Inspired Villages celebrates… International Women’s Day 2020

In honour of International Women’s Day on the 8th March, Inspired Villages has asked residents and colleagues to talk about the women that inspire them, the most courageous thing they’ve ever done and what International Women’s Day means to them.

Wendy, Resident, Millbrook Village

Jenny, Resident, Millbrook Village

Resident, Millbrook Village


Lucy White, Welcome Host, Millbrook Village

Lucy - Millbrook Village - International Women's Day


What women you are most inspired by and why?

My second cousin Dr Anne Merriman MBE. She is known for her pioneering work and influential research into palliative care in developing countries in Africa. She has campaigned to make oral morphine widely available in developing countries and is the founder of Hospice Africa, which supports new initiatives to offer palliative care to the terminally ill in Tanzania, Nigeria, Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda. Anne is an amazing and inspiring woman whose list of achievements is endless, including receiving her MBE in 2003 for contribution to health in Uganda. She is now 85 and still dedicates her life to helping others.


What is the most courageous things you have ever done?


I took a sabbatical from my job and joined Anne for six months as a volunteer in Hospice Africa, Uganda, a cancer and AIDS Hospice. I travelled alone, which in itself was an achievement for me, and I spent six months alongside the doctors and nurses and volunteers within the hospice and travelling to the villages.

It's the first time I really saw death on a multiple scale and saw some challenging traumatic heart wrenching sights that will stay with me for ever. By the time a lot of locals reach the hospice it is too late - they have visited witch doctors previously thinking there is evil in them, this time wasted means all the hospice can do is give pain relief. In Uganda, patients have to pay for all medication, hospital bedding and food during a hospital stay, and a lot of people can't afford this, however this is where and that is also where Hospice Africa comes in. The experience definitely changed me, I like to think, for the better.


What does International Women’s Day mean to you?


A worldwide celebration to honour the achievements of some great ordinary women and to promote gender equality across the world.

Sally Griffiths, Assistant Village Manager, Millbrook Village

Sally - Millbrook Village - International Women's Day

What women you are most inspired by and why?

My mum. She has always worked really hard throughout her life to ensure we were fed and clothed, even sacrificing things for herself to achieve this. She has always done this with love and a smile on her face and encouraged us to be brave, follow our dreams and go for it.

What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?

Went to Hong Kong to work, initially for a one year contract, but for what then transpired to be 13 years. I didn’t know anyone or anything about Hong Kong. I learnt so much from that experience which gave me confidence.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me it is a celebration of women and all that they achieve, no matter their upbringing or background.

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