The last Women Like Us festival went down a storm, back in 2021, albeit it was virtual! But we’re finally excited to announce that we’re returning! This years festival has been made possible thanks to the Federation of Essex Women’s Institutes!

Across the week of International Women’s Day, our This Girl Can Essex ambassadors will be hosting a range of free open sessions across the county, for one big Women Like Us festival! Each session will be delivered in a non-judgemental, fun and friendly environment, empowering women of all ages and abilities to move their way!

Below you will find details of all the free open sessions taking place between 6-12th March 2023, and a short form to sign up!

Sessions taking place in North Essex

Yoga, Fernanda Huckle

This class, by Fernanda is aimed at all level of yoga practitioners, supporting a restful practice that teaches us to slow down and open our bodies to passive stretching, restoring the body to its parasympathetic nervous system function helping healing with deeper breathing and elicits relaxation response: release of mind and body tension.

Saturday 11th March (10 spaces available) 9:30-10:30am, taking place at Rowhedge Village Hall, Colchester, CO57HR

Attendees will need to bring: mat, blocks or bricks, water bottle, yoga straps, come in comfortable clothing, health disclaimer from doctor if any health concerns. (Fernanda will provide a waiver for you to sign on the day as well.)


Harwich Drum Women, Louise Marie

Harwich Drum Women is a community Women’s Group created to bring Women together in circle, drum, move and sing together. The drum helps us tune out mind chatter and instead drop into our bodies, where we find rhythm and movement and be led by our hearts and hands. Plenty of drums to borrow and Herbal Teas and snacks are provided!

Friday 10th March, 10am-12pm at Harwich Arts and Heritage Centre, Main Road, Dovercourt, CO12 4AJ (FULLY BOOKED)


Open Water Swimming, Vicky Malmasjo

Introduction to open water swimming session (sea or river) suitable for all abilities. Includes a 60 minute theory lesson where participants will learn everything that they need to know to swim safely in open water. Followed by a full supervised and lifeguarded open water swim/dip. Please note that all participants must be able to swim a minimum of 25m. 



Miss Fits Workout, Becky Scott

MissFits Workout® is a dance based exercise class for people who don’t feel at home in the gym! Perfect for beginners and those who are wouldn’t normally go to a traditional fitness class. A fun and welcoming class with no pressure – led by a plus size, weight neutral fitness instructor! Perfect for beginners and those who wouldn’t normally go to a traditional fitness class. 

Thursday 9th 7pm, Abbots Community Hall, Ladbroke Drive, Colchester Essex CO2 8RW

If you’d like to join this class on zoom, please follow the link and register below:

Topic: Women Like Us Festival – MissFits Workout taster session
Time: Mar 9, 2023 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 863 8562 5245
Passcode: ESSEX

Sessions taking place in Mid Essex

Shimmy 'n' groove, lindsey abbott

Join Lindsey for a bit of fun, in a welcoming environment! Lindsey, as part of her Shimmy’n’Groove brand is holding a number of sessions as part of the Women Like Us festival. Take a look at the below, which all take place at Great Waltham Hulton Hall, CM3!

Groove aerobics – inspired cardio activities

Monday 6th March, 6-7pm


A combo of bodyweight activities for cardio & strength

Monday 6th March, 7-8pm


A Pilates style class for core strength and flexibility

Monday 6th March, 8-9pm


Stretch and Flexibility, Gemma Vincent

Stretch & Flexibility: At Phina Stretch and flexibility classes, we aim to help improve your range of movement, improve balance and increase flexibility in joints and muscles. Such training allows for easier and deeper movements while building strength and stability. All our students are super friendly and encouraging to each other in all classes so you are guaranteed to have a giggle and make new friends in each class. No experience needed and no judgement.

Tuesday 7th 6:30-7:30pm at Phina Circus and Dance, Stock Street Barn, Coggeshall, CO6 1NX

Sessions taking place in West Essex

Varied Yoga Classes, Rhyanne Braeger

Taking place at Balance Yoga Studio, Epping Golf Club, Fluxs Lane, CM16 7PE, Rhyanne, Aslihan and Catherine are holding a range of yoga sessions to suit lots of different audiences.

Beginners’ Yoga

An accessible introduction to yoga, taught in a staged approach to be inclusive to all. Yoga practice is more than just the postures; we will also focus on breathing and relaxation, and their benefits to the body, mind and soul.

Tuesday 7th March 2023, 8.30-9.30pm


Yoga for Perimenopause: An introductory yoga class for women over the age of 40 who may be experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause. This session offers holistic coping strategies to deal with the challenges of menopause.

Wednesday, 8th March, 7:30-9:30pm


StressLESS – Yoga & Mindfulness for Teen & Tween Girls: An introductory yoga class for girls (age 11-15). Specific Yoga and Mindfulness practices to bolster their resilience and support them through the daily pressures of coping with stress and anxiety.

Wednesday, 8th March, 5-6pm


Yoga & Sound Bath Relaxation: An uplifting yoga class open to all-levels including complete beginners. Sequences that blend dynamic movement with rest and focus on the breath. Followed by a sound bath with quartz crystal bowls, for deep rest and relaxation.

