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 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.”