My Mum: Gina

We are honoured to share this post from Nicola Thompson; Gina’s daughter.


My mum, Gina, was a happy, generous person with a great sense of humour. She supported many local charities and this carried on throughout her life as a very strong and independent woman. I always remember her as a positive person and to explain her strength I could share a number of examples but one that stays in my mind is the following:

My parents had a green grocers and florist shop in Yorkshire and she used to make flowers arrangements for weddings, funerals and other celebrations. One Christmas she had several holly wreaths ordered and these could not be made until the middle-late December. It was about this time that she became ill and the illness was such that she had to take to her bed, which in our family was almost unheard of, as she was the person who ran the home.

To ensure that all the orders were met she decided to make the wreaths while she was in bed. To me, this highlighted her strength and determination not to let her customers down.

She never complained but stayed positive throughout her life and always had a smile for everyone.

I always remember her strong work ethic and the need she had to make things work. She moved area and home several times throughout her life. My dad was a man who liked to try different things and by doing this it involved them moving home. Allegedly in her first year of life with my dad she moved at least fifteen times and even when she had her family the moves continued although not as regularly. Every time we packed to move to another home she would state that this was not her favourite task but she carried on relentlessly and remained positive.

It must have been hard but she made several friends in the places she lived and many of these remained in touch with her when she moved again. Yet another testament to her ability to make the best of whatever life had to offer.

Later in their life my dad went into various businesses and she worked alongside him. That’s not the easiest of things to do as working alongside your partner can be very testing. I am sure it was my mum’s patience and determination which enabled the partnership to work.

What did Grow, Inspire, Nurture and Achieve mean to my mum and what does it to me?

To grow was literal to my mum; it involved maturing as a person in both age and development. She saw her family grow and in turn her children and grandchildren.

When she got older she loved to watch her garden grow, she spent many hours in her garden and enjoyed the fruits of her work.

I see growth as the things my mum did but I also feel that growth is an evolving circle. Throughout your life you continue to grow emotionally as well as physically. Life experiences add to your development and this involves parenting, school, travel, work and pleasure.

Nurture, to mum, was to care and look after her loved ones and even when she didn’t have the time to support them personally she would offer other kinds of support such as food and financial contributions. When she retired she found joy in being able to look after her grandchildren and help her own children.

I feel that you nurture your children from birth and the act in itself is very fulfilling it also has its rewards because you never stop being proud of your children. This continues with your grandchildren and being able to contribute to their lives is a nurturing experience.

To inspire, for my mum, would be the strength she found to make new things work and the ability to be successful.

I feel that my mum inspired us by her strong work ethic and her positive, pleasant nature. She liked to laugh and enjoyed her life. I feel inspiration is gained from many people and their experiences and achievements can inspire you to give it a try.

Achieve, to my mum, meant the ability to complete whatever you set out to do and the reward was either personal success or financial gain. In other areas it brought her emotional happiness by watching her family achieve academically, personally and emotionally.

I feel achieving is all about what you have done throughout your life; any personal skill, emotional development whether large or small is an achievement in itself. It’s also about how you respond to the experiences and goals you set yourself when they completed and achieved.

What would mum think about GINA?

She would be immensely proud of her granddaughter. I feel that GINA is very powerful without being ‘in your face’ and with mum’s story being put across in a low key way. Gina would appreciate that because she did not like to be made a fuss of she just liked to be left to get on with what she was doing.

I think GINA has been developed in a very sensitive way while being inspirational too. What a lovely legacy from my daughter, Lisa, to her nana and who continues to follow in her nana’s footsteps by carrying out the charitable work.

With another, lovely, strong, generous, happy and determined woman in the family, these assets, inspired by my mum, continue to grow throughout our own family today.

Marie was involved in GINA between March 2014 and March 2015.