Jackie grew up in the Forest of Dean. Other than a short spell in Cornwall, she has lived here all her life. She attended the Royal Forest of Dean Grammar School, studied hotel and catering management at Cheltenham before establishing a small outside catering business. As a single mum and mature student, Jackie studied nursing at Bristol and started a career as a specialist renal nurse at Gloucester Royal Hospital.
In Cornwall, she worked for a charity at a residential drugs and alcohol detox and rehab unit. Since moving back to the Forest of Dean, Jackie has worked as a Bereavement & Medical Examiners Officer at Gloucester Royal Hospital where she supports bereaved families and the Medical Examiner.
Jackie is passionate about the Forest of Dean and cares deeply about its nature, biodiversity, people and industrial heritage. When she’s not at work, she loves nothing more than walking in the woods with her dog or growing food in her garden.
Jackie has immersed herself in the local community. She involves herself in local activities which strengthen and develop the community she lives in. She is a parish councillor representing Pillowell Ward at West Dean Parish and chairs the Climate and Biodiversity committee. Since chairing this committee, WDPC has bought books about climate issues for the library at West Dean Centre and she has raised a motion to survey and consult parishioners about turning off street lights between midnight and 5 am. With fellow councillors she supported a project, Village Veg to help and encourage people to grow their own food and since the pandemic, has been working closely with local residents and Forestry England on a new community project, Yorkley Village Garden.
The garden will grow organic fruit and vegetables and improve biodiversity with a wildflower meadow. It offers everyone in the community an opportunity to connect with nature and the land. She serves refreshments at the monthly Mend and Repair café and she instigated the Forest Climate Group which brings town and parish councillors together to collaborate and share ideas to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis.
Jackie believes that strong communities are vital for resilience especially as we face the difficulties of inequality, economic injustice and the climate emergency. Her vision for the Forest is to see sustainable housing that our young people can afford to buy or rent and good education and jobs. She believes that our Forest of Dean communities can thrive if our young people are able to choose to live here and bring their families up here.
While she has always been politically engaged, it was 5 years ago when Jackie decided to get more actively involved in politics. It was Green Party policies on social justice, health and social care, housing and the environment which captured her attention and their ideas about an alternative green economy which cares for people and the planet that left her in no doubt that the Green Party was for her.
She has been an active member since joining, sharing the coordinator position for 2 years. Currently, she organises Green Drinks and helps with the One Planet Café. Jackie will be standing for District Council in the May 2023 elections and is hoping for your support.