A group of Sarnia leaders is behind The Jean Collective, which is being described as an initiative designed to encourage and inspire women to become more active in local politics.

Helen Cole, the recent winner of Member of the Year at the Outstanding Business Achievement night organized by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, is the primary driver of the initiative.

She says she was motivated to do so when she realized that many women felt they didn’t have enough knowledge and experience to consider elected office.

Helen draws from her own experience in local government as well as the support she received from Jean Macdougall, a mentor and the name behind the initiative.

“Jean’s love and support was my inspiration,” said Helen, who said Macdougall was as a “spark plug” in the Elgin County village of Port Stanley.

“In addition, she was my support during my own political career and I wanted to honour her memory by providing a way for other women to experience similar support,” said Helen.

The Chamber is providing regular meeting space beginning in February 2020.

Those who wish to donate rather than become directly involved are asked to do so through the Sarnia Community Foundation’s “Jean Macdougall Fund,” which has been set up to support women in politics.

The Jean Collective will be formally launched on Monday, January 20 at Petite a la Carte, located at 170 Christina Street North. While there is no cost for the event, registration is required. Click HERE to do so.

There is also a Faceb0ok page for the organization, which can be found HERE.