Our Rebel Women’s Choir is back!


Join our free singing sessions with IWD Derby Rebel Women’s Choir! We’ll sing uplifting songs that celebrate diverse inspiring women in our fun, friendly, empowering sessions.

No singing experience needed, no need to read music, no auditions, no judgement. It’s not the notes you sing, it’s the joy you bring!

This is a series of 5 sessions. It’s okay if you can’t attend all 5. Dates for your diary:
Sat 29th Aug
Sat 5th Sept
Sat 12th Sept
Sat 19th Sept
Sat 3rd Oct

Sessions are hosted on Zoom, where you’ll be able to sing along with Jo, our session leader.

You’ll need to pre-register to attend. Please email your name and any questions and any access needs to rwc.register@gmail.com.

The sessions are for women (self-defining) and girls over 7 years. For safeguarding, we ask that you attend with your child, as we are unable to host unaccompanied children. We ask all attendees to be mindful if children are present. Any person behaving inappropriately would be removed from the Zoom meeting.

This session has been kindly funded by Foundation Derbyshire. Donations (optional) are very much welcomed and will help us continue to fund future sessions. Don’t be put off attending if you can’t donate – we want your voice!
About the session leader:

Jo Lewis is a songwriter, musician, and poet.

Jo (she/ her) leads songwriting workshops. She also works as a children’s music tutor, workshops facilitator (music, writing and theatre), and as the community choir leader of IWD Derby Rebel Women’s Choir. She has facilitated singing and noise-making workshops to enable women to raise their voices in activism.

She has contributed to an anthology of women’s writing entitled ‘Talk About Change: Writing As Resistance’ and has previously been active as part of the collective She Speaks UK.

Jo holds a BA in Popular Music with Music Technology.

Helplines & foodbanks during lockdown


We want to share some useful helplines & support groups from foodbanks to mental health helplines during lockdown

We recognise that these are trying times, especially for those for whom a ‘stay at home’ policy is not safe. The government has confirmed that domestic abuse victims are permitted to leave home to escape their partners/abusers or to ask for help during the Corona virus lockdown.

Get help from the National Domestic Abuse helpline:
0800 970 2070 Text: NCDV to 60777  https://www.ncdv.org.uk

Relate Derby and Southern Derbyshire offers phone/webcam counselling and useful self-help tools and support online at: http://www.relatederby.org.uk/

Calling the police whilst a perpetrator could hear you: The Silent Solution 999 – is a system for victims of domestic abuse who are scared to be overheard calling emergency services. When somebody calls 999, an operator asks which emergency service is required. If the caller is unable to speak to the operator, the call will be forwarded to an operating system. If the caller presses 55, the system will detect this and transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.

Other useful helplines:
Childline: 0800 1111
Samaritans – there to listen whatever is troubling your mind: 116 123
Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
La Leche League: 0345 1202918 (for mums/parents struggling to get formula milk)
Mind mental health support: 0300 123 3393
Age UK: 0800 169 6565

Derby Covid Community Response Hub – matching volunteers and people who need support, including food supplies
Call 01332 640000   e-mail covidsupport@communityactionderby.org.uk

Derby Crisis Response Call 0300 302 1944 (community collaboration with local businesses offering free food deliveries, isolation support and guidance)
Back the Appeal: https://www.fundamal.org/campaigns/community-response

Derby COVID-19 Mutual Aid group exchanging requests and offers of help among the community

The Mandela Community Centre is running a foodbank and other initiatives to help

Dial 18001 first, followed by any telephone number, for Text Relay; many of these organisations also have websites with messenger chat options and online support groups

IWD Survey – we want your feedback!


Hi everyone, we hope you are staying safe and well in these trying times. We hope you enjoy reflecting on good memories from our International Women’s Day celebration  – there are some great films and photos on our facebook page.

We want your feedback on the event via our quick e-survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RZMR2TL 

Whether you marched, visited, spoke, performed or volunteered your feedback is needed to help us evaluate, apply for funding and plan IWD 2021 – a day to look forward to. Thanks for being part of the uplifting celebrations!



