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Inspirational women

Rebel Women of Sunderland

The Rebel Women of Sunderland is a project that shines a light on the lives of Rebel Women from Sunderland with specially commissioned artworks and stories.

The project was originally commissioned by Sunderland Culture for Heritage Open Day in 2019, in partnership with Open Heritage and Sunderland Heritage Action Zone and was inspired by the popular children’s book Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls which has celebrated the achievements of women around the world. 

Nominations for Rebel Women of Sunderland were crowd-sourced through social media with over 100 nominations of inspirational women of the city. Fourteen women were  selected from past and present to represent the diversity of the achievements of the women of Sunderland.  

Sunderland creatives, illustrator Kathryn Robertson, a recent graduate of University of Sunderland, and writer Jessica Andrews, who recently won the Portico Prize for her debut novel, Saltwater, were commissioned to produce portraits and tell the stories of the women.

This project is produced as part of Sunderland Culture’s Great Place programme, funded by Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund, and in partnership with Sunderland’s Heritage Action Zone and Open Heritage.


Rebel Women – Colouring Sheets

Download our Rebel Women colouring in sheets and add some colour back into the beautiful illustrations.

Be as rebellious as you like!

Download all the Rebel Women of Sunderland colouring sheets here:


Listen to the Rebel Women of Sunderland’s bedtime stories

Join our very own Corinne Kilvington as she reads you some very special bedtime stories!

Inspired by the Rebel Women of Sunderland project, these stories celebrate the diversity of the achievements of the women of Sunderland, both past and present.  

So…make sure you’re comfortable and we’ll begin!

Steph Houghton and Jill Scott

This story is about two Rebel Women, football players Steph Houghton and Jill Scott.

Marion Phillips

This tale tells the story of Marion Phillips, Sunderland’s first ever female MP.

 Emeli Sandé

Florence Collard and the Shipyard Women