Platform 51 Centre Opens in Bristol

by Cezara Nanu
on Monday 13 Jun 2011

type: Press Release
topic: Community
region: Bristol

Women’s Centre to support girls and women as they take control of their lives

A Centre which will help support over 500 girls and women per year in Bristol is opening in June in the heart of Knowle West. The Platform 51 Centre is opening at 10 am on Friday 17th of June at 1 Knowle West Health Park, Downton Rd, Knowle West.

Implementing several projects across Bristol, the Centre will feature weekly drop-ins for girls and women across the city which will give on-the-spot support and advice in regards to education, employment, housing, legal or financial matters and any other situation where they may find themselves vulnerable.

Girls and women today face problems that are often subtle or misunderstood. Women are often unheard, isolated and face discrimination.  For this reason, services, activities and campaigns running at the Centre link across three programmes: Inspire, In Touch, and Chrysalis. Inspire is a program designed to  help women improve their skills and get into education or employment by focusing on effective communication skills, pathways to education, financial confidence, CV writing, and interview tips and skills. The In Touch project supports women at risk of or suffering from mild to moderate post natal depression though counselling, support groups, complementary therapies, yoga and various therapy sessions.  Chrysalis offers support to women in the criminal justice system by facilitating access to employment, education and voluntary placements.

The opening will feature a presentation of projects and a panel of speakers including Penny Newman Chief Executive at Platform 51, project staff and women who have managed to overcome difficulties as a result of being involved in the project. Guests present at the opening will include Baroness Corston and Deputy Director of Public Health Pat Diskett. The opening ceremony will be followed by a painting session during which 10 girls and women will paint canvases to portray their identity as women. The paintings will be posted in the Centre to celebrate the open day.

Marisa, 28, a service user at the Centre said: “The Centre provides a safe and very supportive environment that gives girls and women opportunities to have their voices heard, to meet others and form new friendship groups. By providing continuous skill building and training opportunities, it aims enhance and empower the lives of women across the city”.

The move to the new house was made possible due to a fruitful cooperation with NG Bailey, the UK’s leading independent building services businesses. David Thomas, Operations Director for Bristol, Cardiff & Exeter said: “It is hard to comprehend and accept the many issues and hardships some girls and women face. It is obvious that the support they receive through Platform 51 is paramount to them as they try so hard to take control of their lives and we applaud all those involved in this necessary and very worthwhile work.”

Cezara Nanu, Centre Manager at Platform 51 said: “Girls and women are at the heart of all we do. At the new Centre our activities, services and campaigns will be about things women from Bristol need and want. Here, we give them a platform to have their say and challenge discrimination.”

The Open Day will conclude with a bbq and tour of the house for visitors and interested guests.


Notes for editors

For more information please phone Cezara Nanu on 07768701753.

Agenda for Platform 51 Bristol Centre Open Day

The Open Day for Platform 51 Bristol Centre is on Friday 17th of July at 10 am – 4 pm at 1 Knowle West Health Park, Downton Road, Knowle West.

Refreshments from 10 am, followed by talks, discussions, bbq and cake, ending at 4 pm.

10 am: Official opening ceremony

11 am: Art exhibition at the centre

12 pm: BBQ and open tours of the house and Health Park

4 pm:   Open day closing

About Platform 51

Platform 51 supports girls and women as they take control of their lives.

Platform 51 is the operating name of YWCA England & Wales, a registered charity, number 217868. Our company number is 137113 and our registered office is Clarendon House, 52 Cornmarket Street, Oxford, OX1 3EJ