Inclusion for all
Kay wrote the Council’s new Equality and Inclusion Policy, and every Council decision and project is now checked not just for financial impact but also environmental and equality impact.
Kay used her digital expertise to help lead the effort to install hybrid meeting technology in the Town Hall so that the public could potentially observe some future Council meetings remotely (subject to Council vote) – this would open up our democracy to those who are unable to travel to the Town Hall due to illness/disability, caring responsibilities, or lack of transport.
Kay is as a member of the Cheshire Police External Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (EDEI) Board.
Support for the Vulnerable
Kay worked with charities and groups across Congleton to provide support during the COVID crisis, including having the idea of providing a Christmas Present to people isolated at home in 2020.
Kay has volunteered at vaccine clinics, developed the COVID website and Facebook Group, and is now helping co-ordinate similar support for residents during the cost-of-living crisis, including helping set up Warm Spaces for those who want to save on home heating costs and supporting the Christmas Santa charity collection.
Susan won the Cheshire East Coronavirus Local Heroes Award for supporting vulnerable people in the community during lockdown.
Susan has supported families on Bromley Farm by setting up the Bromley Hub Residents’ Forum which is working with housing providers to improve properties in the area, especially with regard to wellbeing matters such as reduction of damp and mould.
As part of the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Group Kay has lobbied the NHS to provide one of the new Mental Health Hubs in Congleton
Susan works extensively with parents in addition to her ‘day job’ of running Friendly Faces Day Nursery. Her voluntary work includes running a peer support group, a Stay and Play group and a toy and clothes swap for families.
Susan is a national campaigner for improved childcare funding, is the Cheshire representative on the Early Years Equality Campaign and has spoken on national radio (4 and 5 live) about the importance of investing in affordable childcare.
Kay used her management experience to help with the new Council Employer Handbook, embedding flexible working into the standards for Council employees, and to lead a Council decision to join the national campaign lobbying government to provide councillors with childcare. This will support more parents and those on low incomes to stand for local councils.
As a Congleton Pride Trustee, Kay has been a leader in work with both local churches and the Police to improve understanding and community cohesion, and has to helped engage the community with the great work that the Pride team is doing to create a more welcoming Congleton, including the Congleton Pride annual event.
History and Heritage
‘If you can see it, you can be it’ and the fact that women are often forgotten in our history has an impact on girls and women today. Kay was on the team that got the statue of Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy erected in the town centre. Its unveiling was one of the big events of 2022 and got BBC News Coverage.
In addition, Kay has helped remember 4 other women from Congleton’s history by getting new local roads named after them.
Kay is a trustee of Congleton Museum and used her business skills to help develop a new strategy and roadmap for the Museum. This included an exciting new ‘digitisation’ project that Kay is leading, to bring exciting new experiences that will help more people access the Museum’s collections – both into the building and remotely.