Mandy Hickson was the only female pilot on her Front Line Tornado Squadron for the Royal Air Force.
Mandy has operated from some of the world's most hostile environments, including patrolling the ‘No Fly’ zone over Iraq. In charge of the latest weaponry, she and her unit were ready to drop ordnance on any target in support of operations.
Mandy was awarded an RAF flying scholarship at 17, but initially failed the computer-based tests taken by all potential RAF pilots. Undeterred, her self-belief and determination persuaded the RAF to take her on as a test case, thereby overcoming seemingly insurmountable hurdles.
Mandy now shares her experiences of working within an elite team of fast jet operators, to audiences with great clarity and humour, outlining how the same values apply within any environment.
She demonstrates only too well the importance of remaining calm under pressure and leading, quite literally, from the front, in order to get the best from herself and her team.
Since leaving the RAF, Mandy has served as a school governor on the board of trustees at the Victory Services Club, London and is an ambassador for sport for Hampshire County Council.
You can check out some of Mandy's incredible work in the video at the bottom of this page - and if you would like to book Mandy for your event as a keynote or motivational speaker, then contact Jane or Steve on 01753 439 289
Challenging times require an exceptional corporate response. So how do you motivate and inspire your staff to demonstrate outstanding leadership and teamwork under pressure; to stride confidently towards purposeful goals and maintain focus despite great risks? These critical success factors are clearly demonstrated by Mandy Hickson’s unique experiences of flying in a Front Line Tornado Squadron within hostile environments. Mandy is supporting an increasing number of organisations as a keynote or motivational speaker.
Tailored to be relevant to your organisation, her main themes are;
• The building and empowerment of effective teams
• Inspired goal setting and ultimate focus
• Decision-making under extreme pressure
• Maintaining momentum despite losing top talent
• Nurturing a culture of self-confidence and aspiration
Women In Business:
Without a doubt most women face some tough challenges in their working lives:
• Maintaining that essential work/life balance in a demanding environment
• Overcoming innate risk avoidance tendencies
• A wavering of confidence and self-belief
• Amazingly, still having to break through the glass ceiling.
If you would like to inspire women in your organisation or membership, Mandy will work with you to create a unique and memorable event that may just help them write their own success stories.
Mandy recognises the challenges that face Head Teachers and their staff. Increasing administrative pressure and the speed of change are just two of the factors that impact on schools ability to achieve their main aims; nurturing pupil’s hopes and aspirations, and inspiring them to the realisation of their dreams and ambitions. As a School Governor and mother of two young boys, Mandy understands the nature of these challenges and Hickson delivers a number of services to suit the needs of schools.
CLIENTS: RBS / STANDARD CHARTERED / ARQIVA / BAE SYSTEMS / BALFOUR BEATTY / SCOTIABANK / STANDARD LIFE THE TIMES / INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY / TAYLOR WIMPEY / BG GROUP PLC / WOMEN’S INSTITUTE SKODA / CHEAM SCHOOL / JP MORGAN / PFIZER / ROYAL LONDON / OLD MUTUAL ST SWITHUN’S / METLIFE / MOTT MACDONALD / RGS FOUNDATION / SURBITON HIGH SCHOOL
Mandy is a fantastic public speaker. She is both inspirational and extremely well prepared. Her ability to relate her own experience working under extreme pressure and in highly performing teams to everyday situations is most impressive. She tops it all with a wonderful sense of humour and great modesty. Listening to her talking about the many challenges that she has successfully overcome should be compulsory for all girls! Miriam Gonzalez, Partner Dechert LLP, International Law Firm
Mandy, great to meet you. Your session was particularly well received. I am delighted I was able to stay to hear you talk. Your story is very inspirational and I recognised many of the challenges you have faced as a woman in a predominantly male world as these issues are industry agnostic. I am sure we could spend hours sharing our war stories (literal and metaphorical !). I do all I can to help the next generation navigate these challenges and not experience the same difficulties as those who have gone before. You are clearly doing the same!. Sue Fox, CEO I M&S Bank
Mandy’s true ability was to capture the essence of team working, resilience and the importance of leadership within a context of energy, enthusiasm, commitment and humour. This was not only by using her own experiences, which in themselves were exceptional but she had also researched our organisation and weaved our own Trust values and mission statement into her presentation. Mandy’s messages cross any and all boundaries and I would suggest apply in any setting. It was a real pleasure for us to spend time with her.’ Alison Moon, Chief Nurse, Bristol NHS foundation Trust.
