Humans of the North-East Inner-City Amy

Smiling Amy with brown hair in a ponytail, light green glasses, and a darker green long sleeve top
Amy Cooney is a ELI Parent plus worker, born and raised in NEIC ©Cherise Boraski

‘I genuinely didn’t know what I wanted to do with life when I came outta school. I saw a job opportunity, went to work in retail, done that for a couple of years, ended up not knowing what else to do. I was like, I don’t know what to do. I got a community employment scheme in childcare. Found that I got a grá, a love for childcare. Working in the community créche, I thought, what can I give back to my community that they gave me for, like, so much of my childhood? Even though some of it was awkward and odd, my community really did give me that little bit of saving help, like the clubs, the youth clubs, the bits and the bobs. Fast forward to maybe I’m 26/27, going to a private créche. I hated it. Totally hated it. It was in the same community. It was actually totally different. The love wasn’t there. It was money, money, money. To me, it was a business. Whereas the community was the love, the love, the love. I ended up there and found out I was having me own baby. He’s now 10 this October.

Getting to be a ma changed everything with me. I looked at the area more. How can this area work for me, for my child? I thought about moving down to the country. Would my child be better off in the country, in the suburbs? Would it be better in the city? Thank God I chose the city because I love the city. We are such city people. He, same as me, went to the community Créche; the community Créche taught him so much. What he is today wasn’t only me. It was down to the Créche and the people of this area. This area raised him and raised me as much as anything. Like my community it’s perceived bad. It’s not bad. Everywhere we go is bad. Everywhere we go is good, but just come and judge yourself and don’t listen to anyone else’s judgment because it’s what you make of an area that the area makes of you. Really and truly, like, you have to become part of the community. Get to know your community. Don’t be afraid of your community. And every question you ask your community is not a stupid question. It’s probably a question that somebody wanted to know and was afraid to ask.’