Helen Pankhurst CBE is an author, a development and international women’s rights activist working as an advisor to CARE International, a Visiting Professor at MMU and the First Chancellor of the University of Suffolk. She is also on the Board of Action Aid and in 2019 was the judge for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing; Alquity Transforming Lives Awards and the We Are the City, Rising Stars Awards.
The granddaughter of Sylvia, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, leaders of the British suffragette movement, Helen carries on the legacy. This has included involvement in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics and in the 2015 film Suffragette; regularly leading CARE International’s #March4Women event ahead of International Women’s Day in London launching the Centenary Action Group and the Greater Manchester GM4Women2028. She worked with the composer Lucy Pankhurst, on the lyrics of the Emmeline Anthem commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and in 2018 published the book: Deeds Not Words, the Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now.
In bronze Hazel Reeves MRSS SWA FRSA tells the stories of struggles for social justice and celebrates the lives of working women. She was proud to sculpt the bronze of Emmeline Pankhurst, which was unveiled to huge crowds on the 14 December 2018, the centenary of when the first women voted. The much-visited ‘Our Emmeline’ stands in St Peter’s Square, as a reminder of Manchester’s radical legacy and as a call to push for equality.
“I’m delighted to be a Pankhurst Ambassador. I have huge admiration for the Pankhurst Trust’s role in sharing the Pankhurst and suffragette legacy, inspiring a new generation of activists, and its safeguarding of this iconic site of women’s political action at 62 Nelson Street.”
Lorraine Worsley Carter MBE, DL
Lorraine is a former freelance broadcaster, mainly with the BBC, as well as film editor with Granada Television.
In 1998, Lorraine was awarded the M.B.E. for “outstanding service to broadcasting and the community”, ad became a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester in 2008. In addition to this role, she is part of the Greater Manchester Lieutenancy Honours committee, which exists to encourage the people of Greater Manchester to nominate outstanding individuals from the community for an honour.
Lorraine’s care for and involvement with the communities of Greater Manchester, and further afield, have seen her undertake the role of CSV’s Regional Manager, line managing social action desks across the ten BBC radio stations of Northern England. She has also been Chair of the Prince’s Trust for Greater Manchester, is a former Manchester Magistrate, and a NED on both the Stockport and Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authorities.
She is the owner of Countess Publicists, as well as a theatre reviewer and travel writer.
"As a Mancunian, I am tremendously proud of, and just a bit smug about, the fact that Emmeline founded the Women's Social and Political Union - later known as the suffragettes - at the building in Nelson Street, Manchester in 1903. It’s within these very walls that the Pankhurst Centre continues to carry on her legacy, pursuing equality for all women - just like ‘our Emmeline’, they won’t give up!"
Lucy is the Labour and Cooperative MP for Manchester Central. She was elected in a by-election on November 15th 2012, becoming the first female Labour MP to represent a Manchester constituency.
Lucy was born and brought up in Manchester, where she attended Parrs Wood High School and Xaverian Sixth Form College, before going onto study Chemistry at Oxford University and King’s College London. She lives in the city with her husband James, an A+E Doctor, and their three children.
Since her election Lucy has campaigned hard against the government’s cuts to Manchester’s public services, the privatisation of the ambulance services, and for stricter regulations for private landlords. Lucy has previously served in the Shadow Cabinet, as Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office (2015) and Shadow Education Secretary (2015-16). She now sits on the Education Select Committee and chairs a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups, including the Greater Manchester APPG, Nurseries APPG and Families in the Early Years APPG. Lucy has recently been appointed by Mayor Andy Burnham to lead efforts to improve school readiness across Greater Manchester.
Before becoming an MP Lucy led a major investment project in Manchester for NESTA, the UK’s innovation agency, working with local businesses and other partners to support start-ups and creative companies. This investment programme brought over £10million to the city between 2007-2010, and created many new jobs.
Octavia Goredema MBE, FRSA
Octavia Goredema is an award-winning career coach and writer. She is currently writing her first book to help women everywhere earn what they deserve.
In 2012, Octavia was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her work to champion diversity in business. Octavia is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts where she serves on the Equity Committee and leads the Gender Equity Thematic Network.
In 2018, the University of Oxford invited Octavia to serve as a champion for a year-long programme marking the centenary of women’s suffrage. Octavia was featured in Women Who Dared, a major exhibition at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, celebrating women who have made an impactful contribution to education, business, science, politics and the arts.
“Two decades ago, I graduated from the University of Leicester with a degree in Politics & Economic and Social History. Through my studies, I started to comprehend how hard so many people had fought for the right to vote. Advocating for equity matters even more so than ever. I’m incredibly proud to lend my support to the inspirational work of the Pankhurst Centre.”
Rowetta is the original female singer with the recently reformed Madchester band, Happy Mondays, singing on all their hits, and touring the world. She played herself in the Michael Winterbottom film 24 Hour Party People and was Simon Cowell’s favourite and the last lady standing in the UK’s very first X Factor in 2004. She is currently touring with Happy Mondays and Hacienda Classical as well as performing solo.
Rowetta is passionate about Manchester. Days after the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena in 2017, Rowetta was asked to perform on The Andrew Marr Show with a string quartet, as a tribute to the victims.
Rowetta also fronted the ‘End The Fear’ campaign with Greater Manchester Police and continues to work with domestic violence support groups.
