Women’s Pioneer Housing had a fantastic evening celebrating its 98th anniversary, a big thank you to all that attended and took part.
It was great fun and we all loved the food, the music and the chat. Stalls showcasing many residents’ art were very popular, as was the stall run by our new Heritage Lottery Fund project lead Sorcha and volunteers from the University of the Third Age showing guests what they’ve discovered so far about our fascinating history.
The suffrage campaigners who founded our organisation were amazing women who understood how a home of her own could help a woman achieve her potential. This event helped us celebrate them and the positive differences we have made to women’s lives over so many years.
Retired tenant board member Jo Ghelmini, the Chair of the Board Maureen Hopcroft and Chief Executive Denise Fowler who talked about the continuing challenges women in London face finding secure affordable accommodation given the gender pay gap (and its effect on women’s incomes in retirement) and the high cost of rents. They also highlighted the number of women who have experienced domestic abuse or sexual assault and the long term impact this can have. The discussion focused on the need for Women’s Pioneer Staff and residents to work together to meet these challenges and the need for other providers to offer more long-term women’s housing. Denise thanked Jo for her work as the Board’s tenant champion alongside Kasia Kwilecka and the other members of the Resident Scrutiny and Engagement Panel who are working in partnership with staff to involve tenants across WPH in the further development of our homes and services.
Aramatou Toure, a textile artist, poet, and also one of our residents, inspired and awed us all with a reading of two of her poems on the topics of strong women & empowerment. We then had Las Chicas Doradas, or Golden Girls, a traditional Colombian dance group from Pioneer Way showcase their moves. The talent and creativity of WPH residents is fabulous, and we are very grateful to all those who exhibited their artwork, jewellery and poetry on the night.
Steel pan group Mangrove then got everyone on the floor and dancing the night away. Thank you all for making it such a fantastic event.
Anyone who would like to get involved with our Heritage Lottery project should contact Sorcha: [email protected].