Winning Words Bring Unique Sculpture to New College

New College is the home of a unique piece of sculpture, all thanks to the remarkable essay writing endeavours of Year 10 student Gracie Miller.

Gracie entered and won Leicester City Council’s essay writing competition. The prize for winning was that the school would receive a sculpture of famous Leicester suffragette Alice Hawkins. A statue of Alice stands in Green Dragon Square in Leicester.

Photo 1 - Liz Kendall MP Presents Statue1

Leicester City Council’s competition sought to find a deserving school to become custodians of the unique piece of artwork produced by Liverpool sculptor Philip Garrett which has been kindly donated to the Alice Hawkins Legacy Group.

The brief was to write a short essay about how the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 5 (Gender Equality) and 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) relate to the achievements and goals of Alice Hawkins. Each essay had to begin : ‘Thinking about Alice’s life and the Sustainable Development Goals, I think our school should have the bust of Alice because...”.

We are all thrilled that Gracie won!

Liz Kendall MP came along to present the artwork to the College, joined by Peter Barratt, the great grandson of Alice Hawkins who provided an overview of his great-grandmother’s role in the Suffragette Movement, her contribution to equality for women and her involvement with Parliament.

As the presentation coincided with New College’s Parliament Week, Liz took the opportunity to address the student parliament about her role as a Member of Parliament, the work of Parliament and the importance of democracy. Our budding MPs asked some searching questions which impressed everyone.

Sera Shortland, Head of Citizenship at New College Leicester comments: “The students were pleased to welcome Liz and Peter to the College, Peter, to celebrate Gracie’s achievement. It was a valuable opportunity for our student parliament to meet a real MP and listen to her speak about how her role impacts on our community. We are so proud that for our school has become custodians of this sculpture which honours Alice’s legacy for activism towards equality.”

“Gracie’s outstanding essay has inspired more creative activity in the College with the transformation of a corridor with artwork depicting ‘outstanding women leading for change.’ Taking centre stage is the bust of Alice Hawkins which is joined by artwork showing Baroness Doreen Lawrence, mother of the late Stephen Lawrence and British activist, Amika George.”

Photo 2 - Liz Kendall and Peter Barret with Student Parliament1

Thank-you to Gracie for bringing Alice to us all at New College and to our special guests for their informative and motivational words. However, the final inspirational words go to Gracie with a brief extract from her essay.

“I think our school should have the bust of Alice because in a way, we are all mini Alices. We don’t face her issues exactly, but we do face inequality. We do face a daily battle and being able to have her portrayed in our school could educate and inspire younger students who haven’t yet been taught about her. Having this bust will show that we can make a change, we will make a change.”

We are thrilled that the news was also featured in The Leicester Mercury! 

Leicester Mercury - Alice Hawkins Statue Presentation V2 - 08.11.2021

Well done everyone! 

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