Thursday, April 20, 2017

Change It and Progress to Success with Our Confidence Building Programme! 🙌

Earlier this year we launched our new confidence and resilience building programme for the women of Liverpool, and after a successful first cohort, we’re now recruiting for the next programme in May!

Change It, Progress to Success offers women the chance to be part of a circle that includes  8 personal development sessions and ongoing support from The Women’s Organisation team. During these circles, you will build a more positive outlook in all aspects of life; at work, at home, or in relationships. Our team will encourage you to think about what you would like to change and then help you to build the practical skills and confidence to take these steps.

Throughout the sessions and 1-2-1 support, you will learn more about yourself, think about how to become more assertive and break negative thinking habits. You will set achievable goals and begin to plan the future you want, and we hope that with our help, you will complete the programme with new skills, a positive attitude and a massive confidence boost!


The programme will take place in a number of Children’s Centres around the city, as well as at 54 St James Street, home to The Women’s Organisation. You can find your local ‘Change It’ here:

4-week programme:

The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB – 16th May, 10-3pm

8-week programmes (Excluding week commencing 29th of May due to School Holidays):

Picton Children’s Centre, 139 Earle Road, L7 6HD – 15th May, 9:30-11:30am
Wavertree Children’s Centre, 85 Wellington Road, L15 4LE – 15th May, 9:30-11:30am
Speke Children’s Centre, Conleach Road, L24 0TW  Fully Booked
Fountains Children’s Centre, Fountains Road, L4 1QH – 19th May, 1-3pm
Kensington Children’s Centre, 23 Quorn Street, L7 2QR – 22nd May, 1-3pm


We caught up with some of the women from our last round of circles to find out how they got on. Comments included:

“In June, I gave birth to my son. I used to be so business-minded but I just completely lost myself and my confidence. When I found out about Change It; Progress to Success, it gave me that confidence boost and the excitement each week to go to the Children’s Centre. I met my tutor and all the other women, they were there to listen and that was one thing I needed someone to do for me – to listen.” 

“The course and my tutor left me feeling empowered, supported and able to make the changes I want”

 “’Change It’ is boss! My tutor is great, very friendly and approachable. Positive thinking and assertiveness modules have helped me already in my day to day – I don’t want the course to end!”

“I did a ‘one-day’ confidence building course a few years ago and wanted to do more but at the time there didn’t appear to be anything between that and business start-up courses – so thanks for listening” 

Over the next three years, we intend to work with over 500 women developing confidence and helping women to see their true potential. Whatever age, background and stage of your life you may be at, Change It; Progress to Success will help you in building a better future.

If you are a woman and would like to book a place or find out more about the programme, please contact our engagement team on 0151 706 8111 or email hello@thewo.org.uk.


If you are an organisation and would like to refer someone onto the programme, or contact a member of the Change It team about opportunities, please contact a member of our engagement team on 0151 706 8111 or email hello@thewo.org.uk.




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Hectic Work Life Encouraged Laura Platt To Start Up Her Own Makeup Business And A Salon!

Working in the salon and experiencing the same thing every day was becoming tedious for makeup artist Laura Platt. So, Laura decided to set up her own freelance makeup business. The opportunities found along Laura’s journey has led her to opening her own salon in St Helens.

Prior to taking the plunge, Laura worked in a beauty salon for 12 years. Laura is still currently working here. She started off as an apprentice on a worked based learning scheme. As time progressed, so did Laura’s career and she was then promoted to Salon Manager. ‘I saw it as a great privilege.’

Laura in her own creation! 
There were a few barriers in the way for Laura. Her current employment was an issue as managers are not in favour of employees doing mobile work and working in the salon. Therefore, Laura kept her business secret for a year until she found the courage to tell her boss. In the end, I told her I’d been doing a few make ups and that now people were asking me to do more...She was very supportive of me and my business and I think it brought us closer together.’ But working 49 hours a week restricted Laura from doing make up after work.

After losing her social life and being run down by long hours, Laura decided to cut her hours down. This was vital for Laura as she needed to focus on her freelancing business. Business varied for Laura, ‘Some days I was full, some I had nothing in.’  Initially, this worried Laura as she had cut her work hours to work for herself but it wasn’t as busy as she had hoped. ‘But that soon changed!’


