Today for the ‘Folks for a World that Works’ Q&A, we talk to recently retired charity sector CEO, Bronwen Hewitt MBE. She follows on from Kimberley Jones in this inspirational and informative series, featuring switched-on people who are keen to make a positive difference.
“I’m getting on a bit, am married to an Irishman who I met whilst picking grapes in France and have two children,” says Bronwen. “My family come first and the rest of the world next; luckily my family know the rest of the world is pretty important! I have just retired from my role as CEO of a large charity which was incredible, beautiful, hard work but also very challenging in this current cruel environment in the UK.”
OurNet: Thank you for taking part in the #ffawtw interview Bronwen, what’s your big passion?
Bronwen: I would like to leave this world still creating, still laughing, shouting and probably cussing! My passion? Simply my family, friends, art and generally being creative, the people I came in to contact with during my time at the charity and the quest for change in the way they are viewed and treated.
OurNet: What would a ‘world that works’ look like to you?
Bronwen: Strong and equal community, opportunities for everyone throughout life, people living TOGETHER not in separate ghettos. Looking for people’s strengths not their weaknesses; people not being judgmental. Recognising people and community are strong and not powerless to change things. People coming together to create and work together. Looking after each other. Music, art, laughter, social responsibility, craft, adventure… pure bloody silliness sometimes!
My personal experiences and those of my work with vulnerable people has reinforced my belief that we should start from the premise that we should celebrate that we are all different from each other and enjoy those differences, yet we are humans and all want the same things: fulfilment, to be of use, to have friends, to know love, to be safe, to have a home. I cannot stand labels; we are all guilty of using them but we must all continuously question that.
OurNet: What is stopping us from creating a ‘beautiful world we all know in our hearts is possible’?
Bronwen: Maybe we don’t question enough, maybe we never look to see if there is another way, maybe we do, but never voice that for fear of ridicule or failure; maybe we forget that it’s OK to have fun in life; maybe we forget that everyone is human and will be enthused by good ideas and kindness and justice.
Maybe we need to just drop the masks we wear and reach out to each other on that level. Maybe we need to make sure that everyone recognises they have something to offer (it is often many things) and encourage them to bring that out rather than stay in the box that they have been fitted in to; whether that be age, gender, disability, job, …. you know the list!
All businesses to be social businesses, don’t get me started on banks!!
Bronwen Hewitt MBE can be found on LinkedIn
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