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The InDependent Spouse podcast
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The InDependent Spouse podcast

Author: Jess Sands : Podcast Host, Business Owner and military wife

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The weekly InDependent Spouse podcast is a series of fun, informative podcasts for all military spouses, partners and other-halves.

The InDependent Spouse podcast was born from a need to hear something new. A need to hear from the inspirational men and women who experience service life from the ‘home-front’ while creating successful businesses, running amazing charities and taking on their own challenges.

To give a voice to those who are already achieving astonishing things, and to inspire those who dream of doing the same.

As the traditional role of the ‘military spouse’ continues to evolve in line with the military itself, it seems only fitting to reflect these changes in a modern way.

What’s also clear is the importance of developing their own role; one that gives the spouse, partner or other-half their own voice while also complimenting that of the service member.

In this series, Jess explores military life by chatting with inspiring people in the community.

So sit back and listen to their personal stories. Hopefully one day we’ll hear from you!

Download. Subscribe. Enjoy!
46 Episodes
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046 : Sarah Hulyer

046 : Sarah Hulyer

2020-11-2022:27

Today I have been talking to the wonderful Sarah from Blooms from the base.  This last episode of series four is a very positive episode that will have you dreaming of Spring! It's going to bring you an awful lot of happiness, especially at this time of year when the weather is looking a little bit miserable.  It's another great example of when military life gets a bit much and  if you are about to experience deployment it is defiantly a good one for you that might inspire you to get your teeth into a new project!
045 : Helen Massy

045 : Helen Massy

2020-11-1318:26

Today I have been chatting to the lovely Helen, who created Career Pursuit, a guide especially for all military spouses all over the world. It helps you gain clarity on your career  or in which way you might want to take your business. It is an amazing guide, chock full of information and you should definitely go and have a look. The following interview explains why she started it, and the sorts of information you can find in the guide.  Thank you to Helen for all of your hard work creating this epic resource!
044 : Chris Keen

044 : Chris Keen

2020-11-0621:50

Today I have been talking to the very lovely Chris Keen from The Military Husband, BFBS and #SpouseHour. We talk all things 'military husband' and how that can impact on life, but also the positives around re-writing the way that military spouses and partners are represented. This is a great episode if you are a parent, or looking for a new perspective on Armed Forces life!
043 : Nadine Monks

043 : Nadine Monks

2020-10-2823:26

Today I have been talking to the lovely Nadine from Forces Family Finance! Nadine is one of those amazing business owners who has worked really hard to build one of those profitable businesses that can pay her a salary. It supports her family, it works really well with military life - but it's been tough, she's had to grow it with three tiny children around her ankles, but she has done so well! So this episode is chock full of tips if you are a mum starting in business, or you have your own small children that you need to look after, so I really hope you enjoy this episode.
042 : Cat and Kirsty

042 : Cat and Kirsty

2020-10-2330:30

Today I have been talking to Cat and Kirsty, over at the Dot Project. Cat and Kirsty are amazing business owners, mums and Army wives and this episode is full of positivity! A must listen if you are new to the military community. The Dot Project supports organisations across the social, public and education sector to be their digital best. I really hope you enjoy this new episode.
Today I've been talking to my lovely pal Dr Rosie, better known as Dr Rosanna Gilderthorp - Clinical Psychologist who's leading a movement of innovators to change the conversation about mental health. We talk all things hypnobirthing, psychological therapy and how on earth we get through military life and a pandemic. You are going to love this episode!
040 : Sarah Walker

040 : Sarah Walker

2020-10-0726:35

Today I've been talking to the wonderful Sarah Walker from the free Supporting the Unsung Hero Business Start-Up course. The course is open to all members of the Armed Forces Community and gives easily digestible business advice to help you start your business.
Ever wondered what it's like to live through a Tsunami and under-water earthquake, well today's guest has done exactly that! Jessica is a Navy wife, mum and adventurer who's experienced some truly remarkable things whilst scuba-diving. I am very proud to be bringing you this episode as we re-start the series to highlight the huge range of stories from our community that should be shared.
038 : Mid-Series Break

