For the weekly prompt w/c January 25th 2021 I decided to answer the following question.
- Have you ever found that sharing your own story was an empowering way to open up and connect with others? How did telling your story affect your own perspective or the trajectory of your life?
As I embark on a Virtual World Speaking Tour following being given an honour from the Queen I am telling my story to empower people to realise the importance and power of giving.
After losing my first daughter from a brain tumour at the age of 3 years my husband and had a choice although it didn’t feel like that at the time.
Let’s be honest, I don’t think there is anything that can happen to you that is worse than losing a child. No one expects to bury their child before their parents. But we did.
It gave me an overwhelming feeling that something good had to come from our loss. It could all be negative. She was beautiful and we had to do something to help others that might be going through the same thing. The Emily Kent Charitable Trust was formed. This was 26 years ago and little did I know that it would result in me receiving an honour from Queen Elizabeth II in the future.
As we then had two other children which needed our attention and after raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for children in our county with cancer, we closed the charity which led me to raise money for other charities. CLIC Sargent, Breast Cancer and was then asked to become a Trustee at The Pied Piper Appeal. The irony is that we had given them £50k 15 years before when they built the new Children’s Centre and the Paediatric oncology unit is called The Emily Kent Unit.
After becoming the Vice Chairman leading the office team, overseeing the opening of a successful charity shop and doing all the social media I also now Chair a charity supporting people struggling with poverty, mental health and loneliness as well as becoming an ambassador and Trustee for a charity helping young disabled children play powerchair football.
All of this has made me realise that giving to others feels me with Joy. It helps me to feel that by my fundraising and volunteering others are benefitting and that makes me feel that my loss has resulted in positivity in many ways. Obviously, it doesn’t bring my daughter back but it drives me to do more, do better and to give as much as I possibly can and am about to embark on a Virtual World tour where I am going to encourage people all over the World to do the same.
The Power of Giving is underestimated. The mental health organisation highlights the importance of giving, donating and volunteering for helping those struggling with mental health issues.
You can connect with Julie Kent MBE on Instagram by clicking below :
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