Emma Corlett receives the donation from Rosie’s Plaques  –  Photo – Ann Nicholls


On Friday 20th September The Forum, Rosie’s Plaques, a group from the Common Lot Theatre Company handed over £3000 to Leeway Norfolk’s domestic violence charity. The Common Lot is a community theatre group who make theatre for, with and about the people of Norfolk. Their most recent production “Anglia Square a Love Story” played to audiences of thousands in the summer.
In May this year Rosie’s Plaques staged a ‘guerrilla art project’ and erected hand made alternative blue plaques around the city, highlighting some of the forgotten women of Norwich. This was in response to discovering that of over 300 heritage plaques in Norwich only 25 commemorated real women.

News of the project quickly spread and soon it had nearly 2000 Twitter followers, with interest from around the world. The group then decided to make badges of the plaques, and sell them, making £1 on each one for Leeway. This donation represents over 3000 home made badges. Leeway is a charity providing advice, support and information to any child or adult experiencing domestic abuse in Norfolk or Suffolk. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

The donation was made in the name of Baroness Patricia Hollis, who died last year, and was involved with setting up Leeway in 1974.
Siobhan O’Connor from The Common Lot said “Patricia was one of our role models of radical women in the city, and we wanted to honour her. We know Leeway was close to her heart”
Alan Howarth, Patricia’s Hollis’s partner, said, “Patricia would have been fantastically proud of what this campaign has achieved: bringing just recognition to past generations of pathbreaking women in Norwich, and in the process raising an impressive amount of money for Leeway, which does superb work supporting people who are victims of domestic abuse. I so much appreciate that this donation, to a charity with which she had a longstanding involvement, is made in Patricia’s name.”

Alison Treacy from Rosie’s Plaques said “this represents an awful lot of badge making – we were surprised and delighted how people took the plaques and the badges to heart. It shows there is a real movement now to make sure women get the recognition they deserve”
The cheque was received by Emma Corlett, Chair of Leeway, and handed over by the women who form Rosies’ plaques, all dressed as “Rosie”. Patricia’s partner Alan Howarth was also present.

The original Rosie the Riveter

The group’s name is a tribute to ‘Rosie the Riveter’ an American women’s icon who dressed in a boiler suit and red spotted headscarf and promoted women working in factories in the war with the slogan “we can do it”.  Her iconic image has been used by many groups who campaign to empower women.

If you want to contact Leeway: https://www.leewaysupport.org