Dawn De Vivre, formerly Dr. Dawn Gibbins MBE
Dawn sadly passed away in February 2022. She died as she lived, in her truth. She was buried on her own land, having had a highly personal eco friendly funeral.
I am sitting by the grave of my mum and dad with tree blossoms tumbling from the skies.
The blossoms dancing in the wind making me reflect on my life and I feel so blessed to have lived the enriched life I have enjoyed so far.
For more than 30 years I was the owner of a multiple award-winning successful businesses that have brought me great material wealth.
However the focus on wealth:
- crucified my inner joy
- destroyed my marriage
- killed my dad
So, over the past 10 years I have been discovering and using tools and techniques to get me from business burn out and wasting fortunes to finding fun, freedom and fulfilment. I am offering the tools and techniques I discovered in motivational talks and workshops.
Here are my top three:
1. Live Happy
How to make your ‘Life Wishes’ come true and discover deep inner happiness.
2. Love Happy
How to make your ‘Love Wishes’ come true and live in bliss with your soulmate.
3. Die Happy
How to make your ‘Last Wishes’ come true to ensure a feeling of fulfilment for your family.
I am the daughter of great British inventor Peter Gibbins. I founded Flowcrete Group with my father in 1982 and for 30 years I dedicated my life to transforming, inspiring and detoxing the construction and manufacturing industry of toxins.
- Detoxed – Removed toxins from flooring products that caused CANCER & Dermatitis
- Detoxed – Removed back and knee problems by the innovation of FLOWING flooring.
- Detoxed – Removed waste and reduced landfill by creating bulk deliveries.
- Detoxed – Replaced 80% of product with recycled materials, i.e., Recycled Glass.
10 years ago I was the darling of British Manufacturing industry winning the title of Most Influential Person in British Manufacturing beating Richard Branson and James Dyson to the top spot of the Power 50 in 2006, and was appointed Pioneer of the Life of our Nation by HRH the Queen (2004).
I had a wakeup call in 2004 when my business lost money so from 2005 – 2008 my team and I transformed the business from £0.5m loss to a £5m profit by implementing lean business processing models. I did many other things to bring spirit into the business such as pearl fishing (looking for beauty in all you meet), team happiness surveys, fire walking, lion dancing and using the Eastern art of Feng Shui etc.
The Leading Global Financial Management magazine interviewed me on the methods I used and called the article ‘The YIN Crowd’ by Scott Paynton… confirming me as a pioneer in the business world.
I sold up in 2008 to embark on a journey to discover how to inject heart and soul into business instead of running lean, mean money-making machines and put some soul back into business, here is my journey:
- 2009 Experienced poverty (street children and orphans) in Nepal
- 2010 Experienced poverty on the streets of Britain (Secret Millionaire Channel 4)
- 2011 Lead Community Transformation Team in Congleton, Cheshire
- 2012 Experienced personal transformation in Asia
- 2013 Underwent life detox, emotional releasing and became spiritually nourished
- 2014 Made a vow to serve. Married my soulmate and became an ordained Life Celebrant
- 2018 Awarded Doctorate by Chester University for injecting happiness into our community
- 2020 Celebrated the life of my mum on International Happiness Day 20th March 2020
My biggest discovery was that change begins within (within ourselves, within the heart and soul of our businesses and within our people). I passionately believe that life is about relationships, both personal and professional.
In a successful marriage, there is plenty of love, soulful and spiritual connection between both partners, but in business, words like love, soul or spirit are frowned upon, they are considered a bit whacky and tend to make people feel uncomfortable.
Love, soul and spirit are alien in the rational workplace.
The problem is if you distance yourself from words like these and avoid exploring their meaning you can end up with a company that is cold, harsh, focused on numbers, short-term gain and driven by fear. That is what we saw in the banking industry in the run up to the global financial crisis in 2008.
The key is to return to a more soulful form of living and working, where employees are treated like human beings and some of the philosophies and practices of the East are applied to our Western organisation.
My message to the world is loud and clear, Live Happy, Love Happy, Die Happy. I am now on a mission to raise the vibration of millions with all I have learned over the last 40 years.
I sold my company, met my soulmate Lionel and our passion now is to bring the joy of living to the whole world.
We believe the key to happiness is to find your inner nature, connect with nature and be your natural self.
Together, Lionel and I are creating a beautiful legacy. We are founders of an educational charity called Wild Footprints created to teach all to live life naturally. We deliver workshops on how to ‘Live Happy’ ‘Love Happy’ and ‘Die Happy’.
At the beginning of my story I mentioned I was the daugther of a great British inventor Peter Gibbins. I am also the daughter of a strong, courageous, authentic woman called Vera Gibbins. I have never met a person with so much inner peace, really knowing who she is.
I fulfilled my mums last wishes in the most wonderful celebration of her life. Wow, how healing this was for Lionel and me and all who came.
Mum had been living with Lionel and me on and off for 5 years, so our home was her home.
I am so proud I was able to fulfil my mum’s wishes of having an environmentally friendly funeral by having a wicca coffin, not being embalmed and to be buried alongside dad at St Michaels Church, Hulme Walfield, a village where she and he had lived for almost 60 years. Having experienced Jean Francis’ Last Wishes Workshop, I was also able to clearly brief the Celebrant on exactly which prayers and hymns mum wanted at her funeral.
I had the honour of reading my mum’s eulogy, which was in her own words. This was a result of the Last Wishes Workshop which provided me with the tools to discover all about mum’s life before she died. Both my daughters delivered messages of pure love and honour to their Grandma Vera Gibbins. Family and friends gathered around mum and dad’s grave and we said her favourite prayer and sang the song that she used to sing to me and to her two grandchildren to get them to sleep, ‘Christopher Robin.’
