Wendy was great. Her speech was impactful and inspiring, and the students were very engaged throughout it’s entirety. We will definitely be recommending her to any partners who require a speaker.
Iain Killoughery, Operations Manager, Academy of Sport, London South Bank University.
“Before working with Wendy I felt stuck, defeated, drained and on autopilot. Following a 21 day plan that involved multiple aspects of personal development, awareness and ownership exercises, I felt positive, focused, full of intention and committed to get my outcomes. The program was supportive and enjoyable”.
Jo - Police Worker.
‘I first met Wendy when I was the Director of 21st Century Legacy, a charity that inspires, engages and empowers young people to pursue and fulfil their dreams, as an educational legacy inspired by London 2012.
Working in Primary, Secondary and Special Schools across the UK, the charity delivers the Be the best you can be! Programme which raises aspirations and increases self confidence. Wendy was recruited as a Special Speaker – an inspirational role model who could engage with the young people and help them recognise their potential. The charity developed a team of speakers across the UK and Wendy quickly became one of our most valued and effective ambassadors. Her life story of grit, determination, participation and achievement is both inspiring and humbling. At every presentation in a School, Wendy received remarkable feedback on how well she inspired and connected with the young people, whatever their age or background In particular, Wendy was especially effective with those who had troubled backgrounds or lifestyles – including those in Special Schools.
As well as being a speaker, I chose Wendy to represent the charity in making presentations to Head Teachers at their conferences and regional meetings. This is a demanding role given the current heightened political and financial pressures upon Head Teachers. Wendy quickly became the most reliable and effective spokesperson for 21CL at these meetings and I am thrilled that she has committed so much time to help us in expanding the awareness and take-up of the program. This work reached a high point when we selected Wendy to represent all of the Special Speakers as a VIP Speaker, to speak alongside Lord Sebastian Coe, Lord Stanley Fink and Dr David Hemery CBE at London City Hall, at the unveiling of 21st Century Legacy’s partnership with The Mayor’s Fund for London in July 2013. With compliments from Lord Coe, Lord Fink and many of the great and good in the audience, I echo and amplify their praise for Wendy and commend her.
Tim Mclachlan, Former Director of 21st Century Legacy.
“Wendy is one of the most eloquent passionate and genuine speakers that you will come across. Speaking from her heart, she sparks the fire in others. She has the ability to lift the spirit of those who hear her and have them want to fulfil their potential. What a gift! I feel very fortunate that Wendy spends some of her time with on the ‘Be the best you can be’ school’s project”.
Dr David Hemery CBE, Olympic gold medalist, Co-author and Co-director of the project.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 21 day challenge as it really helped me develop my self awareness and understand my habits. It was a non judgemental and open space to have honest conversations. This has really helped with my self confidence. I have gained some incredible skills and spiked an interest in psychology too.
Lucy - Entrepreneur
“If you’re looking for a speaker who engages the audience from start to finish leaving your audience enthused, amazed and inspired, I’d highly recommend Wendy. Her to the point style with no mincing of words brings her public speaking to a whole new dimension“.
Jeremy Reeve – FSB
“I recently attended a talk by Wendy and was blown away by the incredible advice that she has to offer. From establishing a positive mindset that welcomes and attracts success, re-training your thought process, to the most helpful time-keeping tips, Wendy is the personal development queen! She had me gripped the entire way through her talk and I couldn’t wait to put everything into practice – which I started work on immediately that evening! She gave clear, actionable steps that were attainable and simple, yet have already made a huge impact on my performance as an entrepreneur. I will definitely be attending more talks by Wendy”.
Melanie Fielden – Founder of Pioneer Chicks.
My name is Daniel and I was a Police Officer for 13 years. Most of my service was spent in a response role with the final year spent investigating child abuse. At this point I should stress that I loved Policing and never wanted to do anything else and I never wanted to leave!
