Wonderful Women Interview #9 – Lucy Clayton

Bristol Women’s Voice Wonderful Women Award’s were presented as part of our International Women’s Day celebrations on the 3rd of March. We celebrated over 50 women from across Bristol  who had been nominated for their contribution to their communities, each week you can find out more about one of these Wonderful Women.

Lucy Clayton

Lucy Clayton received a Wonderful Women Award for her work with vulnerable young people in Bristol. She helps them get on their feet and supports them in all aspects of their life, from daily tasks like taking them to do their food shops, to re-homing, counselling and getting them into work.

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, there’s no such thing as a stupid question and remember mistakes are how we learn and grow.

Don’t waste time worrying too much about what others think of you, eventually you will stop caring so much.

Don’t compare yourselves to others or compare yourself to people on social media, remember they’re all edited versions of real life and everyone has their crosses to bear.

Even at your lowest point remember everything is temporary, the sun will always rise and give you a new day to start over.

Enjoy your youth, it goes far too quickly. So experience as much as you can, ageing is one of the only things that man has not yet learnt to control.

Respect and love our Earth, it’s the only one we’ll get.

Which women have inspired you? 

My mum, she’ll hate me saying that as she doesn’t think she’s inspiring. She’s mortal like me and she’s made mistakes like us all, but she’s amazing. She’s been brave and sometimes a little reckless, she’s intelligent and sometimes a bit daft, she’s funny and loving and very supportive. We’ve not always got on, in fact, growing up I never thought we’d have the friendship we have now. She’s a retired nurse of forty long years; she’s looked after hundreds if not thousands of people and their loved ones, not to mention animals too. Now she lives in Spain and rescues dogs, she currently has five big rescue dogs. I have two, both dogs that mum saved. 

In my work, I am lucky enough to have met some amazing people and some of my biggest heroes are the ones who manage to get through another day. The ones who constantly struggle to do things which so many take for granted, like getting on a bus or going to their doctors. There’s a reason to be inspired by so many people from all walks of life.

What do you want to see change for women in Bristol? 

 I’d like to see more therapy available to young people over eighteen and more support for young LGBTQ+ people. I would like to see more businesses investing in young women and more alternative training for vocational study. University shouldn’t be the only option for some professions. 

I’d also like to see more education providers with crèches available onsite or solutions to make learning and working worthwhile for mothers (and fathers). More affordable childcare, so that women can return to work, if they wish without feeling like “they can’t afford to work.” That very phrase makes no sense.

Bristol Women’s Voice are marking 100 years since the first women in the UK were given the vote with ‘Deeds not Words’ a year-long programme of events across the city. Find out about Deeds not Words events in Bristol here

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