Celebrating International Women’s Day 2023

Wednesday 8th March marks International Women’s Day 2023. 

We know that the voices of women experiencing homelessness often go unheard. We’re trying to change this in Leicester.

Over the last 12 months, we’ve developed a Women’s Open Space in partnership with The Bridge Leicester. The space is a safe women’s only environment which welcomes women who have personal experience of homelessness to come together to share experiences and socialise.

A grant from World Habitat’s Innovation Fund as well as funding from the LLR Community Foundation’s ‘Making Local Life Better’ scheme, has enabled us to establish these regular monthly sessions. Launched just over 12 months a go, we’ve seen a total of 35 different women attending. The sessions have provided a valuable forum to gather women’s experiences and their views about local services. This has enabled Action Homeless to create a women’s action plan, directly informed by lived experience, to improve our offer to women experiencing homelessness.

As well as looking at our own organisational responses to women’s homelessness, the feedback received at the sessions has helped us to reach out to other charities working with women and girls locally to discuss common themes and potential approaches and solutions.

The project has enabled building of friendships and peer support. We conducted a survey with women who regularly attend the Open Space which found that;

  • 100% of survey respondents said that the Open Space had improved their self-confidence
  • 100% said it had helped them to access additional support
  • 75% said it had helped them to make new friends
  • 75% said it had helped them to learn a new skill or try a new activity

Read some reflections on homelessness by women who’ve experienced it. You can also read Rebecca and Sirri’s stories and how Action Homeless has helped them towards breaking the cycle of homelessness.