Quite simply – I was asked.
That I was considered by some to be their choice of representative of the people of Hexham, to advocate, challenge and defend, to be their voice in parliament – well that’s a personal win and ‘humbled’ and ‘proud’ don’t cover it.
Everything I do in my professional and community roles is about supporting people to overcome barriers to education, to participation, to enable them to live meaningful lives. This is important.
I have faced barriers in my own life such as flunking my A levels, being pregnant on my own without a home, deciding to heat or eat, working in spite of a complicated benefits system, balancing a need to work against the guilt and expense of childcare, overcoming domestic abuse.
There is a growing wish for our elected representatives to ‘look more like’ the people they represent and serve. I have lived a life many would share and recognise.
It is important too to be able to recognise there are some people who might never be able to overcome their barriers, be they disability, mental health, social skills, past experiences – and that these people need protecting, they need a voice on their side and a voice that will speak for them in parliament.
Thank you for putting your trust in me.