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SBQ Feature - Deanne

March 8th, 2024

Introducing Deanne Heron

Deanne Heron - Seasoned UK Black Queen

– Now, here’s your first lesson. The name Deanne is French, you know, so it is!

Deanne is proud to represent the Jamaican motto: ‘Out of many, one people.’ 

She’s just over six decades years young. Life for her started in Kingston, the capital of the Caribbean Island in the sun, Jamaica. Like many of her generation, she journeyed to ‘The Mother Country’ to join her mother after spending her formative days under the watchful eyes of a loving, caring, hardworking grandma who could also be stern sometimes. When grandma joined the ancestors, Deanne lived with a strict cousin and then her aunty for a while. These matriarchs grounded her in a sense of self and pride as well as her connections to Africa and particularly the Igbo tribe in Nigeria. Closer to home, they also ensured that she understood that Jamaicans were warriors evidenced by Nanny of the Maroon and her brother Cudjoe who fought the British and established Maroon Town.

Ways Ms Deanne made significant contributions to the UK.

Deanne has spent her life working in many roles where she advocates for others. She initially worked in a clerical role for the Inland Revenue and the local authority in different roles. She managed a local authority refuge for homeless women as well as a refuge for ethnically diverse women and children fleeing domestic violence.  Today, Deanne is a qualified Person-Centred Counsellor and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.  She is a qualified trainer and delivered training for people wanting to become counsellors.  She was an unpaid carer to her mother for many years and a foster carer for over twenty, yes, twenty years. She trained other carers on how to care for ethnically diverse young people.

Now, that would be more than enough for most people in their lifetime, but not Deanne. Deanne’s first loves are writing and black history, as well as doing presentations in local schools and colleges for Black History Month for many years. She is a published author with not one, but seven publications, including a science fiction novel, two volumes of short humorous stories about her Jamaican culture and four volumes of poetry. You can check her publications out here:


When Deanne stops to reflect on her journey to now, she summaries some of the surprises:

“I can’t believe I’ve actually achieved all the things I have. Even though I now have health issues

 affecting my mobility, I don’t focus on the negatives but the positives in my life.  Recently, I’ve been looking back and recognising all that I have done and become. My children remind me I’ve done it without a partner: bringing up my two daughters who are now professionals, with their own families. My eldest is a lawyer and the youngest a psychologist living in Texas. I have five grandsons. Now I can sit back and breathe and note that I’m blessed. I give gratitude for my lifelong blessings from a hard life juggling many things but determined to be my best me.  I own my beautiful house which is over one hundred years old, I have food, warm clothes and family and friends who love me.”


From Ms Deanne to the youth.

Deanne believes that we are on this planet to learn and teach, not in ignorance and envy of difference, or to see others as a threat. She is always ready to share her life with the generations coming behind her. To the youth, she would say:

Quotes from project contributors

“No matter what you choose, be the best that you can be. You are your own unique self, a work in progress.

Get to know yourself and always remember that you are better than people want you to be.”

— Ms Deanne Heron

Understanding the joys and challenges of parenting, Deanne also has compassionate and non-judgemental tips for parents too. To them, she would say:

“Please sit and speak to your children to let them know their true history, their ancestry and themselves with pride.”

Deanne says life doesn’t have to be perfect to be enjoyed.

Ms Deanne believes in balancing life; she loves getting involved in things which stimulate

her and gives her the chance to socialise and learn something new. Fun for her, includes regular family dinners, going out with friends and going out to lots of writing and well-being events.  

She loves positivity and encourages family and friends to focus on the positives in their lives, however small, not the negatives. She embraces ‘Hakuna Matata’ (no worries) as a mantra. Now at a grey-haired age, she’s trying to enjoy life, not expecting perfection. With a twinkle in her eye, she hopes the ancestors will lead a kindred spirit to her, one with whom she can explore and continue to enjoy all that life brings. Yet, for now, she will continue in her pursuit to help others, living through the values of Ubuntu, which reminds us, that:

Quotes from project contributors

“I am because we are. We are because I am.”

— Ms Deanne Heron

We so often hear that we can’t be what we can’t see. This project is designed to make visible the pioneers who, to many of us, have been concealed. So, we salute and honour Author, Counselor, and Advocate Ms Deanne Heron.

This feature is part of the Seasoned UK Black Queens series celebrating Black women throughout March, a fantastic project led by Yvonne Christie. Read more here

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