The women you nominated
Between June-July 2018 the put her forward team travelled England asking the public to nominate women they found inspirational. Hundreds of nominations were gathered through workshops, online nominations and live interviews, and from these 25 were selected to be 3D scanned and printed into small statues. The 25 selected women are:
Carly Jayne Jones MBE
Carly spreads Autistic Girl Power wherever she goes, and girls from the UK to Australia send her letters and drawings to tell her so. Carly has advocated for Autistic women in myriad ways, from being the first British autistic woman to speak on the matter at the UN, to creating the first free safeguarding course for Autistic women and girls. Thanks to Carly’s advocacy, the awareness and support for Autistic women has changed beyond recognition.
Catrina McHugh MBE
Catrina runs Open Clasp, a theatre company based in Newcastle that is changing the world one play at a time. For over 20 years Catrina has worked directly with marginalised women in the North-East, giving them a voice through new plays created from working with and listening to their experiences. One example is Key Change (2015), inspired by working with women in prison, which has won a multitude of awards and reached thousands of people nationally and internationally through touring and screenings. don’t forget the birds, touring November 2018, is the true story of what happened next for one of the original collaborators on Key Change, now released and working with Open Clasp. Catrina’s work has influenced the UK at policy level, including the training of over 1500 police officers in spotting coercive control in abusive relationships, contributing to the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper and informing a 2014 Government policy report on dementia and diversity by the North East Dementia Alliance.
Ciara Eastell OBE
Ciara is committed to supporting people from all walks of life, through providing high-quality and innovative library services that enhance people’s skills and life chances. She has worked as a librarian for over 20 years in Gateshead, Somerset and Cambridgeshire and is now the Chief Executive of Libraries Unlimited, a Devon-based charity responsible for running libraries in Devon and Torbay, a mobile library service three prison libraries. In her role as Chief Executive, she leads and supports the team to find new and creative ways to promote literacy for people of all ages and backgrounds. She advocates for the importance of libraries on the national platform, giving talks and pioneering new services and approaches. Ciara was President of the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) from 2014-2016, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours in 2017 for services to libraries and is a member of the British Library’s Advisory Council and the National Council of Arts Council England
Cleo is the Lord Mayor of Bristol for 2018-19, and Bristol’s first Green Party Lord Mayor. When not conducting Civic duties and Lord Mayoral engagements in her personal time she is also a writer, dancer and social justice campaigner, a truly great citizen of our time. Cleo plays a prominent role in Bristol’s African and Caribbean community and created the ‘Countering Colson’ campaign to redress the balance of the famous 17th Century Bristolian MP and slave-trader.
Cleo’s statue will be unveiled at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in Bristol on Thursday 13th September. Unfortunately due to limited capacity we can’t open this event to the public, but get in touch if you would like to come along.
Chrisann founded Let Us Learn in 2014, a national movement campaigning for the rights of young migrants to access education. Chrisann moved to the UK when she was 8 years old, but a decade later found out she unable to take up her place at university due to her immigration status. Tackling the problem head on she won a full scholarship to study Law at LSE. Following this experience Chrisann founded Let Us Learn to raise awareness of the issue and to assist the many young people who were still ‘young, gifted and blocked’. Since then Let Us Learn has reached over 1,000 young people and provided evidence in a Supreme Court case in 2015 to change the law, allowing hundreds more young people to be able to attend higher education.
Christine Burns MBE
Christine is a retired computer consultant and equality rights campaigner who has lived in Manchester most of her adult life. She became a leading figure in Press for Change (PFC) shortly after its foundation in 1992. PFC led on establishing trans people’s legal rights in the UK and Christine was influential in achieving and shaping legislation such as the Gender Recognition Act. She has written and edited several books, including “Trans Britain” (Unbound, 2018), the first book to fully chart the emergence of trans people in the UK.
Emma is a true community champion, the founder of the Winchester Fit for the Future project and Chief Executive of the Winchester Sport, Art and Leisure Trust (SALT). Devoting many long voluntary hours, Emma has campaigned for a new sport and leisure facility in Winchester and has organised a whole wealth of events, all designed to support the health and well-being of local people and to develop young talent. Some of the events Emma has set up include the Winchester Community Games, the Children of Winchester Festival (COWfest), the Inspired Generations project and the Winchester ClubHub. Emma is also a chief supporter of the Winchester Lido, a historical venue and community sports club that plays an important role in the city.
Fiona is one of a kind. Fiona is a sex trade survivor having been abused in prostitution from the tender age of 15. Fiona openly speaks out about her experiences of prostitution to raise awareness of the sex trade and inform professionals and policy /law makers on a Local, National and International level. Amongst many campaigns Fiona raised a legal case to have criminal convictions removed from women coerced into commercial sexual exploitation. Fiona is founder and CEO of the Build A Girl project, inspiring confidence and aspiration in young women to be their unique selves.
