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In honour of International Women's day and following on from the 'Times Up' movement which has taken Hollywood by storm and given women a voice to stand up against so called powerful men. It is clear gender equality has come heaps and bounds within the last 100 years, but, with recent events it is clear to that we still have a long way to go. 

International Women's Day is about celebrating the achievements of women of all ages, social backgrounds and ethnicities. We held a competition asking our followers to nominate somebody as their everyday hero, somebody who they felt deserved to be celebrated and heard, somebody who deserves to be celebrated and made to feel unique. 

Lucy, Bex, Samantha andH alima and her husband were invited into our studio for a day of pampering, photoshoots and proscecco. Heres what we got up to and what they had to say:

 @halu62 “I'm Halima wife to my lovely husband Hussain and mum to 3 beautiful kids Safaa 9, Abubakr 4 & MuhammadAli 2.

The past 9 years have been far from normal and difficult for us. My eldest Safaa has been very ill all her life with cancer and OMS syndrome, our life was turned upside down when we received her diagnosis.

The support of family and friends has been invaluable, amazing girlfriends (sisters, cousins, friends) who've cried and laughed alongside us made sure we still had abit of normality and fun.

So on International Women's day I say it's important to have good girlfriends and to stay in touch no matter what life throws at you and how difficult things seem to be. We need to help and empower each other.

Sometimes the only therapy you need is a good natter and a brew with your girlfriends to put the world to rights and to share/forget about the problems you are faced with daily”

 @luuudaw "I don’t know how to explain actually losing your mind. I don’t know how I can tell you about the nightmare of being trapped inside your own head for months, unaware of anything going on around you.

In January 2017 I was diagnosed with Anti–NDMA Receptor Encephalitis, which is a disease occurring when antibodies produced by the body’s own immune system attack NMDA receptors in the brain. NMDA receptors are proteins that control electrical impulses in the brain. Their functions are critical for judgement, perception of reality, human interaction, the formation and retrieval of memory, and the control of unconscious activities (such as breathing, swallowing, etc.). Prior to this, 3 months earlier I had been misdiagnosed as having a mental breakdown and due to the manic insanity that the condition produces, I was sectioned and placed in a psychiatric ward. I was unable to finish my degree along with my friends and course mates and because of the impairments that my acquired brain injury has left me with, I have had to take two years out of my studying whilst my brain and body recover. If you had asked me to type this last year, I wouldn’t have even known how to turn on a laptop. I am extremely lucky and grateful to be in the position I am.

However, if you are lucky enough to survive it, the after effects of encephalitis can include acquired brain injury from damaged or destroyed neurons which can lead to long term problems. My heart breaks when I hear stories of those who weren’t so lucky. The families left behind after this illness came and snatched their loved ones from them without warning or remorse, the friends who didn’t get to say goodbye, and the souls lost during the prime of their lives. It has become my mission to spread awareness of this terrible illness in all of its forms.
We must spread awareness. 80% of people currently do not know what encephalitis is. Support @the_encephalitis_society_ and spare a thought or prayer for all those lost, suffering and all the families affected

@samanthuuuuur “It is because of women like the suffragettes who didn't accept the injustice or inequality they were faced with, that we are finally starting to be heard and celebrated as we have always deserved to be.

So for me, today is both a celebration of how far we have already come and a reminder of how much was sacrificed to make a better place for many of us.

There is still a great deal of work to be done as there continues to be injustice and inequality all around the world in varying forms, with some voices still not being heard.

As history has demonstrated, we are strongest together and are capable of creating great change when we stand by each other and shout for those who are still not heard”

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