Nina Farr

I am a leadership coach working with women who want to fall back in love with family life. My clients have experienced high conflict separations, traumatic family breakdown, divorce and/or domestic violence and abuse.

Parenting through change is one of the most challenging and rewarding things you will ever experience. I know just how intense and relentless the journey to lone parenting can be. My own experience and that of my clients have one thing in common: we don’t know what we’re capable of, until we try.

In the past four years I’ve met parents from all walks of life taking their first steps along this path – and some who have been parenting alone a very long time, but have lost their way. Many feel isolated on their journey but the reality is over a quarter of families in the UK today are headed by a single parent.

I’ve been recognised for my work through being awarded Student of The 2014 Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme, Mumpreneur Champion Award Finalist 2014, and UnLtd Do It award for the Family Vision Course.

I offer ‘I am the Parent Who Stayed’ guided self-leadership programme for lone parenting after conflict, trauma or abuse, a ‘Family Vision’ group coaching programme online and in-person, and a masterclass for empowered lone parenting.

My mission is to unlock your innate potential. To inspire you to approach life with vision, purpose and passion; stepping forward into a future that truly excites you!

I challenge you to be brave, be kind, be resilient, be joyful. I invite you to make that journey with me.

Annette Benny

Click here to see the slides from Annette’s presentation

I am an inspiration to others by the way I live in a world of possibility. An ambassador for women and young people especially.

Quietly understated, I coach and facilitate people to enable them to see what is possible for themselves.

I share my stories to illustrate what I have made possible and where, when you are open to conversations and possibility, it might lead; always the author of your own story.

As a podiatrist in the late eighties I went on to project manage the design, construction and commissioning of a number of NHS buildings, whilst at the same time completing a Masters Degree. I also have post graduate certificates in Organisational Development and Leading Change.

A career spanning 29 years in the NHS and Department of Health has seen me involved in many exciting areas of work including the implementation of Choice and Choose and Book across Devon and Cornwall (for which I was invited to No10 Downing Street); working for the National Blood and Transplant Service producing the business case for the leucocyte depletion to prevent the risk of transfer of CJD; and setting up the largest NHS Clinical Commissioning Group in England in 2012.

Latterly as Director of Corporate Affairs for both NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (combined turnover of £1.5 billion) in Devon I have integrated a number of teams and streamlined the governance of the two organisations.
I am proud to have co-founded Delt Shared Services with a colleague in Plymouth City Council; an IT and shared services company based in Plymouth, created to ensure that specialised jobs remain and grow at a local level.

Now retired from the NHS I continue to enjoy my trustee role with ACE Multi Academy Trust. As wife to Nick and mum to twin teenagers, Erin and Kim, and now a novice livestock keeper with hens that keep escaping I am enjoying a different pace to life which also enables me to run my own business, walk on Dartmoor, volunteer at school and grow some veg!

Emma Jones

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As a female working in the financial services profession, it can be challenging. Not just in the sense that it is an extremely male-orientated profession, it’s difficult to be deemed ‘good enough’ to help a client when you’re a 26 year-old female.

My career stared within the banking industry where I found myself being pushed towards a management role when I really wanted to concentrate on financial advice. Whenever I tried to approach my managers, I was quickly shunted and ‘put back in my box’. That’s when I started to look elsewhere and found Hansford Bell. I joined their team with their understanding of my personal ambitions and have allowed me to develop within my role. I was not qualified in mortgage advice when I started but Hansford Bell saw my potential and supported me through the process. I am of course now fully qualified in mortgage and equity release advice, heading the Finance Department.

Although, Hansford Bell are extremely supportive, it is still very clear that women are the minority within this profession. I regularly attend conferences for my personal development and often find myself as the only women in a room full of men. It can be intimidating at times but I am passionate that this stigma is extinguished and more women have the confidence to gain qualifications in finance and help clients like I am able to. It’s a great career, very rewarding and challenging – but it’s NOTHING that women can’t handle!

Lynn Roddy

“Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get.” Good advice from the determined and independent mum to Forrest Gump. We are all born to parents and we may add other parents on the way through life. We all live diverse and multi-faceted lives which can take us away from where our parents live. We may have kids, sometimes when we have progressed a career. We may stay at home to raise our kids. Just a few ways in which we are all different. However, we are all affected by our older generation ageing, be it our parents, grandparents, extended family or friends.

How we care for our ageing population is the hot potato of our political and social environment. The Care Act of 2014 promised much with only limited implementation. The so-called dementia tax was a PR disaster for this government, maybe influencing the last election result. Local authorities are being broken by the adult social care needs on their budgets, with the NHS reporting frequently on the emotive phrase ‘bed blocking’ by frail seniors.

