Profile of Nicola Blackwood
Candidate for Oxford West & Abingdon
Nicola was born in 1979 in Johannesburg but her family returned to Oxford just two months later after her father, a doctor working in Soweto, had angered the Apartheid government by speaking up for the rights of the black community. Nicola was trained as a classical singer at Trinity College of Music from the age of 14 (and home schooled for her GCSE’s and A-Levels in Oxford) before gaining a First in Music at St Anne’s College and an M.Phil. in Musicology from Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
A lifelong Christian, Nicola attends St Aldate’s Church in Oxford with her family, lives in Summertown, is a Governor at her local special school and has just been trained as a Domestic Abuse Champion (helping to identify and support victims of domestic abuse).
Nicola spent part of a gap year volunteering with aid projects in the Middle East which led to a full time role advising the Conservative International Development team – and since then she has volunteered with aid projects in places from Mozambique and Rwanda to Birmingham and Blackpool. Now a full time Parliamentary Candidate fighting in the marginal Liberal Democrat seat of Oxford West & Abingdon, Nicola still works with the Conservative Party Human Rights Group which was set up to find ways for the UK to combat human rights abuses in places like Burma and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nicola is also on the Council of Advisors for ZANE, a charity which seeks to support pensioners in Zimbabwe.
In addition to her Human Rights work, Nicola was one of the original team which set up the Conservative Party Social Action Project. Since its inception in 2007, this project has set up over 100 small-scale, local projects designed to support and empower struggling communities.
The Conservative Christian Fellowship know Nicola well, she became a member in 2005 and took part in the CCF Leadership Course in 2006, and although there are many in public life who believe that this country should be entirely secular, Nicola is not one of them. Her political interests and voluntary activity in humanitarian policy, social justice and strengthening communities are both classically Conservative and classically Christian. Along with many Christians, she is concerned that right to freedom of religion is being undermined without proper understanding of the potential consequences for faith groups or the wider community. In particular, she fears that the voice of Christians and people of other faiths on key issues of conscience is too readily dismissed in public debate.
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