The Press and Journal
Brought up in Aberdeen’s Torry area during her early years, Kerry experienced a turbulent and poverty-stricken childhood. While celebrating enormous career success, she has never forgotten or shied away from her roots, which is part of why she is passionate about contributing a fortnightly column to renowned local title, The P&J. Kerry’s ability to tap into the reader’s emotions and capture their attention entirely - as though she is pausing time itself until the piece is finished - is her most extraordinary skill. Without fail, nine hundred words pass in a flash when written in her conversational and compelling voice. Her unfailing optimism shines through always, but she is not afraid to broach difficult subjects or open up about the hardest times of her life, whether historic or as they happen. Kerry did just that earlier this year, as fear began to settle in about rapidly rising energy bills, in a column headlined: “Spiralling deprivation crisis is teaching children they don’t matter”. She shares stark, uncomfortable memories of her experiences of growing up poor and cold in 1980s Aberdeen - not for sympathy, but to remind readers that children today are facing a similarly traumatic reality. Her anger is heartbreaking and inspiring, and her call to action clear. Not all commentators practise what they preach, but Kerry is no armchair activist. When Russian troops first invaded Ukraine, she was living in Prague and hosted a refugee, as well as becoming involved with connecting others in need with locals who could help. Writing about the experience in the column “Offering someone shelter from war is the least I can do”, she raised awareness and gave hope in equal measure during a deeply upsetting time for many around the world. Yet more hope was proffered in the piece “Medication for mental illness helped me find myself again – it shouldn’t be demonised”. Expertly written to highlight the unfair discrepancy between society’s views on treatment for physical and mental illness, here Kerry advocates for those struggling and makes them feel less alone, simply via words on the page - a remarkable but by no means uncommon feat for her. The resoundingly positive response to this column on social media at the time of publication underlined just how needed and valuable this kind of beautifully written insight truly is.