In this bonus feature learn how local change maker Natalie channels her lived experience and determination to serve the needs of the local community with excellence, humanity and unity.
I’m a woman, a woman of colour and I grew up in a family of women.
I’m mixed race and of Jamaican and Scottish heritage.
I’m a product of my lived experience.
I had a humble upbringing. My Jamaican grandmother helped care for me. From the Windrush generation she worked three jobs, despite often being discriminated against because of the colour of her skin.
Prior to working in the community sector, I had a successful career in real estate and lived in Spain for a while. In the male dominated field I was constantly tested, but this just pushed my drive further and determination not to be held back because of either my class, ethnicity, or gender.
Living and travelling abroad I learned how others lived and came to understand more about the importance of happiness and helping others within a community.
Since opening More Life Home, I’ve learned there are many in desperate need. When someone doesn’t have the means to fill their home with the essentials, it affects their mental health and contributes to their sense of self. I remember one urgent call: A young 19 year old mother was about to be released from hospital with her new born. However, if she did not have a Moses basket or bed to bring the baby home to social services would take her baby into care.
It’s beautiful to see how well connected this community is; how embracing and welcoming they are. And how they stick together. They enjoy a chat and like to shop. Our space in Aberfeldy Street offers this. We also get to hear their needs. Alongside providing donated furniture, homeware and clothes at low cost, we also offer a range of workshops and activities. It’s important for us to do this in order to reach the whole community.
I love when we get to assist with the transition of a person into their home, especially when they’ve been through a lot. The exchange of energy is indescribable. The joy and love they offer because we are able to provide them with items that are going to help them. I’m so grateful.
This work is important. It saves furniture from landfill and serves local families. When you’re doing something that benefits people – people see the value, but I recognise there is a much bigger purpose to why I’m doing what I’m doing. It goes way beyond me.