Hannah Shekle #TheDoncasterEffect

Hannah Shekle is a creative entrepreneur and business owner behind the loved local independent business Dreambakes.

“When I was younger, I wanted to live anywhere but Doncaster. However, now I’ve moved back and started my business, I can see how many assets and great things are in Doncaster and nearby. I like to get involved with arts and culture where I can, and I’m now fiercely protective of it. Not enough people cherish their hometowns! Firstly, at the start of the pandemic, we thought we wouldn’t be able to open at all, but we started offering deliveries which went really well. That kept me very busy, as I was doing it alone because my mom was shielding. It was lovely to still be able to be part of our customers’ lives and bring them a little joy too. We had a scare in the family, so we had to temporarily shut down, but our customers were fantastic and incredibly understanding. We’ve started open up now, and we’re really excited to welcome people back”.

Hannah Shekle Snapped at work by photographer Warren Draper.

About the Doncaster Effect 

Over 2019 Doncopolitan Founder Warren Draper was commissioned by Doncaster Council to create a photography archive of Doncaster’s residents. The aim of this project was to produce an important record of individuals that are redefining life in the town.

Over the years, we’ve heard Doncaster be called a “prison for the employed“, “cultural desert” and “basket case of the north“. National news can often present Doncaster and Northern towns as backwards, poor and racist. Over the years, working closely with residents and local people, we’ve seen a counter narrative to this; stories often not covered by the national news. People striving to create art, opening and running successful businesses, becoming social media influencers and leading activists, are pursuing national, important campaigns. This archive is an important record of 50 local people and their lives in Doncaster right now.

Our plan was to exhibit this archive in September 2020 to bring together all the participants in a mammoth gathering of Doncaster trail blazers. Sadly, due to Covid-19, the project has had to be re-invented. We’ll be archiving the project online for 2020, but we hope we can exhibit the project somewhere in 2021.

The title “The Doncaster Effect” came about via the Guardian Journalist John Harris, who wrote in the acclaimed publication the Idler MagazineIf you want to understand modern Britain today, Doncaster is a pretty good place to start”.

We’d like to thank Doncaster Council and Arts Council England for funding this project and for all the participants for giving up their time to take part.


Hello it’s Doncopolitan

We wanted to let you know that Doncopolitan is currently being funded by the Arts Council England Emergency Covid-19 Fund. This is helping us to develop our print magazine and festival into an online format where we can  pay local artists and writers to be part of our online arts festival and monthly newsletter. We want to continue to develop this way of working in the future. We want to create paid opportunities for writers and artists to create on their own terms. We are reaching out to you as a regular reader to ask if it would be possible to consider becoming a Patreon of our work. Patreon is an online fundraising platform it’s easy to sign-up; you can pay as little as £3.00 per month which will allow us to continue to be an independent voice for our town. 

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