Kirstie Joanne Edwards was born in Luton in 1978 to parents Nicholas Edwards and Shirley Anne Stokes and moved around Bedford, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire as a child. She attended secondary school in Fair Oak, Hampshire until 1994, when she moved to Davidstow, North Cornwall. There she attended Sir James Smith VI form and Studied A Levels.
Kirstie moved to Falmouth in 1996 to attend Falmouth College of Arts. She had her first child Jake in 1999 and went onto to get both a PGCE and Pg Dip in Education. She had three further biological children Beth, Amelie and Bella plus two stepchildren, Astrid and Alfie. All of the children have attended local schools and grown up together as a blended family, with a mix of wonderful parents to support them and each other.
Kirstie met her fiancé Sean Higgins in 2015 - he moved to Cornwall in 2016 and the rest is history. They live in Falmouth in Penwerris ward with a mixture of young people depending on the day.
Kirstie was diagnosed with Stills disease as a teenager and this radically changed her life - previously she had been a dancer and incredibly sporty but had to adapt this at the request of her medical team. Her health has been an ongoing challenge over the years and at times hugely impacted her ability to work and play. She is still under multiple specialists and has to carefully manage her time and energy. However she has been a waitress, cleaner, chef, seamstress, writer, Small Circular economy business owner, teacher, lecturer and most recently a Research Fellow for Exeter University’s Business School focused on Circular Economy and as a Senior Exam Invigilator for Penryn College. She also is a Director of a community interest company ‘Seas For the Future’ which funds a lot of the environmental projects that she works on for the community.
Throughout her periods of illness, Kirstie threw herself into voluntary work - she has a huge volume of published articles on Invisible illness and Resilience, for ‘The Mighty.com’ based in America plus on her most loved sport paddleboarding. She had a viral article about the abuse she received using a blue badge when she didn’t look disabled, that made social media headlines all over the world. She’s written part of the ‘Big book of Yes’ and also co-wrote with her father “The Donnes- a family on the edge of British History”. Her father spent many years tracing their family back to the early 1200s in Wales. Of note her great (times a lot) grandfather was the first poet Laureate Sir John Donne, who is buried in Westminster Abbey. Her Grandpa Edwards was the Vicar in Cardiff who shone the light to guide ships in during blackout in the second world war and later was based in Carlstalton Surrey where he served the Church of England for over 50 years. Her Grandad Stokes fought in Korea and at the time was the youngest ever serving British Sergeant.
Kirstie is best known locally for her work founding and growing Plastic Free Falmouth and her support and voice for Mental Health charities. She has been the driving force behind many of the positive changes we’ve seen in Falmouth before she became a councillor, particularly regarding reducing the use of single plastic and embedding sustainability and environmental issues into everything at Falmouth Town Council.
Kirstie became a Councillor in 2021, and immediately was elected to the position of Deputy Mayor - this was in large part due to her efforts in the town working alongside the council previously- she was known and trusted by colleagues. She has been hugely active as a councillor working on not just green initiatives, but also Mental Health and youth services, as well as driving projects - most notably the Skatepark.
Kirstie intends to continue to use her voice in support of anybody and everybody that needs her help - whether that's speaking out about violence against women and girls, housing, young people's services, access to leisure and many other things. She often attends conferences to talk about her work and journey, in an attempt to encourage more younger people, particularly women to get involved in local government. Known for being positive, outspoken, friendly, hugging everyone, and for being a real dooer, you are just as likely to see her picking up litter as you are in a dress and chains of office.
Kirstie feels hugely privileged to be elected Mayor and takes the role very seriously. She has the utmost respect for colleagues and is looking forward to continuing the important work that those before her started.