Interview

Women’s Search for Meaning

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I chatted to Amy from Trafford Rape Crisis ahead of their first fundraiser in collaboration with HM Prison Styal. A celebration of women’s bravery and courage, as well as an exploration of what gives women strength and inspiration to overcome adversity, this looks like an evening not to be missed.

What is Women’s Search For Meaning?

Women’s Search For Meaning is a fundraiser we are holding for Trafford Rape Crisis (TRC) on Friday 21st April, 7:30pm at The Eagle Inn in Salford. We have collaborated with HM Prison Styal to share the work of women in prison, which we did by setting up a writing competition. The top three winners will have their work shared at the event and all proceeds will go to TRC to support female survivors of sexual violence.

What inspired you to organise this event?

It all started with a conversation with my friend Rebecca, who works as a Lifeline Drug and Alcohol Interventions Recovery Worker at Styal Prison. We were in a discussion about the ways in which the women we work with on a day-to-day basis leave us feeling so inspired. These women have experienced and overcome so much adversity that goes largely unacknowledged. We wanted to put on an evening to recognise and raise awareness about the difficulties these women face, whilst also celebrating their bravery and courage. It’s the women at Styal and the women who use our services at TRC who inspired us to organise Women’s Search For Meaning.

Why have you chosen the format of a fundraiser to get your message across?

In terms of TRC, it is really important that we put on events where people can find out about what we do and the services we offer. Women’s services have been disproportionately affected by cuts so we need fundraisers to ensure we can continue providing our specialist services. It is also important that we provide a space for the voices of women who aren’t heard enough, especially women in prison and those of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) origins. BAME women are massively under-represented, especially in the media, and are constantly faced with discrimination and oppression. Women’s Search For Meaning is about celebrating diversity and hearing these different voices. We need to recognise that women experience varying forms of oppression in relation to race, sexual orientation, age, disability, class, income and religion. At TRC we have a special helpline and email support service run by BAME women for BAME women. Spoken word and live music are great ways of advocating our message because they engage people and can instil words with much more emotion, impact and meaning.

What do you want people to take from the event?

I hope that it will give people a better understanding of TRC, the services we provide and encourage people to get involved with the work we’re doing. The theme of the evening, which is reflected in the title Women’s Search For Meaning, is all about finding hope and solace, even in the most difficult of times. We have asked each of the performers to say a few words about what inspires and motivates them. Ultimately, I hope the evening will leave people feeling empowered and inspired to think about their own search for meaning, whatever that might be.

I certainly feel inspired, and the event hasn’t even happened yet! On Friday 21st April at 7:30pm get yourself to The Eagle Inn in Salford for an empowering evening of spoken word, poetry and live music. This is bound to be an evening you do not want to miss out on, so check out the event here and buy your tickets here.

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