Up the ladder in a skirt! – Workshop

Maggie Georgopoulos

Join us at the whole Woman Conference to enjoy 8 great workshops from leading women in business.

Maggie Georgopoulos will share her own experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – as well as those of other leading female business executives and entrepreneurs, in a down-to-earth and insightful style that is easy to relate to regardless of your current occupation.

This is not simply a workshop about how women can advance up the career ladder while enduring negative messages, it is also about being a good and effective people manager. Understanding a team’s needs and wants, being respectful and open, and giving team and staff members a platform to discuss issues – whether personal or professional – are skills that both male and female managers need to learn if they want to lead happy and productive teams.

In Up the Ladder in a Skirt, Maggie does not simply discuss aspects of career progression. She also talks about juggling personal lives with careers. Maggie discusses mental health issues, laying bare her own mental illness, and explaining how important it is not only to look after your own mental health but also that of those you lead. During this workshop you will get an introduction to the first 5 basic rungs of the leadership ladder which can be applied, revisited and grown no matter what point you are in your leadership career and whether you are working in an organisation, about to move into employment or are starting out in your own business, or work in and on your own business.

Key take-aways:

  1. How to gain leadership success as a woman in a ‘man’s world’
  2. Discover how to conquer the voices telling you you’re ‘not good enough’
  3. Learn to use a true sense of community to climb the ladder


Amanda Wood Sponsors the WOW Panel!

A few words from Amanda Wood…

Why I have chosen to sponsor The Whole Woman Conference

Amanda Wood, WPA - WOW Panel SponsorAs a Healthcare Partner with the Western Provident Association (WPA), I am naturally interested in Health and Wellbeing. As a not-for- profit private medical insurer WPA believes in helping less fortunate people to improve their lives. Therefore, for both these reasons, I am pleased to be able to support Ramana’s Garden in India to provide protection, security and hope for vulnerable children in India, as well as empowering local women and enable them to feed their children.

As a local business woman, I am also pleased to be part of this truly amazing conference, celebrating the power and vibrancy of women! I am looking forward to hearing the inspirational tales of other business women, the colourful stalls, the hints and tips from the wonderful workshops of course the wonderful lunch at the beautiful Warbrook House!

As a member of the Athena network, I am proud to support my inspiring colleagues Linda Huckle and Cathy Richardson in this incredible project. Well done to them!


Amanda Wood, WPA has sponsored The WOW Panel at The Whole Woman Conference – we are extremely grateful for her support.


Daydreaming and Plate Spinning

by Jenny Thomas

I’m absolutely thrilled to be supporting the Whole Woman Conference this year with my Workshop – Start Your Road to Happiness!

I’m passionate about helping others to learn, discover and understand themselves so they can develop and become the person they want to be and live the life they want to live.  For so many of us, finding time for ourselves and really thinking about what we want in our lives is a challenge in itself, let alone actually knowing what to do about it!  Be honest, how much time do you spend day dreaming or fantasising about how you’d like things to be different?  And how many times have you put those dreams on hold just to keep all the plates spinning and ensuring everyone else in your life is happy?  And suddenly, 6 months has gone by, years even.

You are important and so are your dreams and aspirations.

I decided to put this workshop together to help facilitate time and space for you to think, but in an accessible and fast way that helps get those thoughts in order.  Imagine learning in just 45 minutes where you spend most of your time and energy in life, understanding where you are right now with all those plates you’re spinning and then being able to see how you can start to move forward and get you where you want to be…. without dropping any plates!

Through my workshop you will be able to get a clear picture of what your life is like and how satisfied you are with it.  I’ll then walk you through a process to take stock, identify what it is that you really want and then create an action plan that you can take away with you to ensure you start living the life you really want.

It will be a relaxed, informal but structured workshop and all you will need to bring along is your fabulous mind and a desire to make some changes in your life.  I’m really looking forward to seeing you at the conference and working with you during my Workshop to help your dreams become reality.


