From radio to rucksack

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Siobhan is an absolute Thrill Seeker! If two jobs in high-pressured environments, two marathons and the Yorkshire peaks aren’t enough to persuade you – she’s now off to Malawi!

Siobhan is one of eight children, whose mother and father were both nurses, so naturally Siobhan fell in to nursing, working in the fast-paced intensive care unit where she continued as a nurse for nine years.

Upon the birth of her brilliant daughter, Siobhan taught herself to type and applied for a job as a receptionist at BBC Radio Leeds (all be it, not a very good one – her words!), but it got her foot in the door! When she heard about the BBC Trainee Reporters scheme, seven and a half thousand people applied, but after a couple of days of interviews, Siobhan’s natural ability shone through and she got the job!

For Siobhan, her new position meant that she was travelling to many different radio stations and had to make big sacrifices within her personal life. However, she felt that this job could provide a better way of life for both herself and her young daughter. She worked in radio for a further ten years, reporting and presenting her own shows, but suddenly faced a turning point when she decided she wanted to work in television. As a reporter Siobhan helped set up the first digital BBC television station in Tunbridge Wells!

She has been a single-mother since her daughter was four, and faced travesties at home that left her feeling insignificant and valueless. Regrettably, as a result of some unfortunate circumstances whilst working for BBC Television, Siobhan had a crisis of confidence and was left feeling utterly worthless. She faced significant challenges both at home and at work, however that did not stop her.

When her daughter went to university, Siobhan took a gap year from the BBC, packed a rucksack and travelled around the world. It was on this journey where Siobhan realised that she actually ‘liked herself’, subsequently when she returned home she removed the negative people from her life and focused on positive and challenging adventures. As a result, Siobhan has run both the Brighton and London Marathons, and a few years ago climbed the Yorkshire peaks!

Siobhan is now producing at BBC Television in Tunbridge Wells and absolutely loves her job; when she arrives in each day she is greeted by a new and exciting story and it is this adrenaline that Siobhan loves! From raising her daughter single-handedly, embarking on massive physical tests, to her love for adrenaline-fuelled activities, Siobhan is undoubtedly prepared for the expedition to Malawi.

She is looking forward to being introduced to all of the women that will be joining her on the expedition and is very aware of the news and stories that have come out of Malawi, but is eagerly anticipating immersing herself within African culture.

For Siobhan, one of the most challenging aspects of the expedition will be the homestay, where each woman will stay in the home of a Malawian family. Being the lovely, friendly person she is, Siobhan has some small concerns that she will do something or say something accidently, which could cause offence! Through the trip to Malawi, Siobhan is hoping it will provide her with the opportunity to form a bond and a friendship with the woman who accommodates her and one day hopes to invites her back to her home in the UK.

Siobhan passionately believes that absolutely no one should have to feel the same way that she did, that nobody should feel worthless. She sees the expedition to Malawi as an opportunity to make a small but significant difference in women’s confidence and support. When in Malawi successful, inspirational and entrepreneurial women will surround her, and she wants to take the opportunity to give back and to help people grow stronger. She hopes to boost confidence not only within the women on the expedition, but also the women of Malawi and would love to work with the radio station there, to open doors and to create opportunities for broadcasters to be in contact with radio stations in the UK.

Ania Jeffries and Siobhan Daniels

Finally, Siobhan hopes to come home from Malawi with an incredible group of friends from all around the world, to feel that she has achieved something and to feel confident in what she is doing.

Catherine Butler
Assistant Editor-in Chief

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