Councillor Julie Howell, Green Party, Orton Waterville Ward, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. For
Orton Waterville, Orton Brimbles, Orton Goldhay, Orton Northgate, Orton Southgate & Orton Wistow.
With occasional posts from Orton volunteer Nicola Day & parish councillors Alex Airey & Barry Warne.
Saturday, 13 October 2018
Introducing Nicola Day, Orton activist and volunteer
Nicola Day - Orton activist and volunteer
Hello, thanks for coming to find out more about me.
I've recently been elected as Joint Coordinator of the
Peterborough Green Party alongside my colleague and friend Alex Airey.
We've stepped into the rather large shoes of Julie Howell, our previous
coordinator. Julie has historically become our first Green City Councillor and
has handed the baton to us to continue her good work.
Growing up in Orton
I grew up in Orton Goldhay with my mum, dad and brother.
I spent my formative years roller skating around Hinchcliffe, Riseholme
and Brundenell and playing street hockey on St John's playground.
My parents moved to Peterborough when I was 4 months old,
in 1978, just after they had adopted me. My Dad found work with Balfour Beatty
electrifying the railway. I still look in awe at the railway lines whenever I leave and enter the city, and think of how my Dad helped make
this way of travelling to and from Peterborough possible.
Like many families we moved to Peterborough in its first
phase as a 'new town'. My grandmother had seen an advert on television promoting the city and encouraged my parents to move here. They found work
and made the move. They moved from Essex where the housing was expensive and
the work often piecemeal. So they came here to settle and raise us into a
I attended St John's School and then later Bushfield
Community School. I loved growing up in the Ortons. It gave us freedom and
empowerment as children. In the summers we would play rounders on the back
field behind Hinchcliffe (the area which is now Scotenden). We would play foxes
and hounds and hide and seek. The streets were a safe place for us kids to grow
up in and play, unfettered by adult intrusions.
Helping Julie fight fly-tipping in Orton
A career in the arts
At 19, I had my son. I was young, but I was determined to
give him the best chance in life. A year later I enrolled on an A Level Fine
Art course at the Peterborough Regional College. I did this just as 'something
to do'. But after getting a B grade at A Level, I realised that I may have more
potential than I originally thought. I found out about an Access to Higher
Education Course, which I enrolled on and passed. This then led me on to my
degree in Cultural Studies, which I gained through the PRC via the University
At this point, I was so encouraged by the brilliant
lecturers that had given me this chance to gain a degree, that I decided that I
wanted to teach. I wanted to give hope to other children that may not have
thought they are 'good enough' to reach their ambitions.
I was accepted at Cambridge University to
study at PGCE in English and Drama. This was difficult and challenging. I had to wake my small son up at 6am to then cart him off on the
back of a bike to a childminder so I could catch a train to Cambridge. And people like me didn't really go to Cambridge University.
However, I rose to the challenge and after qualifying
started my first teaching job in Peterborough at Hereward Community College. In
my first year at Hereward we got fantastic English results. We were all so
In 2010, I started an amazing job at a local poets' cottage. I began work in the heritage/museum sector developing the education programme at John Clare Cottage, Helpston, Peterborough. I encouraged
many school groups to visit the cottage and worked with pupils who
found it difficult to access the mainstream curriculum. I set up six week
curators courses for pupils to attend to learn how to develop their skills in
the heritage and museums sector. I enjoyed the museum work so much that I found
a job and moved up to Northumberland to work on the Collections and Education
Programme at The Fusiliers Museum at Alnwick Castle. I developed the activity
programme and was responsible for recruiting, training and developing a
volunteer team. After that I worked at Wakefield Museums as Community
Programmes Officer, engaging the local community into Museum and Arts Projects.
Outside St Mary's Church in Orton Waterville village
Becoming a teacher
I returned to Peterborough and am now back teaching
English in local schools, which I am really enjoying. I have supported Green
Parties in different areas up and down the country and can see how Greens can
make a real difference to local communities. I stood as North West
Cambridgeshire Parliamentary Candidate in 2015 and have most recently been
supporting Cllr Julie Howell in Orton, both during and after her election
campaign. I am now one of the Peterborough Green Party Coordinators, a role I feel honoured and humbled to have.
The Green Party really believes that developing
sustainable and connected local communities can make a difference in
peoples lives. It's not
always easy in Peterborough as it has been fragmented to some extent by
townships, and public transport is something we need work on. But I do believe,
that we can work towards these goals of creating
interconnected and supportive communities.
I look forward to keeping you posted about the work that Julie, Alex and I are doing in Orton.
At the parish council bulky waste collection with Julie