About Us


We have been involving and supporting local women since 1998 when Fourth Action was first set up. Have a look at our achievements in the resources page.

From Summer 2016 Fourth Action will become known as the Women’s Workshop.


RBS Women's Enterprise Programme

RBS_Ins_Ent_Women_logo_smallerWe were successful in winning an award from RBS Women’s Enterprise funding in 2013 to establish a rural enterprise support project

The project offered an incubator space for rural women’s businesses and provided support to eight new women’s enterprises, meeting the market demand for services run ‘by women for women.’ These include women-friendly care and repair, outdoor pursuits, culture and heritage activities, horticulture, garden furniture, hospitality and holidays. This project has helped pave the way for continuing work to support women in enterprise.

Fourth Action Case Study FINAL


A Woman's Place

A Woman's Place diagramA Woman’s Place in rural Development

This exciting project funded by Leader+ European fund for rural areas, brought together women’s groups and activities in a transnational project that had partners across the north and midlands of England, Ireland and Poland. More information about the background to the project, and to the partners involved and the activities they organised follows.

Project Activities

  • Heritage skills such as dry stone walling through to environmental self-build
  • Traditional crafts through to web design skills
  • Traditional cultural heritage linked to tourism e.g. plant walks, women-focussed archaeology, outdoor pursuits, through to women’s festivals featuring multi-cultural and intergenerational dance, music, circus.
  • Women as traditional farmers through to creative enterprise development
  • Women volunteering in the community working with and for newcomers facing disadvantage and discrimination through to equal representation on strategic partnerships and formal bodies
  • Feasibility of working towards rural women’s resource centres in each area
  • Women and men working together to explore and support each other in taking on new roles.

At the Crossroads

Between 2006 and 2011 we supported 150 unemployed women to explore and progress towards their personal and career goals. 30 women were trained as peer mentors, and others achieved paid work or starting up their own enterprises.

At the Crossroads 2 evaluation report

NETS Exchange and Trading scheme

Exchange and Trading Schemes are  a way of buying goods and services without using money.

The Benefits…
  • Access to all kinds of goods and services
  • Opportunities to turn your time or resources into assets
  • Test the waters for a new business
  • Practice new skills through trading
  • Be part of a supportive community
  • It costs you nothing to join
  • You only trade when you are ready
  • You do not have to attend meetings
How do I take part?

Write a list of things you would like to trade, your offers.  If you run out of ideas, look at the Trading Inspirations list opposite to spark your imagination.  These can be things you do at work, as a hobby or just things you enjoy.

Decide how much you want to charge. We use Spirals as our currency, which are approximately equal to £1.  Any Spirals you earn can be spent on anything in the Directory.  We have decided on a minimum charge for services of 5 Spirals per hour as women tend to undervalue themselves in these schemes!
You may need to have a cash charge for materials as well, such as ingredients for baking or petrol for transport, which you will agree with your customer.

You will want to give people an idea of your skill level in your offers and we suggest:
BEGINNER not particularly skilled, but you are learning
COMPETENT a lot of skill and experience, but not formally qualified
PROFESSIONAL  trained and qualified

Decide what you want from other people and then fill in the form.

Download NETS leaflet  and offers form here>>

Trading Inspirations

Ideas for offers and wants you might want to share within the NETS scheme:

DOMESTIC: general housework, ironing, pet sitting, shopping, spring cleaning.
FOOD:baking, cooking batches of meals for the freezer, dinner party cooking, party catering, cookery advice and lessons, loans of equipment.
HOUSE MAINTENANCE: decorating, plumbing, minor repairs, interior design, Feng Shui, furniture restoration, equipment loans, labouring.
GARDENS: garden design, growing plants, lawn mowing, equipment loan, weeding, advice, vegetables.
TRANSPORT: sharing transport, offering lifts, deliveries, removals, shopping or recreational trips.
CRAFTS: knitting, basic sewing, felted items, jewellery, candles, needlework, toy making.
LESSONS: If you have a skill that you would like to share with others, why not offer individual or group lessons.
SERVICES: house for short lets, dry storage space, room for parties, administration, use of office equipment, styling/makeovers.
THERAPIES: aromatherapy, head massage, shiatsu, life coaching, counselling.
SUPPORT: befriending, taking someone to the activity you go to if they haven’t the confidence to go on their own…
Fill in the form with your name, address and offers and wants and then return the form to the address below. From the information that you give us, we will prepare a Directory of everyone’s offers and wants.

As Northumberland is a large area and the scheme will work best when people trade locally, we are planning to centre it around each local town in north Northumberland. Please indicate in the locality column of the form which area you wish to be included in.

In the next few weeks you will receive your NETS Directory, details of how to start trading and your NETS chequebook.

There are regular trading Meetings in the local towns to help you get to know other members in the scheme and what they are offering.

To check on the status of your account download NETS statement overview here>>>>

Return the forms to NETS scheme, 33 West Street, Belford, Northumberland, NE70 7QB

If you feel you need more information contact Julia – info@womensworkshop.net

East Amble Women's Workshop

With funding from the People’s Health Trust from 2014-16, we have been running workshops and peer mentoring sessions with local women living in East Amble, Northumberland, to support them in gaining skills and confidence, as well as encouraging them to try out new things. We have offered workshops on a variety of activities such as creative crafts, gardening, furniture building, DIY and digital skills. We helped establish a community cinema, and a young women’s group.

As part of the project we have been running weekly workshops to involve local women in designing, building and decorating our Women’s Workshop building. In August 2015, we finally completed the workshop and launched it at a two-day celebration. The building now serves as our office and is used for our workshops and activities. It’s a real asset to the community and one that local women have been heavily involved in creating.

Being involved in the project has helped local women to grow in confidence and play a more active role in the community. As a result, they have established the East Amble Community Action group so that they can share concerns about the local community and take action.

Although the funding from People’s Health Trust has now come to end, the project most certainly will not. We are working hard to raise further funding to continue with the project so that the Women’s Workshop provides a lasting legacy for the community.

Women's Workshop Development

Slide1The Women’s Workshop has been in the making since 2006 when we first decided to encourage local women to get involved in the self-build process and raise confidence in manual skills in the process. The build process has been amazing, involving women of all ages including visiting groups.

selfbuild presentation 2012.ppt

Flier Aug 2015Sat 22nd and Sun 23rd August 2016 marked the completion of the East Amble project and a celebration of the latest development phase of the Women’s Workshop, with events and activities held at the Brambles Childcare Centre, both at Coquet Enterprise Park Amble NE65 0PE. There were stalls, workshops and fun activities, with an environment theme on Saturday and family fun theme on Sunday. The final push on completing the Workshop will be achieved by the end of 2016, with plans for an access and sensory path and further regular self-build sessions.


Julia Lyford


Short Bio: Julia has worked in the community for over 35 years, as a youth worker with a stint at the National Youth Agency, management adviser with Derby CVS, regional posts with YWCA and Age UK, regional adviser to the NE Equality and Diversity Forum from 2001-5, and funding and project developer with various local community based projects. She has a strong track record in reaching excluded groups and developing user-led networks. Julia has been a member of the NE Rural Affairs Forum, and also the NE Equalities Coalition, and is active in the Local Action Group for Leader Rural European funds.

07775 817544


Katt Barclay

Team member

Short Bio: Katt is a multi-tasker, involved in volunteering, developing projects, fund-raising, cake making, campaigns, children's activities and lots of peer support for local women.