Lottery boost for network inspired by Rotherham mum’s personal tragedy

18 January 2016

 Julie Hampshire of Girlie Gatherings. This photo was supplied by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more information, please visit  A single mum from Rotherham is the inspiration behind a social enterprise to help other women build confidence and self-esteem, after enduring her own personal tragedy.

Julie Hampshire has established an organisation called Girlie Gatherings to help other women become more confident. And she has just received £9,000 from the National Lottery to put on a ‘Great Girlie Gala’ in Rotherham in March to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Julie, a life coach from Brampton Bierlow, said she was forced to ‘practice what she preached’ when the father of her son died suddenly four years ago.

At the time Julie was working full time and shared childcare responsibilities with David, the father of her then 10-year-old son. When he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 59 Julie was not only left with a grieving child to support but also found herself in a position where she had no childcare and had to reconsider her work commitments.

Julie said: “I had already been delivering life coaching to adults but was particularly good at working with women and helping them to better balance the different areas of their lives. When Dave died I needed to create a business that would let me to be there for Jack, enable me to earn a living and also allow me to remain strong and focused on the positives myself.

“It’s been a real struggle and I worked to earn money while Jack was at school and eventually started putting on Girlie Gatherings in the evenings. I would take Jack along so we were still together – he’d sit in the back with his earphones in!”

Julie believes the Girlie Gatherings concept is new and is about making life coaching accessible and affordable to all women – developing and broadening women emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually. Over the last four years she has met and teamed up with five other dynamic ladies who have become directors and partners of the business, which was registered as a social enterprise in June 2015.

Julie said: “Life coaching is about looking at you and your life, how to focus on the positives and make it even better. It is also about how you can handle the negative parts of your life and look forward to the future.

“We hold face-to-face meetings which include a life coaching session and a showcase from a visiting professional – so one session we might be covering nutrition or debt management and the next we might be having a go at belly dancing or burlesque dancing.”

The meetings currently take place at The Dearnesman in Wath-upon-Dearne and Wickersley Library, once a month at each venue. Information about these can be found at They also have a ‘Cake ‘n’ Coach’ programme delivered in schools to groups of mums.

The plan is to extend the network so Girlie Gatherings has licensees running events across the UK. There will also be an online community, known as ‘Your Confidence Coach Online’ where members can interact and take advantage of online resources such as training and life coaching videos.

The National Lottery funding is to put on the ‘Great Girlie Gala’ in Clifton Park on Saturday 12 March 2016. The public event will be free to attend and will take place 10am to 4pm, followed at 6pm by a sponsored firewalk.

Julie said: “Over the last four years Girlie Gatherings has come an extremely long way. From the early days of me piloting the idea it is now at the stage where I have a team of professional business women on the board of directors and we have a solid business plan that helped us secure the National Lottery funding.

“Looking ahead to five years’ time we aim to have 10,000 paid members on our online community, to have 100 licensees across the UK and to have turned the Great Girlie Gala into an annual event to celebrate International Women’s Day.”

Girlie Gatherings are aimed at all women, regardless of age, marital status or employment.

Julie said: “It doesn’t matter how professional you are, whether you are single or married and whether you have children or not; life coaching is a positive experience for every woman.”

 Below, listen to Julie Hampshire of Girlie Gatherings speaking to Rony Robinson on BBC Radio Sheffield. 

Notes to editor

Attached photograph shows Julie Hampshire.

For information about Girlie Gatherings visit or contact Julie Hampshire on 07519 314546.

Girlie Gatherings take place at the The Dearnesman in Wath-upon-Dearne and Wickersley Library one Monday evening each month. The next date is 25 January from 7pm to 9pm. Attendance is £5 per person, including a tea/coffee and slice of cake. Places can be booked via Eventbrite.

Additional media contact: Steph Pollard on 01226 766900 or 07761964492 or at

If copyright needs to be given, please credit Girlie Gatherings.

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more details about our PR services, please visit

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