The moment of truth – Photos of when I spoke to HM the Queen

Hi everyone

I know it’s hard for me to believe that I met and spoke with HM the Queen at St James’s Palace on the 15th of July. Therefore it must be hard for some of you to believe it too. Here is proof from the official photographer, Theodore Wood Photography, that it did happen.

I was at St James’s Palace for the Community Service Volunteers (CSV) 50th Anniversary celebration.

To see the full range of CSV event photos, go to the website and click on “Events” – “Community Service Volunteers” – “View Album.” I am on page 7 of 10. These two photos are the best photos of me and HM the Queen. The music on the website is very beautiful too.

Sandra Bellamy talks to HM the Queen

Sandra Bellamy Spoke to HM the Queen

I hope you enjoyed these?

Write soon



I Spoke To Her Majesty The Queen

Hi everyone

What a busy week it’s been. I have been to London and saw Matilda the musical, also the film “Now you see me”. I visited Battersea Park Zoo and Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire.

After packing a suitcase full of what I may need, I forgot to pack my toothpaste. Luckily I got 2 for £5 from a shop at the train station. There were delays on the tubes during my first and last day there. When I arrived at where I thought the hotel should be, it was a Tandoori restaurant and on the last day I left my handbag on the Paradise Wildlife Park bus, with my tube and train tickets in it, the keys to my flat and my debit cards and my money in it. Luckily, there was a guy who got off the bus who worked at the park and kindly missed his train to phone the park and get the driver to come back with it. I did have my phone on me as I had been taking lots of photos of the animals but it was gone 5pm and I would have been stuck at Broxbourne train station had Neil, the bus driver, not come back with my handbag.

The absolute highlight of my trip to London was going to St James’s Palace for the Community Service Volunteers (CSV) 50th Anniversary celebration and speaking to Her Majesty the Queen.

Her Majesty was wearing a pretty blue floral dress, she was carrying a black handbag that matched her black patent shoes. She looked even more beautiful in real life than on the TV, with not a hair out of place.

When I spoke to her I said, “I am a Health Buddy for CSV in association with BBC Radio Devon in Plymouth but I live in Exeter. I recently received a Good Citizen award for saving someone’s life.”

Her Majesty responded, “that’s good.”

I was able to quickly ask her how her husband is and she said that he is doing well and in Norfolk at the moment.

There was an official photographer in the Palace as we were not allowed to take any photos. Every guest had to hand their phone in before going up the Palace stairs.

I did manage to take some photos outside of St James’s Palace and of the entrance to the Palace. I also took a few photos just inside. Although these have come out blurry as a police officer was watching me.


Walking towards the Palace.






The photo above is on the opposite side of the road to the St James’s Palace Marlborough Road entrance, where we had to queue.



I quickly snapped this photo just before my phone had to be handed in.



Apologies for the blur but security was tight and these were taken just inside the downstairs part of the Palace. You should still be able to make out the gorgeous decor.


After I got my phone back I quickly took a photo on my way out of St James’s Palace. Police officers were watching me and although the photo is a bit blurred, you can see the CSV sign for the celebration to the left.

Upon my exit of St James’s Palace I was able to take a couple of photos looking into the entrance from afar.



St James’s Palace was beautiful inside, with themed rooms. On my way upstairs to the first room, there was a person playing a harp. The first room was a sword, pistol and gun room. They were displayed in swirls on the wall.

Second room was a tapestry room. Some of the pictures on the tapestries reminded me of the Roman baths as they looked like they were from that era, although history was never my strong point at school. (I was okay at the history of medicine, that thankfully was part of my GCSE exam.) There appeared to be some cherubs in the tapestries too.

The third room was where I met and spoke to HM the Queen. It was the Queen Anne room with crystal chandeliers and gold paint. There were satin curtains and seating throughout the Palace.

Two other rooms I remember, were the picture gallery room, full of paintings, some of them appeared to be Her Majesty’s ancestors and the final room, was a throne room, with a real throne. It was magnificent.

To summarise, St James’s Palace was just like a Palace looks in a fairytale but it was and is, very real. So for anyone who doesn’t believe in fairytales, I want to tell you, that they can come true. Never give up hope of fulfilling your dreams. You are only as big, as you dare your dreams to be.

To those who have met me and sometimes think I live in a fairytale world, I do and I am proud of it.

I am very happy to have had the opportunity to visit St James’s Palace and get to meet and speak to Her Majesty the Queen. I totally believe that anything is possible and there are no limits other than the ones we set ourselves. The world is our oyster, so why set limits but believe in the power of the possible.

Until next time

Write soon



I Have Been Chosen To Meet HM The Queen

Hi everyone

I am very happy and excited to have been chosen to meet Her Majesty the Queen, at St James’s Palace, on Monday 15th of July.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may already know this and a few of you I have mentioned it to in my comments. For the rest of my lovely blog followers, the last update I gave you, was that I had been invited to St James’s Palace in the presence of HM the Queen. I have since had a letter to say I have been chosen to meet HM the Queen.




