These 5 inspiring 50+ ladies in our “Don’t Inform Me I Can’t” class, show that something is feasible.
We’re delighted to announce the newest shortlist of nominees in our 50 Over 50 Awards, in partnership with JD Williams. (opens in new tab)
For the ‘Do not Inform Me I Cannot’ class, we spoke to 5 unbelievable readers who’ve all achieved superb issues of their midlife and past – regardless of any setback that got here their approach.
Beneath, hear the superb tales of 1 girl who took up mountain biking as she approached her sixties, and the solo traveller who took a visit the world over to volunteer at an orphanage.
Get able to be impressed…
The winner of our 50 Over 50 Awards will probably be introduced in our November challenge.
Phrases: Eleni Kyriacou
Helen Lewis, 64
The solo traveller who volunteered at an orphanage
“Don’t inform me I can’t…go backpacking in Africa in midlife.”
Helen took a sabbatical from her personal advertising and marketing consultancy and went to Ghana to volunteer in an orphanage.
She lived with a bunch household after which backpacked round Africa – typically on her personal – visiting Burkina Faso and Togo. She’s since returned twice and is attending the marriage of the household’s daughter in January (who she’s additionally sponsored by college).
Helen says: “The primary factor I received from backpacking and volunteering was realising I might do it. I felt like a very free particular person, an unbiased spirit and wasn’t terrified of what was in retailer or of being alone. There’s at all times an answer, no matter drawback is thrown at you.
On the orphanage the youngsters had been between 4 months and 4 years outdated, and wanted bucketfuls of affection and a spotlight. I fell in love with them.
In a rustic with little tourism, volunteering is a superb leveller. Age is irrelevant.”
Sarah Heward, 53
The girl who turned a failing Little Chef into a hit story
“Don’t inform me I can’t…make one million from fish & chips.”
Sarah noticed an advert for a run-down Little Chef in Tyndrum while on vacation within the Highlands. Inside weeks, she’d purchased it and relocated to Scotland together with her husband.
She’s since remodeled it into the award-winning Actual Meals Café well-known for its fish and chips. She’s served over 100,000 prospects and has a turnover of £1million.
Sarah has suffered quite a few setbacks together with the sudden deaths of her first two husbands (one previous to her transfer, the opposite one yr after they opened), and embezzlement from a former worker. However her grit and several other years’ expertise in hospitality have stored her going.
Sarah says: “There have been many obstacles – I underestimated seasonality, was under-funded, and naturally the private trauma too. However you get by by having religion, the proper folks round you and in search of assist.
My imaginative and prescient was a roadside café/diner that went in opposition to expectations – good high quality, handmade or domestically sourced meals in a pleasant atmosphere. It feels nice to have such a preferred café and great to have prospects from all around the UK and the world, in addition to our beautiful regulars.” therealfoodcafe.com
Ros Harper, 63
Loves mountain bike racing in her sixties
“Don’t inform me I can’t…take up an excessive sport – and compete!”
Ros, a retired biology trainer, received on her bike in a bid to get match after breast most cancers remedy in 2010. She’s since had each knees changed and biking has helped her get better. She usually competes up and down the nation, has accomplished the ArdRock endurance race in Yorkshire and ridden coast-to-coast throughout the Scottish Highlands.
There are very aggressive feminine cyclists of Ros’ age who’re as extremely expert. Just lately, she skilled as a sports activities masseur and affords her providers at occasions to lift cash for Bowel Most cancers Analysis (she misplaced her husband to this final yr).
Ros says: “I found that driving over steep, rocky trails was what I like doing, and I’ve been making an attempt to enhance my expertise ever since. Driving makes me very glad. My mates are very encouraging however not many wished to hitch me.”
Elaine Theaker and Sharon Magrath, each 55, and Di Carrington, 62
They crossed the Atlantic in 60 days.
“Don’t inform us we will’t…row the Atlantic and break world information”
Elaine Theaker, Sharon Magrath, and Di Carrington, usually are not skilled athletes however they make up Group Atlantic Girls. Though they’d by no means rowed as a crew earlier than, they undertook intensive coaching and in February 2018, competed within the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Problem. They confronted 40ft waves, excessive climate and extreme seasickness. They broke three world information related to rowing the Atlantic: they’re the primary feminine trio, the oldest feminine crew, and Di is the oldest feminine.
Skipper Di, says: “The scariest second was when the opposite two had been injured after we capsized twice on our final day.
We had been drifting north and will have missed our end in Antigua. And rowing at evening within the inky black was tough. Many finest moments: January’s blue moon, we noticed a green-backed turtle, the sunsets and rises and the nice companionship.”
Mandy Muden, 55
The Britain’s Obtained Expertise comedy magician
“Don’t inform me I can’t …get on nationwide TV in my 50s”
Mandy acquired 4 emphatic “yeses” from the BGT judges this yr when she carried out her comedy magic present.
She’s toured her distinctive mix of zany humour and sleight-of-hand magic in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, and has additionally carried out for the Queen at her Golden Jubilee live performance at Buckingham Palace. She’s the primary girl to ever host the well-known Magic Circle (which was all-male until 1991), and was additionally awarded Member of the Interior Magic Circle. She’s additionally received the Carlton Award for Comedy.
Mandy says:“As a baby, I cherished magic however there was nowhere for ladies to study because the Magic Circle was male-only. So I purchased books and tried to determine methods myself.
I began working in a circus in France, as a magician’s assistant. Britain’s Obtained Expertise is without doubt one of the few areas in TV the place an older girl like myself can break by, and I’m extremely grateful. Being a feminine comedy magician has been a really laborious street, however I’m nonetheless right here. My mantra is ‘don’t lose your nerve’.”