There is life after childlessness, despite what the media, your friends, your mother and your inner bitch would have you believe! A meaningful and fulfilling life that makes sense to you because you custom-made
There is life after childlessness, despite what the media, your friends, your mother and your inner bitch would have you believe! A meaningful and fulfilling life that makes sense to you because you custom-made it for yourself.
This ONLINE Reignite Weekend is for you if you’re:
- A woman who wanted to have children but it didn’t work out for any reason: infertility; didn’t meet a willing or suitable partner; your partner didn’t want (more) children; a chronic illness; a badly timed breakup, etc, etc. There are so many ways this can happen;
- Struggling with relationships with friends and family as ‘the odd one out’ and really missing having a supportive group of women friends to journey through life with;
- Wondering where your mojo went and where the hell to start looking for it!;
- Lonely and confused about your place in society when all you can see around you are mothers and families;
- Knowing that you need to make some changes to your life but feeling too tired, sad & uninspired to know what to try next;
- Worried about growing old without children and grandchildren;
- Furious that you ‘Did all the right things’ and have still ‘ended up’ in this difficult position;
- Ready for a Plan B (C, D or Z!) but are either convinced that you’ll screw it up, or scared that you’ll never find a meaningful alternative to a life centred on motherhood.
Price: GBP £295.00
You will pay your fee directly to the GW Facilitator after booking.
Please only book if you are in/close to a UK / EU timezone
(Scroll down for testimonials and to book)
This ONLINE Reignite Weekend is led by Yvonne John & Sophia Andeh of Gateway Women
YVONNE JOHN is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS), a trainee counsellor and the author of the book Dreaming of the Life Unlived: Intimate Stories and Portraits of Women Without Children. She is childless due to unexplained infertility with her ex-husband and is currently dating. A gifted public speaker and passionate about creating inclusivity for black women and women of colour in the cultural narrative of childlessness, Yvonne has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’. She leads a private subgroup for Women of Colour in our private online community (the only such support for black and brown childless women we are aware of) and is quoted extensively in the 2020 edition of Jody’s book in the section on ‘Grieving as a Black Woman or Woman of Colour’. She also blogs about her own evolving recovery from childlessness at Finding My Plan B. A graduate of Gateway Women’s 2016’s year-long Plan B Mentorship Programme, Yvonne is also a World Childless Week Ambassador. She works in the medical services industry and is also a talented photographer and singer. You can learn more about Yvonne in her own words in her guest blog for Gateway Women, The Black Woman in the Room, you can email her at email@example.com and connect with her on Instagram @y.vonnej
SOPHIA ANDEH is a licensed Gateway Women Workshop Facilitator (GWS), an alumnus of Gateway Women’s 2017 year-long Plan B mentorship programme, an award-winning coach and the founder of Butterfly and Beyond, it is her mission is to help women who are childless not by choice reclaim their sense of self and move from existing to truly living whole and fulfilled lives. Sophia has coached team members in the corporate sector for over 20 years, and now has a special interest in coaching to help childless women create fulfilling lives without children. Her Master’s research exploring the experience of coaching in childless women received an award from the European Mentoring and Coaching Council UK, for ‘the dissertation with the highest potential for societal benefit.’ Sophia is childless by circumstance having not found a partner to have children with and having subsequently been unsuccessful in her attempts to pursue solo motherhood through fertility treatments. In tandem with her work with Butterfly and Beyond she promotes inclusivity and raises awareness of the unconscious bias that marginalizes, isolates and strips women of their self-worth and role within society, including the workplace. Sophia is also a qualified yoga teacher and holds classes especially for Gateway Women run via our online community. You can contact Sophia directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @butterfly_beyond
Over the course of this ONLINE Reignite Weekend you will:
- Unpick the assumptions that the culture has about motherhood (and non-motherhood) and let go of what doesn’t ‘fit’ you;
- Look at where you are holding onto unhelpful ideas and shame about the life choices you’ve made (and the non-choices too) which have led you to ‘ending up’ without the family you hoped for;
- Explore and express unresolved grief about your childlessness – a grief which our culture neither acknowledges, understands nor allows (and consequently, neither do we, sometimes);
- Reexamine the dreams and goals you had for your life before you became convinced that having a baby was the only thing that mattered;
- Reignite your passion for your life and start thinking what your ‘Plan B’ might be for a meaningful and fulfilling life without children;
- Meet your new tribe – the wonderful, powerful, wise and kickass Nomos (not-mothers). There are more of us than you realize and we’re not the bunch of ‘weeping weirdoes’ you might fear! In fact, we’re a pretty amazing and courageous bunch of women.
