Southampton grandmother up for inspirational award after setting up children's lunch club

Daily Echo: Trixie Neilson with youngsters from the children's club Trixie Neilson with youngsters from the children's club

SHE IS a down-to-earth grandmother of five who has fought tirelessly to improve the lives of people on her Southampton estate for more than 20 years.

Now Trixie Neilson from Thornhill is celebrating after reaching the final six of a national campaign to find Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2012.

And the 67-year-old unsung hero has been praised by leading female entrepreneurs including Jo Fairley, the founder of Green & Black’s chocolate.

She now has the chance of winning £10,000 to start up her own social enterprise along with a chance to be mentored by the chocolate guru.

Trixie told the Daily Echo: “It is such an honour to have been considered and I am overwhelmed.

“You don’t think anything like this happens to ordinary people like me.”

The mum-of-four, who lives in Hinkler Road, made the shortlist after launching a lunch club in Thornhill during the school holidays to ensure children are fed.

Many children get free school meals during term time, but their families find themselves struggling during the holidays.

The sessions, which were launched 18 months ago and now feed more than 40 children, are run from St Christopher’s Church every Monday during the holidays between 12pm and 2pm.

The children, aged from toddlers to 15-year-olds, go to the sessions with their parents and are offered sandwiches, cakes, fruit and a drink.
They also get the chance to take part in a variety of activities, from cake decorating to discos.

Trixie, who is on the board of directors for Plus You Ltd, was the former chairman of the Thornhill Community Association and is involved in Thornhill

Community Voices, said: “I am passionate about helping my local community and supporting children and their families in any way I can.

“The cost of living has gone up and we want kids to eat and enjoy themselves because so many people are struggling.

“My dream is for it to get bigger and for it to be rolled out across the city in each housing estate.”

She added: “I’m just pleased to see kids getting something to eat and that they are happy and playing and their parents are happy.”

Sheryl Franklin-Worth, corporate affairs manager at Amway UK, the global direct selling company which launched the campaign, said: “I have been overwhelmed by some of the inspirational initiatives that have been put forward for this campaign.”

The winner of Amway’s Top Real Role Model 2012 will be announced on February 11.

Comments (19)

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10:58am Fri 4 Jan 13

Just A Voice says...

Well done Trixie, you're a star shining bright in the community and deserve to win, good luck with the Lunch Club I know families appreciate your hard work.
Well done Trixie, you're a star shining bright in the community and deserve to win, good luck with the Lunch Club I know families appreciate your hard work. Just A Voice

11:13am Fri 4 Jan 13

sotonboy84 says...

Families find themselves struggling?!

If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.
Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them. sotonboy84

11:17am Fri 4 Jan 13

Just A Voice says...

sotonboy84 wrote:
Families find themselves struggling?!

If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.
In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments
[quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.[/p][/quote]In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments Just A Voice

11:40am Fri 4 Jan 13

sotonboy84 says...

Just A Voice wrote:
sotonboy84 wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.
In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments
I don't consider my comment a stupid comment.

Week in week out there's stories in the news about underprivileged children and struggling parents who are all described as 'unemployed' or 'housewife's' and live on council estates.

These people have not been made redundant and suddenly find themselves in difficult circumstances as they've never had a job to lose! Just sponged off the state all their lives and find it unfair that they might have to cut back on their cigarettes and latest smart phones during the school holidays to feed their children instead.

That's my view and I'm sticking to it.
[quote][p][bold]Just A Voice[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.[/p][/quote]In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments[/p][/quote]I don't consider my comment a stupid comment. Week in week out there's stories in the news about underprivileged children and struggling parents who are all described as 'unemployed' or 'housewife's' and live on council estates. These people have not been made redundant and suddenly find themselves in difficult circumstances as they've never had a job to lose! Just sponged off the state all their lives and find it unfair that they might have to cut back on their cigarettes and latest smart phones during the school holidays to feed their children instead. That's my view and I'm sticking to it. sotonboy84

12:07pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Subject48 says...

