how few women come to the classes despite it being something that offers a lot to women – not just the physical side but also mental side. Hannah wants “to create a safe and welcoming space where women can learn self-defence and get stronger without feeling self-conscious or anxious.” Learn more

Project MAMA supports women who are refugees, seeking asylum or have irregular immigration status throughout the maternity process. They link women with specialist birth companions and a peer network for support throughout pregnancy, childbirth and in early parenting. Learn more 

East Bristol Kidical Mass is a group run by volunteers in conjunction with Wellspring Healthy Living Centre. They offer volunteer-led family bicycle rides which originate in Lawrence Hill. The project has some bicycles, including a Dutch cargo bike and one with a trailer to borrow as part of rides. The rides vary in distance from very short, confidence building for new cyclists, to longer rides for seasoned cyclists. Please check the Kidical Mass Facebook page if you want to get involved!

School Streets Bristol  is campaigning for the introduction of traffic free areas around schools. Learn more