Events held across Staffordshire and Cheshire to mark International Women's Day

Events are taking place today across Staffordshire and Cheshire to mark International Women's Day.

The theme for this year is to be bold for change - and is asking people to take action towards gender equality.

Over 30 organisations and keynote speakers are attending a day of inspirational workshops at Winsford Lifestyle Centre.

Motherwell Cheshire have organised the event in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Opening the event will be founder of Motherwell Cheshire and organiser of Winsford Women’s Day, Kate Blakemore, who will introduce the first speakers: Winsford Town Council’s Councillor Ailsa Gaskell-Jones and Angela Kandeh from Weaver Vale Housing Trust.

Cllr Gaskell-Jones, said: “I’m so excited to be involved in Winsford Women’s Day. It is brilliant for this event to be coming to Winsford and I am very grateful to Motherwell for all the work they have done to make it happen.

”There is a fabulous schedule lined up which should make for a great day.”

Chief Inspector Sarah Pengelly, Local Policing Unit Commander for Warrington, is among the host of female speakers exploring the ‘Be Bold for Change’ theme. She will conclude the day at 3:30pm with her speech entitled ‘A Woman in a Man’s World’. Also speaking at the event on ‘Getting your Voice Heard’ is Growing Families’ Helen Calvert.

Organisations and charities supporting the health, wellbeing and progress of women will be present at a range of information stands throughout the day.

Action on Cancer, Shine Bright Foundation and Soroptimist International of Northwich who raise money and help others in need, are among the organisations offering advice and support on the day.

Women wishing to try new forms of exercise can take inspiration from the series of workshops including netball and yoga demonstrations as well as hearing from Active Cheshire’s Sarah Tilling. 

Active Cheshire work with health, sport, education and business partners in the area to find new ways of enabling people to get active on a regular basis. Sarah Tilling will be addressing the female audience on “The Importance of being Active.”

Kate Blakemore, founder of Motherwell Cheshire, said: “This is the first time we’ve organised Winsford Women’s Day and look forward to welcoming women from Winsford and beyond to gain value from this event.

“We have purposely ensured that all activities, speakers and demonstrations are varied and so appeal to all different women who are at different stages in their life.”

The Stoke and North Staffs Women's Network has collaborated with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to organise a bespoke Heritage Canoe trail paddle for women to 'have a go'.

This will be a 'taster session' of the Heritage Trail from Northwood to Hanley taking in the famous Emma Bridgewater visitors centre and factory and many more Heritage points along the way.

Events are also taking place in Hanley Park and Keele University. 

Professor Liz Barnes is officially installed as Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Staffordshire University at Stoke Minster. The celebration is timed to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Professor Barnes, who is one of the 22% of female Vice-Chancellors across the country, has clear views about the benefits of education: “For me, what the University and education more broadly achieves is to transform lives. Our students and graduates develop a confidence and assurance in themselves that helps them to become more resilient and manage their lives more effectively.”

David Gage, Chair of the Board of Governors who appointed Professor Barnes, said: “We were delighted when Professor Barnes accepted our invitation to be the fourth Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University to bring her wealth of experience and knowledge to progress our ambition to provide an unbeatable student experience.”

Professor Barnes is passionate about changing lives through education and she is a firm believer in the opportunities offered by technology. Recognising her advocacy around the vital role of digital technologies can make within University life, Professor Barnes was recently invited to join the JISC Board, whose vision is for the UK to be the most digitally-advanced higher education, further education and research nation in the world.

Her vision for Staffordshire University is to be an outstanding regional university - a university that is grounded within the county of Staffordshire, helping to improve education attainment and progression. Staffordshire University is leading nationally on the provision of vocational courses to meet the skills requirements of business and industry and Professor Barnes has also committed Staffordshire University as a key partner in Stoke-on-Trent’s City of Culture 2021 bid.

Professor Barnes was previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University and prior to that Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Partnerships) at Derby University. She said: “I feel privileged to have been appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University last April, and lucky to be coming back to work in Staffordshire where I took up my first teaching post and to the County in which I grew up.”


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