The WEST Fund was established in memory of Ros Wall who was instrumental in setting up a range of local and national projects to encourage women and girls to take up careers in non-traditional roles in science, engineering, technology and the built environment. Ros Wall was also one of the founders and workers at Sheffield’s inspirational Gwenda’s Garage in the 1980s.
Over the last 30 years there have been strong links in Sheffield between women and manual trades. Many women have been self employed, and there have also been some ground breaking initiatives in women’s education, including the Women’s Furniture Making Workshop at Sheffield College, and the WiSET team at Sheffield Hallam University. The Women’s Construction Centre at WICAT (Women in Construction Arts and Technology) is a voluntary organisation that developed from the same movement.
WEST is a charity and voluntary organisation that is run by a group of trustees, a number of whom have been involved in this area since the 1980s.
Read our past annual and work reports. You can find our more recent annual reports and accounts on the Charity Commission Website (Charity Number 1152219)
Every year WEST makes small bursaries to give practical support to women and girls who are already learning or working in a non-traditional role or would like to start education or training in a non traditional career.
For the last seven years the bursary money has been raised through an annual film night at Sheffield Hallam University. In 2019 we added a second fundraising event – with entertainment and food in June, also at Sheffield Hallam University.
Since 2013 WEST has worked with a number of partners in the Sheffield Region to design and develop a range of outreach programmes to encourage girls and women into non-traditional subjects and careers.
WEST has also developed resources for Primary Schools that show kids a range of construction and engineering careers…and the women who work in these jobs. The books are full of activities and quizzes. They were developed in conjunction with Science Education Specialists at Sheffield Hallam University.
WEST continues to develop resources for schools and we are currently working with with secondary schools in the Sheffield City region with a series of new posters.
We have worked worked closely in partnership with local partners
- WiSET (Women in Science, Engineering and Technology – now retired) and Sheffield Hallam University
- WICAT (Women in Construction, Arts and Technology) at the Women’s Construction Centre, Sheffield
- The Women’s Furniture Making Workshop and The Sheffield College
Between 2015 and 2016, WEST worked closely with The Sheffield College to support its European Mind the Gap project.
WEST would like to thank these funders for their support:
- Rosa – UK fund for women and girls
- The Sheffield College
- Sheffield Town Trust
- Sheffield Hallam University
- Arconic Foundation
- Howmet Foundation
WEST’s constitution states that our aims are:
“To advance the education of women and girls in the subjects of science, engineering, technology, the built environment and with particular focus on craft and trade skills so that they may pursue non-traditional careers in these subject areas. This will be through the provision of an annual bursary scheme to support students and by supporting and promoting projects and organisations in South Yorkshire that work to encourage women and girls into non traditional subjects and careers through outreach and liaison work.”