The number of guests totalled 260, many coming from the immediate area, others from across Gloucestershire and some travelling from even further away to make it to this wonderful evening. Invited guests included working partners, funders, friends of the Friendship Café and workshop leaders. The event also launched ‘Inspire @ The Friendship Café’, which is a new initiative to promote women’s services at the Friendship Café. The ‘Inspire’ committee were joined by 20 volunteers who helped to support the event which has received such positive feedback from all involved.
The evening started with an Aysha special welcome drink and then guests were invited to sign up to their choice of workshop (yoga, rangoli, planting, crochet and dorset buttons) and experience something different. Henna artists were also on hand to decorate hands.
The evening generated a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of smiles and a chance to dress up (or down) to suit.
Guests were welcomed by Aysha who was followed by the speakers, Jenny and Bilkis from the ‘Inspire’ team, Bishop Rachel and Amirah Nandla. Each spoke briefly but importantly about issues affecting women today, in this country and abroad, and the need to keep inspiring young women to continue to follow their dreams and help make changes for women all over the world.
Food was ordered from local women who are setting up small catering businesses, and even that was international. We had samosas (Indian), spring rolls (Chinese), Batata Waras (Pakistani/Bengali) and Patties (Jamaican), Quiche (English), Chicken Shawarma wrap or falafel wrap (Syria) and also Maha Blanca (Phiilipines). The ‘Inspire’ team tried to make it truly international to reflect the communities we serve.
We ended the evening with some tips about how to look after ourselves followed by a prize draw. Gifts were donated by organisations, 'Inspire @ The Friendship Café’ team and the Friendship Café staff and friends.
It was a wonderful evening that aimed to inspire women of all backgrounds to be more involved and to be part of a new future for women.