Eleanor Rathbone Social Justice Public Lecture Series 2018-19
PSS: A Rebel with a Cause since 1919
Eleanor Rathbone founded the organisation PSS in Liverpool in 1919 – exactly 100 years ago. From its beginning - and driven by the motto ‘A society for any citizen in difficulty’ - the small but mighty organisation took to the social care landscape and aimed to move mountains for the people it knew needed support, no-matter who they were. Committed to securing social justice, PSS founded the first services of their kind across many different disciplines of social care, laying the foundations for what are now widely recognised organisations such as ‘Age UK’, ‘Legal Aid’, ‘The Citizens’ Advice Bureau’, ‘Relate’ and ‘Riverside Housing’. This lecture will examine why such initiatives were, and remain, necessary and celebrates how, in its 100th year, PSS continues to advance its social justice mission by pushing the boundaries of social care and placing the needs of people from all walks of life at its heart. From its inception, PSS has always been a rebel with a gritty and heartfelt cause.
Lesley Dixon has been Chief Executive of PSS since 2009. Previously she was Chief Executive of Leeds University Student Union and before that she held a senior position at Kings College, University of London. In addition to her work at PSS, Lesley is a Trustee of the Liverpool social enterprise ‘The Furniture Resource Centre’ and she has also been a member of the Liverpool Fairness Commission. Lesley is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Leeds. Passionate about social justice and keeping the founding spirit of PSS alive, since her appointment as Chief Executive Lesley has innovated many aspects of its work and structure.