The political question cannot be solved, but our approach to how we care for our elderly can be adapted and become more informed. I will tell you the life story of one lady and her family and how she spent her whole life caring for others. Within the story, I hope to help educate as to the resources and information that is available to help families, to put a spotlight on the difficult subject of dementia but mostly to do my part to change the face of ageing within our community.

Becky Jones

Click here to see the slides from Becky’s presentation

Becky’s talk, ‘An ABC to Inner Peace’ flows from her rich and varied life, in which she has spent 40 years angsting and efforting, and the last 10 learning not to. She has nothing to promote, beyond her passion for every individual’s right to tune into and march to the beat of their own drum.

Born and brought up in the Midlands, Becky took the plunge 3 years ago to move back to the southwest, where she was a student at Exeter in the 1980s. Now she’s here, she dislikes heading North on the M5 and prefers instead to enjoy the slower, more rural life in Devon.

She’s had an eventful life – 3 marriages, 2 divorces, 6 different professions. She’s emigrated and returned, and has moved house more times than she’d care to remember. Becky lives happily with her bonkers third husband and indulges her creative bent styling his beard for competitions all over the country. She also enjoys working at the University of Exeter as PA to the (nearly as bonkers) Dean of the Medical School; and occasionally practises as a Freelance Interfaith Minister.

There are many ways to live life well; and no one has the right to tell anyone how to live theirs. But Becky has found there are some essential ingredients to her own Inner Peace, and she shares these, illustrated by snippets of her own story.

Tracey Wise

Click here to see the slides from Tracey’s presentation

Tracey is the founder of Safe Gigs for Women, an initiative established by regular gig goers with the aim of creating a safer environment for women at live music events.

We believe that education is the key to this, and are attending multiple events this year (such as Handmade Festival, Lost Evenings, and Download) to hand out information on how attendees can stay safe and look out for others.

Our aims are:

Gig Goers
Work with gig goers to spread the word that it is not okay to grope, threaten or harass others. Encourage victims to speak out, and supporters to advocate that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

Work with venues to ensure they take reports of sexual harassment and other threats to women seriously. We will work with venues to create a standard in the industry for safe venues. We will then campaign to get the standard adopted nationwide.

Getting bands on board to recognise our standards, talk about our work, and get their audiences recognising and spreading what is acceptable.

Kate Guest

As a nurse, wellbeing life coach, hypnotherapist, personality profiler, psy-tap practitioner, Reiki healer and youth mentor, Kate has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.

Her talk is entitled ‘what you think is as important as what you eat’.

How is what you’re thinking affecting you physically as well as mentally? Did you know you can make positive changes in your physical health as well as your mental health from what’s going on with your thinking? What story are you telling yourself?

This talk is for you if you want to know how to make changes to improve your physical health and mental wellbeing, simply by the way you think. This informative, fun and interactive talk allows you to leave knowing how you can create powerful, positive change in your life.

Kate made massive changes in her life by embracing the world of NLP, coaching and hypnosis as well as other practices, and now helps others to make the changes they need to in order to lead fuller, happier lives.

Mary Lunnen

Mary’s subject is ‘Stepping into Your Power. You are powerful. Dare to Blossom – be you.’

So many of us, particularly women, reject the old model of ‘power’. Reject the power over others used to dominate and control through fear. Rather than being disempowered, we want to find a new way of being in the world. A way to be true to ourselves and make a difference.

Mary will share her story of how she reconnected with her own inner wisdom, became aware of her own quiet style of power within, and gained the courage to step into that and use it out in the world.

She will share insights and examples that resonate with listeners in different ways, and offer practical tactics to enable each person present to access this process for themselves.

An inspirational coach and founder of Dare to Blossom Life Coaching, Mary works one-to-one and in groups with people around the world through the magic of technology. She also holds regular workshops in Cornwall and in London.

Photo credit: Susie Mackie

Curly Martin

Do you find yourself doing things you don’t want to do, or in a situation you don’t want to be in? Then come to Curly’s powerful session to be inspired by:

– How easy it is to say ‘no’ without actually using the word, but getting the result as if you had said ‘no’.

– How to say no to your boss. Do they dump on you and then come back later and dump on you again? Accepting this and fuming inside causes stress that can lead to serious illness. I have the secret answer of how to get your way without harming your relationship with your boss.

– Being able to say no to your family and avoid arguments is a very useful technique to keep harmony in the home.

If you know what prevents you from saying no it will give you the freedom to say it.

What are the consequences of always agreeing to do things for others, and putting yourself last or not even on the list? How much has it cost you, personally, professionally, and financially?

Curly Martin is the author of international bestseller The Life Coaching Handbook, and over 30 other books and articles on coaching. She is a Fellow of the International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring (IAPCM).

