Friday, January 27, 2017

Meet Our New Team Member - Jenny Wallwork

Our Finance Team & Training Team has grew in rapid numbers over the past few months. Our new team members are certainly part of The W.O family now, and we’d like you to get to know them too. Over the coming weeks we will be sitting down with new staff to find out more about their interests, delve into their past and discover how they ended up with us at The Women’s Organisation. Up first is Jenny Wallwork, she is our new Training Development Specialist and will be working on the new ‘Change It: Progress to Success’ programme at 54 St James Street and Everton Children’s Centre.

What’s your full name and where are you from?

Jenny Wallwork, born and bred in Liverpool

Tell me how you first found out about The Women’s Organisation and become part of our team?

I first found out about The Women’s Organisation, when I noticed a vacancy for a Training and Development Specialist which was advertised, I did what most people do and googled to find out more about the WO and its values and beliefs.  Straight away, I was taken in by the support and diversity that they offered and decided to apply.  I was lucky enough to be asked for interview and as they say the rest is history.

What kind of things have you done prior to coming to The Women’s Organisation?

As a teacher/trainer I have worked within Further Education and for over 10 years I worked within Sefton Local Authority delivering Family Learning programmes within the community.  I then worked for a wonderful charity called Home-Start delivering training on a national basis, throughout the UK and also British Forces Germany.

What has surprised you about working at The Women’s Organisation?

I am really impressed with the buzz about the place, whether working for the WO or seeing the amount of tenants and people who hire rooms for training and conferences at 54 St James Street.  The work ethic is incredible, it literally is head down and coming up for air for coffee and lunch  Ha!

What’s the best thing about working at The Women’s Organisation?

It is a wonderful environment to work in, energetic, productive and inspiring.  To have the opportunity to help and guide women regardless of background is a privilege.

Could you describe one of your typical workdays?

We are currently in the process of launching a new 8-week personal development programme called ‘Change it’ Progress to Success' course.  Most days, I have been networking within the local community and local children’s centres, promoting and marketing and building a rapport with contacts within the area.  The programme is due to start in a couple of weeks, whereby I will be delivering out in the community and also at 54 St James Street .. Exciting times!

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

A few things, from leaving college I joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service and lived in Norway for 2 years, working for NATO, with my daily office being at the centre of a huge mountain.
In my younger days (very young) I played for a ladies football team.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

I enjoy family time, spending time with my two grown up children is a pleasure, one lives and works in London, whilst the other is studying at Glasgow University. (opposite ends of the UK, do you think they are trying to tell me something!)  I enjoy my Zumba classes and I am a season ticket holder at Liverpool Football Club, have been for over 30 years.  Spending time with friends is important to me and I have a large circle of lifelong friends, with whom I meet up with as often as possible.  Life is never dull, there is always something happening within the Wallwork household

Welcome to the team Jenny, we are very happy to have you here! 

You can find out more about The Women's Organisation's new programme Change It: Progress to Success, which Jenny will be working on here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Reflecting on 21 years of The Women's Organisation & Looking Ahead to the Future

2017 marks a milestone year for The Women’s Organisation, as we are celebrating our 21st birthday! Over the past 21 years, our mission has been to make a positive impact on the lives of women by reaching out and enhancing their role in their own lives, whether that be in the local communities, in business or in the wider world.

 We wanted to level the playing field by offering women the support they need to believe in their abilities and to flourish in both new and existing businesses. We are honoured to say that we have worked with over 50,000 women over the past 21 years, that’s 21 years of women’s economic empowerment. This number is on the incline each day and although there is still a long way to go, we celebrate every success as a step in the right direction towards women’s economic equality.

In our 21 years, we also moved into our new home developed in 2011 as part of the WICED project. 54 St James Street is a flagship facility for enterprise and home to over 200 businesses as well as a meeting and conferencing centre for the wider business community. We are hugely proud of the impact we have made on the Liverpool City Region’s business community.

