One of our local councillors, Jackie Drayton, is absolutely certain that she belongs in Burngreave, the area she chose 40 years ago.
A mum with two young sons and a seven week old baby daughter, her first impressions of Sheffield were the hills, Coventry being very flat. She soon abandoned her bike!
Having left school with no qualifications, Jackie had returned to education took ‘A’ levels and obtained a B Ed at Warwick University.
In Sheffield, with young children to care for, she began working part time with a women’s group in Frecheville, but also volunteered with Home Start and SAVTE (Sheffield Association for the Voluntary Teaching of English) and even found time to dance with the Lizzie Dripping Morris group.
Jackie became full time head of Hurlfield adult education centre. Her involvement with adult education lasted 25 years.
She joined the local Labour Party In 1996 experiencing “one of the proudest moments” of her life when she won her council election in Burngreave. In her words:
“I began giving something back to the area that had welcomed me… there’s nowhere I’d rather live… Burngreave is a fantastic place and I have known nothing but kindness”.
Jackie became Lord Mayor of Sheffield in May 2006, an exciting time including a visit to Kashmir, an area which benefitted from one of the Lord Mayor’s charities.
“I’m fortunate to have lived in Burngreave since I arrived in Sheffield and I have had the wonderful opportunity of meeting and making friends with people from many different backgrounds and cultures. These people have enriched my life and the life of our great city. I have, and always will, value their friendship and support.”
For many years she has served as Cabinet Member for Children and Families and is also a member of Sheffield’s Health and Wellbeing Board.
What of the future? Well with local elections postponed plans are no doubt changing but Jackie is looking forward to spending more time with her family, particularly her grandchildren and bringing her garden back to its former glory; Jackie intends to learn about beekeeping and to indulge her love of steam trains, with a grand plan to travel on every working steam train line in the country!
We wish her many happy journeys.