From Darkness to Light: Jolene's Inspirational Journey

gbea jolene martin neurodivergant purpose entrepreneur of the year simon phillips unpaid carers Jul 05, 2024
Jolene Martin

In 2023, Jolene Martin took a brave step and signed up for my ReDiscover You programme provided by Carers Wales. Initially, she was cautious, her neurodivergent communication style making her worry about fitting in. However, over the course of eight transformative modules, Jolene's confidence blossomed, thanks in large part to a pivotal 1:2:1 session where we reviewed her GC Impact Report together.

Jolene's journey is a testament to the power of self-discovery and empowerment. Here's how she described her experience at the time:


Hi Simon,

As promised, I’m giving you my feedback from the ReDiscover You course.

This course came at just the right time for me. After being in a very dark place a year ago, I’ve been on a journey of building myself back up and re-learning who I am. I’m a neurodivergent woman. I’m proud of this now, but it’s taken a lot of work to get to where I am. All my life, the things I struggle with have caused internal shame and held me back from trying new things and experiencing a fulfilling life.

The course had a profound effect on me. It helped me see that I am not the things I struggle with. I have so many amazing things to bring to the table. The boost to my confidence has been huge, and I will take what I’ve learned forward to help others, particularly other neurodivergent people—an area I’m so passionate about.

I recently saw a quote: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”

Thank you for giving your time to our amazing group. It will lead to so many more lives being touched.

Take care,


Jolene's story didn't end there. For many people, the programme is just the kickstart they need for real transformation. She connected with me through online networks and even started her own Facebook group called JoSoHappy. In May this year, she shared her latest news with me on LinkedIn:


Hi Simon!

Don’t know if you remember, but I did the course you ran for unpaid carers a while ago. I got so much out of it. My life has completely changed since then.

I do A LOT of work in my community advocating for neurodivergent families and run a support group. I’m also working with my local hospital to improve the experience of ND patients. I was recently awarded “Woman of Newport” and “Community Champion” in recognition of my work. I’ve just started a new job with Save The Children as a Community Project Officer. Crazy what leaning into your strengths can do, isn’t it? Can’t thank you enough for helping me realize that. It’s also great to be able to empower others by helping them see their strengths.


Jolene has since become a prominent figure in her community, continually inspiring others and pointing them to the ReDiscover You programme. Her story exemplifies my WHY when it comes to work: to empower individuals to realize their strengths, overcome their challenges, and make a profound impact on their communities.

I am thrilled to share that I am a finalist for Purpose Entrepreneur of the Year in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. This nomination is a testament to the incredible journeys of people like Jolene, who remind me every day why I do what I do.

Read more about Jolene and other remarkable women tirelessly making a difference in their communities in this article by Jonathon Hill on Wales Online (The faces of 21 remarkable women tirelessly working to bring a Welsh city together.

Making Change Your Friend

We are in the middle of a Change Sunami!

Leaders are not only required to cope with change but to create the environment in which everyone can thrive. Simon's keynote presentations and whole audience facilitation events enable you and your organisation to transform and emerge as centres for inclusivity, agility and compassion. Get in touch to discuss your challenges.