~Girls On Tour support M.A.S.H, August 2017

Running late as per usual, I quietly rushed down into the basement of Soloman’s Café Bar, holding a glass of prosecco in one hand and a packet of handmade crisps in the other. After a long day at work, and a job and a half finding the venue without a charged phone, I could finally let my hair down…and didn’t I just.

I had successfully found and was now opening the door to the venue which held our quarterly MWSG charity gig. This time, we were fundraising for M.A.S.H.


M.A.S.H, or Manchester Action on Street Health, is a charity which provides free and confidential support to female sex workers in Manchester. From sexual health to needle exchange to therapeutic services, M.A.S.H works to promote the well-being and personal safety of sex workers through providing medical and emotional support with the aim to break the cycle of women returning to work within the sex industry. And; after researching into the charity’s website, it is clear that M.A.S.H offer much more than free condoms.

Thanks to the nurses and caseworkers at  M.A.S.H and the professional services that they provide, the charity efficiently offers both short and long-term care support through;

  •  Drop-In sessions- Individuals are able to use their facilities, have some refreshments and a confidential discussion with a caseworker.
  • Help with legal matters- Caseworkers who work closely with women who are survivors of attack and who are involved in the criminal justice system.
  • Checkups- Nurses offer confidential sexual health-related check-ups.
  • One-to-one support and counseling sessions- MASH caseworkers offer individualised and tailored care plans to suit individual cases.

It is precisely through these services that M.A.S.H have been helping women, day and night, to break away from the sex industry. In 2016, MASH helped over 800 women alone.


But equally, if not, more importantly, M.A.S.H’s commitment to empowering individuals to make the best life choices is what makes this charity transform the lives of many; and since 1991, they have been doing just this.

~On the night itself

Held on the 4th August, 7:30pm in Solomon’s Cafe bar, the events organiser, Heidi Dewhirst- (a brilliant musician herself who just recently performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival) opened the night with a speech about the charity; what it does, who it helps, as well giving her own experience of visiting the M.A.S.H Centre just days before.

During this speech, I noticed a small clothes stall and an EP record sale; organised by our MWSCG acts, Ellis Hall and Avital Raz, as part of fundraising for M.A.S.H. Leaflets and donation boxes were also scattered around the room, blending in quite nicely with the half full, half empty glasses of wine. The venue itself was eye-catching too; after a stressful ordeal with a last-minute venue cancellation, we unexpectedly (although luckily) stumbled upon Solomon’s Cafe Bar- it was a pleasant surprise.

The room dark but homely; with portraits of local musicians hanging from the walls, and an old, presumably abandoned bar area, which seemed to have collected and kept music gear from previous gigs-  It was almost as if the room itself knew the Manchester music scene very well.

This was then followed by the MWSCG line-up; (and a quick synopsis of each act)

  • 7:30 Claire Jordan– Sincere, sweet and uplifting.-  very lovely.
Clare Jordan
  • 7:55 Eilís Hall– Raw and innocent- instantly charmed by her confidence. Her poetry; personal and passionate. Her story-telling; absorbing and easy on the ear.


  • 8:20 Sophie Blackwell– Heart-enduring lyrics- performs as if she is in her own little world and invites us in .
Sophie Blackwell

8:45 Avital Raz– Shocking and controversial. Lyrics which may disturb the prude- tone rich in dark humor.

Avital Raz
  • 9:10 Karen Chung– Quirky, hippy and cool- sings directly to the audience.
Karen Chung
Karen Chung
  • 9:35 Heidi Dewhirst– Powerful and traditional folk origins-distinctive strength of vocals.
Heidi Dewhirst
  • 10:00 Alex Ohm– Emotional and compelling- a  real sense of maturity in her style.
Alex Ohm
Alex Ohm

~And there we have it!

The night ended with drinks at the bar, a few conversations about music influences and an expensive taxi ride home.

~A quick reminder

MWSCG is passionate about showcasing the talent that Manchester’s songwriters, poets, and musicians have to offer as well as helping out local charities with the fundraising that we achieve.~This is what makes Girls on Tour gigs special.

Thanks to the donations that we received, the night raised £50.00 for MASH.

And once again, MWSCG strives to support more local charities with more Girls On Tour music nights;

Our next gig? 16th November @The Art Of Tea, 19:00


~Thanks for reading!



Donations are much appreciated: please find attached link below.

Photography @Andy Darbyshire




Author: charlottehlawrence

Hello! As the title reads, here's a short (long) introduction about myself. ~MUSIC I am a busy bee living and enjoying post- graduate life in Manchester; passionate about music, Manchester's music scene and everything Manchester has to offer. I am a singer-songwriter and musician playing and performing around the writing blocks and the hustle and bustle of Manchester's vibrant creative scene. I am also an events assistant at MMINE (Manchester Music Industry Networking Events) Radio Liaison officer at Sonderfest, and a general helper outer at MWCG (Manchester Women Songwriters Collective Group) - their 'Instagram Queen' so they tell me! ~BOOKS Apart from the music stuff, I am an English Literature and Drama graduate from the University Of Salford. It's fair to say that I have read my share of thick novels and over-bearing Shakespearean plays over the past three years; most of which I enjoyed, some I would place cosily on a high bookshelf with the hope never to see again. Classics are my favourite; the hard-to-read, fatigue inflicting, unnecessarily descriptive novels- I think stemmed from watching BBC period dramas as an early teen and imagining the scenes I obsessed over as I went along. I plan to read so much more! ~TRAVEL As with most people, I love a good weekend away. I love booking flights to my bucket list destinations and delving into the food, (yes always food first),and drink and culture of different places. I still demand the window seat, and I still continue to drink from the terrible selection of wines these plan companies have to offer. South America and Thailand are my next big adventures. 🚲🚲🚲 Anyhow~ Here's an introduction about myself and my interests. I plan to post weekly about my music, reading and travelling adventures and about anything else which brings me to 'pick up a pen.' Stay tuned and thank you for reading x X

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s