Monday, May 22, 2017

Working from Home vs. Working from the Office - Which One Wins?

A surge in self-employment over the past few years has spurred debate around working environments. One of the very benefits of self-employment and ‘being your own boss’ is the ability to work from home - but does it beat the office? 



Granted, working from home has many benefits; no over-head costs, eliminating traffic and daily commute, proximity to home and family and best of all, ability to complete a working day wearing slippers and pyjamas. 

However, we think that office space is still something to shout about. 

Of course, it’s all about finding what works for you and your business. Whilst office space is undoubtedly more expensive, ‘office space’ doesn’t have to mean traditional rented space. In today’s business landscape, an office can be your favourite table in a coffee shop, the library, a hired co-working space – pretty much anywhere that offers WiFi, and in this day and age, where doesn’t have WiFi?

So, what are the benefits of working in an ‘office space’?

Your working-day has a definitive start and finish:



If you are always home, abiding by pre-defined working hours requires a huge amount of self-discipline. When you work from home you never really ‘enter’ or ‘leave’ the office, so it becomes all too easy to have that extra hour in bed or carry on working past your ideal working hours.
On the other hand, time management is integrated into office-life. You will most likely have a generic start and finish time, lunch hours and breaks. Early mornings and punctuality become routine and easier to follow.

Is the work life balance of working from home a myth?:

When you work from home, your colleagues assume that as your home is your office, you are always available. This makes it harder to shut off from work. If you know that colleagues or customers can and will contact you at any moment of the day, you’re more likely to check emails and take calls.
However, when you leave an office space, colleagues generally assume that once you are unable to contact. This helps you to mentally switch off from your working day and detach ‘work’ from ‘life’.  



Interaction with others:

When you run a business single-handedly, it’s important to be out and about as much as possible. We all know the benefits of networking and how the majority of business stems from recommendations. But, it’s important to remember that networking doesn’t just take place at events, it happens in coffee shops, hallways, communal areas, meetings. Being part of a business community, such as 54 St James Street, and interacting daily with various kinds of people opens many possibilities.

If there is more than one of you in the business .. interaction with colleagues:

Sharing an office environment with colleagues allows you to understand the business more – you will have a more thorough understanding of the long-term plan of the company.
Additionally, increased face-to-face interaction is great for staff morale, building a better team ethic and developing your communication and interpersonal skills. 



Increases creativity:

Being able to bounce ideas from your colleagues is great for creativity. Sometimes a ‘silly idea’ said out loud can blossom into a fantastic outcome, and these are conversations that wouldn’t have happened from separate locations. 

Increases productivity:

Distractions in the work-place are far different to distractions at home. At home, a distraction could be dishes, a knock on the door, a stack of ironing, or whatever else. In the office, a distraction is usually still work-related, so your productivity isn’t affected because you are still working.

If you’re looking for the right workspace for you, we have a number of options suitable for all types of business available at 54 St James Street.

Office Space:

54 St James Street was designed to provide a light, modern, welcoming and distinctive addition to city life. If you are looking for office space, we currently have spaces available to fit businesses of 2-5 people. 54 St James Street was developed as part of the 'WICED' project to create a Women's International Centre for Economic Development. Our building is a flagship facility for female enterprise and home to many women-led businesses, for this reason we are looking for female-led businesses to fill the available office space. 



Hot Desking:

Hot Desking is an innovative alternative to traditional office space – it is a pay-as-you-go service with no ties that allows you to hire desk space as and when it suits you. This can be particularly useful if you are self-employed or travelling for business and crave the office environment, but don’t require a full office. To find out more about our Hot Desking services, head to the blog. 



Siren:

Siren is our on-site café and catering partner, it’s also the light, bright and welcoming home to many of the Baltic community who pass through each day for coffee or a hearty and delicious breakfast or lunch. With free WiFi, it’s the perfect environment to pull out your laptop and take in the mellow bustle of 54 St James Street.  



If you would like more information about hot-desking or business incubation, please contact our team on 0151 706 8100 or venue@thewo.org.uk.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

After Redundancy, Katie Dullaghan Didn’t Lose Ambition, She Decided To Start Up Her Own Oral Health Business; Happy Teeth

Katie had worked in the Dental Health sector for 12 years, exploring all fields of dentistry. When Katie was unfortunately made redundant, ‘It pushed me to evaluate my life in every way.’ It encouraged Katie to the extent that she was able to start up her own business. ‘Happy Teeth is an Oral Health Education Services company providing training and education looking after our teeth. I provide education to schools, care homes and other healthcare settings to improve oral health in the local area.’

