My early memory was how me and my mate, Maxine Cole, used to devise ways to misbehave so we could be entered into The Blackie “Barred Book”. We would be told not to enter the building until the staff had decided. We would then start begging to get back in - promising to be good girls. More times than not our bans would be reprieved.
At 16 I was on the Blackie project “Not Just Sitting Pretty”, designed to empower young women. We produced images of how we could look - and of how we really were. Through this I was fortunate to have driving lessons, paid for by The Blackie. I passed first time. Just one example of practical projects at The Blackie. How can you forget that?
On another occasion The Blackie took us on holiday to Yorkshire. We all went in a white transit van. I stayed in a hostel with Maxine Cole, Vicky Clarke and Collette Farrel. This was the first time I’d been so far away from Liverpool and it turned out to the most enjoyable holiday I have ever had. We never stopped laughing.
Since The Blackie days, I went on the “Access to Higher Education” course. This gave me the confidence and ability to enter further education. I consequently progressed to University, doing a combined degree course on “Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies”. The Access Course was a stepping stone that determined my career..
I was appointed by Liverpool City Council as an Outreach Worker in the Liverpool 1 area. The appointment was part of the regeneration drive in the L1 area of the city. My role was to link with the L1 community and work towards creating employment opportunities for local people. I met with some success.
I am presently working with Plus Dane Housing, based in the Rialto Buildings in Upper Parliament Street. I am a Consultant with the responsibility of generating income for new social enterprises that deliver services to the Liverpool 8 area, in Toxteth.