Celebrating inspirational Northumbrian women

Inspector Pam Bridges, neighbourhood officer at Northumbria Police; Penni Blythe, from Emily Inspires; and Coun Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts and leisure at Northumberland County Council.
Inspector Pam Bridges, neighbourhood officer at Northumbria Police; Penni Blythe, from Emily Inspires; and Coun Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts and leisure at Northumberland County Council.

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

The council has been running an online campaign and has today held a special event to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women from the area.

Short videos on the council’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, 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 newsreader Carol Malia, former 400m 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.

Coun Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts and leisure at Northumberland County Council welcomed guests to the event, saying: "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 is buried in St Mary’s Churchyard in Morpeth.

You can watch videos from the campaign here.