Dr Patricia Jolliffe
Raising educational aspiration and providing students with a transformational experience remains the absolute backbone of LJMU, founded in its revolutionary roots in 1823. Two members of staff who have gone to great efforts to keep students at the forefront of their academic endeavours are Dr Patricia Jolliffe and Helen Collins from Liverpool Business School. Together they played pivotal roles in the establishment of a community-based research project REAP, the Roma Education Aspiration Project.
It was developed with partners in response to an observed need within the growing Roma community of Liverpool; young people and their families not aspiring to further and higher education and remaining in kin groups, often in precarious, low-skilled work.
Patricia says: “I have learned so much from REAP and the Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showmen and Boaters (GTRSB) community and the resilience they show in supporting each other, whilst living with persistent adversity.
“Having experienced personal disadvantage but then gaining my PhD and work experience from Bournemouth, Kingston, Liverpool and for three years at Webster University in Geneva, I know the significance and power of support. I would not be where I am today without key people on my journey helping and believing in me. I want to do the same for the GTRSB community and I am proud to work for LJMU who take their civic responsibility seriously and provide me with the time and resources to enable this.”
“I know the significance and power of support. I would not be where I am today without key people on my journey helping and believing in me. I want to do the same for the GTRSB community and I am proud to work for LJMU who take their civic responsibility seriously and provide me with the time and resources to enable this.”
– Dr Patricia Jolliffe
Both Patricia and Helen continue to play an active role in REAP and wider community support, including hosting education and employability events, alongside students at the business school, to offer opportunities for people from the Roma community to visit the LJMU campus, to discover education routes through the university and to gain practical help such as CV writing.
One highlight to date for Patricia and Helen was in 2022 when HR management student Alexandra graduated. She is believed to be the first person from the Roma community to attend university at LJMU.
She is now one of the role models and mentors in Liverpool’s Roma community with REAP, using her own experience to give others a sense of worth, and conducting outreach research for the university.