My name is Jessie Jacobs. I’m interested in the rights and voices of women, young people and children, place regeneration, social enterprise, community empowerment and development, and social change.
In 2002, whilst studying for MA in Management at Durham university, I met a young teenager involved in street prostitution and this changed the course of my life forever. Alongside a few local women, we set up a small project to reach and engage women and young people caught up in addiction and prostitution. The project became an award winning charity called A Way Out. For over twelve years I lead the work there as a project manager and eventually Chief Executive Officer. We supported hundreds of people to turn their lives around and by 2014, when I handed over the reigns we were employing around 22 staff and 50 volunteers.
I have a deep passion for people and about making a difference in the world around me. In all I do, I try to fight for forgotten and marginalised people’s voices to be heard, for all people to have equal rights and life opportunities regardless of race, ability, sexuality or economic background . I believe in unity, in working together as collectives and cooperatives. I am an advocate and champion for communities, charities and civic society.
My current focus is grassroots community development, policy, campaigning and the media. I want to see ordinary people at the heart of policy making, to see hidden voices heard and more participatory forms of democracy, emerging. I am the recent founder of a new tabloid publication ‘The Eclipse’ which is a peoples paper and a platform for hidden voices, providing an alternative to the mainstream tabloids.
For my day job I work for the Northern TUC in policy and campaigns. I have been involved in developing campaigns around pay, young workers, education cuts and austerity. I champion and advocate for trade unions and workers rights and also contribute towards local and regional policy development and discussions, tackling racism in the workplace and championing equalities.
I was born in Stockton on Tees, and was brought up by my Grandma & Granddad, Maureen & Bill Jacobs, whose love and values still drive some of who I am today.
I am a committed Labour Party and trade union activist and have campaigned in two general elections, European election, local elections and was the regional field director for Britain Stronger In Europe, campaigning to stay in the European union.
Alongside politics I write and have written for local and national publications, and am working on a couple of books.
I’ve plenty of thoughts about life, politics and communities and from time to time, I blog about them here to comment or ask questions, I love a good debate