National Lottery Backs Project To Uncover The Hidden History Of The Fight For Young Women’s Rights In The North East
A group of young County Durham women are celebrating a successful £36,000 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) that will allow them to research the untold story of the development of young women’s rights over the last 100 years.
What part did young women play in the school strikes for free school meals in 1917? Do young single parents have more rights now than in the 1916 or 1956? Did the work of Women Against Pit Closures in the 1984 Miners’ Strike change ideas about the role of women in their communities? These are just some of the questions they hope to answer in The Decades Project - A History of Young Women's Rights in the North East.
The project is supported by Investing in Children, a children’s rights organisation based in County Durham.
Dr Felicity Shenton, Strategic Director of Investing in Children (IiC), explains: “Investing in Children celebrated its 21st birthday last year and thinking about our own history started us thinking about the history of rights. The North East has a great heritage of political and rights based activism and the young people we work with were keen to find out about more about how this affected the development of young women’s rights in the region We are delighted that the National Lottery grant will give them the opportunity to research an area that is often overlooked.”
Caitlin Murrray is one of the young women involved in the project. “I’m looking forward to finding out about powerful women who helped change the world like the suffragettes. We also want to get local girls’ groups involved in the project and use it to educate them about the rights they have today.”
Laura Batey, who will be running the project for IiC, agrees: “Many young women in our region have low self-esteem. I hope that finding out about the history of the successful struggle for young women’s rights will help build their confidence.”
The young researchers plan to question local women, including their own mothers and grandmothers, on their childhood memories and of experiences in schools and communities. They will also investigate historical documents, such as school reports, Parish Council and church records, and photographic collections. They will be supported by Professor Helen Berry at the University of Newcastle and archivists at the Durham County Record Office.
Professor Berry said: “There is still so much to discover about the history of children’s rights in the North East and this project promises to have a significant and enduring impact on research in this field.”
Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “Exploring the history of children’s rights is key to understanding the world we live in today. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re pleased to support this project which will give young people the power to take charge of their own heritage and tell the stories that matter to them.”
Notes to editors
For further information and interviews please contact Jane Byrne on 07794 290176 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Investing in Children (IiC) provides research and participation services to organisations that work with children and young people. Its approach is rooted in a commitment to the human rights of children and young people. IiC creates spaces for children and young people to come together to discuss ways of developing and improving the services and activities that are provided for them and support to work with adults who can make changes happen. It is a Multi-Stakeholder Co-operative Community Interest Company (CIC) and is based at the One Point Centre, Burns Green, Chester le Street.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported