Sew What

Sew What Sew What

A combined sewing & business skills course for women in Longsight, at Northmoor Community Centre, which ran for 30 weeks with 35 women attending in all. We were a very diverse happy bunch with lots of life skill recognition and confidence building. Products that were achieved included cushions and clothes, for teddy bears as practise and then full size when everyone felt ready. The women became their own steering group and took part in the business and organisational skill development whilst creating their own ideas for products. Friends were made and we hope the group will continue to develop. They have asked us back so we must have done a good job!

The Portico Library: Voyages and Travels

Voyages and Travels - working with young people in 2015 – a digital voyage 'back to the future'!

Photo: Screenshot of comic

Example of digital comic - copyright of author


This exciting virtual project is underway – in partnership with Rosie Clayton Senior Programme Officer Studio School Trust and Royal Society of Arts.

Photo: Election selfie montage

Our inspiration comes from the phenomenon of the selfie, a digital expression of self, of one's own moment or part in an event, and the pure beauty of Eric Whitacre's virtual choir. On 7th May 2015 the citizenry of the UK will come together to place their vote - the instant selfie or vine recording each voter, each voice.

During the European elections in May 2014 the twittersphere came alive with #electionselfie & @electionselfie - we aim to take this to another level, creating a new political reality for the digital age, by creating a collision between the gaming world and the political sphere in a virtual reality.

Fabric Fusion ©

Photo: Close up of fabric

Fabric Fusion brought lots of women together to learn new skills, gain confidence in those skills and make some fabulous new bags. Our Artist Nerissa Cargill Thompson did a fantastic job and we all ended up having lots of laughs as everyone grappled with the sewing machines – Health and Safety allowing of course! The group have all voiced their interest in coming back to learn more and we already have a waiting list for the next project. Looking forward to working with you all again in the near future – we will be touch!

This diverse project was held in Northmoor Community Centre, in Longsight who supported us in a variety of different ways and who we will be talking to very soon for future developments. Our group was a diverse intergenerational women’s group and you can see below some of the feedback and also some of the positive comments about women that we collected as we all worked together.

'Thank you for really helping an older women to learn how to sew (proud of myself)'
'I am enjoying the course. It has been inspirational and motivated me to start my teddy bear business'

Can You Hear Me? ©

Lesbian and Gay Foundation

This exciting project, funded by the Time to Change Grants programme, is all about challenging the stigma and discrimination faced by lesbian and bisexual women with a mental illness. Lead artist Charlotte Newson and Community Artist Emma Rothwell have worked with participants to create their very own, very individual kitchen spaces (13 theatre sets),where you are invited to join them ...for a cup tea/ a brew and a chat over the kitchen table..... We previewed this moving work last weekend and now we are opening the full exhbition on Tuesday 19th August. Sue Baker, Time to Change Director, will be opening the exhibition and Jackie Daniel, Vice Chair of The Lesbian & Gay Foundation will be speaking about mental health.

The exhibition runs from Tuesday 19th August to Sunday 30th August - please view the LGF site for full details:

The purpose of the project and the exhibition is to change public attitudes about mental health, more specifically, some of the assumptions and attitudes towards lesbian and bisexual women with mental health problems. By being able to talk, listen to and share experiences with the participants and volunteers, we hope that visitors will gain a better understanding of why so many lesbian and bisexual women experience mental illness and the impact stigma and discrimination can have.

How will we do this?

By making 10 kitchens as small theatre sets! - in the LGF building!!

You are invited to -
'Come and have a brew at our kitchen tables!!'

And talk to the women who have built these fabulous spaces.

Participants have been working with Lead Artist Charlotte Newson & Audio Artist Samantha Yates on the creation of their very own kitchen installation which will form part of the pilot and main exhibitions, taking place at the LGF. Supported by great volunteers and student Emma Rothwell on placement with Creative Curve from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

Pilot July 26th & 27th

Final Exhibition 20th - 25th August

For further information please contact:

Lucy Rolfe
Wellbeing Manager
Tel: 0845 3 30 30 30 Work mobile: 07825 254 898

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation
Number 5, Richmond Street, Manchester M1 3HF

Download Can You Hear Me? flyer here

Travelling Bags ©

St. Johns

In Old Trafford women have travelled here from across many different continents, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Travelling bags aims to bring together women who are often isolated from each other by cultural and language barriers. Making new links across the community. building confidence & raising self esteem through creative arts.

Travelling – women always on the move to somewhere everyday – what do they need to take with them? Packed lunches to passports – keys to ketchup! – lip balm to attack alarm. Everyone travels, short or long distances, for home, for holidays and each days needs. Shopping, caring, children to school; to work, to look for work; to find refuge, run away from abuse and to save their lives.

An exciting opportunity to work with visual artist Charlotte Newson, for the first time. For International Women’s Day Charlotte will take women on a journey that allows them to share common experiences. Women's handbags are often a map of their life - past and present - often carrying photos of others who may or may not be in their lives and memories. Carrying emotions, how relationships have affected them. Charlotte will explore physical items found in a bag – keys are emotive, can be many things; a safe home, family home, not having a home, sharing someone else’s home, losing your home, living in refuge.

The journey taken whilst making beautiful travelling bags will explore aspirations, where women want to go/be, who they see themselves as in a happy positive life, reflected in the design of the bag. Women’s stories will be recorded along the way and the finished bags will be exhibited to share aspirations and journeys that women in Old Trafford make. To inspire others.

International Women’s Day should be a day about empowerment and inspiration. Rather than just see it, and tell friends what you have seen, women will have the chance to do it too. There is nothing more empowering than realising you can do it - and that it is of good enough quality to share with others – something inspirational to be proud of.

St John’s Centre is a voluntary project, running in Old Trafford for 30yrs. The Centre offers a variety of learning opportunities and activities for everyone in Old Trafford. We value and embrace the richness and diversity in Old Trafford. Opportunities are created for people to meet, helping to build a strong integrated community, where people know one another.

Download Travelling Bags flyer here

Goodnight Stories ©

Nexus Art Cafe

We aim to create a three minute audio play with and from the words of vulnerable women and women who go to Nexus Art Cafe - about their present lives and future aspirations. The play will be launched on International Women’s Day at Nexus Art Café and members of the public will be able to hear it via a listening post in the café. The listening post is a large comfortable armchair - with a difference - where you will be able to pop on headphones and listen to women speaking directly to you. There will also be a text based/visual exhibition in the Cafe area.

The recordings are being made at Nexus Art Cafe to promote its services as an alcohol free space open during the night (Night Cafe - reopening 2013).

Entitled "Good Night Stories" the play & exhibition will create an accessible insight to vulnerable women's lives - to promote clearer understanding with the wider community.

Download Goodnight Stories flyer here

Goodnight Stories Goodnight Stories Goodnight Stories