Arriving in Milton Keynes in 1980 from North London for work, Jenni shares her first impressions of a New Town that appeared to be ‘a series of islands, of housing estates with mud around them’, and that life living on the new estates felt very isolated. Isolation was a key issue for many communities and was especially acute for women.
Jenni shares her knowledge of women’s experiences at that time. She shares that for many women, the initial attractive offer of a new house, the opportunity to start a family, waned after women encountered severe obstacles in trying to re-enter the workplace. Jenni relays the kinds of work offered to women at the time were very limited ‒ catering, retail, childcare, nursing, cleaning and office work. But as a result of the city’s lack of infrastructure, services, eateries and a poor transport system, there were additional barriers to work for Milton Keynes’ women: women found themselves unable to secure work, unable to travel and became isolated at home.
Jenni took action to help find ways to improve Milton Keynes’ women’s lives and joined the 'Women and Work' group in 1983.