Agenda is a new organisation set up to campaign on behalf of Women and Girls at risk. Their focus is on women and girls with multiple needs, their different experiences of the services available and encouraging a gendered perspective in service delivery.
Agenda’s parliamentary launch took place on the evening of Tuesday 19th January 2016. It was held in the River Room of the House of Lords and was attended by about 80 people, made up of Agenda members, parliamentarians, peers, as well as women from a wide range of supporting charities.
The launch was an opportunity to speak to attendees about their own experiences and what they would like to see happen with services and intervention in the future. Agenda were looking for a woman from Inspiring Change Manchester to tell her story and to talk about what she thinks needs to happen to help women in similar situations in the future. Sascha volunteered to speak and I was fortunate enough to accompany her to London to support her and to learn more about Agenda.
Sascha joined an impressive line of speakers – Baroness Lola Young, Chair of Agenda, Katherine Sacks-Jones, Director of Agenda, Caroline Dinenage MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Family Justice, and Kate Green MP, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities. She delivered a hard hitting speech that had the attendees tweeting their respect and good wishes before she’d finished talking; I was so proud of her.
It was an emotional evening but, at the same time, it was uplifting and exhilarating to have so many women in the same room who all felt so passionate about a common cause.
As we left Westminster, taking photographs of an illuminated Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, it felt surreal but an experience neither of us will ever forget.
(Blog photo of ICM GROW trainees, Rachel and Sascha, at the Agenda Parliamentary Launch)