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.