I just wanted to let you know that we have had many speakers in the past, some really well known like Ranulph Fiennes who have all been quite excellent. But the feedback we had from our sales team about your talk was without exception the best ever. Really well done, thank you. Your story is a great one but the way you link it to our company goals was ‘spot-on’ and made it more useful. I would have no hesitation in recommending you as the best speaker we have employed and we’ve been doing this for 15 years! Simon Oakley, Marketing Director, Zimmer
Glenn Parker may seem to be a fit, strong, determined man who produced one of the most outstanding body transformations with the help and guidance of Nick Mitchell, Ultimate Performance (UP), working for undoubtedly the World’s number one private personal training business, but this is a result of the Army and what happened whilst serving.
As an 18-year-old, he graduated from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, then progressed to join the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment with active service from 1999-2003.
Whilst serving, he was involved in a severe assault, which left him spending the next year in Army Medical Care. Whilst he went on to make an almost full physical recovery, he was however left with significant epileptic seizures as a result of his injuries, and to his great sadness, he could no longer serve in the Armed Forces.
During his time in various UK Military Hospitals, he received not only the best but also the most outstanding medical care possible anywhere in the world. His rehabilitation defined in him the belief that he could go on, despite medical opinion, and still lead a full, active, fit, healthy and strong life, be it away from the Army. He is proud of the career he has carved out for himself with UP since he left the Army, but he knows that’s where it all started for him and he is what he is today, in the most part because of what he learned there.
So it is now again his great privilege to be able to give back to those who, more often than not, find themselves in the same situation he was in more than 15 years ago – with life-changing injuries and having to find a life away from the Forces.
In December 2017, his partner and he raised over £18,000 for Help for Heroes after taking part in the Help for Heroes Everest Base Camp Challenge. His second fundraising challenge, in 2018, took the form of a 350-mile long cycle ride around the battlefields of France, Germany, and Belgium. Find out more about his fundraising efforts for Help for Heroes and what challenge he is planning to undertake next here.
He is currently a guest speaker on ‘Pathfinder’ courses for Help for Heroes, visiting Colchester, Tidworth and Plymouth to spend the day with veterans.His role as a guest speaker is to provide encouragement and motivation through the telling of his own journey through life, describing some of the incredible lows and also fantastic highs he has experienced. It means it can be quite emotional, for him and his audience, but the aim is to leave them on a high, to make them realise that there are better times ahead.
Phil is a superb leadership speaker awarded the MBE for services to business but he's donning his cycling helmet to support his other great passion cycling this weekend.
"On Saturday, 7 day distance world record holder James Golding and I set out from Pembrey Park in Wales to ride every stage of the Tour of Britain, one day ahead of the race.
Our aim is to raise £50,000 for the Dave Rayner Fund who provide financial support for upcoming bike racers to live abroad and follow their dream of becoming professional.
Around 5% of Dave Rayner funded riders go on to reach the World Tour racing for teams like Sky, however the journey there is tough requiring many years of discipline, training and building skills/experience. Riders previously funded include Hannah Barnes, Adam Yates, Ian Stannard and Nikki Brammeier.
Without this vital funding early in their careers, their chances of success narrows significantly. Seeing Geraint Thomas recent win the yellow jersey at the Tour de France demonstrates what talent we have here in the UK. More can be found about the Dave Rayner fund at www.daveraynerfund.co.uk"
Visit Phil's Great British Speakers profile HERE
Inspirational speaking star David tells us something about his life and what he does that's really special...
"I started my working life as an accountant (don’t ask) and transitioned to a second career in technology (I am a proper geek). In both of those careers, I found that where I thrived most was in making the complex simple and coaching people to do the same. Thus spawned a love for effective presenting and communications. I realised I was quite funny too, so that was an added bonus.
