I am delighted that Moreton resident Jo Wood has been honoured with an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours. Jo receives her MBE for her services to domestic and sexual violence. More about Jo below:
Born and brought up in Wirral, Jo was 18 when she left in 1979 for work and study. 19 years and countless countries later, she returned to settle here with her 2 children.
Her love of Wirral inspired her to produce a tourism video of Birkenhead, rewarded with a post in the Hamilton Quarter. Together with The Grange Shopping Centre, Jo ran a 2 week “Time” exhibition in the summer of 2000 – showcasing Birkenhead across 100 years and attracting extensive local TV coverage.
Thousands of “I Love Birkenhead” badges and 2 Birkenhead Visitor Guides, the second of which cheekily portrayed a cross river view of the town from Liverpool, achieved a runner up prize in the 2001 Mersey Tourism Awards.
Between running under 18s events, managing 2 children and working full time, Jo was also published extensively locally and nationally – winning the top prize in the first Wirral Writing Competition for her emotive tale of the River Dee. At the same time she was engaged in charity work for a Baby Memorial Garden at Landican.
Achieving the post at RASA in 2004 allowed her to focus on her main passion – violence against women. Already installed as a Wirral Magistrate, Jo’s intense sense of right and wrong and total abhorrence of injustice lead her to expand the service across Merseyside. Working at strategic level, Jo was elected to the Board of Rape Crisis (England & Wales) as Treasurer in 2006. By the end of March 2010, she had increased RASA staffing from 2 to 7 and the funding from £17,500 to £237,000 for the year. In 5 years RASA has achieved Nationwide Award for Excellence in Volunteering, Goldstar endorsement by the Home Office for Volunteering, Merseyside Women’s Group of The Year 2008 and Morgan Foundation Award for Entrepreneurship in Charity Management 2009.
Since 2005 Jo has also been Director and Founder member of Wirral Change – Wirral’s service to help minority residents find training and resources to allow them to access employment. Wirral Change has grown from a staff of 2 in 2005 to the current compliment of 14 with hundreds having found work through the service and many awards given to the organisation at various levels