Thursday, 9th March, 6-7:15pm


Trauma-informed Yoga: Catherine is one of the co-founders of Thrive support group for survivors of domestic abuse, where she runs wellness sessions focusing on a holistic approach to the healing journey. This open session will focus on trauma-sensitive yoga practice, in which your autonomy is the most important part. Come and learn how to calm your nervous system and release stress from your body in a friendly, no-pressure environment.

Friday 10th March, 7:30-8:45pm


Walking Group, Alison Gray

Join Alison for walks in the villages, town and countryside of the Saffron Walden area!  A different location each time. Details of the walk are emailed out prior to the walk and then group members can choose if they wish to attend that specific walk. So group size and who attends vary each walk, making ‘the chat’ different each time! All participants get a copy of the route.

Individuals tell me that they come for ‘the chat’ (social element), exercise, being able to walk in isolated locations with company, and to make good friendships – amongst other reasons. Individuals come with a variety of life experiences and ages (22 – 79 years!).

Thursday 9th March, Starting from Newport Recreation Ground, Frambury Lane, Newport. Essex. CB11 3PU. 10.20 – 11.30am (approx).
This walk (2.3miles. Total ascent, 45m) leads us out into isolated countryside passing through an intriguing ‘Art gallery’, along part of the Old London road and by a thatched chapel believed to date back to the 11th Century. We meader back through woodland to the charming village of Newport. Potential for some sections to be muddy underfoot. Please wear suitable walking boots/shoes and have waterproofs , a drink and snack. Alternative walk may be offered if conditions dictate.

Thursday 9th March, Starting from Newport Recreation Ground, Frambury Lane, Newport. Essex. CB11 3PU. 1pm – 2.30pm (approx).This is a charming walk exploring the village of Newport and it’s surrounding countryside footpaths. 2.6miles/ Total ascent: 39.6m. Passing an unusual thatched chapel and pretty cottages. Care required on a couple of short road sections. Potential to be muddy on one section.Please wear suitable walking boots/shoes and have waterproofs, a drink and snack.


Run with Elle Linton

Loughton Running Meet Up –  Join us for a group warm up, running fitness session (usually intervals) before cooling down and heading off. The session is suitable for all levels!

Sunday, 12th March, from 10am at the Roding Valley Recreation Ground (194 Roding Rd, Loughton IG10 3LQ. Meeting at Roding Valley Recreation Ground, by the Tennis Courts) 

Sessions taking place in South East Essex

Kung Fu, Lucy Hodges

Kung Fu – Learning the art of kung Fu while getting fit and learning self confidence, not just to be able to handle yourself physically but also creating a healthy mind. We will use our equipment, pads and bags to have all round fitness while having fun and meeting people. At the club we have a mix of women who are working through their grades and growing in confidence.

Wednesday 8th March, 9:30-10:30am at Rochford Martial Arts, Unit C

Friday 10th March, 7-8pm at Rochford Martial Arts, Unit C


Zumba Dance Vikki Grindrod

Join Vikki for Zumba- Dance style class for non-dancers to have fun moving to music! Suitable for all ages, its exercise in disguise – Smiles are guaranteed!

Follow my lead and move with the music. Two left feet? No problem! Easy to follow steps that repeat through the song make it simple to follow. Working at your own intensity lightly stepping or all out bouncing thats up to you! Infectious tunes that you just can’t help but move along to, you can’t help but fall in love with Zumba.

Monday 6th March: 18.30- 19.15 AND 19.30 – 20.15 at Benfleet Essex, Thundersley Methodist church Kennington Ave SS7 4BS

Sessions taking place in South West Essex

Physio Pilates, Anna Meggitt

The Animated Physio, Anna Meggitt is holding two seperate classes, based at The Barn, Watch House Farm, Basildon, SS15 4ER.

Beginners Pilates – Expect to leave this Pilates class feeling relaxed, refreshed, free of aches and pains, and more confident in your body & what it can do! In this 45 minute class taken by experienced physio Anna Meggitt, you’ll be taken through a gentle Pilates class to strengthen your core and pelvic floor, stretch out any aches, and energise your whole body! Please note this class is suitable for complete beginners but you do need to be able to get on and off the floor independently to attend.

Monday 6th March, 10:45am – 11:30am


From Bump back to You: Physio Led Postnatal Pilates Class – Are you not feeling like yourself since having your little one? Have you noticed leaking when sneezing, your stomach muscles feel non-existent, and your aching back feeling the toll of carrying your little one? At Animated Physio, we hear you! Our postnatal Pilates class, taken by experienced physio & MummyMOT practitioner Anna Meggitt, will take you through a gentle postnatal safe Pilates class to strengthen your core and pelvic floor, stretch out any aches, and energise your whole body! Please note this class is suitable for complete beginners from 6 weeks to 1 year following childbirth, and your little ones are welcome to attend with you!

Thursday 9th March, 10:45am – 11:30am (FULLY BOOKED)


Move it or lose it with Tina

Move it or Lose it classes for older adults . I run fun , low impact exercise classes aimed at over 50s and are suitable for those with limited mobility due to health conditions or returning to exercise . They can be performed seated or supported . We cover the normal cardio, strength but include balance , flexibility and fun reaction/ coordination: memory games often using props like balls, beanbags etc.

Wednesday 8th March, 10am at Wick Community Centre Silva Island Way, Wickford SS12 9NR

Please complete a form for each session you wish to attend. Based on a first come first served basis, once a session is full, they will be removed from the sign up form.
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