“When touching your life at the right time, in the right place, inspiration sets you alight. It can be just one amazing encounter, or a series of encounters, but you will reach for your destiny when it comes, and nothing will stop you.”

Harpenden is a unique place. It is filled with incredible people who do inspirational things for their fellow human beings every day. #SHEINSPIRES is an initiative run by pennybird and camera which takes place during Women’s Month in March each year to recognise powerful acts of kindness, courage, selflessness and generosity which touch our lives, uplift us, evoke emotion, positive action and creativity. #SHEINSPIRES is our opportunity to say thank you to the inspirational women in our midst.

How does #SHEINSPIRES work?

  1. Nominate an inspirational woman on during March.
  2. Attend the 'Evening of Inspiration' to recognise her work, show your support and appreciation (held in May) and be inspired!

Who would you nominate? You know her. She has courage. Deep gratitude for our world, her life, and the people around her. She listens with empathy. She loves openly and unconditionally. She is authentic. Utterly trustworthy. Deeply passionate about the things that matter to her, particularly her calling in life. Her positivity shines from every pore. She has faced adversity, but uses her past struggles to help and develop others.

She is humble. She inspires.

Emily Ketchin, Harpenden’s most inspirational woman 2019, visiting the Houses of Parliament.

Emily Ketchin, Harpenden’s most inspirational woman 2019, visiting the Houses of Parliament.

#sheinspires 2019 - winner

Emily Ketchin, wife, mother, city lawyer, local celebrity and driving force behind the Harpenden Thameslink Commuter Group, has demonstrated exceptional determination and fortitude, campaigning relentlessly on national television, at council meetings and in parliament to improve the Harpenden train service. Called amazing, an absolute warrior – a true Harpenden hero – she has earned herself the unofficial title of “the voice of Harpenden”.

Each year, pennybird and camera takes great pleasure in giving the winner a series of photographs illustrating their inspirational work. The images below attempt to tell some of Emily’s story.


#sheinspires 2018 - winner

Janet Crawley was voted the most inspirational woman in Harpenden in 2018 for her amazing dedication to improving the lives of dementia patients. Gifted with a special intuition and understanding of the fear and confusion experienced by sufferers, she brings love and laughter and an improved quality of life to the residents at St Matthews in Redbourn through stimulating and engaging activities.

I found it particularly humbling to meet the incredible residents at St Matthews and was blown away by the heartwarming welcome I received from everyone. I hope these images tell a little of the story of their time spent with Janet.