I left the corporate world to start my own company, speaking and coaching adults and students on how to communicate with business and professional success. I realised that most presentations I sat through as a professional were rather terrible (I want to say crap), and so instead of complaining about them, I thought I would do something.
I joined speaking clubs. I spoke at storytelling nights. I pulled on some of the stage skills I learned from amateur dramatics and singing. I tried stand up comedy twice. Which was scary but rewarding. I learned how designers put together amazing presentations using a variety of tools. I even tried my hand at TV presenting and hosted a show on Channel 4, called Vocation Vocation Vocation, and a business show online called Pioneers TV, hosted by Virgin Media. (Where I met Sir Richard Branson of course). I studied rhetoric, debate and international communications. Heck, I even spoke at two TEDx talks in the UK at Surrey and Olympia. 10,000 hours people!
THE PRESENT STORY
Using these experiences I developed my skill to become a professional speaker, communications coach and event host. This has allowed me to work with fabulous clients in the corporate, third and public sector, including Virgin Media, Asda, Sainsburys, Barclaycard, Societe Generale, HSBC, RBS, BP, Shell, Cisco, Morgan Stanley, Pearson, JP Morgan, Northern Trust, BBC, Channel 4, Telegraph Media Group, BOA Merill Lynch, Startup Awards, Social Enterprise Awards, Shell Livewire Awards and Unltd.
My desire is not only to demonstrate what good speaking and presentation looks like, but to help you to become a better speaker and presenter, whether in leadership, sales, pitching for investment, customer service or convincing your staff to stay motivated and driven".
You can find out more about David on his main bio page HERE
"As a speaker I get feedback all the time, both written and verbal. I once met a fellow speaker at his office and he had big piles of A4 feedback sheets from recent events all over the floor of his office, there was half a tree’s worth on his office floor! It’s just part of my world.
Ironically last week after doing two speaking events to speaker bookers where I was there to receive feedback (and bookings!), the tables were turned when on Saturday I became the judge for a speaking competition and I had to then give feedback to other speakers! It’s a tricky thing to give feedback, especially to new speakers who need encouragement and constructive feedback to help them improve. A healthy balance is key.
Feedback is a lot easier to give it out, than to receive it for most people.
Some people I’ve met run away from all feedback as they’ve been hurt in the past from a boss who was blunt, manipulative or just a poor people person. But even if we have had bad experiences, it’s part of life now and we need to find a way to process it.
Here are my 6 tips on dealing with feedback of any sort.
My feedback on feedback!
1. Learn to sieve it!
I’ve learnt to listen to all feedback but to sieve it very thoroughly in my head, sometimes even when it’s being given to me! Feedback comes with baggage, so ask – who’s giving me this? Why are they giving me this? What are their motives? Keep sieving and you can disregard some feedback and take on board some, but not all. I did a training day for a company last year and the feedback was strangely mixed. I was shocked to be honest as I thought it had gone well and the verbal feedback on the day was great. But the written feedback we got a few days later was decidedly mixed. So I decided to process it properly. I wrote down the feedback that i was concerned about, reflected on it, spoke to my colleagues and eventually i realised that this just didn’t seem right. So, I called the CEO who’d booked me and had a chat. I told her that i was concerned about the mixed feedback as this usually didn’t happen. We talked for ten minutes and the penny dropped. She told me that the feedback sheets were not done until the days after and they were done in an open office (maybe even around the water cooler). she also said that some of the delegates were recently retired from an industry that is known for very harsh feedback. I also got the impression that some of them didn’t like training and didn’t want to be there anyway, especially as they were used to working independently and only saw each other a few times a year. They were also used to giving training, not receiving training. The CEO then assured me that she was was very happy with the day and will use us again in the future. Phew! If I hadn’t processed that properly and hadn’t made that call, then I’d never have known the truth behind the unusual feedback. Keep sieving!
2. Not everyone’s opinion really matters.
This seems harsh I know, but it’s true. I have seen new speakers give other new speakers long and detailed feedback as of they are experts. Their feedback as a human being is perfectly valid of course, but unless they are experienced in that field, it’s just not as valuable as someone who’s been speaking successfully for years. I personally listen to feedback from speakers who I respect, and I’ve changed bits of my talks because of those speakers, but that group is a select few. Everyone’s opinion is valid but it doesn’t always carry the same weight and impact.
