We are incredibly proud to share that Jacqueline Stewart, Clean Break’s Head of Participation and Deputy CEO, has been awarded a companionship by Liverpool Insitute of Performing Arts (LIPA).
LIPA awards companionships for outstanding achievement and practical contribution to students' learning. Jacqueline was recognised for her work here at Clean Break, where she has held a role for two decades, joining as Support Manager in 2003, and later moving into the role of Assistant Head of Education on our previous education programme. In 2018, she became Head of Participation on our current Members Programme, taking on the additional role of Interim Deputy CEO in 2022, before being confirmed in the role from July 2023. Jacqueline is a champion for social justice and anti-racism and strives to create new opportunities to enhance women’s life chances.
She was one of nine arts and entertainment luminaries to be awarded at the annual graduation ceremony, and was presented with her award by Sir Paul McCartney, who co-founded the Institute alongside Mark Featherstone-Witty in 1996.
Other recipients of a companionship this year included Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, musician and lead singer of Led Zeppelin Robert Plant, costume designer Jenny Beavan, actor John Godber, West End performer Anna-Jane Casey, singer and former UK Eurovision representative Sonia, playwright and director John Godber, theatre producer Ashley Herman, and lighting designer Tim Routledge.
Each nominee was invited to share some words of advice to LIPA’s graduating students for their lives and careers to come.
Jacqueline said: “I am honoured to receive this companionship award - for my work to be given such recognition is truly humbling. I am so proud of this opportunity to be here today on behalf of Clean Break.
I love my job, every day brings new challenges and joy, some days more challenges than joy, some days we have to pretend there is joy. At Clean Break we use the power of the arts to create and advocate. We aim to change the narrative about women in the criminal justice system; by telling authentic compelling stories, we hope to change hearts and minds. Graduates, now you will be on your own journeys to find a role you are passionate about.
My message to you graduates is simple: be kind. Kindness is underestimated. It takes courage and humility to give and receive kindness. Kindness means holding boundaries, and that takes strength. Be kind to yourself first and foremost, self-care is so important in this industry.
A good day at work is, in fact, learning. A bad day at work is, in fact, learning. A shockingly tough day at work is you guessed it … learning. Congratulations to each and every one of you and remember: be kind.”
In her capacity as a LIPA Companion, Jacqueline was invited to offer a masterclass for students, which she delivered in May 2023. If you would like to learn more from Jacqueline, she leads our trauma-informed practice training, Leading with Kindness, alongside Clean Break’s Support Manager, Tracey Anderson.
You can also listen to Jacqueline speak further about her anti-racist work at Clean Break in this recorded conversation with Amardeep Kainth, Director of darvaja, on our Knowledge Hub.