Beverley Dowdell, Chairman

My Story:

I was born in Jamaica from a large family. I was the oldest of twelve. The family was always noisey. We had to learn to share. My father was a tailor so we all wore trousers because he could not make dresses. Money was tight so we learned to make things for ourselves and I am still active in arts and crafts, we do arts and crafts at the centre and I teach. Since coming to England I have learned to spin and weave. At Black Heritage we encourage creative traditions and hope to pass on to younger generations. I am a grandmother of three lovely grandchildren.

I came to the UK in 1971 as a fully qualified nurse and I worked at Southampton General Hospital until my retirement. I started as a staff nurse and progressed to be a Services Manager in charge of my own department. I started helping at Black Heritage in 2002 and was voted the Chairman 2004, and with each subsequent Annual General Meeting and I have been voted Chair.