Meet our Patrons

The BEAM (Beautiful Empowered and Me)

“If you get, give.  If you learn, teach.”  – Maya Angelou

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Polly Courtney

Polly Courtney

Polly Courtney

Polly is a novelist and social commentator who often speaks in the media about sexism and youth issues. She started her career as an investment banker and this is where her ideas for her first book, ‘Golden Handcuffs’ came about. She’s passionate about writing and self-publishing. Her most recent book ‘Feral Youth’ uses the 2011 London riots to tell the story of a young girl called Alesha who’s faced with making life-changing choices. To find out more about Polly click into the boxes below.

  • I heard about the work BelEve does with young women and girls through founder Marsha Powell, who was at the time reading a pre-release copy of Feral Youth. As soon as we spoke, I realised we both had similar goals: to open up opportunities for young women and to fight some of the negative stereotypes that too often get applied. As soon as I heard about the BelEve programmes and events, I knew it would end in some sort of collaboration.

  • I never actually meant to become a writer. My first career was as an investment banker in the city, so you could say that that's what inspired me - but not in a good way. It was all about money, greed and arrogance... and I hated it. I felt so strongly that the world needed to know the truth about this so-called glamorous life that I wrote a novel, Golden Handcuffs. It turned out that I loved writing, so after the success of that book I wrote another, then another... Feral Youth is my sixth novel and the one I feel most proud of.

  • It's so important that we do things in life that are fulfilling, rewarding and make us happy. I learnt from my first career in the city that you can become pretty miserable by doing what you think other people expect you to do. Banking was not my dream. Making money wasn't important to me; I wanted to do something that had an impact. Since I've followed my passion (writing), I have felt ten times happier and more fulfilled. I'd urge all girls to think hard about what they really want to do in life before they follow the route they think they're destined for.

  • It's impossible to define, but I know we all have it inside us.

  • "Never regret what you've done in life; only regret what you haven't done."

Mavis Stewart MBE

Mavis Stewart MBE

Mavis Stewart MBE

Mrs Mavis Stewart MBE, is a vibrant 78 year-old, much loved and highly respected pillar of the community. Mrs Stewart was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen for her dedication and services to the community and is committed to being one of BelEve UK’s first Patron’s. To find out more about Mrs Stewart MBE click into the boxes below.

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