Published on 23rd March 2018

Girl with arms in a push motion

Praise has been rolling in for Cheltenham’s International Women’s Day celebrations following the #PressforProgress event at Pittville Pump Room earlier this month.

Highlights of the day included Dr Jackie Bell and Ice Maiden Major Nics Weatherill talking frankly about their experiences. A wide range of activities were also available for visitors to try such as participating in hands-on science and future tech-girl activities, trying out sporting activities with #GlosGirlsCan and Cheltenham Town ladies football club.

The free event was jointly run by Cheltenham Borough Council, the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham Trust and a range of other partners to celebrate women and to inspire the young people of Cheltenham and Gloucestershire to fulfil their dreams.

Just some of the positive comments include: “enlightening and inspiring for my daughters,” “valuable information about career opportunities from inspirational people,” “brilliant event - a good range of activities for the kids,” and “I really enjoyed talking and having a hands on experience about public service, safety and the Antarctic expedition.”

Cllr Flo Clucas, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles at Cheltenham Borough Council, says: “Cheltenham is proud of its girls and young women and I’m delighted with the success of this event, which was sparked by an idea from the girls of Pittville School last year.

“I am really pleased by how our partners worked together to create a day that saw successful women talk about their journeys, debate the issues and stimulate change. I hope this event will be the first of many and would like to thank all those who have helped with the organisation and those taking part. We were delighted to see so many young people coming together to celebrate International Women’s Day.”

For media enquiries contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email [email protected]


International women’s day is a global celebration which aims to inspire women in countries across the world. This year’s theme was #PressforProgress motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

2018 marks 100 years since Parliament passed a law which allowed some women, and all men, to vote for the first time: the 1918 Representation of the People Act. 

Inspirational women spoke and interacted at discussions titled:

  • My story: Women leading the way in public service
  • My story: Women leading the way in business
  • My story: Women leading the way in the news
  • My story: Women leading the way in sport

Activities on the day included

  • A talk by Dr Jackie Bell, astrophysicist, on how she dealt with challenges in the BBC show Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?
  • One of the daring Ice Maidens currently taking part in an expedition to ski coast to coast across Antarctica was present to tell her story and give details about the team’s progress at
  • Hands-on science and future tech-girl activities from Cheltenham Science Group and Imaginify.
  • Sporting activities with #GlosGirlsCan and Cheltenham Town ladies football club.
  • Careers advice and information from the Police, Fire and Rescue Service, University of Gloucestershire, local businesses and charities.
  • Arts activities to help give views women’s issues.
  • Demonstrations from Gloucestershire Police and Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service showing what it is like to work for them, including an opportunity to rescue someone from the Fire Service’s smoke house.
  • Local bands performing from 5-6pm on the evening.