My calling now is to allow my personal vibrancy to inspire others to think differently. My contribution to humanity is to be an exuberant guiding light to others. When I am presenting, storytelling and teaching, I feel illuminated, inspired and free. My heroes are Ghandi, Dalai Lama, Robert Gray and my mum, Vera Gibbins. I feel my unique skill is communication. I have a talent for presenting creative ideas and getting others to expand their thinking.
I am inspired and feel blessed to work with loving, caring, honest, open, trustworthy, like-minded people who make a difference and are creating a better world.
- Founded & Lead Flowcrete Group 1982 – 2008
- Awarded DTI Innovation Award 1990
- Awarded MBE by HRH Queen 1994
- Awarded Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of Year Award 2002
- Awarded Pioneer of the Life of our nation by HRH Queen 2004
- Awarded title of Doctor of Staffordshire and Manchester Universities
- Appeared on Channel 4 in 2 episodes of The Secret Millionaire 2010 & 2011
- Awarded title of Legend of Industry 2012
- Ordained as Life Celebrant and Spirit Counsellor 2014
- Awarded honorary doctorate for community transformation from Chester University 2018
- Appeared on BBC1 in 2 episodes of Homes under the Hammer 2018,2019
- Awarded the title of ‘The Wild Grandma’ www.wildgrandma.com
- Founded Educational Charity devoted to rewilding people and places 2020 www.wildfootprints.com
Nicole Van Zommeren
I grew up in Australia and after 15 years in the UK, I have recently returned to the wide spaces and endless skies.
A few years before leaving Australia on my round-the-world adventure, my father died after 6 months of fighting cancer. He was strong in body and mind, and he was determined to fight this illness, until the final few days when he surrendered and said goodbye to us.
Our family created a very memorable celebration of his life; we sang around his coffin at the funeral, just like we had in the hospital for the weeks and months he was ill; I hung the positive affirmation posters that had brightened his stark hospital walls on fabric for all to see at his wake. Little did I know that years later these experiences would form the cornerstone of my future work...
I was inspired to be a part of the Last Wishes-Live Your Legacy vision because of my very dear friend Anna. I attended her eco-friendly alternative funeral and it was so beautiful, personal and full of love.
I am the Founder of Ancient and Sacred Trees. AST promotes health and wellbeing of people and planet through cultural change, tree protection and tree planting.
BA Hons, PGCE, Teacher and Artist, as well as healer, writer, historian, story teller, blessing giver, sound healer, forest guide and tree temple keeper. I am passionate about creativity, ecology and social justice.
The happiness and wellbeing of people and the planet have informed my career for nearly thirty years...
Having arrived into this world in 1939, two months before World War II began, I can remember ration books and gas masks! As a very sensitive child I cried bitterly when flowers in a vase died, not to mention the anguish of losing my darling Dad. The war years were lean, if we didn’t have it, my Dad would make it, he was a master of ‘make do and mend'.
I grew up with my brother and sister in the countryside, and our greatest treat was to go for walks with our Dad. He taught us the names of the wild flowers, butterflies, birds and trees, instilling in me a deep love and respect for nature that would stay with me always. It now gives me great pleasure to share this knowledge with my three grandchildren...
My name is Jo Nicoles and I operate Three Shires Independent Funeral Services based in Congleton Cheshire.
My father died when I was just 10 years old and my mother followed when I was only 29. Through seeing their funeral services first-hand, I felt there was something missing that made me think I could do it better. That was in 2004 and it made me determined that I could and should look to do this as a career path.
A friend’s father was a funeral director and I asked him for help. He gave me some work experience which I then used to acquire work with larger funeral homes. After 14 years of this... in 2018 I set up my own business and have taken pride in giving people the send-off they deserve, whilst offering the families the facilities, service, and value they need...
News and Information Blog
Dawn de Vivre, In Loving Memory On the day my beautiful friend Dawn De Vivre (formerly Dr Dawn Gibbins MBE) died, in the early hours I awoke to hear a bird singing extraordinarily loudly outside my window. As morning broke after her death, the day dawned bright and...
In loving remembrance of Dawn de Vivre, Last Wishes Live Your Legacy co-founder.
Planning my wedding I realised how similar to planning a funeral it is. Ideas for a family friendly perfect day.
Here is What our Community is Saying About Us
Jean leaves no stone unturned, no aspect unexplained – and I had no idea it would be such fun. Under her sensitive guidance and with her extensive knowledge of what is possible… Thank you Jean, for your inspired, humorous and down to earth approach to a subject that is so often considered taboo.
It was a wonderfully inspiring day, that taught me so much. I would recomend it to anyone. It was a real fun day. And at the end of it you come out with something of real value for your loved ones, when they will need it most… If you get the chance to… attend… !
It was an utter joy to meet you on Saturday and benefit from your knowledge and wisdom...
End-Of-Life Planning Courses & Workshops
Last Wishes provides face to face or online training that covers the importance of and options around planning the end of your life.
For peace of mind, for yourself and your loved ones, we've created easy to follow courses that take you by the hand to look at your end of life considerations. We help you understand the options available and the impact those choices have on your family, friends, community and the environment.
Last Wishes Tea Rooms
Our Last Wishes Tea Rooms are free community events in a safe space for anyone to talk about anything related to death and dying.
They provide support for anyone who would like to talk about anything coming up for them, or indeed any curiosity or end of life concern. Currently our Last Wishes Tea Rooms are online. With safe distancing measures anyone can join us by logging in from around the globe.