Celebrating Internation Women's Day with YWCA Scotland

9th March 2020

Dr Patrycja Kupiec, director of YWCA Scotland the Young Women’s Movement, tells us about the organisation’s work and what our partnership means to them.

YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement is a feminist organisation and part of global movement of women leading change dating back to 1855. Our work values, respects and amplifies the voices and contributions of girls and women, something that is systematically marginalised in our unequal world. We create opportunities for girls and women to question and reflect together in a process of positive inquiry where we value our own experiences and knowledge, develop our confidence, and learn from one another.

Top left: Patrycja sharing her insights with the Young Women Lead 2019/20 cohort; Bottom left: the YWCA Scotland team at the Status of Young Women in Scotland 2018 launch; Right: Patrycja speaking in the Scottish Parliament at the ScotWomenStand 2019 event

We work from two main locations in Glasgow and Edinburgh (the kettle is always on, if you want to pop by!).

Our Glasgow Centre, which is situated within the 15% most deprived areas in Scotland, delivers life-changing services to women of all ages who are overcoming complex issues and experiencing multiple obstacles to the building and re-building of their lives. Our programmes challenge inequality, improve employability, encourage domestic participation, promote health and access to services, welcome women new to Glasgow to the community, and offer the opportunity to gain qualifications, to take up volunteering, or to go on to further study.

Some of our Empowering Pathways graduates from our partner ANYiSO

Our Edinburgh office manages national projects and campaigns, including Status of Young Women in Scotland, Young Women Lead programme, and 30 under 30 campaign – our focus is on providing leadership opportunities, training, and visible role models for young women. Our work influences policy, service delivery, and education to create best outcomes for young women and girls.

Our publications to date

Like many charities we have faced significant challenges due to funding cuts.
2016 was a turning point for us, and that’s when we established a new partnership with Ypeople. This merger meant a lifeline of short term financial and ongoing strategic support, which saved us from closing the doors and enabled us to grow from strength to strength, and close our historic deficit last financial year.

This was a natural partnership for us between YWCA and former YMCA. Personally, I love working alongside such an amazing team, and I’m proud that we’re part of Ypeople family. Especially, as Ypeople just appointed its first female CEO in 160 years’ history – welcome to the team Janet! And the organisation is SO full of brilliant, strong women. This IWD I would like to give a special shout out to Pauline Lunn who’s been my rock since I started; Sharon McGowan, Clair Shepherd, and Kashfa Haroon who keep our finances on the right track; and Kirsty Ward and Jennifer Allan who are absolute HR whizzes. Happy IWD and lots of love from your sisters at The Young Women’s Movement!

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