Sassy Sissy takes fashion to the streets

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A WOMAN who teaches Wigan students how to get into the fashion industry has won an award for her inspirational work.

Sissy Rooney, who was a contestant on the fourth series of Big Brother, was honoured with the Sole Trader of the Year gong at the EVA awards (Enterprise Vision Awards).

The 38-year-old founded Street Style Surgery in 2008 from her bedroom and it has developed into a major organisation which supports youngsters to get creative and utilise their skills to get into the fashion world.

She has worked with more than 1,000 young people aged six to 25 from organisations as varied as lottery-funded projects, charities and schools, including Fred Longworth High school, where she regularly delivers workshops.

She has also agreed to further sessions being taught in the Wigan area in the new year.

Sissy, who was born in Liverpool, said: “The Street Style Surgery is a high quality provider of engaging creative workshops across the UK.

“We want to give young people an opportunity to be exposed to a vast array of creative subjects from body popping to beatboxing, fashion designing to music production, film-making to business and enterprise, cool science workshops, circus skills workshop, healthy relationship and sexual education to name just a few.

“All our sessions can be tailored to schools/youth group’s needs, topics and themes; we can even create bespoke packages.”

Sissy is focused on continuing to build the Street Style Surgery brand, and recently took advice from The Women’s Organisation, a social enterprise who offer free business growth support to women business owners in Greater Manchester through their Venture Accelerator programme.

And Sissy has seen great success this year even beyond her award win.

As well as trebling turnover, Street Style Surgery has recently been appointed as a partner in Kenco’s rewards scheme to raise the aspirations of young people by running a “spoken selfies” project.

Sissy added: “It allows young people to look at themselves and where they want to be in the future in a creative way and make plans to achieve those dreams.”

Sissy added that her mum has been her biggest inspiration to make something of herself. She managed to achieve a degree while bringing up three children alone after her husband, Joseph Rooney, was killed in a pub brawl in 1986.

Sissy added: “I learned what strength and courage a woman could have and how inspirational it was to be a woman with a mission.”

Sissy is now looking for Wigan-based freelance artists and facilitators to join her freelance team. To find out more visit www.streetstylesurgery.co.uk.