Jess Phillips is an equalities campaigner, a mom and a community activist and before being elected to Parliament, managed a charity supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence. She lives in Birmingham with her husband Tom, a lift engineer and her 2 young sons. She spent her childhood in Yardley where both her parents were born and raised in the then newly built council estates.
Jess has dedicated her career to improving the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society. Since she began working for a local Women's Aid she has developed new refuges offering a home to women and children fleeing violence, a new sexual exploitation support service for children, a home for victims of human trafficking and schools education programmes to help prevent local kids becoming victims of violence. In her time at the charity the services she has created with her colleagues have supported thousands of women and children and the prevention programme she devised has been delivered to over 5000 children in the West Midlands and many further afield.
Jess got involved in community activism when she and her neighbours fell victim to a series of arson and ASB attacks and she felt she had to take action. Jess held community meetings, created residents associations and found funding for celebrations and events to ensure that her community felt safe again. She worked to make sure all of her 300 odd neighbours had a role and felt involved and worked together to improve things.
In 2013 Jess received one of 5 national Big Lunch Community awards and her street and her action is featured in a huge exhibition at the Eden Project. In recognition of her action in supporting victims and getting communities involved with improving things,Jess was named Birmingham's first Victims Champion. In this role she works across the city to improve services for victims of all types of crime, and creates partnerships and projects to achieve this.
Jess is dedicated to making sure that peoples voices are heard and to getting people involved and inspired to take part. She understands that people just want a decent job, to be able to afford their rent, for their kids to go to a good local school and to be happy, safe and healthy because that's what she wants for her family too.