038 : Mid-Series Break

2020-07-2201:58

I am moving house (again!) so sadly the podcast series is taking a little break. But, do not worry, there is still loads for you to get stuck into. Head to milspo.co.uk to find out about the weekly Milspo Meet-Ups, the monthly Virtual Networking, the online community and build a network you can take anywhere. Have the best summer and I'll speak to you soon!
This week's NEW podcast episode is with the wonderful Hannah Shergold. Winchester artist Hannah Shergold has a fascinating, albeit peculiar back story and is now one of the most successful self-representing artists in the UK. Since leaving the Armed Forces in April 2018 Hannah has hosted two solo exhibitions on London’s Pall Mall and within 15 months raised over £120,000 for charity through the sale of her artwork. She recently partnered with Prince William’s conservation charity Tusk with a fundraising target of £75,000. But despite her success, Hannah has taken a less conventional route to reach it. She graduated from Cambridge University in 2006 having studied pre-clinical Veterinary Medicine. After three years as a bronze sculptor, she joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and commissioned into the Army Air Corps. Following a ground tour of Afghanistan with the infantry she qualified as a Lynx helicopter pilot and has served all over the world including Germany, Canada and Kenya. In 2015 Hannah was deployed to Kenya to conduct medical evacuation duties. Often based in austere locations in the remote northern deserts, she flew multiple casualties with life-threatening conditions to medical facilities in Nairobi. Having experimented with painting whilst on standby Hannah’s work quickly drew a following, and since her return to the UK in 2016 Hannah has featured on Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, in the Financial Times “How To Spend It”, Mayfair Times, Luxury London magazine, and was listed as one of the top 10 “Women to Watch in the Arts” by About Time magazine. I am so excited to share this fascinating episode with you, and can't wait to hear what you think!
Hello you lovely lot, it’s time for a new episode of the podcast series and this week it’s with author Fiona Stanford. I think it’s safe to say that many of us have found ourselves a little bit in the shadows of our partners from time to time – especially if like Fiona, you are married to a 2-star general. In fact, everyone I told about interviewing Fiona instantly asked what her husband did, rather than about her. So it gives me great pride to be able to focus on her story, which is just as fascinating. Author Fiona has a wealth of experience picked up during her 25 years of marriage, and I think you will get an awful lot from her story. Her book 'Don't Say Goodbye: Our Heroes and the Families They Leave Behind', published by Hodder and Stoughton, is available from Amazon, and all good book stores. 
Hello you lovely lot, it’s back! Series 4 is here, and I am so pleased to be able to bring you the first episode with the fantastic Sarah Stone, founder of the Military Co-working Network. The Military Coworking Network is a community-run by and for military spouses. It is a place where we can share opportunities from the outside world with our community and connect, help and inspire each other.   Starting in Leuchars, there are now 7 operational hubs (sadly closed due to COVID) with plenty more planned.   I really hope you enjoy this first episode back!
Hello you lovely lot, I just thought it was time to give you a little update about the podcast series and when it will be back. Obviously, there has been a world load of changes since I announced the new series back in February – something that has affected the release of the podcast – however, there have been some exciting updates happening whilst we’ve been locked down. New Episodes have been recorded with the lovely Sarah Stone from the co-working hubs, Artist Hannah Shergold, Author Fiona Stanford and of course the COVID response episode with the fab Georgie from Chasing Lobsters whose advice for getting through this time is brilliant. I would highly recommend going back and listening to that episode if you are struggling. And of course, thank you to the Royal British Legion for their continued support with sponsoring this entire series. But, it’s not just podcasting that’s been keeping us busy. If you are a member of the Milspo Business Network you’ll have noticed a load of changes. There’s the thriving Facebook networking group, which you are all very welcome to join where over 500 of us are supporting each other build amazing businesses. Make sure you’ve joined it. There are details over on milspo.co.uk We have been keeping up with the monthly online networking sessions that were launched last year to great effect, and, in direct response to COVID 19 we now also meet every Wednesday to check-in and help the more isolated members of the network stay connected. It was clear really early on that a lot of us might struggle with deployments and postings at this time so I am really happy to say that these weekly meetups – that we call Milspo Meet-Ups – are a massive success. So much so that we are already planning real-life meet-ups and a Christmas party when this is all over. Unfortunately, as expected and experienced by all a lot of real-life events that we planned never made it to fruition, but that hasn’t stopped us. We are leveraging this new online life and building on previous experience to keep going. Now, we are able to keep building our network no matter where we are located, or indeed where we are locked down. It’s been a very inspiring time connecting with so many new businesses and business owners and actually providing such wonderful service during this challenging time. So much has been cancelled and postponed but the joy of the online world and the adaptable spirit of the armed forces community has meant that we are able to carry on when others have stopped. It’s unexpectedly been a very positive three months of lockdown and I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have taken part in the events and online networking recently – to the new ambassadors and all of the members in the network – you’re amazing and you inspire me every day. Right then, that’s the end of this little update. I hope that you are as excited as I am about series 4. If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast then do that now, and please do leave a review – that would make such a difference to me and it helps more lovely listeners like you find the series. Until next time keeps safe, keep your chin up and I shall be back, very soon with some inspiring stories from our network.
Hello you lovely lot, I hope you are well despite the very trying time we find ourselves in. I can’t quite believe that I am recording this during a national lock-down and a viral pandemic that is causing so much disruption. I hope that wherever you find yourself you and your loved ones are well. Series 4 wasn’t actually planned to start for a few more weeks but this episode has been recorded especially as a response to the world we find ourselves in and hopefully will offer you some support at this time. This week I have been talking to the wonderful Georgie from Chasing Lobsters But before we get started I have a very happy announcement to make. The wonderful Royal British Legion are proudly sponsoring this fourth series of the InDependent Spouse podcast. I am sure you are aware of the important work the legion do at the heart of our Armed Forces Community and they are also offering access to support for those affected by the pandemic. The Royal British Legion understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods across the country and in the Armed Forces community. Their specialist financial advisors are here to help anyone facing additional money worries because of the outbreak and help put your mind at ease. If you have financial concerns and would like support and advice contact the Legion on 0808 802 8080 and they’ll put you in touch with someone who can help. Please do contact them if you are in need.  
Hello you lovely lot, it’s the last episode of series 3 today, and this time I have been talking to the completely inspirational Dr. Emma Egging, from the Jon Egging Trust. On 20th August 2011, Flt Lt Jon Egging lost his life whilst completing a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival. He was coming to the end of his first year flying with the Red Arrows – his wife Emma was watching. Emma, along with Jons mum and friends launched the Jon Egging Trust, a charity that supports struggling children to reach their full potential. The charity website describes Jon as an inspirational person and it’s this inspiration that’s at the heart of everything they do.  The accredited programmes increase young peoples’ self-confidence, self-esteem and other vital life and work skills and empower them to become role models within their own communities. The Jon Egging Trust realises Jon’s dream of inspiring young people through his love of aviation, teamwork and leadership, helping them to overcome adversity, identify their strengths and work towards their ambitions – with Emma leading the charge. I can’t quite tell you how honoured I am that Emma shared her very personal story with me.
031 : Phoebe Hayes

