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Tenants go back stage for International Women’s Day

08 March 2017
(L-R) Atyia Bibi, Cath Mellor & Nazia Shazad backstage at Oldham Coliseum Theatre for #IWD2017

Women from Greater Manchester were given backstage access to a local theatre today (8 March) to help celebrate International Women’s Day.

Oldham Coliseum Theatre opened its doors to tenants from Tameside, Oldham and Manchester for a day of activities and guest talks from award-winning actress Julie Hesmondalgh, best known for her former role as Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street and currently appearing in Broadchurch, and local journalist Iram Ramzan.

The New Charter Homes and Aksa Homes residents were treated like VIPs with a Bollywood-themed welcome, Henna workshops and a tour of the theatre and its wardrobe department.

The focus of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD 2017) is #BeBoldForChange and it calls on people to take action towards to ‘a more gender inclusive world’.

Housing associations New Charter Homes and Aksa Homes have developed a partnership with Oldham Coliseum Theatre and run regular projects with tenants to help them build their confidence, employability and health and wellbeing.

The partnership also encourages tenants and families to try something new while experiencing different cultures.

Later on, the women heard from Julie Hesmondalgh and Iram Ramzan in the main auditorium about their careers and personal challenges.

Emma Wilson, New Charter’s Executive Director of Neighbourhoods said: “Our theatre project works with tenants of all ages and genders but this event was about celebrating and empowering women from our communities to go out there and try something new.

“A lot of people we work with are often held back by low self-esteem and, through the theatre, we hope to give them the skills and confidence they need to improve their lives.”

Kevin Shaw, Chief Executive and Artistic Director at Oldham Coliseum Theatre added: “Last year’s International Women’s Day with Aksa Homes was a great success and we were thrilled to welcome Aksa Homes and New Charter Homes this year. The Coliseum is a theatre for everyone, but for this special occasion it’s the women who took centre stage, with a host of specially arranged activities and an exclusive look behind the scenes, including the Aladdin’s cave that is our wardrobe department.”

If you’re a New Charter Homes or Aksa Homes tenant who is interested in getting involved in projects with Oldham Coliseum Theatre, contact Janet Hall on 0161 331 2625 /