It’s no secret that the past year has been one we’ll never forget, so it follows that International Women’s Day will look a little different this year. Before 2020, we’d never have imagined a nationwide lockdown, tiers were something most of us probably associated with wedding cakes, and the concept of “social distancing” would have been alien to any Scouser familiar with Concert Square on a Saturday night.
But even as the city streets lay empty, the women of Liverpool weren’t going to let a little lockdown stop them from showing the world what scouse birds do best. So even if you aren’t able to march, go to a lecture or even just spend time with the women who inspire you this IWD, our run down of inspirational Liverpool ladies will give you something to smile about.
Anna Rothery – Lord Mayor of Liverpool
The women of Liverpool are no strangers to making history wherever they go, and Lord Mayor Anna Rothery is no exception. Born in Toxteth, she served as a councillor for 15 years and in 2012 she became the first elected member to address the United Nations on Religious, Linguistic and Cultural differences. But this address wasn’t the end of Anna’s political history making. In 2019, she became the first black Lord Mayor of Liverpool. And just a year later, she continued to break ground by becoming the first Lord Mayor of Liverpool to be appointed to the role twice.
Natalie Reeves Billing – Author
While a lot of us might have used 2020 as an excuse to be less than productive, the same can’t be said for Liverpool author Natalie Reeves Billing. In the midst of the pandemic, Natalie published her Monstrous Me collection of children’s books, featuring titles like “My Mummy Is A Monster”, which nabbed her a Mum’s Choice award. In this collection, familial situations are turned on their heads- quite literally- to give kids a different perspective on the situations we all find ourselves in. Not only this, but her book Ben and the Bug, which aims to ease the anxiety that many little ones feel around Covid-19, was so impactful that it’s been put on permanent display in the Museum of Liverpool.
Adelaide Watt – Last owner of Speke Hall
Green spaces have been a lifeline for so many of us during the lockdown, and the sprawling grounds of Speke Hall have offered respite to many when fresh air and sunshine have been so vital to our mental health. But who knows what the fate of Speke Hall would have been if it had not been for it’s last owner, Adelaide Watt. She inherited Speke Hall as a child, and when she turned 21 was determined to develop the farming complex and protect the lush greenery surrounding the hall for future generations. 20 years after her death, the hall was passed on to the National Trust, who’ve since maintained the beautiful green space for locals to enjoy.
Poppy Gerard – Miss Liverpool
It’s a known fact that scouse women are some of the most gorgeous and glam in the whole of the UK, and Miss Liverpool winner Poppy Gerrard is no exception. But you’d be wrong to think that all she has to offer is her good looks. As well as beauty, she’s got serious brains, having achieved an incredible four A*s at A level and acceptance into a Russell Group university to study maths. And as if that wasn’t enough, she’s also got a huge heart; her charity event Lockdown’s Got Talent, which will take place on 27th March, is raising money for charities Beauty With A Purpose and Mandela8. She’ll be representing Liverpool City Region in the Miss England Contest 2021, and we know she’ll do us proud.
Liverpool Women’s Hospital – Food Pantry
Okay, this one might be a bit of a cheat- there are plenty of inspirational fellas working at Liverpool Women’s. And of course, each and every NHS worker in the UK deserves to be praised and thanked for the work they’ve been doing to keep us safe throughout the pandemic. But not only have staff at the Women’s Hospital been doing their best to give a sense of normalcy to new mums in 2020 (a tall order, considering many of them had to go through scans appointments without their partner at their side) but they’ve launched their project “Food Pantry- Giving Is Caring” which has provided families in the local community with much-needed support when financial pressures are at an all-time high. Donations are sorted into parcels by volunteers, which are then passed out to patients at the hospital who need them most.
Written by Fern Stocks