Having started her career on a publishing graduate trainee scheme, Lisa Beaumont quickly climbed the marketing hierarchy, gaining skills which she never lost, and which have helped her restart her career more than once.
In 1996, she came top in the country for her Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma in professional marketing and received an award from the Worshipful Company of Marketors.
Lisa’s personal life took her from London to Tunbridge Wells as she married a local, but she carried on working, this time for the even bigger marketing name of Taylor Nelson Sofres – now Kantar TNS – along with a role job at Trinity Theatre helping to promote the charity arts venue.
But a brain haemorrhage and subsequent stroke in 2011 seemed set to end her working life for good.
“I had the brain haemorrhage in January 2011, and was months in the hospital. I got home at the end of 2011 by the skin of my teeth, on condition that I had full-time care,” she said.
Although she is now able to walk with sticks after ‘a lot of hard work’, Lisa still has mobility problems, and impaired ‘executive function’ which makes scheduling difficult.
“After my stroke, I thought about what I can do, not what I can’t do,” she said.
“And my (new role of) ‘social listening’ at PR agency Colley Raine was born out of the fact that with reduced mobility, I have time to read all the social media posts.
“I’ve never been a very ‘tech’ person, but I’m unexpectedly developing a specialisation in health tech,” she added, before saying: “I’m just about to write an article for ‘Health Tech Magazine’ on the power of patients.”
As well as her work for Colley Raine, her networking skills and marketing background seen her running her own marketing agency for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and sole traders, as well as getting involved in community projects.
She has also help set up West Kent Different Strokes (WKDS), a peer-support group, that grew out of a Facebook group for working-age people in West Kent.
“I knew there would be the capability for us to come together and share stories,” she explained. “Quite often, someone else has had the same experience and there is usually a solution which we post to one another.”
WKDS recently welcomed Louise Ward, the clinical director for strokes at Kent and Medway NHS Trust, to discuss how WKDS can implement the NHS’s national programme for stroke.
Working-aged people wanting help or information about the condition and help available should visit differentstrokes.co.uk