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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.

Wake Up Women – A Year of Empowerment: Launching at the WAND AGM

You are invited to join the launch of WAND’s ‘Year of Empowerment’ at our AGM, on Wednesday 11June, 18.00 -19.30 at the Borough Gardens Cottage, West walks, Dorchester.

Our guest speaker, Gill Donnell MBE said “I am really thrilled to be asked to speak at the WAND AGM and look forward to supporting the launch of their ‘Wake up Women – A Year of Empowerment’ campaign”.  Gill’s website ‘Unlock Your Daughters’ details her expertise in motivating women, and is sure to get the year off to a good start.  Gill has kindly donated a signed copy of her latest book, ‘Celebr8 Success’  as one of the prizes, in the free prize draw for all women attending.

Sue Bickle, Wand Chairwoman added “WAND is celebrating 10 years this year, and we will be running a programme of activities throughout the year, to encourage women to take control of their lives, step out of their comfort zones and try something different”

If you come along to the AGM you can bring along two items of clothing, jewellery of accessories, and take part in a free ‘swish‘ where you can swap the items with other women .

The WAND committee will also be serving up a delicious cream tea!

For information on the event, or for more information about the organisation  email, or telephone Emma on 01305 252204.


Dorset Women’s Day is nearly here!

It’s nearly time for Dorset Women’s Day – this year being held on Saturday 1 March at the Dorford Centre from 10am-3.30pm.

The draft programme is now available.  We hope you can join us for a fantastic day.

Both our amazing Patrons will be attending: Harriet Walters, actor and writer and Tracey West, author, broadcaster and poet.

Harriet Walters said “It is great that WAND are focusing on women today March 1st, but let’s make sure women all over the world are listened to and noticed on all of the remaining 364 days of the year as well.”

Tracey West said “This is an absolute celebration of what we busy Dorset women can achieve. Today is a great day for putting aside our troubles and revelling in sisterhood and crafty creativity.”

WAND Reclaim the Night in Dorchester

Our Reclaim the Night for 2013 was a brilliant evening and raised a fantastic £526.70 for the Women’s Refuge.

The evening started with a drumming workshop from Organic Rhythm.  We then took the drums on a march thorough Dorchester.  Following a light supper (made by our wonderful catering team), Tracey West (WAND Patron) led the charity auction.  The mo neyraised will be used to take the children saying at the refuge to see a pantomine and enabling them to buy their mum’s a Christmas present.

A huge thank you to all those who attended and gave so generously – including two incredibly generous donations of £200 and £25.

A massive thank you to all those who donated the prizes including: Dorchester Beauty Therapy, ToyMaster, Naturlife, Melbury, Joshuas, Goulds, Steptoes, Gilded Teapot, Morrisons – Weymouth, Tracey West, Waterstones, Harriet Walter, Poundbury Garden Centre, Cherryade giftshop, The Half Moon Bead Shop, Isquiggle, Asda, Mark Anderson, and Splashdown Poole.


A Fabulous Frock Market

Saturday 9 November saw us hold our 7th Frock Market – this time with a Christmas Craft Fair.  While a little quieter than we would have hoped it was a great day.

New WAND contact details

Please note we have a new email address: wanddorset@gmail.comApologies if you’ve been trying to contact us on our old email address.   


The WAND AGM will take place on Wednesday 3 July at Borough Garden’s House, Dorchester from 5.30-7pm.

This year’s guest speaker is Pauline Monk who will be talking about the fantastic work of the Purple Teardrop Campaign and their local work against human trafficking and sexual exploitation as well as her role in the Poole Soroptimist.

Come along and enjoy a cream team, learn more about WAND and hear about some inspirational local activities.

AGM Poster 2013

WAND AGM 2013 invitation letter and agenda

Proposed changes to the WAND Constitution

WAND New Constitution 2013

Dorset Women’s Day 2013

This year’s Women’s Day will take place on Saturday March 9th 2013 from 10AM – 4PM Dorford Centre Dorchester.  The event celebrates International Woman’s Day this year being celebrated on 8th March.

Admission to this event 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.

There will be something for everyone from a host of stallholders promoting everything relating to womanhood as well as a varied and exciting range of workshops.  These will include:-

  • The Poetry of Divorce – by WAND patron Tracey West – Poet, author and broadcaster
  • Jewellery making – with long-time WAND supporter Cath Coffin –  local artist and instructor
  • Singing Workshop – with WAND member Hilary Foggo
  • House of Colour – presented by Vicky Gray – a welcome return to a WAND favourite!
  • Basket weaving – with Cath Prately: £10.00 (please book in advance)

New this year will be THE RUMMAGE ROOM – an opportunity for people to donate any unwanted women’s clothes, accessorises and books (all clean and in good condition) and pick up something new to you – GOK WAN style comes to Dorchester!  Proceeds will go to WAND to support other events.

Click here to see the Final Programme DWD 2013 (4 March) (subject to minor changes).

Further information can be obtained from Emma on 01305 252204 or Toni on 01305 848689

If you would like to have a stall at this event or simply like to learn more about WAND, please get in touch.



Reclaim the Night 2012: a fantastic night

Reclaim 2012

Here is a photo from the Reclaim the Night event on Saturday to highlight the International end Violence Against Women day and campaign that was held by the Women’s Action Network Dorset (WAND) at Dorchester Town Hall on Saturday night.The event began with a drumming workshop with the excellent ‘Organic Rhythm’.  Once we were warmed up and had learnt some samba rhythms, we took to the streets, despite the rain, with our drums beating out a shared song to ‘reclaim the streets’.  We had a great response form those brave locals who were also out in the rain and had people joining in and dancing as well as waving us on.

Then we went back to the Town hall where we had a shared supper and held an auction to raise money for children living in the West Dorset Refuge this Christmas.

The auction prizes were donated by local business, who despite difficult times were extremely generous and helped WAND to raise over £200 which will be used for the children living in the refuge this Christmas to go to the pantomime and give them a bit of money to buy a present for their mum.

Despite the terrible weather conditions we had a good turnout for this event which helps to remind people of the very serious and devastating harm caused by living with domestic violence and abuse.  You can see an article from Dorset Echo at:

If there are any women out there who are suffering in this way there are places that they can go for help. They can call the West Dorset Refuge helpline which is staffed 24 hours a day on 01305 262444 or contact the countywide outreach service – Youfirst on 0800 0325204.

Reclaim the Night 2012

Reclaim will be taking to the streets on Saturday 24 November to highlight International End Violence Against Women Week. The march, preceded by a drum workshop at the Town Hall is an annual event, and is supported by West Dorset District Council.

The female only event begins at 7pm at Dorchester Town Hall. Following the march, a light supper and charity auction will take place at the Town Hall.  The auction will be raising funds to  provide a Christmas treat for the children who will be living at West Dorset Women’s Refuge over the Christmas period, and will also help provide them with an allowance to buy a Christmas present for their mums.

Please help us to promote the event by forwarding this email on to anyone you think might be interested in joining us and also putting up a poster (if you would like me send a hard copy just let me know).

Tickets for the Reclaim the Night event, which includes a light supper, and the auction, can be purchased priced £3 from West Dorset Tourist Information Centres. Call Emma 01305 252204 for more information, details on how to donate an item, or to buy a ticket for the event.