Trailblazing Lionesses inspire next generation of successful women

The success of the Lionesses’ this week has inspired a new generation of girls to get involved in football. However, access to girls only football teams is scarce, as more than half of UK secondary schools do not offer equal football coaching to boys and girls. In fact, landmark research from StoryTerrace, the UK’s leading biography service, has found that 1-in-4 (25%) females in the UK feel like progressing in a sport, either at player or management level, is not viable for them as there are no role models that they identify with. With the Lionesses’ historic victory at Wembley attracting a record viewership of 17.5 million, it has created a newfound visibility of female role models, excelling in sport and beyond.

These women are more than the 2022 Euro Champions, they are leaders in male dominated industries, showcasing to younger girls what’s possible for them to achieve in life. Along with women in sport, women in literature have always been significantly underrepresented. However, the female role in written works has evolved throughout history and has progressed to create strong, independent female protagonists. But what about the inspirational women who don’t live a life in the limelight yet still have incredible stories to share?

StoryTerrace, the UK’s award-winning biography writing service, has the privilege of documenting and sharing the life stories of the nation’s everyday female protagonists. Below are just a few of their incredible case studies who have published their experiences:

Latheefa Ameer, on overcoming adversity and raising her daughters to have a better life than hers:
Latheefa Ameer had her education taken away from her and was forced into an arranged marriage, and she discusses the trauma of those experiences in her book. She has also raised two daughters through this time and given them a better life with more opportunities. Her friends encouraged her to write a book on her life and have supported her throughout the process.

Shan Ellison, an ex-nurse who had a near-death experience with COVID in Vietnam:
Shan Ellison is an ex-nurse and has spent years caring for those less fortunate and in poor health and has many stories to tell. She has also experienced some considerable adversity in her life, and recently contracted COVID along with her partner in Vietnam. Both Shan and her partner were severely affected by the virus and nearly died, but Shan feels that they have come out the other side stronger for it with a renewed zest for life and a fresh perspective.

Pat Goddard, a successful entrepreneur and mother:
Pat Goddard started a milk buying business with her husband 40 years ago from the ground up, turning it into a success. She has 2 children, 1 of whom has been working on the NHS frontline as a dental nurse for those with special needs as well as Covid-19 patients. Self-isolation during the pandemic was the perfect time for Pat to start documenting her story.

Denise Bowles, on overcoming adversity to inspire others:
Denise Bowles is a local celebrity in Ilkeston, Derbyshire and she decided to write a biography to share her story of overcoming prejudice. She recalls difficulties in her life such as being physically abused as a child, being bullied at school, being diagnosed with a learning disability and having mental health challenges. She has written her book with the intention to inspire others, particularly those who have encountered similar issues.

Janet Balaskas, founder of the Active Birth Centre:
Janet is the founder of the Active Birth Centre and has created a book that charts the history of the centre. The Active Birth Centre was founded by Janet in 1986 and is the place where pregnancy yoga was invented. Today it is a centre of excellence for birth preparation, postnatal classes and complementary therapies led by only the most experienced teachers and practitioners.

Opal Lee, the Grandmother of Juneteenth:
Opal Lee, a remarkable Texas native, campaigned for 40 years for Juneteenth, the day honouring the end of slavery, to be a federally recognised holiday in the US. After having her family home set fire to and vandalised by 500 white supremacists, Mrs Lee took up a life in activism, teaching and campaigning for the Emancipation Proclamation to be enforced in Texas, drumming up a tidal wave of support along the way. Five years later, on June 17th, 2021, she stood beside President Biden while he signed into law the bill making June 19th a federal holiday. Having documented her story with StoryTerrace, she said: “I just want more young people who have ideas to bring them out – share them with us.”

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