NEW: Additional Solo Reignite Weekend added for 4/5th May There is life after childlessness, despite what the media, your friends, your mother and your inner bitch would have you
NEW: Additional Solo Reignite Weekend added for 4/5th May
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 Gateway Women Solo Reignite Weekend is for you if you’re:
- A woman who wanted to have children but it didn’t work out for any of the many, many reasons this can happen: infertility, the lack of a willing or suitable partner, chronic illness, a badly timed breakup, unexamined ambivalence, economics, etc, etc;
- Currently not in an intimate partnership;
- Struggling with relationships with friends and family as ‘the odd one out’ and really missing having a safe & 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 couples, 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;
- Furious that you ‘did all the right things’ and have still ‘ended up’ in this difficult position;
- Ready to embrace the idea of a Plan B but deep down either convinced that you’ll screw it up, or scared that you’ll never find a genuinely meaningful alternative to a life centred on motherhood and will really just be making do with a ‘second best’ sort of life…
£295 Earlybird (by 9th January) // £350 full price after // Book with a £100 deposit // Payment plans available
(Go to the bottom of the page to book)
This Reignite Weekend is led by Lauren De Vere and Melanie Dagg Robinson, who have both been trained personally by Jody Day, the founder of Gateway Women.
Meet Lauren de Vere
Lauren de Vere is 55 years young, currently single and lives with her cat, Mr Marvo, in Greater London. A solicitor by training, Lauren has undertaken in-depth personal development to heal from the wounds of a difficult childhood, including attending and then facilitating The Essence Process. She first came across Gateway Women several years ago via a Google Search, desperate to understand whether her struggles to recover from involuntary childlessness and a failed adoption process were unique to her and/or if she was going crazy. Through Gateway Women she found a hugely supportive network of other women in the same boat and has been active both at a local level with GW Meetups in Chorleywood, as well as attending Gateway Women’s 2017 year long Plan B Mentorship Programme. Lauren has a special interest in supporting those women who have also had a challenging childhood, one that has coloured their lives and been a contributing factor in their childlessness. You can read about Lauren’s evolving journey as a single, childless woman in Fairy Tales, Gremlins & Childlessness on the Gateway Women website.
As Lauren writes: “Without wishing to sound overly dramatic, Gateway Women saved me from myself. Before I became involved in Gateway Women, I think I had unconsciously zoned out of life as some kind of coping mechanism. I lacked direction and not being a mother, felt somewhat of an outsider in social situations. Today, I feel more alive than I’ve felt for a very long time, and my Plan B is well and truly kicking! My passion for running the Reignite Weekend stems from wanting to give other childless women the safe, non judgmental space that I experienced, and from which they can begin to emerge from wherever they’ve been in their childless journey, and be daring enough to see how their Plan B could take shape.” You can contact Lauren directly at email@example.com
Meet Melanie Dagg Robinson
Melanie is 46 is divorced and single and lives in Morpeth, Northumberland. She is childless after unsuccessful ICSI/IVF fertility treatments with her then-husband. She found Gateway Women after a frantic late night Google search for ‘women who don’t have children and are happy’ and attended the Reignite Weekend with Jody in London in February 2014. Despite feeling very nervous (she considered not turning up at the workshop and going shopping in London instead!) it turned out to be a turning point and the beginning of her journey out of a black hole. Since then, Melanie has been an active member of the Gateway Women online community and leads her local Gateway Women Meetup group in Newcastle. In 2017 she also took part in Jody’s one-year Plan B Mentorship Programme – The Online Bee. An actor by profession, Melanie is an experienced workshop facilitator and also has a counselling qualification.
As Melanie writes: “I’ve found immeasurable support and friendship through my involvement in Gateway Women and it’s a privilege to have the chance to help other childless women begin their journey out of the abyss and towards a brighter future.” You can contact Melanie directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the course of this Solo 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 as well as exploring how not being partnered has impacted your life and your thoughts about yourself;
- 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 and partner you hoped for;
- Explore and express unresolved grief about your childlessness; 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 partner and baby were the only things 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 funny Nomos (not-mothers). There are more of us than you realise 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
- Times: 9.30am – 5pm
- Cost: £295 Earlybird (by 9th January), £350 full price after. Places bookable with £100 deposit (which also reserves the Earlybird price should that still be applicable). All balances due on/before 9th January. Once you have reserved your place, Lauren will be in touch to arrange your balance payment method – either PayPal or direct bank transfer. Should you wish to arrange a payment plan for the balance, this can be arranged directly with Lauren by emailing her at email@example.com
Please go right to the bottom of the page to pay your deposit, which books your place.
- Lunch & Breaks: Lunch will roughly 1-2pm both days and is not provided but there are plenty of places nearby and you can also take a refreshing walk in Regents Park which is right outside the venue. We’ll also take a morning and afternoon break of 15 mins.
- Where: One Park Crescent, 1 Park Crescent, Marylebone, London W1B 1SH (30 seconds from Great Portland Street tube station) Click here for map and transport information.
- Accommodation: An affordable option is the Quaker-run B&B The Penn Club, about 15-mins walk away. If you don’t mind a 5-stop London Underground Tube journey to the workshop, the London Central City Road Travelodge (which is based in the ‘City’ Financial District) has very affordable rooms (around £50) at the weekend. This is when the area is very quiet but ask for an upper floor room facing the Inner Courtyard for maximum quietness. You can also find very affordable and central rooms to stay in on AirBnB
- How Many Women: In order to create an intimate and safe atmosphere, the workshop is restricted to 16 women only.
- Who is the Reignite Weekend for? Women of any age, not currently in a relationship, 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 biological children, it’s for you.
