Leadership Guide - Author - Broadcaster
I am so fortunate to live in a vibrant rural community. Over the past 15 years, it has been a privilege to be part of a committed and energetic team of volunteers who have transformed our community.
Together we led a project to build a new village hall as a community hub for Fradswell. The project provided the spark that ignited our community and along the way tackled the real issues of rural isolation, physical and physiological well-being and the particular challenge facing the more elderly and the young
After first raising £20,000 ourselves, we were successful in obtaining a grant of £470,000 from the Big Lottery to build and equip our new village hall, and a £25,000 grant to create a serenity garden.
With our two acre village green, hall and garden we are so proud of what has been achieved. An enviable events and activities programme includes a community Bakehouse, repair cafe, Pop Up Bar, annual apple festival, a choir, annual Wassail event, exercise classes and workshops, with a focus on sharing skills and encouraging social enterprise.
Our vision is ‘a vibrant community hub at the heart of Fradswell providing local opportunities to meet, socialise, learn, share and shop.
Our Fradswell values are:
inclusive, enabling, tradition,
sustainable and local
- Chair of Fradswell Community Hub 2011-2017
- Vice chair of Birmingham City University SU
2011 - 2015
- Trustee and Chair of the trading company Staffs Wildlife Trust 2012 - 2016
- Chair of Osprey Leadership Foundation 2018 - present -
Chair of Windmill Broadcasting 2018 - 2021
A personal story
Back in 2015 I was diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). I had been aware of my slower, shuffling walk and occasional shakes for a while.
PD is a degenerative condition which slowly impacts quality of life. But I understood I had a choice. There’s a great quote...
‘If a person does not master
then they are bound
to be mastered by them.’
I could become a victim, or do all I could to slow progression of the disease. It was not a hard decision to make.
With Jakkie's support and energy (I think this would be far harder on your own) there was only one option. Research provides compelling and clear evidence, that with a single minded focus on exercise, health, diet, stress reduction, work life balance and mental attitude, deterioration can be significantly delayed.
Since the diagnosis I have lost two and a half stones, radically changed my approach to exercise, with gym work, yoga and walking. I’ve changed a lifetime of eating habits, and have significantly reduced my client work and travelling, with a resultant reduction in stress levels. I am also working hard every day on focussing on a positive mental attitude. Some days are tough, but we are both aware that being positive yet realistic is the only way forward.
I certainly feel fitter, healthier and more balanced than I have for years. I'm realistic about the future but know that the more you take control, the more chance you have of shaping that future. I have bad days - we all do, but the direction of travel is positive.
I’m also humbled that my daughter Charlotte has chosen to focus her neuroscience career on studying
If anyone is facing similar challenges and wants to chat, I'd be happy to do so