What we can achieve when we work together: celebrating International Women’s Day

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On Monday afternoon I had the lovely honour of celebrating International Women’s Day with Diyya, a group in Lye that supports women and their families by bringing them together, building their confidence and encouraging them to take advantage of opportunities to learn new things and develop their skills.

I’ve written about Diyya and about how my colleagues and I have supported this hardworking voluntary group over the years on this very blog. As a result of that post, I was contacted by Aiesha, who works for a charity called Creative Support (which encourages and enables people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and other needs to live independently and improve their quality of life through supported living, floating support, a horticulture project and a personal budget service). Aiesha was keen to link with Diyya and to explore how their work could complement each other to benefit the community. Monday’s event was the first joint activity organised by Diyya and Creative Support and from speaking to Aiesha and Diyya’s volunteers, it looks like it won’t be the last. Both recognise the greater value that they can bring to each other’s work and the increased benefits for health, wellbeing and inclusion for the people Diyya and Creative Support work with.

And there’s more good news! Since my last post about Diyya:

  • I’ve supported them to expand their project to include sports activities and secure a second grant from Awards for All
  • Diyya has grown from 10 volunteers to 13!
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From 3 volunteers when Diyya set up to a 13-strong team of passionate women

And since tweeting about my visit on Monday, Dudley Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations has contacted me to link Diyya with Love Claycroft TRA in Lye, which is holding a coffee morning at Lye Community Centre on Monday. I wonder if this will be the start of more joint-working in Lye. I hope so!


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