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Wendy Henry

I was born in Wales and moved to Manchester aged 21 after going to Goldsmiths Art College in London. After finding a room in a flat in the now-demolished Linbeck Crescent, I began my life in community work as a play leader on Moss Side Adventure Playground, “The Vennie” It was around this time that I started to meet local activists and began to learn more about the issues I had observed to be injustices since growing up as a small and somehow out of place child

in rural Wales.

My earliest memories of working life were listening to the heated discussions of colleagues in Moss Side and Hulme and being deeply impressed by the energy and commitment of people working at the then Family Advice Centre and at Abasindi. These were the days of the riots that spread across the UK and took fire in Moss Side; riots that shone a spotlight on the stark inequalities faced by black people on a day to day basis in 1907s Britain.

My two sons were later born in Hulme and I continued my career in community work in a variety of positions and with various groups of people challenged by injustice. This included working with drug users and sex workers, as a trainer at the Immigration Aid Unit, as an Arts and Regeneration Officer for Manchester City council and then as Coordinator at Moss Side and Hulme Women’s Action Forum. It was a there that I met Louise Da Cocodia “Mrs D,” who was my Manager and the then Chair of MOSHWAF. After over three years at MOSHWAF and much hard

work, I moved on to manage South Manchester Healthy Living Network for Manchester City Council and then spent a year working in Public Health for the Primary Care Trust. In 2007 I moved to Kenya and worked there and in Ethiopia for eight years in a variety of grassroots NGOs dealing with women’s rights. I have decided to finally set up on my own.

As well as being open to freelance facilitation work and doing my own artwork, I am now starting my new project “Red Jasper” as a Tai Chi teacher. I aim to use this martial art as a tool for improving health and well-being and empowerment and dearly hope to soon be working back in the community in this new venture.


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