Rebel Week with a cause celebrates International Women’s Day

28 February 2018

People in Barnsley are being encouraged to embrace their inner rebel next month to celebrate International Women’s Day.

#RebelWeek is a new festival of events, linking with the 100th anniversary of some women gaining the vote, and marking International Women’s Day on 8 March.

The festival aims to give a voice to different communities in Barnsley and is being run by the Hear My Voice programme, designed to encourage people to express themselves through poetry and the written and spoken word.

Four events during #RebelWeek will take place from 5 - 8 March in Barnsley town centre, including a ‘Stitch In’, an ‘Artwalk’, and live music from local bands One Over The Eight and Gudrun’s Sisters.

The team behind the Hear My Voice programme is working with LGBT group In Your Shoes; St George’s Church which runs groups for the Iranian community; Barnsley Deaf Forum; and My Barnsley Too, which promotes disability equality. They are being encouraged to express their thoughts and views through words and music so their voices can be heard.

Jemma Conway, learning manager at Barnsley Museums, which is coordinating the Hear My Voice programme, said: “Through #RebelWeek we’re able to give a voice to people in different communities who don’t always have the chance to get their views and opinions heard.

“The 100th anniversary of some women gaining the vote shows how the representation of women’s voices have changed and we want to reflect that during #RebelWeek. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the Hear My Voice partners and sponsors who have made the programme for this year possible.”

The week starts with the Cottage Collective ‘Stitch In’ and ‘Stitch Bomb’ at The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley, which will run across the four days from 10:30am to 3:30pm. Hosted by textile artist Gemma Nemer, it aims to turn words of encouragement into hand-stitched ‘tags’ that speak kindly to strangers.

The ‘Stitch In’ and ‘Stitch Bomb’ event is being supported by Creative Recovery, a Barnsley-based charity which encourages creativity to bring about social change, inspire community spirit and boost wellbeing and recovery.

Helen Boutle, co-founder of Creative Recovery, said: “The idea of the ‘Stitch In’ is a gentle protest where we invite people from all Barnsley’s communities to share words of encouragement which we then stitch onto a canvas, along with the words of inspirational women. We will then put them on display around the town where people can easily spot them.

“We want to get the message out there that all Barnsley communities are equal and everyone’s voice deserves to be heard.”

As well as the Stitch In, there will be live music events running across the week, including on International Women’s Day itself - when two-piece band Gudrun’s Sisters will be performing in Barnsley town centre. The performance from 11am will celebrate 100 years of sisterhood told through the blues, from 1920 to the present day.

Hayley Youell, co-founder of Creative Recovery, said: “The name ‘Rebel Week’ was inspired by the author, musician and activist Dave Randall’s ‘Rebel Music Manifesto’. The manifesto is about the power of music and song to make political and social change and how to support that from the grassroots up. Dave will be joining us during the week to share his ideas, write songs with Barnsley College, and be part of a special gig night at the White Bear pub with local rebel band, The Hurriers."

The wider Hear My Voice programme is coordinated by Barnsley Museums, and funded by Barnsley TUC Training Ltd, with support from partners, including: Creative Recovery, Arts Council England, The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, Meeting Point and The Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information on #RebelWeek and to download the programme of events visit: or follow the #RebelWeek hashtag on Twitter.

Notes to editor

Media contact for Hear My Voice: Charlotte Goldthorpe at Capital B Media on 01226 766900 or at

Photograph shows Hayley Youell, co-founder of Creative Recovery

Barnsley Museums is working with partners to deliver the Hear My Voice programme and festival. They include the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP), Creative Recovery, Arts Council England, Meeting Point, The Heritage Lottery Fund and Barnsley TUC Training Ltd.

The Barnsley Museums portfolio is owned and operated by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and includes the Cooper Gallery, Cannon Hall, Worsbrough Mill, Elsecar Heritage Centre and Experience Barnsley.

For more information on Barnsley Museums, contact Devinia Skirrow on 01226 787 944 or at

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more information, please visit


View current news