International Women’s Day was on 8th March, and on Sunday 7 March, 3-5pm Women4Women in Lee held a “tea and cake” event to mark it. Given that we couldn’t meet in person, we held this very successful event via Zoom, and we were delighted to welcome 64 people!

The theme for this year was #ChooseToChallenge, which calls on us to challenge gender bias and inequality, as well as those limiting stereotypes that hold us all back, whatever our gender. We had a number of exciting speakers who addressed this theme from some very different perspectives:

Solent Bluetits, who swim in the sea all through the winter months, and completed their Arctic Flapper Challenge on IWD itself. Join or follow them on this link.

Louise Millar, champion power lifter for Ireland

Mandy Bright, from Gosport Voluntary Action. You can find out more on the  GVA website here.

Commodore Melanie Robinson RN, Commander of the Maritime Reserves based locally. Click here for more information on the Maritime Reserves

In the second part of the meeting we are launched the first of our Community Thank Yous.

Caring, which is frequently carried out by women, can be a thankless, invisible task, and especially so during the pandemic. We wanted to make visible those selfless individuals – women and men – facing this daily challenge.

Carolyn Barber from the Good Mental Health Co-op talked about their work, and Jane Wardner shared her experience as a local carer.

To find out more about the new carers support project being set up by Good Mental Health Coop as mentioned by Carolyn, whether to register or see what kind of support they offer, please visit this link: Good Mental Health Coop

We closed the event with a celebration of local Carers, Cllr Kathleen Jones announced the awards for those who had been nominated by others for their selfless work during the pandemic. In the middle we were delighted to hear the Portsmouth Military Wives Choir singing their signature tune, Stronger Together.

You can catch up with these here:

We followed this up by delivering a certificate and thank you gift to each of the carers after the event.

We were also pleased to be able to loan a small number of tablets to those who needed help accessing the internet for the event. If you know someone who would benefit from the loan of a tablet, whether to access a future event or get in touch with friends and family, we can help! . Just contact us on women4women@stfaithslee.org.uk

For more about Women4Women-in-Lee, click here: http://stfaithslee.org/women4women-in-lee/

Want to know more about this year’s IWD? https://www.internationalwomensday.com/theme