To celebrate Community Relations Week, WINI held a special information day, ‘Message in a Bottle’ in Ardoyne & Shankill Healthy Living Centre.
The event brought women from diverse backgrounds and communities across North, South, East and West Belfast together to have a ‘community conversation’ exchanging views and experiences on common issues impacting on them, their families and communities; provide a platform where ordinary women could have their voices and opinions heard and provide the chance to express those views by sending representatives with a ‘message in a bottle’ to decision makers at Stormont.
The discussions were lively and the women were very vocal in their views and opinions resulting in a whole range of messages reflecting the themes of the debates including:
Health & Wellbeing
Women & Representation
A follow up event with Paula Bradley MLA was arranged for 24 June 2014.
Message in a Bottle reaches Stormont!
Following the WINI Women’s Words Project ‘Message in a Bottle’ event in Ardoyne & Shankill Healthy Living Centre on 16 June 2014, nine representatives who attended travelled to Stormont with WINI staff and a colleague from WRDA on 24 June 2014 to deliver the collective Messages to an elected representative.
Paula Bradley accepting the ‘Message in a Bottle’ from Julie Clark (WINI Board Member & Community Health Champion)
Paula Bradley MLA (Chair of the All Party Group on UNRS 1325) accepted the bottle and invited the women into Stormont where she facilitated a meeting in the Member’s Room. The event was a great experience for everyone, especially those women who had never had the opportunity to go to Stormont and engage with political representatives before today. Paula will meet with WINI members after the summer recess to follow up on the discussions.
A great big thanks to Paula, a true Women’s Champion from everyone at WINI!
The WINI Women’s Words Project is funded by the Community Relations Council
WINI consult with GIG Members on the Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy
The WINI Women’s Words Project working in collaboration with Children in Northern Ireland and the WRDA, held an all women consultation event on the new Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and DHSSPS.
The event took place in the Play Resource Centre on 9 April 2014 with women from across Belfast including some of those involved in the WINI Belfast Geographical Information Group (GIG) in attendance.
Gary Gregg of DHSSPS and Joanne McPadden of DOJ provided an overview of the new strategy and responded positively to comments and questions throughout their presentation. The women welcomed the opportunity to meet representatives from government departments face to face to discuss common issues that affect the lives of women and their families across communities in N.I. For many of the women it was the first time they were able to express their diverse views and experiences about domestic and sexual violence to senior civil servants, and put forward their thoughts and ideas on how such issues could be tackled more effectively resulting in fewer victims of this type of violence.
Gregg and Joanne assured the women that their views would be fed directly back to DOJ and DHSSPS and they agreed to come to another event in August and provide feedback. Information from the event was also used to help to formulate consultation responses to the new strategy by CiNI and the Women’s Regional Consortium.
The ‘Hey Girl’ Programme
The Hey Girl programme has finished for the summer break but will resume in the autumn with an exciting new programme! The programme was initially about addressing issues for women with a weight problem, however it has extended to include women who want to address issues of self-esteem or isolation. The group meets every Wednesday in the WINI training room in the Lisburn Road Offices. Formore information contact WINI 028 9083 2022. A full programme will be available at the end of the summer.
Women’s Food Cooperative and Volunteer Shoppers Outing
In partnership with Ardoyne & Shankill Healthy Living Centre and the Community Health Action Programme, WINI are organising a food sourcing visit to Dunbia Meats and Moy Park in Dungannon on 1 July 2014. The produce is less than half the price of the big supermarkets so it’s a great opportunity for volunteer shoppers and the women’s food cooperative to bag some bargains for over the holidays!
As an extra treat we will also be visiting Ranfurley House Arts & Cultural Centre.
Don’t forget to bring shopping bags/cool bags and cash!
Remember to bring a picnic lunch or alternatively you can buy lunch at the Ranfurley House café.
If you want to go on the outing or simply find out more about the food cooperative initiative, just contact WINI on 028 9038 2022 and be involved like our many volunteers!
Rachel Dennison Research and Policy Officer with Employers For Childcare Charitable Group is looking for parents to complete their annual Parent Survey. The results will be used to campaign for better support for parents from the Assembly.