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Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

The Interviews

person to believe in you to make a real difference. What were your ambitions?

Dame Kelly Holmes

Double Olympic Champion!

I had two ambitions, one was to become a Physical Training Instructor in the British Army and one was to win gold medals at the Olympics. I was very luck to fulfil both my dreams. Did you ever feel you weren't going to make it? It's sometimes hard to remain focused however I knew that the easiest thing in life is to give up when the going gets tough. I had a big goal but also had some smaller stepping stones that kept me motivated. When you start achieving something in your field you have to take the positives and use them as the driver to succeed. How do you deal with setbacks now?

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I grew up in Hildenborough, Kent and went to school at Hugh Christie in Tonbridge. I lived with my mum, step Dad Mick who bought me up from the age of four and my brothers Kevin and Stuart. We lived on a council estate and were just a normal working-class family. My general perception growing up was that you need to work hard to get anything in life. From a really young age I learned to stand on my own two feet and earn my own money. Who influenced your life when you were growing up? My PE teacher, Debbie Page. She believed in me and encouraged me to follow my dreams. It just takes one

I just keep going and keep my focus. I don’t give up easily. When I have a goal to achieve I keep going until it is done. Name 3 achievements you're most proud of. What do you think was the most important reason that you achieved them and why? I would love four Winning my Gold medals at Athens in 2004 – I had this dream from the age of 14 when I watched Sebastian Coe at the Olympics on TV. Watching that gave me goose bumps. It was a very special moment for me as I had worked and trained hard – it all paid off. Joining the British Army – Again this was something I was set on doing from

Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

an early age. I used to make my mum take me to the Recruitment centre to see if I could join – at first I was too young but I kept going back until I was able to sign up. Opening my coffee house in Hildenborough. It is called Café 1809 and the number represents the winning number on my bib at the 2004 Athens Olympics. My charity the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. We have supported over 300,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas or deprivation to reach their full potential and guide them to get back into education, employment and training. What motivates you now? I have always wanted to be busy and have a challenge/goal in my life. My latest challenge was my first marathon. I decided to train for the London marathon on the 4th Jan this year. Being a middle distance runner I had to train doing lots of long distance runs which I find quite boring. I was hoping to run the 26 miles under 3.5 hours and shocked to cross the finish line at 3 hours and 11 minutes. I wanted to support 5 amazing charities through marathon fundraising and other events throughout the year. I aim to raise £250,000 to share between 5 amazing charities close to my heart. These are the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Pickering Cancer drop in Centre, The Hospice in the Weald, Myeloma and Mind.

motivational speaker in the UK and abroad so would like to continue doing more of these. My next trip abroad is to visit and work with a school in Hong Kong. I love to travel and meet new people. What advice would you give somebody if they were struggling to achieve their goals? Don’t give up. Believe in yourself and keep going. Get support from friends and family. Do you have anything coming up you'd like to promote? My Virgin Money sponsorship page to help me reach my £250,000 target by the end of the year. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/ KellysHeros My coffee house, www.cafe1809.net. Follow me on Twitter @damekellyholmes Follow me on Instagram – realkellyholmes1500

What are you goals for the future? I want to get back more into running and develop my own running platform to help encourage others. I am also a Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

Sarah Kernochan

and I don’t think I’ve ever really stopped.

Oscar Winning writer, Filmmaker, Screenwriter, author.

The person who influenced me, at age 14, to write was my boyfriend Peter. He was 5 years older, and dropped out of Princeton to write a novel. It never occurred to me previously that you could do that: drop everything and write, go to bed and get up the next day and write some more, until you’ve made something hefty and exciting. So I decided to practice writing assiduously, over and above my other creative efforts which included writing songs and making little movies at that point, because the latter were for fun but writing was for serious – it would be my profession, I was sure.

You will know her work: Sommersby and What Lies Beneath!

Did you ever feel you weren't going to make it? How did you get over that?

Where you are from, what you wanted to do when you were younger etc. What was growing up like for you? Who influenced your life when you were growing up? What were your ambitions? I grew up in a Connecticut suburb where I had the sense to know I was sheltered and bored. My parents were very cultured, and practically the lone Democrats in a sea of Republicans. As the middle child of five, with all the chaos that implies, I figured out that the only way to get attention from Mom and Dad was to create something – a poem, a drawing, a puppet play, a piano piece. Sure enough, the ‘rents responded with applause and pride. So from a very young age I ceaselessly bombarded them with my creations,

