We are delighted to announce The Arts Development Company have been awarded funding to mark 100 years since Parliament passed a law which allowed the first women, and all men, to vote for the first time.

Creative collaborations

Supported by The Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme, we have brought together a new partnership with Dorset Race Equality Council and Development Education in Dorset (DEED) to work across Dorset with young women aged 16-30 from local secondary schools and Gypsy, Romany and Traveller Communities. Together they will create a new piece of theatre exploring their perspectives on citizenship and democracy.

Sarah James, CEO The Arts Development Company says:

“We are absolutely thrilled to be part of a national programme celebrating such a significant moment in time. We will collaborate with some of Dorset’s most marginalised women to build their confidence for political engagement, find a collective voice and reimagine their communities and their future.”

Through a series of creative workshops, the young women will come together and creatively explore the similar challenges and barriers to voting and take part in local decision-making processes.

Nathalie Sherring from Dorset Race Equality Council says:

“We are delighted that this project will target local schools, as educating young people is how we will create positive change in our society”

Helping young women find their voice

The results of these explorations will be shared as a theatrical performance in Dorset to an invited audience. A set of free online learning resources developed by our partner DEED will also be made available. Louise Boston-Mammah, Programme Co-ordinator from DEED explains

“This project will provide our local secondary schools with a great opportunity to empower their students and help young women find their voice through decision-making, participation and leadership”

As part of the project, the participants will be drafting a mini-manifesto with partners and the local authority to continue to ensure young women’s voices are represented in local democracy.

Andrew Parry, Dorset County Council Cabinet Member for education, learning and skills, continues,

“Encouraging young people to take an active part in decision-making and participation in their local communities is vital for the future of Dorset.  The Council is very pleased to hear about this additional funding and wants to encourage connections with the Dorset Youth Parliament.”

Part of the national Vote 100 celebration

The project officially starts in September 2018 and is one of 17 projects from across the UK that is supported by The Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme; a £1.5 million government fund supporting women and young people, especially disabled people, LGBT people and those from black and minority ethnic groups, to get involved in democracy and politics.

Find out more information about the Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme here and the national Vote 100 celebration here.