JODY DAY (IE) is the 57-year-old British founder of Gateway Women, the global friendship and support network for childless women with a social reach of c.2-million, founded in London in 2011 and now headquartered in Ireland. She’s the author of ‘Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Future Without Children (2nd ed. 2020, Bluebird/PanMacmillan UK). Chosen as one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2013, she’s a global thought leader on female involuntary childlessness, an integrative psychotherapist, a TEDx speaker, a social entrepreneur, a founding and former board member at Ageing Well Without Children, and a former Fellow in Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School. In 2021 she was nominated by the UK organisation Digital Women as a ‘Digital Woman to Watch’ and is a finalist in their ‘Digital Role Models’ category. Often referred to as the ‘voice of the childless generation’ and less often but more memorably as ‘The Beyonce of childlessness’, she’s also a World Childless Week Ambassador and also a PLICA (Australia) Ambassador. A life-long Londoner, she is now a ‘blow-in’ in rural Ireland where she is working on a novel and her new Conscious Childless Elderwomen project for Gateway Women.
website: www.gateway-women.com direct email: email@example.com jody's assistant sonia: firstname.lastname@example.org twitter @gatewaywomen (DMs open for journalists) instagram @gatewaywomen facebook page www.facebook.com/gatwaywomenuk mighty networks community (direct message for members) Jody Day GW Click here for Jody's (longer) downloadable one-page bio, headshots etc and to download the Gateway Women logo
KARIN ENFIELD DE VRIES (BNL) is Gateway Women’s Operation Director as well as being the lead trainer and licensed facilitator for Gateway Women’s Online Reignite Weekends and the leader for the 2021 Global Online Bee program. Bilingual in English/Dutch she lives on the Belgian/Dutch border with her British husband and cats and is childless due to a hysterectomy at 33 as part of her treatment for cervical cancer. She also in her final year of a post-graduate Grief Counselling qualification. Until she joined GW, her previous 20-year corporate career was in Business Transformation and Change Management, guiding people and corporate teams through transformations. An Alumni of Gateway Women’s 2017 Online Bee, Karin is a World Childless Week Ambassador and is particularly interested in developing a better understanding of childlessness due to cancer, including amongst the medical profession. She speaks at Oncology Conferences about her experience and in 2020 was the face of a major Dutch health education initiative to raise awareness of cervical cancer. As well as co-facilitating Gateway Women’s Online Reignite Weekends, she also Hosts a Gateway Gathering for Benelux and through Gateway Women Benelux is growing awareness of Gateway Women in Europe. email: email@example.com and you can connect with her on Instagram @GatewayWomenBNL and find out more about forthcoming UK/EU Reignite Weekends in English and an upcoming BNL Reignite Weekend in Dutch here.
SONIA SUMAN (UK) is the Community Manager for the Gateway Women Private Online Community as well as Executive Virtual Assistant to GW’s Founder, Jody Day. Sonia’s professional background is in academia; she has a PhD in Renaissance Literature and has taught at both school and university level. For the last few years, Sonia has been supporting undergraduate and postgraduate students and was part of the wellbeing team at a major British university. This also led her to study and train to teach mindfulness and self-compassion, which has been a huge part of her own healing journey too. She is passionate about community and became a Gateway Gatherings Host for the Worcestershire (UK) area in 2018, and realising the difference it made to her life having a local network of childless friends, she has gradually got more and more involved with GW to the point that she’s now an invaluable part of Team Gateway. You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need support around anything to do with your membership to the Gateway Women Online Community, please email Sonia at email@example.com
YVONNE JOHN (UK) is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS) and the author of the book Dreaming of the Life Unlived: Intimate Stories and Portraits of Women Without Children. A gifted public speaker and passionate about creating inclusivity for black women and women of colour in the cultural narrative of childlessness, Yvonne has appeared on numerous radio and television programmes, including BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’. She also blogs about her own evolving recovery from childlessness at Finding My Plan B. A graduate of GW’s 2016’s year-long Plan B Mentorship Programme, Yvonne is also a World Childless Week Ambassador. She works in the medical services industry and is also a talented photographer and singer. You can learn more about Yvonne in her own words in her guest blog for Gateway Women, The Black Woman in the Room, You can find out more about forthcoming UK/EU Reignite Weekends here and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
MELANIE DAGG (UK) is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitators (GWS) and lives in Morpeth, Northumberland. She is childless after unsuccessful ICSI/IVF fertility treatments with her former husband. She found Gateway Women after a frantic late-night Google search for ‘women who don’t have children and are happy’ and attended the Reignite Weekend with Jody in London in February 2014. Despite feeling very nervous (she considered not turning up at the workshop and going shopping in London instead!) it turned out to be a turning point and the beginning of her journey out of a black hole. Since then, Melanie has been an active member of the Gateway Women online community and leads her local Gateway Women Meetup group in Newcastle. In 2017 she also took part in Jody’s one-year Plan B Mentorship Programme – The Online Bee. An actor by profession, Melanie is an experienced workshop facilitator and also has a counselling qualification. You can find out more about forthcoming UK/EU Reignite Weekends here and you can contact her directly at email@example.com