Prior to her business, Katie had worked 3 different jobs in the industry simultaneously at one point to make ends meet. Katie left school after her A levels with no idea of the career she wanted to pursue. She stumbled across an advertisement in the local paper. From this, Katie achieved her Level 2 and 3 Oral Health Qualifications, working as a Dental Nurse Assessor/Tutor delivering those qualifications. ‘I completed Level 4 PTTLLS teaching Qualifications and working in Management I completed a Level 5 qualification in Leadership and Management. I worked my way up from the bottom.


After taking some time away, during her holiday to Croatia, Katie was given that vital time to evaluate her life. ‘Having time to myself and to really think about what I wanted in life and how I could make a positive change in my field. This encouraged me and gave me the strength and motivation to start Happy Teeth.’

With her motivation and strength pushing her along the way, Katie wasn’t sure exactly where to start. So, she started to think of various things she could do to make a change to oral health. Katie decided to contact the Women’s Organisation for some key advice.  ‘I contacted The Women’s Organisation and attended the start-up workshop with Bernie Cox. From when I entered the building at The Women’s Organisation to meeting all the lovely women attending the workshop I fell in love with the atmosphere.’

“Women inspiring and encouraging other women I found really motivational”

During the start-up process, Katie had completed the bulk of her business plan and met with our Senior Business Adviser; Huda. Huda supported Katie and her initial idea about dental friendly snacks. However, Katie ‘Realised the effects of selling to large supermarkets and with the budget I had, it was not plausible.’ As a result, Katie decided to neglect this idea and instead focus on making a difference, ‘If the population know about how to care for their teeth and what snacks are healthy to eat I can inspire change in this way.’ Katie’s passion for Dental Health grew, ‘So many children and families are unaware of the causes of dental decay and are unnecessarily suffering from it. Dental decay is 100% preventable.

The Women’s Organisation supported Katie throughout her business process. ‘I found the service really good guidance and would encourage anyone thinking of going into business to contact them.’ Since her business start-up, Katie has now signed up to the Business Club and has attended various event that are held monthly. Katie was also asked to speak at the Enterprise Hub showcase in The Atkinson as a guest speaker, which ‘I really enjoyed.’

Being a single mother was no obstacle for Katie and her dreams. Due to her large circle of close family and friends, Katie was given that additional support to push her. ‘I definitely could not have done all I have without the support and reassurance from them.’

So, how is business going for Katie? ‘Really well.’ Katie is receiving recognition for her work and enquires far and wide about her workshop. Her business has progressed extremely and Katie has also written a range of children’s picture books that are used as a resource during her training.

The best thing about running your own business for Katie is ‘Being able to make the difference I so wanted to make especially for children.’ To have the ability to reduce dental decay and protect children from this is the rewarding aspect to Katie’s business that is truly priceless. As well as this, Katie is able to manage her own time and can work around picking her son up from school. ‘I wake up everyday knowing that all the work I put in is for me and my son. For the success of my own business. Nothing inspires me more in the mornings than that.’

“I am so proud to say that I now run my own business.”

If anybody was looking to start up their own business, Katie would advise them to ‘go for it!’ There may be obstacles along the way but, ‘if you push for what you want you can make your dreams a reality.’  Due to Katie’s amazing achievements so far, ‘she can honestly say for the first time I am completely happy in every way. Taking that step back from the 9-5 grind and realising my potential and going for it turned negatives into positives for me and turned my life around.’

Katie’s future plans include expanding the training further and employing staff. She also wishes to write more educational books for children and have them published into a whole library of picture books that will help to educate children and families on caring for teeth. Katie hopes to possibly return to producing those healthy Dental snacks. ‘Happy Teeth snacks watch this space.’

If you would like to find out more about the services Katie offers, you can contact her using the details below:

Contact Number 0151 903 5503
Email: info@happyteetheducation.com




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Liverpool Has Become The Fourth Best Location For Business Growth!💪 So, Why Choose Self-Employment?

