Women’s group

SWAP (Support for Wigan Arrivals Project) Women’s Group

It was the ambition of Cath Foxon, when she was Chair of SWAP, to establish the
Women’s Group. Few women, particularly Muslim women attend the drop in centres
and English sessions due to their culture and religion where women do not mix with
The group is now in its’ 2 nd year and proving to be a great success. 15 -20
women and their pre-school children attend each week. The women are from
Sudan, Somalia, Albania, Iran and Iraq, Nigeria, Bahrain, Afghanistan,
Kurdistan, Burma, Kuwait, each bringing their unique identities and cultures.

The group offers friendship and a range of activities, whilst volunteers help with
activities, English conversation and to look after the children. An art and craft project
focussing on identity was the first project. The women made collages depicting their
name, and something about themselves; their country, where they lived, their face,
feelings. Collages were made into cushions for them to take home. Some beautiful
sewing and embroidery was demonstrated and most of all the women enjoyed the
project. Since then we have undertaken many activities, see the SWAP Women’s
Group banner, the motifs were painted by the women.
The women attending have all had to leave their homes and possessions, many of
them have been through tragic circumstances and are awaiting the result of their
application to stay in this country. Some are refugees who have joined their
husbands once they have been granted Leave to remain. Some have been in the UK
for a number of years.
The Women’s Group offers some respite from the situation, a friendly welcome and
much needed support. There are currently 6 regular volunteers, 3 from Douglas
Valley Outreach who help with the women’s group, when they can. Getting to know
the ladies, their culture, helping with activities and to improve their English is a
worthwhile experience.
The Women’s Group takes place on Wednesday mornings 10.00 am – 12.00 pm at
Penson Street Community Centre
Penson Street




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