Helen Parrott, Nottingham real estate senior associate described a volunteering task undertaken for Nottingham Women Centre at the end of a two year fundraising partnership. ‘Most Friday mornings here in Shoosmiths’ Nottingham office start with a strong coffee and a deep breath before opening the inbox. Friday 11May 2018 was different. Eleven volunteers from across the office were awaiting their first “proper” day’s work in some time.
We had all committed to helping to transform two rooms at the Nottingham Womens’ Centre from drab and underused spaces into a tranquil therapy room for use by the users of the centre and a smart meeting space.
NWC has been around for 40 years offering a diverse range of services and activities. You may have heard of their successful campaign to get Nottinghamshire Police to record misogyny as a hate crime https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-36775398. The Centre provides a safe environment for women to take part in training or other activities, access services or campaign for women’s issues.
The huge success of our various fundraising events throughout the year allowed us to build up enough funds to really tackle the refurbishment project with style! We had ordered bespoke curtains for the therapy room and Jacqui Wall, HR and Estates Administrator in Nottingham, very kindly offered her sewing skills and made a cushion to fit the window seat.
We had also been able to buy various other items to help to create a soothing space for massage, counselling and other therapies including plants, aromatherapy diffusers and even a wall mounted CD player for ambient music. Our focus on the day itself was painting the whole room in soft shades of green – quite a job when the ceilings are as high as in this Victorian building! In fact we had to go back to the Centre the following day to add the finishing touches as we just ran out of time on the day itself. The result was a beautiful, calming space to allow users of the Centre to relax and get the most out of the therapies offered in that setting.