To be perfectly frank, this is not really the season of jolly, it is the time when we like to hibernate and lick the wounds of our depleted bank balance.

January can be a month of melancholy and unsurprisingly the most popular month to file for divorce. Megxit and Brexit say it all really; two huge historical separations happening in January! Although break-ups can be heart-wrenching, dig a little deeper and you can find that they also show immense bravery. This brand spanking new decade is already proving a game-changer for people who have had enough of stale traditions. Familiarity may be comfortable, but there is a wave of brave new people longing for change, recognising that the same-old ways may be a hefty price to pay for freedom and true happiness. January has therefore become an opportune month to break away from the status-quo and once the dust has been swept from under the carpet, they can look forward to a year filled with new beginning and endless possibilities.

My brighter future is February; the month of love. Not the Bridget Jones variety, but acknowledging the love we take for granted like random acts of kindness from those who make our daily lives feel special. We are also blessed to have the love of world around us. The moment the sun breaks though the endless grey sky, making frosty rooftops glisten or the spring flowers from the florist often found on my kitchen table, reminding us that renewed hopes and dreams await us.

Wimbledon Times:

Lady Wimbledon and Jack Pack

This is why each year I host The Wimbledon Love Ball. It’s a very glamorous event held at Hotel Du Vin, Wimbledon on 12th February, and everyone is invited. Couples who are bored of the traditional dinner for two, love dancing the night away to live music amongst singletons who celebrate the month of love with their friends. Most impressively, I adore the guests who choose not to stay at home because their nearest and dearest don’t want to go out, but walk through the doors ready to embrace new acquaintances and make new friends. Again, this is both self-love and bravery, recognising a comfortable place at home on the sofa may feeel safe, but not one that has the potential to open up our world to new people, situations and experiences.

This year I will be celebrating the new friendships I made at last years Love Ball. A special evening when we forget about our daily stresses of work, kids and home and let ourselves dance like we are 21 again. We will be hosting our annual raffle on the night, with all the proceeds going to the Mayor of Merton’s charities; Faith in Action, who run the Homeless Drop-In centre in Merton for the homeless and vulnerably housed. The Drop-In takes place in the Salvation Army Citadel in Kingston Road, SW19 1LT, and is open two days a week throughout the year. Plus, the MacMillan Cancer Support, Merton, who fund projects at St Georges Hospital. They are currently raising money for a MacMillan Support Worker to assist the the breast cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist.

If ever love could be seen in action, it is when families care for loved ones who are fighting cancer or a passer by stopping to make time for a homeless person who has spent days on end feeling hopeless and alone. Love does make the world go around, yet money can help the most vulnerable people in our community access the support they need and deserve.

Wimbledon Times:

CEO’s of Shelter and Nationwide

In the same vein, it was an honour to be invited to Shelter’s new boutique shop opening in Wimbledon Village. The CEO of Shelter; Polly Neate was beaming with pride as she cut the ribbon with Joe Garner; CEO of Nationwide Bank, (Shelters 20 years sponsor). Both were filled with hope that this shop will provide another vital revenue stream to house the neediest members of society. Shelter’s priority is, in the words of David Cryer, “to work towards the day when everyone’s right to a safe, secure home is respected”. Seeing the busy volunteers and the high-quality stock on display, I have no doubt that with Wimbledon’s support this will happen.

January is certainly the month for clearing out the old so we have the space to bring in the new. It seems being brave is not just about leaving our worn out comfort zones, but also opening our hearts to the potential a new decade can bring. I thus have a week to hoover under the sofas, donate no longer needed clothes to charity shops, block social media negativity and put a lid on January.

Who knows, The Wimbledon Love Ball could bring a host of Prince Charming’s and Princesses, if it does, I’m sure loving and respecting their grandma is one tradition we would all rather keep.

Wimbledon Times:

Volunteers at Shelter Wimbledon Village

‘Pass on the love and it will come right back to you’

Lady Wimbledon

Wimbledon Love Ball Tickets on Eventbrite.