Some of Laura's work
Another significant barrier for Laura was her anxiety and panic attacks. ‘This has affected my business somewhat over the past few months. I’ve had to cancel or rearrange clients due to it kind of taking over my life.’ Driving around a lot and going into stranger’s houses ‘can be quite daunting and can be very stressful.’ However, Laura is determined to beat this and not let it affect her life or business.

‘I received loads of support from The Women’s Organisation.’

Laura was recommended by a friend to receive support from Enterprise Hub partner; The Women’s Organisation to help kick start her business. It was our drop-in event which Laura attended that got her initial business idea started. From there, a meeting was set up with Francine Taylor; a Senior Business Advisor, who ‘Was amazing. So, nice and friendly, and ever so helpful.’ Laura was booked onto several courses at the organisation, including: Planning for Success, Basic Bookkeeping and Become a More Confident You. ‘I absolutely loved every course I went on. I met such amazing inspiring women. Everyone had ideas and was so helpful.’ Laura stresses the fact that these courses are free and ‘Fabulous!’The help that we can get and it’s right under our noses and yet people just don’t realise.’ All the courses Laura attended gave her that boost of confidence she needed to start up her business.

There are two main aspects about running your own business that Laura enjoys. Creating a business in an industry you love is ‘Always great, most of my days are spent playing with makeup which I love!’ Laura’s income is also another factor as she is earning more money than she used to…’So I can treat myself a lot more, which is always great.’

Some more of Laura's work
Laura’s business is continuing to grow. ‘I’ve got my Facebook page up and running, my business cards are a huge hit.’ Laura’s boss has decided she is selling the salon and offered Laura to invest. So, Laura accepted! She is currently in the process of buying her own salon.

This is a fantastic opportunity for Laura as it has been established for 20 years. ‘I’ve worked there my whole time as a beautician so all the clients that come in know me, and now I have somewhere to set up a makeup studio!’ Reflecting on her business progress, Laura is proud of how far she has come. ‘I had very much started to become a plodder with my job, and now I feel like I’m an actual business woman.’

‘I’m so excited.’

For anyone thinking of starting their own business, Laura advises them to ‘100% get down to The Women’s Org, or even just look on the website at the courses they offer…I told my sister and she now has started setting up her own private therapy business thanks to the Women’s Organisation.’

So, what does the future hold for Laura in terms of her business? Laura hopes to become a ‘Makeup artist and nail technician to the stars!’

If you are interested in the service Laura offers, you can contact her using the contact details below:

Telephone: 0174422500        


And if like Laura, you have a passion and want to start up your own business, get in touch with us. Email hello@thewo.org.uk or ring us on 0151 706 8111


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

WoWFest 2017 Brings the Revolution to The Women’s Org for THREE Events in May

For seventeen years WoWFest has been showcasing a vibrant mix of top national and international guests, local talent and communities to promote and share their own writing, art and talent. This year marks 18 years of WoWFest, and we have paired up to hold not one, but THREE events here at 54 St James Street, home to The Women’s Organisation.



WoWFest is Liverpool’s radical festival that celebrates writing, diversity, tolerance, story-telling and humour through controversy, inquiry and debate. 

This year WoWFest 2017 will explore revolutions in literature and art, thought, ideas and practice; from our working lives through to the environment, Black Lives Matter and other new movements, technologies and relationships.

CEO of The Women's Organisation, Maggie O'Carroll, will lead in-depth discussions with two women that have once been at the centre of a 'media storm'. Vicky Pryce and Sharon Shoesmith will offer a compelling insight to the perception of women in the media as they share with us their stories.  


‘Prisonomics: Vicky Pryce’ 
Tuesday 9th May, 6pm
Tickets - £7/3

On 7 March 2013, economist Vicky Pryce and her former husband, MP Chris Huhne, were convicted of perverting the course of justice and sentenced to eight months in prison. Pryce accepted driving license penalty points, which were incurred by her husband. She has written and published a book, Prisonomics, based on her own experience, which analyses the economic and human costs of imprisoning women. Vicky Pryce is a Greek-born economist and former Joint Head of the United Kingdom's Government Economic Service.





