We have been working so hard and pursuing so many leads over the last few years. Although some are still active, none has yet resulted in anything definite.
So on Saturday 6th October we decided to have a Re-Think Day.
We had a roomful of wise, experienced, knowledgeable, imaginative and supportive people analysing our situation. We also had a lot of apologies from similarly qualified people who were unable to attend in person, but have contributed their thoughts.
These were the key issues raised:-
- CLARIFY OUR MESSAGE
It may be obvious to us, but not everyone understands what we are aiming to do and why. We need more evidence and a better pitch. We should examine the social impact of women’s spaces we have lost; UCL students will be helping us with this. What are the impacts of women’s campaigns and organisations NOT having affordable, accessible, suitable space?
- COMMUNICATE THE MESSAGE
We need a new website, better story-telling, photos, video, more use of social media. We need better ways of explaining what we are proposing; 3D walk-through models
Must it be new build? How big does it need to be? What types of spaces must be included?
- FINDING A SITE
Various new possibilities suggested. Should we continue to expect support from public bodies in these times of austerity or should we try to raise £5mn in community shares and buy our own site?
Must we pilot in London? Perhaps we could pilot in 3 places? Land outside London more available. How central does it need to be? Can you make a back-street safe?
- MEANWHILE USE
Should we try to deliver RooO in a temporary space? Or would this divert our energies from the main objective? Would demonstrate possibilities and provide a track record.
- FUNDING AND FINANCE
Various sources suggested. Recommended we at least get some small grants to help with the work. Suggestion of a Women’s Lottery!
Draft London Plan is focused on housing, housing and more housing. We need to pressure for community space and other infrastructure as well
Room did not like use of Patrons! Lots of contacts suggested
We identified many possibilities, old and new
We should turn our mailing list into members. We should also ask for organisational membership.
You can plainly see that there is SO much work to be done on all these issues. We are looking for people to help. We welcome applicants to join the Board. We welcome volunteers, especially if you can address particular issues described above. Contact us! firstname.lastname@example.org