Fiona’s statue will be unveiled at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in Bradford on Sunday 16th September. Unfortunately due to limited capacity we can’t open this event to the public, but get in touch if you would like to come along.
Iby embodies resilience, empowerment and warmth. Everybody in Leeds seems to know her! Aged 94 she is about to release her third book, filling in the ‘missing bits’ from her previous two that describe her experiences as an Auschwitz survivor. Iby also strives for social justice by giving talks, and has spoken to over 50,000 people of all ages. Iby promotes the importance of education with a boundless energy, leading by example – she graduated aged 50 and earned her Masters aged 79. Iby was then awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Huddersfield University, an Honorary Fellowship from Leeds Trinity University and the British Empire Medal ten years later.
Jean, known affectionately as “The Bee Lady”, has been volunteering for Age UK Hull for more than 30 years dressed in her bee costume. Jean has received many honours for her continued Charity work including a National Pride of Britain award, the freedom of the City and this year the British Empire Medal. She is so loved by the people of Hull that the new Integrated Care Centre (the first to be built in UK) has been named the Jean Bishop ICC. Jean is now 96 years and has no intention to hang up her wings.
Jean’s statue will be unveiled at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in Hull on Friday 7th September. Unfortunately due to limited capacity we can’t open this event to the public, but get in touch if you would like to come along.
Professor Jean Golding OBE
Jean fought tooth and nail to launch the Children of the 90’s ALSPAC study, based at the University of Bristol. ALSPAC is the first longitudinal child-based research study of it’s kind, and since it’s launch in 1990 has changed the lives and living conditions of children and families worldwide.
Dr Leyla Hussein
Leyla is a psychotherapist and self-defined ‘accidental campaigner’ who has provided support for survivors of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for over 15 years. This work has included founding the Dahlia Project, co-founding Daughters of Eve, becoming Chief Executive of Hawa’s Haven and spearheading the End FGM European Campaign. Leyla strives to raise awareness of FGM, giving many talks, creating the Face of Defiance photographic portrait project, presenting the BAFTA nominated documentary “The Cruel Cut”, as strategic advisor for The Girl Generation programme and founder of the new online platform Magool. Also look out for Leyla on Wardour Street in London, where street-artist Dreph has dedicated a mural to her.
Leyla’s statue will be unveiled at Sutton House in London on Tuesday 11th September at 10am.
Lisa is a determined and empathetic grafter, a retired police officer who now works as a nurse. During her police service she fought tirelessly for victims of abuse, and also founded new ways in which police officers can be supported through traumatic cases.
Lisa’s statue will be unveiled at National Trust HQ in Swindon on Thursday 13th September. Unfortunately due to limited capacity we can’t open this event to the public, but get in touch if you would like to come along.
Liz is active to say the least. She has written blogs and books about being both a breast cancer surgeon and breast cancer patient, has spoken internationally about her experiences and is also an incredible triathlete. Not long after receiving treatment she successfully completed several sporting feats, including a half Ironman triathlon and cycling the Italian Dolomites. She supports many other cancer patients via Twitter and has used her position on both sides of the hospital bed to educate the wider medical profession.
Myro is an illustrator and founder of the 22 Bees Project. As a proud Mancunian she wanted to do something to help following the MEN attack, and so she started by drawing 22 bees on the windows of local businesses to raise money for the We Love Manchester Fund. Since then the Bee Project includes over 200 bees and has raised nearly £10,000 for the appeal. Myro also advocates for people who, like her, are diagnosed with depression, positively raising awareness of the everyday challenges that come from having the disorder.
Myro’s statue will be unveiled at HOME Manchester on Friday 7th September at 2:30pm
Natasha has been an Elite Disability Gymnast since 2014. Diagnosed with a rare and severe condition called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), Natasha can have a life threatening allergic reaction to a whole range of triggers, including exercise. Despite this, gymnastics has remained her passion, and in the last four years Natasha has claimed 22 British titles and 32 British medals including all round British Disability Champion 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Natasha has also run half marathons and cycled from Liverpool to Chester to raise money for a host of charities, and works as an ambassador for Scope.
Paige has saved at least 10 lives since the start of 2018, through her actions on Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland. Following her own experiences with mental health she started attaching messages of hope and the Samaritans’ helpline number to the bridge, inspiring similar actions around the country. Now having attached over 240 messages, and receiving a Special Commendation from Northumbria Police, Paige has encouraged more people to talk empathetically about mental health and take direct action to support people within their own communities.
