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Toni Harris

I qualified as a Fashion Designer in 1981 at Salford College where I also became a member of The Society of Industrial Artiste and Designers. Over the following years, I ran a small business designing and making my own garments and selling to various clients in Manchester and further afield. I have been involved in many Fashion shows and Carnival activities within my local community.

In 1991 I qualified as an Adult Education Lecturer of Fashion, teaching basic sewing skills and pattern cutting which I enjoyed immensely because I could pass my knowledge and expertise onto my students from the wider community. I was interviewed in 1991 by Mrs Louise Da Cocodia for a Job as a Census Enumerator which involved collating information for the residents living in the area. During my interview with Louise she invited me to join the Moss Side and Hulme Women’s Action Forum which over the years became the Women’s Forum who were under the umbrella of the old Moss Side and Hulme Task Force.

The Forum was a scheme started by some very strong and forthright Black Women from the local community who had the foresight and knowledge to help promote the self-betterment of Black women and others. I was Deputy Chair for three years and became Chairperson in 1994 until we closed the organisation in 2008. During my time as Chair, the organisation provided the community with many different Educational Services, Advice Sessions and the running of the much-needed Children’s Paradise Nursery. I am retired now but still provides an input into the local Carnival and other community activities.


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