Monday, July 31, 2017

An Open Letter to the Women of Liverpool ..

Meet Maureen. Maureen recently completed our confidence-building programme, ‘Change It: Progress to Success’. Now, Maureen would like to share her story and experience through an open letter with women across Liverpool who are thinking about signing up to the programme. 


An open letter to the women of Liverpool,

A friend told me about a free course she was starting at The Women's Organisation. It sounded good and she asked me if I wanted to sign up too. I considered it, but after the tough few months I'd been through, I felt anxious at the very idea. Eventually I agreed, albeit half-heartedly, to attend the first session, then decide if it was for me. 

It turned out to be exactly what I needed. The trainer was lovely, putting everyone at ease and making us all feel welcome. The other group members had, in fact, all felt as nervous as I had about attending, and were all equally lovely. It wasn't long before we were chatting and sharing experiences together, all interspersed with warm-hearted laughter. 

Despite our different backgrounds and stories (yes, we all have a story, even you), we quickly realised we had more in common. There was never any pressure on anyone to speak, and thankfully no 'role play' (a particular horror of mine). As a counsellor, I am passionate about helping people to change, grow and learn more about themselves, but now it was my turn, and getting back to basics was really useful. 

By the end of the 8 weeks, we each had a different perspective, a new drive and clearer direction. I discovered a deeper level of confidence, increased assertiveness, and I finally found my voice. And all of this enabled me to push through some recent crushing fears, to finally make a life-changing decision I had been wrestling with for a while. Over the weeks, as well as learning more about ourselves, we were also given practical information on how to access other local services, that offer help and support in areas including employment, finances and childcare. The other services available at The Women's Organisation were also discussed. 

On the final day of the course, we were each presented with a certificate - but much more importantly, we had cake. Yes CAKE! All fluffy and creamy and yummylicious. Cake changes everything. But seriously, if you get the opportunity to sign up for the 'Change It' course, I encourage you to GO FOR IT. Yes, YOU! You won't be disappointed. And I'm, already, looking forward to reading YOUR blog. 

Good luck. Maureen. X

A huge thank you to Maureen for sharing her story with us!

We currently have two four-week programmes scheduled in, which you can book your place on today. The dates are as follows:

Wednesday 2nd August 2017, 10am-3pm (Following three weeks: 9th, 16th, 23rd)

Wednesday 20th September 2017, 10am-3pm (Following three weeks: 27th, 11th, 18th)
*please note there is a one-week break in this course after week 2

This programme also runs from a number of Children’s Centres in Liverpool. We will be releasing more details on these venues and dates in due course.

If you would like to book a place or find out more about the programme, contact a member of our engagement team on 0151 706 8111 or email

Friday, July 28, 2017

Expert Panel Assemble to Reflect on Development and Impact of 'Change It; Progress to Success' 🙌

This week we had our first expert panel meeting as part of our Change It; Progress to Success.

Change It; Progress to Success is an 8-session confidence and resilience building programme led by The Women's Organisation that aims to inspire women to feel more positive about what they can achieve.

The programme was designed in collaboration with Liverpool City Council Children’s Services and the Children’s Centres to benefit over 500 local women. We decided to pull together an expert panel from various fields to offer their specialised input and recommendations for the development of the project.

The panel includes representatives from Job Centre Plus, Troubled Families Team, Nugent Care, Health Teams, Liverpool In Work, and Local Council. They listened whilst we told them about just how we have been supporting the women of Liverpool through Change It; Progress to Success. We were also delighted to have two women who have participated in the programme as panel members. They were able to make contributions based on their own personal experience of Change It; Progress to Success and will continue to help steer the programme as it develops. Who better to share with us what our women need , than the women themselves!

The meeting offered our panel an insight into the context of the programme, including the research and development that went into the bidding process, as well as the programme we have designed and are actively delivering throughout the city to meet the needs of women.

We also took some time to reflect on the story and outcomes of the programme so far. Up to now we have delivered two rounds of Change It; Progress to Success and of that, 80% of attendees claim to have more confidence in building their own self-belief; 84% feel more able to say ‘no’ to things they don’t want; and 98% have improved trust and confidence in dealing with support agencies.

Here are some comments made prior to starting the programme:

Here are some comments made when finishing programme:

We want the panel to be our champions as well as our critical friends. As we look beyond this programme we hope that it can reach out further to more women who we know need our support. The group will meet again in November for another meeting – stay posted for updates!

We are currently recruiting for two four-week programmes over summer, throughout both August and September.

If you are a woman and would like to book a place or find out more about the programme, or 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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Things Are Looking Up For Grace & Kirsty's Inspiring Business 'Yellow Jigsaw' with Help from our Manchester Business Growth Programme

After successfully trading for two years, Grace Dyke and Kirsty Day are on a mission to make ethical business the normal way to do business. Yellow Jigsaw is run by a team who describe themselves as having "shared aspirations to provide bespoke training and communications management in the public, voluntary and care sectors". The foundations for all their work are underpinned by social values. From full PR strategies to an exclusive charity network and media training, clients are in the hands of a journalist with more than 12 years’ industry experience and a top-notch trainer and events specialist. 

Grace and Kirsty launched their business back in 2015 as an online marketing agency. Grace, the Strategic Director of media and communications social enterprise won the Northern Power Women award in 2016 and is continuously striving to make a change.

Looking to expand and grow Yellow Jigsaw, Grace and Kirsty contacted Excelerate Labs where they received help and support from our business advisor, Ameena Ahmed. With the help of Ameena,  they began work on putting together a three-year strategic business plan. Through this plan, Grace and Kirsty will increase membership services and generated income by hiring freelance staff to build resource capacity.