Image: Collage of photos of the International Women’s Day Derby 2020 marchers, speakers, Rebel Women’s Choir, poets

Help us raise £2020 for 2020


We’re crowdfunding for an inspiring International Women’s Day Derby 2020 – with your help we can put on an inspiring showcase of trailblazing women’s stories with a #ShePersisted Speak-Up event, women’s rights march & rally and empowering magazine to help more local women and girls unleash their inner change-maker!

You can donate here as an individual, you can raise funds for us e.g. by throwing a Sisterhood Party or coffee morning,  or pledge as an organistaion, with a sponsorship package available showing your support for women’s equality; your backing will enable more women and girls to feel like this:
“Inspired”  “Empowering”  “Uplifted”  “Highlight of my year”

“Enriched and saw my youngest daughter flourish!” 

“I’ve been inspired, supported and encouraged to try new activities and learned so much about so many inspirational and determined women”

“Thanks to the amazing free creche facilities I was able to stay all day knowing my daughter was safe and happy. She loved her day at Quad and taking part in the Suffragette march and singing”

“Gender inequality is insidious and continues today despite protestations that it’s no longer so much of a problem. Events like IWD Derby help claim a space to proactively engage with gender equality in a positive way” 

“Uplifting atmosphere, it was buzzing with women’s causes, diversity, celebration and a good mix of fun entertainment and powerful inspiring messages and workshops too. The march carrying HERoes from HERstory placards was especially powerful”


International Women’s Day Derby 2020


Derby is getting ready to celebrate International Women’s Day on Saturday 7th March 2020. The celebrations, organised by volunteers, begin with a Women’s Rights March & Rally followed by an inspiring #ShePersisted Speak-Up event and various activities at QUAD – you can help us make it all happen by backing our Crowdfunder campaign here

IWD 2020 online pic

10.30am Saturday 7th March Women’s Rights March & Rally: Gather by the Waterfall, Derby Market Place,  with your banners and join in a warm-up of  chants and protest songs. You might like to wear Suffragette colours – purple, green & white too. The March will proceed at 11am onto Sadler Gate, The Strand, St James Street, Cornmarket, pausing outside the Council House Corporation Street then returning to the The Waterfall, Speakers’ Corner, Market Place for rally & speeches. All genders welcome; all supporters welcome to join in; the route is accessible for wheelchair users and is family-friendly.

This will be followed by a variety of events at QUAD, Derby Market Place, including an inspiring #ShePersisted Speak-Up a ticketed event, with free creche, book via https://iwdderby2020.eventbrite.co.uk free tickets have also been gifted to women supported by local charities. BSL Interpreters will be provided with thanks to Derby City Council.

Also at QUAD will be a free IWD-themed family crafts drop-in participation space, a coding workshop for girls (pre-book £5 via QUAD Box Office) and free art gallery exhibition by feminist artist Anna Bunting-Branch.

IWD Derby #ShePersisted Speak-Up at QUAD programme Saturday 7th March:

12:00pm IWD Derby Exhibition, The Box, QUAD browse exhibitor stalls including inspiring local women’s charities, projects and local HERstory including the Suffragettes in our city; there is also time to enjoy refreshments from QUAD Bar & Cafe