I have many times experienced that heart-sinking sensation when you know something you’ve created isn’t going to fly. I’ve had careers come to an end. After my documentary Marjoe won the Oscar in 1973, my filmmaking career halted in its steps, because there was no opportunity of any kind for women then. As far as anyone in the business was concerned, my male partner (from whom I’d split by the time the film came out) was the one responsible for its success, and I was just the pretty hanger-on. My next career, as a singer-songwriter, ended after my two albums House of Pain and Beat Around the Bush failed to sell. My next career, as a novelist, started promisingly when my first book Dry Hustle was a success. But my second was cancelled when my editorin-chief left and a new one took her place. I found myself without a publisher. So then I turned to screenwriting, and things went much better. That career tapered off when I entered my sixties – too old for an industry that values youth. My

Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

response was to write a novel (Jane Was Here). You can sense a pattern here. My method of dealing with failure was to turn to a different discipline – to tell my stories by another route. So long as I kept writing something instead of nothing I felt successful.

3) My latest album Decades of Demos brings me a lot of pleasure because I not only wrote the songs but also arranged them as I heard them in my head instead of being at the mercy of a producer and a recording label’s budget. MIDI systems make this possible. I did most of the album on a computer system in my dining room.

How do you deal with setbacks now?

What motivates you now?

It’s easier now that I’m older, because I can look back and see how the wheel keeps turning: you’re down, sometimes for years, and then from the muck you’re lifted back up to the sky, only to descend and ascend again. But it seems, at least in my case, that the wheel only works if you’re productive, writing away at both the best and worst of times. And, let’s be frank, you should never stop hustling your ass either.

I go for the joy. I don’t find writing painful, so to make myself happy on a regular basis - - and who doesn’t want to be happy more often than not? – I’m usually working on something. I try not to worry about the future. It’s a writer’s pitfall – to worry about whether anyone will like one’s work, or publish it or film it or pay for it. This has nothing to do with the act of writing and is a constant impediment to creativity, which takes place in the present.

Three favorite works I’m proud of:

What are your goals for the future? I’d like to have one or two more movies made from my scripts, or at least taken on a few more (paid!) jobs. Whether or not this happens, I hope I have the foresight to know when’s an elegant time to quit the film business. I want to get back to my 14-year-old self that decided to become a writer because it simply felt good to do it, and not because of any pressure to succeed.

1) My favorite film that I wrote is Impromptu with Judy Davis and Hugh Grant. It still represents to me the best I’m capable of, although Learning To Drive (2015) and others have been more popular. 2) I’m proud of my documentary Marjoe but my heart’s delight is my other Oscar-winning doc, a short called Thoth (which can be viewed on YouTube). It’s a portrait of a true outsider artist, a musician who performs on the street, sometimes for crowds and sometimes for no one, whatever the day brings. Although he’s a very extreme case, I identify with his bravery and loneliness, two things that I think characterize all artists. Also, I’m proud that I made this film happen all on my own, financing it myself, veering off-path to help someone, and not for my own ego.

What advice would you give somebody if they were struggling to achieve their goals? Acknowledge that you will have to hustle, network, beg, borrow and steal – endlessly – to further your career, but keep this activity completely separate from the experience of writing. There’s no sense in making both activities painful.

Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

Do you have anything coming up? My blog ‘At Home With a Ghost’ recounts my paranormal experiences over the course of my life. It’s a memoir-in-progress, and meant to be a lot of fun to read. Follow Sarah on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/SarahKernochan?la ng=en-gb -o-

Cheryl Wills

An American TV Personality with NY1 News and author

no idea that he was the great-great grandson of a valiant soldier who fought during The American Civil War. My father was also a New York City Firefighter. What was growing up like for you? Life growing up was mixed. On one hand growing up in a seaside community in Queens, New York was idyllic. I had lots of fun picking sea shells and playing along the sandy shores of the Atlantic Ocean. On the other hand, my childhood was traumatic because my brave father drifted away from his wife and five children and was subsequently killed in a motorcycle accident while all of his children were still in grade school. It was an horrific series of events that left his entire family traumatized. But my mother proved to be a soldier in her own right - and kept us in line and on track. A true matriarch, she steadied the ship even as the captain abandoned it. When I was a kid I envisioned being a writer and a journalist and I'm so glad that I was able to accomplish my goals in the wake of a difficult childhood. Who influenced your life?

I’m television journalist based in New York City. I am also an author of two books about my great-great-great grandfather Sandy Wills who was a Tennessee slave who fought for his freedom during The American Civil War. Where are you from?

My family greatly influenced me -- my mom and my dad to a lesser extent and my grandparents. They were all very vibrant and colorful people who were exuberant in church and full of bright hopes and dreams. I never wanted to let my family down and they helped me accomplish my dreams. I was the first in my family to go away to college and I have my family to thank for that. I graduated from Syracuse University in 1989 with a broadcast journalism degree.

