Women changing the world

Story by Kath Swinney and Deborah Blencowe | Photo by Deborah Blencowe

International Women’s Day is a worldwide celebration of women’s achievements that has been held for over a hundred years. Aspiring Communities Together (ACT) organized a vibrant celebration for local women at their Healthy Living Centre on Earl Marshal Road on 14th March.

There was a warm welcome for everyone. ACT is a community organisation with a women’s only gym, a beautiful modern cafe, and education and advice services for the community including ESOL classes, advice services and health and well-being initiatives.

Usha Blackham, Firvale Community Learning Champion, showed me around the busy centre. There were stalls that showcased the work of local women selling jewelry, cosmetics, handbags and confectionary, offering mehndi hand art by a local artist and traditional Yemeni bahkur products. Delicious international food was selling fast and the raffle was popular.

Abtisam Mohamed, director of Aspiring Communities Together and councilor for Firth Park gave an inspirational speech about the achievements of women. Centre staff were dressed as

Ten females
Photo by Deborah Blencowe

“Women Who Changed the World” and included: Arwa ruler of Yemen; Marie Curie, the scientist; Fatimah Jinnah, mother of the nation of Pakistan, Rosa Parks, the civil rights activist; Ibtihaj Mohammad, Olympic fencer and Florence Nightingale. A competition was held and the winner was Cynthia, dressed as Angela Davis, the American Civil Rights activist. In second place was Nadeen as Coco Chanel, designer, business woman and namesake for the Chanel brand.


The day was fun and everyone learned about the potential for women to change the world for the better. To contact ACT phone 0114 243 4340 Email: reception@actsheffield.com Have a look at their website on www.actsheffield.com