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Women get together to inspire the next generation

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 07, 2014

  • 07/03/14 International Women’s Day photocall International Women’s Day is being celebrated for the first time in South Derbyshire to promote local services for women..Angelica Duncan - Chameleon School of Construction, Jo Smith - Chief Exec South derbyshi

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FOUR women have taken to the podium to inspire a new generation of females on the cusp of branching out into the big wide world.

South Derbyshire MP, Heather Wheeler, Jo Smith, chief executive of South Derbyshire CVS, Olympic torch bearer, Karen Creswell, and Angelica Duncan, founder of Chameleon School of Constructions gave speeches to school girls as part of a International Women’s Day yesterday.

The pupils from Pingle joined volunteer organisations and a local businesses which were promoting local services for women.

Heather Wheeler said: “We are celebrating International Women’s Day and the inspiring women in South Derbyshire.

“It was a drop in event with stalls of many different organizations all showing what is fantastic about South Derbyshire.

“We had three speakers and myself who were all showing different aspects of what did they with their lives to get where they are.”

One speaker, Jo Smith, said: “I talked about what had brought me to this position and all the things that inspire me.

“In the voluntary sector we judge people on skills and life experiences, we don’t only look at qualifications

“After having three children 18 years ago, I joined a women’s returners’ course in South Derbyshire, before joining Mencap then the CVS.”

Karen Cresswell, who carried the Olympic torch in 2012, agreed that true grit and determination is the key to any success. She said: “I don’t think women think they even are achieving anything, we just do what we do.

I was humbled to hold the torch but I didn’t go out there looking for recognition. 12 years ago I was very ill and didn’t think I would walk but now I am teaching dancing - you never know what is round the corner.

“I have never had something not happen for me because if I want to do something then I will do it.”

The event was organised by the Safer South Derbyshire Partnership, South Derbyshire District Council and South Derbyshire CVS.

There were more than 16 organisations providing advice and inspiration to local women including adult education, police careers, the Chameleon School of Construction, basic car maintenance, domestic violence support, fire safety and recycling advice, Derbyshire Stop Smoking Service, free body MOTs and beauty therapy.

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