Amazing people I know: Stephanie Phillips

Stephanie or Power Sister as I often call her, is the founder of World Childless Week. I first met Steph in August 2017 when several of us got together to record videos for the first World Childless Week.

To say that the first year was a ‘by the seat of the pants’ experience is somewhat of an understatement. Yet through the post that Christmas, I received a lovely card to say thanks. In February we met up in St Pancras to make plans for Fertility Fest and to celebrate working together on a website and did a lot of OMG, screaming and laughing.

Getting all the content for 2017 onto a new site, planning out the work for 2018 isn’t easy. Adding to this the development, design, logo and teaching Steph how to use the site could have been a disaster. But she remained good humoured and thankful throughout even when I tested the site set up to breaking point. And fixed it before she noticed..!

She’s also a friend too. We have lots in common through our love of Cornwall, especially Rame, odd socks (her by choice, mine because I lose pairs of socks) and pets. I don’t understand her aversion to coffee and she probably can’t understand my passion for vegetables. I can text her late at night worried I presented a talk with my skirt in my knickers (I didn't THANK GOD!) and she doesn’t judge!

I know that many of you have watched us on Facebook Lives for WCW. You might think we’re pros at talking and pushing ourselves forward but we are not. But we do encourage each other, knowing that we can look out for each other. It’s my best advice if you’re uncertain about speaking on video, have someone with you as support. It’s an ethos that we share in World Childless Week and across the childlessness support groups. Largely thanks to More To Life, we’ve got to know each other and share our challenges. I’ve said this before and repeat it again, nobody wants to be the head of the cause. It’s impossible because there are so many ways to not be parent. Egos aren’t welcome and that’s the best thing about the new look WCW, it’s all equal and fair.

In May I was terrified of speaking at Fertility Fest. I know that Steph had good reason to not want to do this and it took all her willpower to get to London. We simply couldn’t not have WCW on the stage so we collaborated, as we had done in the months leading up to Fertility Fest and came up with the idea of me speaking and Steph handing out seeds which worked so well. In fact, better than had we delivered two talks as we played to our strengths. I’m happy (as much as one can be) on a stage and Steph is great with chatting one to one, she has all the right words. The whole event was a highlight of my 2018.

I’m also really honoured that she trusts me with WCW and coming up with ideas. I also trust her to say ‘no’ and give good reasons. And vice versa, especially during the complex build of the website and the branding. Again it’s what everyone in the core Champions does. As a wider team, we all share ideas from the good, bad, ugly and plain crazy and work to bring them to life in a way that suits the community.

It’s been great to see WCW grow since it began and that’s down to Steph’s tenacity and judge of character. I’m looking forward to working with her in 2019 and I’m so excited by the ideas we have for the coming year and formalising WCW as a real, proper identity.

Have you met Steph? Do you know one of the World Childless Week Champions?