3. Don’t take it personally.
This a challenging one, but if you want to keep on going its essential. If you get feedback on a work issue, its work, its not usually a personal attack. Just because someone says that your report writing isn’t as good as it should be doesn’t mean that you are a bad person! It means that you may need some more training or you need to give that task to someone else to do. Play to your strengths more. It’s business not personal. Getting that into perspective really helps. Life is challenging enough without battering our self-esteem with stuff that isn’t relevant.
How to handle feedback and use it to your advantage – my feedback on feedback!
4. Ask yourself, is this true?
Some feedback is right and proper. Some feedback we should take on board, it’s what makes us better at our job or helps us become a better person. Self awareness is the key to personal and professional growth and part of that is being able to say, “Yeah they were right, I need to change that”. When I teach presentation skills I always make a point to say at the beginning of the session “I’m a pretty nice person, I’ll make this fun today, you will get chocolate(!), but you need to know that I will give you direct feedback too, because we all need it to get better. Please dont be offended, it’s just feedback...”. Once they know that, they seem to relax more and at the end of the session they always come out as better speakers and some even grow and become more confident generally – that’s why I love teaching presentation skills. A few weeks ago I was coaching a group and during the final speeches one delegate was using a scrappy, folded A4 sheet for notes, but it was becoming a distraction. So I stopped the talk and took the piece of paper from her. She carried on and nailed the talk, of course she didn’t need the piece of paper, she didn’t need notes, but without that feedback that leader would probably use a sheet of A4 notes for the rest of their professional life! She didn’t need them, she was great. She took it on board and simply got better. It was a privilege to see someone take on board feedback without offence. Sometimes we have to do that, it’s part of our job.
5. Keep the good stuff and use it to your advantage!
So we’ve talked about using the constructive feedback well, but lets also use the good feedback as a motivator! I literally keep the good stuff. I have a little book that i use where i keep good feedback or comments from clients, even stuff from family and friends. I know it might sound weird or egotistical, but it’s not, it’s a tool in my toolbox. When I’m traveling to gigs, or even just before I step on stage I have a look at these pieces of feedback and its focuses me for the task ahead and gets me into the right state of mind. Often as humans our default state is a negative one, we think of the worst rather than the best. This little trick will get you in the right mood to perform better. It’s not a Jedi mind trick – it’s just a simple way to get us on the right track to success. We tend to keep not-so-good feedback easier than good feedback. I’ve decided to keep the good feedback more prevalent. You should too, maybe you already do? By the way – no one sees this apart from me, it’s personal and private. It’s for me and my brain :)
6. It’s not the full picture.
The other thing about feedback is that often I can be speaking to a room of 200+ people and just chat to three people afterwards, so you never know what people took away. I got these emails in the last few weeks, from events where I got little or no feedback at the time. These are keepers for me and will go into my little book:
After a business event, where, If I’m honest the talk seemed like “hard work” – I got this:
“Hi Lee, Just had to drop you a line to say a big thank you again. I’ve had a couple of emails through saying how much they enjoyed your talk. I don’t normally get this! You obviously did something right!” So it turned out that the audience just weren’t very responsive – it was personality types, thats all. They loved it, but as an extrovert I just didn’t see it like that!
And after a talk in a challenging school, I got this too:
“Dear Lee, My name is ________. You spoke at my school ________. I dont think you remember me but we talked after your talk and all i would like to say to you is thank you. You really changed the way i thought of my exams, well i have finished my exams and school all together. I have started listening to your book How to enjoy and succeed at school and college. And i am really loving the book. I have enrolled in _______college...” He then went on to ask me a question about something I’d said in my talk. It made my day.
Feedback: collect it, use it, process it wisely, read it when you need to, but don’t live your life for it!
Did you know that knowing lots of people can be bad for our health?!