I have been sent a map of the inside of the Palace and have been told I am group 10, in the Queen Anne Room, to meet the Queen.


There is a red dotted line to indicate which route HM the Queen will take.

There are instructions of what I should say and do when I meet HM the Queen.

I am going there, to celebrate CSV (Community Service Volunteers) 50th anniversary. I do voluntary work as a Health Buddy for CSV and got nominated by my Manager to go.

If someone had told me a few years ago, that in the future I would be meeting HM the Queen at St James’s Palace, I would have laughed and said they had a vivid imagination, or yes, in my dreams. But I did something very important in my life, I changed my attitude and my belief in myself.

When I was made redundant for the second time in my life, in 2009, this was the starting point of that change. I knew from then on, that I was born 100% to write and to help others who have been made redundant to get back into work. It was the start of my creative journey. However, needing money and taking on a succession of temporary jobs, that I wasn’t happy in, took it’s toll, and although I still had these goals in mind, I didn’t do much about them at that time.

By the end of 2009, I got a job as an Assistant Manager of a shop and a couple of months later I was promoted to Shop Manager. The drawback was, most weeks I would be working 60 hours a week instead of my contracted 40.

In October 2010, I got headhunted to work as a Sales Person for more money doing less hours and so I took it. After almost a year of working there, I decided to take a year out from work, to develop myself, my skills, my knowledge and expertise to grow as a person and to finally fulfil my destiny of writing and helping others to get back into work. During that time, I gained all of those and so much more.

Although I am working again in a retail sales job during the day, I have chosen to be in a job as a Sales Person not as a Manager, so my hours are stable and kept to a minimum. The pay is not great but I can focus on building two businesses around my two goals during the evenings and my time off. I now know what action to take to make progress with those two goals. I still have time to do courses and to develop myself as a person. I am continuing on the path to fulfil my dreams and you can do it too. I am living proof that dreams can come true. Never, ever, give up on your own dreams. Believe they are achievable and that anything is possible.

Be blessed with what you have,
fight for what you want,
believe in yourself,
helps others along the way,
take action,
change when you are able to
and never look back.

Keep looking forward because your future is in your hands.
Treat yourself kindly,
look after those who are important in your life,
allow yourself ups and downs,
you are only human.
Above all, love yourself, live life to the max and do what makes you happy over and over again.

Until next time, keep writing and keep smiling.

Write soon

My Invitation to St James’s Palace





Hi Everyone

I thought you may be interested to read my latest post from my other blog – here it is below:

As you probably know is your one stop resource for redundancy. As well as the practical aspects of redundancy it also covers health and wellbeing including stress, anxiety and depression.

You may like to know that I do voluntary work as a Health Buddy for CSV (Community Service Volunteers) in association with BBC Radio Devon. We promote health messages, learn from health specialists and encourage the 5 ways to wellbeing:

  1. Connect
  2. Be Active
  3. Take Notice
  4. Learn
  5. Give

On Wednesday 10th of March, I went to a CSV Health Buddy celebration of music and activities from local refugees who are being looked after by Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support.

I could not help but take notice of the variety of talent amongst the refugees. There were lots of activities including singing, sports, character making out of carrots and foods from their country. I learnt more about them and the foods they eat. People from different backgrounds connected and it was lovely of them to give up their afternoon to entertain and teach us.

At this event I was pleasantly surprised to be presented with a bouquet of flowers and a Certificate of Achievement for helping a distressed and vulnerable person as part of my role as a CSV (Community Service Volunteer) Health Buddy.

I was even more thrilled to be told that I had been chosen to represent the CSV organisation at their 50th anniversary celebration, to be held at St James’s Palace in London on Monday 15th of July 2013. In the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I feel incredibly honoured to be chosen for.

Redundancy can make you feel deflated and powerless. Take back the control in your life by discovering what you were born to do and make it happen for yourself.

I am living my dreams and I want you to be too.

Stay positive

Sandra Bellamy

A Refugee’s Story

Hi Everyone

Aside from writing, helping people who are redundant to get back into work and demonstrating fitted bedroom furniture in my day job, I also work as a volunteer Health Buddy for CSV (Community Service Volunteers) in association with BBC Radio Devon,

Each month, as Health Buddies, we attend a meeting to learn about a taboo health topic from a specialist in that field and last month was no exception as we learnt about asylum seekers and refugees. I could go into detail about the difference between these but what really made a difference to me personally, was the real-life case studies that had been compiled into one refugee’s case study story to give a rounded view of a refugee’s journey. Here it is:

Case Study

I had a very happy childhood living in a village with my family, my mother, father, brother, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins when the fighters came. My father was shot because he was against the government and my Mum had a heart attack and died when she heard about how he was killed. I was really scared and ran away with my younger brother. We walked for days and days over the mountains until we were in the next country. We thought we might be safe there but people like us were being put in prison and not allowed to work and study because of who we were. A man told us if we paid him all the money we had he could get us somewhere we would be safe.