I was born and raised in New York City - my father was a paratrooper and had Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

What were your ambitions? My ambitions were to be television journalist and an author and I'm so excited to see my dreams unravel before my eyes. I am the author of two books: Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale which is about my life and "The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills" which is a picture book about my great-great-great grandpa's transition from Tennessee slave to soldier during The American Civil War." Now I’m giving children hope by reading the story in hundreds of schools and encouraging them to realize their dreams and to dream big! Did you ever feel you weren't going to make it? I absolutely felt I wasn't going to make it because I see sawed between the depression and trauma of my childhood and reconcile my past with my future. It took decades, but I kept surging ahead. That's my advice to young people - don't let your past stop your future plans. Be empowered by the past - not demoralized by it. Use pain as a launching pad ! success is the best revenge! Name 3 achievements: I won a major award from United Nations Correspondents Association for my exclusive interview with the President of Liberia - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She is the first democratically elected woman president in Africa's history. I am the only reporter in my television network's history to interview the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban ki-moon. It was a real honor and I worked very hard to get the interview. I was given a special lifetime

achievement award by McDonald's in honor of Black History Month. I received these awards because I have been a television journalist for nearly 30 years in the biggest television market in the united states. I have covered a lot of ground and as a veteran journalist - I am a familiar face to millions of New Yorkers. What motivates you now? I am motivated to be the best in the wake of a traumatic childhood which could have crippled me if I let it. But I didn't allow my past to cripple me - I use it in the reverse - I am very open about what happened and I encourage others to use the cross as a crown. What was meant to kill you can only make you stronger~! That's my motivation. My goals for the future is to write a bestselling novel about my family and I want it to be turned into a movie or documentary. What advice do you have for others? My advice is to use the past to empower your future. I believe all people have come here to do something extraordinary and we have come equipped with powers to overcome insurmountable obstacles. My advice to people is to be very careful what you believe about yourself. My father screwed up big time - but it was not my burden to carry. I was not raised in the best neighborhood - but the neighborhood did not contain me. I evolved i n spite of it. I struggled to broaden my horizons and now the heavens have opened up and I see clearly now! I believe I can achieve. If you close one door - I'll pry open the window. If you lock the window - I'll come through the chimney. If you plug up the

Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

chimney, I'll dig a hole through the basement. Nothing will stop me from entering the house of opportunity and taking a seat at the table of achievement. Follow Cheryl on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/cherylwillsny1

The Stories “Amphibious Again”

Mark Barkawitz

Link: http://abcnews.go.com/WNN/video/che ryl-wills-digs-deep-family-history37215752 Link: http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/ Photo-Flash-Colby-Christina-andMore-in-THE-EMANCIPATION-OFSANDY-WILLS-20160418# Cheryl’s book here: https://www.amazon.com/Emancipatio n-Grandpa-SandyWills/dp/1617178861

Doheny Beach, California, July 9, 2012—Just got out of the ocean. One year ago last summer, I was in an isolation unit at City of Hope getting a stem cell transplant to wipe-out the cancer that had broken my L-5 vertebra and threatened my life. Fivemonths-and-one-week after backfusion surgery—three titanium rods installed with a half-dozen screws by world-class neurosurgeon Dr. Rahul Jandial—I strapped my surfboard to the roof racks on my truck and drove down anxiously. (I was supposed to wait six months but I’d been working-out vigorously, swimming laps so I wouldn’t drown, and it was over 100 degrees in Pasadena!) I was able to paddle-out. But I never really knew for sure if I’d actually be able to surf again, a sport which I’d taken up as a teenager and had continued all of my adult life until my back broke from the cancer 2½ years ago. There was a small, south swell running—perfect, little waves for my

Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

liquid re-hab. I caught three, small waves—muscle-memory took over as soon as I rode each—and then paddled-in. Didn’t want to overdo it on my first day back out. Rock-danced the shallows to the sandy shoreline. Tomorrow, I’d return and ride six, small waves. Sitting on the warm sand under a clear, baby-blue sky, staring out at kindred surfers bobbing like multicoloured corks on the blue-green ocean, I pounded my chest, thanking all—All—who had helped return me to this pantheistic altar, at peace with the majestic world around me, a small part of something much bigger. Cowabunga, Brah! There was life after cancer; and it was good! http://www.markbark.org/ Twitter:



Mark Barkawitz


“The Importance of Work-Life Balance”

Hilda Burke

A West-London Psychotherapist, couples’ therapist and life coach tells us about the importance of work-life balance