12.45pm Songs by Uke Songstress Sue Warren, Cinema Two, QUAD                      1:00pm #ShePersisted Speak Up starts – Cinema Two, QUAD
1pm Welcome by MC Sue Warren
1:05pm IWD speeches by the IWD Derby Chair Vanessa Boon & Volunteer Team
1:30pm Discovering Local HERstory – Sonya Robotham, Vox Feminarum presents the findings of the Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation project uncovering the hidden history of over 100 years of women’s activism in Derby & Derbyshire
2:00pm Eco Warrior Women: talk by ‘Queen of Green’ Penney Poyzer-Schalom multi award winning eco campaigner, pioneer & TV Presenter. Co-owner of the UK’s first eco-upcycle retrofit of a Victorian home + panel discussion with local eco activists including Extinction Rebellion, with audience Q&A
2:40pm She Speaks – art is our liberation – powerful poets & spoken word artists 3:00pm Break – browse stalls in The Box, refreshments available from QUAD Bar / Café  3:30pm Women Rising Up To Resist Hate inspiring anti-oppression campaigners share their experience, highlight current issues and what we can all do to resist the hate and division stirred up by the far-right, ‘hostile environment’ policies & the media , with Q&A
4:00pm Inspiring Talk by Sarah Maple, Feminist Artist award winning visual artist known for her bold, brave, mischievous and questioning artworks that challenge traditionally accepted notions of identity, gender, religion and the status quo. Much of Maple’s inspiration originates from her mixed religious and cultural upbringing, with works that explore what it means be a woman and a Muslim in 21st century Britain. Her artwork, film and performances have been exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions including Tate Britain, Golden Thread Gallery and Tallin Art Hall. Recent commissions include The Baltic, Nottingham New Art Exchange and Sky Arts.         4:30pm IWD Derby Rebel Women’s Choir songs celebrating world-changing women, with an uplifting sing-along, led by choir leader Jo Lewis
5:00pm 20 in 20 for 2020 Twenty trailblazer 1-minute messages from local women & girls creating change spanning engineering, politics, art, sports and activism
5.25 IWD Derby Team Closing Thoughts & Thanks
5:30 #ShePersisted Speak Up ends – Power to the women, Power to the girls!
Time to browse stalls in The Box, mingle, reflect and enjoy refreshments

Make a night of it! QUAD will also host a Feminist Film Screening in the evening – tickets available from QUAD Box Office.
***Derby Celebrates*** We are also encouraging and promoting a range of IWD & Women’s HERstory Month events hosted by other groups and venues across Derby – send us your event details to be added to the list:

IWD dance events at Deda: Double Bill of Female Choreographers, Thursday 5th March: Two talented choreographers will present work that explores themes of empowerment, relationships and the defiant image of femininity in a gripping double bill of performances.Book via Deda

A Hidden History of Women in Art: From the Renaissance to the enlightenment. Learn about incredible women in art. Talk by Sue Arguile at Derby Museum, 11am-12pm Saturday 7th March. From the Renaissance onwards, artists became celebrities. Names such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and our very own Joseph Wright are familiar to us all, but what about their female contemporaries? Why do we not know their names and why is their work less celebrated? More recent artists such as Frida Kahlo and Tracy Emin have gained recognition, but their predecessors are still hidden in the shadows of history. This talk will introduce some of these brilliant women and their work. Suitable for young people and adults. Booking essential.

Women as Nation Builders Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association is organising their 5th Interfaith Event at the Multifaith Center at the University of Derby on the 7th March 2020 11.30am-2pm. This event is to celebrate International Women’s day and to stand in Solidarity against all forms of Hate. The event is a Women’s only event on the theme, “Women as Nation Builders”.

Derby Cycling Group & Breeze women’s bike ride Sunday 8th March

Women’s HERstory Month events throughout March – see Vox Feminarum facebook page for details

STAND UP! Open Exhibition Artcore Gallery Derby, 5th to 28th March 2020 STAND UP! invites artists from across the world to explore and celebrate International Women’s Day. STAND UP! will investigate the role of women in the arts, and their huge impact on the cultural fabric of contemporary society. It will be a platform for artists to re-imagine citizenship, identity and women’s labour with a view to informing new visions for the future, in testing times. Artist Submission deadline 17th Feb

Thanks for celebrating IWD with us!


Wow! Let the history books record that on Saturday 9th March 2019 Derby brought many diverse local communities together to celebrate International Women’s Day with a buzzing huge marquee of performers, stalls and family fun on the Arboretum followed by a march through the city carrying HERoes from HERstory placards and an after party with She Speaks UK sharing a showcase of female and non-binary artists’ powerful poetry and performance and a female DJ to end the night with a Reclaim the Dancefloor disco.