We were taken to a house and given some food and allowed to sleep on the floor with lots of other people. The agents beat us and we had to do what we were told. We travelled in the backs of trucks and were passed to other agents on the way. One time we stayed in a place that people called “the jungle” where there were lots of trees. Some people from a church brought us food there as we hadn’t eaten for three days. The next day the agent made me and another boy climb under a lorry and hold on. The lorry drove off with us underneath. We were getting really wet and I was so scared of falling we couldn’t move at all and we got so stiff. My brother and I were separated and I think he went on another lorry. I don’t know what happened to him. I never saw him again.

Eventually we stopped and some men in uniforms looked under the lorry with torches and fund us. We were taken out and said we were being arrested. I asked them where we were and he said we were in the UK. I wasn’t sure where this was.

We were then all taken to another place where we were asked about why we had come and how we had got here. I was so sore, stiff and exhausted from hiding under the lorry. It was difficult because although they had someone from my country to talk to me on the phone and translate what the official lady was saying, he didn’t speak my language but another language from my country and I couldn’t understand all of it. They wanted to know when I was born but I don’t know. We don’t record our ages or celebrate birthdays in my country. I was so tired I just wanted them to stop asking questions.

A group of us were put on a coach and taken a long way to a place called Wales. The people on the coach were from all over – so many different nationalities and languages. We stayed one night there and then five of us were taken on another journey to Plymouth where I live now.

I was given a room in a shared house and told that was where I would live and then left on my own with some vouchers to buy food but I didn’t know how or where. I felt really scared. Everything was so different from home. I didn’t understand what anyone was saying to me. No-one else here looks like me, speaks like me or dresses like me. Later other men came home to the house but they didn’t speak my language either. They did try and be friendly and gave me some of their food. I’m going to have to learn how to cook though.

Gradually I have begun to understand what I need to do. I have a solicitor in Cardiff who is helping me. I have told my story to the people who will decide if I can stay but they want to know how old I am. They don’t believe that I am 15. They say I am 18 or 19. They want me to prove my story about my father being shot and what he was doing but I don’t know how to get proof of that without making life dangerous for other people back in my village. That’s if they are still there.

At night I have horrible dreams about being under the lorry and about my father being shot. I don’t like to sleep incase the dreams come and I don’t like to sleep on my own. Then I feel so tired. Sometimes during the day I feel angry and frightened. I want to cry for my family – I don’t know if anyone is still alive.

It’s difficult to fill the days. I’d like to be occupied so I don’t think so much about what has happened and worry all the time about what would happen if I get sent back. We are not allowed to work and I can’t start an English class until I’ve been here six months and even then the waiting lists are so long it might be a year or more before I can learn properly. I watch TV at a friend’s house to try and pick some up and when I’m sat in the town centre I like to listen and see if I can start to make sense of it. I can go to a couple of free classes and at one we can all help prepare a meal together before the class. We end up either just sitting in our rooms or hanging about the town centre. That’s not so good as we do get picked on sometimes. People shout as us to go back home and call us horrible names. Sometimes it’s good not to understand.

I don’t know what will happen and I guess that’s the worst now. The not knowing. The waiting for a decision. Yesterday one of my friends who comes from a different area of my country was refused asylum as they say it is safe for him to go home. He is scared he will be put in a detention centre near London while his solicitor tries to stop this and prove that it’s not safe for him to go home.

Another friend is living on the streets now. They say he can’t have asylum and he doesn’t meet the definition but his country won’t accept him back. So now he has no support here. He has to live on the streets and accept whatever help he can get from anywhere. I try and give him some cigarettes when I have some. At least that’s something.

But at least I feel safe here. People can say things here – criticise their government, wear what they like, go out at any time of the day and night, be all sorts of different religions and no one minds. No-one beats them. No one forces them to do things. The police or authorities don’t come to take them away or torture them or kill them because of it. It’s safe and I feel safe here.

There are some nice people here too who help us. Like the people who teach us some English and help us with our cases. There is a football team with people from lots of different countries and I like playing with them.

Ideally I would like my country to become peaceful like this one and I could go home and work for a good life and find my family. If that’s not possible I would like to stay here and work and study so I can make a good life here.

End of case study story

Reading this case study made me think of how lucky I am that I wake up everyday knowing where I am, that I can choose where to live, that I have family and friends around me, that I have some certainty, familiarity and security in my life, that often these people do not.

At the meeting, we were asked by the specialist to list everything that mattered to us, that was really important to us personally and that we felt we couldn’t live without. Each member of our Health Buddy group was then asked to take another person’s list away from them and we then had to share how we would feel if everything on that list had been taken away from us for real and we could never go back to get it. This felt shocking to me and a real eye-opener. I knew I would feel absolutely betrayed, devastated, angry, upset and bewildered if anything like this should happen to me and I pray that it never does.

We learnt that not only do refugees leave behind family, friends and loved ones, some of them leave behind well paid jobs that make them rich in their own country, only to be thrown into poverty in another country, as they have to flee for their lives. In reality I guess we would all do whatever it takes to stay alive and that’s just what they have to do.

Any mis-conceptions that I may have had, have gone by the wayside and I just hope every one of the refugees are able to stay safe and find some inner peace and happiness.

Write soon