The Western Mail
With regards to my past. I make no bones about it. I don't lie about it and I have served my sentence and done my time. My last conviction was in 2008, when I pleaded guilty to allegations for which I was sentenced in 2010. I was not rehabilitated in prison, nice Asian women like me from upper middle class backgrounds and a culture of entitlement are not sympathetic in the eyes of the tabloid media and women in general are demonised when we commit crimes, because we are the anti - woman. We don't fit into society's definition of how we should be or how we ought to behave. My crimes and long dissertations by blameless journalists are all in the public domain. Indeed I wrote a book about my life which doesn't shine a glowing light on my actions. I was a reprehensible, selfish, angry woman, utterly shattered by early life trauma and sexual violence. Fear, anger, addiction and self destruction were the drivers in my life. I pleaded guilty and I dragged my demons into the light and I deal with them, on a daily basis. I live my life informed by what I have done and who I was. Kazuri, the company which I set up as a direct response to my own experiences, post prison was established in 2010 to provide sustainable housing for women ex offenders or those leaving domestic violence. I do not handle the finances of the company, all our financial controls are transparent and available on the website. My rehabilitation is my daily life and how I treat others and the tangible difference I know our company makes to the lives of dozens of women.
I do not wish to run this project. We have an impressive team in south Wales. I am the ideas and blue sky thinking person on the team. On board are the best specialists in regeneration, fundraising, social investment and construction working on this project.
The issue appears to be some confusion about an employer engagement event at Cardiff castle. The matter has not been handled by me, but delegated to a member of our team in south Wales. However I take full responsibility. She has been in contact with the castle directly, NOT Cardiff council. We were not aware until today that Cardiff City Council had anything to do with bookings for the castle so the press spokesman is entirely correct, he knows nothing about the booking. I have shown the emails from my colleague and replayed a phone message to the journalist who wrote the article confirming such a booking exists. This will be raised as a separate complaint to Cardiff City Council about their press policy and dissemination of inaccurate information. Of course, we have a digital trail of emails and correspondence.
However I find it confusing why, when we are working closely with various ethical investors to bring £5m of social investment to Cardiff's most deprived communities that third sector agencies, especially those in the women's sector and Cardiff Third Sector Council in particular have tried so hard to undermine what we are doing. Our project is an anti-housing association model, it takes away the dependency culture inflicted on vulnerable and excluded communities through top heavy commissioning and replaces it with local solutions, from the inside out. The program is to regenerate communities by refurbishing empty properties and employing women ex offenders, care leavers and those who have survived trauma and violence to gain an accredited qualification in construction and property maintenance. Personal renewal is mirrored by community regeneration.
Coming Home Cardiff Ltd.