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Participants in Ginger's Inspiring Speakers Programme are invited to deliver a 10 minute inspiring speech as a finale to their programme. Most of them have never done anything like this before. And - as I think you'll agree - the results are quite remarkable.
“Becoming a Unicorn” – Piers Smith
Piers is 49 years old and lives in Essex, the car crime capital of the UK. He grew up wanting to play cricket for England but has settled for being the best player in his family. A separated father of 4, Piers has worked in the Lloyd's Insurance market for 30 years. His role model in life is Basil Fawlty.
“Jenga Mentality” – Scott Mair
A Spanish speaking Scotsman who has been living in London for the past 7 years and hails originally from Aberdeen in the glamorous north east of Scotland. He is a media and marketing professional who loves the energy and excitement of London life. Scott has a passion for travel and has had stints working in both Spain and France and has traveled to many other destinations further afield. A keen skier and footballer he also became a dad in May as he and his other half Laura welcomed their little boy Ethan into the world.
“Of Fish, Trees and Bicycles” – Inge Woudstra
Inge is a Freelance Trainer, Consultant and Researcher in Gender Intelligence. She has a background in international business, including Siemens, Shell, Chatham House and Ashridge Business School. Inge is from The Netherlands and followed her husband abroad 10 years ago first to India and then to the UK. She loves the outdoors and in weekends you can find her working her 2 spaniels or coaching her son’s team at mini-rugby.
“Lightening the load” — Jane Knight
Jane is currently enjoying an ‘intermission’ in her working life whilst she decides her next move. The Inspiring Speakers Programme has allowed Jane to explore who she really is rather than what a particular job wants her to be. She has discovered how much she enjoys making an audience laugh. She lives alone in Bedfordshire without partner, children or pets but has instead filled her house with an excess of largely useless clutter. For the past year, Jane has been on a health and fitness campaign which has transformed her life and which she is keen to share with anyone who stands still long enough to listen.
Nurturing Circles: The Power of Care” – Santosh Bhanot
Santosh is Founder & Chair of the newly created Asian Circle working in partnership with Oxfam. The Asian Circle supports vulnerable women in India and South Asia helping to build their capability and participation in society. Her interest is with the community and facilitating grass-roots projects in the field of education, health and well-being. She is a Trustee for Ealing Music Therapy. Santosh has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and worked with Procter & Gamble as a Senior Scientist spending over 20 years in HealthCare Medicines Development.
“If you want it badly enough” – Ed Smith
Ed is a successful businessman and investor who has several business operating in London and abroad. He spends majority of his time managing different projects, his love and passion is based in the training company he set up when he was just 17. His burning desire is to continue expanding this business and growing it to be the largest training company in the UK and abroad, to continue serving people with solutions to their problems.
“Photography seen through a different lens” – Tristan
Tristan owns an art gallery in London. He organises exhibitions, talks, events and happenings in the space. His background is working in an auction house and several different galleries before setting up on his own four years ago. Apart from art, his other passion is travel.
“Peppermint and Politics” - Sue Wixley
Born in South Africa, Sue grew up in the shadow of Table Mountain in the Cape before moving to Johannesburg as a teenager. She has worked in the nonprofit field for 20-something years, including at Oxfam, Amnesty International and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She is the Communications Director at a think tank called New Philanthropy Capital and a trustee of two charities. Sue is married to a wine critic and manages to balance out the wine drinking with yoga and a bit of tennis. Sue has lived in London for more than 10 years.
“The only way to grow” – Elaine Hopkins: Winner- Most Improved Speaker, Judges' Choice Award, People's Choice Award
Elaine is a career introvert and tomboy who is slowly, very slowly, reaching an understanding of Life, the Universe, her relationship with them and with herself. In terms of earning a crust, she wears multiple hats: coach, copywriter, landlord, purveyor of fine old toys. She is a committed (in both senses of the word) cyclist, and is passionate about reading, writing, and language. Her vocation is to change the way we experience redundancy.
“Firestarter” — Liz Balmford
An Essex Girl by birth, Liz moved to Henley-on-Thames at the age of 4. In her first job she supervised a telemarketing unit and stayed in marketing communications for much of her working life. Born to extrovert parents, she’s only recently discovered she’s an introvert, which explains her reluctance to speak in public. Now working as a confidence coach, she urges her clients to do scary things, assuring them that their confidence will arrive after the event. She’s hoping her public speaking confidence shows up soon.
“Life with Attention” – Ben Bryant: Winner: Most Improved Speaker of the cohort
Ben has worked for the Home Office on drug policy since 2010. Before that he worked at the Training and Development Agency for Schools on language teaching and learning. Born and raised in Bristol, he studied History and Spanish at university and has an MA in Translation & Linguistics. Music is his passion and he hopes to produce more of his own material in the future.
“On the lookout for Edelweiss” – Grant Schmidlechner
Born and bred in Melbourne Australia, Grant is a learning and development specialist who is apparently good at creating power-point slides. Selected in 2007 (along with 400,000 other Australians) to call London home, Grant has spent the past 6 years trying to forget about the state of Australian sport vs. that of the UK. Recently married to a gorgeous French girl, Grant can often be found wondering the streets with a camera in hand, capturing the incredible melting pot that is London.
“The Power of Acceptance” – Zoë Windsor
Zoë Windsor is a professional coach and facilitator who brings with her 12 years of experience of working with people looking for or undergoing significant change. She excels at creating an environment in which people are able to significantly raise their levels of awareness; furthering career success and personal happiness. Zoë lived and worked in France and Italy and speaks both languages. She currently lives in London with her son. She enjoys the arts, especially sculpture; travelling, swimming, the sea, baking, pottery, music, mountains, beautiful hotels, animals of all shapes and sizes, dancing, reading and design.
“Shining a Light on Learning” – Heather Golding
Heather is a director of a niche design production company based in the Warwickshire countryside. Part creative, part strategist, she considers people's happiness paramount to success in business. Having also been a part-time carer for many years - as well as mother to two beautiful daughters, now grown - her current challenge is to find new ways of existing contentedly without being needed by anyone! Hits so far have been pilates, writing fiction, tackling self-asssembly furniture single-handedly, and learning how to do nothing…
“6 Kids, 1 Wife, 2 Weddings, a Stag-night and a Funeral” – Adrian Cassidy
An ex-international rower and former Olympic rowing coach, Adrian is now an executive coach. Adrian was born in South Africa and grew up in South America. Fluent in Spanish and German, his aim is to use his eclectic experience to help others maximise their potential.
“The surprising truth of musical chairs (or in the words of Kool and the Gang, “Get your back up off the wall”).” – Helen Thompson-Whiteside: Winner: Judge's Choice Award
Helen Thompson-Whiteside is a wrestler! Not in a Giant Haystacks kind of way but in the manner of someone wrestling with her life purpose and wanting to use her voice to inspire others to do the same. The rest of the time she is a university lecturer, a coach and brand consultant. She lives by the sea and has two fabulous daughters and a lovely husband. She loves to cook and eat, drink and laugh, in no particular order.
“Living without Auntie” – Alan Dickson
A Scottish History graduate who gravitated towards chartered accountancy, Alan has been a Finance Professional within the BBC for over 10 years. He is based in Glasgow, and currently heads up the team which is responsible for not only money, but also property and technology across Scotland. A keen runner, he has his fingers crossed for a ballot place at next year’s London Marathon. Trying to move away from an exclusively powerpoint style of presentation into something a bit more authentic!
This showcase of inspiring female speakers is part of Ginger's work with game changing leaders.Discover More