One of our expert in networking, Lee Jackson shares his thoughts on managing our social and business networks:
Research says that on average we all know about 150 people. We have 3-5 close friends/family, then 15 people who are quite close to us, 50 people who are acquaintances and finally a large group who we know a bit and we just wave to in the street...
When you have a “gig” based job like mine there is lots of marketing to do and contacts to make but there is also a part of my job where I’m waiting for the phone to ring or an email to arrive out of the blue. It’s just part of what I do. So I do still play the numbers game for business purposes but I also know that personally I should meaningfully connect to less, not more people and we should all of course choose those people very carefully.
We are designed to have a few really good friends not hundreds of vague acquaintances that always seem to be having more fun than us!"
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- Watch the numbers that you connect with
(have an occasional cull and remember on Facebook you can stay ‘friends’ with people but ‘unfollow’ them and they will never know!)
- Let’s learn to live a deeper life with fewer people rather than a shallow life with hundreds online.
- We’d find life a whole lot less stressful I reckon.
The 11 yr old who is one of the UK’s youngest motivational speakers. Inspiring Vanessa started her business as a motivational speaker when she was just 10 years old. She’s now 11yrs old and has rapidly become an international multi award winning speaker, and projecting that she will have even more high profile speaking engagements in 2018.
More importantly, she has travelled to several countries across the globe to help inspire children to reach their full potential. How did she do it? She enrolled in a series of trainings from top speakers and entrepreneurs, including her mum. She found a great business opportunity. And she kept going, she calls herself a “Kid-preneur” and she is.
In addition, Vanessa is the author of a three book entitled – “The 5 Secrets to Public Speaking Success”, “Book of Quotes - inspiration on the go” and Audio book entitled- “The 12 keys to Success” Vanessa’s mission is to inspire children and adults around the world to believe in themselves and have the courage to be whoever they want to be.
Vanessa has been trained and mentored by several top International Speakers and has shared the stage with the many top speakers in front of thousands of people.
Vanessa has also been interviewed on London Live TV and appeared in many newspapers and magazines.
Vanessa’s signature topics include:
• Love and Fear
• Taking Action
Inspiring Vanessa said "life is like a flower, so try and keep those petals on" - it means that each petal represents stages of our lives, once petal falls off you can't take that time back again, so use your time wisely.
Her awards include:
• Her awards - Fearless Speaker - August 2016,
• Inspirational Young Persons Award -October 2016,
• Award of Appreciation- November 2016
• Croydon Council Award for Good Citizen - March 2017
• Nominee – Best Child Author 2017
• Volunteer of the Year 2017 - Hgiving Charity
• Master the Stage - May 2017
• Nominee – Young Inspiring Person 2018
Lee is a popular motivational speaker who helps leaders and managers to 'Get Good' in the workplace.
Having worked in the voluntary, public and private sectors over the years he now works in businesses and education helping people to 'Get Good' in challenging times. He was the 2017 President of the Professional Speaking Association in the UK & Ireland.
People say that he is funny, engaging and a “breath of fresh air”. He doesn't do boring, and he’s allergic to bullet points. He delivers great presentations with content that is fresh and new, all delivered in an approachable style that engages even the most reluctant audiences. Unlike many speakers, he loves the graveyard slot after lunch! No jargon, nothing over-complicated, just the good stuff that changes people’s lives, build resilience and increases profit.
How to 'Get Good' and be resilient in challenging times
This is Lee’s keynote business presentation that helps you and your workplace understand real success and how you can achieve it. It’s success 101 – nothing boring or complex, just real life advice, research to help grow your resilience, effectiveness and your profits. Lee's vast experience of working in all three sectors makes him an ideal speaker to help to encourage real results and engagement from your team.
Specsavers, ADT, BBC, Austin Hayes Ltd, Gateshead Council, Career Academies UK, The Global Speakers Summit, TEDx, Telegraph and Argus Newspaper, Tribal group, McCain, Agilisys, Common Purpose, Watson Moore, Adobe, Asda, Leeds City Council, SalesChannel Europe, Leeds Federated Housing, Wrigleys solicitors, Barclays, Addleshaw Goddard LLP, Vodafone, Firmstep, Wakefield Council, Government office for Yorkshire and Humber, Co-operative Insurance, Yorkshire Bank, Leeds, York and Bradford NHS trusts
What the clients say:
“Lee has worked with us as a presentation consultant to make our nation-wide communications meetings the best they can be. There were some great conclusions from his consultation work. The main change has been that we are weaning the presenters off wordy slides and the presenters are now being challenged to learn their script. He was friendly, professional and very knowledgeable on presentation skills and PowerPoint/slide design. We look forward to working with him again.”
