This week, Bristol Women’s Voice met with Carly, the organiser of Bristol Women’s March to chat to her about her motivations behind organising a march in Bristol, and ideas about how to encourage action for women to take forward the enthusiasm, passion and drive that they gained from last week’s march.

Carly moved from London to Bristol only six months ago, after years of anxiety about feminism, that her voice doesn’t deserve to be heard and a lack of confidence. Her work in a professional capacity in the women’s fitness community around respecting your body and yourself bubbled away under the surface until Trump came along, and at this moment, she never felt so passionate about wanting to do something positive.

Carly had never organised a march before, so when she noticed four days before that her closest one was Cardiff, she thought that she would march in Bristol, and if she was the only one walking, so be it. She set up an event on social media that evening, and overnight, 200 people had registered. By the Friday morning, it was 600 and then by the Friday evening, 1144 sign ups. She had a bit of a panic, phoned 101 and then emailed attendees to let everyone know that she wanted the march to be happy and positive.

After a sleepless night, she got up at 6am, put on Missy Eliot and thought, well what would Missy do in this situation? Own it and enjoy it. So she did.

When Carly herself arrived on College Green and looked back to still see women on Queens Square, it felt quite emotional that her seemingly small decision four days ago to march herself in Bristol had garnered such an amazing response from women across the city.

Carly’s life changed dramatically over those four days – she had wonderful women across the city emailing her to offer help with supporting her on the march, as well as helping with press releases on the day. And whilst she has her own life and job to go back to, she feels inspired to help empower others to take further action, and is setting up a monthly meeting to provide women with the opportunity to find out about what is going on in Bristol, and take forward action about what is important to them. Can you make it?

WHEN: Wednesday 1st Feb, 6.30-8.30pm

WHERE: The Watershed Cafe Bar @ “The Link” area 

(up the stairs/lift and on the right as you go in. It’s fully accessible!)

Register: Take 10 seconds and click to register HERE.

In the meantime, we spoke about immediate ways women can take forward their action, passion and enthusiasm –

  1. Donate spare money to local women’s charities (like ourselvesSARSASMissing Link, Womankind, One25, Refugee Women of Bristol to name a few)
  2. Donate your time to local charities – many are always on the look out for additional pairs of hands, some will have specific voluntary programmes and many are looking for people to fundraising for them – particularly as women’s charities have felt the impact of the cuts and austerity over the last few years
  3. Donate old clothes and umbrellas to One25
  4. Support local female artists, women-run businesses etc.
  5. Start conversations with friends and/or colleagues about why you decided to march last week – by talking with people, you are creating new dialogues with people who may not have felt the same way!
  6. Let Bristol Women’s Voice know if you have an idea of how to create change – often we can help, facilitate or provide support.

Change starts with you, and you can make a difference.