A few days ago, I received a rather non-descript email from one Lynn Grocott. However, when I delved further and looked at her website and read her bio, I was intrigued by the way in which she has overcome many of her adversities. She very kindly let me have a copy of her autobiography and I was not wrong. Reading her story was inspiring and the fact that she is channeling the proceeds from the sale of her book towards helping raise money for a cause she believes in is astounding. It is with great pleasure I introduce you to Lynn Grocott.
Aneeta:Hello Lynn. Thank you for agreeing to participate in this interview.
Lynn: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you.
Aneeta: Let’s start with your life. Tell me a little about your childhood and youth.
Lynn: Ok I was born in 1960, in Staffordshire. I had a fairly unhappy childhood, suffering from physical and sexual abuse. However, I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful grandmother who gave me a lot of happy memories. As far as my teenage years were concerned I was a pretty average teenager who got into mischief, experimented with a drink or two.
Aneeta: It is obvious to anyone who has come into contact with your story that you have overcome some tremendous adversities. Rather than focus on these aspects, I would like, instead, for you to share some of the lessons that you’ve learnt. i.e. what advice would you give another person facing similar problems?
Lynn: I am not sure it is right for me to offer advice. I would really rather to say what has worked for me, and that is language, to be really positive. For instance when I was in a wheelchair instead of thinking “ I will never get out of this!” to think “I may get out of this”. Positivity really changes our lives every day and makes things so much easier to deal with. To learn to laugh at mistakes has been a blessing in disguise. To learn to ask for help has been a massive positive element in my life and also to have a goal to focus on! I learned that in order to grow as an individual I had to try to become a victor to any situation facing me.
When mum and dad committed suicide, I really felt tormented by their death. It was the sudden realization that it was a choice they had made that made me think I must really start to put their death to one side and to start to live my life!
Aneeta: That is a truly interesting point.
Aneeta: It’s also obvious that your family has played an important role in your life. To keep in line with being positive, please, share with us a happy memory. And, since it’s Valentine’s Day soon, a little romantic tale will be much appreciated.
Lynn: My husband is one in a million. When I was in bed from ms relapses and could not move, he would bring roses into the bedroom and bring smells of flowers with him. I loved to look at these, knowing how much work he had put into growing them for me! I call his garden “a labour of love”.
Aneeta: I understand that you’ve written your autobiography entitled, Cut The Strings. This is another dream of yours come true. I know that there is an interesting story behind how this book came to be published. Please tell us this story.
Lynn: Yes. I went to Peebles in Scotland with a group called the Academy of High Achievers. During this time I met so many interesting people, one named Debbie Jenkins, I told her how I really wanted to write a book. She told me to go ahead and she would publish it for me through her company Bookshaker.com. No sooner said than done. Debs did my website for me www.leanmarketingpress.com/frogs and my book was soon out on sale. On the same course I met Sir Chris Bonington, who was doing a motivational speech for all the delegates. He sponsored me to do a swim for charity and then wrote the Foreword for my autobiography!!
Aneeta: Part of the sale of this book, I understand, goes towards funding a charity. Please explain in detail what this charity is about.
Lynn: Yes, I have a massive personal goal within a small charity Child Advocacy International. I want to raise eleven thousand pounds to build a mother and baby unit out in Cameroon. So far I have raised five thousand pounds of the money needed, so I am down to needing six thousand pounds. I am holding a black tie event on 18th February to raise some more of the much needed total. Should any one wish to donate an auction prize or a donation of cash they can contact me via my email address Grocott3@aol.com
Aneeta: Please, I’m sure you have some stories about fundraising. Do you care to share some of them here?
Lynn: Ok lets talk about one or two things I have done when trying to raise some money towards the unit.
The first was a sponsored swim, I aimed to swim three miles, which I eventually managed, but it took lots of determination and a lot of practice.
Steve Halls, a personal trainer helped me to train and prepare for the swim. I was due in the pool at 6pm, when I was lying in bed that morning thinking I would rest, the phone rang. I looked at the clock it was five thirty. A friend from Ireland said “What are you still doing in bed? You are supposed to be in the pool in half an hour!” When I reminded him that I was swimming at 6pm he soon put the phone down in embarrassment and sent me an email to say he felt like a typical Irishman is portrayed as getting things mixed up!
During the training one of Steve’s favorite exercises was to get me to do squats. He had me doing ten squats whenever I sat down. I wouldn’t mind but that even included before sitting on a toilet seat!!
The one disastrous event was a pampering day that myself and a good friend organized. We had all the people there ready to do massage and manicures, clothing demonstrations and make-overs. The coffee was ready. The doors opened….. guess what? Three guests turned up! We made the most of it and enjoyed a day of pampering each other.
So where am I now? I have raised five thousand of the eleven thousand pounds needed to make a difference to the mothers and baby’s in Cameroon. Sixty five babies out of each thousand die at the moment. On February 18th I am holding a charity Valentines evening of fashion. Barclays are on board and are going to match some of the money raised. If I can raise four thousand pounds on that evening, or just after it I will have my total! Please help me to make that difference and see the champagne corks flying in the sky all the way to Bermanda in Cameroon
Aneeta: I understand that it comes in two formats – an ebook and a traditional book. Where can people go to pay for the ebook?
Aneeta: I also understand that people can make a donation directly to the charity. Please provide the link here.
Lynn: People can make a donation to the charity in general by going to my website www.leanmarketingpress.com/frogs but to make a donation to the mother and baby unit specifically they need to send their donation to Lynn Grocott 3, Hawthorn Close, Denstone, Stoke on Trent ST14 5HB. Make cheques payable to the mother and baby unit project co child advocacy international. A receipt from the charity will be sent to them.
Aneeta: Is there anything else you’d like to add, Lynn?
Lynn: I would like to say to people “Reach for the stars” “Go for your dream” “ live for today” “know you deserve the best”
Aneeta: Thank you very much for this.
This piece may NOT be freely reprinted. Please contact editor @ howtotellagreatstory.com for reprint rights.