After an adolescence spent in foster homes and children’s homes, a two-year spell of homelessness, and entry into AA at the age of 20, Lisa Cherry studied for a Sociology degree at Goldsmiths, where she developed a lifelong passion for people, society and transformation that has led to her career in social work, education and social inclusion.
"I applied to all sorts of places in a rather random fashion but I knew in my heart that I wanted to do . I visited all the various establishments but I fell in love with Goldsmiths.
My tutor at Goldsmiths was Paul Gilroy and my passion in Sociology was predominately around race, gender and politics so along with Paul Gilroy, tutors like Caroline Ramazanoglu and were deeply important to me in helping me to explore my thinking and develop my own theoretical perspectives. My life experiences influenced me hugely in wanting to make a difference and work with people in distress in a more meaningful way and this led me on a career path in social work, education and social inclusion. What I truly learnt to value and love even more now that I work for myself, is how I can connect the theory with the practice, the personal with the professional, and the excluded with the included. We are all of it; not just some of it or one side of it. We are everything and nothing all at once.
The one thing that I wish I’d known back then as I reflect back 20 years would be that the purpose of it all is to find out what makes your heart sing and your belly burn like fire. Find out what that is and then find a way to make money doing it. I kind of did that by accident but I do wish that someone had told me that when I was younger and I might have been focused in what I was doing and not have taken myself quite so seriously all in one go!”