I write about inspirational women here and read about them there. They seem such amazing individuals, sharing something with me from the past, present or future. But I wouldn’t say I know them personally. It’s not often that I get to rub shoulders with the Paralympian women or visit the 1800’s to see where my women’s rights took a giant leap forward.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that these heroes can be around us all the time, if only we stopped to find them.

In my day job, I interview and train dozens of new employees every week for my company. Faces blend and names get mixed up. It’s hard to remember who is who with such a high turnover of staff (nature of the industry) although I do try and connect with everyone. One woman stood out from the beginning with her strawberry-blonde corkscrew curls, crooked smile and energetic engagement in my interview.

Three months later and I’ve gotten to know her better. Who knew that such a traumatic and difficult story lay beneath that smile, or what obstacles she had to overcome in her life to get to where she was. A month ago she ran a cake sale at work for the charity she started, POVVA (Protection of Vulnerable Adults and Volunteers), a cause she can relate to on more than one level. In the last couple of weeks she had her story published in the Big Issue, ending with the words “life can be beautiful” – something I struggle to remember on certain days, let alone someone with the ugly patches that she has been through.

Caragh is a hero around me – an ordinary woman with an extraordinary story. How many of them are there, whose story may not be so visible, but the beauty can be seen if we scratch the surface?

More: visit Caragh’s charity website here


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