“To change the conversation, we have to change who is part of it”

Pride in our area

Lucy Trueman is a Member of the Executive team at People’s Powerhouse and Managing Director of Trueman Change and is the first to answer our ten questions about living and working in the North.

What does being from the North of England mean to you?

When I think of the North of England I think about family, community, grit, strength and pride in our area. I’ve worked all around the country and am always quite fascinated by their perception of Northerners. People have told me they think we’re straightforward, practical and “just get one with it!”. I try to live up to those things!

What’s your connection to the North?

I am a born and bred Northerner, and I’m half Lancashire, half Yorkshire so I feel as though I have a foot in both camps. On my father’s side is a large family with a very strong connection to Yorkshire (my Dad’s second cousin Fred Trueman played cricket there) and I was very close to my Lancashire grandparents. I have a business based in Lancashire although our clients are based around the country. I feel hugely connected to the North as it’s my home, and as much as I love working away, I can’t ever imagine fully relocating away from the North.

What’s your favourite thing about the North and why?

The people! Although I’ve never lived anywhere else so it’s hard to compare, I do feel a strong connection to my community. I enjoy living in a place where I bump into people I know in local shops, and a place where I have a sense of history. I also love the scenery. Where I live in Rossendale the hills are beautiful and I often notice when I travel how flat some other parts of the country are.

Who’s your favourite Northerner and why?

Oh I can’t pick just one! I feel like this is cheating but I want to say Jon Snow from Game of Thrones! He was passionate about doing the right thing, at great cost to himself. He didn’t want to get embroiled in politics or power games, he just wanted to do the right thing for the Northern people, and I feel like this represents being a Northerner for me! Seeing as he is fictional though I would also credit Lemn Sissay, a poet who grew up in care around Manchester and now tirelessly campaigns for young people in care. I feel that he embodies our typical northern resilience and passion for helping others. For a personal one my Grandad. Through his life he was a miner, a milkman and pub landlord. He was a huge animal lover which I inherited. He was an extremely strong but kind man who I will always look up to.

What kind of North do you hope for?

A prosperous strong economical North, where people and families can flourish. We have some massive inequalities of wealth in this country and the North suffers. I also want it us to build more on our sense of community. We have lots of diversity in the North and I’d like us to celebrate that more.

Do you think we need a People’s Powerhouse? Why/ why not?

Absolutely! Although I hope for a strong economical North, it isn’t all about business and money. I feel there is more to do to fully understand the impact of policy on diverse groups of people, and there’s a lot more to do to open up conversation with communities. I am a Change Manager by profession, so I really value the importance of co-design of new policies and ways of working.

It feels as though many of the people in power making decisions are quite removed from the people their decisions affect, and this is where I think the People’s Powerhouse can help.

Which part of the People’s Powerhouse Charter means most to you and why?

For me it’s “A louder voice”, as I think this really is the route to creating more fairness, it’s a channel for greater genuine diversity, and will hopefully build trust and create meaningful change.

Biggest challenge facing the North at the moment?

We currently live in a divided country, and a lot of communities in the North are feeling very disenfranchised about those in power. We are at real risk of creating fractions between communities and people, so I think our most important challenge right now is bringing people together, creating fairness and giving people back their voice.

How are you helping the People’s Powerhouse movement?

I’ve been working with the People’s Powerhouse as a member on their executive team for recent months. My background is Project and Change Management, so my business has been providing some help around planning and applying some project management principles to “getting stuff done!”. I’ve loved supporting the team, as they are so passionate, and we share so many values. I’m really excited to help to grow the movement and really make a difference to our Northern Communities.

Do you feel connected to discussions about plans for the North? Why/ why not?  Is there anything that could improve that for you?

I am starting to feel more connected while working with People’s Powerhouse. Professionally speaking I do get invited to events being a business owner, and our client base are all public sector, so I get to see “behind the scenes” of large local institutions who are implementing policies. I think there’s so much more to do though, and I’m aware that to be around the table due to my work is a privilege not afforded to many.

I often work with our clients to promote wider engagement and co-design of change in public sector, and I will keep up the good work with this! I don’t feel connected to plans on a more strategic, national level though, so there’s a lot more work to be done here, but I’ve every faith that the People’s Powerhouse will make a huge difference!

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Read our latest guest blogs here or search for them by subject on the menu below. We are always looking for guest contributors for our blogs so if you’ve got something to say please email with a brief synopsis of what you’d like to write about and how it relates to our our five pillars of change.

* These blogs are a collection of thoughts and opinions from people living or working in the North. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the People's Powerhouse.




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