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I’m 37 and just figured out what I want to be when I grow up!

We ask kids all the time what do they want to be when they grow up, they may answer astronaut or doctor or teacher and some of they may mean it! We ask again when they’re about to choose their GCSE options, the lucky ones will have an aim and know which road they’re heading down.

But for so many of us, we have no clue! Or we have a million ideas but struggle to know which one is right.

When I was younger I wanted to be a midwife though my dream was to be a writer but I didn’t think someone like me could ever do that. I didn’t feel very suppported in making decisions and certainly university was never suggested as an option for me.

I worked for a telesales company, in a bingo hall, in a restaurant and a clothes shop but I was living in and out of the family home, on friends sofas, with my sisters, my aunty, in a shared house and a brief stint in a terrifying flat alone and so life was tough. I started a-levels twice but honestly, it was tough to concentrate on studies when I was working and had zero money and often was just fucking hungry!

I met Timm and then two years later we had our first baby together, for the first time I felt settled and like I had achieved something (even though I was judged for being a mum at 19). I stopped working to be a stay at home mum and then we had Eli two years later and Thom two years after that.

baby hendersons hendos sheffield

I absolutely adored being a stay at home mum and though sometimes it was tough, I revelled in it and I was damn good at it! When Thom was 2 I decided to train as a masseuse, odd choice maybe but I went with it and really enjoyed it. I worked in a salon and also at festivals providing massage for the bands and singers backstage. I had an absolute blast doing this but I knew it wasn’t my forever job.

I then trained as a doula which was amazing and also worked as a breast feeding support worker. This was such a brilliant and special time and I really loved it. Unfortunately I started with a flare up of Ulcerative Colitis and couldn’t get it under control. I found it very tough to carry on working whilst basically shitting myself a few times a day. Work wasn’t supportive and told me I needed to manage my time better…

In 2010 Timm decided to stop touring, he was a tour manager for arctic monkeys but was away for 9-10 months a year and life was pretty tough. He wanted to go back to his former love of photography and so we set up Timm Cleasby Photography and I worked with him on the marketing side of the business. I took my love of working with babies and even did a few baby photo shoots of my own.

Then everything went tits up in 2013 when I started with the worst flare up of Colitis I’d ever had. After 9 months of medication and being in and out of hospital I had surgery to remove my large intestine and got my first stoma.

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

I started this blog because there were no uk based bloggers talking about it and after going on a marketing course by KeepYourFork I got the invaluable advice from Faye to write what I knew. It was never meant to be a business and I was totally shocked at how it took off. This filled my time whilst I was too ill to work and obviously I still adore it! I was approached by an agent who asked if I wanted to write a book and I felt like my dream to be a writer was coming true! Unfortunately it didn’t come off ( though I still want to make it happen!) but I did start writing for the Metro and magazines.

In 2015 I started working for Scope and I’m still there, I love my job, I feel like I get to make a difference every day and they are an amazing charity to work for. It’s perfect for me as I work from home and they not only accept my impairment and the effects of multiple surgeries but they embrace it.

Then earlier this year completely out of the blue I got a phone call that changed my life. BBC Radio Sheffield asked if I’d be interested in auditioning as a presenter and I leapt at the opportunity.

Nowt so strange as folk BBC Sheffield

I started my show with my cohost Leesh earlier this year called NowtSoStrangeAsFolk. It was terrifying at first! Not so much the talking but the technical side, I really doubted my abilities and wondered if I’d made a big mistake. But as I settled into it, it dawned on me. This is what I’m meant to do.

I cant even explain how amazing it feels, I adore it!!! I feel completely at home on the air and I’ve never felt so right, so comfortable, so me. I’m always doubting myself, I always think someone is going to tap me on the shoulder and tell me I’m a fraud, that I’m not good enough. But presenting makes me so happy, comfortable and just right!

And at the grand age of 37, I finally feel like I know what I want to be when I grow up. Presenting is where I feel I should be, it suits me, it feels right and good and I’m starting to believe that I’m worthy.

I would still love to write a book and my blog will always be my baby and something that has my heart. But presenting for the BBC has given me the confidence to actually believe in myself and to dare to think that I can be successful in this.

Whatever your age, whatever your background, know you can make it happen. Believe in yourself and keep pushing, keep trying, keep moving forward. And if you don’t know what you want to do then try different things, you never know where every opportunity will take you.

I hope you’re enjoying the show, I’d love to know what you think so do let me know.

✌🏽 & ❤️

Sam xxx

Nowt So Strange As Folk – BBC Sheffield

So I am a few weeks into my new role as radio presenter on BBC Radio Sheffield, have you heard the show yet?

You can find us at Nowt So Strange As Folk – a modern family life show where we talk about everything from parenting to dating, local community groups to disability and so much more with myself and the lovely Leesh, my amazing co-host.  It’s all about relaxed laid back chat, lots of laughs, amazing guests and a sprinkling of music to fill your evening.

You can hear us between 7 and 9pm every Wednesday (apart from the odd week when football is on) and I would love to hear what you think!

