Women of all ages and backgrounds came together with their families and friends to celebrate International Women’s Day at Back FC and Rec. Club.

Kicking off the week’s activities, families were invited to a disco divas party. Inflatable microphones and guitars, disco lights and a buffet were all on hand to encourage some dancing to a sound track of female singers and musicians. All ages took to the dance floor for an evening of family fun.

The hall was then transformed by a team of volunteers into an art exhibition and conference venue ready to host a fantastic collection of artwork from more than 30 different local female artists. The exhibition titled “Celebrating our Women” was officially opened by Cllr Catriona Stewart at a launch event attended by over 50 people on Thursday. 

“We were really pleased with the level of  interest the exhibition attracted”  said Terri Davies, Sport and Community Project Co-ordinator.

“It was really inspiring to see the quality and diversity of artwork produced locally by women.”

Performance arts took over on Thursday night with poetry, singing and musical performances all taking centre stage at the open mic night organised by Cabraich art group. 

The art exhibition remained open to the public on Friday and Saturday attracting a steady stream of visitors some of which  attended the Friday morning  coffee morning which along with Saturdays collection raised £240 for Western Isles Women’s Aid.

Around 150 women came to the conference on Saturday, workshops were diverse, with something for everyone from gardening to sew your own knickers or car maintenance.  There were drop in sessions for beauty treatments and try your hand at crafts and many people said it was a great way to try something for the first time.

“There was a lovely atmosphere” said Terri.

“It was just great to see so many women in one place, engaged in interesting and challenging activities and discussions. At one point we had a group in the hall doing line dancing, others visiting the exhibition, getting a massage or learning to crochet all  while classes in yoga, quilting and golf were happening elsewhere.

"Even the indoor football pitch was used for keep fit and thai chi”

Attendees were also able to hear from guest speakers; Lindsey Millen from Close the Gap gave a presentation about gender equality and the gender pay gap and Joni Buchanan talked about the local history of women.

“There was a lot of volunteer effort that went into the week’s events” commented Terri “and we wouldn’t have been able to do anything like this without the  £5000 funding we received from the Big Lottery Celebrate Fund and food donations from Tesco, but given the feedback we’ll definitely be looking into doing something similar again next year.”

If you’d like to get find out more about activities happening at Back FC and Rec. Club please contact Terri on 01851 820745 or visit www.backfrc.org.uk

For more information about the Celebrate programme please visit: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/celebrate