W4W Essex defines itself as a group for lesbian and bisexual women, run by a membership. Membership is open to women, over the age of 18, who identify as lesbian or bisexual or who are questioning their sexual identity.
All members are encouraged to become involved with the running of the group and to stand for committee membership and/or host events.
Members are free to choose which events they attend and the amount of time they contribute to W4W. Networking and peer support within the membership are wholeheartedly encouraged!
Born in 1998…
Many of us who are old enough to remember what it was like to love women “back in the day” will agree with us that the changes in the law and the communities are a reason to celebrate even more! However, by far not all of us can feel safe holding hands with their girlfriends, partners and wives wherever they go – so our work is far from done.
Just like “back in the day” W4W Essex see themselves as a much needed go-to for any gay or bi woman who wants to meet other women, who is maybe new to the area, or new to lesbian life.
- To address isolation by providing services appropriate to women’s needs
- To work in partnership with our members to provide accessible services to all current and prospective members regardless of their ethnic background, belief, age, disability, class, health, personal experience or family circumstances.
- To work in ways that involve, empower and develop the members of lesbian communities.
- To link up with other organisations to provide information about local and national events that may be of interest to our members and publish details in our monthly diary and on the website.
- Lesbian and bisexual women may face particular challenges in relation to their emotional and physical well-being. Homophobia, heterosexism, and negative messages about being lesbian may leave women particularly prone to stress and depression. Many encounter discrimination, are victimised, and are confronted with homophobic verbal and physical bullying. Some will experience mental health problems, some will not.
- There are lots of happy, confident, well-adjusted lesbians who are completely open about their sexuality. Lesbians who feel part of the gay community, are part of groups and are able to access supportive organisations, may be more likely to experience good mental health, than those who are isolated, lack accurate information and positive role models, and do not feel part of lesbian communities.
- W4W Essex recognise that because there are few organisations of our type we can be seen as representing the lesbian community in our area and therefore we take pride in our professional and careful governance.
- We value our position in the voluntary not-for-profit sector and strive to become more accessible to women who may find it difficult to approach statutory services through fear of possible prejudice.