My life / my work
Who is Chris Roberts MBE?
When I left college at 18, I started my first job as a secretary, although my dream had always been to be a journalist. When I told my mother about my dream, she said: “Don’t be silly. Get yourself a proper job and be a secretary!”
So for the next 30 years, I earned a living being a secretary and/or Personal Assistant. I was always successful at job interviews and managed to get every job I applied for. Then, when my children were old enough to look after themselves, I decided to pursue my dream of being a writer/journalist. I saw an advert in the local weekly newspaper, the Wilts & Glos Standard for someone to write about local events each week. No one else seemed to be interested, so the job fell to me by default! That was 20 years ago and I now have my own page each week covering news and events in Fairford and Lechlade.
One thing led to another and I started making a name for myself as someone who knew what was happening locally and when! I joined Fairford Town Council in May 2001 and was immediately given the task of ‘communication’ – letting residents know what exactly the Town Council did. This was before the days of websites and Facebook, so all the Council news was reported in the new Town Council Newsletter, which I wrote, edited and produced bi-monthly.
Over the past 20 years since starting to write for the Standard and joining the Council, I have become involved with more and more groups, clubs and businesses, all of which have given me plenty of subject matter to write about. I worked at Coln House School in Fairford for 11 years, organising school events and fundraising for projects such as a minibus to transport the pupils and staff, a new library and an educational trip to London – total of around £50k! As well as enjoying writing about all of this activity and the acquisitions gained by fundraising, I found that I enjoyed the actual fundraising itself and got a real buzz out of opening the post and finding I had been successful in getting a few thousand pounds for whatever project I was helping.
It then became the natural progression to help Fairford Festival with their fundraising, so I joined that committee about 18 years ago to help them get sponsorship to stage the annual events that everyone enjoys so much. My latest fundraising success was for The Palmer Hall in Fairford, when I raised £70k in 2018 to totally renovate and update the historic community hall.
Me as Mayor 2005-2007
In 2005, I was elected Mayor of Fairford for a two year term. That was such an honour and a wonderful experience. Whilst I was Mayor, I learned that there was not a lot of support at that time for local businesses, so I founded the Fairford & Lechlade Business Club. Since its inauguration in 2006, the Business Club has become incredibly successful and well respected and now has members across Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.
In October 2009, I was approached by two gentlemen who were thinking of creating a magazine to cover Fairford, Lechlade and surrounding villages and they asked me if I would like to write in the magazine on a monthly basis! Well, that was like asking Paddington Bear if he liked eating honey! Of course, I said yes and that was how my 11 year partnership with Ripples began and I have loved writing articles about everything and everyone ever since. Someone once asked me what I liked about writing articles and I said it gave me the opportunity to poke my nose into other people’s business and make up stories about them!
When social media exploded into people’s lives, I jumped on the bandwagon and created Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram and LinkedIn profiles. One of the Facebook pages is FairfordGL7, which I update daily with whatever is going on in and around the area. Local news, events, in fact anything that people want to know about.
Just one month after joining Ripples, in November 2009, I was honoured by HM The Queen with an MBE in her Birthday Honours List and have since received numerous other Awards and commendations.
Looking back on the successes and achievements in my life, I put it down to my dysfunctional childhood. I was brought up as the only child of a terminally-ill single parent! I did suffer from ‘only child syndrome’. However, in later years, I used this to my advantage by boasting that “I always get what I want because I was an only child.” No easy feat – but it made me try harder than I might have done, for everything I have now.
It was this philosophy that has helped me become relatively successful in life. So, through this blog site, I want to touch on my dysfunctional childhood and early life to illustrate that anyone can overcome hard times; anyone can defy the odds and use adversity as a reason to find the strength and determination to build a better life. I escaped a life of being brought up by an ailing and sometimes bedridden single parent on benefits in a Council house in the rough end of town to living in a lovely home in a beautiful part of the country with a comfortable life-style and enjoying family life with my husband of over 40 years and the two children that I always wanted.
Me with the family at Windsor Castle 2009
I want to share my tips for being able to find personal satisfaction and success against all the odds and become the person that you want to be and can be proud of – in other words: how to get what you want in life – in a legal way! It is all in the mind-set and belief in your own capabilities. No luck involved – well, maybe a bit! Just sheer determination and a strong belief in yourself.
Please take the time to have a look through this website, read my blogs and share to help and inspire others.
If you would like to hire me to write a blog about your business or event or organisation, please get in touch.
Always happy to discuss. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.