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We are thrilled to be launching a brand new, very special project in 2020; A Woman’s Space. Having received a grant from The Tampon Tax Community Fund via The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) Making Space will be launching an inspiring programme of workshops that concentrate on body positivity, personal identity and female empowerment. This is a creative project designed for women, being taught by professional female artists and craftswomen!

The Tampon Tax fund has a special resonance here for historical reasons. In the 50’s Procter and Gamble applied to opened a factory on the Dunsbury Way industrial site making sanitary towels and tampons under the Tampax brand. The factory opened in 1959 and was a huge part of Leigh Park’s identity as so many local residents worked there. Unfortunately, after 44 years of trading, in January 2003 the firm axed 400 staff and decided to move its factory to Eastern Europe. The last workers shut up shop in June 2003, the factory was later demolished and the Billy’s Copse housing was built in its place.

We would love to engage some of the former female employees with this project and hope they will enjoy sharing stories of working for this iconic feminine brand. We hope that through being together in a safe, open and friendly space, by learning new creative skills, making items they’re proud of and learning how to use new tools and equipment the women and girls involved in the project will gain new skills, build confidence and enjoy themselves. The workshops will offer a wide range of crafts such as ceramics and textiles to engage imaginations and creativity.

This inspiring project will include a series of different workshops and sessions including; 3 x 10week terms of Young Designers – a weekly after-school course looking at fashion, textiles and design; and a week-long creative summer school for 13-18year olds. Both of these projects will focus on female empowerment and body image and the girls will be able to express their thoughts and feelings through creativity.

The year long programme will also include three Adult Saturday workshops led by local professional craftswomen, and two Mother & Daughter days in which traditional domestic crafts like knitting and stitching will be revitalised and used in new ways – such as sharing messages of positivity in fun, tongue-in-cheek and creative embroideries.

All items made will be showcased at a celebration event to take place towards the end of the year!

Making Space is now busy putting together the programme of events and will confirm dates and details soon (so sign up  to keep up-to-date with news and events). Any female teenagers that are inspired to get involved can already sign up to the Spring Term of Young Designers by clicking here. Places are limited to 10 per term and places have been subsidised through the generous funding we received.

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) is an independent charitable trust established to inspire local giving for local need. The Community Foundation works both with donors who want to give something back to their local communities and voluntary groups providing vital services for local people. Companies, individuals, families and trusts can establish a fund with the Foundation, which supports a growing programme of grant-making to communities. HIWCF is part of a national network of 46 Community Foundations, one of the fastest growing philanthropic movements in the UK.

For more information about the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation, applying for a grant or donating please visit www.hiwcf.com or contact: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation T: 01256 776101 E: info@hiwcf.com

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