Edinburgh Women's Aid marks the start of its 50th anniversary with commemorative artwork
Artwork unveiled to commemorate milestone Edinburgh Women’s Aid anniversary
Edinburgh Women’s Aid, which opened its first refuge in 1973, marked its 50th anniversary with the unveiling of a commemorative artwork by artist Amy Steele at the City Arts Centre on Thursday (January 12).
The event brought people together – including staff, councillors, volunteers and women who have been supported over the years – to mark this important milestone for the charity. Speakers included Christina McKelvie, Minister for Equalities and Older People, Councillor Mandy Watt, Deputy Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council and the chair of Edinburgh Women’s Aid, Morag Waller.
A year-long series of events to mark the 50th anniversary was announced on the day, including various seminars to highlight and pay tribute to those who have provided support for women and their families over the past five decades.
The impressive artwork by illustrator Amy Steele, who won the charity’s 50th anniversary competition to design a piece of art, showcased how the charity has evolved over the years. Amy, whose artwork will be used throughout the year, including on the cover of the charity’s printed and digital Impact Report and other marketing materials, also received a prize of £500.
She said: “In creating the artwork to commemorate Edinburgh Women’s Aid’s 50th anniversary I wanted to design something which celebrates the diverse and vibrant community of women and children that EWA strives to protect and advocate for, whilst showing how these groups come together to support each other too.
“The artwork, which is bright and fun, in celebration of all the positive improvements EWA have made towards the safety and equality of women and children in the past 50 years, has also provided a great opportunity for me as, a female artist, to use the platform to contribute to EWA’s mission.”
‘We will continue to provide vital services’
Linda Rodgers, chief executive of Edinburgh Women’s Aid, said: “The 50th anniversary of Edinburgh Women’s Aid is such an important milestone for us and really gives us the chance to pay tribute to all of those who came before us to help make the organisation what it is today.“As long as domestic abuse scourges society we will continue to provide vital services for women and children in Edinburgh. But we will also continue to tackle the causes of domestic abuse so that one day we can look back on the history of a service that is no longer needed.”
Christina McKelvie, Minister for Equalities and Older People, said: "I'm honoured to join Edinburgh Women's Aid in marking their 50th anniversary and celebrating their achievements. Their unwavering dedication to building a Scotland free from violence has made a huge difference to the lives of women and girls.
"We all know that there is still a way to go before we live in a world where domestic abuse is history. The ground-breaking work of organisations such as Edinburgh Women's Aid over the last 50 years, which continue to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse and speak out and campaign for change, will help us realise this ambition."EWA also launched their #challenge50 fundraising campaign to encourage people to set themselves a challenge, from baking and selling 50 cakes to doing a sponsored 50km walk, to help reach their £50,000 fundraising target this year.