robin fishwick.jpgROBIN FISHWICK TALKS A BIT ABOUT HIS WORK AND LIFE (photograph by Maria Alzamora)

Robin, can you tell me a bit about yourself?  I was born in Uttoxeter, a small market town in Staffordshire. My family moved to Chesterfield just before my 7th birthday and I came to Leeds in1978 to study Social Policy and Administration at the University. I stuck here ever since. I got involved with the University Folk Society through friends in the late 1980’s where I got to know Matthew McIntyre. He and I were housemates when we were asked to collaborate with Mel Richardson – the late Melvis Paisley- in a production of Beowulf and there I met Sarah Reardon who was playing harp. She was considerably younger than I was and I tried to give her plenty of time to realise her mistake, but she didn’t and 7 years later in 1999 we married. We now have two daughters Rosa (12) and Grace (10) and live in “LILAC” a straw bale co-housing scheme in Bramley, Leeds.

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Written by Rumbi Mapanga

Isaiah 43:1-2

But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end – Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, and your Saviour.

Growing up as a child I never used to fear anything. I thought I was invincible and untouchable. Unlike my peers I believed so much in my family that no matter what happens around me my family especially my mother, father, brothers and sister would always be there for me. I never thought there would ever be a time in my life when I would feel so lonely and abandoned. My family were my anchor and for a long time yes they were to me a safe refuge. I remember a time when I did something stupid and when I called one of my brothers to come to my rescue, he turned up no questions asked despite that I had put myself in that predicament.

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What is your full name Rebekah? Rebekah (Elizabeth) Besford

Can you tell me a bit about yourself? I am married to Steve and have 3 children (2 girls, 1 boy). As a child I always wanted to go to Africa when I grew up – someone had come into school when I was 8 and talked about their experience in Malawi. When I finished school I went to Zimbabwe for a year which was an amazing time and confirmed my childhood dream. I studied nursing at Leeds University with a view of returning to Africa. As a student I was involved in a lot of social justice campaigning including Jubilee 2000 – Jubilee 2000 was an international campaign calling on the governments of the rich nations to cancel the debts of the world’s poorest countries by the year 2000.. When I qualified I went to Mozambique where I spent the next 10 years of my life. I met my husband out there (he had taken a year off work from being a British Airway’s engineer after 9/11). We returned to Leeds in 2010. I now work as a health visitor.

What does your job involve? Health visitors support families with children up to the age they start school.  I am based in south Leeds and have the privilege of meeting families from all around the world. We visit families in their own homes just before they have a baby and then afterwards.  We are there to provide support in whatever way a family needs whilst keeping the healthy development of the child as our focus.

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