About Me

I’m a survivor.   Life has been about overcoming disasters and discovering new opportunities.

In my mid-20s, my fiancé of six years was killed in a car crash.   I had to pick myself up and find a new direction.   The Royal Navy was the answer for a superb career of over 20 years: one of eight women Commanders, first woman naval barrister, international travel and making changes to the lives of thousands.   Just fabulous until I lost my sight.

 

First WRNS Officer called to the Bar
First WRNS Officer
Called to the Bar (1989)
Wig Tin, Collarette & Bands
Wig Tin, Collarette & Bands
Commander Royal Navy, Tricorn, Epaulettes & White Cane
Commander Royal Navy, Tricorn, Epaulettes & White Cane
Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Blindness ended my military ambitions.   Time to re-group and find new fulfilment in the civilian world.   Unashamedly optimistic, I created Disability Dynamics to help other disabled people to get back to work.   Nearly 20 years of intense job satisfaction, working from the heights of Government to the reality of the people we served, was the lasting reward although the OBE and Honorary doctorate gave me the chance to dress up!

HRH Princess Anne Presenting Penny with her OBE
Penny Awarded an Honary Doctorate
Penny Awarded an Honary Doctorate

The next cloud: DWP cut the support I needed to work so that came to a crumbling end.   While the dispute continues, reinvention was needed once more.   Cooking seemed more familiar than Paralympics as my new direction.   Within months, I’d won an international prize for blind people that funded the global tour to work with professional chefs and home-cooks: over 100 videos and recipes.   Life was wonderful with new opportunities ready and waiting.

Injuries from a major car accident in France brought everything to an unexpected halt.   Lucky to be even alive, let alone walking and talking, the recovery has taken a long time but with many super high spots.   The physical and mental fallout will continue but I’m making progress: writing, speaking, online cooking demonstrations and more.   Battling on, resolute about silver linings and thoroughly undaunted, I’ve got the will and am finding my way.  

Watch this space!

Penny in a Coma in France
Penny in a Coma (France)
Ready to Face the World Again
Ready to Face the World Again
© 2022 - Penny Melville-Brown
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