Woking Women's Support Centre

Coming to Watts Gallery is my therapy. It's like I can breathe out, let things go, and put my mind and hands to something which, in the beginning, I didn't know was important to me. But now, I know it is – art and making things is important to me. I need this.

Art for All Community Learning Programme participant from Woking Women's Support Centre

The Woking Women's Support Centre offers a safe space for women to access gender-specific support services, particularly for those women affected by the criminal justice system. The Women's Support Centre is a 'one-stop-shop' offering group work, one-to-one support from project workers and counselling. The service supports women with difficulties such as domestic abuse, mental health, substance misuse, benefits, debts and finance, parenting, housing and homelessness, education and employment and general emotional and physical well-being.

In 2019 a partnership was forged between the Woking Women's Support Centre, Surrey and Watts Gallery Trust to offer fortnightly workshops at Watts Gallery – Artists' Village.

This year's highlights:

  • The group contributed to the International Women's Day public programme, making a series of prints inspired by G F Watts's paintings depicting women. A sound recording was also made of the group discussing G F Watts and his portrayal of women.
  • Designing and making a collection of bags for the Limner Collection, inspired by the patterns that can be found across Watts Gallery – Artists' Village.

  • Clients of the Women's Support Centre have benefitted enormously from the partnership with Watts Gallery Trust's Art for All programme. The partnership with Watts Gallery has provided access to a safe space where women can experience and learn about art, build confidence and engage in workshops where they feel supported and confident to try new experiences. The Programme supports our women to develop skills such as problem solving, concentration and perseverance, as well as building positive relationships with peers and staff at the Gallery.

    Donna Drummond, Senior Family Co-Ordinator, Women's Support Centre, Surrey

    My Watts - Woking Women's Support Centre