Jenny Thomas will be presenting her workshop Start Your Road to Happiness at The Whole Woman Conference.

Raging Hormones!

Carol Paterson talks about all things menopause

I have been a beauty therapist nearly 25 years and now have a beauty salon for the last 3 years, which I run on my own called Queen Bee in the Woods, in The Sands, Farnham. My clientele tend to be of a similar age to myself  (53) who are all going through the same menopausal issues as me, so I daily have discussions about the subject. This has prompted me to do more research, which is why I am happy to share the information I have learnt on my journey, with others.

One of my clients’ main concerns is embarrassing excess facial hair that occurs as hormones begin to change. I have specialised in electrolysis hair removal and advanced electrolysis for skin lesions for over 20 years. These treatments are relatively pain free and easily carried out, but there is a fear and embarrassment in dealing with this problem. One of my clients was shaving her chin every day when we started treatment – I now see her just once a month for a quick tidy. She is so pleased with the result!

I have also run an Intense Pulse Light (IPL) clinic for 2 years, and can give good advice about the success of these treatments.

Skin aging, loss of skin tone, pigmentation, lines & wrinkles, skin brightness can all be improved with the correct skin care and advice. Sadly, as we age, if you want to maintain a youthful look, it takes regular care and attention. We all dry out with age, so regular moisturisation of the skin and drinking 2-3 litres of water a day will help immediately.

I love aromatherapy and essential oils, and found out in my early 20’s how powerful and useful they can be. I have worked very closely with a Tea Tree oil brand for many years and have many stories to tell about how amazing its’ benefits are.

They are also fantastic for balancing hormones and affecting your mood. The oils can have very profound psychological effects when used in the correct way.

I am personally focussing on nutrition and recording the difference this makes on me physically and on my mood, and this will also be discussed, as well as the benefits of regular exercise.

Myself and another colleague have a Facebook page, called the Seven Dwarves of Menopause Community, where you can share any relevant information or ask for help and advice, so please find us and feel free to join.

I am very much looking forward to sharing all this information with you!

Carol, Queen Bee in the Woods X


Carol Paterson is presenting her workshop, Holding Back the Years During the Menopause and Beyond at the Whole Woman Conference

Ill again? Must be holiday time

by Madelaine Fox

Reflecting on how my thinking has changed and expanded over the years, I am reminded of a boss I had some time ago. I see myself at my desk, coughing and sneezing counting down the hours before my holiday starts. “Ill again” mutters my boss as he walked past my desk, “must be holiday time”. I remember laughing it off, I was in my twenties and of course felt invincible.

Over the years I have suffered from many ailments. Headaches, food intolerance, severe indigestion, random aches and pains, the list could go on. My GP could not provide solutions to these problems so I looked elsewhere for answers. For instance, changes to my diet and for some time life would go back to normal but the solution was never long lasting.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009, London working hours were long and commuting on the tube was an everyday battle. Busyness and stress were worn like a badge of honour which I no longer wanted to wear. I needed to have more control of my life and my investigation led me to Ayurvedic medicine (a system of healing originated in India). The Doctor was interested in my symptoms of course but also asked lots of questions about my lifestyle. What job did I do? Where did I live? How did I get to and from work? How many hours did I work? Did I meditate? I began to see that I needed to be in charge of my body and that my lifestyle was impacting me negatively. It became clear that I had a choice to live my life in a more positive and holistic way.

I knew that physical fitness and exercise had an impact on my resilience, but I also knew that there had to be more to it and so I started an exploration of the mind-body connection. We have come a long way since Descartes declared in the 16th century that the mind was completely separate from the body. Yet essentially many of us still live outside of our bodies.

What is our body telling us that we are not paying attention to? How can we listen to what our bodies telling us so that we can take care of our needs and choose how we respond to the world? The Body Never Lies is a workshop taking you through an exploration of my experience and research into how the mind and body interact. We will explore how we can reconnect with our internal and physical experiences which will allow us to make more positive choices in our responses to the world, helping us to reduce the level of stress and its long term negative effects.


