It was a bit different to previous years, but through the power of tech we were able to deliver a Dorset Women’s Day for these strange times!

It had some of the elements of the Dorchester events – the fun, friendship and empowerment – but like so much else this year, the action all took place in our kitchens and living rooms. In many ways the Zoom format was a positive, increasing the accessibility of the event for some participants. Of course it brought it’s own challenges and we thank anyone affected by the (thankfully very few) technical hitches for bearing with us!

2021 theme

Dorset Women’s Day after party ‘Choose to Challenge’ shot

In recognition of how difficult things have been recently we decided to theme our event around self care and wellbeing. We wanted to put on some really enjoyable and empowering workshops, and thanks to some fantastic workshop leaders we think we managed that.

The official theme for International Women’s Day in 2021 is “Choose to Challenge”, to raise awareness of the role we can all play in reducing gender inequality and creating a more inclusive world. The session on Women and Trade Unions, about how unions can help women facing inequality in the workplace really captured this well – see below for links to the UNISON presentation and resources.

Thanks to our supporters

Our HUGE thanks go to everyone who helped make this Dorset Women’s Day a success; our lovely workshop leaders and Zoom hosts, the WAND committee who put the event together and all the participants who embraced the virtual way!

Special thanks to ‘honorary Dorset woman’ Mike for his help designing the programme and creating the YouTube playlist.

Thank you also to our patron Tracey West for spreading awareness of the event and being speaking so powerfully at our after party.

WAND are doing some fundraising the Shine Project, a charity that works across Dorset to provide support to teen girls. Dorset Women’s Day has so far raised £223 for Shine through voluntary donations – deep thanks to all the generous contributors.

Check out our Dorset Women’s Day 2021 playlist on Youtube and Spotify.
Donate to the Shine Project here

In case you missed it or need a reminder, here are some links and resources for each of the workshops:

Women and Trade Unions

Led by Amanda, Becky and Jenny from the UNISON Women’s Self Organising Group.

The workshop informed attendees all about what a Trade Union is, and what Trade Unions can benefit to women in their work. This year’s official theme for International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge, and this workshop showed how unions can challenge gender inequality in the workplace.

View the workshop slides here.

Watch videos: UNWIND – Unison women in Dorset and the Dagenham Women’s Strike

Nature and Self Care

Led by Emma Pritchard

Emma is a qualified counsellor and life coach who works indoors and outdoors. In this session, Emma shared her passion for using nature to support wellbeing, relaxation and healing.

Find out more about Emma’s work at Dorchester Counselling and Wellbeing.

Follow Emma’s Self Care Sparkles on Facebook.

Vegan Curious

Led by Julia Forrest-Wilson

Julia shared her story as a vegan newbie, including some tips on the delicious plant-based foods that she discovered through the month.

Recipes: Try Julia’s recipes for hummous, plant-based dips and muesli.

Awakened Belly Dance

Led by Fiona Penfold

Awakened Bellydance is a multifaceted and self transformative process that combines Egyptian Bellydance, guided visualisation and energy healing into a moving meditation. In this workshop, Fiona focused on grounding, emotional balance and expression, to help us practice self care from the heart.

Find out more about Awakened Belly Dance.

Join a free 21-day Awakened Belly Dance course on Facebook live.

Yoga Flow to Music

Led by Carol Macartney

Carol has been inspiring and empowering women through yoga and dance for almost thirty years. For this session Carol offered “The Goddess Arises” gentle flowing yoga and celestial communications to mantric music.

Find out about Carol’s yoga tuition.

Detox Your Wardrobe

Led by Eloise from the Wardrobe Foundation and Alice from Buddy and Noo

Eloise & Alice shared some top tips for sorting, arranging and clearing out your wardrobe. They showed participants the best way to get started with your “detox”, so that your wardrobe really works for you and any unwanted pieces can go on to a new home. View their Wardrobe Detox Guide.

Follow Buddy and Noo:
Facebook: @buddyandnoo
Instagram: @buddyandnoo

Follow the Wardrobe Foundation:
Twitter: @WardrobeFounda1
Facebook: @WardrobeFoundation
Instagram: @Wardrobe_Foundation

Dancing for Health

Led by Dr Rosaria Gracia

Rosaria led a fun and nurturing session, which included a Somatic and fitness section (GYROKINESIS® stretches, Franklin method, Lebed method techniques) and short dances (from Latin to Bollywood, from 80s to current music).

Visit Rosaria’s website.

The Art of Handwritten Letters

Led by Dinah Johnson from The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society

Dinah’s session put the fun and meaning back into writing letters. Dinah shared about how The Society came into being and the adventures they’ve had along the way. Then inspired by Dinah’s tales, participants were encouraged to write and decorate their own letters.

Find out about and join the Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society, or read Dinah’s tips for getting started.

Cosy Home Spa

Led by Lindsay Moss, Neals Yard Remedies Independent Consultant

Lindsay invited participants to join her for an evening of self-care in a Cosy Home Spa session. Attendees treated themselves to a super organic facial and hand treatment, and learnt how to do a facial massage combined with some facial yoga exercises.

Contact Lindsay on Facebook or visit her online shop.

2 Responses

  1. A fabulous Day as always , thank you for inviting Unisons Womens Group” UNWinD “( Unison Women in Dorset ) to run a session . We love working with the wider community and women from all backgrounds . We learn so much from each other and offer support in times of challenge . We know our fight for equality goes on and we will achieve our goals if we all work together .
    Please join a Union , we are so much stronger when we work as a collective .

    1. Thank you Amanda, we were really pleased that UNWinD were able to offer a session for us and are grateful as ever for your contribution!

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