Idle Women is an arts and social justice project that creates vibrant and adventurous spaces with and for all women.

Idle Women works with principles of co-creation and collaboration outside formal institutional settings. 

We aim to build creative sustainable spaces for women, that can’t be cut, closed down or taken away by anyone. 

To affect deep lasting change we offer a seasonal cycle of opportunities for women to get involved through public workshops, social gatherings and activities, and long-term outreach projects in partnership with specialist service providers.

Based in North West England, Idle Women are currently delivering projects in the post-industrial towns of Blackburn, Accrington and Nelson, Lancashire and elsewhere by invitation.

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Contact information

To contact Idle Women, find directions to Idle Women spaces and for access information 

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Invite Idle Women

As well as producing arts and social justice projects in North West England, IDLE WOMEN are available to work with your organisation, project or community anywhere in the UK or beyond.


Meet the funders who support Idle Women to create spaces for all women to belong.


Idle Women is a CIC founded by caretakers Cis O’Boyle and Rachel Anderson in 2015 with the support of eight female trustees. In 2019 Rehmat Hasham joined the caretaker team and the Idle Women Sisterhood was formed – an integral group of women involved in generating a place for all women to belong. 


Idle Women was conceived and inspired by the long history of women-initiated and led spaces that transform lives through crisis and meet everyday needs of women who navigate an often challenging society.

Because of austerity measures, many of these spaces are under threat, limited or closed. Idle Women combines our expertise as artists and women to create sustainable spaces that can’t be closed or taken away by anyone.

Idle Women are named in tribute to the women who worked on the canals in WW2, wearing ‘IW’ badges to identify them as workers for the ‘Inland Waterways’ they were nicknamed ‘idle women’.