A group that supports international women met again for the first time in months for an “emotional” get together this week.

The International Women’s group met up at Bitts Park in Carlisle on Wednesday June 9 for a Ladies Big Lunch session.

The picnic in the park was a welcome return to something resembling normality for the women.

Tina Borgia at Multicultural Cumbria said: "It really was [emotional] and it was hard not to give people hugs.

"The weather held off thankfully.

"There was loads of chatting and catching up, which was just lovely.

The International Women's group in Carlisle was set up for women who had moved to the city from different areas around the world and UK to have a support network of friends.

The meet-ups are seen as a crucial opportunity to give women a sense of belonging and friendship during, what can often be, the lonely experience of moving to a new place.

Tina added: "They might be new to Carlisle, or they might have lived here for a long time but have come from a different country and don't necessarily feel like they're part of it.

"The purpose of it is to give women from different cultures the chance to integrate.

"That's as important for white British women as it is for people from a whole range of different cultures that we have in Cumbria."

The day involved art as well as food as the group were lucky enough to receive a visit from Gabi Lipska, who has recently been involved with International Women's Day project, The Singing Tree.

Ms Lipska brought with her a canvas painted with a tree, on which the women added words that represented what it meant to them to be a woman on the canvas in different languages, from Polish to Arabic and Hindi.

Rashmi Manemi from Carlisle group Indian Divas said: "It was nice to see different woman from various cultural background, amidst fresh air and big space around and of course without masks.

"The painting done by Gabi with a theme of the willow tree representing what womanhood means drew me very close to heart and made me feel extra special.

"The quote I wrote for that tree was - ‘Shakthi ka Naam hi Naari Hai' in Hindi which means ‘Power, or strength, is the sign of womanhood'."

For more information, email info@mcc1.org.uk, or visit the Multicultural Cumbria website.

Alternatively, you can see what Multicultural Cumbria are up to on their Facebook page.