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An empowering start to a Tuesday! Game changers Liz, Bethan and Kayleigh describe their careers in trades once thought of to be just for men. Liz is a fireman, a coal-stoker on Snowden’s steam railway. Bethan is a heavy-goods-vehicle mechanic and Kayleigh is a plumber, fending off spiders and dead rats in attics around London while she climbs towards forgotten boilers!

I have not stepped foot in my own attic in the five years I’ve lived in my house, for this very reason, so I take my hat off to Kayleigh for her ‘all in a day’s work’ attitude. I also love her description of a plumber as a doctor of a house. Pretty apt I’d say.

These inspiring women can be seen in Reveal, out now.

I have such a soft spot for writing about animals and the amazing humans who dedicate their lives to helping them – here we have Michelle, founder of DOTS – Dogs on the Streets – a charity set up to assist the homeless population in the care of their dogs. Michelle taught me so much I didn’t know about the homeless sector and it was so inspiring to listen to her and learn about her efforts to support homeless people and their dogs.

You can read her story online here and support Michelle here

Happy World Down’s syndrome Day! Time for my annual love fest – click below to see a collection of the incredible families I’ve written about in the last year. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to use my pen (alright, keyboard) to celebrate so many inspiring young people. These are the game-changers, the rule-breakers, the cliche-defiers – while there’s never been more urgency to highlight what Down’s syndrome actually is (and not what medical professionals would STILL have us fear it is) these little legends are going about their legendaryness with aplomb. Just by being who they are, the ripple effect across society says We. Are. Awesome. So while NIPT (noninvasive prenatal testing) looms into view, the Down’s syndrome community are here to say #wouldntchangeathing.

For more information about Down’s syndrome, visit www.futureofdowns.com an online community offering friendly support for parents and an up to date, balanced view of life with the condition.

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So, so proud of Kathleen! Such an honour to get to write about amazing women every day. Do I have the best job in the world, or what?! Kathleen and her mum Denise invited me into their world and let me champion their lives. Now more than ever, we need to show society that Down’s syndrome is nothing to be feared. Down’s syndrome is to be celebrated. Quick, before NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) causes a dramatic decrease in the number of people born with Down’s syndrome. As Kathleen will tell you, her life rocks.

 

Please buy Best Magazine this week to read all about Kathleen. She’s going places!

I have such a soft spot for writing about animals and in yesterday’s Love Sunday, I was able to celebrate a gorgeous, patient and wise dog called Suzie, who along with her human companion Kelly, fosters kittens in New York. Kelly has been fostering kittens for a few years and at first thought she’d have to keep the kittens away from Suzie. But Suzie proved to be an asset to the fostering process, showing the kittens that she could be their climbing frame, their protector, their hug blanket!

The story behind the fostering makes for difficult reading – kittens and cats are dumped and neglected all over the city and Kelly works tirelessly to raise awareness of this, while looking after as many kittens as she can. The story of Suzie the kitten whisperer will melt your heart! You can read the online version here and follow Kelly and chums on Instagram here.

It’s me! And my chums! Here I am in Woman magazine writing about five very important friends and how their friendships have helped build me into who I am.

I love writing about my friends so this was a lovely experience, reflecting on friendships that go back decades (and one that goes back just a matter of months!) and what these little legends mean to me.

Huge thanks to my wonderful sister Tam, my friends Mike, Iszy, Emma and Mila, for allowing me to share our friendships with the world. Out now in Woman Magazine.

The gorgeous Sarah and Dave can teach us all a thing or two about living, while they live in the shadow of death. Dave has been battling worsening cystic fibrosis his entire life and never thought he’d experience love, marriage and family. But Sarah is by his side as his wife and carer and together they make every day special.

A beautiful, poignant love story just in time for Valentine’s Day, out now in Woman.

Support their gofundme campaign for Dave’s bucket list here.

I couldn’t reasonably hope for others to allow me to write about them if I wasn’t happy to write about myself! Luckily I love writing about myself…For Valentine’s Day this year, I wrote a piece for Best magazine about my love of rom coms and how I came to realise that true life is nothing like the movies. Working with neurologist Dr Nour, author of the super new book True Love, I looked at how most Hollywood fairytales stop at stage two of the four stages of love, so it’s futile to compare their ‘happily ever afters’ to the reality of our actual lives. But in reaching stage four – true love – I have discovered a more authentic, interesting, inspiring and real love. Yay! Thanks hubby!

You can catch us in Best now and buy Dr Nour’s book here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is the gorgeous family of Ana, Nathaniel, Luca and Jude. In Best magazine this week, Ana explains how her twins, Luca and Jude, have autism. The condition has left the children in two silent worlds, frustrated yet unable to communicate. And so the lovely Ana found ways into their worlds. It’s a poignant story of determination and gentle patience, as Ana learns to understand what autism means for both of the boys and how she can help them help themselves in the overwhelming worlds they find themselves in.

Ana has contributed to a book written by a compilation of mums who have all been through a lot and overcome challenging circumstances. Mumpreneur on Fire can be found here. 

Catch her in Best now!

Is it too soon to say it’s spring? January has flown by and there is definite floral evidence in the garden that winter is waving goodbye and spring is waving hello. We’re super busy at Phoenix Towers, writing about all things Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and beyond.

We’ve been working on some really interesting stories about incredible women like Danielle, who’s identical twins are not quite identical, and Gail, whose daughters were tragically diagnosed with a cruel childhood condition that could see them develop all the symptoms of dementia before they reach their teens. There’s hope for Gail’s daughters – thanks to a pioneering trial, they might be able to delay the onset of symptoms and while they’re at it, change the future for thousands of children like them. It’s a story of hope and love and you can read all about it over on our ‘Recent Stories’ page.