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Hilly Day - Personal Statement

I am a teacher by profession, currently working with international students, a job I truly love and feel privileged to be doing. I get to meet such interesting people, help them work towards achieving their life goals, and share their enthusiasm for their futures. I also work freelance for Cambridge Assessment, and I enjoy the attention to detail that working for an exam board brings.

I have three children, all at different stages of their lives, all very different characters with their own approaches to life. They show me that everyone has their own way of looking at the world and that everyone should be able to live their own life and be part of a community.

I have lived and worked in Cambridge since the early 80s and have always thought of it as a good place for people, maybe because my father came from the city and there are constant reminders of my heritage around me, and this heritage now also belongs to my children. I feel grounded here. I have lived in other places, cultures that are very different to that of the UK, and have always felt the need to feel at home in them and to make them part of me. There is a connection here with mental illness:  a close member of my family has been ill for many years, and I have an inkling of how the feeling of being an outsider works away at his confidence and happiness when he is unwell. I also strongly believe that everyone has the right to be what they want to be, and equally, that society has to respect and enable people to achieve this. And if they are unwell, they need to be given the space and support to get through it.

People need people, and they need to be able to have a sense of belonging, achievement and purpose. This is why I think I should be part of Make Do and Mend, and that is what Make Do and Mend should be – a group that helps itself to develop into whatever it thinks it should be, carrying along and supporting the people who choose to take part in it, sharing skills, knowledge and love for their activities. It will fill a huge gap in the support system left behind by the cut-backs and it is an opportunity for people to take hold of the reins and decide what they want their lives to be like.