‘Sharon Shoesmith: Learning from Baby P’ 
Wednesday 17th May, 6pm
Tickets - £7/3

In 2007 Peter Connelly, better known as ‘Baby P’, was killed by his mother, her boyfriend and his brother. Peter had been known to social workers, health professionals and police, and his death brought shock and devastation to those who had known him, many of whom had seen him only days before he died. Questions were asked about the causes of his death and the role of a range of services who knew Peter, yet failed to prevent his death. This led to a media and political witch hunt, aimed mainly at social workers, which had far-reaching consequences for children and the social work profession. Sharon Shoesmith, then Director of Haringey’s Children’s Services was sacked on ‘live’ TV by Ed Balls, the Labour Secretary of State, followed by four of her colleagues and a paediatrician. Sharon Shoesmith won her case for unfair dismissal against Ed Balls, Ofsted and Haringey Council in the High Court. She then returned to education, and has published a book, Learning from Baby P, based on her PhD which she achieved in 2015. It explores the case of ‘Baby P’, and the politics of blame, fear and denial, and attempts to understand those processes which were so prominent in the responses to Peter’s death, in the hope they can offer opportunities and lessons for all to learn and apply in the future. 
And finally, the last event will be a celebration of women who have rebelled to reclaim control, whether that be on a personal or a political basis. We will welcome guest speakers; Sabrina Mahfouz, Dashni Morad and Margaret Aspinall to 54 St James Street to offer inspiring and powerful accounts to the obstacles they have faced and overcome. 

Rebel Women
Tuesday 23rd May, 6pm
Tickets - £7/3

Sabrina Mahfouz is a London-based poet, playwright and writer. Her poetry collection, How You Might Know Me, explores four women’s lives, connected through their experience in different areas of the UK’s growing sex industry. She has also written anthologies such as The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write. She received a Fringe First Award for Chef and won a Sky Arts Academy Poetry Award.




Dashni Morad, 31, is an Iraqi Kurdish- Dutch singer, television presenter and human rights activist. Her debut album Hela Hupa was a successful controversy, being deemed ‘inappropriate’ by more conservative communities. Her work has been boycotted by TV channels, imams have preached against her at mosques and she has received death threats. Persisting against this negative backlash, Dashni continues to make music with intentionally open Western themes. She presented a talk show in 2010 where she discussed openly female issues, which remains taboo in Kurdish society.



Margaret Aspinall is the chairwomen of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, and has spent more than 26 years fighting for the justice of the 96 victims, having lost her own son in the tragedy who, following The Hillsborough Panel Report in 2012, was named as one of 58 victims who could have been saved had he received proper medical assistance after being lifted from the pen.


If you would like to purchase tickets to any of our three events, please contact the Philharmonic Box Office on  0151 709 3789.

Alternatively, you can purchase tickets online by heading to the link below:

Prisonomics: Vicky Pryce – Tuesday 9th May, 6pm - Tickets here

Sharon Shoesmith: Learning from Baby P - Monday 17th May, 6pm - Tickets here

Rebel Women – Tuesday 23rd May, 6pm - Tickets here

Monday, April 10, 2017

What You Need To Know About Defamation & Social Media

We live in a world where information can instantly be shared around the world in a matter of seconds. Information is freely exchanged and everyone is able to have a voice online via social media sites, blogs and forums. However, this means that damaging, false and harmful comments can easily reach the public sphere where they can be read by anyone and everyone.

We should all put a lot more thought into what we post online if we want to protect ourselves. Although lots of websites check comments and posts for hugely inappropriate comments and foul language, they rarely check the facts.

Anyone can post information with incorrect facts. Before you post something on social media, consider whether there is anything that could get you into a sticky situation, legally and professionally speaking.


What is defamation?

Defamation is basically the act of publishing false information. If this false information damages a company or individual’s reputation, they may feel the need to take legal action. It’s fair to say that defamation on social media is a ticking time bomb, and the best thing people can do is educate themselves about the risks.

Reputations can be destroyed in an instant by careless comments and posts, even when the information shared is not true. In the digital age, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are perfectly designed to quickly share information, but it’s surprising how many people don’t check what they are sharing.

