100 Women First and Positive People teamed up for the second time to celebrate International Woman’s Day 2021. Slightly different to the first event due to the lockdown but just as successful and inspiring.

International Women’s Day 2021 took place online via Zoom and we were lucky enough to have Ex BBC radio presenter Emma Britton host the even for us. Emma did a spectacular job of navigating the event and assisted in creating a relaxed, welcoming environment for women to share. 

We heard from Tracey Armstrong Stacey from 100 Women First who is an employment and skills outreach officer as part of Sedgemoor District Council. Tracey informed us of how 100 Women first have mentored and supported various women into apprenticeships, training, employment and self-employment; offering a bespoke service tailored to women.

Emma Wescott Positive People partnership manager communicated the ongoing working partnerships we have with SASP, Cosmic, Inspired 2 Achieve and other organisations like 100 Women First to support people who may face multiple barriers to move them closer to the job market, aid them back into education or training or to secure employment including self-employment. 

The above is a fantastic example of partnership working within the community to ensure the women who need support the most, are empowered and facilitated to overcome their barriers to start creating and reaching their own goals. 

Most importantly for this event we heard from local Somerset women who have overcome their own struggles and have found themselves in a position to share their inspiring and empowering stories to reverberate the message of strength to women of all backgrounds.

Dawn and Gemma who were participants on 100 Women First and Positive People shared how they have overcome their barriers with the support of people around them, using nature, creativity and wellbeing to build the paths in front of them and work through their journeys. 

We heard from Somerset business woman Venetia, who imparted her account of becoming empowered as a mother through massage and wellbeing to then turn it into a thriving business, “True Nature”. Her take on meditation was passionate without being overpowering.  She really wants to give other people, the opportunity to explore their own wellbeing and what works for them.

Completing the event was Nicki who has achieved many things including being on/winning Channel 4’s SAS Who Dare Wins and visiting Everest basecamp, but also advising us of her difficult background and the other challenges she had to overcome to get to that? point. She started her own business as a personal trainer during lockdown and continues to offer her boot camp workouts online to all women. We even got a little taster of the “Recruit 6 boot camp”. 

The event went without a hitch which is thanks to the technical support of our Cosmic colleague Chloe who assisted everyone with her digital input and helped us handle that pesky mute button!

The main message for the day was #ChooseToChallenge and I believe it is evident that regardless of the women’s background and the situations they have been through you can find strength in the support around you. Whether that’s through a friend or family member, online or face to face, or even through local projects like 100 Women First or Positive People. 

I invite women of Somerset to #ChooseToChallenge themselves to be the best, strongest, kindest version of them they can be. 

If you know someone in need of support, please share this story or encourage them to get in contact with us via [email protected] or calling 0800 3345525.