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This toolkit is rooted in the experience of those working directly alongside women, and is personal, down to earth, straight talking, accessible, friendly and practical. It’s an enjoyable read that shares the triumphs, big and small, of running the groups, as well as the challenges and learning.

We hear about the day-to-day experiences of the women co-ordinating, facilitating and participating in the groups. We are offered tools, exercises, resources and tips; to consider and work through with the women in our groups, as well as colleagues and co-facilitators.

During the programme I had the good fortune to meet some of the women, participants and coordinators, at the learning events. Each time I was struck by the positive energy in room. Women were delighted to be funded for what they felt they often did best – to bring women together for mutual support. There was excitement at being part of a large community of projects, and surprise and relief to have headspace to reflect, share and develop thinking. Those attending were moved and motivated by the stories of the women attending the groups; the challenges they have faced, their personal growth and courage.

Through these events, the programme allowed space for collaboration, cross-fertilisation of ideas, fresh thinking and new ways of working. All which is reflected in this guide. This toolkit is comprehensive, but well signposted, and is ideal for dipping in and out of at each stage of your group’s journey.

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