Tea and Confidence session

Salford and Greater Manchester women are being offered the opportunity to attend Tea and Confidence sessions with a variety of female speakers, ran by the Wai Yin Society.

The purpose of these sessions is to build confidence through encouraging women to try new things, learn new skills and make new friends.

Image Credits: Susan Crabb

Tea and Confidence is aimed at BME, Black and Minority Ethnic, women who are not currently in work, and is funded by a European Social Fund grant that the Wai Yin Society applied for last year.

The Wai Yin Society, which is funded by Salford Council, is an organisation founded by Chinese women in 1988, who’s aim is to support and empower ethnic minority groups in the UK.

Project worker, Susan Crabb stated: “The one thing I’ve seen that always holds women back is confidence issues.”

She also explained how the Tea and Confidence workshops are built in the idea that “if I can see it, I can be it”.

“The idea of tea and confidence is creating a group where women feel really safe to talk, they can improve their language skills, they can make new friends, they can learn about different opportunities, they can improve their receptive things by listening to different speakers and really learn more about what they can achieve as individuals.”

The Tea and Confidence sessions (which began in January of this year) involves a working woman from the North West, specifically Manchester, sharing her journey in her sector with the aim of inspiring the women in the audience to have the confidence to go out and achieve things they didn’t think they were capable of before.

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Speakers have come from many different industries, such as construction and art.

The courses not only provide inspiration to women, they also allow them the opportunity to follow up on the session.

Surriya Walters, who spoke on Tuesday, February 11, works for the Good Things Foundation.

The Good Things Foundation are working with Salford City Council on a project called “Digital You” to promote digital skills in the community, giving them the capability to become independent users of computers and the internet.

Ms Walters gave a presentation about women and digital skills which concentrated on the benefits of getting online and having the confidence to thrive in a digital world.

She explained her own journey and overcoming barriers, worked with the learners to help them to recognise their own achievements in overcoming their personal barriers and encouraged them to talk about women who inspire them.

To find out more about the Digital You project click here.

Susan Crabb explained “We’ve got a cohort that are over 50 who are getting involved in Manchester Art Gallery in an art installation project to talk about women who work over 50 so they can share their experiences.” Additionally, women are now taking part in the Manchester Women’s Walk.

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Many of the women who attend this course speak English as a second language, meaning communication can be difficult.

The organisers request the speakers not use slang in their talks to ensure as many women in the audience understand, and when there is anything that gets lost in translation, there is an ESOL, English for Speakers of Other Languages, teacher on hand to explain and guarantee everybody understands and gets the most out of the experience.

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Susan said: “The group in itself has been a bit of a revelation for some of the participants but more than anything I think for the speakers who are coming to talk to them about how much these women have achieved in their lives already, you know, with moving to a different country, mastering a new language, all the skills that they’ve got.

“For the speakers its about helping these women recognise the skills and amazing ambition they already have and showing them where the opportunities are.”

To find out more about the Wai Yin Society, see below.

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