Dorset Women CIC would not exist without its predecessor Women’s Action Network Dorset (WAND).
WAND formed in 2006 after participants at a women’s event expressed a need for a networking, campaigning and social group for women. A formal constitution was written and adopted at the first AGM in 2010.
In its early years, WAND received support from West Dorset District Council and had strong links with Dorset Police through its founder members. WAND’s role in the community included running events, campaigning, fundraising for women’s causes and providing information on women’s health and domestic abuse.
WAND, as an entirely volunteer led organisation, was hit hard by the Covid 19 pandemic. It regrouped and launched a New Strategy in 2022 which set out it intentions for the next 5 years. Part of that strategy was a commitment to creating opportunities for women to connect and collaborate.
At an event that bought together over 50 women leaders in September 2021, the concept of a Dorset Women’s Charter was born. The development of the Charter became the main focus of WAND with the support of a growing network of supporters.
As the Dorset Women’s Charter developed, WAND welcomed new committee members who wanted a new vision for the organisation with the Charter as one part of a three-part revised strategy. The new committee proposed a new company structure and a new name of Dorset Women.
Dorset Women CIC became a company in October 2023. Dorset Women CIC has taken the work that WAND started and bought it to a new level of ambition. It has continued the values of WAND and expanded them to create the 4 Cornerstones of the new strategy. It has taken the principles of the WAND strategy and combined them into the 3 Pillars for Dorset Women CIC.