Home About Contribute Sponsorship Contact Sign In


Education Industry News

Voices From The Frontline Film Launch Women 50, Hidden Skills & Daily Triumphs

Voices From The Frontline, funded by ROSA, is a short documentary featuring women aged 50 and over, to see life through their perspective on their life journey, diversity of skills and how they fit into the world around them. The film was made just prior to the Covid 19 lockdown in the UK.

Voices From The Frontline Film Launch Women 50, Hidden Skills & Daily Triumphs

"I want to teach children because there's a generation gap in education, especially in arts & crafts. There's been so many cuts. I organise workshops to try and pass on those lost skills."
Gabriella Bavone, Designer and Seamstress

Lancaster’s The Growing Club CIC has launched a short film as part of the Lancashire Innovation Festival. Voices from the Frontline is a thought-provoking film by women aged 50-plus - as business owners and employees - on their hidden skills and daily triumphs.

Just before lockdown hit, a group of women aged 50-plus came together to work with The Growing Club CIC for two days, funded by Rosa, to share their experiences, reflect on their life journey, skills and create a short film. The team comprised of Alison Cahn and Frances Bowen of Forgebank Films, photographer Ginny Koppenhol and group workers Jacqueline Harris and Jane Binnion.

The Growing Club CIC is a social enterprise based in Lancaster, designing and delivering employment and enterprise training and support especially for women, from skills, to startup, to sustainable business growth training.

The Pensions Act (2011) changed the age range for women receiving a pension from 60 to 66. This is a critical issue that has caused much debate, along with social and financial difficulties. Women have rich skills and experience, feel more confident, and want to be able to continue to work and share their knowledge and expertise. 

Conversely, societal attitudes towards older women have not changed, meaning many more women have ended up unemployed, or are expected to take on low-paid insecure work, resulting in more women in poverty. The week before the film launch, Prospect Union shared research that showed there is a 37.9% difference in retirement pay between men and women. Much of this is due to the fact that many women become unpaid carers at some point in their life and career.

The women explored issues surrounding this age bracket, with the group identifying commonalities in themes around caring responsibilities and support, being economically viable, the scant information available for women moving from being a stay-at-home parent into work and business, and opportunities and networking being made available, easy and visible for women over 50.

Women who took part in the filming spoke on the issues they have faced:

   "If I applied for a job at my age, I wouldn't get looked at because if you're looking at |T jobs for women, they're within a certain age band...I would like to contribute more to society. I do some voluntary work, but I just feel as though I'm not at the end of my working life yet." Shirley

   "There's such a wealth of knowledge, experience, that we can share with people who are younger than us." Jennifer

   "I want to teach children because there's a generation gap in education, especially in arts and crafts. There have been so many cuts and people just don't learn anymore. I think it's important. In my job, I organise workshops to try and pass on those lost skills." Gabriella

Voices from The Frontline film was launched in October 2021 at The Dukes Cinema in Lancaster, during the Lancashire Innovation Festival, to showcase social innovation as the design and implementation of new solutions that imply conceptual, process, product, or organisational change, which ultimately aim to improve the welfare and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Jane Binnion, managing director of The Growing Club said: 

    “We wanted to make the film to explore the issues of female eldership, which is valued in some societies and not others, and to highlight the issue of wasted skills           and talent, which is even more relevant now with current skills shortages”

At the film launch Jacqueline Harris led a discussion in small groups, enabling us all to take a new look at how we might address the social issues raised. Feedback from the film launch includes emotive words such as “powerful,” “enlightening” and “humbling". People also were asked what they might do differently as a result of seeing the film and participating in the discussion, with comments received such as: "I will value older people's back story", and comments around learning to ask questions differently of the values and many roles that older women have played, and the resulting experience they can bring to the table. Members of the audience were alarmed at how so much skill and experience is simply wasted as a nation and the lost opportunities there are when employers hold a limiting mindset as to what skills are valuable.

Many of the older women present at the launch, reported that they felt more confident and hopeful and will approach things differently going forward, recognising what skills they have developed, rather than writing themselves off.

The film can be viewed here.


Education Business News - The creative artwork and photography of talented students from two outstanding secondary schools in Sunderland has been chosen to feature in a major local arts exhibition that will be advertised across the region. Supported by the art and photography teaching team at St.

Sunderland students shine brightly in local arts exhibition

Education Business News - A-Star Tuition Group, owned by Helen Wilson, has been crowned Tuition Group of The Year for Manchester and the North West in The Corporate Livewire Manchester and North West Prestige Awards, beating off stiff competition from across the region.

Ramsbottom business crowned Manchester & North West Tuition Group of the Year

Education Business News - Children are at greater risk of harm as their lives move increasingly online during lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic, child protection bodies have warned. School closures and more reliance on digital platforms for learning, entertainment and communication can lead to increased safety risks.

Children at risk of harm during lockdown, charity warns

Education Business News - A trainer is calling for greater awareness of sexual harassment and assault in schools as a government report found nearly a THIRD of school children experienced unwanted touching.

Calls for awareness of sexual harassment in schools

Education Business News - Nina Malone is the founder of Dope Black Mums, which was set up to support black mums and the challenges they face from higher-than-average maternal death rates to racism. The mum-of-two was sexually abused by older children from the age of around six.

Calls for conversations around consent and sexual assault at schools

Education Business News - A Warkworth mum who gave up her high-profile job in advertising in 2012 to pursue her passion for art and creativity has developed her business further to help employers ease furloughed staff back into the team and aid the transition into hybrid working.

Vibrant Workshops Help Hybrid Workforce

Ten Times Ten

Analytics, Modelling & Business Intelligence Specialists