On Saturday, we had a fantastic time celebrating International Women’s Day at King Edward’s School in Handsworth. Our stand was right next to the cakes but we were meeting so many great people that we managed to avoid temptation! Good to see city representation from the Lord Mayor and Cllr Sue Anderson stopped by our stand to say hello as well. We felt very honoured to be part of such an inspirational day with other organisations such as Aquarius, the Samaritans, Christian Aid, Enta, Midland Heart and many others. To finish the day off on a high we bumped into Janet, a former money advice client. Janet introduced herself by saying “Birmingham Settlement saved my life” – high praise indeed! Check out the video below to hear Janet’s amazing story about overcoming adversity; it’s a wonderful reflection of the strength of women in today’s society.
We’re joining forces with Women & Theatre on 29th February to perform a unique piece of community theatre full of fantastic stories and tips, all designed to help people make their money go further.
As a charity, debt management is something at the very heart of our work so the 29th is planned as an Open Day, featuring money surgeries and advice, as well as a chance for potential volunteers to visit and find out more about what we do. It will then culminate in the performance, entitled ‘Make, Do & Mend.’
Make, Do & Mend is a project Women & Theatre have been developing across Birmingham over the last 5 months. The company has been researching with a variety of community groups to understand the issues people face, and collect advice and information to resolve any problems. They have had informal sessions and conversations, as well as running a series of intergenerational workshops to develop the project. The performances have been designed so that community members can join the company in the morning to be ‘reheased into’ the performance to share with audiences in the afternoon. This will create an exciting mix of professional and community performers – a participation technique Women & Theatre have delivered successfully a number of times.
Terina Talbot, Women & Theatre’s Associate Director said; “We’ve been working for several months with community members, and it’s looking very exciting. With stories and songs, and contributions from all generations, ultimately, it’s a feel-good piece of theatre that everyone can enjoy. So if anybody wants to get involved, or needs debt advice, or simply a good afternoon out – we’d encourage them to get in touch.”
All activities will be happening from 11am at the Centre for the Aston Family, 359-361Witton Road, B6 6NS. For more information or to book free tickets to the performance (which starts at 1.15pm) call 0121 250 0777 or email email@example.com
The following report was written by Aisha about her experience as a volunteer with Birmingham Settlement as part of the Global Xchange programme with Changemakers.
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to work with your organisation as a volunteer in the Sister2Sister project. My greatest appreciation goes to Chris who has constantly been in touch since October, Rahiel, Meena and the entire staff at the Centre for the Aston Family who were really supportive. It has been my great pleasure to work with Faeeza too as she is a lady with a vision, she really inspires me in so many ways. I have learnt new skills and other ways of doing things and I know this will help me in the near future.
During my period in the Sister2Sister project I have been involved in the following areas:
- Administration and planning:
- Helped in the preparation for registration (The CIC Form and the Application for Registration Form), the company’s Constitution (Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association) and the Funding Form.
- Assisted in coming up with the company’s Mission Statement, Objectives, Logo, Action Plan, and Calendar of Events.
- Prepared a questionnaire and a membership form.
- Participated during the re-launch dinner of the company, which was attended by 250 local women in Birmingham (I approached the women, introduced the company and also helped filling in of questionnaires and membership forms).
- Helped in the preparation of the company’s policies and procedures.
It was really interesting to see how the women in Aston community have the passion to learn new things and how they appreciate being involved in activities that aim to empower them. This was very evident through their turn up during the arts and crafts sessions we had and through the questionnaire response and the focus group.
Through Chris’ efforts I have also been able to meet Rachel from Birmingham Citizen Advice Bureau Services (BCABS), who has helped me see how the Human Resources Department operates in BCABS. She has fed me with sufficient information that I really needed to know and am also pleased to have had a chance to work with her though it was such a short time.
The experience that I have had so far has really changed my perception about the way things can be done within a very short period of time. I hope to use this experience to empower my community back in Kenya as soon as the programme ends.