Hear hear sotonboy84. Short of genocide, the solution to the problem would be long term.

For the time being, seeing as the kids themselves are innocent (they do not have a choice where they are born)

Well done to this lady for trying to make a difference to the kids who have more often than not, been cursed with poor excuse for parents.
Hear hear sotonboy84. Short of genocide, the solution to the problem would be long term. For the time being, seeing as the kids themselves are innocent (they do not have a choice where they are born) Well done to this lady for trying to make a difference to the kids who have more often than not, been cursed with poor excuse for parents. Subject48

12:10pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Just A Voice says...

sotonboy84 wrote:
Just A Voice wrote:
sotonboy84 wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.
In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments
I don't consider my comment a stupid comment.

Week in week out there's stories in the news about underprivileged children and struggling parents who are all described as 'unemployed' or 'housewife's' and live on council estates.

These people have not been made redundant and suddenly find themselves in difficult circumstances as they've never had a job to lose! Just sponged off the state all their lives and find it unfair that they might have to cut back on their cigarettes and latest smart phones during the school holidays to feed their children instead.

That's my view and I'm sticking to it.
I suppose ignorance is bliss, for your information, 53% of children defined by Government as living in poverty actually have both parents working (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) in low income jobs, many people living in poverty do not live on council estates, poverty doesn't discriminate just because of where you live, another fact for you, people who are working and living in private rented accommodation are more likely to be living in poverty than council tenants, that of course includes fuel poverty.

I know people who have accessed this project that have been made redundant (without payment), children who's parent work but on low income do not qualify for free schools meal and therefore more likely to struggle.

The report is about a lady who has identified a need and instead of sitting backside doing nothing she is helping other less fortunate, its not about people employed or unemployed, she should commended for what she's doing.
[quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Just A Voice[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.[/p][/quote]In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments[/p][/quote]I don't consider my comment a stupid comment. Week in week out there's stories in the news about underprivileged children and struggling parents who are all described as 'unemployed' or 'housewife's' and live on council estates. These people have not been made redundant and suddenly find themselves in difficult circumstances as they've never had a job to lose! Just sponged off the state all their lives and find it unfair that they might have to cut back on their cigarettes and latest smart phones during the school holidays to feed their children instead. That's my view and I'm sticking to it.[/p][/quote]I suppose ignorance is bliss, for your information, 53% of children defined by Government as living in poverty actually have both parents working (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) in low income jobs, many people living in poverty do not live on council estates, poverty doesn't discriminate just because of where you live, another fact for you, people who are working and living in private rented accommodation are more likely to be living in poverty than council tenants, that of course includes fuel poverty. I know people who have accessed this project that have been made redundant (without payment), children who's parent work but on low income do not qualify for free schools meal and therefore more likely to struggle. The report is about a lady who has identified a need and instead of sitting backside doing nothing she is helping other less fortunate, its not about people employed or unemployed, she should commended for what she's doing. Just A Voice

12:13pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Just A Voice says...

Subject48 wrote:
Hear hear sotonboy84. Short of genocide, the solution to the problem would be long term.

For the time being, seeing as the kids themselves are innocent (they do not have a choice where they are born)

Well done to this lady for trying to make a difference to the kids who have more often than not, been cursed with poor excuse for parents.
Hear Hear Subject48, she is doing a great job as are the other volunteers who help her
[quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: Hear hear sotonboy84. Short of genocide, the solution to the problem would be long term. For the time being, seeing as the kids themselves are innocent (they do not have a choice where they are born) Well done to this lady for trying to make a difference to the kids who have more often than not, been cursed with poor excuse for parents.[/p][/quote]Hear Hear Subject48, she is doing a great job as are the other volunteers who help her Just A Voice

12:28pm Fri 4 Jan 13

sotonboy84 says...

Subject48 wrote:
Hear hear sotonboy84. Short of genocide, the solution to the problem would be long term. For the time being, seeing as the kids themselves are innocent (they do not have a choice where they are born) Well done to this lady for trying to make a difference to the kids who have more often than not, been cursed with poor excuse for parents.
Completely agree.