In true Women’s Organisation style, there will be no shortage of events and announcements throughout the year. We kicked of the celebrations yesterday with a visit from the Chairs of the Women’s Organisation board, Pat Shea Halson & Gill Moglione and an official cake-cutting ceremony, made by none other than our amazing training co-ordinator, Bernie Cox!

The afternoon included lots of photos and a speech from CEO of The Women’s Organisation, Maggie O’Carroll. It was a fantastic day for staff members to reflect on just how far we have come as an organisation. We received hundreds of well wishes from our partners, tenants, neighbours and friends and are hugely grateful for the continued support.

Tying in nicely with our 21st celebrations was also the announcement that we are launching a new 4/8-week personal development programme for the women of Liverpool. ‘Change It: Progress to Success’ is a confidence-building programme, which over the next 3 years will assist over 500 women in building a more positive outlook at home, for work or in relationships, whilst paving the way to a more successful future. We will be working across the city to deliver the programme in a number of Children’s Centres, as well as at 54 St James Street, home of The Women’s Organisation. You can find out more by reading our blog here.

We are now recruiting for the first intake of ‘Change It’ which starts the week commencing 6th February. So if you are woman who would like to attend, or you have someone you would like to refer please get in touch today by contacting our team at The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or

We have a lot of exciting things planned for the year ahead, so keep your eyes peeled for more 21st announcements! 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sabah's Top Tips For Starting A Childcare Business

Over the next coming months we are calling on the expertise of our fantastic team here at The WO to provide you with their top tips on all manner of business orientated topics! First up we asked Engagement Officer; Sabah Shams what her top tips are for starting up a childcare business. Read on to find out what she said! 

Sabah on her 10th anniversary at The WO
The childcare market encompasses many forms of businesses, including: childminding, after school clubs and nurseries. It is approximated that the nursery market alone in the UK is worth £4.9 billion.

The childcare market is one that is continuously growing but is highly fragmented; with many individuals setting up privately ran businesses. Are you interested in setting up a childcare business, or is it something you’re considering? Well, continue reading to find out about our top tips to make you venture a success! 

What are the prerequisites?

Enthusiasm and motivation is key! Childcare business is demanding but at the same time rewarding. Working with children for long hours really requires patience and determination, so if you think you possess the above then childcare business is for you! 

What do the experts say?

From our recent event ‘How to make childcare your business?’, we had a successful woman sharing their experience of setting up a nursery. She described that looking after children requires extreme commitment and is for those with great passion. At the event it was highlighted that childcare is very different to looking after your own children. 

The real success of a childcare business especially nurseries is not measured by how much revenue you have (which is important for a sustainable business), but what makes it worth it is the positive impact you have on the development of children! 

Why is market research so important?

As mentioned above this business sector is highly fragments therefore it is super important to have knowledge of what you contemporaries are providing and how you can make yourself stand out and shine! 

Further, another important aspect is knowing what is in demand and where is the market, so conducting market research can enable you from choosing what avenue to go down.

What qualifications, insurance and experience do I need?

This all varies depending on which sub-sect of childcare you’d like to set up. 

Childminding: this does not require any formal qualification, all you need is approved pre-registration course, OFSTED registration (this encompasses many things, for more information please visit the OFSTED website) and insurance. Remember you can look after other children while looking after yours in the comfort of your home, without requiring a large amount to invest! 

Day Nursery: this is a bit more complex and unlike childminding requires an investment (amount varies). OFSTED registration is required again but for Early Years (for more information please visit the OFSTED website), NVQ Level 3 and 2 years’ experience, along with appropriate insurance. 

Out Of School Club: OFSTED registration is required is children will be staying for more than 2 hours per day. If you require OFSTED registration NVQ Level 3 qualification is a prerequisite. Regardless of registration, insurance is important and a must! 

Hope that helps those of you thinking about childcare businesses! If you have any more questions or would like to see one of our fantastic business advisors please call us on 0151 706 8111 or email us on:  

Until next time - Empower others, yourself and make a change!