THE lives and legacy of two Ellesmere sisters who founded Save the Children will be in the spotlight at a special event later this year.

Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton launched the international aid charity 100 years ago, to provide food and medical supplies for starving children in Germany and Austria at the end of the First World War

Their pioneering and inspirational work will be commemorated on April 1 at a one-day seminar to celebrate the movement's centenary.

It will also focus on current and future challenges facing relief charities, including the refugee crisis resulting from conflicts in countries such Syria, Yemen and Myanmar.

Speakers will also address issues such as the increasing number of people being forced to leave their homes because of climate change and global warming.

With the theme 'Children Displaced by Conflict', the seminar will take place at Ellesmere College Arts Centre and will be opened the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, the Queen's personal representative in the county.

Key speakers will include Claire Mulley, acclaimed author broadcaster and biographer of Eglantyne Jebb; Gareth Owen, Humanitarian Director of Save the Children; and 86-year old Dame Stephanie Shirley, former Kinder-Transport child refugee who fled the Nazis, was educated in Oswestry and went on to become a millionaire businesswoman who has given away a large part of her fortune to worthwhile causes.

Representatives of the Rohingya and Syrian refugees communities in Britain will also speak.

The event has been organised by volunteers from the Ellesmere Sculpture Initiative which is leading an 18-month centenary project in partnership with support from local councils, schools, community groups and businesses.

Chairman Len Graham said the event would appeal to a wide range of people.

"This seminar will appeal to local people who want to know more about the lives and work of Eglantyne and Dorothy," said Len. "As well as those interested in heritage, history, politics and international affairs.

"We have attracted an outstanding group of speakers for what will be a memorable day.

"The event is being at Ellesmere College, less than a mile from the country house where the sisters were born, and we are very grateful to the college for providing the facility.

"Eglantyne and Dorothy were great humanitarians – social activists with great vision, compassion and commitment.

"They were way ahead of their time and what they achieved has influenced the development of the international aid movement over the past 100 years.

"Latest figures show in 2018 Save the Children was actively involved in nearly 120 countries, spending over £300 million to provide emergency aid, food, health care, safe havens and educational support to more than 40 million children.

"I've no doubt that the sisters would be proud of this achievement, but at the same time, they would be appalled that a century on, there is still a great need for the charity that they started."

Tickets for the day seminar, £20 each to include a buffet lunch, are available locally from Ismay's fashion shop in High Street, Ellesmere, White Lion Antiques in Market Street or online from

A number of free places will be available for students and school pupils aged 16 plus and more information is available from Claire Cartlidge at