Helping communities flourish: How Annie is empowering local women

Group of women at local community event put on by guardian

Annie is passionate about empowering women and girls. Having set up Hope for Teens (a Ghana based charity), she has an impressive track record for creating social impact. Annie recently brought her voluntary efforts closer to her current east London base, hosting an International Women’s Day event for local women in partnership with Poplar HARCA. The evening saw women come together through a variety of activity based workshops and inspirational talks.

Annie is the first Dot Dot Dot guardian to receive a grant from our new Guardian Community Events Fund. So, we caught up with her about how it all went.

Annie’s vision  

Although Annie is no stranger to putting on community events, this is the first event she’s held as a property guardian.

“Since moving to east London as a guardian, I’ve met many women whose roles are centred around the home and family,” she tells us. “Through my past work, I’ve identified correlations between low self-esteem and women who assume caretaker roles. My vision for this event was to create a space for women to come together and empower one another.”

Dot Dot Dot’s Community Events Fund was created to help guardians focus their social efforts locally. Annie is the first guardian to formally receive funding from us. “With the funding from Dot Dot Dot, I was able to get word out about the event,” she explains. “I used the grant to create flyers, banners and other promotional materials.”

Empowering women in east London

“I was really pleased with the turnout,” Annie reveals. “Many women came and some even brought their children along. So it turned into a bit of a family event.”

Annie organised a variety of workshops and talks aimed at engaging and informing women. “There was a range of informational stalls, workshops and speeches. We held a workshop on anger and stress management. A local woman also delivered an embroidery class. The women in attendance could also access information about drug, alcohol and domestic abuse.”

“One of my favourite moments from the evening was the African drumming workshop,” Annie continues. “Everyone got involved including the children. It was a lot of fun.”

Community building 

Annie also organised for four women to speak about their personal journeys. “The talks spanned a variety of topics from award winning community work, to teaching children how to swim.”

Annie also spoke on self belief and hope. “I wanted to impart the importance of self belief and of framing failure as an opportunity for growth. Life is not a competition. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who hold you accountable and help you achieve your goals.”

“The highlight of the event for me was the response from the women,” Annie says. “They expressed how grateful they were for the opportunity to come together and many expressed interest in joining a regular women’s group that I’d like to set up.”

Women speaking at international women's day event

Looking forward  

Annie teamed up with local housing provider, Poplar HARCA, who provided the space for the event.

“Poplar Harca were really pleased with how the event turned out and the impact it had on the women,” Annie says. “They want me to run future events in partnership with them. The next event will be focussed on wellbeing and mindfulness.”

While Dot Dot Dot guardians are temporary residents of their communities, their impact is clearly long-lasting and meaningful.