Many of us derive our self-worth from our careers. I think this has become increasingly prevalent as more people move to an urban setting. A lot of people don’t even question the ‘rat race’, they just take their place on the treadmill and get on with it. If we don’t have a strong sense of self, we are more likely to become fixated on work – if we do well, we might feel ok and if we don’t, a sense of failure and low self-worth can prevail. However, ironically it’s when we’re doing particularly well that anxiety can set in – how do we maintain this position, will it be found that actually, I’m not “all that” really. Hence, the catch 22 – damned if we do well, damned if we don’t and therein lies the risk of over thinking it all. I’ve worked with many clients to help them try and achieve more of a worklife balance. For one client it was to draw some boundaries around her weekend and to stop taking work home to complete on Saturday and Sundays. It was challenging for her to break this habit which she had built up through a decade of her working life. However, when she finally got there, she was astonished to find that not only did her productivity not suffer, her MondayFriday working week became more fruitful. This client is a creative and by taking a step away from her normal work for two days, she was able to spend some time nurturing herself – doing meditation, visiting galleries, taking walks and this investment in herself allowed her creativity to flow more freely through her work. Conversely, when she worked all weekend, she’d drag herself to work drained and resentful on Monday mornings.

Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

I think there are periods of our lives where most of us obsess/worry about our careers. However, if it’s a constant thing that we do right through our working lives then yes I’d say it could be symptomatic of something more serious. It’s important to draw a line between being passionate about one’s job, where you’re investing a lot of energy in it but equally getting a lot from it and a situation where one is simply worried and anxious about it constantly. In the latter case, I think it hints at low self-esteem. I’d strongly encourage anyone who can identify with that to work with a good therapist to unpick this and to start building their self-esteem up from within themselves rather than placing their self-worth on the external validation provided by work. Website http://hildaburke.co.uk Twitter: @HBtherapist -o-

Rhiannon Abbott

into business and open a micro-bakery from my home in Epsom. I began by selling traditionally made breads at our local Farmers Market, and now share my skills and knowledge through a range of fun, hands-on bread making courses. Developing my business has presented its own challenges – I’ve had to develop new skills, from online marketing to financial management to website building. I’ve also had to learn to have confidence and believe in my business. Perseverance has been key, as well as seeking out help and support from as many places as possible. Networking with other small business owners has certainly helped you can share knowledge and experience. I’ve also recently taken maternity leave, and so I now manage my business around family life too. Despite the challenges this can mean, I do try to maintain a balance between lifestyle and career. www.theepsombakehouse.co.uk

…tells Inspire Us about when she left a safe corporate job to follow her passion.

I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember – I love creating something tasty to share with family and friends. Bread making came along when I was looking to do something very different in my life. I'd left a job in a more corporate career that had been my focus for almost ten years. That 'something different' came along in the form of a Bread Angels course in December 2012, learning to set up a bread micro-bakery. Having completed the course, I decided to turn passion

Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

Felicity Dwyer

…a career coach from Hampshire shares her day with Inspire Us.

work evenings or Saturday mornings, when I’m working with a client who is in a 9-5 job. I’m also involved with a local networking organisation as an area leader. So once a week I spend the morning at a networking event, followed by meetings and follow up activity at my desk. Following up is the key to getting real value from networking. What are some of the difficulties you face when planning your day/week and how do you overcome them?

What does a typical day look like to you? My day starts with getting up around 6.30 and getting my 7-year-old daughter ready for school. I normally have something like fruit and yoghurt or a boiled egg for breakfast. I find protein in the morning helps me to stay focused at work. I then walk a mile round trip to drop my daughter off to school, and it’s great to get home having already had some fresh air and exercise. Monday mornings I then do a Pilates class. On other days of the week I do a 10-minute meditation, and then start work. My working patterns vary. I’m a career coach, working with people in midlife who want to do something different with their working lives, so I organise my time around client coaching meetings and workshops. A typical working day would start at my desk, writing blogs or designing training and then spending a few hours with booked client coaching calls or meetings in Hampshire. I sometimes

I work for myself and the lack of a consistent pattern means that it can be difficult to keep on top of day to day admin tasks such as bookkeeping, and this takes second place to client work. I try to keep half a day per week free for administration and try to do a batch of these tasks in one go, it’s satisfying to work through a batch of emails. I have a very organised in-box and aim to get down to inbox zero at least once a week. I also set myself two or three main tasks every day, linked to my business priorities. These go in my diary to make sure they get done. I share an online diary with my husband, so that if I’m booking in a client at the evening or weekend I can make sure that he is around to take on childcare. A challenge of working from home is that mess and clutter can build up during the day, and I have fortnightly help with cleaning. And my daughter goes to after school clubs or activities three times a week.

Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

Do you manage to find time to relax and get exercise/eat healthy?

why it’s so important to build meditation and exercise into my day.

Yes, because it’s a priority. I didn't become a mum until I was 42, and it’s very important to me that I maintain my energy levels and stay fit and healthy to be there for my daughter for many years to come.

It took me a long time to find a career that I love, and this is why I’m passionate about helping people who aren’t happy at work.

I build it into my routine and make it a habit. So a healthy breakfast at lunchtime and walk to school, followed by 10 minutes meditation. A walk at lunchtime. And I stop work at 5.30 to cook supper. I keep it simple but nutritious – roasted veg, a casserole, salads in the summer. When it comes to exercise, I think it’s important to do something that you enjoy. I like walking outside and dancing, so that’s what I choose in preference to the gym. I also find it helpful to listen to relaxation tapes with binaural beats. These help bring your brain activity into a beneficial stage. I generally choose alpha state waves which allow you to feel relaxed and creative. I normally listen to a tape like this before going to sleep at night. And ten minutes’ meditation before starting work in the morning makes a big difference. It allows my mind to settle and helps me to concentrate. What's the most important thing to remember re: having a busy lifestyle? To enjoy what you do. There is a huge difference between eustress – which is the beneficial stress when you’re stimulated and loving what you do, versus the kind of stress where you are unhappy and feel trapped. I can feel overwhelmed quite easily, which is

For me, become self-employed has given me freedom to make choices. Sometimes you have to give up the perceived security of a full-time job so that you can create your own career path. But you also need to go in with your eyes open. Working for yourself is not an easy option and you need to be prepared to work hard and deal with uncertainty. But if you are someone who is open to learning, growing and stretching your boundaries, then it can be incredibly rewarding. Tips for somebody who is struggling to find balance between being healthy and being busy at work? My top tip is to make sure you take a lunch break and go for a walk. I was worked in London for many years in different offices, and always took my full lunch hour and got out of the building. An hour of fresh air and movement brings oxygen to your brain and makes you far more productive after lunch. Also a change of scene is stimulating, and you may find that you have ideas while out and about that you can then implement when you get back to the office. How can we get in contact with you? Website:




Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

Mike Darracott

I did not let my health problems stop me from living life to the full, and through my story found in the blog on this site, I hope to inspire people to not give in. www.chefmikedarracott.com Twitter:


Book on Amazon -o-

I trained to be a chef in Cornwall at Redruth college, after college I continued to learn butchery, and bakery.

Kirly Sue ‌tells Inspire Us about her achievements!

I then went on to work in the world famous Lobster Pot Hotel in Mousehole, where I was lucky enough to prepare food for many a celebrity when working in the kitchen there. After gaining more experience in a few other restaurants I went on to become an executive Chef in several large establishments of which I catered for around 200 people. Sadly late one summers night in the seventies, I suffered an accident, and it put an end to my career, because I was not the same when I came out of hospital. I struggled to carry on cooking for another 8 years, but I could no longer carry on. I had sustained some brain damage, which later led to my writing career, and this very page, and you will find all my current books on Amazon here, just click on my picture below......... But this never defeated me for a moment and I will carry on helping others where ever I can.

Kirly-Sue (aka Susanne Kirlew) is a food columnist, vegan cook, TV presenter, vegan expert and author, born in London to Lloyd & Venetia Kirlew. Kirly-Sue has Jamaican heritage, which is reflected in her cooking and baking. Kirly-Sue won her first job at the age of seven, when she appeared on the Jamaican TV series Play Pen. KirlySue attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London, then later

Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

The Barbara Speake’s Stage School and also attended the Actor’s Centre.

Speaking Topics include :How to become a Vegan (click to see BBC video clip) Healthy Eating for Beginners Women in Business Christians in Business N.E.W.S.T.A.R.T. (nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, air , rest, trust in God) Starting Your Own Business With No Budget

Cook Book Kirly-Sue's vegan cook book is available on Amazon and is entitled "Kirly-Sue's Kitchen”

Food Column Kirly-Sue has a column in Pride Magazine, which is a glossy women’s consumer magazine. (Pride is distributed across the UK by the country’s biggest distributer, Comag (Part of Condenast). Pride is sold in over 3,200 stores across the UK including WHSmith, Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys .

Inspire Us Magazine – August 2016

Profile for Inspire Us

Inspire Us magazine - August 2016  

Inspire Us magazine - August 2016  


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