Phyllis, also known as Lady Phyll, is the powerhouse behind UK Black Pride and has been one of the most visible lesbian women of colour in the UK. In her many roles she acts as a community builder and organiser, including as a senior official at the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) trade union, a Stonewall Trustee and a Diva Magazine columnist. Lady Phyll also regularly gives public talks about race, gender sexuality and class intersectionality. This year Lady Phyll co-edited “Sista!” an anthology of work by 31 LGBT writers of African/Caribbean descent with a connection to the United Kingdom.
Dr Robina Shah
Robina has been shattering stereotypes from an early age. Aside from being the first person in Europe known to publish research about the support needs of children with disabilities from south Asian backgrounds, Robina was the UK’s youngest and first Asian chairman of an NHS Trust, the youngest Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester in 2006, and the first Asian woman to be personally appointed by the Queen as High Sheriff for Greater Manchester. She has held several national leadership roles across the public selector and worked in the NHS and medical education for over 20 years, compassionately engaging with people from all walks of life.
Ruth is an activist and a fierce champion of young people’s right to be seen and heard. After a successful teaching career in state schools in Bradford and Manchester, Ruth founded RECLAIM, a Manchester-based charity supporting working class young people into leadership positions. Ruth used her platform as RECLAIM CEO to campaign nationally with young people and their communities for greater levels of equality and to the remove the stigma faced by many disadvantaged communities. She was named by Virgin as one of the top six women change-makers globally and is an Ashoka UK Fellow. She is the Founder of The Roots Programme, an initiative to bring influencers from vastly different communities together to learn from each other and increase levels of compassion in our leaders.
Ruth’s statue will be unveiled at the Royal Exchange in Manchester on Friday 7th September at 5:15pm
Sheila is a force to be reckoned with. She co-founded Shelter From The Storm, London’s free homeless shelter, available all year around. In the eleven years since Sheila started the shelter in Islington, they have helped thousands of people of all backgrounds and situations into housing. Working to support each individual SFTS has found people employment, reunited mothers with their children, kept people out of gang crime and supported young people who have been kicked out of their family home for their sexuality. Thanks to Sheila’s mastery of integrity, SFTS has helped homeless civil servants, office managers, baristas, care workers, midwives, Uber drivers and all sorts of other ordinary people back in to the housing they need and rightfully deserve.
Siobhan is the driving force behind Accessible Belper, a voluntary venture designed to make the town of Belper in Derbyshire accessible for as many people as possible – efforts that were instrumental in Belper winning the “Most accessible town in Derbyshire” award. Siobhan campaigns for accessibility and inclusion by writing and presenting training opportunities to individuals, groups and businesses; working with local schools; and by developing a business survey which helps shops and services ensure their premises and staff can provide for all their customers, whatever their needs. Siobhan’s ethos in establishing Accessible Belper comes directly from her own experience as a quadriplegic women – that by raising awareness we can increase understanding, which can then leads to accessibility for all.
Taban, a genocide survivor, is the founder of The Lotus Flower, a women and girls non-profit organisation that currently works in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq with survivors of conflict. The Lotus Flower strives to give vulnerable girls and women a future, improving their economic, social and cultural chances in life and has helped over 2000 women and girls to date. Originally set up from her living room, The Lotus Flower was founded by Taban in early 2016 after she returned to Kurdistan in Northern Iraq in 2014, and witnessed a new humanitarian crisis in her homeland that displaced 2.6 million people. Taban was a finalist in Red magazine’s prestigious Women of the Year awards in 2016, and was highly commended for her work. She also received a Hearst magazines’ Bravest Women award in 2014. In August 2014, Taban appeared in a harrowing BBC news report from Kurdistan, in which she helped deliver aid in a helicopter to thousands of refugees trapped on Mount Sinjar. Taban’s motivation stems from being a child genocide survivor during Saddam Hussein’s rule. Her horrific experiences saw her imprisoned at the age of four, while she narrowly escaped being buried alive with her family.
Veronica is the founder of Blue Mountain Women Group, initially set up to support women with African-Caribbean and African backgrounds at the time of their menopause. Blue Mountain Women are now working on a new Black History collection with Nottinghamshire Archives, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Veronica also volunteers a lot of her time to educating and championing projects around race and social justice, and is a founder member of the Nottingham-based Slave Trade Legacies heritage project.
Yvonne has dedicated her professional life to ensuring that as many woman as possible have access to free, safe, non-judgemental contraception and sexual healthcare. Yvonne trained as a nurse and midwife working in midwifery, gynaecology and A&E before training in contraception and sexual health. Working with a service dedicated to people under 25 years old, Yvonne has supported and treated hundreds of patients in clinics, through outreach work and in her role as lead nurse in contraception and reproductive health for an NHS Trust in South London. In the last ten years, Yvonne has also been involved in setting up two NHS clinics for the homeless and has advocated for improved nursing care whilst in Uganda and Bolivia.