Sharing things

2.2 Ellen and Rachel - out now

In this episode, guests Ellen Blunsdon and Rachel Weiss talk about dying and not dying, familial love, ketchup splatters and more.

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This episode of Sharing things was recorded in early January 2020 before the extent and impact of Covid-19 was known or understood. With this in mind we want you to be aware that the subjects of death, dying and near-death experiences are discussed in this episode. If you might find this upsetting, please save this conversation for another time.

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Gold signet ring and gold wedding ring, a pink donor card showing a crucifix and a small wooden carving of an elephant with two baby elephants.
The signet ring and wedding ring that Ellen inherited from her papa and granny; Rachel's NHS organ donor card and a wooden carving of elephants.

About our guests

Ellen Blunsdon

Chosen object: Papa's signet ring and granny's wedding ring

Ellen is a fourth-year history and politics student and the Disabled Students’ Officer 2019/20 at Edinburgh University Students’ Association. In this role, she has campaigned for the inclusion of disability on the curriculum and created an online resource hub for disabled students. In her spare time, she oversees Europe’s oldest student newspaper as president of The Student.

Her activism earned her a spot on YWCA Scotland’s ’30 under 30’ list, which shares stories of inspiring women and non-binary people in Scotland. The three women she would invite to her dream dinner party are Frida Kahlo, Dolly Parton and her late grandmother.

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Disabled Students' Campaign at Edinburgh University Students' Association

The Student newspaper

Ellen's entry in YWCA's 30 under 30 list

Ellen, Amalie and Rachel at the recording studio.
Ellen, Amalie and Rachel recording the episode.

Rachel Weiss

Chosen object: NHS organ donor card and a wooden carving of elephants

Rachel describes herself as a perimenopausal, park-running partner at Rowan Consultancy and parent of three. After graduating from Edinburgh with an MSc in Knowledge Based Systems in 1990, she trained as a teacher and gained a Diploma in Counselling, leading to the creation of her business offering counselling, coaching, workplace mediation and leadership training.

She recently founded the charity Menopause Café to offer people a fresh approach to opening up about this natural but often undiscussed phase of life. Her generous volunteer spirit and hard work have been recognised with a Commitment to the Community Award from the Association of Scottish Businesswomen (ABS), and a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister’s Office.

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Menopause Café

Organ donation Scotland or NHS organ donation

Pause and refresh - Interview with Rachel in 2019's Edit magazine


View transcript for 2.2 Ellen and Rachel.

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Host: Amalie Sortland

Theme music: Nathan Webb

Audio recording: Scott Willis

All episodes of season two of Sharing things were recorded before 23 March 2020 (COVID-19 lockdown in the UK).