Redcar & Cleveland steps up to ‘The People’s Podium’ as part of new National Lottery funded project

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Redcar & Cleveland Ambassador Beth Hodgson and participants from across the generations living in the borough came together to share their hopes for our community after the pandemic.

This week, Redcar & Cleveland residents  wrote a speech about an issue that’s close to their heart, to be delivered at The People’s Podium. 

The People’s Podium is a playful twist on the government lectern used in coronavirus briefings.  Brightly-coloured and eye-catching, it’s designed for everyday people to recognise the power of their voice.

Redcar & Cleveland Ambassador Beth Hodgson encouraged people to shop local and support small businesses hit by the pandemic. Allison O’Neil called for ‘Nature’s World’ to reopen so that people can feel connected to the environment and help protect it. Mark Robbins spoke about the importance of looking after your mental health and Charlotte Reidy, 17, wrote a thought-provoking speech about feminism and acceptance. 

The speeches were recorded over Zoom, but the physical podium will be coming to Redcar & Cleveland when restrictions lift, giving people another chance to share their story.

The project was organised by  Festival of Thrift, in collaboration with creative collective Glimpse. Stella Hall, director of Festival of Thrift said: “Festival of Thrift is  so proud to have been chosen to  put some of the Mighty Redcar’s resilient, warm and welcoming people on the People’s Podium with Glimpse  and we look forward to amplifying  these voices and  placing many others centre stage in the  coming months. It’s been a tough year for many of us, but we hope to be together again at the Festival in September  to  showcase our resourceful and creative sustainable community.” 

For lots of the participants, it was their first time making a speech. But everyone in the group saw the value in speaking up and using their voice. 

To view the speeches visit

The People’s Podium is a national project and will be touring the UK this year. The next stop will  be Leicester.

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Rachel and Emma with a flag