We invited some special guests for afternoon tea at the M&S Cafe at Glasgow Fort, to say thank you for their amazing hard work and dedication to their community, in honour of International Women's Day 2019. Guests included Maureen Burke (Labour Councillor), Maureen Ferrie (Director of GESH charity), representatives from the Women’s Centre, Karen Ciantar from Barnardos, Allison (Manager of M&) and Lorna (Manager of Boots). You can read more about Maureen Burke and her acheivements below...
What does your job involve?
My job role has various responsibilities which involves attending a number of committees across the council family I also chair the Seven Lochs Board which is across 2 Authorities. I hold surgeries every Monday evening across the Ward which covers several areas in the North East. We as councillors also attend community Councils which I have four and are held every 4 weeks and vary in numbers across the city.
Deal with constituents enquiries which come through in various ways i.e. Surgeries, email, or telephone on some occasions house visits if requested, these enquiries require councillors to contact various council departments and outside bodies to advocate on constituents behalf.
What motivates you?
The main reason that motivated me to become a Councillor is growing up in an area that at the time had very little amenities and was classed as an area of deprivation and seeing families struggle from one week to the next. I had a very happy upbringing living in Easterhouse but financially my parents struggled, and both had long stays in hospital with TB which added to their financial struggle. As I got older I got into politics to try and make a difference in ways that would enhance people’s lives through better housing, better schools for our children, more opportunities for further education and better local health facilities.
How do you motivate others?
As a child going through primary and secondary school my biggest issue was lack of confidence I would never put myself forward or raise my hand in class for fear of looking silly. At the age of 39 I went into further education at John Wheatley college this turned my life around it opened up new opportunities for me and gave me the confidence to make a career move which then led me into my current role as a councillor. This role has given me the platform to encourage and motivate young people to believe in them themselves and have the confidence to be what they want to be.
Tell us about your community involvement
I have been a parishioner of my local church for over forty years and have held many roles within this time. My husband and I ran the youth club for a number of years we also helped with the summer play scheme that took place every year and I help out with the Social and fundraising committee. In my role as councillor I attend various community councils. I am a member of the local Gym and swim at my local swimming pool at the Bridge
Who are the inspirational women in your life?
There are many women who have inspired me over the years Mary Barbour being one of them. Mary was a housewife and mother of two children who fought for people’s rights and ran a campaign in 1915 to oppose 18 evictions by marching to the Sherriff Court in Glasgow with a reported crowd of 20,000 and had the evictions reversed. She carried on her fight for social Justice after the death of her 10 month old son and helped to increase child clinic provision. Mary died at the age of 85 with a legacy of fighting for social justice to better people’s lives.