Sophie is an art practitioner and writer. In the last 15 years she has received the Independent Living Fund (ILF) with which she can afford different and fairly paid carers who help her with imperative daily tasks that she is not able to do herself. Without the ILF, she wouldn’t be able to work, cultivate interests, and take any part in public life.
Shirley is a chartered psychologist and a retired university lecturer. She has been left feeling dis-empowered by the changes made to the State Pensions Age (SPA). Like many women, she did not receive a reasonable notification period regarding the changes made to her pension and therefore did not have time to prepare and plan for the adjustments.
Rosie describes herself as “a young voice trying to find a voice between the silence through blogging, using poetry to express my thoughts and running towards recovery. One day, hoping to become a public speaker to share my experiences and raise awareness about the impact of bullying and abuse in schools; highlighting the lasting effects of PTSD on the individual and the family”.
Elvira is from the Philippines. In order to support her family, Elvira migrated to Qatar to work as a domestic worker for a family that later brought her with them to the UK. Her employers exploited and abused her.
In order to support her family in the Philippines, Maria migrated to Saudi Arabia to work as a live-in-nanny for a family. Her employers subjected her to abuse and exploitation, even taking her to live in the UK against her will, making her a survivor of human trafficking.
Ntombi is a dancer, musician, and asylum seeker who was trafficked to the UK from South Africa. Ntombia was arrested in the UK for using someone else’s identity to work as a live-in-carer; she felt this was the only option she had in order to end her homelessness and stop living on the streets.
Megan is a survivor of rape. After the incident, Megan was left traumatised and relied on support services. However, she is unhappy with the way her case was dealt with. With failed police communication, Megan found out the result of her court case through a tabloid newspaper.
Mena describes herself as a ‘jack of a few trades’. She is a Purposeful Coach, a Trainer, a Motivational Speaker, a Creative, an Activist, a Black Feminist, an American Footballer, a Lover of Life, and believes your aspirations are completely in your hands.
Alexandra is a personal trainer with two beautiful children who runs her own business. She is also a survivor of domestic violence. In the past few years there have been major cuts made to Legal Aid, and the government has created stricter criteria in order to be eligible. In the aftermath of divorcing her abusive husband, Alexandra has had to take out two loans totaling thousands of pounds to cover legal and court fees, as she was unable to receive Legal Aid.