A CAFÉ in Wallingford is starting a safe space for women after the owner felt empowered forming an all-female social group.

Sarah Griffiths, 49, of Blewbury, has been running Mollie’s Café in St Martins Street since July 2020.

Simultaneously she started an all-female social group where women could speak freely in a safe environment.

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Herald Series: "I'm not a massive feminist but I am a little bit" (Ed Nix)"I'm not a massive feminist but I am a little bit" (Ed Nix)

After feeling rejuvenated by the group, she now hopes to start regular workshops at the café so other women have a safe space to go and talk.

“I’m not a massive feminist but I am a little bit,” she said. “I feel quite strongly that women should have somewhere they can speak safely.

“A space they can speak without other people listening or without men saying, ‘That’s not how it is’.”

Mrs Griffiths first came up with the idea for a social group after working with a charity called Fair Fight which empowers Indian girls and women through martial arts. The café donated 5p from every coffee sold to the charity.

Herald Series: The first workshop will about how to sleep betterThe first workshop will about how to sleep better

She said: “There is a particular woman in Indian who is an acid attack victim and she is trying to get her own café off the ground and it made me realise how lucky women are in this country.

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“But I still think it’s a man’s world and woman can be quite vulnerable. I’m quite a shy woman but it’s about empowering yourself.

“So in lockdown I thought, ‘I’m going to change my life’. I messaged a group of women in my village and we formed a Thursday club.

“This is where the idea started. We realised we all have the same problems and women don’t talk properly when men are around and I wanted something similar at the café.

Herald Series: The cafe in WallingfordThe cafe in Wallingford

“The idea is creating a safe space for women with different topics like menopause, periods, relationships - it’s just for women.”

Mrs Griffiths said her social group helped her feel stronger and she hopes the workshops, which will cover similar themes and be run by Michelle Hammond, will do the same for others.

“It seems pathetic,” she said. “But I want other people to feel like that and be part of something because I think it has changed me a lot.

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Herald Series: "I'm a little bit feistier and more confident""I'm a little bit feistier and more confident"

“I’m a little bit feistier, more confident, and more willing to try things. I think when you have a family and you’re stuck at home not working you lose yourself, but I think I’ve found Sarah again.”

The first workshop on Wednesday (11) at 7.30pm will be about “how to sleep well” and will include making a sleep spray.

For more information, visit: wellnessworkshops.co.uk


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