Cherie talks to the Law Students
With the AJF Students
Watching the Mosaic Work
Two speaking engagements and a trip down memory lane.
Cherie returned to her home town of Liverpool for the day recently, as guest speaker at both a Ladies Business Forum and a fundraising dinner for Liverpool ACROSS Groups 'Jumbulance'. A Jumbulance is literally a jumbo ambulance that travels overland to Lourdes every week from the end of March to the end of October, the Lourdes season. It has seven beds on board so can take some very sick or disabled people with nurses and carers to look after them on the 21 hour journey. For more information click here.
The evening was a great success and raised much needed funds for those who could not otherwise afford to undertake the pilgrimage.
Hill Dickinson hosted the Ladies' Business Forum earlier in the day, which brought together women from across the region to discuss how they can succeed in today's business world. Cherie, who grew up in the Waterloo area of Liverpool, talked about how the strong women of the North, including those in her own family, helped shape her belief at an early age that women can achieve great things, given proper education and confidence in their abilities.
In her keynote speech Cherie also showed a film about the work of the Africa for Justice Foundation, an organisation which she co-founded and which aims to build legal capacity and encourage business growth in Africa. The AJF was the beneficiary of a donation from Hill Dickinson in return for her talk and two of the programme's students - Valence Buhura and Valens Uwineza from Rwanda - joined the audience. Both are currently studying law in Liverpool via the Foundation and will undertake work experience at the law firm later this year.
Cherie spoke about how important strong female role models are in increasing the number of women occupying top roles in business. "This is not about women replacing men or suggesting we are somehow better. It is about using our complementary qualities and different experiences to overcome common challenges. Women tend to be more collaborative, better at team building and less prone to reckless risk taking. A mix of both skill sets can only be a benefit and to ignore a full 50% of the nation's abilities would be detrimental to growth and development."
Cherie closed by quoting her friend Hillary Clinton who said that "failure to remove the barriers placed in front of women is the last great impediment to universal progress".
After the talk Cherie engaged in a Q& A with the audience and then met a number of law students from the North Liverpool Academy who were attending the event. Ruth Lawrence, partner and head of insurance at Hill Dickinson said:
"I'm sure that the younger members of the audience were inspired by what Cherie said and that they will take that enthusiasm and self-belief away with them as they progress through their own chosen business careers."
Cherie's other visit of the day was to St Luke's Primary School in Crosby, close to where she attended school herself. She had a tour round and was interviewed by some of the children for their School newspaper. She also watched pupils working on a Mosaic for the local Church grounds, a community based project funded by the Big Lottery as part of their Changing Spaces Initiatives. The work will be built in to a new entranceway to the Church cemetery which will include a sensory and vegetable garden. Cherie then saw the mosaic project transfer to St Luke's Church Hall where other members of the community had the chance to join in. The Welsh mosaic artist Tricia Jones is leading the design on the theme of the seasons and examples of her work can be seen here.
For further information about the St Luke's grounds project click here.
All in all it was a very enjoyable and worthwhile day with a lot of childhood memories thrown in!