I never saw myself as an inspirational speaker, or as a performance poet, or a flash fiction writer… but isn’t that the beauty (or tragedy) of life, that unexpected things happen.
In early 2015, I found myself training at the iCan Speak Academy to learn to tell my story. I went on to perform on stage as a special guest at iCan events several times, including the “Be Inspired” conference in Harrogate on International Women’s Day (IWD) 2016 where I had the incredible experience of receiving a standing ovation.
I then wrote and performed for the opening of the Shoddy Art Exhibition with the Leeds branch of Survivors Poetry (on the night we had a sign language interpreter who “signed” my poem as we performed which was pretty amazing), and I opened Otley Women Together’s IWD concert at Otley Courthouse with performance poetry.
I have since spoken at events for Leeds Women’s Aid, Touch Network, and Nuffield Southampton Theatres, and mind-numbingly performed in the middle of Southampton’s West Quay shopping centre with a selection of my strongest poems as part of the “Be Bold” celebrations for IWD 2017.
Here are some pics from my speaking journey so far:
And here I am fundraising. To date (well, out of date actually as I am quite a few years out of touch) I have raised over £17,000 for charities, predominantly Leeds Women’s Aid.