Empowering Women Brum - Diversity in politics

2018 was a big year for democracy, equality and an opening towards wider representation for minority groups. It was the centenary year of British women gaining the right to vote.

The `Empowering Women Brum’ project supported young volunteers to create opportunities for disengaged women to get involved in politics, as well as educating them on how politics shapes their lives. Examples of past and present-day active feminism were given.

We discussed and documented the role of the suffragettes in the fight for gender equality, as well as the role of current female politicians and activists. We organised visits to sites of interest, relating to the political history of women in the city (Birmingham). This included a free History Women's Tour to Coffin Works which was owned by the prominent business figure Joyce Green, and provided an insight in to the Working Rights of Women.

Inspired by the Suffragettes, we produced a documentary to commemorate figures such as Sophia Duleep Singh and their legacy of female empowerment; giving courage to under-represented groups such as BAME, LGBT and people with disabilities to stand up for what they believed in. We highlighted on-going struggles and explored the work that still needs to be done to make the UK and the world a fairer place.

The documentary presents stories from women in Birmingham, both past and present, who are involved in politics, activism or women’s rights academic studies.

View documentary on empowering under-represented women in politics 

Getting Close to Nature - Bringing nature into urban

Getting Close to Nature is a joint partnership with the National Trust designed to encourage parents and carers to get involved in exciting nature activities with their children. Now in its fifth year, hundreds of children have benefitted from the educational, social, fun and creative activities held at our local garden. 

The project reaches families with limited access to open green spaces. Activities are carefully planned using creative ways of interacting with children using natural resources that can improve the child's cognitive, physical, social and mental wellbeing. Activities can be easily done at home with the family; parents take away a lot of new skills to share at home.

Free play encourages children to think creatively and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the wider world. The project also helps communities to come out of their comfort zone, for example, we held an overnight outdoor camp for families to experience camping life.

 Wider benefits through Volunteering 

Every year the project is led by local volunteers. After completion of a Getting Closer to Nature Course, they are trained to deliver the following activities:

  • Bug Hotels
  • Bird Feeders and
  • Wildlife Habitats
  • Planting for Wildlife
  • Allotment Creation
  • Bush-craft and Survival Skills
  • Camp-craft and Overnight Camp

All volunteers were encouraged to learn about each of the activities, to develop their confidence, improve community cohesion and their local area. Some of the volunteers say the activities help their mental well-being as it gives them purpose. For those experiencing isolation, the project helps reduced their levels of loneliness. New skills are developed, which can be passed on to their children and the wider community.

Each volunteer was awarded a recognition certificate for their involvement.