Cllr Gillian Troughton, CopelandFebruary 2nd, 2014
When I first met Rachel ten years ago, neither of us was actively involved in politics. Rachel wanted to contribute to this area – and volunteered as a church youth worker, school governor and parish councillor. As always, she put in more hours than expected, and brought her creative thinking and willingness to challenge the status quo to these roles – and as a result, she left her mark in each. In 2008/9 she responded to the arrival of the BNP by campaigning with me to prevent them winning seats on Cumbria County Council. With a tiny team of activists, we succeeded in our aim by hand-delivering leaflets on an industrial scale, mobilizing churches and community leaders – and by securing prominent coverage in the local press. In the wake of those elections, she joined the Labour Party – and brought me with her.