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I used to have low self-esteem and now I empower women to recognise who they are. As a life coach after I completed my training I thought how can I share this with people? A book was the answer. I ended up writing two books in 2010!

Val Benjamin, Author

Pannel Croft Village

Val Benjamin


Val is a local community champion. Alongside her role as a minister of religion, she is an Ambassador for Peace in the local community, an empowerment leader, life coach and an author! Here Val shares her extra ordinary life with us.


When I was at university, we had to do a project, I chose to write a story about a child leaving one country to live in another. The lecturer insisted that it was such a good idea that I should make a book out of it, years later I did just that. That book is called Helen. It’s a children’s book but older people from the Caribbean often tell me they can relate to it. I wrote two books in 2010. My son illustrated the book for me when he was just 12 years old. It is available to buy on Amazon.

10 Tips is my second book, it’s a book about positive thinking, and after I completed my training as a life coach, I thought how can I share this with people, the book was the answer.

I am an ordained minister of religion, and currently an ambassador for Every Girl Wins. I run an empowerment session at Pannel Croft which is a fortnightly class on a Tuesday. We have interactive sessions and workshops followed by a lunch. I teach people how to get their voices heard, recognising the difference between assertiveness and aggression. I used to have low self-esteem and now I empower women to recognise and know who they are. People tell me how helpful it is, and we celebrate each other. The group is growing.

I have been at Pannel Croft Village for just over a year. I’ve facilitated two parliamentary workshops at the village too. It’s educational outreach. I feel very settled. Pannel is a very diverse culture, and you never feel isolated. There are so many activities, and they meet the needs of all people. The people here are friendly, we care and support each other, people ask how you are, it’s about sharing and caring.

As for volunteering it brings inclusion, I really believe in equality, diversity, and inclusion, I am seeing people mixing with each other and it’s very rewarding.

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