From CBE to Socially Mobile

Everyone can give back, even in the tiniest of ways. From being little, my Mum taught me that you don’t need to have much to help others. 

In our house, that might have been giving someone a bed for the night or surrendering something to allow someone more in need to have it.

It’s an ethos that has stuck with me and, as my life has changed for the better, I’ve tried to do my best to reinvest the knowledge and opportunities I’ve had along the way.

That’s because I know from personal experience how important it is to have a hand up if you’re ever to compete on a level playing field – and how much harder it is for some just to get to the starting line.

It makes today’s announcement that I have been awarded a CBE for services to public relations and voluntary sectors all the more special.

Thank you to all involved with the process and especially those who confidentially submitted the application and supporting letters. For the first time in my life, I’m lost for words.

Keeping going

It is definitely a moment for celebration, but it is also a moment to think about what next because now is not the time to stand still.

There are so many people who need a voice and it’s important that those of us who have one speak up on their behalf.

With this in mind, I’m proud that after more than two years in the making, Stephen and I are finally able to launch Socially Mobile.

Socially Mobile is a not-for-profit PR school aimed at equipping the workforce of today for the management challenges of tomorrow. It is focused on practitioners from lower socio-economic backgrounds and under-served groups.

Stephen is my biggest supporter and I couldn’t do half of what I do without him, not least this latest project which is our most ambitious yet.

You can find out more about Socially Mobile here and we’d love you to throw your weight behind it as a sponsor, donor or volunteer. Applications for the first cohort will open this summer. We’ll shortly be recruiting assessors to help with the application process and the marking of coursework.

We need to do more

This incredible honour has inspired me to keep going and to do more. I hope it inspires you too.

In today’s society, it’s not enough to pledge for support for our Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Ethnic Minority colleagues – we have to be actively anti-racist. We are a long way from equality despite the fact that diversity within communities benefits us all.

The Trussell Trust distributed a record 2.5 million emergency food parcels in the year to March 2021. The addition of independent food banks means the number is likely to be double.

It’s a terrifying indictment of today’s society and it is imperative that those with influence work to change the systems and structures that are weighted in favour of the few, not the many.

There are many more issues that demand our attention. Please choose the ones that interest you most and play your part. I intend to continue to do what I can too.

This CBE stands for the values that were instilled in me while growing up. To Mum and my big sister Emma, I love you, this one’s for you.

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