Sally Bonnie is the CEO of Visible Breakthrough Coaching and the Founder of Inspire Women Oldham.
She found a way of doing business that enabled her to invest both time and money in developing a not for profit Women’s Organisation in Oldham Greater Manchester. Sally has spent almost three decades creating and delivering life changing programmes, inspired from personal experience, and from seeing that there was a need to support women in a way that didn’t perpetuate their labels. Her passion and obsession focuses on creating heart centred spaces for women to transform and thrive.
In 2014 Sally’s work was recognised through the National Women in Housing Award under Best Project/Innovation. Since then Sally has shared her learning both nationally and internationally.
What inspired you to set up a Women’s Organisation?
I am passionate about women living a life free of labels; enabling voice and visibility. I met so many women who were completely disempowered due to negative labelling. I believe that when we start from a place of seeing women as disadvantaged, and discuss how we enable them in their absence, we send a message that says the only way out for you is being fixed or rescued. In this relationship women are only ever the passenger. However I have seen that when we start from a different space; create a different environment; use a different language we see amazing transformations. Women flourish and thrive and reclaim their voice and identity, becoming active citizens, facilitating the empowerment of others. I believe the latter is absolutely what we have to achieve, for women to regain their natural power, and to achieve any sense of equality.
What motivated/motivates you to be a Change Maker?
My desire to make a difference in the world is something that has always been there for as long as I can remember. My family history is firmly rooted in social reform and justice. My Great Grandfather and his father being heavily involved in helping to change the systems that prevented working class people living full lives. When I was 5 years old I declared that I was going to Africa to teach women and children how to be happy! I always wanted to teach; to add value to people’s lives. I haven’t made it to Africa yet! However my journey has been an incredible one; my passion and devotion; my motivation being fuelled by the women who have walked the path beside me.
Being a Change Maker is so much about co-producing new stories with women. When our stories include women who are wise, powerful, Change Makers it creates a space from where women can claim and live a different story, regaining her voice and inspiring others to do the same. I have seen that when women do the change for themselves they experience it as liberation and opportunity, no longer defined by a set of labels. Women become active citizens who want their voices to be heard, who want a better life for women and their children. No longer afraid, defined by their labels.
There are women throughout our world who have no voice, whose gifts are stifled by the unequal power structures that keeps them small and silent. Women who given the right environment would inspire the changes we are seeking in the world. I believe those are the real Change Makers we are seeing emerge.
If you could change one thing for the women you champion, what would it be?
That is so easy for me and is all about equality of power and negative de-labelling. There is, and has been much talk about devolution. True devolution from Inspires perspective is when women have a voice and equality of power in designing, developing and delivering the services they want. Leadership amongst the many, and not the few. That is so much more than consultation and yet we see more and more that women’s voices go unheard; women and the lives they experience being woefully unrepresented. Decisions are made without asking what women really want. I/Inspire want to change that; not by being difficult or through conflict. We want to be invited to those tables in listening spaces, to debate, to negotiate. I believe that should not be for a privileged few.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I want to continue my work with Inspire Women Oldham supporting them to sustain and grow the incredible organisation they have, supporting the women involved in any way I can. We have launched a #Changemaker Campaign that aims to increase the voice and visibility of women at decision making tables, and are inviting both men and women to get involved. I am also currently developing a Young Women’s Project to support the capacity building of young women to enable them to take my programmes and learning to young girls and women.
My next challenge? I have a few! I launched my on-line business this year that includes Membership and Retreat packages for women, and for women in business, with the aim of being able to reach more women. I have had to learn so much about the on-line world, and am currently planning taking Visible on a road trip back to America!
I am also working with an award winning project in Indonesia who is interested in bringing my coaching programmes to women who are in prison. This is an incredibly interesting and exciting project to be part of, despite the many challenges.
How can others help you and Inspire Women Oldham?
If you want to read more about me and my work; or are interested in working with me you can find out more information by visiting the Visible Breakthrough Coaching Website.
If you are interested in becoming a #Changemaker or want to learn more about Inspire Women, you can find more information by visiting the Inspire Women Oldham Website.