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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!

#TreesAreTheKey

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.

Dorset Women’s Week – programme launched!

Dorset Women's Week Poster 2016WAND is thrilled to launch the Programme for Dorset Women’s Week!

Running from 5 to 12 March it is in celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2016.

The week begins with a performance from Rosemary Hawthorne – aka the Knicker Lady! Rosemary, much loved actress, fashion historian and author, will be bringing her famous collection of knickers – and other things to the Brownsword Hall in Poundbury (Dorchester) on Saturday the 5th March from 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets at £12 are available here.

Other Dorset Women’s Week activities include: the opportunity to visit the Dorset History Centre and discover some surprising stories of women who have lived and worked in Dorset. You are also invited to a friendly evening session at the Winterbourne Hospital when you can get free advice and information on a range of women’s health issues. Or you could attend an empowering workshop to build your body confidence, join a stress busting workshop and learn techniques to manage your stress levels. Perhaps you would like to learn how to craft a beautiful necklace or spend an afternoon watching the film Suffragette. WAND also encourage you to join in with a very relaxing yoga class, attend a talk to hear the reflections of a female chief constable or join a unique session where you can develop your assertiveness skills through working with horses. If music is more your thing there is an inspiring concert programmed with singer-song writer Magdalena Atkinson. Plus you could take part in an uplifting guided nature walk with the RSPB or participate in some really super sports and leisure activities in Gillingham, Portland or Sherborne.

Dorset Women’s Day

Dorset Women’s Week culminates with the 11th annual Dorset Women’s Day to be hosted by WAND! This will take place at the Dorford Centre Dorchester on Saturday 12 March from 10am – 3.30pm. Regular attenders of the event will know that it offers something for everyone and this year is no exception. The day will be packed with a varied and exciting range of workshops and including: photography, crochet, mindfulness, jewellery making, laughter yoga, painting, singing and card making. Plus Gabriela Lerner, established Raw Food Nutrition and Health Coach will introduce you to the amazing health benefits of raw food and how you can easily integrate raw food into your diet.

A highlight for this year is that the esteemed author and broadcaster, Kate Adie who became a familiar figure to viewers through her work as BBC Chief News Correspondent, will be giving a talk entitled “A correspondent’s life”. Kate will share with her audience insights into her career, including how she came into journalism and key and historic moments she has faced. Reserve a place at Kate Adie’s talk here.

There will also be a range of stallholders promoting everything relating to womanhood with the opportunity to find some wonderful hand made items.

And following the success of last year, the RUMMAGE ROOM is back again! This is an opportunity for people to donate any unwanted woman’s clothes, accessorises and books (all clean and in good condition) and pick up something new to you. Proceeds will go to WAND to support other events.

WAND patron Tracey West – broadcaster and author says “as a proud Patron of WAND You have no idea how excited I am that this year’s Dorset Women’s Day is upon us. In recent months, I have been personally reminded of how hard it can be to dust yourself down from a painful past and to find your mojo again. Rising up above a difficult situation that you are seemingly unable to influence, is exhausting – I am sure our special guest this year, Kate Adie, will testify to that – but rise up above it you must. Dorset Women’s Week offers a crash course on precisely how to do it. You need a sprinkling of uplifting friends and sisterly support, you need creative projects and free workshops to immerse yourself in and kindred spirits within your circle who will not judge you. You need a boost to your self esteem and to believe in yourself again – get involved in Dorset Women’s Week and feast on the positive energy that surrounds it! I look forward to seeing you there”.

Admission to Dorset Women’s Day is free and is open to women of all ages and backgrounds.

Free crèche facilities will be available together with the opportunity to purchase delicious home-made cakes and refreshments lovingly prepared by WAND volunteers.

For full details of Dorset Women’s Week activities please check the Programme and contact the organisers directly.

Please note that free hard copies of the programme will also be available from the following locations (from 19 February):

  • Bridport, Dorchester, Sherborne and other local Libraries
  • Bridport, Dorchester, Sherborne and Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centres
  • Bridport Arts Centre
  • Dorchester Town Council
  • Bridport Town Council
  • West Dorset District Council
  • Sherborne Town Council
  • Oxley Sports Centre – Sherborne
  • Riversmeet Leisure Centre – Gillingham
  • Waterstones – Dorchester
  • Local Village Halls
  • Other locations – keep your eyes peeled

All details correct at time of press but may be subject to change.