Liverpool based organisation is 1 of the visionaries behind Peoples Powerhouse
A businesswoman whose career has
been dedicated to supporting people find employment, is spearheading a social
movement to help shape Northern Powerhouse dialogue and plans.
Tracy Fishwick, Managing Director
of Transform Lives based on Hope Street, Liverpool, is part of the team behind
the 'Peoples Powerhouse', a movement that aims to start a dialogue about
inclusive and good growth and its potential to transform communities and lives
across the North of England.
The Peoples Powerhouse will kick
off with an event, on 12 July 2017, in Doncaster and aims to involve people,
organisations, charities and networks from across the North of England. "Its aim is to be a unifying event,
helping shape the Northern Powerhouse debate and perfectly timed post General
Election to move the Powerhouse debate forward and create a North which works
for everybody." The idea for the Peoples
Powerhouse was sparked in February following the Northern Powerhouse Conference
in Manchester which was criticised for its lack of female speakers. Explains
Tracy:- "I saw the tweets about the Northern Powerhouse conference and
immediately spotted that there were no women on the panel. But it wasn't just
who was there, it was what they were talking about as well as what wasn't being
discussed. The agenda was all about buildings, trains, economic growth; nowhere
did it mention anything about people. Our aim is to change that."
Tracy worked at leading the
employment and skills agenda in Liverpool City Region for 16 years including
setting up Knowsley Works, which was and still is at the forefront of helping
unemployed people get jobs. She later become director of the Future Jobs Fund in
Greater Manchester, securing ₤52 million in funding which went on to help more
than 8,000 young people finds jobs. Four years ago she up Transform Lives in
Liverpool, a social enterprise working to create work experience opportunities
and deliver training to help people gain the skills to get into work.
Says Tracy:- "I knew from the work I'd done for years that
even when there is huge economic investment in an area, the wealth doesn't
always trickle down to local communities. it's about 'who' benefits from
economic growth, not just growth itself. Any investment as a result of the
Northern Powerhouse must put people 1st and that narrative appears to be
missing, which is why what we started saying on twitter really hit a nerve.
People are concerned about how growth relates to social justice, inclusion and
poverty. We've been inundated with encouragement and support from across the
spectrum including think tanks, businesses, charities and local people. Tracy hopes that the event, on 12
July 2017, will help shift the debate and help deliver a Northern Powerhouse which a
wider coalition of organisations, voices and backgrounds from across the North
have helped shape and which works for everybody. Our hope is that the Peoples
Powerhouse brings about a step change in the debate; putting people and
communities at the heart of Powerhouse plans, not at the periphery. We're
here to support the Powerhouse discussions by talking about people regeneration
as well as place regeneration. We definitely need both, they're not mutually
exclusive, but when you do one without the other, it's a missed opportunity."
Confirmed speakers and panellists
for the event include Big Issue Chief Executive Fay Selvan, Social Enterprise UK
Chief Executive Peter Holbrook and BBC North Director Alice Webb.
The event will include a Youth
Panel and during the afternoon there will be 'Peoples Panel' workshop sessions
on themes including:- skills; health; arts and culture; housing; young people and
families; all as a result of suggestions made by local organisations who want
to be part of something different.
The aim is to build a long term
movement for change that supports good and inclusive growth in the North with a
sharp focus on how people need to be at the centre of the debate.
The organisers hope to include all
sectors and sections of the community, harnessing the combined skills and
leverage of the:- public sector, voluntary, community, civic leaders and business.
The Peoples Powerhouse event takes
place on, 12 July 2017, from 10am to 4pm, at Doncaster Rovers Football Ground. For more information and to
Discounts are available including
for young people and for small enterprises and charities.