Arts University Plymouth is working with award-winning women’s rights charity Trevi to facilitate placard design workshops for a Plymouth-based ‘Reclaim the Night’ march, taking place on 9 February 2024. Starting at Arts University Plymouth’s Tavistock Place campus, the free public march will start at 6pm and walk from the university through the city centre before finishing outside the University of Plymouth’s Students’ Union. The workshop and march are open to staff, students and members of the public, with tickets available to book through Eventbrite.
To amplify the voices of those standing united against violence towards women and girls, Arts University Plymouth is hosting a screen printing placard-making workshop and space for the public to create hard-drawn placards on campus from 5pm, before the march begins. Screen printing sessions will be run by BA (Hons) Graphic Design lecturer and city artist Sue Lewry, supported by BA (Hons) Textile Design Course Leader Emma Gribble and Studio Coordinator Claire Parlby, where participants can choose one of five statements designed by Arts University Plymouth’s BA (Hons) Graphic Design students to screen print onto lightweight boards. Alternatively, participants can create their own hand-drawn placard with materials supplied by Trevi and supported by BA (Hons) Illustration students. Part of Sexual Violence Awareness Week, which runs for the first week of February, the workshop and the march will offer a platform for participants to express their solidarity and support.
Trevi is a nationally award-winning women’s and children’s charity founded in 1993 and based in South West England. They provide safe and nurturing spaces for women in recovery to heal, grow and thrive. They currently run three centres throughout Plymouth that support women, children and families as well as being lead partner for the Southwest Women’s Spark Project, which aims to prevent women with multiple disadvantages, being affected by violence and abuse.
Arts University Plymouth Students’ Union manager, Harriet Moore said:
“Arts University Plymouth Students’ Union is continually improving safety provisions for students, and working with others in the city to improve these in the wider Plymouth community. We are proud to be supporting the Reclaim the Night walk and excited to be hosting the hand-drawn and screen printed placard making workshop before the start of the march.”
Jacqueline Moore, Director of External Relations at Arts University Plymouth, said: “We are proud to support Trevi and this important event to raise awareness of unacceptable national and international statistics on sexual violence. We hope as many people as possible will join us in marching to demand that people should be able to enjoy public spaces day and night without fear of gender-based violence or harassment.”
Responding to the heart-wrenching events of 2021, Arts University Plymouth takes part in Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) working groups in the city concerned with improving equality and supporting women and girls’ safety and support nationally and in the region. Since 2023, Arts University Plymouth and women and children’s charity Trevi have been in partnership, marking a united front against violence against women and girls and supporting local families.
Plymouth actively fosters a safe and inclusive environment for its residents, visitors, and student community. In a concerted effort to combat VAWG, the city has embarked on a comprehensive journey to not only raise awareness of this issue but also addresses it through a multitude of safety initiatives, such as emergency help points throughout the city and Purple Flag accreditation for its nightlife. These initiatives aim to alter the cultural landscape, ensuring that every individual has access to protective measures and resources. While Plymouth is one of the safest cities in the UK, this collaborative approach signifies Plymouth’s commitment to challenging both international and national statistics related to VAWG and Arts University has pledged to tackle VAWG as a recognised collective responsibility, creating a safer, more respectful society for all.
Arts University Plymouth is also a long-standing charity partner of Jeremiah’s Journey, a bereavement charity aiming to ensure that children, young people and their parents/carers in Plymouth and immediate surrounding area have support at a sad and difficult time. Since 2011, Arts University Plymouth have hosted fortnightly sessions that provide a safe space to talk about difficult life experiences, with staff and students donating their time to provide fun and creative activities for children, from making Christmas decorations to creating stop motion animation.
‘Reclaim the Night’ marches and protests have been prominent in cities across the UK for nearly five decades, starting in Leeds in 1977 when women came together to express their rage and anger against a series of murders by Peter Sutcliffe and towards the police who had subsequently imposed a curfew for women, while men were able to live their lives freely.
Women nationally continue to protest and advocate for not only having to take extra measures to ensure their own safety within their daily lives but also being expected to take precautions against the added threat of issues such as spiking and the risk of sexual assault on nights out.
We encourage anybody wanting to register interest for the march and the workshop to do so online via Eventbrite.