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Bristol Girls Can exhibition launched to mark International Women’s Day

The Bristol Girls Can project, which aims to break down barriers around exercise marks International Women’s Day (IWD) today (8 March) with the launch of a new digital exhibition for their Small Steps campaign.

Taking place on the Big Screen in Millennium Square, the exhibition showcases and celebrates the photos and stories of the mums featured in the campaign.

A number of South Bristol mums with young children took part in Small Steps, working with South Bristol Children’s Centres.

The message of the campaign is to “start small and do what works for you” – whether it’s a walk around the block, 10 minutes hula hooping, or a kitchen disco while cooking the tea – it all counts and it can be fun.

The exhibition was launched by Councillor Ellie King, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Health, Communities and Bristol One City, along with mums from the campaign.

Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Health, Communities and Bristol One City, Councillor Ellie King, said “This year’s International Women’s Day centres on #BreakTheBias. This exhibition and the Small Steps campaign challenge negative views about what women being active look like, and help to break down the barriers women face when it comes to exercise.

“We hope that the launch of this inspirational exhibition on International Women’s Day 2022 motivates other women and mums to make small steps to getting active.”

The Small Steps campaign launched in February following research from Sport England which found that motherhood has a mostly negative impact on women’s activity levels.

It aims to reach out to mums of young children in all areas of the city, inspiring, encouraging and supporting them to take small steps towards being more active.

Carly now goes jogging.

Carly, a South Bristol mum of two, featured in the campaign, said: “I feel really proud to be involved in this campaign. I hope my story inspires others to give jogging a go. I grew up in Hartcliffe and the fact my photo appears on the bus stop where I once took the bus to college, really made me smile.

“Knowing my photo is in Millennium Square feels crazy! I never imagined it would be shown in such a busy central location. It’s exciting and feels special. I am looking forward to visiting with my children.

“The fact we are celebrating International Women’s Day at the same time is amazing and inspiring for so many women and girls in Bristol, including my own daughters. All the ladies involved in this campaign should be so proud of themselves and what they have achieved. Small steps are all it takes!”

The digital exhibition will remain on the Big Screen in Millennium Square until the end of March and will be shown daily between 7am and 11pm.

The photos are also currently on display in the main atrium at Southmead Hospital for patients and visitors to enjoy. They will be moving to permanent homes at Cossham Birth Centre and the Women’s and Children’s ward in Southmead Hospital in the coming months.

For more information about the Bristol Girls Can project visit: