BCHA and J.P. Morgan will come together to host a programme of free International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022 activities and entertainment in Bournemouth Square this Tuesday (March 8), including yoga, poetry and inspirational music.

BLISSED OUT: Yoga teacher Alice Flynn (centre) and colleagues from BCHA. Alice is amongst the practitioners and entertainment in BCHA's #BeatTheBias event in Bournemouth Square on International Women's Day (March 8)
BLISSED OUT: Yoga teacher Alice Flynn (centre) and colleagues from BCHA. Alice is amongst the practitioners and entertainment in BCHA's #BeatTheBias event in Bournemouth Square on International Women's Day (March 8)

International Women’s Day - #IWD22 - is a global event to commemorate the cultural, political and socio-economic achievements of women. This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias to encourage a gender equal world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.

BCHA’s #BreakTheBias event will raise awareness of domestic abuse, violence against women, bias and discrimination by recognising and celebrating the barriers encountered and overcome.

At this event we are fortunate enough to have Tracey West, author, editor, publisher and broadcaster who has written books on sustainability, humour, love, death & divorce.  Tracey will perform some of her upbeat poems focused around surviving domestic violence and divorce.

We have Choir by Candlelight session by the Sound of Soul Choir who are one of the south’s leading choirs in Dorset and Hampshire as well as sessions led by Dorset-based yoga and embodiment practitioner Alice Flynn, who will be teaching movement as a path to empowerment and peace.

Tracey said: “My poetry always evokes smiles, cheeky giggles and frequently, a few kindred spirit tears. I am absolutely delighted to be part of this important event. It is an honour to contribute."

Alice said: ‘It’s a privilege and joy to be part of such a special event - to celebrate and nurture the empowered, embodied expression of women both at BCHA and beyond. I hope this event raises awareness of violence against women, and the importance of #breakingthebias inviting an engagement and support from all for intersectional women’s issues.’

Alice will also be presenting with Michele O’Brien as Valise Noire Storytelling Theatre sharing new writing created with BCHA clients as part of ‘Women of Words, Dorset’ a Heritage Lottery-funded project for BEAF Festival 2021, amplifying Dorset women’s voices past and present.  This will follow and complement the BCHA and J.P. Morgan #LoveFromMe readings, where women have been encouraged to write letters to themselves offering support and wisdom to empower and free them emotionally from events they have faced during their lives.

A quiet area will offer the chance for meditation and contemplation and the southern-based Sound of Soul Choir will perform a set of uplifting songs mixing pop, soul, R&B, gospel and world music into their own unique sound.

Colleagues from BCHA and  J.P. Morgan will be sleeping overnight in the Square to raise funds for a Shepherd’s Hut for outdoor teaching and activities at Bournemouth Women’s Refuge. The Mayor Bournemouth councillor David Kelsey will officially open their ‘Big Sleep Out’.

Rio Argent, BCHA Senior Practitioner for Bournemouth Women’s Refuge said: “We are thrilled to be offering this exciting event for International Women’s Day. We hope people will come and enjoy stunning poetry and empowering letters, music, yoga and also quiet reflection by candlelight to pause and reflect on their individual journeys.”

Colleagues from Bournemouth and Poole’s domestic abuse services, The Shores – Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) and the Sexual Trauma and Recovery Service (STARS) Dorset, will also be on hand to offer advice and support to women who are currently experiencing abuse, bias and/or discrimination in any form. 

The Big Sleep Out can be sponsored via our justgiving page.



Media information from Vicky Kate, BCHA Communications Manager on: 01202 410500 email: victoriakate@bcha.org.uk

Or Debbie Granville on behalf of BCHA Communications on: 07884 657782 email: Debbie.granville@deepsouthmedia.co.uk

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