5 Inspirational Women From Around Tameside, Manchester
Let’s hear it for all the amazing girls out there! We can do anything we set our minds to, whether it’s being a doctor, a scientist, a musician, or even a superhero!
Did you know that there are many real-life superheroes from in and around Tameside, Manchester? These incredible women have fought hard to achieve their dreams and make the world a better place. Even when things got tough, they never gave up, and now they’re showing us all what’s possible.
One of these superheroes is Ada. She’s been collecting stories of other amazing women from Tameside for years in her special scrapbook. She started it because she wanted to feel inspired whenever she felt down, and now she wants to share it with us!
Ada’s scrapbook is full of all sorts of women, from doctors and teachers to artists and athletes. They’re all different, but they all have one thing in common: they’re amazing! You can hear more in our Armchair Adventures podcast for kids episode ‘A Girl Power Scrapbook Adventure’.
So let’s start our own girl power adventure and learn all about these incredible women! We can read about their struggles and triumphs, and see how they made the world a better place. And who knows, maybe one day we’ll be in Ada’s scrapbook too!
1. Ada Summers
Let’s imagine Ada Summers as a real-life Wonder Woman, but instead of fighting bad guys, she fought for fairness and equality in her town of Stalybridge. Back in the early 1900s, things were a bit different than they are today. Imagine a world where girls couldn’t be police officers, doctors, or even vote!
That’s where Ada comes in. She was like a superhero with a kind heart and a big brain. She was the first woman in England to hold many important jobs that were usually only for men, like being a councillor, a mayor, and even a magistrate (someone who helps decide if someone has broken the law).
As well as helping those in need, she also did a lot of work advancing equal rights for women, because at this time women weren’t even allowed to vote!
In 1912, she became the first female Councillor in England, A Councillor is someone the people of an area choose to represent them in the local council. They are involved with how the area is run and make decisions that affect people’s everyday lives! This was years before some women got the right to vote in 1918 and all women in 1928! So you can imagine how much of a big deal this was!
In 1919 she became the first female Justice of Peace, which meant she got to hear people from the communities’ problems in court and sort out any disagreements! When she became the justice of peace she said “There were so many women and children coming before the courts who could be more easily understood by women than by men”.
In the same year, she became the first-ever female Mayor of Stalybridge! That’s like being the coolest boss of the whole town. But the coolest thing about Ada wasn’t her fancy title, it was her giant heart. Everyone called her “Lady Bountiful” because she was always helping people in need.
This includes sponsoring cots for new mothers to use at the local children’s hospital and funding a new nursing home. Remember these were the days before the NHS and lots of people couldn’t afford medical care – so Ada was like a real-life superhero, swooping in to save the day!
Ada wasn’t just the boss of Stalybridge, she was a trailblazer for girls everywhere. She showed everyone that girls can be anything they want to be, even mayors and superheroes! Thanks to her, thousands of more girls grew up to be politicians and lawmakers, all because Ada showed them that it was possible. She wasn’t just changing Stalybridge, she was changing the world!
Today, you can see a blue plaque dedicated to Ada on the Stalybridge Civic Hall.
2. Stacey Copeland
Imagine a world where girls can score goals on the football pitch and throw punches like superheroes in the boxing ring! That’s the world Stacey dreamed of, and guess what? She made it happen!
Stacey has done so much to get more women seen as equals in the sports world, from representing her country in football and boxing to starting her own charity that challenges gender stereotypes so everyone can be free to pursue their passions. Her own journey, fighting for equality and her huge sporting achievements means that she’s so passionate about giving back.
Stacey caught the sports bug at an early age and wanted to be a boxer like her dad so she started training at her grandad’s gym. However, back then, women’s boxing was illegal – crazy right? The ban was only lifted in 1996!
So Stacey’s turned to football. But this didn’t come without its setbacks too. At school, there weren’t any girl’s football teams, so she had to play with the boys. Even the Football Association didn’t recognise women’s football until 1993!
Stacey’s grit, determination and plenty of practice landed her a place on the England squad! Her lightning-fast kicks and eagle-eye passes, also saw Stacey grace the pitch in the women’s premier league and in an FA Cup final. She also moved to America and Sweden to play football there. It must have been incredible to travel across the world to play a sport you really love.
Boxing was still calling though, so in 2010, Stacey decided to give it another go, especially since it was now it was a recognised sport. She made her ring debut in 2011 and what followed was a glittering career of 32 wins, European trophies and she became a national champion three times! Then in 2018, she made history when she became the first British woman to win the Commonwealth title – what a huge achievement!
Now, Stacey isn’t wearing gloves anymore, but she’s still a superhero. She runs a charity called “Pave The Way,” which blasts through walls of “no you can’ts!” and builds bridges for other girls and boys who dream of sports adventures.
So, next time you see a girl kicking a ball on the field or throwing punches in the gym, remember Stacey, the girl who turned dreams into reality, one punch, one kick, one adventure at a time!
3. Cllr Tafheen Sharif
Cllr Tafheen Sharif is the current civic mayor of Tameside, and Councillor for the people of Moseley. She gets out of bed every morning to help the lives of people from her community – how cool is that?
Imagine a friendly superhero who wears a special chain and fancy robes, that’s Cllr Sharif when she’s the Civic Mayor of Tameside. She’s the first person from a Muslim and ethnic minority background to ever hold this important job. It’s like being the town’s coolest representative, working to make it a fun and awesome place for everyone.
