You may have heard of my darling hometown, Middlesbrough.❣️🏡
With damaging titles and damning statistics being churned out on what feels like a daily basis, it seems my small but sweet town receives quite the press. In 2009, the mighty Boro was deemed ‘the worst place to live’ by Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location. Later Vice reckoned my tiny town to be a ‘Secret European drug capital’ in a 2014 article. Just six months ago my beloved Boro was branded ‘the worst place to grow up if your a girl‘. Well I just couldn’t believe it! Enough was enough. I took to Facebook at the time to speak out.
As today marks International Women’s Day I would like to express how growing up in Middlesbrough and the North East is not the end of the world. In fact you can thrive just as I have and see many northern lasses do each and every day… contrary to what shite the papers write. 🤔 🤔 🤔 🤔
As a girl who grew up in Middlesbrough, I have learnt nothing but resilience, determination and independence. To be quite truthful I find all this negativity that our area gets dragged through quite tiresome. What does this really do to empower women of the North-East?
As for the women who I find inspiring? Well, I look at those around me. The women of the North East.
My Mam (yes I say Mam, not Mum), a fiercely independent woman who worked three jobs to earn the money she needed to look after me and my brothers. Her hard work motivates me everyday and even on my lowest days, I definitely know I got my Mamma’s work-ethic! My Dad who transitioned into a woman; she inspires me as she proves that change truly is possible, and we can be anyone we want to be if we put our minds to it. I know that we only get the best out of us when we are openly connected to ourselves, my Dad has shown me that time and time again.
Both my Nana’s- the perfect homemakers in their own right. (though my Mam may dispute) They cared, cooked, cleaned and consistently gave their undivided love and attention to ensure their families would flourish and grow. Though I often debate the thought of having children, I know if I ever did, this is how I would want to do it. In my Nana’s house are the words ‘Love Never Fails’ and I think ultimately that this is true. Especially when raising children. Sometimes people can get caught up in the idea of how much money they have or what material goods they possess. At the end of the day none of this matters, nor do the stats or where is the ‘best place to raise a girl in the UK’… because if they are truly loved and taken care of properly, then that is what really matters. I am also inspired by the other strong females in my family and the close bond that we are lucky enough to share. I admire the honesty we give to one another, the genuine passion we have for each other to succeed, and the childlike creative spirits I see within every one of you.
The local women of business who have provided me with fantastic opportunities of employment throughout my teens; if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have gained the skills that I needed to develop, go onto further education and ultimately beome my own boss. The professionals who have helped me over the years and continue to do so to this day; I am eternally thankful. If it wasn’t for your ongoing support I’m not sure I would be here or what state I would be in, so I will be forever grateful for your guidance and kind words.
My strong, beautiful friends of past and present. None I will forget. Each hold a place in my heart. Every friendship is an experience that leads us to grow. I feel so immensely proud, almost parent-like, seeing so many people doing great things from the Boro. Whether they be starting families of their own or working to fulfill their dreams and aspirations. Both are equally hard, there’s no right way of doing things and I respect you all. Go on lasses! Go on lads! UTB! That is Boro pride, right there. I love using ‘Boro’ as an adjective, as it can describe so many things. ‘That is propa Boro’, ‘How Boro is that?‘ Whatever you do, make sure it is filled with passion. That is Boro. When despite all our differences we just want each other to get on and grow. We know if we don’t look after each other nobody else will. Its our Boro. ❤️💪🔥💋
I know its Womens Day but how can you not love this picture? FACT: More women attend the Riverside Stadium than any other top flight club! UTFB❣️
Growing up in Middlesbrough gave me a sense of adaptability, fearlessness and grit that I don’t think I would have got growing up anywhere else. In all honesty… I don’t want a silver spoon in my mouth because I’ve got a fire in my heart like no other, that’s what gets me through. I am glad I was a girl who grew up in Middlesbrough. I hope if you are a girl, or a boy, who is growing up in Boro, the North East, or perhaps a town who is facing similar circumstances to what I’ve described- try not to be disheartened. Don’t be discouraged. Let this be what drives you!
The truth is we should all be feminists; someone who strives for equal rights for both the sexes in the social, political, legal, and economic terms. That doesn’t sound too crazy does it?