MEET THE TEAM
ROZI PURPLE, THE FFOLKES
We want to use the our Work With Us platform to represent the people within our business more. Many of us have great stories to share, skills to teach and wisdom to unleash; from time-to-time, we intend to share our insight and highlight our vibrant community.
A word from Tom, General Manager at The Ffolkes...
Rozi has been at The Ffolkes for over three years and is a huge part of the team. She is genuinely one of the most positive people I have met and pretty unflappable. From my perspective it is hugely beneficial to have a team ripe with diversity – rather than a big group of similarly minded people; we can’t all be the same! However, it is equally crucial to have members of the team that effortlessly uplift the mood and are resilient to the naysayers and mood hoovers! This is Rozi. Rozi’s story is proof of her character and a reminder that even our most positive people have their life challenges. It’s easy for outsiders to look at a positive and happy person and consider them ‘lucky’ and forget that every person has their own anxieties and worries swirling around. There is no sure-fire way to deal with what life throws at us but Rozi gives us an example of what a kick-ass attitude can do to knock down any hurdles. We hope you take the time to read her story.
I was in a car accident over 17 years ago now... a car accident that changed my life.
I’d always been known for being happy and having a huge smile throughout my time at school. I’d been given the affectionate nickname of ‘Smiler’ by friends and school friends, I’d won a smiling competition in a newspaper when I was about 5 years old, I’d been voted to be Swaffham Carnival Queen in 2000 and I’d won a trophy at work for ‘Most Attractive Female’ at our Christmas party in 2002!
I loved life and those in it, then one evening, this happened...
My little brother, Ryan, was on my car insurance as a named driver (he’d recently passed his test and didn’t yet have his own car) often borrowing my car while I was staying at Adams (my now husband).
Late one Friday night, the 11th January 2003, I got a phone call from Ryan as he’d been in an accident on the A47 just outside of Swaffham. Adam and I arrived to see my car, a total mess, but thankfully, Ryan and all his friends being absolutely fine!! Phew!!
That Saturday night, two of my friends took me into Lynn to cheer me up and that was when I was involved in a car accident. My Dad and step mum were awoken early hours on Sunday by the Police to notify them. They, of course, rushed to the QE, along with my mum, stepdad and Adam.
I had suffered a skull fracture, a small eye socket fracture, I’d lost some teeth and of course the laceration to the left side of my face.
My family were told that I may have to be transferred to Addenbrookes Hospital to have a hole drilled into my skull to try to reduce the swelling on my brain and that when I when woke from my medical induced coma that I may not be ‘me’.
Thankfully I was!!! Bar some talking struggles (I saw a Speech Therapist, Physiotherapist and Phsycologist who helped me immensely) and memory issues (I sadly can’t remember much from my years before the accident, and I do need to be reminded several times about things before I remember!! God help me when I’m older!!!) I was ok!
However, it had knocked my confidence, my happiness and effected everyone around me.
I remember trying to remain positive, wanting to get on with life, (after all I was still me, I just looked a little different) and decided to go to the market in Swaffham with my parents. On one particular occasion, a man was crossing the road opposite me and would not stop staring at me. It made me feel awful, like a total freak. I went home and sobbed.
I’ve had many occasions like this; I still get people staring now, but on the flip side I’ve also had people tell me how I ‘carry my scar well’ (I think that’s a compliment! Hehe!) and I also had a guy run over to me in a club once to tell me how cool my scar was, that he loves the stories behind burns and scars and that he finds them fascinating. After giving me a fist bump, he left me to enjoy my night. And I think, looking back, that that was the real turning point in all of this. Realising that there are two sides. You can mope about and moan or you can do something about it and enjoy your life!! Everyone is different, embrace what life throws at you and move on.
Over the years, thankfully, with the amazing support, love and kindness from my friends, family and strangers (see above!!) I’ve regained my confidence and happiness. I found my love of life and all things in it again!
People will still stare, but it doesn’t bother me now, it’s human nature. Kiddies whisper to their parents “Look at that ladies face!” Or “What happened to her?” Only to be shushed, but I’d personally rather you ask me.
Educate your little ones that it’s ok to be different, that not everyone looks the same, and that everyone is beautiful in their own right.
I have good days and bad days like we all do; I’ve learnt how to position my ‘good side’, I know which side to stand in a group photo (I’m like Ant & Dec!!) and how to smile, but thank god for deletable photos!!!
We all have our own insecurities and the things we hate about ourselves, wishing that we could change. But maybe we should just start loving ourselves as we are?! Maybe we should be happy with what we’ve got? Sadly, there is always someone, somewhere, worse off than you are.
I lived to tell my tale and I’ve two beautiful daughters who haven’t ever known me any different. They don’t care about my scar so why should I?! Easier said than done though?!
Helping people with all types of scars and burns overcome their issues, their sadness and upset, making them believe their worth and building their confidence is huge to me. Positivity, happiness and kindness too.
That’s why I’m supporting The Katie Piper Foundation as the charity for my birthday this year.
I never imagined I’d raise £50 but I’m currently at a whopping £621!!!! I am beyond proud of my friends and family for their generosity and overwhelmed by the love in sharing and creating awareness for such an amazing foundation.