“Women in our groups and on the course can take their social masks off, express fear, anger and sadness and reveal parts of themselves to a nurturing, empowering community,” says Jessica Wylie, the founder of a new group that hopes to uplift and support Bristol’s women.
Hoping to be a hub for support and guidance, Jessica hopes that the group can be a healing space during the pandemic and beyond.
“Last year, I designed and wrote up the course and drop-in content with the intent to set up weekend wellness retreats,” says 31-year-old Jessica.
“I then realised that there is such a huge need for women to come together and start feeling good about themselves in our community.
“It is my role to hold a safe, supportive and healing space as well as it being silly, fun and creative. It’s about sisterhood and connection.”
The new group will offer connection and encouragement and be a space where women can “take their social masks off” and open up without fear of being judged and away from the “shackles” of a patriarchal society.
“From a young age I was always aware of the inequality and challenges women face every day just because of their gender,” Jessica says. “I would often daydream about creating a space where women could be free to be their authentic selves.
“We are just setting up and the feedback has been phenomenal. We hope to keep on expanding and eventually have our own venue solely dedicated to benefit the lives of all women from all walks of life.”
In the future, Jessica hopes to host a range of affordable workshops, courses, classes and counselling for anyone who identifies as a woman.
The group will begin by hosting a drop in, which will consist of a sharing circle followed by an activity such as yoga, creative projects and discussions on mental, physical and spiritual health.
Jessica is also launching the first Rebel Girls Club course in March, with the legal authority to run in a Covid-safe manner. A six-week intensive course will explore self-confidence body image, self-care, limiting beliefs and misogyny.
The course will use dance, voice-work, breath-work, drawing, creativity and acting improvisation workshops.
“We want to create a space where all women feel safe, held, heard and seen,” says Jessica. “We need more spaces for women to thrive and be valued.
“We are living in incredibly obscure and fragmented times which are leaving more people vulnerable to loneliness, poor mental health and despair. This is why Rebel Girls Club is so invaluable to the community. We can offer a light and a little bit of hope to those feeling disconnected.
“Rebel Girls Club is here to help women realise that they are not alone. This space is anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti- homophobic, anti-transphobia, anti-ableist and anti-ageist . We are pro-joy and individuality.”
Main photo: Jessica Wylie