Ahead of Mother’s Day, Denise Bloom is encouraging more people to consider following in their parent’s footsteps, after her daughter Jayne did exactly that 18 years ago.
Denise had decided to get a job in rail as a stop-gap with the plan to go back to college to try and gain what she considered much-needed qualifications.
However, Denise fell in love with the railway. So, when her daughter Jayne Collins, from Brighton, found herself at a similar loose end career-wise, Denise suggested she join her.
Jayne, 47, said: “I was working as a tours and promotion assistant for stand-up comedians in London. I really loved it, it felt like I was really living my dream, but it all came crashing down in 2000 when I was made redundant aged 26. I was a bit down and had to start job-hunting. I managed to get a job with the police, but it was an admin job and involved quite a lot of work with domestic abuse cases, which I found quite difficult to handle.”
It was then that mum Denise stepped in and put forward some suitable roles on the railway.
Jayne initially joined the industry with Network Rail when she was 30 years old, moving over to Southern in 2006. She’s tried her hand at various roles and is now a conductor instructor, based at Brighton.
She added: “Having my mum on the other side really helped to give me an insight into life on the railway, there were no surprises when I joined, which is perhaps why I felt quite comfortable from the beginning.”
Denise wants more women to realise the potential of a career in rail.
She added: “I was really pleased when my daughter decided to join me at Southern. There are such a variety of roles available and I don’t think women realise how many opportunities there are for them.”
Although they can bond over their shared career path, due to the nature of their shift work, Denise and Jayne don’t get to see each other as much as they’d like.
Denise said: “It’s difficult to fit in meeting up around our work schedules, but because we both know what our jobs involve – it makes it easier to understand.
"We’ve gone through many Mother’s Days without seeing each other but at least when we’re both working, it’s nice to know we’re not too far from one another on the network.”
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