Exciting new statistics have revealed how successful the city of Liverpool has become regarding business start-ups. Studies by company information specialist DueDil reveals that 1,469 new businesses were registered in the city in January, February and March this year in comparison to the 1,207 in Q1 2016.  Self-employment is continually expanding across the UK, and Liverpool has soared up to the 4th best location for percentage growth (YB news). Digesting these remarkable statistics then poses the question, why do people choose self-employment?

As discussed in many of the successful case studies featured on our blog, there seems to be occurring advantages to starting up your own business... So, here are several areas of positivity you can discover from self-employment.


Flexibility- Flexibility can dominate the appeal of starting up your own business. Being self-employed gives you the freedom to decide when and where you will work. You can set a schedule that allows you to work at times that suit you and your needs.  It is very rare for employers to set their own schedule, so this is an exciting aspect that many women have highlighted as the best aspect of business.
Passion- What is better than working in a job that you love? Employers who experience the same repetitive and unsatisfactory job may have a passion that they would love to turn into a thriving business. The more passionate you are about the field you are in, the more you will flourish as both an individual and a business owner. Our case studies demonstrate various women who all differentiate in their industries, but all find common ground in the passion rooted behind their business.
Income Potential- The potential behind your business can lift your salary cap and your income directly relates to your productivity. You can make as little or as much as you like, depending on the ways in which you promote your business.  Rather than being capped at a certain salary through employers, you decide.
Confidence-  Being self-employed forces you to test your limits. Taking the plunge into something you are completely unfamiliar with, will surprise you by how much you really are capable of.  The initial daunting challenge of tackling finances and getting to grips with social media channels may knock your confidence. However, once you have overcome these small obstacles, the confidence developed is invaluable.  Our most recent course, ‘Change it: Progress to Success’ works with many women who lack confidence to empower them with the self-assurance to build a better world for themselves.
Of course, self-employment may not appeal to everyone. But, becoming your own boss offers an element of freedom along with the satisfying feeling of achieving your goals. Having seen the incredible growth in Liverpool, could you increase the numbers of success? If you have a business idea, why not get in touch with us on 0151 706 8111 or email hello@thewo.org.uk


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Catherine Jones Decided After 25 Years Of Working In Journalism, To Start Up Her Own Writing Business; Catherine Jones Arts

Catherine Jones is a writer for hire within the arts, cultural, tourism and heritage sector.  Prior to this, Catherine worked as a newspaper journalist for 25 years, ‘Most recently as the arts editor at the Liverpool Echo for eight years, and before that I was Capital of Culture Reporter, covering the build up to 2008 and the year itself.’ During this time, there was a restructuring within Catherine’s department at work. Due to this Catherine decided to seek new pastures and think about setting up  her own business, ‘I felt a mixture of sheer terror and elation – a combination which has continued!




After deciding to take the plunge, Catherine spoke to friends who had followed a similar path. They suggested contacting The Women’s Organisation. Here at the organisation, we set out to support Catherine and make those initial feelings of ‘terror and elation’ disappear. Catherine received guidance from our Business Advisor, Jo Mountfort, to discuss her business idea and to set up a business plan. As well as this, Catherine also attended our courses, such as Planning for Success and our financial course on Tax and National Insurance.

“It gave me confidence that I wasn’t an idiot and could do it if I tried.”

Becoming a freelance/self-employed writer was something that had never crossed Catherine’s mind. Having only three weeks’ notice to leave her job, Catherine felt like ‘Everything was daunting.’  As her life was always her job, Catherine felt lucky in a way that she didn’t have any dependants. Despite this, it also felt like added extra pressure on Catherine to really find success in her business. Catherine has always had supportive family and friends who continually supported her throughout her journey.

Although Catherine isn’t currently earning at the kind of level she was when employed, it has only been two months so ‘In general, I am pleased.’ Catherine has already had interest from various organisations who have either hired her for a specific job or have a particular interest. Success!


For Catherine, the best thing about running your own business is having the opportunity to work with different people and organisations on interesting projects. Catherine is given the ability to choose, to a certain extent, what she wishes to do. Considering that three months ago Catherine had no thoughts about setting up her own business, she has attained a HMRC code, business bank account, accountant and having secured work already. ‘I feel I’ve achieved quite a bit'

Catherine’s advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business is to, ‘Do plenty of research, talk to people who have done something similar, talk to people who might be a potential customer base, and ask for help from professional organisations who can guide you through the process.’

