Stephen Morgan MP initiates tree planting project to mark the end of a year of celebration of the centenary since some women got the vote

Vote 100 Plant 100, the brain child of the Portsmouth South MP, seeks to commemorate this significant focal point whilst simultaneously paying tribute to those who worked tirelessly in the face of adversity and in the name of equality.

Backed generously by national charity the Tree Council and supported by international design company I Love Dust, the city council, local schools and community groups, one hundred trees are being planted across the constituency in key locations to mark the 100 years since some women achieved suffrage and were given the opportunity to stand for public office.

Following the drawing up of the initial plans, the Portsmouth MP made efforts to reach out to tree wardens and local volunteers, prioritising those who were aged 18-24.

Every school in Portsmouth South received a letter from Mr. Morgan and a number of local community groups were contacted urging them to get involved in the campaign and join the constituency-wide project.

The initiative has been well received by schools and by the community resulting in plans to plant dozens and dozens of trees across the constituency with women of all ages taking part in the process over the next few days.

Over 70 trees have been donated by the Tree Council, with the remaining number requiring donation. A commemorative map by I Love Dust marking where the trees have been planted will be produced for volunteers in appreciation of their time and effort.

The project concludes a range of initiatives over the past year including a modern sash competition with young people, inviting local school girls to the House of Commons for International Women’s Day and a collaboration with the Portsmouth Music Hub to commission songs for school children to sing locally but also at a performance in Westminster last November.

The campaign has sought to raise awareness of the centenary and bring together different aspects of the local community united by one goal, democratic engagement.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I’m so pleased to have had such a great response to my Vote 100 Plant 100 project bringing an end to a year of community initiatives in Portsmouth to mark one hundred years since some women were given the right to vote.

I‘m hugely grateful for the donations of trees from the Tree Council, and support from the tree wardens and volunteers who have given up their time to help, and the city council and community groups for helping to secure sites for this lasting legacy for our celebrations.

Having I Love Dust on board, a graphic design company based in the heart of Portsmouth of international acclaim, is really exciting and I’m delighted they are working with us to help capture our community efforts for generations to come.

Less than 30% of MPs in Parliament are women.  At the last election, only 12 additional women were elected. That is not good enough. I hope that through this simple community project we see more women to step forward into public life as we pay tribute to the heroic women who tirelessly fought for their democratic rights 100 years ago”.

Sara Lom, Chief Executive of The Tree Council, said:

“As we mark International Women’s Day, we’re proud to have supported Stephen Morgan MP’s initiative, Vote 100 Plant 100, which will plant 100 trees in Portsmouth South to commemorate the centenary of the first women winning the right to vote.

Trees root us in history and offer hope for our future. In our cities, they strengthen communities, provide homes for wildlife and contribute to our health and wellbeing and through this project, they will also honour the legacy of women’s suffrage.”

The campaign has sought to raise awareness of the centenary and bring together different aspects of the local community united by one goal, democratic engagement.

The tree planting project complements a broader programme organised through the Charles Dickens Community Orchards which seeks to grow fruit and improve the environment over at least the next 5 years.

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