Interview with Musician & Inspirational Public Speaker Julie Kent MBE

Julie Kent MBE Inspirational Public Speaker. Photographer accreditation to Clem Hencher-Stevens

1- Name and a bit about yourself – Your story

Julie Kent MBE

I am a musician who lost my first child from a brain tumour at the age of 3. I started a charity with my husband called the Emily Kent Charitable Trust raising money for children with cancer and had two wards named after her at Bristol Children’s, now changed the name and at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital Emily Kent Unit (Paediatric Oncology).
I have just retired from living in a boarding house with 60 teenage girls for 20 years!
I am on the board of  3 local charities and believe that Giving is good for our health. It makes us feel good, makes the recipient feel good so is a Win-Win!!

2- When did you receive your MBE

I was emailed in June as part of the Queens Birthday Honours list but told that I couldn’t tell anyone until the Autumn!…killer!! I nearly deleted the email because it was just capital letters and numbers as a title…good job I didn’t!

3- How did this make you feel?

Emotional. It said it was for forming the Emily Kent Charitable Trust and for all my charity work since.

4- What difference will this make to the work that you do?

I hope that it will enable me to raise the profiles of the charities that I am involved with and promote Giving as a habit for everyone.

5- Do you class yourself as an influencer or thought leader?

I would like to think so! Especially in Gloucestershire but I hope to expand my reach! I also like to promote enjoying being in my fifties as time is short and I believe we should make the most of every second that we have.

6- What or who do you hope to influence?

Young people firstly,  as they have the opportunity to start young and make a difference for many years ahead. But older people often have more time and it is good for them to volunteer etc as it prolongs mortality.

7- What have been your biggest challenges in 2020?

I had a granddaughter in Nov 2019 and I struggled missing her crawl etc during the lockdown. I missed all the goodbye parties at school after being there for 30 years. I have launched a foundation award to put a child through the school and would have nabbed people to give at all the reunions but sadly it didn’t happen.

It has been really hard to raise money for my charities too.

8- What are your goals for the end of 2020?

I hope to get my family together for Christmas. I am hoping to get some good collaborations going and look forward to doing some speaking and playing gigs in for next year.

9- What New Years’ resolutions do you have?

Stay fit, look after myself and keep a better organised diary!!

Photo of the beautiful Julie Kent MBE (Lady and the Sax) An Inspirational Public Speaker. Photographer accreditation to Clem Hencher-Stevens.

10- What new year goals have you set for yourself?

I want to make my own clothes. I have bought a sewing machine. I used to make all my stage clothes.

11- Talk to us about Fashion who are your favourite fashion designers?

Oooh. Everyone! Donna Karan as I have a small waist and a bigger butt! And I love dresses.
Alexander Mcqueen for the drama in the clothes but some are plain and elegant.
And Tomas Maier as he has a varied style and a mix of casual and dresses!
High Street I like Hush casuals and Whistles, Top Shop and River Island but have tried to stop buying as much new and have been vintage shopping.

12- Do you think fashion for over 50 is catered for in shops and supported in the media?

To be honest I wear what I like and am happy to shop in the high street stores where I don’t let my age hold me back. I wear what my 20 year old daughter wears! I think she would tell me if she didn’t think it suited me. I give her my cast offs and she is happy! Places like John Lewis cater for 50s plus.

13- Slow fashion? What does this mean to you and why is it of interest?

Thrift shopping and vintage shop shopping …I love it!
Adding to or changing items you already have to look different.
Slow fashion items are made from quality ethically made fabrics and factories. They can be more expensive but the idea is you keep them forever.

14- Talk to us about music who are your favourite artists/ singers?

I love singing bluesy songs such as Sade, Fleetwood Mac, old jazz standards.
More recent artists I enjoy are Bruno Mars, Calvin Harris, Rita Ora, Jason Derulo, Zara Larsson

15- Do you see yourself as a fashion icon/inspiration?

Haha I know that people in my County like to see what I am wearing …especially at award ceremonies or special occasions and a local boutique will always lend me something to wear. A Fashion icon for women in their 50’s or 60’s would be great! I will settle for being told I always look stylish and dress well – that makes me happy!

16- Talk to us about your public speaking? What do you talk about? How long do you speak for? What reaction are you hoping for from your audience? How do you want to make people feel? How do you activate people?

I talk about how I lost my first child from a brain tumour at the age of 3 but then focus on how it galvanised me into fundraising for many different charities and how I really believe that giving is good for everyone. I encourage the audience to think about giving, a little, a lot, to charity, give their time and if at all possible give themselves as I have done. I hope that people will go away and do something positive such as get their bag out and put a £1 in the next collection tin that is put before their nose in a supermarket or organise a coffee morning for a local charity.

I am all about giving and hope I will inspire others to give.
It feels good to give
It is great for the recipient to have something done for them or be given something
It is a win-win.

17- Describe your dream speaking gig as a keynote speaker? Who is your audience? Where is the event?

I would like a big stage! But a school speech day would also be good as I lived in a school for 20 years and understand boarding schools. I would like to inspire younger people to give too. They tend to be wrapped up in themselves and leave giving by volunteering especially until they are older and retired when they have more time. Don’t leave it until then would be my message, Make your mark whilst you can run a marathon or climb a mountain!

18- Why do you like hosting events? Talk to me about how you host an event and why you enjoy this?

I love hosting events. I like the adrenalin of anything happening that you don’t expect. I like taking control and involving everyone. I like people and meeting new people and enjoy researching people and what they do.

I host by trying to get people to talk about themselves as much as possible so that the audience can get to know the person.

19- How do you want people to remember or think of you when you exit a room or arrive?

Wow, what a lovely lady
She had such energy and drive. I would love to sit next to her at a dinner party!
She is really interesting. Let’s meet up again!

20- If there was one message you want to tell the world what would it be and why?

Give to Charity or if you can’t do that Give your time. Ultimately Give yourself.

21- If you could walk in the shoes of anyone rich or famous for one day dead or alive who would they be and why?

Whitney Houston because I would like to get her to sort her life out and not destroy it as she did. Addiction is a terrible thing and so difficult to control and get a grip of. It is such a sad story and such a waste.

22- If we could give you a ticket to anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I haven’t been to China but the culture looks interesting it intrigues me. I have had quite a few Chinese girls in my house, not sure I could cope with no social media though! (I love my social media Instagram, Facebook, Twitter I’m very active on social media and easy to find) Just search Julie Kent MBE.

I would like to go to Hawaii as it looks beautiful. When I go on holiday I like to see blue water and plenty of sun and to be quiet!

23- Will you speak at events globally?

I would like to travel and speak globally I love travel, adventure and being centre stage!

24- We know during the pandemic all events have been taken online. Do you enjoy speaking at events globally online?

I don’t mind speaking online. I have done so much networking online since March 2020 that I think we have all gotten used to it. It isn’t the same sharing your screen and talking as opposed to speaking directly to an audience and connecting. However I’m finding new ways to make virtual events, summits, webinars and meetings exciting.

25- If people want to book you to speak at an event or host an event… how do they get hold of you?

hello@siangunneyconsulting.com
Or visit https://www.juliekentmbe.com
I’m new to Instagram and I’m really enjoying it so follow me there: https://www.instagram.com/juliekentmbe