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New fund launched to help the next generation of ‘women who dare to dream’

Photo of several copies of the book "once upon a time in Birmingham: women who dared to dream" stacked on a table
Published: Monday, 14th October 2019

A new fund to help the next generation of fearless females pursue their ambitions and dreams was launched by Birmingham City Council and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s Charity today (14 October 2019).

The announcement marks a year since Once Upon A Time In Birmingham: Women Who Dared To Dream – a book the council commissioned to mark the centenary of women getting the vote – was published, with proceeds going into a legacy fund.

Proceeds from the book – published by local, female-run The Emma Press – have been used to set up the fund, which will be run by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s Charity.

Applications can be made for individual grants of up to £250 to support academic or career dreams – be it an activity, course, books, equipment or accessing work experience.

Cllr Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The aim of ‘Once Upon A Time In Birmingham…’ was to inspire and encourage young women to be brave in pursuing their own dreams and ambitions. All the council’s proceeds from the book go directly into this fund, which will help them take a step towards achieving their goals.”

Stephen Goldstein, Chairman of the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s Charity, added: “This fund will help young women to pursue their academic or career goals, and we’re pleased to be able to support the city council in this innovative initiative to help open doors for the next generation.”

Birmingham City Council joined forces with The Emma Press to publish Once Upon A Time In Birmingham: Women Who Dared To Dream in October 2018, which featured 30 inspirational Birmingham women past and present, drawn from public nominations by young female writers from Writing West Midlands’ Sparks Young Writers group.

Written, illustrated and published by local women, the book profiles a range of female achievement from women’s rights campaigner Jessie Eden to the first female computer programmer Mary Lee Berners-Lee, to education campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

Applicants must live in Birmingham and be in education or training within the city.

To apply for a grant, visit the charity’s website  

The closing date for applications is 12 January 2020.


  • Once Upon A Time In Birmingham: Women Who Dared To Dream (RRP £14.99) is available from Birmingham branches of Foyles and Waterstones, and online from Amazon and The Emma Press (
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