At each Action Women! Networking event one of our members tells her 10-minute story.
Topics vary but they are all inspirational, thought-provoking and stimulating. We ask each speaker to leave us with a question – not to answer publically but to take away and ponder for ourselves.
Here are some of our 10-minute story tellers:
An Interior Designer, HR Professional, owner of a high-end “micro-boutique” B&B, her voice at 50! Having been a “”closet” singer all her life (and by that I mean that no one knew she could sing, she had never been in a choir, taken lessons…) Jude was encouraged by her partner to take lessons in Nov 2008. She finally agreed and sang with a professional band at her 50th 6 months later in front of 100 friends and family. 2009 saw her continue with lessons and the odd workshop and in January 2010 Jude was invited to sing at a Charity Hair Show in Dover. “Guests thought she was miming” organiser,“because her sound was so true to the original songs.” Jude has since formed a band, Jude and the Obscures, and apart from now using one of the most highly regarded vocal coaches in the country, is currently working on material with two local musicians in order to be appearing at a venue near you very soon!
She is a co-founder of Action Women! Network. She has a background in training and Environment/ Sustainability and runs her own Environmental Training and Employee Engagement consultancy, Sustainability Connections. She is currently employed at Ashford Borough Council on the European funded Greenov Project. In September, Stephanie talked about her experience of domestic abuse, not as is most commonly assumed,physical violence, but emotional (and financial!) abuse. When someone is intimate, calculating and deliberately misleads you for their own gain, it can take a long time for the penny to drop. What’s more, because the perpetrator knows you, the game can go on unrecognised for a long time. Once you have realised what is happening, life can get even more confusing. The Freedom programme is one form of support but Stephanie’s question was “Are you OK? Is someone you know OK?” Sometimes, just being there, checking in on someone and being a constant in their lives is the best way to release and recovery for a friend or relative who is stuck in a very dangerous and painful place. She wanted to say to anyone that is suffering, there is hope and to urge every Action Woman! to be a bulwark of good old solid, honest friendship – you could literally save someone’s life!
The second story is about turning negatives into positives. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Tracy campaigns and educates, in her own irrepressible and engaging style, about the risks of blood-borne virus hepatitis C, and how to protect against it.
Mizz T’s poetry Started out As therapy First she used To bang her head Often wishing She was dead Then, she turned Her pain to verse &, as poets go… You could do worse!
The third story will tells the inspiring story of Casa Delureni in Romania. Ros is a Reflexology Practitioner living and working in Blenheim Road, Deal. Apart from foot and hand reflexology Ros is also qualified in facial reflexology which is a treatment drawn from Vietnamese, South American and Chinese origins. He joined her sister in Romania with the intention of using her work to help the children but this has evolved into being more of a tour guide! taking groups of people to Transylvania where they have wonderful holidays which benefit the young people who work hard and enjoy looking after the guests. He was a piano teacher in another life! and, being married to a musician and having a son also in the same business – music has played a large part in her life. Ros now sings with the Manwood Singers and is starting a small singing group which will be able to sing at weddings and parties.
She is one of those lucky people who have made a career out of what they enjoy doing. She is passionate about community action and happily, her profession for the last ten years has been community development. Sue has in fact had a “portfolio career”, a term she spotted in a management handbook long after she had done it herself. She has travelled a lot, sometimes for pleasure but also professionally. For the last two decades she has managed to stay in one place while raising a family, but the travelling urge is only just held in check at the moment. Whether travelling or settled her free time has always been spent in doing things for other people. “I just can’t keep my hand down when somebody is asking for volunteers” she says, adding “it’s the bane of my life!” She is not working just now but is managing her local community centre, while waiting for the next job to come up.
The fifth story:
She is the director of Quantum Leap Training & Consultancy, which works mainly with the not-for-profit sector, SMEs and women entrepreneurs. Before setting up Quantum Leap,had a varied career in journalism and public relations. Passionate about people, communication and learning, she has always been involved, in one way or another, in personal/community development; starting with a street children project in her native Brazil. One of her favourite quotes is “We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.” This has been helped by her unabated (sometimes foolish) optimism and a strong belief that ‘grandma knew best’ when she used to say: “look ahead and keep on going; things will always work out in the end.”