It's not the children's fault at all, because as you say, they do not have a choice where they are born.

But, the parents have a choice whether to have children or not. And of course there are many people that are unfortunate and lose their jobs and find themselves in difficult circumstances for which I have sympathy for but it is a well-known fact that it is far too easy in the UK to live a comfortable life without ever having done a day's work. These same people then go on to have children as they know they'll be entitled to even more benefits and will also push them to the top of the waiting list for a property.

And as these people are only used to taking from society and never giving, they turn themselves into complete victims and start complaining at the idea of benefit reforms or such like or in this case, being a parent and feeding their children a lunch each day they're not at school receiving their free lunch. I suppose I could start some sort of charity to raise money to cover the extra electricity and gas that these children will also require during the school holidays...

And for anybody that fits the above description, before you get too excited, I'm being facetious.
[quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: Hear hear sotonboy84. Short of genocide, the solution to the problem would be long term. For the time being, seeing as the kids themselves are innocent (they do not have a choice where they are born) Well done to this lady for trying to make a difference to the kids who have more often than not, been cursed with poor excuse for parents.[/p][/quote]Completely agree. It's not the children's fault at all, because as you say, they do not have a choice where they are born. But, the parents have a choice whether to have children or not. And of course there are many people that are unfortunate and lose their jobs and find themselves in difficult circumstances for which I have sympathy for but it is a well-known fact that it is far too easy in the UK to live a comfortable life without ever having done a day's work. These same people then go on to have children as they know they'll be entitled to even more benefits and will also push them to the top of the waiting list for a property. And as these people are only used to taking from society and never giving, they turn themselves into complete victims and start complaining at the idea of benefit reforms or such like or in this case, being a parent and feeding their children a lunch each day they're not at school receiving their free lunch. I suppose I could start some sort of charity to raise money to cover the extra electricity and gas that these children will also require during the school holidays... And for anybody that fits the above description, before you get too excited, I'm being facetious. sotonboy84

12:30pm Fri 4 Jan 13

kingnotail says...

sotonboy84 wrote:
Just A Voice wrote:
sotonboy84 wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.
In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments
I don't consider my comment a stupid comment.

Week in week out there's stories in the news about underprivileged children and struggling parents who are all described as 'unemployed' or 'housewife's' and live on council estates.

These people have not been made redundant and suddenly find themselves in difficult circumstances as they've never had a job to lose! Just sponged off the state all their lives and find it unfair that they might have to cut back on their cigarettes and latest smart phones during the school holidays to feed their children instead.

That's my view and I'm sticking to it.
How do you know the situation of every single person on the estate? Put down your copy of the Daily Mail for 5 minutes.
[quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Just A Voice[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.[/p][/quote]In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments[/p][/quote]I don't consider my comment a stupid comment. Week in week out there's stories in the news about underprivileged children and struggling parents who are all described as 'unemployed' or 'housewife's' and live on council estates. These people have not been made redundant and suddenly find themselves in difficult circumstances as they've never had a job to lose! Just sponged off the state all their lives and find it unfair that they might have to cut back on their cigarettes and latest smart phones during the school holidays to feed their children instead. That's my view and I'm sticking to it.[/p][/quote]How do you know the situation of every single person on the estate? Put down your copy of the Daily Mail for 5 minutes. kingnotail

12:32pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Yorkyboy22 says...

