16 Days of Activism Penzance

Calling for an end to all gender-based violence, this year’s 16 Days of Activism Penzance campaign, takes place in and around the town from Saturday November 25th through to Sunday December 10th.

Open to all, West Cornwall Women's Aid and other local organisations have put together a varied programme of events throughout the 16 Days, focusing on raising awareness around the issues of gender related violence, promoting healthy behaviours and wellbeing, as well as inspiring action to bring about real change.

On Saturday November 25th, dancers from The Big Dance Company will again take to the streets of West Cornwall to perform a Flashmob with a powerful message. Highlighting the damaging effects of domestic abuse on children and young people, watch out for them in Camborne, Redruth, Truro and St Ives.

A focal point of the 16 Days is the Take Back The Night Walk and Vigil, remembering and honouring all the women who have lost their lives at the hands of their partner, or former partner, or someone they know. Join this year’s walk on Wednesday November 29th, leaving at 5.30pm from Wherrytown Skatepark, along the Promenade to St Mary’s Church, Chapel Street, where a candlelit vigil will be held. Looking to raise awareness and call for accountability, everyone is welcome to walk in solidarity together, be up-standers not bystanders, and help bring about an end to gender-based violence, both in our community and the wider world.

Other events include:

Lizzie Matthews, Chief Executive Officer at West Cornwall Women’s Aid said:

“Violence against women and girls remains a constant threat, which we only need to look at the number of high profile stories in the media in recent months to be aware of. We are calling on our local community to show their solidarity by joining us on 29th November and sending the message that gender-based violence must end.”

£2,950 grant funding has been provided by Penzance Council for the event and the wider 16 Days of Activism. Mayor of Penzance, Cllr Stephen Reynolds, said:

“This is a powerful event with a powerful message, on an issue which is too often seen as someone else’s problem. We owe it to current future generations to call out gender-based violence, and to do all we can to make where we live a safe space for women and girls.”

All dates, times, venues and booking information, are listed on the website  www.16dayspenzance.co.uk  or Facebook page www.facebook.com/16dayspenzance.

World Menopause Day 2023

Roughly half the world's population will experience a life-changing health condition, which if ignored could contribute to an increase in disease and illness, an increase in mental health issues and an increased likelihood of job loss and relationship breakdown.

Historically, this health condition has been stigmatised and talk around it silenced, because of ingrained societal sexism and ageism. People experiencing symptoms have felt embarrassed and ashamed to talk about what they're going through.

On World Menopause Day, we want to amplify the existing conversations taking place about menopause, and encourage new conversations to start. We want to expand and share understanding of perimenopause.

We want to recognise the impact of menopause on physical and mental well-being, and help breakdown the stigma surrounding the symptoms.

We are committed to supporting our staff and service users going through perimenopause and menopause, and reflecting those lived experiences in the support we offer.

For help and support visit:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/help-and-support/

#worldmenopauseday

Banner Workshops

Join WCWAid and Liz Tyrrell, maker of the iconic Penzance town flags, at our free banner making workshops in October and November.

We will be creating and collaborating on individual and joint pieces, designed to be carried and displayed during the Penzance memorial walk and vigil, honouring the lives of women and girls lost to male violence.

Since the start of the year, 78 women and girls over the age of 13 have been killed in circumstances in which a man or men are the main suspect in the UK.

Our workshops will offer all women a safe space to express their loss and commemorate the lives of those women through a creative outlet. Members of staff will be alongside to support those who attend.

To book a place, please contact communityservices@wcwaid.co.uk or call 01736 367543 and ask for Hayley.

Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Online Experience at WCWA 

We have installed the Recite Me accessibility toolbar to allow website visitors to customise the layout to best suit their needs. You can find specific guidance on what each button does below, or find out more about Recite Me by visiting their official user guide.

1 in 5 people in the UK has a disability that can prevent website users from reading and understanding online content. Those who are most susceptible to access barriers are those who struggle with: 

Recite Me assistive technology provides support for all of these, making our website inclusive and a place where people can access information hassle-free.

To access the assistive toolbar on our website, click the Accessibility Tools button at the top of our website, next to our helpline number. 

International Women's Day

On Wednesday 8th March 2023, West Cornwall Women's Aid came together to celebrate International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

As part of our celebrations, we created a wellbeing room - a space designed to bring comfort, restfulness and safety. We invited women to spend time in the room; some used the opportunity to reflect on empowering questions, some engaged in calming activities such as colouring in, and some gave themselves permission to just be.

The room embodied the feelings of peace and security we hope to give the women we support, through empowering them to create their own safe spaces.

We also held a number of workshops, including Laughter Yoga, Community Choir and Cornish Language. One participant told us: “I’m so glad I came today, this is the most fun I’ve had in years. Thank you so much, I’ve really enjoyed myself.”

We wanted the women we work with to feel nurtured and cared for, so we joined with a number of local businesses and organisations to offer a range of activities, including hair, nail and makeup sessions, a pre-loved clothing stall and an affirmations tree. We also shared a communal lunch and Food for Families provided a stall with food items available for those in need.

We would like to thank the following organisations for their contributions to this year's International Women's Day:

Jenkin’s Sweets Helston, Tescos Helston, Food for Families, One Blue Eye Helston, Morrisons Penzance, Frame Homes, The Pitstop Penzance, Boo Koo’s Helston, Panorama – Tinman, The Community Choir, Katie Rose White  “The Best Medicine”, Katy McGarry MUA, Cornwall Hygiene Bank, GOFA, Judith and Sarah who delivered our Cornish Language Workshop, Cornish Precious Memories.

Open Afternoon

What an honour it was to be able to commemorate our 35th anniversary with the women we work with and our local community. Many thanks to all who attended.

Thank you to Godolphin WI, who presented a cheque for an amazing £500.

We couldn't have hosted this event without our hardworking staff and volunteers. Special thanks to Gill for the delicious cakes and WCWA cake-toppers!

The greatest thanks goes to the women who read and contributed their writing. Hearing and reading the words of these women was both humbling and empowering. Thank you for your courage, honesty and strength.

Friday 25th November

An amazing turnout for the walk and vigil WCWA helped organise as part of the 16 days of action campaign.

Photo credit Greg Martin / Cornwall Live

Consultation survey

West Cornwall Women's Aid has been delivering services which support women and children who have experienced domestic abuse and/or sexual violence for 35 years.

We want to find out which of our services are working well and what we need to change. We would like to find out what we need to do differently and what we need to start doing which we are not doing now. All of our services are free to access.

To have a voice in shaping and improving our services, follow the link below to complete our survey. All feedback is anonymous.

https://forms.gle/KbBs5bwMigCrvdtU9

Solidarity walk and vigil

Join us on Friday 25th November as we honour and remember the women who have lost their lives to male violence.

Together with other local organisations, we will be holding a solidarity walk in Penzance. Starting from Wherrytown carpark and proceeding to the Methodist Church on Chapel Street, the walk will be followed by readings, performances and a candlelit vigil. There will be hot food and drink available to buy, with proceeds going towards our continued work with women and children who have experienced domestic abuse.

Woodland Wellbeing

Last week, we visited Heart of the Woods for a Woodland Wellbeing day. Cubit woods is a privately owned space, so our women were able to relax and enjoy the soothing surroundings. We walked, whittled, created mandala art using natural materials and ate nourishing food cooked on an open fire. A wonderful, wild day.