SARAH LAWRENCE (UK) is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS) and lives in Kent, UK with her husband and two cats. She is the founder of the childless support community After the Storm, a qualified coach and person-centred counsellor and currently doing additional training to specialise in trauma as she understands that many aspects of childless women’s stories, not just our childlessness, may carry unresolved trauma. She is also one-third of the amazing Full Stop Podcast and is passionate about running, yoga (so she can keep running), walking, and pretty much anything related to mental health and wellbeing. Sarah is childless as a result of endometriosis and adenomyosis, both of which resulted in many (many!) operations and procedures over a long period of time, and ultimately led to her having a hysterectomy in 2017; she wrote a powerful blog about this for Gateway Women called ‘Childless After Hysterectomy – I am Still a Woman – Hear me Roar! Sarah also hosts a local Gateway Gathering in Kent, currently meeting online during the pandemic. You can watch a short video chat between Sarah and Jody here. Sarah leads Gateway Women Reignite Weekends in the UK/EU – find out more here and contact her directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
KRISTINE MALLETT (USA) is a licensed Gateway Women Facilitator. In her early fifties, she lives with her husband and puppy Tallulah in New Jersey, USA. She has been a middle-school teacher since 2001, is trained in classical ballet and Polynesian dance, and is also a Zumba instructor (but not all at the same time!) Kristine is childless due to an early, unhappy marriage that she chose not to bring children into; she then spent her mid-to-late thirties divorced and single while completing her master’s degree, before meeting her current husband. After a miscarriage and multiple rounds of IVF during her early and mid-forties (the last attempt using donor eggs from her sister, 15 years her junior), Kristine’s treatment came to a shocking conclusion with medication-induced, life-threatening blood clots in both lungs. Kristine has been leading a local Gateway Gathering ‘meetup’ since 2014 (New members welcome). Kristine is a graduate of the 2017 ‘Online Bee’ Plan B Mentorship Program and in 2018 was trained to lead Gateway Women Reignite Weekends in the USA. Email: email@example.com and you can find out more about forthcoming North American Reignite Weekends here.
SARAH ROBERTS (AUS) is a licensed Gateway Women Reignite workshop facilitator and founder of Australia’s The Empty Cradle. With over 30 years of experience in counseling, community work and teaching, Sarah brings together a unique combination of lived experience, clinical skills (ACA registered) and academic work (completing Master Social Work). Sarah considers permanent involuntary childlessness to be one of the sacred journeys of womanhood and has supported hundreds of women to grieve the losses and nurture a life of meaning, connection and joy. Sarah lives on a semi-rural property in Brisbane, Australia with her partner Kevin and moodle Max. A graduate of Gateway Women’s year-long Plan B Mentorship Program, the Online Bee, she is passionate about the complexity of the human experience and what it means to live a good life. Sarah’s ‘Plan B’ includes native habitat restoration for the well-being of local native animals and future generations. You can find out more about Sarah’s story here, find out about forthcoming Reignite Weekends in Australia/NZ here and email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
JUDY GRAHAM (AUS) is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS) to bring Gateway Women’s Reignite Weekends to Australian and Kiwi women. She is the founder of WomenHood Counselling in Australia where she provides counselling support especially for women who are childless-not-by-choice. As a childless-not-by-choice woman herself, she integrates her childless experience with over twenty years of working in health, education and counselling to support and inspire other childless women. Judy lives on Queensland’s Gold Coast where she grew up and lay down her roots. She works with women across Australia (thank you Zoom!) and is part of a growing network building awareness and support around the unique issues for women who are childless-not-by-choice. You can find out more about forthcoming Australian/NZ Reignite Weekends here and email Judy directly at: email@example.com
ELIZABETH GRAMBSCH (USA) is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS) and lives with her husband near Minneapolis, MN USA. She is childless due to health-related issues and after 12 years of healing efforts, she had her last miscarriage at 42. Elizabeth has a Master’s degree in Human Development and, after working in university and hospital settings for many years, founded Crescendo Learning Center LLC where she teaches, coaches, consults, presents and performs with clients of all ages and with a variety of organizations on using applied neuroscience to improve communication, enhance creative self-expression and optimize human performance. She is a graduate of the Gateway Women’s 2017 Online Bee, and trained with Jody to lead the Reignite Weekend in North America and has a special interest in supporting those childless women for whom chronic illness or traumatic injury have contributed to their childlessness and/or painful or triggering communications with medical staff have complicated their grief process. Having had her own experience with this she is now offering her Beyond Words Mentorship Program for Practitioners to help them develop trauma-informed communication skills, including for women facing infertility. Elizabeth is passionate about bringing Gateway Women programs to North America and was excited to lead the first North American Online Bee in 2020. You can find out more about forthcoming North American Reignite Weekends here and you can contact Elizabeth directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
LIANE PRESTON (SCOTLAND, UK) is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS) and the founder of ‘Inner Wilderness‘. She lives near Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband and dogs. Having worked in the corporate world for a long time, most latterly as a Director of Human Resources, she has over fifteen years of experience in developing people. She came to believe that most of us, at some point, could benefit from professional therapeutic support in dealing with life’s curveballs, so she retrained and has for the past five years has combined running a private psychotherapeutic counselling practice with corporate consulting. Her childlessness is due to a combination of factors – being a (recovered!) workaholic, not meeting her husband until she was 40, some gynecological issues and a dance with cancer. Happily, she now has the all-clear and is excited about embracing a new phase of her life, which includes running the Gateway Women Reignite Weekend in Scotland as she supports other Gateway Women on their journeys towards their Plan B’s (they will back post-pandemic!). You can read more about Liane’s work at Inner Wilderness here or email her directly at email@example.com