Madelaine Fox will be presenting her workshop The Body Never Lies at The Whole Woman Conference

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Whole Woman Conference is pleased to announce our Sponsorship Package.

Many of you have expressed a wish to help with the event without facilitating a workshop or having a Market Place Stall, and so we have designed 3 Sponsorship Packages to appeal to different business types and sizes:

  1. Table Sponsor: Each table at the morning activity (the  World Cafe) will have a sponsor. Their details will be listed on the table and they will host the table discussion.  The sponsorship package is £135 which includes one ticket for all activities at the conference, lunch and refreshments throughout the day. In return, you will be able to place leaflets/flyers in our delegate bags and your details will be published on our website under ‘Our Sponsors’ section in the Contributors page. Sponsors will also be invited to write a blog for the Whole Woman website.
    (10 x sponsorships available)
  2. Wow Panel Sponsor: Sponsors will be invited to take part in the Wow Panel at the end of the afternoon. The sponsorship package is £225  which includes one ticket for all activities at the conference, lunch and refreshments throughout the day. In return, you will be able to place leaflets/flyers in our delegate bags and your details will be published on our website under ‘Our Sponsors’ section in the Contributors page. Sponsors will also be invited to write a blog for the website.
    (2 x sponsorships available)
  3. Event Sponsor: One sponsorship is available will sponsor the whole event. This sponsor will get everything that the Table sponsors and the Wow Panel sponsors get, their logo with link to their webpage will be included on all pages of our website (ie The Whole Woman Conference is sponsored by …..).  The sponsorship package is £575

The Whole Woman Conference is not registered for VAT.

To secure one of the Sponsorship Packages, please contact Cathy and Linda on thewholewomanconference@gmail.com or complete our enquiry form

Our Organisers – This is Linda’s Story

Linda and Cathy idea generating

Cathy and I first met around 18 months ago at a local business networking event and seemed to bump into each other at similar events over the next few months. As we got to know each other, we realised we shared similar values and interests; in fact, when Cathy realised I ran The Athena Network in her area, she was quick to visit and become a much valued member.

We arranged to meet up to talk about our businesses in more depth and to discuss potential collaborative initiatives; it was at this meeting in February 2017 that Cathy talked about her visit to Ramana’s Garden and the deep impact it had on her. (Read Cathy’s story here).

Cathy’s story affected me deeply – and the two of us starting to generate some ideas of how we could work together to raise much needed funds, as well as giving practical help to Ramana’s Garden.

Here is my story of how The Whole Woman Conference has developed and grown so far:

Planting the Seeds…

Cathy and I discussed all sorts of ideas including the usual raffle, auction, coffee morning – and then had the idea of providing a confidence workshop for women where all proceeds would be donated to Ramana’s Garden. We even started planning the workshop together, looking at dates, venues, tickets… and then, we had a spark of inspiration!

In The Athena Network and other networking groups we belong to, we are surrounded by talented businesswomen with a whole host of skills. As the ideas flew, we both said almost in the same breath:

“We could organise a whole day! A Conference! To celebrate all aspects of womanhood!”

And so the initial seeds for The Whole Woman Conference were planted.

Emerging Seedlings

We started to plan out what our Conference could look like. What we were both excited about was the combination of providing a special day for women, focusing on educating, upskilling, inspiring for all women at all stages of their lives, and at the same time raising awareness and funds to help Ramana’s Garden.

The name for The Whole Woman Conference came from our aim to encompass the whole woman.  The Conference aims to upskill  women at all stages in their careers and lives.  We wanted to make sure we had workshops, keynote speakers and activities during the day that would open discussion and that at the end of the day, delegates would leave inspired.  This Conference is for ALL women at ALL stages of their lives and careers.

