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Past Projects

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Women dancing, wearing salwar kameez

Working exclusively in two local neighbourhoods, this project supports women to become involved in community life.

As a result of the project over 200 women have become active members of their community, including women in both neighbourhoods who have formed parents’ groups to work with their local children’s centres.

 

Starting with success: a unique approach that puts women in control

The All Saints and Scotlands Project takes a distinctive approach to working with women. Developed by Participation Officer Bev Harvey, project workshops have been designed to give women complete control over their own learning journey.

Workshops begin with a review of each woman’s successes and skills before offering a range of creative activities for women to work on.  As well as building confidence and discovering hidden talents, the relaxed creative atmosphere provides the perfect opportunity for participants to explore new ways of getting involved in local life through volunteering, employment and community involvement.

Fun, challenging and demanding, the approach used in the All Saints and Scotlands Participation Project is proving to be a resounding success.

“Today’s session was brilliant … I’m looking forward to next week.” Emma

“I’d like to be an inspiring mother, to find a job, to help women who are victimised.”

Using the All Saints and Scotlands Participation Project as a springboard, Bev has been successful in securing an Arts Council grant to recruit local artists to work with women and their families to document their dreams and realities of living in the Scotlands.

The All Saints and Scotlands Participation Project is kindly funded by Wolverhampton City Council Community Initiatives Team.

 

Two women having their portraits taken

Artists Brendan Jackson, Geoff Broadway and Jo Loki from Laundry have created three original films that capture life on the Scotlands.  A fourth film was created by young artist Helen Sweeting.

The Scotlands has a population of about 3000 residents; 54% do not have a qualification; 60% of women are economically inactive, and 34% of men are economically inactive.  Despite the challenges this creates, there is a strong sense of community and family ties.  The films, which are the result of work with women and families on the estate, include photos, words and images recorded by and with residents and are a testament to the strong and vibrant neighbourhood.

 

“I really enjoyed seeing the ‘real’ Scotlands. Well done to everyone involved.”
Anita Dinham Relationship Manager for Music, Arts Council England

“I enjoyed the evening celebration the other week in Wolverhampton! I thought both the work on show and the event itself [were] really good and had a lovely community participation and engagement feel.”
Fred Richings, Principal Arts Officer, Dudley MBC

Supporting local young artist Helen Sweeting with a bursary grant, the project has given Helen the opportunity to be mentored by experienced artists and to learn about managing and delivering community arts project.

I applied for the position of bursary artist to work on the Dreams and Realities project because I was excited by the prospect of working with and learning from experienced project-based community practitioners.  The project exceeded my expectations and I’ve been able to explore different avenues for working with communities and to confidently develop my own artistic practice.

I worked with local community members, exploring their personal experiences and reflecting upon their memories of the estate and surrounding area.  I then created a visual response to these anecdotes, combining two familiar media in a new way, creating an integrated film of sound and photographs.

Working with Laundry, Women of Wolverhampton and the residents of the Scotlands has been a brilliant, positive experience which I’ve really enjoyed.  I’ve gained new skills and experienced different ways of working which will inform my future practice within community arts and also my own personal arts practice.  Thank you for this brilliant opportunity!

For full evaluation report visit our WOW resources section under the main resources heading.

 

The Dream and Realities project is kindly funded by the Arts Council and Wolverhampton City Council.

Health, Wealth and Wellbeing is a project specifically designed by and for women to address the day to day causes of stress and ill-health, such as money problems, unemployment and health issues.

Having identified the concerns of local women we are working with a range of community organisations, advice agencies, training providers and health professionals to provide tailored activities that address their top priorities.

We  have recently completed a series of workshops with Aspiring Futures to deliver creative, fun and practical workshops to help women to plan the action they want to take to improve their wealth and well being.  During May and June women from the Blakenhall and Whitmore Reans participated in a series of workshops that were creatively delivered by Bev Harvey- Participation Officer from WOW. The nature of the workshops were both innovate and inspiring for the Women.

 

The Health, Wealth and Wellbeing project is kindly funded by the Big Lottery through the Awards for All programme.