As a councillor for Mossley, she listens carefully to what people in her town need and tries her best to solve their problems. Maybe they need a new playground, a cleaner park, or help with a tricky situation. Cllr Sharif is always there to lend a hand. She used to be the deputy police and crime commissioner, which means she helped keep people safe. Just like Batman, but without the cape!
It doesn’t stop there, remember how superheroes always fight for what’s right? Cllr Sharif does that too! She works in the courts service, making sure everyone gets treated fairly. She’s also a school governor, making sure kids get the best education possible. In fact, as a teenager, she was the youngest school governor in England! She’s super smart too and has a law degree, which means she knows all about the rules and how to make things fair.
Even though she’s busy being a superhero, Cllr Sharif still makes time for the things she loves. She enjoys spending time with her family, which includes four amazing kids, and she loves going for walks, reading exciting books, and listening to podcasts that make her feel motivated.
Cllr Tafheen Sharif is a real-life inspiration, showing us that even though she has a big job, she’s still a person who enjoys having fun, making a difference and helping others. That’s something we can all learn from!
4. Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood was an iconic fashion designer and famous across the world. Imagine clothes that look like castles and pirate ships, shoes that are tartan, and trousers that have tassels, loops and buckles for miles! That’s the kind of magic Vivienne brought to the world!
When Vivienne was little, she loved dressing up in old clothes and making them her own. She wasn’t afraid to be different, and she used her imagination to turn everyday things into fantastical outfits. It was like she had a secret superpower to see the ordinary and transform it into something extraordinary!
She grew up and started making clothes for everyone, and her designs were like explosions of colour and creativity. She used punk rock, historical costumes, and even nature as inspiration, creating clothes that were both fun and thought-provoking. Ooo think about wearing a jacket that’s covered in buttons and patches like a pirate’s treasure chest!
But Vivienne wasn’t just about making pretty clothes. She wanted to use fashion to challenge people’s ideas about what’s normal and what’s not. She believed that everyone should be free to express themselves however they want, and her clothes were like flags of individuality and self-expression.
She also created clothes that weren’t just about looking cool but were all about standing up for what you believe in. That’s the world Vivienne Westwood created with her fashion activism! She’s like a superhero with a needle and thread, using her designs and runways to fight for important causes like protecting the environment, helping people in need, and making the world fairer for everyone.
Vivienne Westwood showed us that fashion can be more than just what we wear; it can be a tool for change. So next time you get dressed, remember her message: be brave, be kind, and use your unique style to make the world a better place, one outfit at a time! Let your imagination run wild, mix and match your clothes in unexpected ways, and don’t be afraid to add a little sparkle and magic to your own personal style. After all, the world is your catwalk, and you have the power to change it with your own flair and creativity!
5. Angela Rayner
Angela Rayner is like a rockstar in the world of politics and one of the most important women in the country! She’s brave, she’s funny, and she fights for what she believes in – which is making the world a fairer place for everyone.
Angela is a local Member of Parliament and she represents the people of Ashton Under Lynne. She also has another dead important job too, she’s the shadow deputy Prime Minister!
She speaks up for everyone: Imagine having a friend who always takes your side, even when others disagree. That’s Angela! She stands up for people who don’t have a voice, like workers who deserve better pay, children who need good schools, and families struggling to make ends meet. She’s like a superhero with a megaphone, making sure everyone’s heard!
But Angela didn’t grow up in a fancy castle or go to a super fancy school, in fact, she left school without any qualifications. She lived in a normal community, just like many of us, and knows what it’s like to face challenges. That’s why she wants to make sure everyone has the same opportunities, no matter where they come from. It’s like she’s built a ladder to the top and wants everyone to climb it with her!
She’s not afraid to be different either. Sometimes, people tell you to fit in and be like everyone else. But Angela is all about embracing your unique talents and standing out from the crowd! She wears bright clothes, tells funny jokes, and has even DJ’d! She shows us that it’s okay to be different, and that’s something worth celebrating!
So, there you have it! Angela Rayner is more than just a politician; she’s a role model, a champion for kids, and a rockstar who never gives up on making the world a better place. Remember, just like Angela, you too can be a force for good and make a difference in the world, one small step at a time! Now go out there and be awesome!
Discover more inspirational women in the ‘A Girl Power Scrap Book Adventure’ episodes of Armchair Adventures – where you’ll hear the real-life voices of Cllr Tafheen Sharif and Stacey Copeland too!
Ready to blast off? Click here to listen and join the adventure!
It’s time to discover who YOU can become with these real-life heroines by your side.
About Armchair Adventures
Armchair Adventures is a multi-award-winning podcast for kids – aged 6-10. It’s super-fun, educational and interactive – meaning it’s packed with sing and move-along activities!
Each episode is a new adventure of your imagination with Connie her gang of explorers – including you! Adventures include exploring a superhero lair, ballroom dancing and diving into a coral reef! Every episode also has an educational message for our mini adventurers like climate change, racial equality and recycling.
Armchair Adventures won Bronze at The British Podcast Awards 2022, has been profiled on BBC Radio 4’s Podcast Hour, in Podbible, featured on Podcast Radio, commended by HRH Prince William and is the first kids podcast available in-flight on all Virgin Atlantic flights!