A group from our Gateway Women’s Centre had a fantastic night out at the Brighton Dome recently, which left the women singing and dancing all the way to their bus stops!

Gateway had been given some free tickets from Brighton Festival’s ‘Pay it Forward Scheme’, and the staff and clients went to see The Big Song. It was an evening of tunes and music, with 100 singers from local community choirs entertaining everyone. The sound was amazing – uplifting, spine-tingling and fun.

Gateway hadn’t organised an evening outing before like this, and the team wondered if the women would be interested. The team know that some of the women don’t like to go out in the evenings, for various reasons including tiredness, and worries about safety. One of the women initially said she wouldn’t come, as she doesn’t normally go out that late then at the last minute she asked if there was a spare ticket.  After the show, she said “I’m so glad I came out!”, as she said the companionship, laughter and singing had lifted her depressed mood.  

Others said how much they enjoyed having a special evening out in good company, where they felt safe and relaxed.  One of the women said “it makes you feel like you’re having a normal life if you go out in the evening”.  Another said “I never have anything to do in the evening and just stay at home”.   Others said they were inspired to join a community choir!

It was great to see such a happy and relaxed group of women - an outing like this can create happy memories for those going through hard times.  The evening was such a success, the women have since asked for more evening outings. Suggestions include a trip to the cinema, a ballet and the panto at Christmas. 

We would love to be able to fund this, and if you feel you would like to sponsor a trip like this then we would love to hear from you at office@offthefence.org.uk.