People can go online whenever they feel hard done by or irritated by something and post negative comments. For example, sharing details of a negative employment experience, or spreading false rumours about a competitor who has poached your clients. It’s all well and good letting off some steam, but at what cost? These sort of comments on social media are public, and may come back to bite you.


There’s been a rise in defamation actions and with the increase in social media platforms where you can have a voice, it’s not surprising. The main issue is that a lot of people don’t understand that they are legally responsible for anything they write. Twitter is one of the biggest culprits, and with Tweets being shared at an alarming rate, one little comment can go a long way.

Defamation and social media - things to be aware of

If you run a small business or just want to protect yourself, there are some basic rules to follow.

      It’s always best to seek legal advice if you are concerned about anything you are posting on social media.
      Whenever you do share content or information, make sure it’s correct and truthful. Consider whether it would cause any harm to the person in question’s reputation.
      Educate yourself and be fully aware of your responsibilities online. Speak to your lawyer about things you can and cannot say, and know that whatever you post on social media, you are responsible for.
      Always remember that whatever you post will be publicly accessible as soon as you post it. Anyone could see it and share it.
      Keep in mind that it’s not just what you write that you need to worry about. You can also face issues if you share someone else's post, such as retweeting a Tweet on Twitter. ‘You may not have made the original allegation, but retweeting it could be seen as an endorsement. You could be accused of making a defamatory statement, and you could be sued.’ [BBC]
       Deleting a comment may not protect you, because other people may have shared or saved your comment. Although, the length of time it is visible could affect the amount of damages you would have to pay.

Please note, we can’t be held responsible for any of the above information, each case is individual and if you have any concerns you should seek legal advice right away. Should you find yourself in a defamation dispute in relation to social media, get in touch with Kirwans, as they can provide you with the legal advice you need.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

4 Reasons To Use Instagram For Your Business


As we know, social media is a dominant platform for driving your business. Alongside Facebook and Twitter is the photo based app- Instagram. Instagram allows you to get creative to attract customers for your business. The Women’s Organisation run a monthly course- ‘Instagram for Business’ - that will take you through the fundamentals of Instagram and look at how you can use this growing Social Media channel as a business tool. This course will help you to firmly establish your brand online and by the end of the day you will have been shown tools to create an online presence at no cost. Attending this course and reading our top reasons why you should use Instagram will provide you with vital information to use the tool successfully.

 
So, why should you use Instagram for your business?

Visual Content:
Visual content is key to boosting your marketing success. Instagram focuses solely on the visual as it is designed to engage and entice the viewer simply by their images. This app offers you several different filters and options to edit your picture that will boost your audience interest. Instagram enables you to produce photos and videos which can be shared to other social media sites as well as being embedded into your website or blog. Creating a unique and attracting photo can increase your audience.

Unlimited Characters:
Unlike Twitter, where you are limited to 140 characters, Instagram lets you have more words to work with. Having a strong image alongside a creative description is a successful combination to boost your business. You can include various hashtags in your description that will reach out to potential customers. Using the right hashtags can help you expose your brand to large and targeted audiences. Your chances of attracting new followers, getting more likes, and increasing engagement are vastly increased using hashtags.

Tell Your Story:
Every business has a story and a personality.  You can use Instagram to flaunt this and attract customers on a personal level. The audience would love to see the progress of your business, your staff or the celebration of your business’ birthday. Take advantage of photos and videos to really showcase your personality and connect with the world.

It’s Fun!
Instagram has endless possibilities for creativity. It allows you to tell stories, get creative, and create a visual identity for your brand in a fun way. You can experiment with your photos and edits to find the best fit for your images. This is a fun platform so take advantage!

If you would like to learn more about Instagram and how this can benefit your business, come along to our next ‘Instagram for Business’ course.  You can purchase tickets here , or contact us on hello@thewo.org.uk or 0151 706 8111 for further details and prices.
 
 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Did You Find Out How To Make Food Your Business With The WO?!

After the success and great demand of our previous 'Make Food Your Business' workshop, we held another one on Thursday 30th March hosted by Sabah Shams and Jenny Wallwork. As per tradition we served hot drinks with complimentary pastries.

The workshop was greatly attended and we received fantastic feedback!


