Read updates about Xenia activities, and hear directly from participants what Xenia means to them.

How we're responding to COVID-19

In this post, we’ll be sharing how Xenia has responded and adapted delivery in light of the coronavirus outbreak. At Xenia, we’re striving to ensure that the women who rely on us for social connection and learning are still able to take part during this time. Read on to find out how.


Workshops have gone virtual

Since guidance on social distancing was introduced, we have suspended all in-person workshops at Hackney Museum. 

We have continued our support by holding virtual weekly sessions that any women who have previously attended a Xenia workshop are welcome to participate in. 

While we get comfortable delivering workshops in this new virtual way, we have made a decision to not accept new participants to Xenia sessions. This to ensure we have the systems in place to ensure good induction, safety and privacy so that when they do join, it’s in a safe and comfortable online space.

We  hope to be able to welcome new participants in the coming weeks,  and encourage you to get in touch if you would like to join a future session or if you’d like to refer someone to Xenia.


Changing how we signpost

In order to make sure we are understanding changing needs and listening to lived experiences, we have increased our outreach work at this time. This includes: making individual calls to regular Xenia participants each week, checking in and signposting them to services as needed. 

We normally  signpost in person at sessions,  and it is more needed now than ever before. Many of our participants have a combination of low levels of English, digital literacy and literacy – so are not being reached by other communication channels. 

If you work for a vital service that is still open and we can signpost participants to, please get in touch here


Keeping in touch

For participants who have access to the internet, we are staying connected using our closed, private Facebook group – posting activities during the week, and maintaining a virtual space for Xenia women to connect and share things with each other throughout the week. 

If you have  been to a Xenia session and would like to join the Facebook group, just email us and we will send you details of how to join.


What we still need help with

One of our key  challenges at the moment is making our virtual workshops as accessible as they can be, particularly for women who don’t have access to the internet or phone credit to dial in to group calls. We have set up a free phone number that participants can simply call to join the workshops, which will cost £100/month - a significant expense!

If you are able to make even a small monthly donation, this would really help to cover this cost. You can do that here on our Localgiving page.


Interested in following what we are doing?

As always, we are learning as much as our participants with every week that goes by. We’ll be posting regular updates on how we’re adapting to connect participants during this time of crisis, so make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  

You can also sign up to our newsletter if you want to join us in finding the best ways to connect people across differences in this crisis of isolation. Please do get in touch if you have any ideas about new things we could be trying!

If you have any questions about any of the above, please email