Todays Empowered Woman is the dynamic Vicki Dawson
Vicki Dawson is the founder of The Children’s Sleep Charity. Although I have only ever met Vicki in person once, during those two very large, much stronger than I really like cups of tea. (the coffee machine was broken at the cafe) We hit it off.
She is passionate about the charity she runs, passionate about her family and very passionate about helping other families that are sleep deprived. Helping their children gain the benefits of a good nights sleep on a regular basis which is so important. She is knowledgeable and goes the extra mile to help out those in need.
So grab your cuppa,
Find out what makes this empowered woman tick and please bookmark the charities page as we all know a parent or carer with a child who thinks sleep is for the weak.
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up
Which led to a varied CV ranging from gardener to supermarket supervisor, hypnotherapist to teacher.
At the age of 42 I’ve finally found what I want to do for the rest of my life and that is to be a sleep fairy or to be more precise the CEO of a charity for children with sleep issues! Little wonder that the careers adviser and my parent’s all hit a stumbling block when trying to offer me guidance.
I’ve always had a passion for supporting others, I’m amazed when others don’t share this.
I was a member of the Girl Guides and spent many a weekend pouring tea in the local nursing home and as I got older helping out at a local Special School. Recently I spent a Saturday promoting a local charity (not the one that I run) trying to sign up volunteers for a Santa Dash to benefit disabled children. I managed to sign up one person, the list of reasons people gave me for not volunteering were endless, the main one being they are ‘too busy’. I’d always considered helping others to be the norm but that Saturday afternoon made me realise that perhaps it isn’t.
I set up The Children’s Sleep Charity in 2012
To support families of children with sleep issues. I naively thought that setting up a charity would be relatively straightforward and that funding would flood in to help me to support families on the brink of despair who were chronically sleep deprived. It has however been a complex process that has provided me with many setbacks along the way.
My inspiration for the charity came through my own parenting experience.
Finding out first hand how little support is available when you have a child who quite simply doesn’t seem to like to sleep. I’m mum to two lovely boys who taught me an awful lot about feeling tired! Sleep deprivation impacts greatly on physical, emotional and mental well-being yet there is virtually no support when you are in crisis.
Over the last four years I’ve spent every minute of my spare time working hard to ensure that the charity becomes established and grows to support families across the country. The stories that families share with me are devastating, family break down, fostering places being ended due to sleep issues, financial problems as the parents face employment difficulties through sheer exhaustion.
In December 2015 I resigned from my teaching post.
To dedicate my time to the charity. I’ve developed some key partnerships with organisations like Netmums and our team of sleep fairies give talks in Mamas and Papas stores across the country. Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group have commissioned a sleep service from us. Every family in the town can access free sleep support. We also secured NHS England funding to develop a specialist support workshop for families of children with Autism and are currently in the finals of Nursery World Awards for this piece of work.
Elaine asked me to share with you my top tips for being a working mum.
Finding something I’m passionate about – work doesn’t feel a chore. I love my role and feel so proud of what myself and the team have achieved supporting thousands of families each year.
Having somebody who believes in you is important too – surround yourself with like minded people. My husband Nick, is my rock and without his support I couldn’t have achieved half of what I have.
The team that work alongside me are incredibly supportive and I value each and every one of their contributions.
Have confidence in your own ability but recognise that success does not come easily and takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
Celebrate your success and don’t forget to make time for you and your family amidst it all, you are important too and you need to take care of yourself.