Women’s Words Manchester has only been going for a week and bit. And yet, although we are still a new, shiny and almost just launched project, some amazing stories, memories and poems have been rolling in.

Each of the stories we’ve been sent are powerful for very different reasons. Nonetheless, they all capture perfectly the diverse experiences, people and situations that have made these women who they are today.

Red Newsom for example has sent us an amazing poem. I can’t wait to see it published in the archive.

Brigid from Manchester has sent us her monologues, the link to one, it is my pleasure to share with you here. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a54MmW62Pfs&feature=youtube. She speaks eloquently of her childhood memory from primary school, approximately from 1970 at the Hollies in Didsbury. Do have a listen, her words will stay with you I’m sure.

Meanwhile, Sabeena from Dubai, writes that she’s a proud Mancunian living and working in the United Arab Emirates. Her words, a tribute to her mother, are something I can’t help but share here. She writes, “she taught us to be kind and compassionate because as a young woman she had suffered immense hardship, racism and inequality while contributing to British society.

A survivor of domestic abuse she became a vocal advocate for women’s education empowerment and Fairtrade.”

Sabeena’s contribution to our archive encapsulates what it means to be a Mancunian. A love for our city, a knowledge that this is the place that has had an impact in shaping and moulding the person you are today.

Do you have a story to tell?

I am sure you do.

Think about how you’ve changed, altered and grown. Then think if this amazing city called Manchester has played a part in that journey. if the answer is yes, do write us an up to 1000 words submission. We’d love to hear how living, working and growing in Manchester has been for you.

I know that if I had not gone to university here in Manchester I wouldn’t have had the experiences I did. I wouldn’t have made the marvellous friendships I have, that continue to sustain me long after my university days are over.

I also know that it is my neighbourhood with its strong community spirit that truly energises me and gives me so much joy. I’m a proud Mancunian and a Levenshulme resident. Levy has the kind of warmth that means I know my neighbours. Especially because I only moved to the UK in 2005, that sense of community, of belonging is very important to me. There’s a beautiful Lebanese or Palestinian song, I’m not sure which, that a friend once translated for me. In it the singer talks about the pain of being cut off from home with the lament that back home, even the trees know my name. Maybe the trees don’t know me, but my neighbours do. When I go into my library, the usual librarians know me. I feel seen, and when you are a migrant, that’s really important.

Please tell us your stories. Add your voice to our archive. Let us celebrate our diversity, our uniqueness and our unity as women of Manchester.

You can find out more about me here at go.tasneemperry.com