The Potentials and Positives website brings together all aspects of my writing work, motivational talks and workshops under one umbrella.
I was born in London in the late fifties. I was a prolific writer from the age of 14, and have written for women on the subject of body image and self-esteem through a number of pieces for charity, and now young children being the co-author of “Being Me (and loving it) a teaching, educator and parent resource for 5-11 year olds. The book is intended to be used in primary PSHE or any setting where children come together and can listen to any of the 29 stories and use the discussion notes accompanying the stories. Together with Naomi Richards (the UK leading kids coach and author of the Parents Tool kit) I believe that we have produced a unique and invaluable teaching resource that will help to change children's lives.
I understand bullying. Having been bullied and taunted during my time at school and into college I understand first-hand the feelings of low self-esteem and desperation which can result. I am determined to share how I shook these off and moved forward to be who I am today. In my writing and talks I emphasise the fact that, with help and understanding and by talking to others, it is possible to develop a resilience and confidence which enables you to ignore the bullies as inconsequential and concentrate on loving and being yourself.
I am passionate about showing parents and teachers how they can instil healthy self-esteem and body image in children and help them to understand friendship issues and bullying from the very start. By gently teaching children that by recognising that they are absolutely great just the way they are, they learn to be resilient and not care when other children tell them to the contrary because that opinion doesn’t matter. Giving children the tools to overcome any situation they encounter which could otherwise derail that confidence enables them to concentrate on enjoying their school life and friends as they move through school to adulthood.
I am a firm believer that our friendships help to shape who we are and I also understand that friendship issues, a normal part of the growing up process, can also be a cause of low self-esteem, lack of confidence and I weave friendship into all the material I write and talk about.
I am a member of the
I am also passionate about preventing a child from developing into a bully in the first place and encourage and help parents and teachers to play a major part in the prevention process.
My writing speciality - and joy - is in giving a voice to the real life situations that people find themselves in, and being able to invoke in the reader a feeling of “they’re just like me”. I firmly believe that when someone sees a character in a story just like them and see that character work through things or talk about them, it gives them confidence to feel that they too can work things out.
A mother and now grandmother, I worked in the administration of a London school for 16 years. This enabled me to see and appreciate education from three sides. As a parent I saw my daughter’s path through school, and like most parents admit that at that time I really did not know the real workings of what went on to give my daughter the education she got and how schools handle the friendship issues, bullying and other daily crises.
When I started working in the administration side of the school, some seven years into my daughter's education, I had a unique view of how parents and pupils react, what causes them concern and where best help is given and by whom. Working with the teaching and support staff ensured that I saw the internal workings from their point of view too.
I really don’t think a lot of parents realise just how much work goes into a zero tolerance policy on bullying, working hard on ensuring that cyber bullying can’t get a foot in the door, and handling the day to day ups and downs of the different personalities mixed in one class and the friendship issues. I gained a huge insight into the good educational practices at play which instilled great self-esteem and body image and produced confident young people.
Now, relocated to Cornwall, I am concentrating on writing and developing my business of running motivational talks about self-esteem, friendship and bullying for schools and other groups working with children, and self-esteem and body image motivational talks for young women in either senior schools or sixth forms.
I am also currently writing a set of brand new unseen pieces for women of all ages on self-esteem, friendship and body image for publication.
I am equally looking forward to accepting commissions in a few months' time which will enable me to tailor my writing to target specific groups on request. Author talks are also available.
Images courtesy of Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.net