Women friendly Leeds blog

Agenda and notes

  • 17:15 – Welcome and Intros.
  • 17:30 – Updates 
  1. Shining a Light campaign – updates of the 4 strands of the campaign.

Employability – Recruitment toolkit has been devised with input from Mindful Employer and WYCA but we will be looking to do consultation with the business sector, to ensure it’s co-produced. Plans are forming for the Employability marketplace event scheduled for November but may be pushed back to make sure the Women Friendly recruiters toolkit is co-produced

Health – We have a cervical screening awareness session booked for Oct 1st, promotion will go out soon. Member comment that cervical screenings should be trauma enforced and there needs to be a wider project to train health professionals. Free menopause training has been promoted with all GP’s across Leeds and we will be recording how many have taken up this offer. We have had agreement to produce the rights and support leaflet for newly arrived women to be distributed through GP practices. Emily will be pulling together the relevant agencies and organisations as a task and finish group. Member suggestion to distribute via refuges too and involve other organisations. There has been 4 Women Only vaccine clinics at ASHA and Reginald Centre. Despite numbers being low (reflecting similar projects), the women who have been vaccinated have been identified as women who would not otherwise had their jab. More smaller pop up clinics are being planned, to reflect the city’s ambition to not leave anyone behind and offering bespoke and safe options for women and other groups. Emily has been collecting women’s gynae stories to reflect concerns in this area, which will be raised via the Health and Wellbeing board allyship.

Wellbeing – We continue to promote groups directly and indirectly promoting positive wellbeing and connection. We have put together the wellbeing packs for women’s groups, alliance partners and the ‘Nominate a Women’ campaign. We will start promoting and distributing in the next couple of weeks. Please do let Emily know if you are interested in some for a women’s group you know.

Voice & Influence – We continue to encourage involvement through hubs (women’s, culturally diverse women’s, Friday hub and Vocal Girls) using the platforms for consultation and shaping and planning actions and campaigns.

  1. Switch on to Women’s Safety Campaign

Lots happening! The report from the Women’s Safety survey is a couple of weeks from completion, and is a pretty shocking read. It indicated that women in Leeds experience slightly above average number of incidents of sexist harassment based and unwanted sexual behaviours from men and there is a real appetite for whole societal change. The report has 7 well defined recommendations. It will be shared widely, including with Ambassadors, has already influenced the Safer Street bid and other strategic groups and boards.

Everything is confirmed for 4 plus bin trucks (with the ambition there will be 1 in every Leeds ward) that will display the WFL safety campaign messages on the side of the wagon. Huge thanks to Cllr Heselwood for organising this.

The men’s Health Unlocked Network allies, along with WFL are devising a workshop for men that will be accredited and aims to raise awareness of safety issues for women and girls with men. The training will strongly feature women’s voices, highlighting the issue and encourage men to make positive contributions, pledges, learn how to be a positive bystander and understand unconscious bias. A train the trainer delivery style has been planned subject to funding.

WFL together with Safer Leeds and other partners has been working within a steering group to launch a widespread and visible Ask Angela scheme in bars and other venues, with independent art work, and a toolkit of resources. The has been well received from the Pubwatch group and will have 2 launches at the end of September and again prior to Christmas. The survey has influenced this, particularly because women have indicated they like the scheme but need more confidence that all bars have adopted the scheme

  1. Menopause Meetups – These are the 1st Weds of the month at 6:30pm on zoom. All welcome, especially new members. We have about 20 members so far with approximately 4 at each session. We are currently planning a menopause webinar panel discussion with the view to having experts and women with lived experience speak and the webinar being recorded so women and health care professionals can watch to raise awareness. Email Emily for joining instructions, or more info [email protected]


  1. Friday Hub meetings – These meetings are held every Friday lunchtime at 1pm on zoom and there is a different themed discussion each week. Previous discussions have included body image, imposter syndrome, isolation, DV and football and women’s gynae issues. Members can dip in and out of these sessions depending on what is interesting to them, or fitting into their availability, and they are kept to an hour so can potentially be fitted into a lunchbreak. Email Emily if you would like to be added to the list to receive the invites [email protected]
  2. Women Friendly Events
  • WFL End of Year Celebration event in Oct (date TBC)
  • Menopause Panel discussion event (in planning)
  • Women’s Employability Event and Women Friendly Recruiter checklist launch (in planning)
  • Cervical screening awareness session (Fri 1st Oct, 1pm – 2pm) Flyer will be available soon, and circulated for promotion

Please do keep an eye out for the flyers, which Emily will circulate for these events and weekly bulletins for more info.

  1. Women’s Hub meetings – The 1st face to face meeting was held in Aug and was a bit of a celebration event. 31 women attended and the meeting was enjoyed by all. Meetings will alternate between face to face and online going forward. You can register vis Eventbrite.

18:00 – Consultation with Ambassadors– We now have 101 Ambassadors! Sara (external evaluator) told us about plans to email Ambassadors with 5 simple questions to find out more about why they signed up, what they understand the role to be and what would support them to become further involved. All Ambassadors present agreed this was a good idea and shared some of their own experiences. WFL would like to support Ambassadors to be more involved with the campaigns, activities, events and actions. Mixed reasoning as to why the present Ambassadors had taken the role, some as representatives for their organisation, and some for personal interests, some a mixture of both Emily also asked about communication with Ambassadors and it was agreed that she would send out a 6-weekly call for action and updates document with the minutes so Ambassadors can share with their networks and know what opportunities there are. Member comment to check if Ambassadors are signed up for the weekly bulletin Emily to check.

Member comment that sub groups would help provide more structure

  • 18:15 – Member Updates
  1. Women’s Health Matters are starting a drop in for women leaving groups but open to all women once a month on a Thurs at Tetley. Please share but not on social media so it remains a safe place
  2. Women’s springboard for development was mentioned and good for sharing women specific resources
  3. ASHA have an event for Age Proud festival – picnic at Cross Flats Park 6th and 13th Sept 11am – 2:30pm. Also volunteers needed for doing ASHA garden project, Weds 8th Also, National Older Persons celebration picnic at Pugneys Country Park, 4th Oct 21.

Thank you to all the Ambassadors who came to the 4th Ambassador Network meeting. Emily will email details of the next meeting to Ambassadors nearer the time.

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