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Feminists unite: the Pankhurst museum has been broken into, and needs your help

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Megan Murray
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The room that the suffragette movement was born in has been vandalised and The Pankhurst Centre are desperately seeking help to repair it. 

In news that will strike sadness into the hearts of feminist everywhere, the home of the leader of the suffragettes, Emmeline Pankhurst, has suffered a break in.

The Pankhurst Centre in Manchester is a museum dedicated to the lives of Emmeline and her daughters Sylvia, Christabel and Adela who started the suffragette movement in the UK in 1903.

The museum is based inside the home of the Pankhursts, meaning visitors can actually step inside the parlour where Emmeline held the first suffragette meeting and the birthplace of a movement which was fundamental in securing better rights for women and the progression of feminism.

But devastatingly, this sacred spot was damaged this week after a someone seeking shelter broke in, causing costly damage to the museum that has meant major setbacks. 

The Pankhurst Centre

In a statement The Pankhurst Centre has voiced empathy for the assumed rough sleeper (especially after the news that is predicted that a record number of homeless people will die this winter), but are calling for help to repair the centre.

“We are heartbroken that the Pankhurst Centre, which symbolises so much in the campaign for women’s equality should suffer this set back.

“It’s also a tragedy, and extremely sad, that it was someone seeking shelter for the night that led to this incident. We are already a museum that is fighting for our future. With no public funding in place, our survival depends upon the hard work of volunteers and on donations from visitors and supporters,” the statement reads.

October is a big month for The Pankhurst Centre which was planning to host celebrations and activities to mark the anniversary of the founding of the suffragette movement, starting 8 October. 

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The damage has been severe, with funding needed for the repair of the sash windows, soft furnishings, collection items, replacing the children’s suffragette costumes and upgrades to the alarm system and CCTV as unfortunately, this break in follows several attempts over the recent weeks.

The sting of the break in is even sharper considering The Pankhurst Centre narrowly missed out on funding in 2018, which would have meant that security upgrades would have been possible and avoided incidents like this happening.

Currently the centre functions without any funding at all and runs using volunteer time and the donations of supporters.

In fighting, suffragette spirit, Gail Heath, CEO of the Pankhurst Trust says that they will do everything they can to ensure that the planned activities still run this month and are determined not to be disheartened by the deteriorating state of the museum.

It’s a tragedy that the spiritual home of the women’s rights movement is struggling to operate with the dignity and pride it deserves. If you’d like to donate to help the former home of Emmeline Pankhurst be repaired, you can do so here

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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