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Dee Matthews

Specialisms: Leadership, overcoming adversity, mental health, domestic violence

Dee is a high performing Watch Manager in the UK Fire Service, dedicated to helping others and serving the community in a job she believes is an honour to hold.

An early privileged life came to an abrupt halt when she got caught up in a military coup in Russia at age 15. The trauma and sexual violence she encountered had a devastating effect on her life leading to mental health struggles and eventually becoming homeless.

Twenty years ago, she spent her nights cold and hungry stealing food from bins would have been easier to give up, but she fought for a better life. Now she is a confident woman, a wife and a mother of 5 incredible children, with a house and a career she loves. A career which she views as a privilege to be there to help people at their most vulnerable, on their worst days … making decisions that contribute to saving lives.

She has 15 years’ experience in the emergency services, receiving commendations whilst in the police force for her team’s actions when an officer was attacked in the line of duty and in the fire service for her actions in saving the life of a woman trapped in a fire.

With compassion and cohesion as her main drivers, she leads her team with a passion for leadership and for encouraging development. When they can’t see their own potential she sees it for them, believes in them until they learn to believe in themselves. She works with dedication and commitment, recently achieving top place on the Watch Commander promotion process across Hampshire Fire Service and holds the highest scores ever achieved. In her spare time, she facilitates leadership and empowerment courses for the Fire Service and is studying through the Open University to get a degree and further her education.

That girl terrified and alone, sleeping in the bushes in the local park has not just survived but is living an amazing life and making a difference every day.

We cannot control what challenges life throws in our path but with faith and belief we can realise that we do not need to be a victim, that we are all warriors. After years of feeling ashamed of her past it is now her mission to share her story. With her characteristic warmth and openness, she aims to help others realise that the past may shape you but doesn’t have to define you …. We all have the potential to choose our own destiny.

Dee Matthews

+44 208 123 8250


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