More details and to book
- Dates: Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th September 2022
- Times: 9am – 5pm BST (UK ‘British Summer Time’) both days – suitable for anyone based in UK/Europe (See the start time in your timezone by clicking here.) Please do not book if you are not in/near these time zones but select a weekend here closer to you.
- Cost: GBP £295, paid directly to your GW Facilitators, who will contact you with payment options 24-48 hours after you have completed the booking form at the bottom of this page.
- Payment Plans: We are happy to discuss extended payment plans, at no extra cost to you, if that makes it possible for you to attend. Please contact Yvonne if you would like to explore this option by emailing her at email@example.com. We are sorry but we are unable to offer reduced-price places because of the significant costs involved in offering this weekend including taxes, facilitator training, fees & supervision, indemnity insurances, marketing, management, administration, and many other digital and invisible costs. If you are looking for low-cost support around your childlessness, we recommend that you work through the exercises in Jody’s book (you can do so alongside others in the reading group for her book in our Online Community and also be sure to attend the many free webinars, events and ‘Gateway Gatherings‘ that Gateway Women organizes. Be sure to be on our mailing list to hear about those and/or follow Gateway Women either on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
- Questions: If you have any questions prior to booking (or afterwards) please contact either Yvonne firstname.lastname@example.org or Sophia email@example.com
To book, please go right to the bottom of this page.
- Timings for the day: We will work in 4 sessions on Zoom, taking breaks/lunch in between. Please make sure that you are in/near the UK/EU timezone to be able to attend this workshop. North American and Antipodean-friendly times are offered at other times – see the current events calendar here.
- Session 1: 9am-11am
- MORNING BREAK: 11am-11.15
- Session 2: 11.15-1pm
- LUNCH 1pm-2pm
- Session 3: 2pm-3.30
- AFTERNOON BREAK: 3.30-3.45
- Session 4: 3.45-5pm
- See this workshop start time in your timezone by clicking here.
- Where: The ONLINE Reignite Weekend will run as a private online course within our private Online Community on MightyNetworks. The fee for this workshop includes a 1-month free membership so that you can take part in your ONLINE Reignite Weekend and then stay in touch and deepen your connections with your sister participants and your facilitators from the weekend after the course has ended. If you wished to continue as a member of our community after that, you are very welcome to take up one of our regular membership options which are on a sliding scale to suit all budgets.
- How does it work?: Both Saturday and Sunday on the course are made up of 4 sessions, each one taking place on the Zoom video conferencing platform. This means that you will be able to see your facilitators and the other participants as if we were all sitting in a room together. The calls are private and secure and are not recorded. You only need a free Zoom account to access it. Even if you have never used Zoom before, you are welcome to join us and we are both very experienced in helping Zoom-newbies become comfortable using it. There will also be some basic stationery and other simple materials you will need to have ready to participate in some of the exercises and we will provide a full list of these when you book.
- How Many Women: In order to create an intimate and safe atmosphere, the ONLINE Reignite Weekend is currently restricted to 14 participants only.
