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Meet fairandfunky and friends! (blog #7)

‘Meet fairandfunky and friends’ is our new blog series to get to know the people behind fairandfunky and how we take little steps to change the world. Today we welcome fairandfunky director Julie Tweedale to answer our questions……

Who are you, where are you from and what do you do? I’m Julie Tweedale from Slaithwaite and I create and run training which helps people feel safer including self defence, healthy relationships, bystander intervention and street harassment awareness. (see our note at the end!!)

What makes you a fairandfunky friend? I brought my children to SCRAPtastic workshops when they were younger and they loved them (as did I). I have been a supporter of fairandfunky for many years and was delighted to become a director.

What little steps do you take to change the world? My work is all about empowering individuals to make changes in their thinking, attitudes and behaviour so they feel more confident, safer and better able to be an ally to others. I buy local when I can e.g. using Read bookshop in Holmfirth instead of Amazon, am a charity shop obsessive and I try to educate myself about what is going on in the world politically and socially.

Who influences or inspires you? And why? My daughters. I left a well-paid career to set up a community interest company with my friend after becoming a mum. I knew that I wanted something better for my girls and decided that I had to take action to educate, challenge and disrupt unacceptable behaviour towards women and girls. Helen and Sophie inspire me too. I know they could get lots of sponsorship and funding from large companies who disregard their impact on the environment, but Helen and Sophie refuse to work with organisations like this, they stick to their principles and this is what makes them the role models for so many of us who know and admire their work.

How do you inspire others to take little steps to change the world? I try to be empathetic, supportive and pragmatic rather than too preachy. I think you have to meet people where they are and give them the skills, knowledge and confidence to come with you a few steps rather than shout at them from your own self-built pedestal and expect them to instantly change a lifetime of habits and beliefs. I suppose its all about connecting with people, which in the end, is what makes life worth living.  

Julie runs Freedom Personal Safety, a brilliant social enterprise working with organisations in the public, private and voluntary sector to make a difference to people’s lives. They raise awareness, reduce risks and empower individuals to take control of their personal safety and emotional wellbeing and are committed to sharing their skills with people in local communities, the workplace and education so that everyone can live their lives free from harassment, violence and abuse. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE.

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