The Women’s Centre is a safe place to drop-in, connect and build community with other women. We believe women need strong social and community connections to thrive in society.
Social inclusion and the participation of women in society are often considered indicators of healthy families and healthy communities. However, an increasing number of women are at risk of being socially isolated. Isolation is a major problem for many women in poverty, new to the city or country, or with health issues. It affects coping skills and makes all other problems harder to deal with.
The Women’s Centre works within a Community Capacity-Building Peer Model for all of our programs and activities, which strives toward improving social inclusion. For example, we offer trust-based peer support, Girl Power Summer Camps, and free workshops and groups on a wide range of topics.
The Women’s Centre works within the framework of a Community Capacity-Building Peer Model, which revolves around women helping women. We recognize that any woman may need help, or be able to provide it, at different times or in different ways in her life. We work to provide safe opportunities for women to volunteer as they are able to and to encourage marginalized women to participate. We encourage a sense of ownership of the Centre and responsibility and care for each other.
The Women’s Centre is a welcoming, safe, women’s-only space for women to walk-in, have a coffee or tea and connect with other women. Women are not required to provide identification to access our programs. We are open to every woman, no matter her situation: any woman, any age, any question. We are open five days and four evenings a week.
Our Services Include:
Lifelong Learning Workshops
In order to stay connected in today’s society we must all learn and grow. However, many women who come to the Centre are unable to take part in community opportunities due to poverty, language, literacy and health issues. The Centre offers free, accessible workshops on a wide range of topics including: basic car care, home repair and maintenance, employment, government benefits and subsidies, computer skills, self-esteem, crafts, dance, stress management, diversity and empowerment issues.
Groups are non-therapeutic and provide women with opportunities to make connections and build their skills. The groups currently running are Friday Community Group for women with developmental disabilities and Practice English. Practice English is a conversational group with no tests, homework or exams.
Girl Power Camps
In response to the vulnerability of adolescent girls, the Women’s Centre designed and implemented a gender-specific program to address the needs of girls. Camps are offered during the summer months for girls (ages 10-12). Through a variety of experiential learning techniques and fun activities, the girls have the opportunity to explore the impact of gender roles, sexism, racism, violence, stereotypes and other issues in a safe environment.
Community Group at the Women’s Centre provides women with developmental disabilities opportunities to find meaningful social connections, look forward to scheduled meetings with others, and try different activities. All of the activities are shared as much as possible amongst the participants with the support and/or supervision of support workers if necessary.
The Women’s Centre is involved in a variety of community events that provide women with opportunities to connect with each other and build community such as International Women’s Day celebrations in March. Every July we host our own Stampede Lunch. With the help of community partners, we provide tickets to events, theatre, movies and the Philharmonic Orchestra. We work with partners such as the Calgary Public Library to ensure that low-income women and children have free library cards. We encourage groups to bring their projects to the Women’s Centre. For example, the My City Project has sponsored activities such as Sewing Home and Artist Trading Cards at the Centre. We also facilitate participation in broader community events such as the Disability Pride Parade.