During my service I attended a wide range of incidents and in the early part of my service didn’t get offered support or TRIM for incidents which I probably should have! In 2012 I was on duty and deployed to an A&E department following a serious house fire. I stood in the resuscitation room for several hours and watched as doctors and nurses worked tirelessly to try and save lives of children and adults. I saw 4 children die and one adult that night.
Before leaving the A&E department I was asked to seize burnt clothing, pyjamas that were stuck to stretchers, beds and still had skin on them. I went by Ambulance the final child who was in a medically induced coma was transferred to a burns unit. I knew she was unlikely to survive and when I got home it was announced on the news that she had died.
Following this incident I was offered TRIM, a system used within the constabulary that I worked in and developed I believe by the military to assess the effects following traumatic events. I was then offered counselling, something I was unsure about, but I went and following a 10 to 12 sessions I was provided with a professional diagnosis of PTSD.
I had heard this term banded around but didn’t really understand what it meant. The symptoms I suffered with through the next 4 years included not being able to sleep properly, anxiety in almost every part of my life but particularly heightened at work, guilt, lower self confidence and nervous about everything but again at work these symptoms were heightened and extreme. During these 4 years my life at home was difficult too, my wife, a saviour tried to understand and went out of her way to read books and research PTSD. I was snappier with my children who were still young, I would have severe mood swings and my personality changed.
I also couldn’t do things, like watch television programmes that contained fires, I couldn’t go to organised fireworks displays, I couldn’t sit in a room with a wood burner or open fireplace and each year I would be extremely emotional in the lead up to and after the anniversary. I suffered with flashbacks regularly and felt suicidal.
I was referred to the occupational health team again about 4 years after the incident within the Police Force and they sent me for further counselling (6 sessions of a different type), but this didn’t help and eventually feeling that there was no more support to be got from work, no one to talk to and no where to turn I handed my notice in and resigned.
I felt I had no choice, that it was resign or the unthinkable. During this time colleagues had been amazing, but I sensed that even though they understood that I had experienced an extremely difficult set of circumstances, I felt that they thought I was either “playing on it” or being silly about it and that I should have snapped out of it.
The stigma associated with mental health was still that in the Police environment you should be able to get on with it.
Having left a job I loved, a job I still am hugely passionate about, a job I would love to have gone back to, my wife and I had to think fast. We have 2 children, a house and bills to pay. My wife managed to get a full time job and return to a role she hadn’t worked in since leaving her role to be a stay at home Mum.
I set up my own business offering painting & decorating and gardening services. Fortunately this has all started to work out well however, I still was suffering with anxiety, with social anxiety (I didn’t go out and wouldn’t go to family events or social events) and my mood swings were still fairly severe.
In 2019 I decided I needed to try and do something to change and by chance through someone else a lady was recommended to me who did something different. I made contact with Wendy and arranged to attend a first session, she told me it would 2 hours.
I have to admit that I was apprehensive, the fact that I suffer with anxiety meant I was anxious about attending the first appointment. I was also feeling cynical that she would be able to help me!
The first thing I would say about my first session with Wendy is that she made me feel very at ease, she came across as being kind and wanting to help, but also with a straight talking approach which I felt comfortable with.
The session started with a chat around what had led to me being there and then learning a really good technique for calming and relaxing. Then Wendy went through a process to cover one element of our initial discussion. This was around the incident that had led to me being diagnosed with PTSD. At the end of the session Wendy explained that there would be a 3 day integration period where I might feel a number of emotions and then I should feel better.
The first day following my session with her I felt tired and lethargic and the second day I started to feel more with it. By the third day I felt fine and back to normal.
I still didn’t know how what we had done would help me or whether it had worked at all…..that is until the following weekend my wife and I were watching some television and there was a programme on which did involve a fire.
I watched it and had no reaction. I didn’t feel emotional and didn’t feel the need to remove myself from the room, or equally turn the channel over. My wife was astounded as this was the first time in 7 years that I had been able to do this without the extreme response. That night I went to bed as usual, I slept well and didn’t have any flash backs. The following day I woke up and told my wife how I felt, we both just couldn’t believe that one session with Wendy had already changed my life and the family’s life.