031 : Phoebe Hayes

2020-02-1232:55

Hello you lovely lot and welcome back to another inspirational episode, this week I have been talking to Phoebe from Off the Patch. We talk a lot about setting up a business and the challenges you can face doing that, how she managed to launch a start-up during a difficult pregnancy and her husband was deployed and the similarities between a new business and a new baby. This is a great episode if you are wondering how you might have a family and a business whilst living this military life, especially if your partner is looking at shared paternity leave and how that works in the Armed Forces, especially if they are operational and on the front line. It’s not about having it all, but it’s about being flexible around military life whilst achieving your dreams. I really hope you enjoy this episode. Thanks again to Phoebe who is generally rocking business and mum life. Huge congratulations on the birth of your baby and your business – thank you for sharing your story, I know so many people will find it useful. I will be back next week with the last story of series 3. I have had the most amazing time chatting to everyone this series, and I know a lot of you have found it really inspirational. If that’s the case, can I ask a little favour? Could you subscribe and review the series? It should be easy to find on next to wherever you found this episode, and don’t forget to tell your friends all about it, maybe they know someone inspirational who might like to be in the next series.
030 : Charlotte Harker

030 : Charlotte Harker

2020-02-0534:59

Hello you lovely lot, and welcome back to the InDependent Spouse – the voice of inspirational people doing amazing things, who also happen to be married to serving Armed Forces personnel. Today, in episode 30, I am talking to the completely lovely blogger and social media influencer Charlotte. Charlotte started her Instagram account back in 2018 depicting her daily life as a mum, illustrator and wife. It was in 2019, when going through deployment that Charlotte started to share even more of her life – how the deployment affected her son, who was 2 at the time, and how she managed her life alone without a support network and the anxiety It can cause. The profile really took off and today she has over 22k followers on Instagram. She talks openly about anxiety, body confidence and being plus-sized. She started her blog, mysizeismine.com in October which is a lifestyle blog but is centred around body confidence. This episode is a fascinating look into the real world behind being so popular on social media, and how it can help you in your business. I hope you enjoy this episode with the lovely Charlotte.
029 : Louise Goldsmith

029 : Louise Goldsmith

2020-01-2232:14

Hello you lovely lot, welcome back to the independent spouse podcast Today I have been talking to the wonderful Louise from Hidden Valley Bushcraft. Hidden Valley Bushcraft has gone from a small idea, and has grown organically to what it is today - an award-winning company. Louise and her husband Nick run the company out of passion and a little bit of necessity – Ex-marine Nick has complex PTSD and uses the woodland for his own mental health, as well as encouraging Veterans to join him with the Warrior Programme, now supported by the Endeavour Fund and the Duke of Sussex who I have heard is a big fan. This episode is a great look at how honest and difficult running a business. From how years of work goes into making it a success that you now see. I hope you enjoy this episode with the lovely Louise.
028 : Scott Johnson

028 : Scott Johnson

2020-01-1544:26

Hello you lovely lot, welcome back to The InDependent Spouse podcast series. This week I am very proud to share with you my chat with the completely amazing Scott, from Veteran Owned UK. Veteran Owned UK is a massive online community - but don't be put off, it's not just for those Veterans, it's also for us! The military spouses and partners in business. This interview is perfect for January. It's full of loads of insights and a lot of inspiration so I really hope you enjoy the episode!
027 : Gems Collins

027 : Gems Collins

2019-11-2027:29

Today I have been chatting to the wonderful Gems Collins!  Gems has experienced military life in the UK growing up, and now, as the wife of a US serving member she is experiencing it all again - just stateside! This episode is a great look at the differences and similarities between our two countries and what we can learn from the US and how they're supporting their spouses. It's also packed full with business support that can help you in your own business, especially if you're just starting off. I really hope you enjoy episode 27!  
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