- Who is the ONLINE Reignite Weekend for? Women of any age or sexuality, partnered or solo, who wanted to have children and for some reason, it didn’t work out. If you’re keen to move forward and create a meaningful and fulfilling life without children, it’s for you. If you are childfree by choice or still hopeful of creating a biological or adoptive family by any means, this won’t be a good fit for you. Childless stepmothers and those who have experienced adoption breakdowns are very welcome. If you’re not sure if it’s right for you, we’d be happy to discuss that with you before you book – just contact either Yvonne firstname.lastname@example.org or Sophia email@example.com directly and they will be happy to arrange a time for a quick chat.
- What is the cancellation policy? Your fee is non-refundable. However, you can transfer (once only) to a different Reignite Weekend if needed, and if you give us at least 2 weeks’ notice. Should you decide that you are NOT going to attend (or transfer) please let us know so that we can offer your place to someone else, as there will be a waiting list for places on this weekend.
- Any other questions: please contact either Yvonne firstname.lastname@example.org or Sophia email@example.com
Some feedback from women who've taken part in previous Reignite Weekends, including Online Reignite Weekends.
I had been interested in attending the Reignite Weekend but hadn’t been looking forward to the travelling, nor to being away from home, so jumped at the opportunity to experience the weekend in its online format. I am used to facilitating online, but this was my first experience of being a participant in a whole weekend, online workshop. The online space felt safe, respectful, and with time for everyone to be heard, in a way that they wanted to share (there was no pressure at all.) Of course, it all feels very different when we are little boxes on a screen, but there was so much warmth and caring that it didn’t seem to matter. There was plenty of opportunity for short breaks, and the sessions felt engaging and spacious. The facilitators brought wisdom, experience, love and (I imagine) courage, and really held a potent space. Aside from being in the company of warm and open women who I could be with without needing any protective armour around those most tender parts of myself, the most helpful part of the weekend for me was thinking more deeply about the ways I’d internalised what the world says about childless women, and the impact of that, of not feeling good enough because I didn’t have children. I’m now able to let that deeply held and painful part of how I see myself go (because I now know it’s a ‘thing’) in a way I hadn’t been able to, before this weekend. Infertility and childlessness have been a painful journey for me, and also an awakening one. I liked that the Reignite weekend made room for our joy and laughter and emerging Plan Bs, as well as holding space for the weight of the hidden and buried losses and grief. I’d say to someone who is drawn to booking, it’s definitely a weekend well spent. I’m glad I did it, and it was definitely a healing and nurturing weekend (Jacqui, 49, UK).
By the time I found the Reignite Weekend I had already experienced “most” of my grief (as if grief were measurable!) alone and in long-term anxiety and depression episodes which I thought were just “part of my make-up” and would always be part of my life. Attending the weekend was like lifting a black cloud that I thought was mine forever. I suddenly knew that these grief episodes could be worked with, I could do the work required to learn from them and I didn’t have to do it alone as there is a whole community of women here with whom to share this enormously difficult journey and move on from it into a life I now find fulfilling and meaningful. The Reignite Weekend was the beginning of something and, just less than 2 years later, on it is going . . . . with a community of women I love. I don’t regret a penny spent on it and thoroughly recommend investing in it if you have a chance. (Clare, 55, UK)
I was determined to get to a Reignite weekend eventually and finally did. It was MARVELLOUS. The facilitators did an amazing job, creating such a lovely space energetically and emotionally. The exercises were profound, and I found the two days to be so beautifully designed to help move us through the key issues surrounding childlessness. I am so grateful that you were inspired years ago to create GW and these weekends! (Millie, 59, USA)
It was a stimulating weekend. The facilitators were welcoming, empathic & ran the event with care – they are great role models too. I have taken away many positive vibes and ideas (Caroline, 60, UK).
