Pledge a Tenner!
It is 11 years since the Women’s Construction Centre came into existence. We are looking to you to ensure we are here for the next decade - and more! Please click the link below to find out more about our Pledge a Tenner scheme.
WiCAT'S ON THE MOVE !
We have been operating for more than eleven years now, in the Women's Construction Centre in Burngreave, Sheffield. We have worked with more than 3,000 students during this time, offering a range of classes including: plastering; plumbing; electrics; general DIY; tiling; Dry Stone Walling; Bricklaying; Car Maintenance and much more.
Over the last 12 months or so we have been looking at our organisation and how best to move forward - a major change we identified was the need to relocate our premises. We have been operating voluntarily for a long time as funds have been very low, which also meant finding a new premises on a shoestring was going to very difficult.
However, at the end of September WiCAT will be settling in to our new premises in Firvale, Sheffield. We have been lucky enough to have been offered a space at Endeavour on Earl Marshall Road in S4. This is exciting news for us - not only because we will be able to start putting on classes again, but also because we have developed an extremely positive relationship with Endeavour and can see some great opportunities for partnership work for the future. Endeavour work with young people who are struggling to fit in to mainstream education. They offer a safe and friendly space for them to learn in and are keen to offer as many opportunities as possible in order to strengthen the life chances of these young people. WiCAT will be extremely proud to be involved in this work in any way.
We will be putting together a new programme of classes once we have moved, with a view to starting late October. In the meantime we are once again looking to find the funds to support our work - This is a full time job, for part-time volunteers!
If you feel you would be able to support us financially, as a volunteer or in any other way, please do get in touch with us or click on the Pledge a Tenner link at the top of this page.
Time lapse photo shoot from the Vast View building project in Romania in 2013 that a couple of WiCAT people were involved in - Follow our link to Grampus Heritage to see other projects that you could be involved in with them - fantastic opportunities all over Europe!
Amazing Opportunity to learn some traditional heritage skills abroad!!
LaDIYfest raises £1000 for WiCAT!
Have you got young kids..? The organisation WEST (Women in Engineering, Science & Technology) have produced 'Yes We Can', their brand new, free activity book for children.
It shows some of the jobs in engineering, science, technology and construction that anyone can do, using illustrations of real-live Sheffield tradeswomen including Laura the Handywoman, Kay the Plumber and Mandy the Electrician.
The book is also available to download for free - just click the WEST logo below
Record Number of Women Trade Workers
A recent article in the Mail Online claims that a record number of trade workers including builders and plumbers are now female, accounting for almost 6% of the industry.
There has been a massive increase in the number of women taking up classes in DIY, plastering, tiling, plumbing and other trades - to read the article in full, follow this link
Check out the link above to the Seven Hills Women's Institute Blogspot to see what fun was had when the WI and WICAT came together!
Mandy does it again!
Mandy Reynolds is one of our tutors at Wicat and the chair of our Management Committee. The following article is from the Sheffield Star on 23rd June 2013:
Double success a shock for electrician Mandy Female Electrician Mandy Reynolds from Totley in Sheffield winner of the Which? Local Business of the Year for Yorkshire and Humberside 18 June 2013
Image Paul David Drabble www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk
Electrician Mandy Reynolds is a bit of a bright spark – she’s just won a top business award for the second time in three years.
The 55-year-old, from Heeley, has been named the region’s best local trader by website Which? Local – based on feedback from her customers.
She won the same accolade in 2011 and went on then to win the national title of Business of the Year.
Mandy said: “I was gobsmacked to win two years ago and I am utterly thrilled to have won again. I have some wonderful customers, who have taken their time to review my business on the website, so it is they I have to thank.”
Mandy is one of a select few – it’s estimated that less than one per cent of electricians in the UK are women. “Women are smart – they’ll choose a career at which they can really succeed,” she said. “and this is a very physical job, you have to lift floorboards and shift stones, so that is an issue – you do need to keep fit. But I don’t think there’s discrimination at work here. “after all if a client doesn’t want to employ a woman then they don’t ring you in the first place – so there’s no way of knowing if I’d be more successful if I was a man, I think I do bring female attributes to the job. We tend to be painstaking, tidier and we show empathy with the customer. And I do get a lot of repeat business.”
Mandy set up her company Mand Made in 2006 after quitting a career in the financial services industry. She found a base at an electrical and hardware shop in Totley, which is run by her husband Paul.
“I had no experience, not even remotely, but I wanted to find a service that would always be in demand, perhaps something to do with homes. Passing the exams only takes a couple of months – it’s then about getting known through word of mouth.”
Mandy’s business was still in its infancy when the recession struck in 2008.
“In a way I’ve never known anything but tough times and I’ve still managed to make a go of it. I do enjoy being my own boss and building the company, and I now have a young woman who is doing her training with me,” Mandy said. “There’s a different sort of stress to that which I experienced before, but now I’m doing it for me, not for someone else where the best I could hope for was a bonus. Now it’s all about seeing the business flourish.”