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Early Years Practice

International Women’s Day: Who inspires you?

What better time than international women’s day to find out about all the wonderful women that inspire us at Fennies.

fennies marketing team

I will say the woman who inspires me is my Mum. She’s hugely intelligent but understanding with it, offering advice but never interfering. Her sensitive approach is something I admire but undetected to most is a hard outer shell. She has been faced with many hardships which in turn have offered resilience not only to her but to us as well.   

I have learnt from her many things… be yourself and look after yourself. Enjoy the small things and grab life with both hands. 

Kirstie Fennies COO

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai’s Unbowed book cover

About ten years ago, back in my time teaching in a Primary School, I had been set a school topic of ‘Kenya’ to cover with my class. Given my knowledge of Kenya was limited, I decided to search for a biography of someone well known. This is how I stumbled upon Wangari Maathai’s Unbowed. The book opened my eyes to the lasting impact of Colonialism, to the impact made on the Kenyan environment and Wangari’s mission to restore indigenous forests by working with women across rural communities to replant trees.

Jamie Atkins fennies talent lead
Untitled design 2

She hasn’t had an easy life, and through trauma in her 20’s ended up in a psychiatric ward for 6 months (before I was born back in the late 80’s). Although 40 years have passed and she still suffers with anxiety attacks, she is hands down the most, courageous, compassionate, and kindest woman I know. She always has time for everybody and spends her life helping those less fortunate than herself daily.

She’s also the most stylish person I know, always looks absolutely fantastic, whatever the occasion and has the biggest heart of gold.  

Her outlook on life is inspiring and I’m so incredibly proud to be related to her. 

admissions executive

My inspirational woman has to go to my husband’s nan. Up until the age of 82, she worked back to back 12-hour night shifts on the maternity ward of East Surrey hospital. She helped thousands of women in those early days when they needed someone loving and caring to give them a helping hand. Shirley is the heart of the family and keeps us all together. She has a heart of gold, she is kind, selfless but most of all she would do anything for anyone. Shirley inspires me to work hard and always do the best I can do as well as being the best mum I can be to my son. She is my shining star, my inspiration she has my heart forever. 

Jaimie qdm
parent and child

I would say that my mum is my inspiration from raising three 3 children on her own, going back to school and getting her degree whilst raising us as single parent is very inspiring. I would say that I have gained my mother’s work ethic which shows in my everyday life and practice. 

assistant manager
christina marketing manager

Christina guides, advises and supports the whole marketing and sales team everyday, Christina is always on hand to help us improve our work and grow our careers despite how busy her diary is! Christina is always makes the office a positive and happy place to be and checks on the teams well-being.

I’ve learned so much from Christina from marketing skills and knowledge to the importance of looking after and supporting a team’s happiness.  

Christina has impacted my career massively she has made me fall more in love with marketing and given me a great start to my marketing career. 

maisie social media executive
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My mum inspires me, she accomplished great things, overcame many hurdles being a woman in business, she fought illnesses and raised two children as a single mum. She paved the way for women in a man's world, being the only woman in her team in the 60's she created roles for women to start their careers, gave opportunities to women returning from maternity, and guided them in their careers. By the 80s she had worked her way up to the head of that team, now the majority of whom were women.

She has impacted me in many ways, she taught me how to be strong, to believe in myself when no one else does, and to inspire those around me. Her voice is always in the back of my mind, she gives me the courage to lead my team, to celebrate their accomplishments and to support the challenges we come up against. However, the most important thing she taught me was to have fun, to smile every day and know that every cloud has a silver lining, even if you have to look really hard for it! 

christina marketing

My Mum

The person who inspires me most is Mum aka Sallymac. Whilst she isn’t here in person anymore she is the strongest woman I have and will ever know. Everything I am I owe to my Mum and whilst I miss her terribly I like to think she is still looking down on me from afar so I strive to make her proud every day. Mum didn’t always have it easy, from looking after me and my sister on her own, to her courageous battle with cancer, but she always maintained a positive attitude, protected us and put others before herself. It’s those qualities I try to replicate in my being which is evident in my passion for people. Since she left I have embarked on making people my career choice and have moved into HR, something which I am thoroughly enjoying. Whilst it saddens me she hasn’t been here to see in person how her influences have shaped my now career I am sure she knows and would agree I have found my calling, all thanks to her!     

Caron hr

The woman who inspires me the most is my mum. She is the type of person who consistently looks out for other people and puts other needs before hers, whether that’s a family member, friend or a stranger. I find her strength really inspirational and it’s something that rubs off on people around her, she will protect all of her close ones and makes them feel safe. She is incredibly welcoming and a warm person, if you step foot. into her house, you will 100% go home with a full belly!

She has impacted me by giving me a space where I can tackle challenges and know that no matter what it will all be ok and at the end of the day there is always a safe space to go. This has also pushed me to do things out of my comfort zone and grow as a person and in confidence. I feel like this growth is also seen at my time at Fennies, which was made possible with her support and her push. 

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fennies marketing team

When asking our teams who inspires them for this blog post, I was initially expecting an influx of celebrities, famous actors and singers. I found it wonderful to see that those that inspire us the most were family members or people we see in our everyday life. So when I started thinking about who inspires me the most, my whole team sprung to mind and it was difficult to pick just one person. We continuously support each other both personally and professionally and work to each other's strengths and learn from eachother no matter how much we've got going on individually. I couldn't think of a better team to work alongside!

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