Wellbeing: Meet five women who have discovered soul-soaring hobbies

Have you discovered a hobby that makes your heart sing? Louise Cummings chats to five women who have found fulfilment and happiness in soul-soaring pastimes


Who I am and what I do: I'm Letitia Valentine and I'm a property developer

Letitia Valentine with her ukulele
Letitia Valentine with her ukulele

My happy pursuit: Playing the ukulele fills my heart with joy. It is such a fun and easy instrument to play and just makes me smile.

How I discovered it: I bought myself a second-hand ukulele and then spotted an advert for a group in Ashley. I only knew two chords when I started but quickly progressed. You don't need to read music to play the uke, just know some chords.

Why I love it: It's such a jolly instrument to play and especially so in a group. We are all at different levels and no one minds if you make a mistake. I'm quite sure there would be world peace if everyone played the ukulele!

Find out more: St Mary’s Ukulele Group meet Wednesday evenings at Ashley Church. Contact Michelle Boss on 07908421918.


Who I am and what I do: My name is Katie Redsell-Green, akaKP #99, and I am a skater with Cambridge Rollerbillies. I play as a blocker and I'm also the Vice Captain for the A team. In my day job I'm a training officer for a local LGBTQ youth charity.

Katie Redsell-Green of Cambridge Rollerbillies, Picture Benjamin Valsler
Katie Redsell-Green of Cambridge Rollerbillies, Picture Benjamin Valsler

My happy pursuit: Roller derby! Or any time spent on roller skates, really. I'm always either in a sports hall or a skate park.

How I discovered it: I first heard about roller derby back when I was a student, but wasn't brave enough to try until I signed up back in 2017. It was actually mostly to try and impress a girl, and it worked out great because we are now married and get to skate together! I had never skated before, but the team provided all the kit and training and now it's impossible to get skates off my feet.

Why I love it: Roller derby is tough, fast and clever and has pushed me more than I have ever been pushed. I have travelled all over Europe to play and have met so many incredible people. I love its grassroots mentality and the community element, and that it is a sport predominantly run and played by women. It's a safe and welcoming space for people of all backgrounds, races, genders and sexualities that is rarely found elsewhere in sport.

Find out more: Follow on Facebook and Instagram (just search Cambridge Rollerbillies) or visit rollerbillies.com. Those interested in learning to skate (no experience necessary!) or becoming a volunteer can email info@rollerbillies.com


Who I am and what I do: I'm Amber, a women's wellness coach, specialising in strength training and pelvic health. Most of my day is filled with 1-1 clients, but I also run a few different classes during the week.

Amber performing Latin Formation Dance
Amber performing Latin Formation Dance

My happy pursuit: My happy pursuit is dancing, and nowadays that's Latin Formation dance.

How I discovered it: I danced throughout my entire childhood and at university. I did all the grades in ballet, modern, tap and then quite a lot of musical theatre in early adulthood. I then had a 20-year hiatus where the only dance I did was round my kitchen! But thanks to one of my clients who invited me to come along to try something new, I found XS Latin in Cambridge and joined as a total novice in Spring 2022.

Why I love it: You cannot beat the feeling of moving your body to music, and the community at XS is second to none. It's a wonderful complement to my other fitness pursuits.

Find out more:Castings are held twice a year (usually June and December). Visit xslatin.com


Who I am and what I do: I’m Lina Orsino-Allen aka Lina Della Luna, a certified Moonologer™, holistic coach and spiritual mentor.

Lina Della Luna practising moonology, Picture linaandtom.com
Lina Della Luna practising moonology, Picture linaandtom.com

My happy pursuit: Moonology™ is an ancient transformational practice where we harness the energy of the moon's phases and realign ourselves back to our own cyclical nature.

How I discovered it: In 2019 running my busy photography business had taken its toll. I was overworked and overwhelmed, full of anxiety. Then a very intuitive business coach suggested I read Yasmin Boland's Moonology, and it was like remembering a part of myself I'd forgotten.

Why I love it: The modern world has us fighting our circadian rhythms, and this practice reminds us to take our cues from nature. It's OK to not be productive 24/7, 365 days a year! Through this practice I allow myself to slow down when I need to, or get energised, and I pursue things that give me joy without a side order of guilt that it might not be a 'productive' use of my time. I also love sinking deep into meditation, it’s the ultimate ‘me’ time. Above all, seeing others rediscover themselves through it, gives me a deep sense of happiness.

Find out more: Visit linadellaluna.com


Who I am and what I do: I am Hannah Barham, and I live in South Cambridgeshire with my family and work part time as an accountant at a wildlife charity.

Hannah Barham at her potter's wheel
Hannah Barham at her potter's wheel

My happy pursuit: Making unique and colourful ceramics!

How I discovered it: After having children, I wanted to find a new hobby; something that would get me out of the house and that was just for me. I started a pottery evening class and quickly fell in love! Now, a few years later, I have turned my garage into a little pottery studio.

Why I love it: It is something completely different to anything else I do. I can be alone and just focus on what I'm making; it's very therapeutic! I still get excited opening the kiln to see how everything has turned out, although it's not always good news! It's taught me a lot about patience and resilience.

Find out more: Visit hannahbpottery.com or on social media @hannahbpottery

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