Celebrating inspirational Northumberland and North East women

Inspirational and inspired women, and men, from across Northumberland and the North East have been telling Northumberland County Council their stories, to mark International Women’s Day 2018.

This year the day falls on March 8th and the council has been running an online campaign and holding a special event to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women from the area.

Short videos on Northumberland’s social media channels have shown women, girls and men talking about the people who have inspired them, and how they hope to inspire the next generation.

The 2018 International Women’s Day campaign theme is #PressforProgress - promoting strong global activism for women’s equality and gender parity.  It includes a call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

The council’s event, held at the Fuse Centre in Prudhoe today featured talks from a number of leading women including bestselling author LJ Ross; Northumbria Police inspector Pam Bridges; Penni Blythe from ‘Emily Inspires’; and Kiz Crosbie artistic director of Mortal Fools theatre company.

Videos shown from the campaign included the words of BBC North East newsreader Carol Malia; former 400 metre commonwealth silver medallist Allison Curbishley; and double world rowing championships medallist Sam Courty.

The audience included civic guests, children from schools in Northumberland, local community representatives and senior council officials.

Cllr Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts and leisure at Northumberland County Council welcomed guests to the event.  She said: “This annual initiative has provided us with the ideal opportunity to celebrate the achievements of inspirational women past and present from across the globe and indeed, closer to home in our own communities.

“Strong women have taken a stand throughout history and this is our chance to celebrate them.  We have heard from fantastic guest speakers and seen just a few of the many videos which are being shared on social media this week.  

“These videos feature women in prominent roles or positions across Northumberland and the wider area. They tell us their story and talk about who has inspired them in their life journey.

“I truly believe that by working together, we can all help women achieve their limitless potential.”

Those at the event also heard from Year 13 students at Prudhoe Community High School who talked about Clara Schumann - one of the most important female composers in the Romantic Period.

They also heard about Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison who stepped in front of King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby and suffered fatal injuries.  She was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard in Morpeth and this year a lasting memorial to Emily will be erected in Carlisle Park in Morpeth to mark the 100th anniversary since the first women were granted the right to vote.

Videos shown on social media channels during the week are of:
  • Heidi Mottram, CEO of Northumbrian Water
  • Carol Malia, BBC Look North newsreader
  • Bryony Gibson, Vice Lord Lieutenant for Northumberland
  • Jacqui Miller-Charlton, main board member for Miller International, Cramlington
  • Gill Rice, managing director of Tyne Valley Plastics, Prudhoe and winner of North East STEM Businesswoman of the Year
  • Sam Courty, Team GB rowing team
  • Laura Weightman, 1500m medalist
  • Sarah Hall, President of CIPR UK 2018
  • Allison Curbishley, director of Extra Mile Media & Events and former 400m Commonwealth silver medallist
  • Inspector Pam Bridges, neighbourhood officer at Northumbria Police
  • Cllr Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council
  • Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member for planning, housing and resilience
  • Cllr Nick Oliver, cabinet member for corporate services
  • Helen Denton, Scouting Leader
  • Adeline Keogh, Eileen Cartie & Rubina Kashif from the BME women’s group at the Buffalo Centre in Blyth
  • Joan Russell, volunteer with Prudhoe Community Partnership, who runs a community allotment for people with disabilities
  • Róisín Lally, cyclist with Derwentside Cycle Club
  • Lisa Ward, Avril Pearson, Yolanda Minto and Diane Clark, foster carers with Northumberland County Council
  • Janet Kelly, chief matron for community with Northumbria Healthcare Trust
  • Kate Carney, consultant colorectal surgeon at Northumbria Healthcare Trust
  • Kate Dixon, parks development officer at Berwick-upon-tweed
  • Victoria Redhead, firefighter with Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service
  • PC Sharon Walton, Northumbria Police officer at Prudhoe
You can watch videos from the campaign here.   
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