WiCAT announces closure

WiCAT International Women's Day workshop 2020

In a statement issued on Monday 10th April 2020 in their email newsletter, WiCAT (Women in Construction, Arts & Technology) has announced that, due to pressures of the pandemic, they have come to the conclusion that the formal structure of WiCAT Limited is no longer sustainable and will be finally closing down.

WiCAT logoThe statement reads:

“It is with great sadness that we are writing to you today to inform you that we have finally had to make the difficult decision to close WiCAT down.

“Over the years WiCAT (and previously the South Yorkshire Women’s Development Trust / Women’s Construction Centre) has changed many women’s lives for the better – especially ours! But we have now reached a critical point for the organisation, and so we are writing to all those on our mailing list.

“You may be one of the women who came along to our big event on International Women’s Day 2020. It was really successful and following the ‘taster day’ lots of women wanted to do classes in the many construction skills that we covered. We thought we had overcome the difficulties of moving location, and the lack of funding due to the ‘austerity’ cutbacks. But no, then came Covid 19.

“The pressure of the pandemic affected everyone and we lost our base as our host Endeavour was forced to take back the office/admin space they had so kindly given us, in order that they might survive.

“All our tutors were keen to carry on, regardless of the challenges. But the difficulties in all our personal and work lives soon showed-up the limitations of being an entirely voluntary organisation, with a very small skeleton crew. In the end, the only classes we were able to run were outdoor pointing classes at Wortley Hall for small numbers of students.

“In December 2020 we dissolved our office in, but we were still able to keep our storage space for tools and materials. Throughout 2020 and 2021 the pandemic ground on relentlessly, with the possibility of running classes getting further and further away from us.

“At the beginning of this year we came to the conclusion that the formal structure of WiCAT Limited was no longer sustainable.

“In these strange times, you don’t know what may be around the corner – be it good or bad. We have lost the certainty we used to have that ‘it will all work out somehow’. Although we are closing down, a few of us who comprise the present management team keep on dreaming and coming up with ideas. So should any opportunity arise in the future to share our skills with you again in any shape or form, we will be ready.

“WiCAT was, no, is the women who have kept it going over years. The students, the volunteers, the management committee, the tutors, the technicians, the supporters, the administrators, ‘Pledge-a-Tenner’ individuals and, of course, the funders – all have played their part and have been WiCAT. We would like to give a massive thanks to all those who have supported us in any way over the years.

“For those of you who have been generous enough to support us by making an annual or monthly pledge to WiCAT, please remember to cancel your standing orders as our bank account will be closing down very soon.

“Any monies left over in the WiCAT account are being or have already been distributed to other organisations to carry on some of the positive work and support for women in construction, arts and technology. These organisations are Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WEST), Upper Don Arts Community (UDAC) and Friends of Firth Park Community Allotment

“Once again, a massive thanks to everyone for your great support over the years – hopefully we will be together again soon in some shape or form!

“All the best from all of us at WiCAT, Cathy, Claudia, Mandy, Josette and Tracy”

Website: http://www.wicat.org.uk/

The featured photo is by Cathy Cain taken at the 2020 WiCAT International Women’s Day event.

WiCAT International Women's Day workshop 2020


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