Excelerate Labs, our business growth programme for Manchester, is part funded by European Regional Development Fund and offers FREE business growth consultancy to businesses registered in Greater Manchester who are operating in a business to business sector and ready to grow.

Excelerate Labs expert Business Growth Advisers can support you with:

• Developing Growth Strategy

• Accessing Markets

• Building Strategic Sales & Marketing Plans

• Developing Effective Leadership

• Gaining Support with Financial Management, Procurement, Bids & Tenders

• Linking to Networks & Developing Strategic Partnerships

• Measuring & Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility

Or building your business in another way. 

If you are interested in receiving support contact our team via 

And, if you are interested in the services Grace and Katy offer, you can contact them on: or follow them on Twitter.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Women Paving the Way: Congratulations to Friend of The Women's Organisation, Melissa Henville!

Here at The Women’s Organisation, our global reach continues to grow and we are delighted that one of our international sector experts panellists and special advisors Melissa Henville has been appointed to a new role as Group Trading Inventory Manager at SBS where she will contribute to developing their digital offer.

SBS is a national public television network in Australia. Launched on 24 October 1980, it is the responsibility of SBS's television division and is available nationally. The company was founded on the belief that all Australians, regardless of geography, age, cultural background or language skills should have access to high quality, independent, culturally-relevant Australian media.

SBS On Demand’s distinctive streaming service is available on more platforms and devices than any other Australian broadcaster’s service, and includes over 6000 hours of programs, with 900 movies of which 70% are in languages other than English.

Melissa has been a champion of equality all of her career and having over 20 year experience in the commercial sector she will no doubt make a huge contribution to SBS in her new role.

Maggie O’Carroll CEO of the Women’s Org said “We offer our warmest congratulations to Melissa in her new role and of course we want to thank her for her continued support in promoting gender equality.

"Melissa has volunteered her valuable time to share her considerable knowledge and expertise with us and thereby helped to support female entrepreneurs within the UK and across the globe. It is through this type of global collaboration that we can learn and make progress toward equality of opportunity. We wish Melissa every success in her new role.”

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

5 Speedy Networking Tips - Get Ready For #WOBizClub's Summer Speed Event! ☀

It's that time of the year again - Our Summer Speed networking evening on July 25th at 54 St James Street! Grab your tickets here! 

This annual Business Club event invites all women in business to come along and join us for some speedy networking which will be facilitated by The Women’s Organisation Team. 
We’ll setting our stopwatches and setting up some speedy networking so that you’ll have the chance to speak to each and every business woman present, and be sure you’re not missing out on the chance to make that all important connection!

But, don’t worry, the pressure is off and the time limit won’t be too tight! As we know it’s important that you are able to get to know each other’s businesses properly so you can find out how you can help each other best!
The Women’s Organisation team will of course be on hand to help facilitate this purely networking session and assist you with to speedily network your way around the room!
AND, in preparation for the event, here's some great speed networking tips

1. Have an Elevator Speech ready - Prepare a short elevator speech which summarises the key elements of your business. Practice articulating this information in a smooth way! Since speed networking is a two way process, it's also important to listen carefully to each of your partners!
2. Bring business cards - All important at a networking event, so don't forget yours! 
3. Prepare some sample questions to ask - Showing a genuine interest in your partners during speed networking will help you to develop a solid rapport with people there! And prepare some sample questions to ask. 

So, if you're ready to come and speedy network with us, you'll need to grab your tickets! Head over to Eventbrite to get your hands on one. Remember! If you're a member of our Business Club, tickets to our events are half price, so just £5! 
Grab them here!
And if you'd like to find out more about Business Club and becoming a member, email us on to find out more! 

Did You Learn To Harness The Power Of Body Language With #WOBizClub?

Last Thursday Laura Taylor was back in the building by popular demand! After the massive success of last year’s body language Business Club workshop we couldn’t not ask Laura back again this year!

Laura is an experienced Corporate Trainer who specialises in areas such as body language, procurement and influencing. Laura has trained over 2500 professionals in these areas within the UK and globally for multi-national organisations and Laura is currently the only qualified UK Body Language trainer from the world’s largest human behavioural Lab, the Science of People!

The event got off to a great start, we had a full room of Business Club members and business women ready to learn about body language and the tips and tricks they can use to be viewed as positive, credible and authoritative.

Laura led an amazing seminar and talked us through how to make a positive first impression through using warmth, confidence and competence and that a first impression is made in as little as 4 seconds! And other little tips and tricks were dished out such as ensuring that when we are standing directly in front of someone and engaging them in eye contact and ensuring you aren’t standing at an angle. Another tip and trick which many of us hadn’t realised is sometimes are clothing can sometimes be a distraction especially big necklaces!

A lot was learnt in the session, and afterwards our business women got the chance to put their tips and tricks into action with networking at the end of the event. It was fantastic to see a room full of women, networking with confidence like pros! And we had some great feedback too!

‘A very useful and informative event! It’s really important to be aware of body language and I will be using the tips in my future interactions’

‘Very good input from Laura, lots of body language tips and things to think about’
‘Interesting scientific studies and useful practical tips to implement’

‘Excellent, thank you! The Halo Effect was fascinating and useful and the networking was great too!’

‘The body language training was fantastic! What an incredible event, I could listen to Laura all day. I would love to do more of this. Thank you!’

We think that’s amazing praise! Thank you so much to Laura for her workshop, it was amazing and insightful and we are so grateful that she took the time out to come along and share her knowledge with Business Club!

If you would like more information on becoming a member of Business Club, please get in touch! Email us on for more information.