We knew we needed help to get it going and so invited businesswomen who we knew would be interested in being involved to join us one evening whilst we outlined our ideas.  This conversation sparked even more ideas and we gained commitment from those who had attended to be involved.

The next step was to find the venue. One of our networking contacts is a venue finder and she did all our research, negotiations, weeding out the venues we liked but were too small, too expensive, too corporate.

Why Warbrook House?

Cathy and I were looking for somewhere that would give our delegates a special day out, where they could relax in a beautiful environment and as far away from corporate conferences as possible. The venue needed to be big enough to accommodate 120 people comfortably and have plenty of breakout rooms for our planned workshops. We also wanted to give our delegates a truly good lunch (not just plates of sandwiches and stodge) and plentiful free parking on site. Warbook House ticked the box on all aspects and we have exclusive use of the house all day.

What clinched it for us was the ‘feel’ we got when we walked into the hotel – it is so welcoming, light, airy and feels right for the type of event we are holding.

Green Leaves

As our plans for the Conference developed, we started to put the feelers out for workshop facilitators and created our Facebook Page. In May, we advertised for facilitators, created our Ticket Booking page with Eventbrite and paid our deposit for Warbrook House.

Suddenly, everything became real – we had a date, a venue, tickets were on sale and in June, we finalised our workshops. We had such a fantastic response, with 72 applicants for workshops and only space for 8. It was such a hard decision and we truly believe that the diversity of workshops we have selected will provide plenty of choice for our participants on the day.


The more we talked about the Conference and about why we are doing it, we found that people, both women and men, were so affected by Cathy’s story that we started to receive offers of practical help and skills free of charge. This includes our logo design, website design and hosting, advertising, venue finding, admin, workshop facilitators, keynote speakers, Market Place stalls. Every person contributing to this Conference is doing so free of charge and are purchasing their own tickets to be part of the day. Read more about our Contributors.

These people have helped our Conference to blossom and we will be forever grateful for your generosity. It means that even more of the funds we raise can be donated to Ramanas Garden.

We have Market Place stalls available for booking now – these are for you to exhibit and sell your range of gifts and products. Your Market Place ticket will include full access to the Conference, lunch, refreshments for one stallholder.


The fruits of The Whole Woman Conference will be the proceeds from the event itself, and the packs of cotton knickers that will be donated directly to Ramanas Garden. As you will see from Cathy’s story, she is personally taking all the proceeds and knickers to Ramanas Garden on her next visit.

To help make this an even more fruitful event, we are offering sponsorship opportunities for businesses. Read more about Sponsorship Packages here.

How can you help?


Contact Linda and Cathy to discuss MarketPlace bookings and Sponsorship Opportunities

Our organisers – This is Cathy’s story

Cathy Richardson yoga coachingIn October 2016, I visited Rishikesh with a group of fellow yogis. It was my first ever visit to India, and it was a pretty much full on sensory experience! It was th noisiest, filthiest, poorest, saddest place I had ever visited. It was also the most self-discovering, heart opening and uplifting experiences of my life.

Growing up in South Africa, I thought I understood Third World poverty. But nothing could prepare me for the abject poorness of India. People sleep where they beg, on the dirty streets. The smog in Delhi was thick as fog. You could taste the grit in the air. And in this, people sleep on the sidewalk, on roof tops, on pavements and on the ridges between dual carriageways. Everyone seems to own a moped with a hooter, and the hands are jammed down on these noise-makers constantly. Cows walk freely in the roads of Rishikesh, entering freely and causing traffic jams while residents patiently wait for the holy beasts to pass. And amongst all this, rows of beggard, skinny sadhus and bhabas offering blessings in return for something to eat, streetsellers loudly peddling their wares and the heat blanketing everything in a sweaty, slightly putrefying and deeply stifling blanket. And then the children …

The poor children of India broke my heart. I took a little girl into a shop to buy her a pizza, because I was so touched by her visible hunger. She asked the pizza man to wrap it up, so that she could share it with her brother and mother who were begging in the street. The children vie for attention, money and food, creating noisy diversions with acrobatic contortions. It’s impossible to help everyone. The poverty was overwhelming to me. The blankness of some of the eyes staring out of thin faces made me feel that I had to do something.