Were you there? We really need your feedback – here’s a link to a quick e-survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/IWDD2019

Your feedback helps us to secure funding, sponsorship and to keep making this volunteer-run festival happen each year – thank you!

Enjoy photos from our vibrant celebrations on our social media pages @WomensDayDerby on facebook and twitter


Derby ready to celebrate #IWD2019


This Saturday 9th March 2019 Derby celebrates International Women’s Day with a vibrant FREE festival for the community, all organised by volunteers.

Celebrations, performances, inspiring workshops, stalls, a Human Library, inspiring women in male dominated fields like engineers and fire fighters, food stalls and family fun can be enjoyed from 12pm-4pm at the Arboretum Park, Rose Hill Street, Derby under a huge marquee –  see location map and bus routes below; street parking is available nearby but can get busy and Grove Street car park is close by. There will be a free creche from Orchard Garden Private Day Nursery you can contact them to book your little ones in for some fun time whilst you have some ‘me time’ by calling 01332 370497 or you can pop by on the day at the event, the creche will be in the building by the tennis/basketball courts; creche places subject to availability. There will also be plenty of family fun for kids to enjoy including a playbus, fire engine, crafts, nature activities, dance-alongs and a sensory bus too.

At 4pm there is a Women’s Rights March from the Arboretum into town and then onto our after party from 5pm-11pm at Derby West Indian Community Association on Trinity Street. Click here for more info

how to get to derby arboretum by bus



Help Derby feel amazing for International Women’s Day 2019


Our volunteers have worked hard fundraising and planning all year to give Derby another uplifting IWD Festival – can you chip in to help us make more people feel great?

Support our Crowdfunder here

Derby has a HERstory of celebrating International Women’s Day going back over 100 years to the Suffragettes in our city. Volunteers work hard to deliver this annual heritage event to benefit the community and we need your support to keep the tradition alive!

This annual community festival makes a real difference in Derby. Visitors report benefits to their health and wellbeing, confidence, sense of empowerment and liberation; the event has inspired women and girls into new hobbies, sports, careers and activism, connected people with vital local support groups and charities as well as reducing loneliness by bringing communities together, celebrating diversity and broadening horizons. This year’s festival takes place on Saturday 9th March 12pm-4pm at Derby Arboretum followed by a women’s rights march into the city centre and onwards to an after-party from 5pm-11pm at Derby West Indian Community Centre with a mini ‘night market’ and She Speaks UK hosting powerful poetry and performances.

Can you make a pledge to help us make more people feel like this? 

“Inspiring and motivational”
“This event had a brilliant effect on my mental health – I left feeling happier and more energetic than I had in a long time. It brought to my awareness just how many creative, inspiring, supportive women there are in my area and it was important for us all to come together to build our community”

“A fantastic event – smiling faces and food for the heart, mind and soul”

“I felt uplifted by the day. It was an incredible celebration and reminder of the women who fought for the rights we enjoy today. I feel inspired to do more to support campaigns for women and girls worldwide”

“This event was SO important in not only celebrating inspiring women, but to highlight how important it is to make a noise about issues women are STILL facing”

“Buzzing, diverse, important”
“My daughter who is 3 found the confidence to sing on the stage by herself. I want her to keep hold of that confidence by celebrating women’s achievements”
“I used to look up to pop stars but now I think my mum is actually really inspiring”
“It inspired my daughters about their careers, choices and gave them a chance to see what other women of the world experience”
“It was great to see the variety of info and activities available, especially the boxing and football where female participation is not really covered as much in the media as their male counterparts. I come every year and always go away feeling positive about the future, but also aware of the ongoing challenges that women and girls face”

“This event helped me to kick-start a project, painting female heroes and role models”

“Absolutely amazing for all genders and ages!”

“Relaxing, bright, cheerful”

“Fantastic atmosphere!”