Choose between 1 and 10 people, alive or dead, who you feel are or were positive role models. What are their names? Tell us a bit about them. What do you admire them for? How do they inspire you?
I have spoken about my Nan or Nana as we all called her before in my blog. She was a beautiful person, a typical working class northerner who lived in a terraced council house with her extended family.
Nana Finkle had been married twice, not due to being widowed but divorce which was practically unheard off in those days.
I have vague memories of Grandad but for the majority of my Nana's life she shared a house with her Brother my great uncle Ed, my Uncle Bob and cousin Stephen.
Those were happy times. I would go round to her house on a Saturday, get chips from the chippie and dip them in her piccalilli from the larder. She would then give myself and my eldest Sister her empty light ale bottles to take back to the off license where we would exchange them for pennies which we could of course keep.
I have very little idea of what my nans life was like growing up but I can only imagine it being difficult.
She didn't have a lot of money and Birthday or Christmas gifts were rare, but she had a hell of a lot of unconditional love to give around. I can only remember happy times with Nana, the toffee she made on bonfire night which was her birthday, the funny stories she would share about my Dad as a child. She was an amazing cheerful person regardless of how little she had financially. Even when she fell and broke her hip on a trip to Blackpool then suffered a stroke in her later years she was always smiling. To this day I treasure the carriage clock she gave me as a wedding present as I know how difficult it must have been to fund it.
I was 15 when my younger Sister was born, and by that time my eldest Sister had already left home.
I doted on Susan when she was a baby and spent not only most of my money on her but also my time.
Susan was 3 when I left home and moved 300 miles away so for the majority of her childhood would only see her a few times a year.
I'm sure she wont hate me for saying and she would probably laugh at it, but she could be a bit of a brat!!
Mum openly admitted that Susan was treated differently than myself and my Sister not just in material goods but physically and emotionally.
This is something I'm ashamed to say caused difficulties with my relationship with her later on as I always saw her as the favourite and was just ever so slightly jealous. I did give her a bit of a hard time on occasions.
As Susan got older so did our parents. dad was very ill and I know it was difficult for Susan growing up at times within what could be a stressful household!!
She found school work difficult due to her dyslexia but managed to go to Art college where she was a very talented designer.
Susan is now nearly 30 and has 4 young children including twins. She is a single parent and has nearly finished her second year of a degree in London.
Her children are beautiful, as is she and are a credit to her. Despite their ages she has brought them up to be respectful and as independent as she is.
We lost our dad nearly seven years ago and Mum in March of last year. Susan is far too young to be losing both of her parents. She was very close to Mum and spoke to her daily despite them living at opposite ends of the country. I know she finds the loss difficult and I try to be there for her.
Despite everything Susan remains cheerful and has a can do attitude.
I love the fact that she is obsessed with Disney, knows the words to all the songs, can do the supercalerfragilistic dance and because I love her is why I am going to Eurodisney with her in September!!!
My sister is a superb role model to her children, to me and to others around her. Love you Sis and thank you for being there for me. xx
My third role models are a group of women who have battled, fought and given hope to sufferers worldwide that recovery from eating disorders is possible.
I first came across them several years ago firstly by looking at thinspo sites, then getting onto a pro recovery site called we bite back and the rest is history.
These women are role models not just because of what they have gone through and ultimately achieved, but because of their passion to help and support others. They have inspired me not to give up, to feel good about myself and to speak up and not be silent. Thank you.
They are the Freedom fighters. xx