Director of Retail Communications at Specsavers Optical Group
“It’s amazing how many people in business use PowerPoint without having a clue how to use it. As such, it has a really bad reputation and a bad name. Enter Lee Jackson...here’s someone who knows how to use it...PROPERLY, and how to interact with it. He knows how to get the most out of it, and how both designers and delivers can use it as it was meant to and in doing so, deliver messages that are attractive enough for people to engage with.”
Senior Learning and Development Manager at Asda Stores Ltd
Lee...was excellent. Really clear, concise advice and tips about delivering a great presentation (whatever your level of experience) and all delivered with pace and humour.
RF, Partner, Addleshaw Goddard LLP
Lee kept the whole audience entertained throughout.
DO, Senior Partner, Yorkshire Bank
Lee Jackson delivered an accessible, practical and useful training session mixed in with plenty of humour. He is an excellent speaker whose content, style and delivery was right on the money for our business focused audience.
NA, Associate, Addleshaw Goddard LLP
If you want entertainment, hire a comedian. If you want entertainment AND insight, hire Lee Jackson.
Paul McGee, Author of the best selling business book ‘S.U.M.O’
Lee is a first class communicator, he is able to capture and then maintain an audience’s attention with wit, humour and a real-life relevance.
Lee’s presentation was informative, interesting and fun I went away with some great tips.
CF, GI Delivery Consultant, The Co-operative Insurance
On the same platform as Sir Trevor Phillips, Lee produced one of the most insightful, thought provoking and humorous presentations I had seen in some time. I would have no hesitation in recommending him for future events.
SN, Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber
You got the whole team involved, and we had a cracking time!
JV, Yorkshire Bank
Upon hearing the word ‘presentation’ my eyes usually close. But this was not the case during Lee’s presentation, during which the 45 minutes’ of tips, advice and interactivity flew by. A very enjoyable experience. Thank You!
JL, Paralegal, Addleshaw Goddard LLP
Lee’s talk was interactive, thought-provoking and funny, everyone tuned in and enjoyed the session and went away with a positive attitude...to their future!
AT, Teesside University
“If you are looking for someone to help staff with their presentation skills Lee is your man. He has worked with our Senior Management Team and Operational Managers to hone their skills in delivering interesting, well-presented, lively presentations (no death by power point here). I would also recommend Lee as an inspirational speaker if you are looking for someone to engage with and motivate your staff – down to earth, pragmatic and really hits the heart of the matter.”
Head of Corporate Services at Leeds Federated Housing
“Lee went to great lengths to understand our business and the outcomes we strived. He then used creative and innovative ways to update our thinking with presentations and messaging. The time we spent with Lee delivered some immediate value outcomes with presentations and helped us understand a firm philosophy which we’ll continue to build from. Since then I have seen improved client feedback and no doubt it has contributed to our businesses upward growth”
Business Development Manager at Firmstep
Steve Carr is one of the U.K’s most active Motivational Speakers & Mental Health campaigners.
With a powerful story that shows how he moved from the toughest challenges in life to becoming a successful coach, motivational speaker and philanthropist, he will totally inspire your audience:
With less than one hundred quid in my pocket and a tent, I began my journey on Monday 1st Feb. The campaign was to raise awareness of Mental Health issues and Homelessness, after experiencing both issues first hand me. On Friday 13th September 1991, when I was just 15 years old, my life changed irreversibly when my brother was tragically killed, along with four other children, by a reckless drunk driver in the Akers Way horror crash in Swindon. Paula Barnes, 15, Belinda Brown, 19, Paul Carr, 16, Sheree Lear, eight, and seven-year-old Ian Lilley were playing on the grassed area off Akers Way when driver Shaun Gooch lost control of his car at high speed and crashed into the group of youngsters. The tragedy shook the community and provoked fury among campaigners who had long been calling for a lower speed limit and other safety measures on the road. I received no support or help following my loss, due to my father's decision that my sister and I would be o.k, instead choosing I chose to mask the trauma with alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.