Ann McCluskey

Click here to see the slides from Ann’s presentation

Does any of this sound familiar? Under pressure, juggling balls, plate spinning, carrying forward to-do lists, caring for kids, caring for parents, Supermum at home, Superwoman at work, domestic goddess in kitchen…

Multi-tasking is a badge of honour we wear with pride. But as the saying goes, pride comes before a fall – one that hurts so much that the road to burnout shines like a beacon with ‘ALARM’ ahead. A wake up call, or proceed with caution.

In Ann’s session ‘Empowering Women to Build Resilience and Reduce Stress’ you’ll begin to see for yourself how much our thoughts affect how we feel. We can do so much ourselves – we’re not victims of our circumstances, but sometimes it really feels like we are. You’ll learn ways of reducing stress and the importance of ‘putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting others’.

Throughout her career Ann’s specialised in the impact on people during organisational change, seeing that some thrive while others are traumatised, and supporting leaders and their teams through difficult transitions. Having now moved away from the corporate world, she continues to support people who have reached a ‘tipping point’ in their work or personal lives.

Claire Doyle

Click here to see the slides from Claire’s presentation

Claire will be talking about how she took a personal passion and used it to create a thriving niche business.

In 2014 she set up Doggy Devon, which promotes dog friendly businesses to dog loving locals and visitors via a website, an extensive social media community, and several guide books. Claire has written articles on the business benefits for being dog friendly, has spoken at the Westcountry Tourism Conference on the subject, and has been featured in various publications and trade press.

Claire is also a co-manager of the Dartmoor Business Network – a friendly and supportive bi-monthly networking event that brings together Dartmoor-based small businesses.

She graduated from University of Wales, Cardiff with a BSc (Hons) 2:1 in Business Administration (specialising in marketing, PR and communications) in 2002. After a year spent travelling in Australia and New Zealand, Claire came home to Plymouth and started her career in marketing. She has held a number of marketing roles at established institutions including Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth Marjon University. In 2013, Claire decided to ‘take the plunge’ from her managerial role and become self employed. She works with clients across Devon and beyond, supporting their marketing needs.

Jodine Boothby

Click here to see the slides from Jodine’s presentation

I’ll be sharing my story about depression, anxiety and bankruptcy, and how I coped with all that while building my business and caring for my young family.

I had my first child in 2011, and he constantly chewed his fingers and hands, making the skin sore. It was a teething symptom, and there was nothing on the market that he could hold himself as he was only 9 weeks old at the time. So I googled ‘teething mitten’, expecting them to exist, and they didn’t. Gummee Glove was born!

Fast forward to present day and my business, Gummee, now employs a team of 5. We have a range of teethers to cover every age and teething stage, and our products are sold by Mothercare, Argos, Kiddicare, Jojomamanbebe as well as independent shops throughout the UK and Ireland and of course Amazon and our own website. We have distributors in around 18 countries and we have over 160k combined followers on social media.

My book, Hand to Mouth – The Teething Troubles of Business and Babies, goes into detail about the rollercoaster journey I’ll be telling you about.

Katie Congdon

I’ll be talking about women and beer, both as a woman working in the industry and as a female customer in a male dominated market.

I own and run Vessel Beer Shop in Plymouth with my husband Sam. Vessel is an independent shop and bar selling over 170 of the best beers from Britain and around the world, including 6 on tap which can be taken away in re-usable glass growlers.

I have appeared on BBC Radio Devon and Spotlight to talk about craft beer, and I run regular tasting sessions in our shop when I talk about beer styles and breweries. I enjoy travelling to enjoy beers from around the world, beer, and have visited bars, breweries and beer shops in most major UK cities, and in Germany, Belgium and the US.

Since opening Vessel 18 months ago, we have collaborated with several local businesses including Hubbox, Black Flag Brewery and New Lion Brewery, as well as Northern Monk Brewery and Friends of Ham from Leeds, and we run tasting sessions at the Independent Manchester Beer Convention.

Fantastic Ms Fanny

I will be talking about confidence, and some of the strategies I have developed to support people who want to build and maintain positive body image, self-confidence and self-esteem. I will also be reflecting on my own background in the arts, and sharing some of my experiences in a notoriously image-conscious profession to question our societal perceptions of beauty and the importance of self-image.

I am cabaret performer and producer based in Plymouth. I trained at Plymouth University where I discovered a love of clowning and feminist theatre practice. Since then I have developed a successful practice as a burlesque performer and show runner, working extensively around the UK as an MC, performer and mentor to new performers. I also support and mentor on a 1:1 basis to help people build confidence on and off the stage.

My credits include Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s ‘Best of Burlesque’ international showcase, Bristol Burlesque Festival, resident MC for the Rogues Gallery Vaudeville Tour, East of England Burlesque Festival (Judge), and appearances at various events and festivals around the South West including Love Summer, Volksfest and Airfish Aerial Arts.

Photo credit: Will Heason photography