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Lambeth’s Women’s Project – Public meeting
26 June 2012
Meeting opened with a reminder that all attendees and supporters of Lambeth Women’s Project are volunteers and therefore there is no one voice with more authority over any others.
LWP have secured a solicitor who is picking up the case pro bono. Some of the monies made through donations will be used to pay specific legal costs.
LWP have raised £1,894 over the last few weeks. This is very heart warming considering that this is a time when people do not have a lot of money. The money will be kept in Paypal account and will be drawn when needed. Information about donors and spends will be provided on request so that the process is transparent.
There has been no contact with the council apart from the leader of the council appearing to attack the level of LWP service. This is despite the fact that the council has always commissioned LWP because of their high levels of service, as demonstrated through the council’s very rigorous monitoring process.
Legally there is no need to contact the council or the school. However on a day to day basis school staff have been helpful. Access has been an issue at times but there are moves to resolve this in the interim.
The first week of protest happened at the pot banging in Windrush square. The second week was about protecting LWP property. This week LWP has been engaged in activities including badge making, t-shirt printing and other events. The hope is that the space can still continue and function as a women’s project and everyone is invited to attend and submit suggestions of activities for the next few weeks.
Social media: The blog has over 100 followers. Twitter has over 350 followers and is good for getting news out quickly. Facebook predated these but provides the space for others to contribute their thoughts and ideas for activities.
Press: Got a slot on the 1:30 BBC news on Wednesday. This hasn’t been repeated but the file is online. The Evening Standard had a feature (with some inaccuracies, although sympathetic) and the Lambeth Weekender has been very supportive. There is contact with the Observer but it feels a very local story. The focus of any media is to generate positives and a dialogue around how women are feeling (and not anything that could aggravate the legal situation).
Thanks go to: Lambeth Save our Services for sharing information, highlighting the effect on services and collecting signatures. Brixton Blog have provided coverage and the Feminist Library wrote an open letter of support. Thanks also to bands Woolf, Faggot and Hex on the Beach who raised £300 through a gig which has been deposited in the account.
In the medium term LWP have certain rights including the right to the lease and they are looking to secure the remaining three years so the space can function as a Women’s Project. The hope is for mediation to stay in the building, although there is no money coming in for commissions which has to be considered, and a back up plan is needed in case equipment needs to be quickly packed up.
In the short term the aim is to have a month with new energy so that everyone can experience the benefits of coming to a space like LWP. Therefore the following working groups are proposed, for volunteers against each:
The wellbeing coordinator will look to hold herbal workshops, reflexology and reiki – contact her if anyone is interested in providing or receiving treatments. Other activities include:
– Yoga on every other Sunday at 11am
– T-shirt workshop
– Eating together
– Having an open day for new people to see and experience the centre – (especially if that can include a drum circle)
- Media (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for FB or email@example.com for blog/Twitter)
- Admin and emergency planning (firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Volunteer coordinator (email@example.com )
- LWP is women only in terms of practical usage and absolutely inclusive in terms of trans identity. It is a women run organisation focussing on services for women but men are welcome as allies with advance warning so that sessions can run appropriately (e.g. women’s only yoga). Allies are always welcome and LWP are very pleased that Lambeth SOS are so actively involved.
- Lambeth SOS have been gathering signatures at gigs and outside Brixton tube. They commented that awareness of LWP is high. They will forward over the soft copies of the signatures, continue collecting them and keep in touch with the campaign. There’s been good union support – the person that writes the bulletin asked for information and sent it around all union members.
- A new leaflet would be helpful as things have moved on since the last one – plan is to update it and place it on the Friday blog. A model motion will help for union branches so they can give a donation.
- There has been an email response from PMG – referred to the complaints department at Lambeth.
- Are there any volunteers to take the banners to Pride on 7 July?
- There is a benefit scheduled for 11 July in Brick Lane
- Ritzy offered Upstairs for a benefit. Possible ideas are to show different films of the project. Need to check the date.