My mother and father divorced shortly after it happened and I was forced out of my family home. I lost contact with my Mother, father & sister, I could not hold onto any form of relationship for long periods due to the fear of loss and rejection and as fast as I was gaining friends, jobs and relationships I was losing them. During my early 30’s, things started to look up for me when I managed to hold down a job for long enough to buy a house, but then I found cocaine. I thought I was doing well until I found cocaine, or cocaine found me. I became an addict in a very short space of time. After a little under a year of taking cocaine, I lost my house, my job, and my friends. I lost everything, and my habit was costing me £100 a day. I couldn’t stop what I was doing to myself until one day I pushed it too far. I became homeless with just enough money for one more high, the last high. With a concoction of drugs & alcohol including Cocaine, Methadone, & legal highs, I vowed to take my own life. Something happened that day and I was saved, the concoction almost killed me, but something pulled me back, something saved me. I can’t say what it was but I was given another chance.
I contemplated taking my own life a further three times before I was diagnosed with mental health problems. After seeking help and counselling, I have finally been able to turn my life around and am dedicated to raising awareness of both mental illness and homelessness. After suffering a breakdown recently due to a work-related stress and my employment being terminated whilst off sick, I have now finally been cleared by the doctor and I can start my journey of raising awareness to help others -after all who better than someone who has been there?.
Steve's talks share his journal of moving on from addiction and trauma and how he turned his life around to achieve the success he has today. It's his mission to help other's empower their lives and realise their full potential
Learn how he used these new-found life skills to achieve the following;
- Walked from Lands End to John O‘Groats with just £100 and a tent in just 90
- Days raising awareness for Mental Health & Homelessness.
- Walked from Swindon to Downing Street to deliver a report on my findings from the walk.
- Cycled 1500 miles across 7 countries in Europe in 11 days raising money for charity.
- Cycled from Liverpool to Lands End raising awareness for PTSD in 4 days.
What the Clients say:
Steve Carr is a genuine, inspiring and engaging speaker and such a lovely person too! I loved his recent talk at Shape Your Destiny event in Bristol! It made me think so much is possible for us, we have an amazing potential within us and can always change the meaning of the past and be the winner in our lives, just as Steve has demonstrated with his amazing personal story. I love his energy on stage, his enthusiasm and personality. Great man. Thank you Steve.
Steve has an incredibly powerful personal story to tell of an intense journey from the depths of despair to soaring heights of transformation and is an admirable example of someone who changed his life and future through awareness, decision and action. His is a truly inspiring story of human possibility. That no situation is too bad to be overcome with the right mindset. As a speaker he delivers his powerful message of transformation with great style and humour.
Thank you, Steve, for your inspiring energy! Your story and your passion is absolutely healing and encourages us all to make a change and be stronger! Looking forward to seeing you again!.
I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Steve Carr for inviting me to an amazing life changing weekend.
This man has overcome personal tragedy and carved a mindset which is so positive it is mind blowing...... He has taught me so much about the power of believing in yourself and how to overcome the past.
Until Steve tapped into my psyche I had no idea that I was holding on to certain aspects of my life. He challenges with his ability to connect with people and I consider him to be a master mind of his trade. Thank you Mr Carr.
I’ve seen Steve speak twice. The first time he was lycra clad in the middle of one of his epic bike rides, raising awareness for mental health. The second time he had a normal shirt on! It was equally inspirational though. The guy has an incredibly powerful back story – a life of true transformation. He speaks with confidence and a high degree of comfort at being in his own skin.
Keep up the great work Steve.
Thank you, Steve, for giving me the courage and helping me to realise I really needed to do something that had been on my mind for a while. I’ve done it, I’ve released it and I even did it again! Thank you for shining your light and empowering others to shine theirs.
