All posts tagged: dijuana

Still overwhelmed!

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I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by!

I’m still overwhelmed by the response I’m getting and the number of unsung heroes that are doing great works all over the world. I have even had emails from America – people who have read articles on the internet – how amazing that the programme has touched that many.

The past few weeks have been so busy, trying to run my business and keep up with the media and various organisations and community projects, including the Liverpool projects, which I have to say have made such progress.  Dijuana has now planned another big event for half term and is also raising funds for a pamper weekend to thank the older generation that have been there for them in the local community.  As part of the gift to her I specifically asked her to have a girly weekend, as she deserved it, and she has come back and told me how much she enjoyed herself.  It was something she had never experienced before, and so she wanted to do the same for her role models, most of them aged 55 and above (How good is that?!).

DCLP have now employed a member of staff to help run the office and also free up some time for people like June who can now spare some time to go on holiday and not worry about the running of the projects while she is away.  They may have been able to cope without her for a week or two, but this means it’s one less thing for her to worry about.

Yesterday the Mayor of Swindon invited my family and I to his home for tea, for which we felt honoured as a family – he has been so supportive since we met him formally at our Secret Millionaire screening evening.  The kids were so excited – and so was I!  It is wonderful to know that he is behind the vision we shared with him a few weeks ago about wanting to make a difference in our local communities.

He has put me in touch with a lady in Swindon who is working in the local community with young mothers and teenagers.  They need someone who can spare the time to talk with them, and who they can open up to, and while I’m not sure I’m the right person to do that right now, having teenage children and a young baby myself,  I am certainly going to help organise her events and make contacts.  I am excited about working alongside her as she was so passionate, but what makes it all the more amazing is that she doesn’t even know I was on the Secret Millionaire programme – she just thinks I’m someone who wants to help…..which of course I am.

I have also partnered with 2 other voluntary organisations working in Zambia – The Book Bus and Street Child Africa – giving them more business support and seeing how I can help them best.

Last week I also met with the Zambian High Commissioner, who had called to see if we could meet to discuss how we could work together, both in the UK and Zambia.  We are now sharing details and making plans for when I visit Zambia in December and it’s all looking really good.  I have always believed that Together We Can make a Huge Difference, and now it’s really coming true, in a far bigger way than I could ever have imagined.

Caroline MarshStill overwhelmed!
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One week on…

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I can’t believe it’s been a week since the programme went out – I’ve been so busy and am overwhelmed by the number of people who watched the programme that have been in touch.  It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I’ve been an inspiration to them and that I can share some of what I’ve learned over the past few years.

Last wednesday I caught the train back up to Liverpool with Dijuana and had some more interviews with local radio stations.  It was just so good to see the people again, especially after watching the programme – I was reminded why I chose Dijuana and DCLP, and knew they had been the right choices.

While I was there I had the privilege to meet DCLP’s new employee and also some more of the people in the local communities.  They told me the I inspired them to Be More, but in truth, it was just as much the case that they were an inspiration to me and I am so grateful for the way my eyes have been opened to what I can really do to make the most difference in communities like this.

I will continue to support the two projects in Liverpool and am now working alongside local projects in Swindon too.  Our big vision for establishing a women’s home is attracting a network of local people that want to get involved – the Mayor is on board with the idea and we are meeting with him to discuss how we can work together and make the project happen.  It’s all very exciting!

I’m also getting reading for a number of shows & events in October, giving talks at the HMO Summit at Heathrow on the 11th and at the COC Business Achievers Conference in Reading on the 18th, so have a look at the calendar and come along if you can…..

Caroline MarshOne week on…
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Next morning

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Oh my goodness, what an evening!!  Better than I could have ever expected.  Everyone was laughing and crying  – mainly laughing at me trying to steer that awful buggy round the shops! – and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to share the evening with.

My pastor from my church came, Dijuana came down from Liverpool with her father and her sister, there were so many friends and other franchise partners…it was all such a whirl and I enjoyed every minute.

The mayor and Steve Bolton both gave speeches and Dijuana and I did a quick Q&A after the programme… I think I’m getting quite expert at answering questions now!  I’ve done absolutely loads of radio and newspaper interviews for Swindon and Liverpool and had another 3 come to interview me at the hotel just before the event started, plus there was a photographer from swindonweb taking pictures all evening.  I never expected there to be so much interest –  I got on the train at lunchtime to travel back to Liverpool with Dijuana and within an hour I had 3 phone calls to book in more interviews.

It’s all so exciting, and I just really hope all the listeners and readers out there are inspired to look around their neighbourhoods, look at what’s on their own doorstep, and think how they might be able to make a difference to someone else’s life.

Caroline MarshNext morning
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