The Tolpuddle Martyr's Festival (Friday 15th July - Sunday 17th July 2016) in the Dorset Village of Tolpuddle was a glorious sunny and inspiring weekend of music, debate, poetry and crafts. This year we celebrated the RCM's first year of being affiliated with the TUC by having a stall in the field alongside other affiliated unions.
We offered a selection of activities for passers by including hand massage taken up by men and women, young and old; a hypnobirthing taster; lullaby singing and a tie dye workshop. Lots of people, both men and women stopped by, sat on one of our blow up bean bags and shared their own birth stories.
Older women, many now grandmothers were horrified to have learned at the festival that pregnant women on zero hours contracts employed at Sports Direct (no maternity/ sick leave; no paid holidays) have suffered discrimination 'Five ambulances had been called to Sports Direct's warehouse in birth and miscarriage-related matters, including one worker who gave birth in the toilets'.