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Raynor Winn, bestselling author of ‘The Salt Path’, has been announced as one of the speakers at this year’s TEDxTruro event on Friday 25 October.

Her book has been described by The Sunday Times as ‘a tale of triumph: of hope over despair; of love over everything’ and by its publishers Penguin Books as ‘an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world.’ At its heart is a journey into the unknown and one that proves transformative.

“I’d lived a very rural life, not one in which I encountered homelessness, other than urban rough sleepers on rare visits to the city,” explains Raynor. “But that year, everything changed. I lost the home I’d owned for twenty years in the same week that my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness. No accommodation was available to us, so in that moment of despair we decided to pack our rucksacks and walk the South West Coast Path. My talk will recall our journey and my work since with homeless charities in Cornwall, which has one of the highest numbers of rough sleepers outside London.”

Sam Boex has worked in the design industry for over 15 years and runs an award-winning commercial interior design agency with his twin brother Will. Based on his experiences developing plastic-free packaging for a variety of market sectors, Sam will talk about how to turn an idea into reality.

“It was a trip to the supermarket that inspired me to think about developing an environmentally-friendly solution to wrapping and protecting products,” he said. “We all have ideas, but the challenge is overcoming all the hurdles and making them happen.”

Modern feminism and her own unconventional route to success is the subject of Vicky Kierkegaard’s talk. Having worked an unusual combination of jobs including pole dancing, podium dancing and occupational therapy, her experiences have culminated in the running of her own pole dancing school in Cornwall for the past seven years.

“It’s easy to stereotype women who work in the pole and exotic dance industries but I’m going to use my time in the TEDx spotlight to highlight our tight-knit feminist community which empowers people to stand in their authenticity and to be seen as their perfectly imperfect selves,” says Vicky. “We’re not afraid to be strong and assertive, but most importantly we support each other. As a dancer, our bodies aren’t commodities to be bought and sold, it’s about selling an experience, a persona. As confident and self-motivated entrepreneurs, we turn the tables on the sexualisation of women in order to reclaim and profit from our sensuality.”

Julia le Gallo is a high achiever who will be talking about perfectionism and the daily battle she and many others face in never feeling quite good enough. 

“Perfectionism has had an intense impact on my life and I’ve had to learn how to manage it,” she says. “I’ll be sharing my own experiences and explaining how I use tools like mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy to cope.”

Raynor, Sam, Vicky and Julia are the latest speakers to be announced for the TEDxTruro event which is being held at Truro College on Friday 25 October.  Other speakers include child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Lynne Jones OBE, expedition paddler Jeff Allen and ‘Action Nan’ Pat Smith.  

Tickets cost £50 each (plus £3 booking fee) and are available to buy on the website. The price includes refreshments and lunch. Numbers are limited so early booking is advised.