Sally Theobald

Sally Theobald

Tell me a bit about yourself and the work you do?

So I’m Sally, I’m 48 and live in Liverpool with my partner, Nick, and our three daughters: Josie (15); Lauren (13) and Bryony (13). I’m a professor in Social Science and International Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. I work on collaborative research projects with fantastic colleagues in the UK, Africa and Asia. I’m particularly interested in gender, equity and health systems strengthening. I love living in Liverpool, its a great city – and embodies friendliness and solidarity.

What’s the last thing that made you laugh or feel really happy?

My daughters make me laugh a lot. My twins are 13; one of them is really good at maths and her sister said “oh here’s Bryony coming to twinsplain it all to me again”. That made me laugh.

What do you like to do in your leisure time? Do you have any passions or hobbies? What do you like about them?

Tina in Sefton Park

Right now I am really enjoying walking our lovely rescue dog Tina in Sefton Park. Its beautiful and spring like and there are loads of daffodils. I go on my own or with a family member.

How do you relax or soothe yourself?

Big bath, lots of bubbles and a glass of red wine; or a nice book and some lavender oil.

Can you give us a recommendation for a good book? Why do you like it?

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. My parents gave it to me for my birthday – its is brilliant. Different lives, different women and how they all interconnect. Intersectionality in novel form. All really readable – I read one story each night.

Do you listen to podcasts? Do you have any you suggest we try out? Why?

I don’t normally. But my colleagues recommended the Guilty Feminist (whilst trying to persuade me to go to the gym in Liberia!) So I went on the treadmill but the episode lasted longer than my stamina! I have since read the book and really enjoyed it.

Learned anything new recently that gets you excited?

Right now I’m interested by the social solidarity movements and community support that is taking form in Liverpool (and elsewhere) in response to COVID-19.

What’s your favourite smell? Why?

The smell of my daughters’ heads! Smells like home.

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music that gets you singing and dancing?

I like reggae – anything by Bob Marley or Lucky Dube. I also like Nora Jones for relaxing.

What TV or film do you find entertaining? What would you recommend and why?

Mamma Mia – the film – also good for singing and dancing. Fun and a story of female friendship and resilience.

What’s your favourite meal? Why? Does it have any significance?

Tricky. I have so many favourite meals. And food is a big part of my life. I love Nick’s cauliflower and broccoli cheese with mustard and garlic.

What are you doing in your photo?

I am on holiday with my family in Guatemala last summer. We are in Antigua, which is a beautiful old city, surrounded by active volcanoes.

Do you have any tips for how we can spread more kindness and happiness?

Smile, support, celebrate each other, get involved in community initiatives locally and globally. Share skills, give time, listen.

Do you have a particularly supportive colleague that you would like to celebrate? What makes them great?

My job is interesting and I learn a lot but it is also stressful. I am surrounded and supported by many amazing women colleagues – thanks to all of you – you make my job doable. This PamojaSnaps is also about support and sharing so thanks. Right now I want to celebrate my colleague Miriam Taegtmeyer who is a researcher and a clinician and part of the COVID-19 response. Thanks for her and all health workers, working at the front line in our NHS and in health systems all over the world. Thanks so much for supporting all of us with your amazing dedication, selflessness and commitment in too often under-resourced health systems. You are great.