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Inspiring women celebrated at The Friendly Bench in Hillmorton, Rugby

Local Rugby residents celebrated the women who inspire them at a display at The Friendly Bench on High Street, Hillmorton for International Women’s Day on 8th March.


The display, organised by volunteers from Hillmorton and East Rugby Together Community Group – HEaRT, included personal reflections on friends, family members as well as famous figures.

Hetty Cook, aged 6, a pupil at Eastlands Primary School, wrote about her teacher, Mrs Vikmanis, who she said, “is the kindest person I know” and “she makes me feel happy whenever I see her.” Hetty’s mum, Leona Dominy, added: “It’s so important to say these things out loud about the inspiring women we meet every day. We often think it, but when you say it out loud you really feel it.”

Other contributions included Anglo-Hispanic Brit and Hillmorton resident Sue Morón who encouraged us to think not so much about famous women but to look closer to home. She urged us to, “stop a moment and think of the women who inspired you to be your best, who unknowingly provided formative role models, who regularly impress you with their common sense and the small gestures that bring you joy.”

Vivienne Hayes MBE, Chief Executive of the Women’s Resource Centre in London named her inspirational woman as Audre Lorde, the black feminist and human rights author whose work is “beautiful and radical”. Vivienne also emphasised that many women inspire her: “the women I work with in the struggle to maintain the rights we are still clinging on to…[and]…my mum without whom I would not be the warrior I am today”. She concluded “women are strong and amazing.” Another local resident chose her Aunty Meg, “because she is in the Panto, and she is a good aunty”.

The local Hillmorton councillors also put pen to paper, with Cllrs Yousef Dahmash, Adam Daly and Ian Picker writing a poem entitled the Grocer’s Ferrous Daughter – any ideas who that could be? While Cllr Kathryn Lawrence chose Florence Nightingale.

Kathryn added: “On international Women’s Day it’s an opportunity to remember the women who have led the way, but also all those who work quietly behind the scenes.”

Jill Dwyer, Chair of HEaRT said: “We have loved reading and putting on display these wonderful contributions. What a great way to celebrate the work, support, friendship and love of women everywhere.”

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