Through the More in Common Network, we’re building a movement of people who are skilled and confident in identifying and bridging divides. Nottingham Women More in Common group was one of two new additions to the Network in November 2023 – and they have been busy since! Having already been running events as Empowered Women UK, the group have made quite the splash with their Great Winter Get Together 2024 events being attended by around 140 people and we know that there is so much more to come.
We asked Sally Olewe-Richards, one of the group’s organisers, what prompted them to join the More in Common Network in the first place. She said:
“The work of the More in Common Network is very aligned with our own ethos and we found that activities we ran attracted women from different faith and ethnic backgrounds but long-standing friendships and a sense of sisterhood has been the key thing we’ve seen as an outcome from our work. Being officially part of the network gives some kudos to your work and helps connect you with other organisations and training.”
Choosing to launch their More in Common group in time for the Great Winter Get Together, Nottingham Women planned an event for the Friday which encouraged women in the area to come together over some hot drinks and discuss ideas for how the group should grow. On Saturday the group hosted an incredibly successful arts and crafts session which was open to all. The event attracted people of all ages and abilities – with participants ranging from 18 months old to people in their 70s.
Debra Webster, the organiser who ran the event, was invited to speak about the event on BBC Nottingham. Whilst speaking to the show’s host, Becky Measures, Debra says the event is open to everyone and that it ‘breaks up a grey January day’.
Sunday was jam-packed for the group, with two events happening. One of which was open only to women and focused on creating a safe space for wellbeing. The Nottingham Women More in Common group encouraged participants of the event to journal and to reflect with one another to build meaningful connections. The other Sunday event invited participants to engage in a workshop run with Fatoumata Keita to learn more about the traditional food of West Africa and try some samples. The event was open to all and was received brilliantly by the community.
Sally explained how “the people that came had mostly never tried African food but loved it” and that this has prompted the venue to plan a whole West African food night on Saturday 9 March. This event will be ticketed and hosted in aid of International Women’s Day, with proceeds going to a charity based in West Africa that focuses on helping women get medical care.
Sally says that the group’s projects and events “see deep friendships develop and a sense of sisterhood [that] supports women’s social, physical and mental health”. In 2024, the group plan to “develop and expand [and] create a volunteer network to build more capacity for women to come together for friendship and support.”
We couldn’t be prouder of the impact Nottingham Women More in Common group has made in their launch and can’t wait to see what else is in store!