Just A Voice wrote:
sotonboy84 wrote:
Just A Voice wrote:
sotonboy84 wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.
In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments
I don't consider my comment a stupid comment. Week in week out there's stories in the news about underprivileged children and struggling parents who are all described as 'unemployed' or 'housewife's' and live on council estates. These people have not been made redundant and suddenly find themselves in difficult circumstances as they've never had a job to lose! Just sponged off the state all their lives and find it unfair that they might have to cut back on their cigarettes and latest smart phones during the school holidays to feed their children instead. That's my view and I'm sticking to it.
I suppose ignorance is bliss, for your information, 53% of children defined by Government as living in poverty actually have both parents working (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) in low income jobs, many people living in poverty do not live on council estates, poverty doesn't discriminate just because of where you live, another fact for you, people who are working and living in private rented accommodation are more likely to be living in poverty than council tenants, that of course includes fuel poverty. I know people who have accessed this project that have been made redundant (without payment), children who's parent work but on low income do not qualify for free schools meal and therefore more likely to struggle. The report is about a lady who has identified a need and instead of sitting backside doing nothing she is helping other less fortunate, its not about people employed or unemployed, she should commended for what she's doing.
Well said 'Just A Voice'.

I thought the Daily Mail online site must have crashed for a minute and they were migrating to The Echo!
[quote][p][bold]Just A Voice[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Just A Voice[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.[/p][/quote]In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments[/p][/quote]I don't consider my comment a stupid comment. Week in week out there's stories in the news about underprivileged children and struggling parents who are all described as 'unemployed' or 'housewife's' and live on council estates. These people have not been made redundant and suddenly find themselves in difficult circumstances as they've never had a job to lose! Just sponged off the state all their lives and find it unfair that they might have to cut back on their cigarettes and latest smart phones during the school holidays to feed their children instead. That's my view and I'm sticking to it.[/p][/quote]I suppose ignorance is bliss, for your information, 53% of children defined by Government as living in poverty actually have both parents working (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) in low income jobs, many people living in poverty do not live on council estates, poverty doesn't discriminate just because of where you live, another fact for you, people who are working and living in private rented accommodation are more likely to be living in poverty than council tenants, that of course includes fuel poverty. I know people who have accessed this project that have been made redundant (without payment), children who's parent work but on low income do not qualify for free schools meal and therefore more likely to struggle. The report is about a lady who has identified a need and instead of sitting backside doing nothing she is helping other less fortunate, its not about people employed or unemployed, she should commended for what she's doing.[/p][/quote]Well said 'Just A Voice'. I thought the Daily Mail online site must have crashed for a minute and they were migrating to The Echo! Yorkyboy22

12:44pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Just A Voice says...

Yorkyboy22 wrote:
Just A Voice wrote:
sotonboy84 wrote:
Just A Voice wrote:
sotonboy84 wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.
In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments
I don't consider my comment a stupid comment. Week in week out there's stories in the news about underprivileged children and struggling parents who are all described as 'unemployed' or 'housewife's' and live on council estates. These people have not been made redundant and suddenly find themselves in difficult circumstances as they've never had a job to lose! Just sponged off the state all their lives and find it unfair that they might have to cut back on their cigarettes and latest smart phones during the school holidays to feed their children instead. That's my view and I'm sticking to it.
I suppose ignorance is bliss, for your information, 53% of children defined by Government as living in poverty actually have both parents working (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) in low income jobs, many people living in poverty do not live on council estates, poverty doesn't discriminate just because of where you live, another fact for you, people who are working and living in private rented accommodation are more likely to be living in poverty than council tenants, that of course includes fuel poverty. I know people who have accessed this project that have been made redundant (without payment), children who's parent work but on low income do not qualify for free schools meal and therefore more likely to struggle. The report is about a lady who has identified a need and instead of sitting backside doing nothing she is helping other less fortunate, its not about people employed or unemployed, she should commended for what she's doing.
Well said 'Just A Voice'.

