The story of our our Club Member, Glenda Burns, in her own words:
“I live with my partner Andrew near Ballygowan. I’m the face behind Active First.
I have a diverse background and life story like a lot of you! I used to be a career hungry ambitious young woman determined to make it, which in my eyes was to executive level. I did, and I worked as a chief officer for both a governing body of sport and then a government health initiative for over ten years. On the side I dabbled with sports development activities and then activity therapy. I’m also a non-executive Director for Nexus_NI and an Emergency Transport Attendant in St John Ambulance Belfast HQT.
However, behind the scenes I battled with depression and an eating disorder for fifteen years until ten years ago when I recovered. The wheels came off again mid-2017 when I developed Complex-PTSD which also triggered a relapse in my eating disorder☹️. It took me a full year to even begin to understand what was happening and why. I now accept that it’s my time to process and heal over thirty years of abuse and trauma that life has thrown at me. From childhood abuse including life threatening violence, to adult trauma that involved two heart operations, fertility issues, six miscarriages, two traumatic births and an abusive marriage among a pile of other stuff!
After ten months off work ill I handed my notice in last September. I realised that my true path is in helping and caring for people using my skills in activity and health. So Active First was relaunched in mid-January 2019 offering activity therapy services. I mainly work with the elderly, people with disabilities (mental/physical) and people with long term health conditions.
My life has changed significantly over the past two years. I’ve went from being a chief officer for a government health initiative to now working on my recovery full-time (with the care of a NHS mental health team), learning to manage other long term health conditions (ME and PCOS), while also dedicating time to my children and trying to build my business.
Last year I also took the decision to be open about my health and my background. I’ve become an advocate for mental health and for survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence. I’m going to be one of the faces for the upcoming Eating Disorders Awareness Week campaign with Beat (BEAT Eating Disorders UK charity) 25th Feb-3rd March. I do believe that the more people talk, the more awareness will be raised and hopefully more people will gain the courage to reach out and get help.
Life shapes us as they say but it doesn’t have to define us.
I have found so much support, advice and comradely in the Mums At Work Networking Group and Mums at Work Club that it spurs me on and I can feel my mojo, confidence and self-esteem slowly returning. Thank you to all of you wonderful ladies, I think you and your journeys are all fabulously interesting and unique. I look forward to meeting you at some point in future.”
Join the Mums at Work Club, a network of business mums – for only £4.20 per month https://tinyurl.com/yxn37zpl”