Wiganers put suffragist history in the spotlight

The Game Changers project, run by Tandem Theatre
The Game Changers project, run by Tandem Theatre

Young people in Wigan are taking part in a new project that will empower them to become campaigners of the future – to mark International Women’s Day.

The Game Changers project, run by Tandem Theatre, is exploring the movement of the lesser known female campaigners, the suffragists, and is helping the youngsters from a new youth group, Making Herstory Wigan, learn about the peaceful methods they used to campaign – unlike the more militant and more famous suffragettes.

The suffragists campaigning led to women over 30 gained the right to vote through the Representation of the People Act 1918.

As part of the project, which has been made possible by a grant by Heritage Lottery Fund, the young people have researched Wigan suffragist Martha Hogg.

They have created artwork from what they have learnt including banners, sashes and posters with local artist Cara Looij, which will be on display at Wigan Life Museum the day after International Women’s Day on Saturday between 10.30am and 2pm, where the group will have a pop-up stall for members of the public to visit.

George Hall, community deal support worker from Wigan Council, said: “It has been great for the young people at the group to take part in this project – they have learnt a lot about the work of the suffragists and the important role they played in securing the vote and justice for all.

“They have enjoyed attending skills workshops to help them become effective campaigners and leaders of the future by building self-esteem, social skills, confidence and raising aspirations and are looking forward to the taking part in International Women’s Day celebrations, displaying their work – and keeping the campaigning going with the new youth group – Making Herstory Wigan.

“They have been inspired so much that they are in the process of making their own manifesto.”

The young people have visited the People’s History Museum and Archives+ in Manchester and enjoyed re-enacting the 1908 Manchester Demonstration by marching though Lark Hill Place, Salford Museum and Art Gallery.