From a young age, Denise Stephenson immersed herself in the family business, Poultry Equipment Installation, supporting her brother and father in a secretarial role. However, five-years in, the family business folded, prompting Denise to find a new career path.
Denise quickly found a job she “fell in love with” with a local retail business and never looked back. After finding her feet, Denise progressed through the ranks with her secretarial and admin support role within the food retail sector for 19 years, making great friends and memories along the way. Wanting to continually challenge herself, Denise diversified into the funeral care sector, broadening her skillset and availing of new opportunities. Things were going well for Denise.
Then, in January 2019, her life was turned upside down. Denise experienced the bereavement of both her parents and sister in the space of only 3 years. When she thought life couldn’t become any more of a battle, the unthinkable happened.
The funeral for her late mother took place on a Thursday, and upon returning to work on Monday morning, Denise was handed her redundancy notice. The 22-years of stability that had kept her going through the darkest days of her life, was torn away in a heartbeat.
However, quite miraculously, Denise tackled this battle with an entirely fresh approach. When asked about her situation, Denise responded: “Redundancy, after being in the same organisation for so long, could have been terrifying, especially whilst coming to terms with life without both my parents and sister.”
“What can I do to fill my time? I asked myself. Should I begin a course or learn a new skill?” It was at that moment Denise was struck with a thought. She had previous experience learning the game of golf with her husband, but when she fell pregnant with her daughter, golf very much took a back seat. However, now her daughter has grown up and time is of the essence, Denise was in a position to give it another go…
But how would Denise rediscover her golfing prowess? She’d only ever been round the golf course a couple of times with her husband some 20+ years ago.
“I decided to take time off after a traumatic 3-years, and step out of my comfort zone by trying something new.” After researching local female golf initiatives online, “I discovered love.golf, and was instantly excited.”
“Of course I felt nervous at first, but I went with my impulse and signed up. That way there was no going back.” Fast-forward the clock and Denise has since completed her first 6-week session and signed up for another dose of love.golf sessions throughout July.
“love.golf had, and still has, a significant impact on my physical and mental well-being. Without a doubt, love.golf has kept my hopes high whilst grieving, and has prevented me becoming lonely and depressed following such losses. It is amazing how much my self-confidence has grown during the initial 6-week project.”
Following the completion of the initial 6-week love.golf project, Denise has already played her first 9-holes on the 18-hole course and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It provided Denise the opportunity to meet new golfers, challenge herself and bond over a glass of wine following their round in the clubhouse.
“love.golf has significantly helped me overcome the loss of family and my redundancy, by enabling me to enjoy quality time outdoors, in a friendly environment with like-minded people. It has been a real confidence boost”
“So my advice is this, love.golf has enabled me to step outside of my comfort zone – something I have been longing to do. Don’t be afraid. Give it a go and surprise yourself.”