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POSITIVE NEWS - 24 inspiring women (you might not know of) who are changing the world

Posted 12th March 2021 • Written by •

To mark International Women’s Day, we’re shining a light on 24 inspiring women who may have escaped your radar. From food to foreign policy, and from electronics to economics, they’re all changing the world by working on solutions

Clare Courtney and Karolina Koścień of Heart & Parcel

Manchester-based Heart & Parcel brings women together to cook and pick up English language skills in the process. With the support of more than 70 volunteers, the women prepare dishes that are then sold (in non-Covid times) at markets and supper clubs. Heart & Parcel was founded by Clare Courtney and Karolina Koścień: friends with a love of food and the connections and relationships that surround it. 

The team has adapted during lockdown, including to set up a YouTube channel full of English language resources and recipe videos from its recently published cookbook. It is also holding an online festival to mark International Women’s Day.

Read more here. 

Hattie Hasan, founder of the National Register of Tradeswomen

A digger operator in Yorkshire, a tree surgeon in the Midlands and a stonemason in Scotland are among the experts to feature on a national register of tradeswomen, which is set to launch this month thanks to Hattie Hasan (pictured right, on the right). Hasan, who founded Stopcocks Women Plumbers, wants to ensure that vulnerable householders who feel safer with tradeswomen are able to find them. 

Hasan grew up in a violent home, so knows first-hand the challenges faced by women in similar circumstances. “Women are scared to allow tradesmen into their home, not only out of fear of the men themselves, but because of the reaction of their abusive partner if they talk to the tradesman or offer him a cup of tea,” she told Positive News. “Being able to access a register of certified, fully qualified tradeswomen is one way they can take back some control.”

Read more here.

Samantha Holdsworth, director of Clowns Without Borders

Clowns Without Borders works with professional artists on shows that encourage children living through crises to laugh, dance and play. The charity usually works in refugee camps, conflict zones and disaster areas around the world, but performances have had to be suspended during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Undaunted, its director Samantha Holdsworth (pictured left) told Positive News how Clowns Without Borders has switched to livestreaming clown workshops online for children living in lockdown, so they can learn how to put on their own shows at home. “I like the idea of hundreds of children being little joy makers with their clown shows,” she said. “These are serious times so our need for laughter, humour and joy is greater than ever.”

Read more here.

Mya-Rose Craig, founder of Black2Nature

Mya-Rose Craig (pictured right) is the founder of Black2Nature, an organisation that works to get more visible minority ethnic (VME) people engaged with nature. She organised her first birdwatching camp in 2015, and said of the experience: “I had 12 people book places; they were all white, middle class boys. At the same time, I read an article about the lack of ethnic diversity in birding.” She subsequently launched Black2Nature. 

Craig described to Positive News what gives her hope: “The young people around me – at school, at protests and at my camps – who have been empowered to make their voices heard and are determined to act to stop climate breakdown and other environmental damage.”

Read more here.

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