Wonderful Women Interview #11 – Anne-Louise Perez

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.

Anne-Louise Perez

Anne-Louise Perez received a Wonderful Women Award for her commitment to make the best of Gloucester Road. She has worked hard to promote traders and shops on the Gloucester Road over many years and as the current  Business Improvement District  Manager for the Gloucester Road Business Independent District, since 2017 she has planned many events and initiatives to support the local trading community.

 What advice would you give your younger self?

When you are fourteen and made to choose subjects at school that you are told will determine your future path and career, to realise that life experiences will have as much importance on the direction you take – and it’s okay not to know what you want to do. So, don’t panic if you aren’t sure! It will work out.

And less profoundly, I should have listened when people said not to get a fringe! 

Which women have inspired you? 

There have been lots of women that have influenced me at different stages of my life.  They have shown me the powers of kindness and being bold. They taught me to think outside the box, to question and to travel.

My aunt, who accepted me unconditionally. My English teacher Miss Askew – who drove a gold Triumph Herald. The mum of my first boyfriend, who always kept our tea warm in an oven when we were late, my American friend of twenty-five years who always asked ‘but why?’  And finally, Agatha Christie, whose books I read voraciously and whose gripping and elegant stories of exotic locations, plots, fancy dinners, and mystery intrigued and inspired me.

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

More women in decision-making roles, from politics to corporations to community groups. A female Mayor? I’d also like to see businesses recognise the skills of women returning to work after extended maternity leave and not see it as a ‘gap’ and a disadvantage. They have not lost those skills!

Is there anything that you have read, seen or listened to recently which has inspired you? 

Local volunteer group Street Scene led by Liz Kew, who patrol the Gloucester Road every single day at 7:00am, noting tagging, fly tipping and litter – and cleaning up! It makes a huge difference to the area, and if they didn’t do this we would soon know about it.

 Are there three words you would use to describe your local community? 

Independent, unique, and welcoming.

What hopes do you have for your local community in 2018?

That Gloucester Road will continue to evolve, adapt and not lose its character as an authentic  living and breathing district of Bristol.

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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