We were privileged to host Nicky Gibson from Scrummies and Paula James from PJ Kitchens. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful speakers for their time and for sharing their valuable experience, along with top tips to ensure your business venture is a success!

Further, Nicky spoke about choosing the right location for your business as well as the legal requirements, and the common mistakes to avoid during the initial process. She also highlighted the importance of customer service and how it's the key to success.


In addition to this, Paula discussed the progression of her business from her Mother's kitchen to a premise and the imperative nature of compromise especially when it comes to altering your business services to match the market demand. Lastly, she advised that dealing with your staff should be commendable as an it will exude positivity and in the long run will have a great impact on your business.  

The morning also included small group and individual tasks to allow attendees to think about self-employment as an option. The session also covered the requirements of starting a food related business including: qualifications, legislation, insurance and much more!

Below is some feedback we received! 

'Excellent presentation and informative'
'Loved the Guest Speakers'
'Friendly and welcoming knowledgeable staff'

We also heard from Nickie after the event and one of the attendees had got in touch with her to let her know how inspirational she found her talk. Nickie then invited her to spend a few hours in her cafe to show her procedures and processes. Nickie said; 'I'm delighted I can help inspire people to open their own businesses, thank you for the opportunity!'

It was a great event all round! 


If you missed out and want to know more about the food industry as an option, please contact us to book an appointment with a business advisor. 0151 706 8111


Inspirational Afternoon at The Women’s Organisation as we Launch New Programme 'Change It; Progress to Success' 💪💪

Wednesday welcomed the official launch of our brand-new Confidence and Resilience Building Programme, set to support over 500 Liverpool women over the next three years. 

Change It; Progress to Success will reach out to Liverpool’s communities to support women from all backgrounds, ages and stages of their lives in building a more positive future for themselves at home, at work or in relationships.

The 8-session programme was designed by The Women’s Organisation in collaboration with Liverpool City Council Children’s Services and the Children’s Centres.

To celebrate the launch of the programme, we were joined by an incredible group of speakers including; Councillor Nick Small, Assistant Mayor of Liverpool and the Cabinet member for Education, Employment & Skills at Liverpool City Council; Councillor Liz Parsons; Manager of Picton Children’s Centre and David Parkinson, Policy and Learning Manager of Big Lottery Fund.


After a welcome and introduction to the programme by CEO of The Women’s Organisation, our very own Maggie O’Carroll, we were joined by Councillor Liz Parsons, who gave an inspiring talk on the experience of women and the importance of Liverpool’s Children’s Centres.

Liz said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Liverpool’s Children’s Centres are supporting Change It, the aims of the programme address many of the problems we speak about, but they also mirror my hopes of families. Change It helps women develop the skills they need to know what they want to do, to believe they deserve the opportunity to do it and to be confident enough to go out and grab the dream with both hands”.

The programme is supported by the Big Lottery Fund through Reaching Communities, a fund that supports voluntary or community groups to use their local knowledge, strengths and resources to make a positive impact and help the communities and people who are most in need. David Parkinson joined us from Big Lottery Fund to speak on the partnership and the work of Reaching Communities. And to formally launch the programme, Councillor Nick Small spoke about how important support for women is for the development of the city.


Perhaps the most memorable moment of the launch was the contribution of the women who completed the first Change It; Progress to Success in February. Sharing their experience of the programme, one course attendee said: “In June, I gave birth to my son. I used to be so business-minded but I just completely lost myself and my confidence. I was constantly cleaning and doing chores and I thought ‘this isn’t me’ .. When I found out about Change It; Progress to Success, it gave me that confidence boost and the excitement each week to go to the Children’s Centre. I met my tutor and all the other women, they were there to listen and that was one thing I needed someone to do for me – to listen.” 

Thank you to all the guests who joined us to celebrate the launch of our new programme – your support is invaluable! And a big thanks to the speakers; Councillor Liz, Councillor Nick Small and David Parkinson, and of course the women who have completed the first programme.

Change It; Progress to Success will be back in May running at several Children’s Centres around the city and from 54 St James Street, home to The Women’s Organisation. We will be making announcements on venues in the coming weeks – keep posted via our Blog, Twitter or Facebook!

To find out more information or to speak to a member of the Change It team, please contact 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk.