In case you hadn’t noticed, today is International Women’s Day. It’s a celebration of the wonderful women out there and all we achieved throughout the ages. There are so many inspirational and strong women in our radar today that sometimes it can be really hard to pick just one that inspires you. We have women leading the way in government, humanitarian crises, technology and many other areas. However, my highlight today is a person that I’m sure lots of women will want to highlight their own but she is the strongest woman I know: My Mummy. Here’s why she inspires me.

Who is ‘Mum’?

ferne haxby

Meet my mum, her name is Ferne. She is usually found doing many things that help her in the pursuit of laughter. As you can see here!

There have been many transitions in her life that has required true innovation to deal with alongside looking after a very strong willed girl (me) at the same time. She’s a brownie/guide leader, training aficionado, actress, parish councillor, dementia activist and general comedienne.

Challenges and Achievements

In the 90s, she made the decision to go from being a wife to my dad who was incredibly reliant on the family income. She worked, but she worked for my dad. She lived in the paternal family home that was very much ruled by my nan… So approaching 40, she decided to leave. We had a lot of help from my Grandparents on her side and from friends that made sure we had a roof over our heads.

Now a lot of people would then concentrate on finding work. Any work. Not my mum, she said ‘I want more education’. She got a job in a medical practise and decided that she was going to university to learn about primary care. We were so poor! How could we do this? Well, she sacrificed everything she could. I had an amazing piano teacher at the time called Colin (RIP – you’re still missed) and she ate cabbage soup every day so she could afford my weekly lessons as well as going to university to get her degree. Mum did all the work she could, her uni work and still found time to stick musical show tunes on the radio to dance around with me and sing. She still came to my concerts and we laughed so much even though we had nothing!

She then got her first practice manager gig and our lives were catapulted from the breadline into being able to go shopping again! You’d think she’d be enjoying her new found independence. No… she wanted to learn more so back to university she went. She got her masters from city university and went off to run PALs for the health trust. All in the space a few years. Since went on to lead complaints and patient engagement creating a formidable reputation and success story.

Wow! Now what’s she doing?

Recently she had another challenge. After decades working for the NHS and all her successes, she was made redundant. So she took up a whole different career tack, she now runs training for a great volunteer service and from the work she’s done in a short time, great things are going to be happening.

All through that, she’s been a rock for me and dealt with some pretty difficult personal things including being a primary carer for my Grandma. Not only that, she’s now a councillor on the parish council and is leading the way to improve lives for those with Dementia and their carers in our district. One thing that’s still happening and has happened all the way through this: she’s still mucking about and laughing.

So that’s her…

Meet my mum: she is courage, strength, aspiration, follower of dreams and fun personified. 

That’s why she inspires me.

Happy Women’s Day to all the strong and inspirational ladies out there. I salute you.

K x