- What is the cancellation policy? Your £100 deposit is non-refundable. If you cancel prior to 9th January you may request a refund of any payments made (minus your deposit). After that date, we can only refund your payments (minus your deposit) if we can resell your spot.
- Any other questions please contact Lauren or Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Some feedback from women who’ve taken part in previous Reignite Weekends:
It was a stimulating weekend. Lauren and Gen 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).
Anyway, I did want to say a massive thank you to Lauren and Gen, they really were great facilitators for the workshop and I got a lot out of it (realizing this more as time goes on and I reflect back). I was in touch with Lauren before the weekend and she really did provide loads of much needed reassurance about attending the weekend, which helped to ensure I went and didn’t back out at the last minute! It was really powerful hearing everyone’s’ journey and finally realising that I wasn’t alone in the way I felt about being childless. The first day was really emotional, although I recognise needed to be done in order to let things out, address buried thoughts and understand about the whole grief thing which was very enlightening. I found the second day much more refreshing and helped provide some positivity to work on – I had hoped for a magic solution, but the workshop made me realise it’s just small changes in mindset that can make the biggest difference. We’ve since had 2 Meetups which I’ve found quite liberating really and hopefully can work on establishing some new friendships (Susan, 45, UK).
It was such a supportive and brilliant course – so great to meet and share time with other Gateway Women, and it allowed me to challenge myself and see my way forward to my Plan B (Tilly, 48, UK).
I was very daunted (as I’m sure everyone is) about the workshop itself, but adding in the money and the distance it was definitely taking a chance and a risk for me, and it more than paid off. The facilitators Gen and Lauren were so lovely and welcoming and really helped to create what felt like a very safe, warm and loving environment. They gave us the time we needed to speak and really be heard and responded with such empathy. Being childless is something most of us can’t speak to our nearest and dearest about because nobody “gets it” so it was very refreshing to be in a room where everybody was in the same boat (albeit different circumstances). It was the first time I had ever been amongst a group of women where I didn’t feel alien-like or inferior. I even told the ladies how surreal it was to be there in a room with them knowing we all have this factor of our lives in common (Nicola, 34, Australia).
I can’t describe the massively positive effect finding GW and attending a Reignite Weekend has had on my outlook, my life, my relationships, my ability to smile at babies and their mums again! (Kate, 43, UK)
I really only had emotional room for the therapeutic side of the workshop and, for me, this was largely about the group discussion which took place, which was as powerful as I’d hoped. However, I was also surprised to find myself feeling more comfortable than previously (through the day 2 exercises) about the thought of embarking on a possible plan B mainly through the new understanding that this is actually largely about internal shift; my previous efforts have all focused on external change and have felt forced and I now understand why (Katie, 51, UK).
After getting to a very low point I thought I’d try the workshop. It was a great weekend. Just having the chance to think and explore my feelings with likeminded people was so helpful (Leila, 39, 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 which 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. Lauren and Gen 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)
The course was excellent; well structured, clear and relevant and which helped me to understand the trauma I’ve been struggling though after finding out that we can’t have children. I met some amazing women on the course whose stories of facing difficulties with so much dignity and courage will stay with me. Thank you for giving me hope (Janet, 47, UK).
I wanted to let you know that I thought both Gen and Lauren were absolutely fantastic. I honestly couldn’t have wished for better facilitators for the weekend. Both had exactly the right balance of empathy, listening skills and (importantly for me) humour. They made us all feel very safe and able to share as much or as little of our stories as we felt comfortable sharing and they created a very open, warm environment for us to operate in (Sabina, 46, UK).
I attended the Reignite Weekend and I wholeheartedly recommend it. If you are feeling unsure about whether to go, I would say definitely do it. You will be in safe hands and in a very safe environment, sharing with other Gateway Women really helps and the exercises really get you thinking – in a good way (Laura, 42, UK).
I had ideas about what my plan B was, but thought they weren’t worthy enough. The weekend has made me realise that there’s nothing wrong with my plans. As Gen said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with living an ordinary life’ and that’s the one thing that’s stuck with me – both Gen and Lauren were amazing. Thanks to the weekend I’ve now got some great women I know I can talk to now and who will understand. I hope the Reignite Weekend will continue to help women all over the world for many years to come (Lisa, 39, UK).
I have been stuck in grief for a long time that hasn’t been shifting. [The weekend] helped me to understand exactly what I was feeling and why. Home now – I feel lighter, more positive and more gentle inside than I have felt for ages (Becky, 52, UK).
The weekend was supported and held with love. Lauren and Gen guided with care and gentleness and the activities flowed seamlessly and easily allowing each of us to find our way into acceptance, grief and moving on. Nothing was forced, unnecessary or rushed. It was surreal being in a room full of women who had very different stories but had the same thing in common. For this I am truly thankful to have experienced as it was so empowering to feel that I am not alone anymore. I am excited at the prospect of this group flourishing into long lasting friendships and it’s made me feel great that I’ve suddenly acquired a new set of friends after just 2 days! (Anna, 48, UK).
It was amazing to realise I wasn’t alone, other women shared the pain, anguish, fear that I did, each with their unique story and each wanting their life to move on, but not sure how or where. I took the plunge and signed up for the workshop not knowing what to expect, or if it “was my sort of thing” – and it was the best thing I could have done. (Kristian, 42)
I attended this weekend with some ‘butterflies’ but it’s ended up being one of the best things I could have done. I’m more equipped than before I attended the event for moving on and getting to grips with my plan B. Best thing though was meeting the other Gateway Women and seeing I’m not alone… (Faye, 41)
Reserve Your Place
This deposit will book your place on the Reignite Weekend. Your Workshop Facilitator will be in touch to arrange the balance payment.
Tickets are not available for sale any more for this event!
february 9 (Saturday) - 10 (Sunday)