On Sunday, Stalybridge and Hyde CLP Women’s Forum hosted it’s first Fundraiser, a traditional afternoon tea party. The event was a great success, attended by around 60 Labour women from across the North West. MPs Kate Green and Debbie Abrahams came along to speak and show their support for our Forum and those like it in the rest of the country. I left with the feeling that attendees were both inspired by what they had heard and more determined than ever to do everything within their power to remove this Coalition government with it’s hostile policies towards women and families.
All of this is a great achievement for a Women’s Forum which was only set up in February 2011. Initially, it was dismissed by some male members of our own party as “nothing but a talking shop”. Yet we have managed to prove the doubters wrong. The Forum already attracts a regular crowd of 40 women to it’s bi-monthly meetings and has been responsible for attracting 8 new members to the Labour Party since it’s inception: that’s one new member a month. This is in large part thanks to the innovative approach of Women’s Officer, Jan Jackson, who has thrown out the rule book and invited non-members to come along and see what the group is all about. It’s not rocket science, but it’s something that no-one else in the CLP has tried. As a result, the group is a great mix of age and experience, where everyone has a voice.