A collection of personal stories told in 10 minutes, chaired by Victoria Firth.
Dianne’s story is both fascinating and complex. Dianne will tell the story of her happy and safe childhood but with widely conflicting and contrasting influences which led her to choose to go down a life path which, at the time, was so different to her peers. The decision to forge a career and aim for financial independence, without children, was not met with much respect or regard from society at that time.
Rachel Harrod is childless due to infertility. She is learning to let go of the shame she’s felt and to trust her body again. She’s doing this by finding fun in movement, through roller skating, running and walking in nature. Rachel has been a member of Gateway Women for six years and it’s helped enormously with her healing.
Dr Robin Hadley is a world expert on male childlessness and ageing. His recent book, How is a man supposed to be a man? Male childlessness a Life Course Disrupted has received excellent reviews and his research has been widely published in international and national media. His PhD (Keele, 2015) examined the experiences of involuntarily childless older men. His counselling and own experience of childlessness led him to self-fund his MA and MSc on the desire for fatherhood and the levels of desire for parenthood in childless people and parents. Robin is a founder member of the campaign group Ageing Well Without Children and he is highly sought after as a consultant on research projects.
Stephanie Joy Phillips is passionate about raising awareness for the childless not by choice. She runs several Facebook groups: Childless Path To Acceptance focuses on support, Childless Chit Chat is a trigger free zone and Childless Perks!! is all about laughter and finding the positives of being childless without a parent saying ‘I told you so’. After realising there was no national or global recognition of the childless community, she decided to start World Childless Week. Steph lives in Worcestershire, UK with her husband and two rescue cats, Storm and Tea-Cup.
This event will be facilitated by Victoria Firth – a theatre maker, performer and writer working at the intersection of theatre, live art and cabaret. She is interested in empathy, embodiment and connection – getting under the skin of things that lots of us feel but often don’t talk about. She also provides well-being support and mentoring to other artists and runs workshops on self-care. Since she created her one woman show about childlessness How To Be Amazingly Happy!‘ (which she will perform at Storyhouse Childless) she has been a contributor to Fertility Fest, World Childless Week and The Fullstop Podcast.