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My story is the story of a Labour family. Here in Lewisham, so many families, just like mine, have arrived from elsewhere and woven their histories into the story of our borough. 

                     

I am the only child of a single mother, the first of my family to go to university and the only one to ever to be elected into public office.

My story

"My family settled in London a century ago after fleeing persecution in Ukraine. My great-grandfather sold socks from a handcart to provide for his family while putting down roots in this country."

My family settled in London a century ago after fleeing persecution in Ukraine. My great-grandfather sold socks from a handcart to provide for his family while putting down roots in this country. In the sixties, my Mum became the first female shop steward in her trade union, successfully challenging her employer for the right to wear trousers at work. As a young Londoner, I was a part of Red Wedge and a community of Labour activists through the 80s.

 

My Mum was proud to fight for the rights of others, but working full-time as a single parent was very tough. This was Thatcher’s Britain and I left school at 17 because my mum needed help to pay the bills. Working as a waitress and office temp, I put myself through night school to get the A-levels I needed to get to university as a mature student. After graduating, I came back to London and began working as a radio and television producer. 

 

When I started my own family, we chose to make our home in Lewisham. I love the community here – our diversity, our friendliness, our parks and our people. It is where I chose to settle, it is where our children are growing up, it is the place where I feel truly at home. 

 

My daughter and son have both been to Lewisham state schools and made friendships that will sustain them for life. Being a parent with children of school age, means I have seen how difficult life is for so many of our young people. It is why I am determined we can do more to help them flourish.

 

Lewisham is my home, and it is the home of my family. After six years as a Cabinet Member working to keep Lewisham financially stable and making a difference for residents across Lewisham, I know how we can harness our borough’s potential and take the opportunity of a new Labour Government. 

 

Leading change in the place I love would not be a stepping stone for me, it would be the privilege of my life. 

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