Simon Parker is a foreign correspondent and travel writer who often reports from over 40 countries a year for the BBC, The Telegraph and The Independent. He has sailed and cycled from China to London, scaled the highest peaks in the Andes, stared down charging black rhinos in Namibia and documented the impact of climate change in Svalbard. His new TV project, Earth Cycle, is currently being broadcast in over a dozen countries around the world.
Motivational speaker, panel discussion chair and event host, Simon has reported from over half the countries on Earth – and all within the first ten years of his career as a journalist.
He has been to some of the most extreme corners of the planet; from the high Andes and the centre of the North Pacific, to the driest deserts of Southern Africa and the frozen glaciers of the Arctic Circle.
In 2016 Simon sailed and cycled from China to London in 133 days – racing with and against the Round the World Yacht Race, for a BBC Radio documentary and Daily Telegraph series.
Simon has been stationed in South America for the BBC, hiked every possible route to Machu Picchu and as a fully-qualified paragliding pilot, flown solo through the Colombian Andes.
He is a former TEDx speaker and has served as a panel chair at the prestigious Front Line Club, London.
Some of Simon’s most memorable stories:
Sailing and cycling 15,000 miles from China to London - BBC World Service/The Telegraph, 2016
Driving a seven horsepower rickshaw the length of India - The Independent, 2015
Diving for urchins in French Polynesia - From Our Own Correspondent, BBC Radio 4, 2017
Climbing Bali’s three highest volcanoes in less than 24 hours - The Independent, 2015
Tracking desert-adapted rhinos and elephants in the searing deserts of Namibia - The Telegraph/The Independent, 2015/2017
Glacier decline in the high Andes, Bolivia - The World at One, BBC Radio 4, 2016
The first journalist in the world to ride the world’s longest ever zip-line in Ras Al Khaimah - The Telegraph, 2017
Investigating the effects of climate change on Svalbard, high above the Arctic Circle - Newshour, BBC World Service, 2016
What the clients say:
It was a real pleasure having Simon come to chair an event at the Frontline Club. Not only is he an excellent public speaker in his own right with fascinating experiences; he is a great interviewer – bringing the best out of the other film makers on the panel.
Laura Gane, Editorial Director, The Frontline Club, London
What an extraordinary life! Simon had the guts to live the way he wants, no regrets – and this is what appealed to us when curating our event in 2017. Even though he’s living out of a suitcase and always on the move that didn’t stop Simon from communicating with us regularly, refining his talk over several weeks to produce the kick-ass TEDx Talk that wowed our audience on event day.
Kimberley Owen, Event Director TEDxLeamingtonSpa
Simon gave an insightful and interesting talk to our sixth formers on travel journalism. It proved to be an excellent way to broaden our students’ horizons around travel and life as a hard working journalist. Inspiring stuff.
Will Speke, Deputy Head, Fitzharrys School, Abingdon.
Simon came and gave an interesting and inspiring talk to our cultural capital club on his life in travel journalism. It gave the students an insight into the world of writing, but also on the opportunities that travel can bring them. Simon was engaging and the students were able to relate to what he told them – especially that you need to follow your dreams and work hard to get there!
Tom Peterson, Assistant Community Director, The Oxford Academy
Simon is a fantastic young man who has dozens, if not hundreds, of funny and highly interesting anecdotes from a life spent living nomadically as a journalist around the world. Our students relished the chance to ask him about getting into journalism and exploring the planet. A brilliant public speaker accompanied by photos and videos.
Lisa Curtiss, Journalism Studies Course Leader, Solent University
Simon’s talk was not only fascinating and engaging, but carried an inspiring message about acknowledging who you are. Instead of conforming to “normality”, Simon has chosen a life which suits who he truly is – something we could all learn from.
Phil Sanger, Director, Vault IP Law Firm
A real highlight of TEDx Leam 2017 was speaker Simon Parker. Sharing his experiences, adventures and a clear message to change your perspective. Authentic and engaging, inspiring a fresh challenge to go beyond perceived limitations. Enjoyable and thought provoking.
Claire Brewster, Director, Coaching and Communications, Bright Living
Here is just some of Simon's outstanding broadcast work...