Originally published 19 July 2004
Three generations of a Coventry family are celebrating their success after undertaking courses at the University of Warwick. 63 year old grandmother and community advocate Anne Skene, is to receive a certificate for her part in an innovative community research project 'Making Our Voices Heard', while her daughter Ellen Skene, 32, nears the end of her postgraduate degree in Sociology and her 22 year old granddaughter, Kirsty Saunders graduated with a BA in Creative Writing, on Friday 16th July.
Anne Skene received her first degree from Coventry University in Art and Craft at the age of 60. As an active member of the Coventry community for many years now, Anne initially heard about the project through the Community Empowerment Network, an organisation that aims to carry the voices of the local community to influence the strategic decisions of the Coventry Partnership.
The year long course, set up by the Sociology department at the University of Warwick, involves members of the community learning academic research methods and putting them into practice by conducting surveys of households in 7 areas, including Hillfields, Longford and Stoke Aldermoor. The researchers seek to identify the experiences of residents and to make their voices heard at policy-making level.
Anne Skene, who conducted her research in Canley, said: "The whole family is very proud of all three of us for our achievements. I took part in the 'Making Our Voices Heard' project as I have a desire to learn as much as I can about the world and because I love Coventry. I now feel that I can make a real impact on the future of the city. My family has a long history in the city, and we even have ancestors buried in London Road."
Kirsty received her bachelors degree on Friday 16 July, as Ellen Skene, Anne's youngest daughter and auntie to Kirsty, nears the completion her MA in Sociology.