Manchester Community Central (MACC) held their annual Spirit of Manchester Awards last night (6th October) and members of Inspiring Change Manchester’s Women’s Voices Lived Experience Group, our Programme and Engagement Team went along.
The Spirit of Manchester Awards recognise examples of “great community spirit and all that’s best about the voluntary sector”. There are a number of different award categories, such as Best Service User Involving Organisation and Best Partnership Project. Women’s Voices were delighted to be nominated for the Equalities Award for challenging inequalities and discrimination, and making an impact in the City.
This year, MACC offered the opportunity for a member of the group to be trained as a community reporter; producing and editing a video which would be premiered at the awards ceremony. Bridget was our community reporter and did a fantastic job! Have a watch of the video below…..
Women’s Voices is a group of women with lived experience of multiple disadvantages who have come together to empower other women across the city to have their voices heard in decision making and in shaping services.
A huge moment for them came in March 2016 when months of planning resulted in the first ever Manchester Women’s Sector Conference. It was a ground-breaking example of the power of co-production and partnership working, providing a platform for women who face severe and multiple disadvantage to ‘Speak Up, Step Out’. With attendance from decision makers, staff, charities and women with lived experience the event focussed on working collaboratively and tackling gender inequality head on.
Their work is going from strength to strength; forging links between women’s services and developing a ‘Manchester Women’s Action Plan’ that will help find new ways of making sure that women are empowered and involved. Through their involvement in the Manchester Homelessness Charter, the group recently held a ‘Speaking Up, Chillin’ Out‘ peer research event for women who are currently homeless to share their ideas and opinions around the redesign of Women’s Direct Access.
After some fun interactive voting on the night, the 2016 Equalities category was awarded to Samuel Remi-Akinwale of the RECLAIM Project – a well deserved win in a very strong equalities category! Women’s Voices were really inspired by Samuel’s leadership in the #EnoughisEnough campaign focussing on racial inequalities and coinciding with the birthday of Stephen Lawrence, who would have been 41 last year.
We also want to say a big congratulations to our ICM partners – Back on Track (Volunteer Involving Organisation) and Self Help Services (Service User Involving Organisation) who both won in their categories.
Throughout the night, Women’s Voices met other organisations, groups and individuals who are making real change in the City and are now looking ahead to working together in the future.
Women’s Voices have lots of events coming up in the near future and if you want to hear more, or want to get involved, you can get in touch with them on the contact details below.
phone: 0344 515 1735