 “While becoming self-employed came as quite a surprise, now it has happened I’m determined to keep doing what I love best, writing – and hopefully lots more of it!”

If you are interested in the services Catherine offers, you can contact her on:

Telephone: 07776 492540

Catherine also has an arts website, www.artscityliverpool.com

And if you would like to start your own business or are thinking about becoming self-employed, then get in touch with us! You can email us on hello@thewo.org.uk or ring us on 0151 706 8111

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Strategise Your Business Sales Techniques With Business Club’s 'Strategy for Selling’ Event!

The Women’s Organisation is welcoming the month of May in with our Business Club event- Strategy for Selling, taking place on Thursday 18th May. During this event, you will have the opportunity to network and connect with many business and professional women.



Today there are now an estimated 91 million direct sellers worldwide enjoying the flexibility, sociability and healthy work-life balance that the career choice offers them. But how do they achieve success?

 Well, as part of the business club event, we have invited Elaine Atherton from 2SummitUp as a guest speaker to provide invaluable information about how to strategise your business sales techniques. Elaine is a successful business woman who embarked on a career in Direct Selling, boosting her £130 investment to the building of a £4 million business.


“I now have over 25 years’ experience in a wide range of Direct Sales roles and have gained a reputation as an out-of-the-box thinker who thrives on finding solutions to challenges.”
Read Elaine's most recent blog 'Stop Selling, Start Helping' for a taster of what you will hear on the night. Listening to Elaine's experience and key tips for your business and asking any questions necessary will provide you with all the knowledge required to boost your sales!
So, come along and join us for our May networking event with Elaine Atherton for an evening full of professional discussions alongside interacting with many other business women.








Did You Meet The Media? #WOBizClub

Last night we met the media for fifth time! Meet The Media is one of our most popular and well attended Business Club events of the year and this year was no different. It was great to see so many new and old faces attending to get to grips with media and PR for their businesses.

We had a fantastic panel lined up who were raring to go and answer the many questions that were fired at them from the audience! On the panel, we had; Tony McDonough from YB News, Ngunan Adamu of iWoman Media and iWoman Academy, Jimmy McCracken from BBC Radio Merseyside and Rebecca Keegan from Good News Liverpool – And what an amazing panel they were!

After a little bit of networking everyone settled down and we heard from each of the panellists, they told us all about what they got up to a day to day basis, what they spent their time doing and how they got to where they are today. It was so interesting to hear the varied lives of our panellists and how their work differed from print, to radio to online and more!


After this we got down to the question and answer session and just like we knew they would, our fantastic audience came prepared with some great questions to ask the media experts. As our audience asked their questions it also gave them the opportunity to explain to the panel and the rest of the room what they did and what their businesses were. It was so exciting to see the panel light up as they explained why each story would work or how it would be possible to get it into press and we are sure some good connections were made! 

In previous years’ businesses at Meet The Media had pitched to the panel which resulted in their businesses being covered by various press outlets, and we are sure this year will be no different! That’s one of the great things about the Meet The Media event, it’s just as useful for the audience as it is for the panel!


Once the question and answer session was over, we had some more time for networking before the evening was over! It was a fantastic evening and the feedback that we got made us grin from ear to ear! Here’s what some of the guests had to say…

‘Great event, good to have ‘inside knowledge’ and the speakers were great!’

‘Really enjoyed it and learnt about the media. It’s opened my eyes to marketing’

‘As always a very well organised, informative and friendly event with The Women’s Organisation’

‘Absolutely loved tonight. Learnt so much information. Thank you!’

‘Really enjoyed this session. Lots of useful information I hope to use to get in the media. 10/10’

Thanks to everyone who attended Meet the Media this week, and an extra special thanks to our fantastic panel for giving up their time to come along and help our guests get to grip with utilising the media and PR for their businesses, we couldn’t do it without you!


May’s Business Club event ‘The Strategy of Selling’ will take place on Thursday 18th May, 6pm-8:30pm at 54 St James Street. Head over to Eventbrite for more details and tickets!

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
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
Wavertree Children’s Centre, 85 Wellington Road, L15 4LE – 22nd May, 9:30-11:30am


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