Romy McKeever

Volunteer Co-ordinator (and Social Media administrator)  

Length of time at Fighting Words: 

I have been employed since November 2019. I was volunteering since June 2016.


Describe a typical day in your role.
Workshop days are the most fun- today the children wrote about a burst football called Dug, and his friend, the ripped up football boot called Kicker. They had to escape the Great Grinder of the junkyard and try and get to the World Cup! I got to draw a picture, too. The volunteers wrote sequels and a poem today, so not only the children were creative! The rest of the day I spent sending and answering emails, uploading stories etc to the website and social media, informing the schools of this, inputting data into databases and calendars. I also did a handstand, ate banana on toast, and had a coupla cups of tea. Not all at the same time. 

What has been your proudest achievement or favourite moment while working with Fighting Words?

That’s very difficult to answer. I think I love the most recent workshop the most every time, and the dream team of super volunteers. Moving from a volunteer artist, to a mentor, to a storymaker (I really never thought I’d have the nerve), to having a job that I love and is keeping me sane has been a wonderful and unexpected journey.  

I loved the time that my daughter Hazel helped with the PUSS workshop in India. She was already quite depressed at the time and I ended up helping her colour in the picture she’d drawn. Those girls loved her and she interacted with them in a lovely way. I sometimes wonder how they would have reacted at the news of her suicide, as they were all so religious. I remember trying to articulate to her how little they had, and how trapped they were, yet seemed so happy- but things are not so simple, I suppose.   

Not many people know this about me, but...

I once was a marriage celebrant for my friends Jamie and Jo, dressed as a puffin, in an outfit I made myself. Always the celebrant, never the bride... When I took the puffin helmet (there are two words you don’t expect to see together) off, my facepaint unfortunately made me look like a ghost with a beard. 

When I met Kevin McAleer (boring Uncle Colm from Derry Girls) he said, are you the Romy from Ursula Burns’ song? That, I am!