In entry 15, we introduced the concept of the Self-reliant Group box, a container with everything ended to establish a group. It is a concept. And it might have stayed that way. But then we were faced with a simple practical opportunity.

Every month, WEvo receives a request from somebody who lives in a place that the organisation doesn’t operate, the highlands, Aberdeen, wherever. Nothing can be done to help these people other than some words of encouragement, sharing materials and maybe a hope that in time WEvo will have hubs across the country.

What about designing a box and sending to people who live ‘out of geography’? What do we have to lose? The time and effort we put into the design process will have pay-offs in terms of generating new ideas about how more women can be in control of their lives. And, who knows, maybe we will find new ways of creating SRGs where WEvo doesn’t operate. And we can learn from that.

On this basis, we decided to introduce the idea to the peer gathering. Twice a year, WEvolution brings all the SRGs together from Scotland, England, Wales and Netherlands. They come for a day, to connect, to share updates of their groups, to have fun, to hear about and contribute to the movement. As the women explain it, it’s the moment when the ‘family gets re-united.’

We asked the women at the peer gathering to think what would they put into a box to send to potential new members. We found that:

  • there is an appetite for a ‘box’, with suggestions for an app.
  • aligned with the idea of creating ‘pull’, women suggested elements that could ‘invite’ other women, such as love hearts, invitations to visit existing SRGs, a kettle to make tea, contact information, postcards. Things that encourage women to start a group were mentioned too, like food (e.g., chocolate bar), map of all SRGs, bunting to celebrate the initiative.
  • the core elements of the SRG movement were represented: piggy bank, support bra, seeds (small things grow from…), lego bricks; cube with SRG markers.
  • encouragement to keep going was important: WEvo organisational chart (know who is there for you); stories from existing SRGs.

Then there was another great idea. What happens when the request to be part of an SRG comes from an individual, and not from a group. How do we encourage the individual to form a group?

The concept of ’Tiny Box’ emerged. A small box of encouragement is sent to the person, tea bags and a kit-kat with four bars to share for example. The Tiny Box will explain and encourage the forming of a group. Once a group is formed, they will be sent the Big Box.