Debbie Hollingsworth, Festival co-ordinator.
My passion for campaigning on issues affecting women, our fight for equality and empowering other women to not only become active but to follow their dreams stems back to when i attended my first trade union executive committeee meeting in 1989. Out of 20 odd members only 2 of us were women and believe me, being taken seriously was a nightmare. Not for too long though, we were a force to be reckoned with!
On coming to study at Ruskin College in 2002 i quickly became involved with the student union and held several positions including women’s officer for at least 4 consecutive years. During that time i became involved in a number of local women’s groups and campaigns and luckily came across a programme advertising the Women’s festival. I couldn’t believe we had a whole two weeks of events and determined to get Ruskin included i organised a student event two year’s running which were great fun.
But it was through attending other events throughout the festival that really inspired me to get involved with the commitee. I was amazed at the many talented and genuinely friendly women i met and and the committee’s ability to put together such a fantastic programme each year. Hence, i happily accepted an invite to become the chair a few years ago and have not looked back since. In my mind the festival gives all women but especially those from marginalised groups, the opportunity to showcase an array of talents and thats what i love about it.
Debbie can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org