Awards Spotlight - Walsall Creative Factory
Introducing Walsall Creative Factory, Supporting Women Award Winner
You won an award under the Supporting Women Category, why do you feel you’ve won this award specifically? Creative Factory work with local women who gather and make things together, empowering them to then take initiative and develop their own contribution to neighbourhood community events. The open and creative atmosphere has made people welcome and encouraged integration and friendship across cultural divides. Our language-based work, with mostly Asian women and elders, and partnership work with the Bridge Project, with mainly Polish women, has focused on empowering women - especially those dealing with issues such as domestic violence at home.
I enjoy seeing the pride the women have in their achievements, supporting individuals to develop their potential, lead activities and following their ideas through to fruition. In the 18 months our workshop has been open we have developed a formidable force of women who support each other to surmount their personal issues and progress through collective endeavor.
What is your proudest moment from the work you’ve done in your community? The Asian and Polish ladies' contribution to our local festival event, their efforts and talents were hugely appreciated by the public, this has meant they are more integrated with new acquaintances and friendships with neighbours of all cultures. It also meant their confidence has grown substantially.
What is your for vision for Walsall in the next five years, especially within your sector? It would be amazing to see empty spaces within neighbourhoods used for arts to re-energise communities.
Can you share a role model with us and tell us why they inspire you? My peers in community engagement in different settings and sectors who understand the benefits and difficulties in the work, their support and advice help to ground me and make me braver.
What habits/hobbies/activities have you enjoyed doing in lockdown that you will continue after COVID-19? I now have an allotment and will continue to go there, walks to pace and balance my day and give perspective and clarity to my thinking processes.