We caught up with Kate- who oversees our art classes & craft workshops at Gateway Women’s Centre- to find out what’s been happening recently at the project.

What is your role at Gateway?

My role at Gateway is a bit of a mixture really, but simply put I’m a Support Worker. I lead the craft activities at the Coffee and Craft drop-ins each week, as well as developing new Creative Workshops.  I also manage the emergency food bank and all the donations we receive, as well as visiting one of our clients at home who is unable to attend Gateway due to health problems.

How long have you worked at Gateway, and how has your role changed?

I have worked at Gateway for over 6 years, starting as a volunteer and later joining the staff team!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Because my role involves such a wide range of different tasks, it really does keep things interesting and varied! I love seeing the women who visit Gateway gain confidence and a sense of self-worth through taking part in the craft activities. It is also great to see the women encouraging each other around the craft table, as well as developing new skills for themselves. 

What does your average day look like (if there is an average day!)? 

I plan the craft activities for the drop in sessions (thank you Pinterest!) This can be anything from sewing bunting and bags, to stone painting and card making. I gather the resources and instructions needed, and then begin to welcome the women who are visiting that day.  I will also set up our donations table with food/clothes/toiletries or whatever else has been donated from our very generous and loyal supporters. In the afternoon, there might be a workshop, an outreach visit, organizing further donations or planning ahead and researching future activities.

What’s new at Gateway?

We have just embarked on a new set of Creative Workshops on a Monday afternoon. The first is upcycling donated furniture and we’ll be following this with mosaics and then silk painting.  We have also started to run fortnightly ‘Food for Thought’ sessions lead by one of our interns, which gives the women time and space to reflect on something with a Christian theme. We’re really pleased with how this has been received by the women. They are now bringing their own contributions to the session which is fantastic!

What’s coming up this year at Gateway?

We have a number of exciting events coming up at Gateway in the near future! We have our monthly Wellbeing Wednesday Workshops, with a Sign Language session and a Bread-making Workshop coming up. We are going on several outings, the first being to the circus as part of the Brighton Festival and later in the summer, we have our annual coach trip which the women really look forward to each year. This year Gateway are going to a wildlife centre, and towards the end of the summer we will be visiting again the Secret Garden in Hove. And of course, who would want to miss our garden party complete with cream tea?!

We’re continuing to look forward to expanding the range of workshops we offer in order to reach out and meet the needs of the women we work with more effectively. We also have plans for meeting new women, either at Gateway or in other locations and regularly receive referrals from other local health organisations, charities and local GPs.

 

Thanks, Kate.  It sounds like a busy year ahead for Gateway Women’s Centre!