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Heritage Open Days honours Accessible Belper campaigner with statue

From left, Cat Harrison from Non Zero One, Mayor of Belper Tim Sutton, and Siobhan Fennell with the newly unveiled statue. (Photo: Phil Jackson/Avanti FOTO)
From left, Cat Harrison from Non Zero One, Mayor of Belper Tim Sutton, and Siobhan Fennell with the newly unveiled statue. (Photo: Phil Jackson/Avanti FOTO)

England’s biggest festival of culture and history unveiled a new statue in Belper last week, celebrating a pioneering disability access advocate.

The foot-high statue of Accessible Belper founder Siobhan Fennell is one of 25 commissioned by Heritage Open Days to honour ‘Extraordinary Women’ and their contributions to their communities.

(Photo: Phil Jackson/Avanti FOTO)

(Photo: Phil Jackson/Avanti FOTO)

Friends and family and local dignitaries gathered at the No 28 Community Hall on Sunday, September 16, for the big reveal of the tiny statue, which was made using 3D scanners and a high-tech printer.

A spokesman for the festival said: “Siobhan’s ethos in establishing Accessible Belper comes directly from her own experience as a quadriplegic women – that by raising awareness we can increase understanding, which can then leads to accessibility for all.

“She campaigns for accessibility and inclusion with training sessions for groups and businesses, working with local schools, and helping shops and services ensure their premises and staff can provide for all their customers, whatever their needs.”

The project, Put Her Forward, was carried out by interactive theatre-makers Non Zero One in recognition of the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918.

It follows a report earlier this year which found that England had just 25 statues of women other than mythical, royal and anonymous figures.