Sunday, 30 March 2014

Campaign update - 30th March

We were given the opportunity this week to present at Hull's Primary Headteachers and Local Authority Meeting to make teachers aware of the campaign. We have asked them to create the space in their (very full) curriculum to allow children to engage with activities and fundraising so that they can celebrate William Wilberforce, this famous son of Hull. We feel it would be valuable for children to be involved in the campaign throughout the 3 years leading up to 2017, providing a memorable learning experience during their young lives. It is our aim to interest people of all ages in this campaign.

We are building up a resource base of links for interested individuals and schools to tap into. Excellent examples of education packs can be found under the section ‘About Slavery’ such as the story of the slave ship Zong and issues about contemporary slavery.

You will find most of the links on the About Slavery page but other links are also placed under the relevant tab headings. We would welcome any offers of links, attachments, scans, teaching packs or hard copies of materials - please get in touch via email.

Our gratitude this week goes to Hornsea School and Language College for a donation from their own charity funds to support us.  You can donate right here on the website, or through our Easy Fundraising page whilst doing your online shopping.

Image credit: Advertisement for Slave Sale, Charleston, South Carolina, 1760; Image Reference H021 as shown on, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Campaign update - 23rd March

After a patient wait for authentication, we have been granted charity status by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (no: EW10923). This is fantastic news, as it enables us to claim Gift Aid on all eligible donations.

William Wilberforce’s educational history includes Hull Grammar School, Pocklington School and St John’s College, Cambridge. We are delighted to receive a donation of £500 from St John’s College, who have kindly contributed to our campaign after hearing about us. We thank them for their generosity.

We are working very hard with various agencies to arrive at a projected cost for the project as we know this is a question on many people’s lips so please bear with us. We hope to have this information in the next few weeks.

Also this week, our thanks go to the Hull Civic Society, and to Hull College Student Union and their Enrichment Team for sharing ideas for fundraising. Please contact us via email with any fundraising ideas. Thanks also to the individuals who have pledged their support in person and via Twitter; you know who you are!

We now have a date for our sponsored Wilberforce Way walk, click here to find out more. The Wilberforce Way walk is a 57 mile, two day trek over 31st May and 1st June, which will take you through the important local locations in Wilberforce’s life. If 57 miles is too long for you, there are 13 shorter walks which all form part of the Wilberforce Way walk. Please email to join in or offer sponsorship.

The above image is the plaque commemorating where the Wilberforce monument was originally placed. For those who visit Hull, see if you can find it!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Campaign update - 16th March

In 1789, for the first time to many, the horrific facts of slavery were laid bare by William Wilberforce in a Parliamentary speech where he finished by saying "having heard all of this you may choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know.". Today we have the past and present at our fingertips, so those wise words resonate still. Let us get people talking - help light up the message.

We are on our way. We had a very successful first fundraising event, a quiz night held at Cottingham Parks Golf Club. This raised £689 which is a fantastic amount and demonstrates the support and good will of a community that is keen to make this campaign a success.

We would like to thank many people for their efforts. The role of honour is as follows:

Chris and Gerry Smyth, John Wiles and Chris Gray from Cottingham Parks Golf & Leisure Club, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Hull College, Jo Pearson of Floral Studio, BBC Hull (Look North and Radio Humberside), MWJ (Hull) Ltd, Sutcliffe Consulting Engineers Ltd, Sally Pilmoor, Andy Marsters and Thomas Burrows.

We are deeply grateful to all who attended and those who were there in spirit!

We have also had a generous donation from Best Western Hotels and other individuals who have heard about the campaign and want to support us.

Current ideas for future fundraising events include a mini-marathon, a ceilidh, a dance-a-thon, a grand meal and the Wilberforce Way walk. If you can help to make any of these happen, please get in touch with your suggestions and any other ideas.

The above image is a diagram of the 'Brookes' slave ship - a diagram used to illustrate the brutal reality of how slaves were transported during the Middle Passage.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Campaign update - 9th March

This week we are delighted to have been granted the use of Hull City Council's Armorial Bearings, the Three Coronets. This is indeed a great honour and one which we are extremely grateful to the Council for allowing us to use.

We are also honoured that that the Mayor of Hull has agreed to be our third patron in addition to Lemn Sissay MBE and William Wilberforce. This is a glowing endorsement of our efforts for the benefit of the city as a whole.

A huge thank you to all of you who have given us fundraising ideas and possibilities, please keep them coming.

Image taken from Kenneth Elsom's Postcards of Hull, where it is described as: 'A postcard of Hull depicting Monument Bridge, c.1910. The towering monument of Wilberforce stands within a few yards of the place where Hull’s gibbet was once situated. Upon this, felons and robbers were hanged.'

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Campaign update - 2nd March

Did you know that after the abolition of the Slave Trade Bill was defeated by Parliament in 1790s, many people boycotted sugar to support the anti-slavery movement and over 300,000 people joined in. This boycott was repeated in the 1820s and 30s, when even more supporters refused to buy slave-grown sugar and stopped shopping at those shops that sold it. How many of us could give up sugar now? Surely even those who chose to give something up for Lent would struggle! Remarkably, Emma, one of our colleagues, is attempting to do just that, and is on day 12 of her quest.

This week, we went to see an outstanding performance of Benjamin Zephaniah's Refugee Boy, adapted for the stage by Lemn Sissay, our patron. It was a thought-provoking performance of an issue so often presented in a negative light by the modern media.

Thank you for your continued support. You can donate to the campaign here.

Main sculpture image taken from 'Adventures of Der Kosmonaut' blog, where it is described as follows: Underwater sculpture in Grenada, in honor of our African Ancestors who were thrown overboard the slave ships during the Middle Passage of the African Holocaust.