The Extraordinary Ordinary with Michelle Southern and Dame Joan Bakewell

Season 1, Episode 7,  Nov 22, 2021, 06:00 AM

The Extraordinary Ordinary, the podcast from Women of the Year, shines a light on incredible achievements by women who you’ve probably never heard of (until now), but whose passion, dedication, and fierce determination has changed society their communities and the world, in ways that will inspire and uplift you.

A conversation with a homeless man about how he looked after his much loved dog, led Michelle, Southern, to launch a charity providing free veterinary care for the pets of homeless people. Street Paws looks after the animals and provides emergency housing for them if their owners have to go into hospital, it also supports hostels and trains their staff in the care of animals so that homeless people can access their services.

Michelle movingly describes the fiercely protective relationship homeless people have with their animals and how, in the early days of Street Paws, it took time to win their trust. She talks about how the pandemic helped to accelerate one of her key aims, and how she fought to help devoted pet owners not to be separated from their animals. She shares her dreams for the charity she started and runs, and the actions she’d like to see taken to help people out of the cycle of homelessness. Oh, and she reveals what her favourite breed of dog is.
In this episode we’re also joined by journalist, presenter and Labour Party peer, the magnificent Dame Joan Bakewell who recalls the early days of the Women of the Year Lunch, how, on her time at the event,  she was predominantly preoccupied by how the dress she was wearing would look, and how being there made, and makes, her conscious of being part of the onward tide of women’s progress.