Friday, February 23, 2007


Dagenham, Kent: Linda Jennings

When Linda Jennings’s son was 10, he was attacked on his way home from school. After phoning the police for two weeks, she eventually managed to persuade them to take action. But all they did was talk to her son’s attacker.
Linda, 44, says: ‘It’s a shame that when your kids go out they’re faced with the constant worry of intimidation.
'I’m joining Mums’ Army and intend to stand in the local elections this May because we need more policing. We must work with young people to reclaim a decent quality of life for all.’
Linda Jennings,
Dagenham, Greater London


Mums' Army: Local Elections 2007

It’s not long until Thursday 3 May, when Take a Break readers will have the chance to stand for their local council as candidates for Mums’ Army.
We are determined to give them our support. We hope you will give them your votes.
Last year Mums’ Army put up a creditable performance in the local elections, with two of our candidates polling more than their Conservative rivals.
And this May we believe we can make an even bigger impact by providing a political platform for women across the nation. This is an important opportunity to make your voice heard.
Here are the first three confirmed candidates…

Steph Diamond
Cullompton, Devon
‘My community is very frustrated. The police are trying hard to tackle antisocial behaviour but the system is stopping them. I hope that the people who are frightened will speak out through their vote on 3 May.’
Tel: 01884 840059

Beverley Warren
Blackpool, Lancashire
‘I feel sure that I can make a difference because most people in my ward now know me and recognise what I stand for. We will make an impact on 3 May.’
Tel: 01253 692025

Linda Martin
Shoeburyness, Essex
‘Since I stood in last year’s elections, the antisocial behaviour here has got worse. People in my community have seen why Mums’ Army is so important and we’ve proved we’re not a whim. I want to be a candidate again - things have to change.’
Tel: 07778 524966

Contact us for more information if you would like to stand as a Mums’ Army candidate in the local elections on 3 May.


Scarborough, North Yorkshire: Mandi Marshall

Mandi Marshall and five other mothers in her community have joined together to form a branch of Mums’ Army in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
Mandi, 36, phoned the Mums’ Army Hotline to say: ‘We have a problem with antisocial behaviour and when anyone tries to stand against it, they are abused and their windows are smashed. It has to stop.
‘When people have the strength and courage to go to the police, the criminal system lets them down. Everybody deserves a fair trial and a second chance, but offenders are being allowed to constantly re-offend.
‘We want to make our community safe for our children.’
Mandi Marshall,
Scarborough, North Yorkshire


Oldham, Greater Manchester: Emma O'Toole

Forced out of their home by yobs, Emma O'Toole had to flee with her four-year-old son, Connor. Then Emma’s promises to return there in time for his fifth birthday were shattered when they received a call to say their house had been set on fire.
Emma, 24, explains: ‘We’re lucky we weren’t at home — the whole of the downstairs was gutted. The police realise local youths are responsible yet I know they’ll get away with it.
‘Connor has learning difficulties but he understands what’s happened. He has nightmares about the fire and worries that burglars are coming to get him. Something must be done so our children can feel safe in their own homes.’
Emma O'Toole,
Oldham, Greater Manchester

Monday, February 12, 2007


Northwest Germany: Nikki Irons

As an Army wife, Nikki Irons and her family live on a protected base in northwest Germany.
But when her 15-year-old neighbour was pinned to the ground outside his home and had a bottle pushed in his face, she contacted Mums’ Army for help.
Mother-of-three, Nikki, 30, says: ‘After spending six hours in surgery, the poor boy lost his eye and the police let his teenage attacker go free.
‘Our home was burgled by a 14-year-old boy who'd committed previous offences but he also walked away unpunished.
'Bad behaviour isn’t just confined to Britain. Here in Germany they are also letting young people get away with it and it has to stop.’
Nikki Irons,
Northwest Germany


Leeds, West Yorkshire; Angela Gardener

Every day for two years Angela Gardener and her two daughters endured racial abuse from their neighbours. Now that it is over she is determined to help others through Mums’ Army.
Angela, 29, says: ‘My children were afraid to come home from school or play outside and we were kept awake at night. The police and housing association did nothing.
'The problems got worse and I was so stressed I ended up in hospital. I gained the strength to continue fighting and wrote endless letters to local newspapers, MPs, police and various officials. Eventually, thanks to the housing ombudsman and my children’s school, we were moved.
‘I want people to know that if you put up a fight you can change things.’
Angela Gardener,
Leeds, West Yorkshire


South Kelsey, Lincolnshire: Sara Bailey

Sara’s teenage son suffered from years of bullying until the day he came home and told her: ‘If I go to school tomorrow, I won’t come back. They’re going to bring a gun and use it on me.’
Single mum Sara, 41, explains: ‘The school wouldn’t take action, so I did. It was the last straw. I took my son out of school and taught him at home. 'He’s now 17 and has passed his exams at the local college. With first-hand experience of the damage bullying and antisocial behaviour can cause, I'm joining Mums’ Army to provide a voice for families in similar situations.’
Sara Bailey,
South Kelsey, Lincolnshire


Gosport, Hampshire: Lisa Wise

When Lisa approached a group of young people who were swearing loudly outside her front door, she was surprised at their reaction. They apologised and walked quietly away.
Lisa, 42, says: ‘All isn’t lost with the youth of today. We must provide positive role models and pressure authorities into creating opportunities so that youngsters can have somewhere to go and something to do.’
Lisa Wise,
Gosport, Hampshire
Tel: 02392 524866

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