Coronavirus: Staying safe in isolation

We send our warmest wishes to everyone in our community. Please look after yourselves. Here are some helpful links and contacts to help you if you are experiencing difficulty or a crisis.

If you or someone you know are in immediate danger:

Phone 999. If it is not safe to speak use the Silent Solution system and dial 55 when asked.

If you are experiencing, or at risk of domestic abuse:

  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline: experienced female advisers available 24 hours a day. Call 0808 2000 247
  • Women’s Aid Live Chat: Mon – Fri 10am-12pm
  • You First Dorset: Advice, support and refuges for domestic abuse survivors 0800 0325204

If you have been affected by sexual violence:

If you need help with essentials during isolation:

  • Dorset Council’s community response line: 8am – 8pm 7 days a week 01305 221000
  • The Dorset Hub lists local services and community support groups

Looking after your wellbeing and mental health:

  • Mind: practical advice on looking after your mental health during isolation
  • The Help Hub: Free online or telephone listening service for vulnerable people
  • Connection: 24/7 telephone access to mental health advice & support for people all ages, anywhere in Dorset 0300 123 5440

What’s Important to You? Participate in Our Survey

WAND and the Dorchester Feminist Group would love to know what matters to women and girls living in Dorset, and what needs to change to make our community a good place to live in for women of all ages.

This survey is open to anyone that identifies as a woman with a significant connection to Dorset (e.g. living or working here). Women of all ages, sexual orientations, religion/belief, ethnicity or any other background are very welcome to participate.

The feedback will be analysed and written up into a report, which will be shared here and on our Facebook page.

Women of Dorset – What’s Important to You?

WAND and the Dorchester Feminist Group would love to know what’s important to the women of Dorset! What needs to change to make our community the best place to live in for women of all ages?

We will be hosting a street consultation activity on 7th March 2020 in Dorchester, between 10am-3pm. Members of WAND and the Dorchester Feminist Group will be present to speak to local women and girls, to find out what’s important to them. What new facilities, activities, opportunities or support would you like to see? Look out for our gazebo outside Barclay’s bank on South Street, and come and tell us!

The results of this street consultation will be analysed and written up into a report, which will be published via WAND’s website and Facebook page. We are also working hard to create a directory of local organisations so that we can signpost women to places that may already be offering relevant activities, opportunities and services. The report we write will also be used to persuade local organisations (e.g. councils, public service providers) to listen to women’s feedback and take up your ideas. The more feedback and ideas we have, the better.

This event has also been timed to mark International Women’s Day, celebrated every year on the 8th March, which celebrates women’s achievements and calls for progress towards achieving gender equality.

This event is a joint venture between WAND and the Dorchester Feminist Group – an informal open group for mutual support, discussion and actioning of feminist and women-focused political issues – and laughing.

We look forward to meeting you on 7th March!

Can’t make it to Dorchester? You can still take part by taking our online survey here.

Bring & Share Supper and Planning Meeting #2

Many thanks to the wonderful ladies that joined us on Monday 13th January at the Quiet Space in Poundbury to start planning the IWD 2020 activity and for a bring & share supper. To mark International Women’s Day we are planning to find out about the needs of local women and girls, via an event on Saturday 7th March. WAND will have a stand on Dorchester high street, and the event will also involve displays in local venues.

We would love you to get involved and help us to create our displays! We have booked the Quiet Space for Thursday February 19th for a making session and another bring and share supper. The evening will be on a drop-in basis, so come along from 5.30pm to get “crafty”. All are welcome, and WAND will be providing materials. 

International Women’s Day planning gets underway…

We had a truly delicious supper and a fruitful planning meeting for International Women’s Day last week. It is great to be working with the Dorchester Feminists group and other fantastic volunteers. Things are shaping up!

Look out for details of our February planning meeting, which will be a crafty one…..scissors at the ready!

Bring & Share Supper

Monday 13th January 2020 at The Quiet Space, Poundbury

Meet and socialise with WAND members and supporters! This is a social evening that will also include planning our activity for International Women’s Day 2020 for anyone who would like to get involved. Further details here.

Bring and share supper

New Core Group meets

The new committee and core group volunteers will be meeting on Thursday 21st November to review the AGM feedback and plan future activities. Plans include holding a social event in January and an activity for International Women’s Day 2020.

The meeting will take place Thursday 21st November 7.00 – 8.30 in Weymouth. Please get in touch if you’d like to come along!

WAND AGM – thank yous and goodbyes!

Our AGM took place on 30 September, and we were delighted to be joined by many old friends and some welcome new faces.

All three members of the existing committee, who have served WAND enthusiastically for a number of years, decided to step down and a new committee was elected.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the outgoing committee, among them some founder members of WAND, for their dedicated work and wish them the very best for their future endeavours.

Our thanks also to our staunch Patron Tracey West for her words of encouragement, reminding us of the incredible power of women’s networks to support the vulnerable and strengthen us all in our personal, professional and community lives.

The AGM was followed by thoughtful discussion about the future actions and direction of WAND. Watch this space for news!


WAND supporters invited to premiere of new documentary film

WAND Patron Tracey West has been instrumental in making a powerful new documentary film about female empowerment through tree planting in Kenya, to be released next month.

#TreesAreTheKey, by filmmaker Tyson Short and narrated by Kate Winslet, contains a blueprint for mitigating climate change and alleviating hunger and poverty in Africa. It documents the tree planters of Boré, Kenya, shining a spotlight on the women’s empowerment group Mothers of the Forest.

The 40-minute documentary has been made in conjunction with The Word Forest Organisation, a Dorset charity that plants trees, builds classrooms and facilitates education in rural Kenya.

Lyme Regis premiere

The film premieres at the Lyme Regis Marine Theatre on Wednesday 2 October before going on general release. The evening will include a Q&A with the Word Forest team. WAND members and friends are warmly invited to attend the screening. Tickets £7.50 in advance or £9 on the door.

Find out more about the Word Forest Organisation or buy premiere tickets.

Help shape the future of WAND!

Since its inception in 2010, Women’s Action Network Dorset (WAND), has promoted women’s rights and wellbeing through a combination of fundraising for women’s services and providing opportunities for women in Dorset to socialise and share their skills.

We’ve had a really great time and are very proud of all we have achieved. As we approach our 10th anniversary we are keen to review WAND’s outlook and activities to ensure it still reflects and caters for the needs of its supporters and the girls and women of Dorset – and we’d like you to get involved!

Workshop and free cream tea!

If you’re interested in shaping the future of WAND or getting involved with our work, then please come along to our workshop ‘Shaping the future of WAND’, which will include a cream tea and our AGM. We will have a discussion session where you can let us know what you think the priorities are for women and girls in Dorset, and how WAND could work towards achieving these. This is your opportunity to influence how WAND operates in the future – and maybe become a member of our network of wonderful women?

Join us!

If this sounds good, then come along on Monday 30th September, 6.30 – 8.00pm at Borough Gardens House, Dorchester. Feel free to bring a friend.

We hope to see you there.

Borough Gardens House is located in the corner of Borough Gardens, Cornwall Road, Dorchester, DT1 1RG. Free parking available at Fairfield car park from 6pm.