I thought the Daily Mail online site must have crashed for a minute and they were migrating to The Echo!
Just giving the facts to a disgruntled Daily Fail reader.
[quote][p][bold]Yorkyboy22[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Just A Voice[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Just A Voice[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sotonboy84[/bold] wrote: Families find themselves struggling?! If you can't afford to have children, then don't have them.[/p][/quote]In the current climate of people being made redundant left right & centre some people who when they had children were working and could afford to have children are not working now therefore on benefit which means they struggle, maybe you should consider those people before making stupid comments[/p][/quote]I don't consider my comment a stupid comment. Week in week out there's stories in the news about underprivileged children and struggling parents who are all described as 'unemployed' or 'housewife's' and live on council estates. These people have not been made redundant and suddenly find themselves in difficult circumstances as they've never had a job to lose! Just sponged off the state all their lives and find it unfair that they might have to cut back on their cigarettes and latest smart phones during the school holidays to feed their children instead. That's my view and I'm sticking to it.[/p][/quote]I suppose ignorance is bliss, for your information, 53% of children defined by Government as living in poverty actually have both parents working (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) in low income jobs, many people living in poverty do not live on council estates, poverty doesn't discriminate just because of where you live, another fact for you, people who are working and living in private rented accommodation are more likely to be living in poverty than council tenants, that of course includes fuel poverty. I know people who have accessed this project that have been made redundant (without payment), children who's parent work but on low income do not qualify for free schools meal and therefore more likely to struggle. The report is about a lady who has identified a need and instead of sitting backside doing nothing she is helping other less fortunate, its not about people employed or unemployed, she should commended for what she's doing.[/p][/quote]Well said 'Just A Voice'. I thought the Daily Mail online site must have crashed for a minute and they were migrating to The Echo![/p][/quote]Just giving the facts to a disgruntled Daily Fail reader. Just A Voice

1:05pm Fri 4 Jan 13

southy says...

Well done Trix still keeping your self busy.
Well done Trix still keeping your self busy. southy

1:52pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Lockssmart says...

Some good news at last. Well done.
Some good news at last. Well done. Lockssmart

2:13pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Subject48 says...

Let’s put it this way.

I don’t want my children to live in obscurity or mediocrity and have to deal with same problems I do.

I can’t understand who in their right mind would.

Won’t have children until such time as when I can ensure my child will have an amazing future.
Let’s put it this way. I don’t want my children to live in obscurity or mediocrity and have to deal with same problems I do. I can’t understand who in their right mind would. Won’t have children until such time as when I can ensure my child will have an amazing future. Subject48

3:07pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Lone Ranger. says...

Subject48 wrote:
Let’s put it this way.

I don’t want my children to live in obscurity or mediocrity and have to deal with same problems I do.

I can’t understand who in their right mind would.

Won’t have children until such time as when I can ensure my child will have an amazing future.
You obviously wont be having children then.
.
I cant see how you or anyone can "guarantee" an "amazing future".
[quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: Let’s put it this way. I don’t want my children to live in obscurity or mediocrity and have to deal with same problems I do. I can’t understand who in their right mind would. Won’t have children until such time as when I can ensure my child will have an amazing future.[/p][/quote]You obviously wont be having children then. . I cant see how you or anyone can "guarantee" an "amazing future". Lone Ranger.

3:23pm Fri 4 Jan 13

elvisimo says...

Well done.

Ignore the narrow minded and ill informed and. Keep doing what you are doing
Well done. Ignore the narrow minded and ill informed and. Keep doing what you are doing elvisimo

3:34pm Fri 4 Jan 13

sarfhamton says...

A real good story about someone who has decided to do something for her community.

Easy to come on here and be negative.
A real good story about someone who has decided to do something for her community. Easy to come on here and be negative. sarfhamton

7:46pm Fri 4 Jan 13

chflad says...

One of the rare people who tirelessly gives theit time, resources and energy to build a better community and help others. A genuinely inspirational person who is fully deserving of this nomination. Congratulations Trixie.
One of the rare people who tirelessly gives theit time, resources and energy to build a better community and help others. A genuinely inspirational person who is fully deserving of this nomination. Congratulations Trixie. chflad

11:06pm Fri 4 Jan 13

RealTalkSouthampton says...

First of all a massive thank you to trixie. Your an inspiration. Some of the negative comments on here only show how shallow and brainwashed people are. Poverty is a by product of greed!
First of all a massive thank you to trixie. Your an inspiration. Some of the negative comments on here only show how shallow and brainwashed people are. Poverty is a by product of greed! RealTalkSouthampton

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