And then, we went to Ramana’s Garden.

My yoga students had brought chewable vitamins and children’s underwear to donate. As it happened, they all brought cotton knickers and I turned up with a sack full. The response was unexpectedly deep gratitude. I didn’t realise, until then, how important underwear is for a girl. (I wrote a blog post about the superpowers of cotton knickers you can read it here)

And as we left, after a wonderful visit that included a whole melange of emotions for the plight of this wonderful place that saves children from the most dire circumstances too awful to dwell on, I had my cause. Ramana’s Garden is a happy place. Children are given love, safety, security, education. They are literally given their humanity back here. The awfulness of their earlier lives, which may well include physical andsexual abuse, slavery, trafficking and abandonment (In some cases, all of these at once) is healed by the deepest care, love, service and education. But they are so poor, and there are so many children!

When I told Linda Huckle about this amazing place, there was no question about it. We started planning The Whole Woman Conference there and then.

All the money will be taken to Ramana’s Garden by me personally, to make sure it actually gets there. I will pack the knickers and sanitary products in a large suitcase, and carry that with me too.

Please give generously. It is so little for us to give, yet so much for those in need to receive.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

And namaste xxx

The super powers of cotton knickers

The Super Powers of Cotton Knickers

For us, a simple pair of cotton knickers is such a basic foundational piece of clothing that we don’t even consider it as a luxury. Never mind as an item of amazing power, that can make a difference to our lives!But in India, where people are so poor and have so little, a simple cotton pantie can turn into something truly amazing. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the girls of Northern India. Some of them are lucky enough to end up at Ramana’s Garden, the charity we are supporting. Some are not so lucky. For them life is bleak. Let’s see why:

Super Power 1

Vritti is an orphaned and begging girl child of 8 years old. She is cast as Untouchable. Because of her cast, she is regarded a disposable child. A man drags her into a shop. He lifts her rags, ready to rape her. But she is wearing cotton underpants! Vritti is not unloved. She is not disposable. Someone cares for this girl. If he rapes Vritti, she will tell those who gave her the pants and he may be caught. He drops the child and runs away. This is the power of cotton knickers –  Protecting young girls from sexual molestation.

Super Power 2

Uma loves going to school. She has lived at Ramana’s Garden for 3 years. Now that she is 13, the horrors of the past seem so far away. She is safe, she is no longer hungry and she loves going to school. Except that when her bloods come, she will have to miss school for a week. It is not clean to go to school like that. It will demean her. If only she could get some pants, so that she could cover her naked body and contain the flood, she will not have to lose a week and be behind everyone else. This is the power of cotton knickers – Getting full time education, instead of missing school due to menstruation

Super Power 3

It is so hot! Aruna is not feeling well. The private place between her legs is sore and itchy. Sitting on the dirty street with her naked bottom allows the germs and bacteria from the street to touch her body directly. The bacterial infection may continue indefinitely. If only she had something to cover her naked parts, keep her dry and away from the dirt, she would get better sooner, and maybe not get infected in that way again. This is the power of cotton knickers – Protecting from infections and disease

Along with the ticket price for the Whole Woman Conference, we will ask every attendee to bring cotton knickers or sanitary towels as an entry fee. All of this will be donated to Ramana’s Garden.

Your ticket price for attending The Whole Woman Conference and donations will make the world of difference to a child or a young woman who is not as fortunate as our own children. Your donations could even save a life.  Get your ticket now, and bring your own mother, sister or daughter along. Let’s share the love, give with generosity and celebrate our innate power as women to reach halfway around the world.