I’m Rachel Strong and I’m one of the caseworkers on the Training and Support (TAS) team. I’ve been working at Nottingham Women’s Centre for just over 18 months and, although it might sound a bit cheesy, can honestly say this is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. There are so many reasons to love working at the Women’s Centre, but for me, I think it’s so important that women have a space where they can get support with practically any issue, make friends, try new activities and learn new skills in a place where they will always be encouraged and never judged.
There is no such thing as a “typical day” on the TAS team. We can jump from supporting a woman to access a food bank, or complete a benefit claim, to encouraging another woman to sign up for a confidence building course, to booking a belly dance teacher for an open day …all in the space of one morning. It’s certainly never dull working here!
Outside of work I enjoy going to gigs and festivals. I love music across a range of genres and being able to watch a punk band on one stage and then a comedy folk band half an hour later on another is perfect. The downside is the portaloos but it’s a price worth paying!
My name is Holly Swinckels and I’ve been at Nottingham Women’s Centre since January 2015. My role here is Service Development and Sustainability Co-ordinator…a long job title which suits the varied things I do!
My role is partly about attracting funding and investment to enable us to continue to offer the services we already run, and to develop new services where we have identified that the needs of local women are not being met. I work very closely with my colleagues to listen to what the women who use the Centre say about how they live their lives, what services, training and support is needed to help them reach their potential and make positive and lasting changes in their lives, and what issues and barriers they encounter. Our recent funding successes with the Big Lottery and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have been based on that work.
My role also involves telling the story of the Women’s Centre and the women who make it such a brilliant place, so I’ve had a very exciting year so far, working on our new motion graphic film and a new website, which will be ready for you to see in our next e-bulletin, plus the re-design of the e-bulletin you are reading now. I’m also working on our new business plan, due for publication later in the year.
Finally, the Women’s Centre being the Women’s Centre, it’s also not unusual for my first job of the day to be to fix a toilet door or arrange for a free dehumidifier in the aftermath of a radiator leak causing a small flood….I love working here, amongst colleagues who do amazing work and the brilliant women who come to the Centre every day and it’s my absolute pleasure to walk into the welcome space every morning. If you haven’t visited us yet, do drop by for a coffee and see what we’re up to.