Friends who regularly go the extra mile to support and spend time with friends and family and their local community, are remarkably kind and truly special. They are unsung heroes who make life so much better.
Dr Lori Haskell is a clinical psychologist who divides her time between delivering professional training and educational presentations across Canada, and her private practise. She is a nationally recognised expert on trauma and abuse, and trauma related approaches to mental health service delivery. Lori works on projects addressing the impact of trauma on indigenous peoples, developmentally disabled people, and trauma related to homelessness, and restorative justice and gender violence.
Professor Melanie Randall held the professorship with the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, at the University of Western Ontario. Her current teaching and research interests are in the areas of sex discrimination and legal theory. Her publications include issues of women’s autonomy rights, and on sexual violence in women’s lives, including state accountability for responding to and remedying this violence, particularly through law. How topical can you get.
On Tuesday Annie Streeter and Jane Cowans, two of my local heroines, who run the Haywards Heath Branch of the NFU, invited members to meet Peter Faulding, a renowned world leader in confined space search rescue and forensic search. Lori and Melanie came as my guests, before returning home to Toronto.
Peter has consulted and presented extensively to agencies ranging from UK police forces through to the American FBI. Formed in 1995, he has with his team established a reputation as a world leader in the fields of specialist rescue, underwater search, forensic search, and protester removal, including ‘swampy’.
His story, told in his book: What Lies Beneath: My Life as a Forensic Search and Rescue Expert, is extraordinary. His passion and commitment to his work is captivating. His desire to ensure no one, particular children, take part in water activities, without suitable life jackets, is obsessive. As he said, “Seat belts and crash helmets are compulsory, so too should be life jackets”.
Peter spends time searching for bodies under water; many would have survived had they worn a life jacket. It is understandable he wishes the law to change.
I also invited along well-known local heroine Susan Fleet MBE, founder and managing director of Lea Graham Associates, one of Sussex’s oldest PR companies. Susan has raised over £3.5 million for charity through staging concerts both nationally and internationally over the past 50 years.
These are a few I had the privilege to spend time with, I could have mentioned others, but space prohibits. What richness friends bring to our lives.