What's new with Janey
05 October 2006

What an exciting day!

Today I was nominated as ‘Scotswoman of the Year’ I am so very touched to be thought of in this way, how amazing!
I am also off tonight to a film premiere of ‘The History Boys’, which includes a Q&A with Alan Bennett the writer of the movie.
I have copied out the whole article in today’s newspaper, if you feel like you would want to vote and you know me well enough to endorse such a thing, then there is a voting form by link at the bottom.

In the voting form it asks for an address of the nominee, you can leave that bit blank THAT’S IF YOU WANT TO VOTE!

Neither pressure nor coercion I am NOT a politician- it’s entirely your decision!

Here is the article in today’s Evening Times, Glasgow Scotland UK –
By Shelia Hamilton

JANEY GODLEY had kept a secret for most of her lifetime. But when she saw an interview in the Evening Times with a child sexual abuse victim, it gave her the courage to “come out” with her own story in this newspaper.
And when she was told even after 30 years, she could still prosecute the uncle who abused her, she found the confidence to go ahead and see him jailed.
Today, Janey herself is the inspiration for victims of abuse from all over the world.
She has taken her own life by the scruff of the neck and lives it the way she wants it.
By helping herself, she is now helping others who tell her “if you can do it, so can I”.
One message posted recently on her website from a 15-year-old said: “I would like to tell you how much your book has helped me with abuse.
“Your book made me realise I can get through it and I will!”
Janey Godley. What a life – and she’s still only 45.
It’s all in her mesmerising book, Handstands in the Dark, out in paperback this summer.
The girl who grew up in poverty in Shettleston, who did handstands to take her mind off the fact her uncle was sexually abusing her, then married into Glasgow’s gangland has become a star.
Janey might have gone the way of so many of her friends and family in Glasgow’s East End who got sucked into crime and drugs.
But her own drug of choice is laughter. She says if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.
She’s feisty, intelligent and sharper than any tack you’ve ever stood on.
If ever there was an inspiration to those in similar circumstances, it’s Janey.
“I’m a great believer in trying to make the best of a bad job,” she says wryly.
She dreamed of a different life, she worked for it and she got it.
Behind the bar at the Weavers Pub in the Calton that she ran with her husband, Sean, she watched as friends and family succumbed to drugs.
Her award winning play, The Point of Yes, written to warn her 20-year-old daughter Ashley off heroin, tells the story of the 80s heroin epidemic.
It enjoyed rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe and is now used throughout Scotland to highlight the dangers of drugs.
She has performed The Point of Yes to housing associations in “problem” areas, to drug forums and to prisoners.
She also runs comedy workshops for 15 – 18-year-olds and drama workshops for ex -addicts, using their own experiences as inspiration.
She is proud of the results she’s had with her work with children from difficult backgrounds teaching them comedy to improve their confidence.
She says: “It’s the most important thing I’ve done.
“It was awesome to see these wee kids getting up and telling jokes and getting a big cheer.
“Some have horrible lives You can tell by looking at them. It’s great to see them gaining in confidence and skills they would never imagine they had.”
She has also influenced social workers and carers which in turn may change how people are treated by the system.
You couldn’t blame Janey had she shut out the world.
But having taken her uncle to court, she has worked unofficially with abused women at court, telling them what to expect and how to explain what had happened to them.
On International Women’s Day 2006, she contributed to a Fighting Violence With Comedy event at the Cafe Royal in London.
In October, she hosts the annual Emma Humphrey’s Memorial Awards ceremony in London which recognises women who work against male violence.
She is irrepressible, but the loud exterior hides a sensitive and caring woman.
Never just accept the world as it is, she tells her daughter. “You don’t have to accept your surroundings.
“You can change things if you want to.”
Janey’s the proof of that.