It’s been far too long since we updated you all on our current progress. Positively, this is because we’ve been very, very busy!
Since we last blogged on here the work we’ve done and developments we’ve experienced would take all day to list, so I’ll try and keep it to just the key highlights.
In terms of workshops, we were fortunate enough to receive three ‘Wellbeing Grants’ from the Bristol Council Neighbourhood Partnerships scheme. This allowed us to work in Redland Green, Cotham School and City Academy. Initially we ran a series of one-off workshops for years 7, 8 and 9 on Gender in Our Everyday Lives, Lad Culture and Porn & Consent. In addition to these we have started an exciting new programme called Gender Equality Ambassadors (GEA). For this programme we are recruiting 6th Form students at each school to become ambassadors for their peers. This is done through training provided by TIGER, culminating in a student-led project, either in the form of workshops run for younger students, or in the production of educational and creative resources which TIGER will display on our website. The GEA programme started in Redland Green in September and is still in its early stages, but so far it’s been really great to work with young people on an on-going basis. This allows us to draw out more in-depth discussion and witness gradual changes in attitudes. More on this in coming weeks!
Another huge boost was our successful funding bid for a National Lottery: Awards for All grant. This funding has been used to launch another brand new TIGER programme. This is called Gender Equality Exhibition Leaders (GEEL). Similar to the GEA programme, this is a longer-term process whereby we work with young people over 6-12 weeks to give a series of workshops. Rather than working in schools these sessions are run in youth clubs and girl guides/scouts groups. The programme consists of 3 workshops aimed at educating and inspiring the young people about issues of gender inequality. We then let the young people choose a way of visually expressing their feelings on the subject in the form of an exhibit piece, be it poetry, a poster, a mood-board, a painting, or anything else they wish to do. At the end of the whole programme we will collate these pieces and stage an exhibition in Bristol and invite the public to come along. This is the first time we’ve been able to work with non-school groups like this and it’s proving really interesting and rewarding. The GEEL programme is scheduled to finish sometime in early Spring, so keep an eye open for the exhibition.
TIGER also appeared at the FiLiA conference in October in London. Having attended the previous Feminism in London conferences as members of the public, it was really flattering and encouraging to be asked back to run a workshop. We ran a session for young people on porn and female sexualities, which went really well, apart from the fire alarm going off mid-way through!
Outside of workshops we completed a new volunteer recruitment drive in August and have welcomed a new bunch of enthusiastic volunteers to help us run all of these many sessions!
The coming months will be busy with the GEA and GEEL programmes, as well as some interesting one-off workshops with university students and schools. We are also in the middle of some very exciting ongoing discussions with a big UK organisation!
Finally, we have applied for some more funding which we need to allow us to take our work into primary schools. We believe reaching out to children at these younger ages is the key to tackling gender stereotypes before they are too entrenched. But we need votes for this funding! Please take a moment to vote for us here by November 21st : https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-5958
See you soon!