The benefits for me are obvious, I can do, watch and see all things I could prior to 2012 and not be affected by them again.
The benefits for the family are also equally as key, I’m not snappy with the children, I’m calmer, we will be able to go and see and experience things that we haven’t done as a family for many years.
If I had been referred to Wendy following that traumatic incident, I feel confident that I wouldn’t have suffered for 4 years and I wouldn’t have resigned from Policing! Being a Police Officer is an extremely demanding role and trying to do this while being tired, anxious, stressed and depressed was really hard.
My family during this time wouldn’t have suffered either. My colleagues who I worked with over the years would have not needed to listen to moans, they wouldn’t have needed to feel that they were carrying a team member and wouldn’t have needed to be concerned about how I might react at certain incidents.
I believe that what I have experienced from Wendy would give Police officers the ability to cope and manage with the most traumatic incidents without suffering in the way that I did, and many others do. I also believe that this type of help would mean that in the aftermath of such tragic incidents officers would be able to manage better and in turn Police Forces would have reduced absence from stress and anxiety. I also believe that Police Officers families would not be affected in the same way as there wouldn’t be the ripple effect from the Police Officer outwards.
Daniel Police Officer
The following client had experienced many years of serious suicide attempts and had been under psychiatric care for a long period of time.
When I first met Wendy, I was beyond lost and absolutely hopeless; following several forms of therapy over a few years I was convinced that nothing and no one could help me in any way. The most important thing that Wendy has taught me is that I AM in control, and that the way in which I look at my environment defines it – with Wendy’s help I have learnt how to make change rather than sit around and wait for it. Unlike counsellors and therapists I had seen previously, Wendy encouraged me to harness positive energy into my lifestyle and my environment, accepting and moving on from my issues and struggles in a constructive manor – the more traditional counsellors and therapists on the other hand focused solely on my issues and struggles, encouraging me to keep a ‘mood diary’ for instance, which while helpful for them, only drained me further.
One particularly useful exercise Wendy introduced to me involves observing your immediate surroundings, and identifying elements that are not causing you any sort of distress – once you do this you will realise that there is much more to your environment than your problems that you focus so heavily on.
As much as I would like to say that Wendy Smith has turned my life around, the truth is that she taught me how to do it myself.
George 21 years old
Our daughter Evie age 9, has suffered for many years living with anxieties. She started with night terrors & sleeping walking from a very young age. In recent years she has not been able to leave her room to go to school, it has then escalated to leisure activities, she just couldn’t attend.
We have tried so many other ways of helping Evie, with no success. I was put into contact with Wendy, who has engaged with Evie from the very start. With FaceTime conversations, telephone calls and meeting her in person.
Evie was on medication to help her sleep for a while, which she has not taken since her meeting with Wendy, this is amazing in itself. Her anxieties have decreased incredibly, even with getting up for school the very next day!
We would like to thank Wendy from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing work she has done with Evie. Living with a child with anxieties effects the whole family, this is life changing for us all. Thank you.
Girl age 9 with anxiety
Following years of experiencing horrendous emotional stress after an episode that left me with massive PTSD, I had explored all options and spent years in counselling to no avail. I had reached the point where I did not want to see my counsellor anymore as it was just making things worse, chatting about the same stuff over and over.
I had 2 sessions with Wendy that were quick and painless. The sessions left me feeling drained but somehow really light and the change was instant. I now no longer have flashbacks and can talk about the events without any emotional spikes.
Phi - Australia
My life was unorganised and full of drama before having a couple of sessions with Wendy. We quickly removed the issues that were creating the negative beliefs I had and reset the emotional imbalance.
Life has now opened up for me, I am happier and back in work knowing that I can create a better future for myself and children.
I now see drama around me and laugh at how that used to be me, not anymore.