The month of March holds a special significance for all of us here at Bamford. As a female-founded business, a commitment to supporting women is woven into the fabric of our story – from the makers of our precious collections to the strong family ties that bind our community together. In honour of this month, which brings us International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday, we shine a spotlight on the women who are inspiring us onwards in our journey towards living consciously and in harmony with people and planet.
Meet Pippa Richardson
Pippa is a highly regarded Somatic Therapist & Educator, Yoga Teacher, Speaker and Clinician. Through her work at Orri, the UK’s Leading Eating Disorder Clinic working with young people and adults in Intensive Day Treatment, Pippa leads group and 1:1 sessions that explore how the relationship we have with our body impacts our well-being, behaviour and relationships.
As the Founder of ‘the girlness project’ – an initiative that supports the physical and emotional wellbeing of girls and young women – Pippa also works regularly with schools in the private and public sector, and universities to deliver sessions that educate girls on the key topics of self-compassion, body image and media literacy.
Read on to learn more about what motivates Pippa Richardson in her commitment to supporting women.
'I feel extremely privileged to sit alongside the individuals I work with, to listen to their stories and facilitate space for their experiences to be witnessed.'
How do you celebrate Women's Month in your personal and professional practice?
Although International Women's Day raises awareness for the many injustices and challenges women face, creating a gender equal world requires daily, year-round action. For me, this month is a time to consider, with greater intentionality, the ways in which I can continue to learn and put anti-discriminatory work into action. I am grateful to be part of a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion collective which supports this and my on-going commitment to advocating for change.
This month is also a time to acknowledge the individuals in my community who are dedicating their careers and spare time to making the world a safer and more inclusive place for girls and women.
What is the most prominent challenge you have faced in your practice in the past year?
Tending to my own well-being whilst tending to the needs of others. We are now two years into the pandemic and throughout that time I have worked on the front line of what I believe has been a mental health pandemic too. I work with many therapists, social workers, teachers, psychologists and I believe we are experiencing burnout and compassion fatigue on a vast scale. At times, I have found it difficult to protect the time I need to take care of myself because the needs of some of the people I work with have felt greater than mine.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in recent months and why?
Without a doubt, the girls and women I work with. Some are facing recovery, some are mothers, some are working on the front line of our health care services, some are working on the front line of their own homes. I feel extremely privileged to sit alongside the individuals I work with, to listen to their stories and facilitate space for their experiences to be witnessed.
Which woman or women in your industry is/are taking steps to impact change in their community?
I work alongside so many incredible women who are dedicating their lives and careers to creating positive change. Romy Wakil, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Senior Psychotherapist at Orri has developed the infrastructure necessary to provide safe spaces in which we as a team can explore how to provide culturally competent care. I witness Romy’s commitment to advocating for change and equality every day and feel incredibly grateful to learn and grow alongside her.
And then Lizzie Hanbury-Tenison, the Co-Founder of Cabilla Cornwall. Built on a commitment to research and restoration, Cabilla’s vision is to nurture the rare ecosystems of the land 'protecting them for the next thousand years’ - Lizzie is a true guardian angel of the land. I feel her commitment to inspiring people to restore in nature has never been more needed.
Can you tell us about one of the most challenging biases you have had to overcome as a woman?
The belief that my value is attached to my appearance. This shadow belief had a profound impact on my early life and caused great harm. Untangling myself from this took years and a lot of compassion and professional support. Coming to the understanding that this belief didn’t ‘belong’ to me and was in fact internalised patriarchy - something that I had learned, been told, been sold - was both heartbreaking and freeing at the same time.
What does ‘empowerment’ mean to you, and how do you strive for it?
For me, living an empowered life means cultivating a sense of trust and self-reliance that I can and will, advocate for myself and my needs - both personally and professionally. I recognise being able to do this comes with great privilege. In a world where so many are disempowered, I don’t think we can have a conversation about empowerment without talking about privilege. In my professional work, supporting individuals to cultivate and develop a sense of agency and self-trust is central to everything I do.
Meet the maker: Sophie Lis
Sophie Lis founded her eponymous jewellery brand around the intention of making a difference in the world. Through her deeply symbolic designs and a responsible supply chain, Lis unites her fascination for the cosmos with her advocacy of female strength, resulting in beautiful jewellery.