Fiona Jamieson, shared with us at our 2016 AGM about The Robertson Trust’s vision to set up, two women’s centres in Scotland. She shares here an update on the first of these:
Heart and Soul – the journey so far…
Over the summer months, in order to generate some real interest amongst the women of Cumnock, Valerie, the Development Manager, ran 3 successful Ladies Days in Cumnock Town Hall where Centrestage (the organisation hosting Valerie’s role) offered afternoon tea, zumba, singing, art & crafts, make up, nails and various alternative therapies. We were delighted to see the numbers of ladies attending growing with each successive day. Following on from these Ladies Days, Valerie contacted and then engaged with many more local women and so the momentum began to grow.
Now the women meet weekly to discuss and update their plans for the Heart and Soul, a name they chose themselves. Naturally, this same group of women were actively involved in scoping the local area for a suitable building and this in turn has facilitated many meaningful discussions around their perceived needs, likes and dislikes, as well as heightening excitement for everyone involved. The building that was eventually chosen is in the town centre and was, until recently, operating as a wedding shop. Most of the women knew the property and after an initial visit, it appears to have exceeded everyone’s expectations.
We are now entering a very exhilarating time as the centre is becoming a reality and the women are being involved in decision making around the refurbishment. The women already have many plans and aspirations for the centre; this includes a social enterprise café, recreational activities and specific services depending on their individual requirements. As the building starts to look warm and welcoming we are confident it will create a safe non-stigmatised environment which will empower the women to build positive social networks and of course, we are all very excited about the potential to be inclusive and intergenerational.
We anticipate being in residence by around March 2017. Please come and see us when we open.