BLACK COUNTRY WOMEN The legacy lives on ... BE INSPIRED
Author, Teacher, Heroine
Born 4 March 1975
Lisa Potts is a real Midlands and Black Country heroine.
She was born in Wolverhampton and as a child Lisa displayed a very caring attitude to others,
especially children. Her choice in education and eventual career path would always be
influenced by this.
She changed school to take a course in Childcare, had helped her mother with Sunday
School and in her teens had a Saturday job. She did work experience at her Secondary
School and impressed the teacher she supported so well was recommended to take up teaching.
Lisa took the NNEB course and in 1991 became a student nursery nurse. Her outgoing personality
and thirst for life gave her many interests and filled her weeks with work experience,
volunteering, being a Brownie leader and personal fitness.
Lisa was involved with St Luke’s Church through the Church Pastoral Aid Society.
However, nothing could have prepared her for what happened on Monday 8 July 1995 when a ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ for the nursery years children turned into a nightmare experience for the children, teachers and parents who had turned up for the picnic that afternoon.
Lisa and 8 of her group of small children were outside when a man approached the school wielding a large knife. He attacked some of the parents watching their children before running towards Lisa and her charges. She managed to protect the children as they were ushered towards the school building but the madman caught up with them and Lisa was badly cut on her back and hands as she protected the children and risked everything including her life to keep them safe and alive.
Lisa needed 45 stitches on her left hand, 25 on her back and several on her skull where one blow had chipped her skull.
Jock Gallagher (spokesperson for the Wolverhampton NHS) spoke to Lisa 90 minutes after the attack. He said “At the time she was totally and utterly unconcerned with her own injuries. All she wanted to know was how the children were. It was at that point that I knew that we were talking to someone very special. I felt that I was in the company of someone who was genuinely good. She was genuinely fearful for the little ones and it was not until she saw for herself that they were OK that her agitation disappeared.
People don’t realise how savagely hurt she was. She could not lie down in bed and both her arms were damaged. She nearly moved me to tears because she was oblivious to all the pain.
I’ve been a journalist for 40 years but this is the first time I used the word ‘heroine’ and did not think it was an exaggeration.
Many organisations wished to honour Lisa for her bravery and she has received more than 40 awards to date.
The campaign for the ultimate recognition came to fruition in the Birthday Honours List in June 1997 when Lisa was awarded the George Medal on 13 November 1997 at Buckingham Palace.
Lisa had to go through many operations to repair the damage done to her body and further treatments to help her overcome the stress and strain of the memories from that terrible day.
In getting her life back together, Lisa has been involved with other charitable organisations including Oxfam, written two books on her experience and set-up a charitable trust to help young people with low self esteem.
There is no doubt that the World would be a poorer place without Lisa Potts. She is and always will be a ‘true heroine’ and an example of everything that is right and good in the World.
God Bless Lisa Potts.