Looking Back On 2023

As we come to the end of a packed year at WIN, full of friendships old and new as we continue to build bridges between women of all faiths and none, we want to share our highlights from 2023 and the exciting things we’re looking forward to in 2024.

Time to Talk

In 2023 we wrapped up the Time to Talk series, our panel series on a variety of topics which amplifies women’s voices and brings together secular and faith-based perspectives, with Time to Talk: Cost of Living Crisis for World Social Justice Day. We were lucky enough to talk to amazing speakers: Danni Malone, Director of Network Programmes and Innovation at the Trussell Trust, and Ignacia Pinto, the Research and Policy Officer at the Women’s Budget Group. Watch it HERE Watch this space to find out how we will continue to platform women’s voices on the issues that matter to them in 2024! Something exciting is coming soon...

Little Amal

One of the highlights of our year was in April, when WIN had the special opportunity to meet Little Amal, the 12-foot puppet of a Syrian girl who travels the world shining a light on the struggles faced by refugee communities. Amal came to London to mark the festivals of Ramadan, Passover and Easter and was greeted by a delegation of WIN members who presented her with a lantern - co-designed by WIN and the Little Amal team - on behalf of London’s diverse faith communities and those without faith. This powerful and moving event was a real high point for the WIN team and affirmed our common humanity in the face of hate and division. Read more about the event on the blog HERE Keep following Amal’s journey HERE

Festival Diaries

Our Festival Diary series on the blog continues to offer snapshots into the lived experiences of women of different faiths. This year’s 8 Festival Diaries have included entries from Bahai, Christian, Jain, Pagan and Hindu members, as well as a bumper edition series for Interfaith Week. Contact us if you would like to write a Diary entry for a religious festival in 2024!

Interfaith Shared Meals

In 2023, WIN launched our Food and Friendship project: a programme of shared meals bringing together asylum-seeking women in contingency hotels with our supportive WIN family of all faiths and none. Sharing food and cooking together breaks down barriers, and can be a powerful tool for intercultural and interfaith dialogue. Our successful July launch event at Westbourne Park Family Centre brought together 60 women from Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu traditions alongside women of no faith, making friends, sharing recipes and even getting involved in some laughter yoga! We are now bringing this special project to other Boroughs of Sanctuary in London, where local government and community partners have committed to creating a cilmate of welcome for migrants and refugees. We will need your ongoing support to nurture this much-needed social hub for asylum-seeking women, so watch this space to hear about upcoming meals near you! Read more about the City of Sanctuary scheme HERE  Read more about Food and Friendship HERE

Updates from Our WIN Groups

East Sussex WIN celebrated their 10th Anniversary in November with a fabulous party which attracted five new members, Congratulations! Barnet WIN have got together to celebrate many festivals and to teach each other about their faiths and religious festivals. Events have included: The Origins of Judaism, celebrating the birthday of Baha'u'llah and summer afternoon tea in the garden! Waltham Forest WIN won this year at the Faith and Belief Community Awards in the Interfaith Relations category, well done! Gants Hill WIN have continued their programme of yoga, devotional sessions and celebrating religious festivals, as well as close involvement with Redbridge Council.

Coming Soon in 2024

Next year WIN will be celebrating our 20th anniversary with a packed programme of events and new ways to engage with our community, all around the theme of Keeping Faith. We can’t wait to tell you more about what we’ve got planned and how you can get involved, so watch this space! We’re so grateful for our WIN community, our trustees, our members and everyone who’s supported us over 2023. We send our best wishes to everyone celebrating winter festivals in the coming weeks and are holding in our thoughts all those experiencing hardship, difficulty and violence, as we continue to pray for the gift of peace for the future.
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