FOR Su Machin, Portsmouth was exactly the haven she needed.
And she is so passionate about the city that she has put herself forward to be crowned as this year’s carnival queen.
The 44-year-old fled from her home in Wiltshire after she became a victim of domestic abuse.
And there was only one place Su wanted to live – Portsmouth.
Su, of Milton Road, Milton, said: ‘I came to the city when I was 18 to study catering at Highbury College.
‘I had a great time here, but had to move back to Wiltshire because there was a family illness.
‘I then met my husband and got married. But I ended up in a refuge in Weston-Super-Mare because I suffered from domestic abuse.
‘I was asked where I would like to move to and I knew straight away it was Portsmouth.’
With her son Archie, five, Su moved to the city in December 2006.
‘I’ve made some real friends here’ she said.
‘It’s such a lively city and there’s always something going on that’s usually free or doesn’t cost much money.
‘The sea is obviously a big pulling point and I like that things are in walking distance. These are the reasons why I really want to represent the city and be crowned carnival queen.’
The deadline is looming fast for people to nominate either themselves or someone they think is worthy of being titled carnival queen.
As well as being a star of the carnival, the winner will represent the city at other community events.
Women who can show commitment to their community are welcome to enter by Saturday.
To enter please provide the name of the nominee and say in no more than 20 words why they should win.
Also include your name, address and contact number.
Send entries to Priya Mistry, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9SX or email firstname.lastname@example.org.