A guest post by Swansea Feminist Network about the threatened closure of the Swansea Women’s Centre.
This is a guest post by Catherine Elms, who is a writer, activist, and media officer of the Swansea Feminist Network. The Swansea Feminist Network is a fledgling grassroots organisation of women in the Swansea area which holds regular meetings, discussion groups, social gatherings, and space for activism.
We at the Swansea Feminist Network have just received some devastating news. The Swansea Women’s Centre will close down at the end of July as the funding they were banking on to stay open has not been granted by the Welsh Assembly Government. Unless a miracle happens, and money is found by next week, the planned closure will be forced to go ahead.
The Women’s Centre has been running for over thirty years, and is the only remaining centre of its kind in Wales. It provides general advice, support and information for women on a range of issues, including domestic violence, health, education, sexual health, and abuse. They provide support and self help groups, crèche facilities, a library, training courses and volunteering opportunities, and a drop-in with tea, coffee and the chance to socialise.
We can’t let this closure go ahead. The Women’s Centre provides an invaluable service to the women of Swansea, making an important contribution to our local community that will be sorely missed. To help, you can:
- Write to Sian James, MP of Swansea East, and other female councillors from the Swansea area, such as Erika Kirchner and Barbara Hynes.
- Write a letter of complaint to the Welsh Assembly Government. Their contact info can be found here.
- Write to the local Swansea newspapers – the Evening Post, the Llanelli Star, and Carmarthen Journal, and ask them to report this injustice.
- Attend the Swansea Feminist Network’s Music Fundraiser on the 29th July in order to raise money to keep the centre open. (Facebook event here).
- Donate in any way you can! We’re currently in the process of setting up a page where people can donate money to Swansea Women’s Centre using Paypal. For other ways to donate money or time, get in touch with us at swanseafeministnetworkATgmailDOTcom. Every little penny brings us one step closer to keeping the centre open for good!
- Most importantly: spread the word! Tell everyone you know. Mention this on your blog, twitter, tumblr, Facebook, or in your zine.
We will keep you posted on any developments at our blog.
[The image is of a line drawing of a woman wearing glasses and a checked apron, with curlers in her hair. Next to it on the wall is a large, cut-out paper speech bubble with the words “Women’s World Where?” written on it. The photograph is used under a Creative Commons License and was altered from an original image by gaelx.]