Fay Young trained as a newspaper journalist with EMAP in Spalding, Lincolnshire and worked for the Oxford Mail and Times before coming to Scotland with her husband Ray Perman in 1975. Since then – 36 years, 3 sons [plus one grandson!] and an Open University Degree later – she has worked as a freelance writer for newspapers, magazines and public organisations in Scotland.
My career as a journalist has given me the great opportunity to discover that so-called ordinary people are always doing extraordinary things. The cult of celebrity (swallowed so eagerly by much of our media) ignores the rich abnormality of normal people and demeans the incredible triumphs that all of us achieve in our every day lives.
I continue to write for newspapers and magazines on an occasional basis but in recent years my work has involved writing about social and environmental issues for a wide range of public bodies including the old Health Education Board for Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and WWF Scotland. And right now I am enjoying a new direction, working with a creative young company Walking Heads using digital technology to bring hidden stories to a wider audience.
My five years as a non-exec director of the former Edinburgh City Centre Management Company opened my eyes to the importance of public space and led to a place on the steering group of Poetry in St Andrew Square. In spare time I co-ordinate the multicultural voluntary group Leith Open Space, which runs an informal shadow scheme, Opening Doors. In 2009 I helped to found a unique multicultural community group, World Kitchen in Leith and I am proud to be a non-executive director of the bold and imaginative Leith-based community theatre company, ACTive Inquiry.
Somehow it all fits together. My interest in gardens and gardeners goes with a concern that we need to spend less time and money on consuming goods and learn how to get more fun out of making and sharing things. And that is part of a belief that if we look after our environment more sensitively we will help to create a fairer and healthier society where natural resources are more equally spread between all of us. Apart from anything else, in the words of Crispin Tickell, the gentlemanly eco-warrior who persuaded Maggie Thatcher that climate change was something to worry about: “The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.”
All of these interests make their way into the website my sons created for me as a birthday present in 2005. I hope you will enjoy exploring a world of such ideas with me.