#WomenBehind18Keys: Pen Cherry

Pen Cherry is a former British Airways cabin crew member, a trained close protection officer and a volunteer for Great Ormond Street Hospital. She is a member of the 18 Keys campaign committee.

Can you share a bit about your background?

I’ve got quite a few strings to my bow. My original job was as long haul cabin crew for British Airways, and I am also a trained close protection officer, so I do a bit of bodyguarding. In my role at British Airways I met lots of people from other cultures, religions, people at their best and their worst; and it makes you very non-judgmental and it opens the world up rather than closes the world down.

Why are you supporting the 18 Keys Project? 

For me, it was really about the interest in the women on the committee doing something for women experiencing homelessness. I think 18 Keys isn’t about providing a quick fix, but helping women get properly back on their feet.

What does having a home mean to you?

Security, I would say. It is a place to just be, and a safe place that you can call your own. 

What is your favourite room at home?

It is the kitchen. Dogs and children and kitchen and cooking would be a favourite place together, but equally, I find it easy to make another place, another kitchen in another house, equally homey.

What sort of feelings come to mind when you’ve had a difficult day, when you come home and you can shut the door behind you?

Secure. Safe. In a weird way, freedom. Sort of free. Happy

The 18 Keys project will come to life in a redeveloped property owned and managed by The Connection at St Martin’s. 

Our goal is to raise £2.3m. Your support will help pay for the redevelopment, which will include one-to-one therapy rooms, studio apartments, emergency bed spaces and a new communal area.

You can make a one-off donation, or set up a regular donation. Donate here.

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