Janette Kirton-Darling Memorial Prize
by Rethinking Poverty
The Janette Kirton-Darling Memorial Prize will be awarded to an organisation that has demonstrated outstanding leadership, creativity and impact in developing a local community initiative developing effective means to #ShiftThePower to people whose voices are rarely heard in society.
The prize will showcase actions by local people to produce a good society in communities that have seen economic decline over the years. The prize will be for the organisation to use at their discretion in support of their objectives.
The prize is being organised by CENTRIS though its programme on Rethinking Poverty.
About Janette Kirton-Darling
Janette Kirton-Darling knew from her own childhood what it was like to be short of money. Her father, the sole breadwinner, died when she was 13, leaving the family in straitened circumstances. When she secured a place at Durham University, she was the first in her family to go to university. On graduating, Janette married and moved to Middlesbrough. She joined the Labour Party during Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, witnessing the closure of industry all around her.
When the government advertised that the North East could be the location of toxic waste incinerators ‘because the local population were used to high pollution levels’, proposals came in for three across the region. In response Janette launched ‘S.T.I.N.C.’, which stood for ‘Stop toxic waste incinerators in Cleveland’. The campaigners, led by Janette and two others, managed to secure a public inquiry and ‘be a thorn in the side’ of the multinationals planning the incinerators, according to the Chronicle Live. They won the public inquiry and Janette took her research to the European Commissioner in Brussels and rules on environmental impact assessments were strengthened.
Janette was a businesswoman as well as a campaigner. Frustrated by the lack of good-quality books at her children’s school, she and two of her friends set up a travelling bookshop, Badger for Books, which went around all the schools in Teesside selling books at cost price so parents and schools could buy them. Janette spent several years as a trustee of CENTRIS, where she made a major contribution to the work of the organisation.
Janette was someone who took action when she saw things that were wrong and needed changing in the area where she lived. In seeking to highlight outstanding community initiatives, this prize is a fitting way to honour her memory.
The judges will be looking for local community initiatives based in Tyne and Wear that are making a meaningful difference to people’s lives. A particular focus will be on initiatives that have been developed with or by members of the community and are being sustained with the involvement of the people they are trying to help. The judges will also be interested in initiatives that are responding to specific local issues and exploring alternative economic or business models.
- Jude Kirton Darling (Janette’s daughter)
- Hélėne Turner (CENTRIS trustee)
- A third person (to be decided)
Administration of the Janette Kirton-Darling Memorial Prize
- The first prize will be for £3,000. Two runners up will be awarded £1,000 each.
- Applicants must nominate themselves and will be expected to fill out an application form detailing their work. They will also be invited to submit video clips from members of the community and staff members, which will give an opportunity to showcase people whose voices are ‘rarely heard’.
- Closing date for applications will be 8 July 2022.
- The CENTRIS office will handle submissions and provide a shortlist for the judges.
- Rethinking Poverty will help showcase the nominees’ work through profiling it on the website and disseminating it on our various platforms.
- The judging panel will select the winner based on the judging criteria specified.
- The decisions of the judges are final.
- The prize will be awarded at a mini Citizens Assembly in the early autumn. This will also provide an opportunity for the various groups to meet and connect.
- We would like to showcase the winner (and potentially the shortlisted nominees) at other venues. This could include a Rethinking Poverty convening.
- Rethinking Poverty will remain in contact with all applicants. We will continue to act as a convener, helping nominees connect with each other and with other groups working in similar areas, thus supporting the emergence of a platform or network of local actors across the field.
- Email Mike Clark, Office Manager, Centris, email firstname.lastname@example.org