Heather Allison

Heather Allison was born in the countryside in Jamaica in 1956 and lived with her grandmother and half brother until, aged 8. she joined her mother, already in the UK. 

Heather was born in the countryside in Jamaica in 1956. After her mother left for England she lived with her grandmother and brother from her mother’s previous marriage. Her blood brother continued living with his father, also in Jamaica. At the age of 8 Heather left with her half brother to join her mother in London.

Heather lived in the same room with her mother in multi-occupational houses in first Tottenham and then Hackney, moving frequently within the same area. Changing boroughs meant that Heather also moved primary schools. As one of the few black girls in her first school, and the only black girl in her class, she was teased for her Caribbean accent and had difficulty making friends.  At the age of 10 or 11 she had a period when she dressed up as Angela Davies and pretended to be an intellectual. She went to a Hackney secondary school and gave birth to her son aged 18. She regrets she did not go back to Jamaica until after her grandmother died at the age of 103. She was just trying to survive.

As a young woman Heather became a British women’s weight lighting champion and is now a lecturer at a London University. She is studying for a Professional Doctorate in the educational and social experiences of lone parents in higher education.

Read Heather’s full spotlight story



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