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Dame Julia’s support for centre

An International Women’s Day event has celebrated one of the most inspiring organisations in Bognor Regis.


Taking place at the Regis Centre in Belmont Street, Bognor Regis’ women’s centre, My Sisters’ House, organised a special event to show appreciation for the groups in and around the town who are encouraging women.


Last Friday’s event was made even more memorable thanks to a very special guest. Dame Julie Walters, the centre’s patron, attended the event.


She said: “I feel privileged to be here, well I feel privileged to be here full stop actually, but I feel privileged to be here today, and the reason I’m here, is because of Julie Budge. Because of her I’m patron of My Sisters House and that in itself is a privilege.


“She is indomitable, she is just amazing in what she has done, and her fantastic team are so inspiring.


“The most inspiring thing was when I visited the centre when it opened, was to sit with some of these wonderful courageous survivor warrior women, they are what I found so inspiring. When Julie asked me to be the patron, I said you’re joking, of course.”


The event was made up of a variety of stalls and tables offering information and advice from a range of local groups, including representatives from the centre itself.


Michelle Landvogt-Dunham, a volunteer at the centre, said: “Today is to celebrate international women’s day so we can bring the community together.


“We’ve got different groups here so that we can give out any information needed.


“I first came to My Sisters’ House through the confidence workshops and through that I became part of the team.


“I think today has been brilliant, we’re expecting people all through the day. It’s great meeting the different women within the community and getting the word out about My Sisters’ House and our work has been amazing.”


One of the representatives present on the day was Catherine Hobson, from Home Start. “We work in partnership with My Sisters’ House,” she said.


“We support families with children under five years old. When we have a mum come to us needing some support with her children, we often suggest that she could benefit from coming to the centre so we would make contact with a member of staff and maintain that communication through the whole process to ensure it is effective.


“It’s always great to see colleagues from other offices and businesses and link up with them. Julie’s work always brings lots of people in. It’s always great having members of the community here and just talking to people.


“We are still fighting inequality. For Home Start it’s a day to celebrate the achievements of our women and that can mean a lot of things, from the big achievements like Julie opening the women’s centre, or every year that goes by that we’re still here and doing a good job.”


No one was more pleased with the successful day than the founder of My Sisters’ House, Julie Budge.


Julie said: “We were delighted to welcome our first patron, Dame Julie Walters, attend our International Women’s Day event this year in Bognor Regis.


“It is an important day in the calendar in terms of shouting about women’s rights, the inequality, the trials, tribulations and persecutions going on across the world and her support enables us to be loud out there !


“We feel certain she will be back and has asked us for a day in the centre. I am proud to be acknowledged by her and I would urge women to raise their voice, make that difference. By working together we can change the landscape for women who need help.”

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