 

Sam Cleasby and Leesh Desouzay Nowt so strange as folk on bbc radio sheffield

I am absolutely LOVING it, I have been a guest on radio shows for years now, so I knew I could chat on air but presenting is a whole different ball game! I was nervous about the technical side as well as the skills of presenting live on air, interviewing guests, getting in and out of links etc but BBC Sheffield have totally take us under their wing and given us so much support, training and encouragement.  Our amazing producer Chloe has looked after us and guided us into having the confidence to be ourselves, she is awesome, and producer David has been a rock!

Sam and Leesh bbc radio sheffield

I think it’s really brave of BBC Sheffield to try something so new, each evening we have new talent, presenters who have been given an opportunity to do something different. Monday nights is Monday Night Social – group chat with some brilliant presenters and guests including our wonderful Lord Mayor Magid Magid.  Tuesday is New Traditions with Gregg Russell – a new look at folk music from around the world. Throwback Thursday with Christian Carlisle is next sharing brilliant music and talking to musicians and artists. And then Hello Friday welcomes in the weekend with music and fun.

Sam Cleasby bbc radio presenter

You can find Nowt So Strange As Folk on twitter and instagram – do get in touch and let us know what you think of the show, we love hearing your messages and will read out as many as possible!

Find all our show on the iplayer here and listen live Wednesdays 7-9pm!

 

Sam x

 

Matron, Medicine and Me – 70 years of the NHS

I was thrilled to be interviewed for the BBC’s Matron, Medicine and Me which was aired recently.  The episode I was on was hosted by Fern Britton who went back to the hospital that saved her life from sepsis a few years ago, there were lots of amazing stories shared about the NHS and if you’d like to watch it again, head over to the iplayer here.

You can see my interview here.

 

Love Sam xx

I have the most exciting news…

So, I have some crazy exciting news that I can finally share with you all, you are now looking at (well, reading from) the newest presenter on BBC Radio Sheffield!!!!

I have a new show starting on Wednesdays from 7-9pm each week, I’m copresenting with a super cool queen called Leesh and we will be chatting life, families, challenges, disability and more and bringing in the most interesting folk in Sheffield and South Yorkshire to share their stories!

Sam cleasby

I couldn’t be more excited or chuffed to get this opportunity, I bloody love radio and have appeared as a guest on so many shows but now I have the opportunity to be on the other side of the desk!

Around 5 years ago, BBC Sheffield presenter Paulette Edwards came and did a talk at my WI (Seven Hills Women’s Institute), she talked about how everyone has a story, something interesting and unique about them and I was so inspired by her.

I feel like I’ve come full circle to get to be a part of the radio station she presents on and totally honoured to become part of the BBC family.

I hope you’ll all listen in, the first show is 15th August, the second 29th August and then we’ll be weekly from the 5th September.

Ill share links and be asking your opinions, so do stay in touch.

✌🏽& ❤️

Sam xx

The Naked Podcast

Last year I got quite an odd phone call. Even for me this was a weird one!

It was a reporter I’ve worled with a few times for BBC Radio Sheffield asking if I’d be interested in coming on her new podcast to talk about body positivity. Of course I would!!! That’s right up my street!

”There’s just one thing though Sam… we are recording it naked.”

What??!!!

Jenny Eells and Kat Harbourne said they wanted to discuss the subject of nudity to find out why people are so prudish about their bodies and why many people, particularly women, aren’t more body confident.

So I thought what the hell! Let’s do this!!!

It was really nerve wracking! I turned up and we chatted for a few minutes about themes and then I took myself off into the bathroom to undress, even though I knew we’d all be naked, it seemed weird to strip in front of them!

I came out in a robe and they were wrapped in towels, we sat down and all took a deep breath… then dropped our covers!

At first it was very bizarre! You don’t quite know where to put your eyes and feel completely exposed and fairly terrified.

Yet after a few minutes, you kind of forget about it! There was no judgment, I didn’t feel that they were sizing me up at all, it was three women sat in the buff chatting. Odd but funnily comfortable.

I think that physical exposure really opens you up emotionally and over the course of an hour we talked about things that brought up a lot of deep down emotion. From my surgeries and scars, to sex, masturbation, how children feel about their bodies and so much more.

Honestly, it was quite a terrifying step to take, but once we started, it was so cathartic and I left on cloud nine!

You can read a bit more about the podcast here.

The naked podcast Sam cleaaby

 

You can follow The Naked Podcast on Twitter @TheNakedPodcast and listen on iplayer!

I hope you enjoy it!!

Love Sam xx

Interview on BBC Sheffield – International Women's Day

I was thrilled to be asked to go on to BBC Radio Sheffield to talk about my part in International Women’s Day with Experience Barnsley.  It was on the fabulous Paulette Edwards show and I had a great time.  It was totally nerve wracking but Im so glad I did it and can’t wait to go on again!

bbc radio sheffield

sam cleasby so bad ass

bbc radio sheffield

sam cleasby so bad ass

It was my first ever time in a radio studio and I think you can really hear the nerves for the first half of the interview but I relaxed into it and had a fantastic time.  Thanks so much to Paulette!

You can listen to the interview below.

Love Sam xx