"It’s such an honour for me to become an ambassador of such an iconic and groundbreaking organisation for women and for Manchester. Because of the Pankhursts and women like them, I am able to be the strong, independent woman that I was meant to be.
I look forward to supporting the Pankhurst Centre and everything it stands for."
Sally Carr MBE
Sally Carr MBE has worked in Manchester’s LGBT+ Communities for over 30 years. Born, bred and buttered in Greater Manchester, she has dedicated her life to bettering the lives of young people, particularly marginalised LGBT+ people and women in the City.
Equality is at the centre of her work and life. As a feminist, anti-racism and trans advocate, and LGBT+ pioneer, she influences policy and decision-making in the UK to ensure some of the most marginalised people are listened too, involved and - more importantly - responded to. In 1988, she started volunteering at the then gay youth group in Manchester. The group at that time was entirely volunteer-led. She was 21 and noticeably the only woman in the space. The Proud Trust was founded by Sally in 2005 and Amelia Lee. It is the largest LGBT youth and community organisation in the UK. Sally is the Operations Director (Joint CEO) of The Proud Trust.
Sally Lindsay is an actor and writer whose diverse career has included roles in The Royle Family,Phoenix Nights, Coronation Street,Wallace and Gromit, Scott and Bailey, Mount Pleasant and Open All Hours. Cold Call, her next project is a four part drama out in November.
Recently she presented the critically acclaimed documentary called “Emmeline Pankhurst,the making of a militant.”From this her connection with the Pankhurst centre was firmly established.
She is a mum of twin boys and understands the vital importance of the work the Pankhurst centre undertakes in keeping women and their families safe and prolonging the Pankhurst’s legacy.
Shami Chakrabarti (Baroness Chakrabarti) CBE, PC
Shami Chakrabarti is the Shadow Attorney General and a member of the House of Lords.
A lawyer, she is Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Bristol and the University of Manchester and an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge and Mansfield College, Oxford and a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple. She was previously Chancellor of both Oxford Brookes University and then the University of Essex.
Born in London in 1969, the child of Indian parents who moved to Britain in the Fifties (her father was a book-keeper and accountant, her mother a shop assistant), Chakrabarti went to a state school near Brent before gaining a place to study law at the London School of Economics.
Called to the Bar in 1994 she worked as a lawyer in the Home Office from 1996 until 2001 for Governments of both persuasions. After five years she became the in-house counsel for the National Council for Civil Liberties (Liberty).
Aged 34, she was appointed as Liberty’s Director, a position she held from 2003-2016. With it, she became the country’s most prominent spokesperson against what she saw as the erosion of civil liberties. In 2011 she was a member of the panel of the Leveson Inquiry, the judicial inquiry into UK phone hacking.
Shami’s first book, On Liberty, is published by Penguin. Her second, Of Women, was published on 26 October 2017, and details the continued impact of global gender injustice on health, wealth, education, representation, opportunity and security in the 21st century.
Stacey Copeland has represented her country in two sports, football and boxing. As an amateur boxer Stacey won a European silver medal and has now turned professional; last year she made history when she became the first ever British woman to win the Commonwealth title. In 2017 Stacey founded the Pave The Way project to challenge gender stereotypes, spark social change and make a positive difference. Stacey delivers talks in schools, communities, and businesses, and last year spoke at European Parliament and the United Nations about women in sport.
Dr Stella Butler joined the University of Leeds in 2011 as University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection. Stella chairs the panel for the Designation Scheme of Arts Council England which aims to identify and celebrate collections of outstanding significance held in museums, libraries and archives across England. In the 1980s she was Secretary of the Pankhurst Trust, established to restore 62 Nelson Street, the birthplace of the suffragette movement. She is very proud to be an Ambassador for the Pankhurst Trust which now brings together the Pankhurst Centre with Manchester Women’s Aid.
Venessa Scott is a prolific public artist from the North of England with a decorated career in community arts and education. Recognised for excellence in practice and commissioned by leading cultural, corporate and community organisations across the North West and Yorkshire, she delivers workshops and interventions to a range of audiences, to include, the general public, serving prisoners, and returning citizens. Venessa also has several years experience of working with national art galleries and curating exhibitions for undergraduate design students. In 2015 Venessa Scott along with her sister Vanice Scott founded SevenThreeOne; An arts and education non profit that utilise the Creative industries to further the education and skills of serving prisoners, ex-offenders and disengaged young people. One of the ways they achieve this is through the provision of training centres based within Prisons and the community . SevenThreeOne has received lottery funding for many of its projects and initiatives and has recently launched a community mural initiative for South Yorkshire.
In June 2019 Venessa designed and painted one of the UKs tallest murals. The mural is 38m tall and was commissioned by a national property company to mark the 100 year anniversary of womens suffrage. The design was created to reflect the principle of unity. It links directly to the pioneering work of Sylvia Pankhurst, The Women's Social And Political Union and drew inspiration from the campaign banners created by its members as well as the creativity of Sylvia Pankhurst herself. When creating the mural Venessa aimed to produce a tapestry of icons and designs that would enliven its surroundings, start conversations, and inspire people. The completed mural was well received locally and nationally and continues to feature heavily in media packages across UK.
“I was honoured to be asked to be part of the ambassador programme at The Pankhurst Centre as the centre is a significant part of history and a powerful indication of our future. The opportunity to stand with so many strong, accomplished, and empowered women as an ambassador, to serve as an inspiration for other women makes me feel, not only honoured, but proud, accomplished, and truly blessed.”