Having read Jody’s book (which put my pain into words – thank you) and engaged in my own personal therapy prior to the workshop, I was very much taking small steps on my childlessness journey. I have experienced bereavement in my life but had found the grief of childlessness so difficult to communicate with others because the shame of ‘failing’ as a woman felt too much to expose directly to anyone. I have felt hopeless about life and my future and wondered how I could possibly make sense of the next 40 years, without motherhood. The workshop was hugely supportive in so many ways, deeply confronting in a positive way, and not least because it gave me a community of women that get it! I cannot describe the relief of finally being able to tell my story, and not feel pitied, judged negatively or dismissed. Instead, I was heard, validated, supported, and encouraged. Over the past few months, I have stayed in touch with the group and begun to foster friendships with warm authentic wonderful women who offer compassion at every stumble and celebration at every small achievement. Thank you. (Sarah, 46, UK).
The weekend definitely exceeded my expectations and the strength I received from being in the company of such strong, yet similarly hurting women, is amazing. The realisation that I’m not alone and have real people to talk to who understand how difficult it is some days to navigate such a strongly biased society that thinks motherhood is the norm is huge. But it has also given me a friendship base of fascinating women that have stories to tell that don’t involve having a child, and opinions on life who I want to spend time with and get to know better. It was a tough weekend having to face up to so many decisions made in the past or thinking about what the future might hold, but to survive and start living again I need to face these things. The weekend has given me a starting point and motivation to start finding my way and a support group to call upon. Thank you for starting this and giving hope back to us all (Simone, 49, UK).
Since the weekend, I found I was able to explain my feelings in a different way to my husband, and he was full of questions and very interested and enthusiastic about what the Gateway Women community is doing for women and the impact it can have for a social change. He then told me that what I’d learned and experienced at the Reignite Weekend had enabled him to better understand my childlessness, something that had been quite a mystery to him for many years – that our pain is not just about our deep feelings of grief (which really is quite enough!!!) but also about all the other stuff from society that gets loaded on top of it that we also have to deal with. This realisation has proved to be so precious to me – and to my husband! Let me also say that the facilitators were also unbelievably kind, gentle, intelligent, brilliant and wonderful (Hilda, 45, Germany).
A warm and heartfelt thank you to the facilitators for giving so fully of yourselves in facilitating our weekend. Your engagement and encouragement prior to the course was much appreciated which encompassed a sense of already being known in part and thus genuinely accepted. This I believe contributed to the precious gelling of the group overall. It did feel like a shared and bonded experience even though our stories were unique and your compassion for each of us was very evident. The content of the weekend was both interesting and creative – many thanks to Jody for her inspiration and commitment to bring this to us – and seemed to touch us all at different points on the way. The exercises were well explained by both of the facilitators and everyone contributed making it a dynamic process. They were both sensitive and positive at the same time and facilitated a great deal of trust within the group. This secure base gave us the courage to explore our grief and consider ways to embrace Plan B both individually and collectively. With appreciation (Melissa, 55, UK).
The weekend was a moving, enlightening and powerful experience. I was so moved by the stories of all the other women. There was lots of crying and lots of laughing too. I feel an amazing (almost miraculous) connection with them which is alive and well on our post-workshop WhatsApp group… The weekend has helped me to embrace my grief in a way that I hadn’t allowed myself to before and has given me lots of strategies to work through it. The weekend has also released a massive creative block which I didn’t even realise was there. Writing and drawing about my experiences seem to already be part of my ‘Plan B’. I am also thinking a lot about self-care and putting it into practice as much as possible – not a habit that I have been very good at previously. The facilitators were wonderful – they structured the days very skilfully and listened beautifully to everyone – holding everyone’s stories, emotions and reactions in such a supportive way. Being part of this sisterhood feels amazing. Thank you. (Carla, 42, UK)
Reserve Your Place
Your ticket is not refundable. Please be sure that you will be able to attend LIVE during UK/EU timezones that weekend. Anything that you are not sure about, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before booking.
Tickets are not available for sale any more for this event!
september 3 (Saturday) - 4 (Sunday) BST