- Words Cal McIntyre
Amnesty International UK Ambassador, published author, philanthropist, journalist, TV and radio presenter - we caught up on zoom with this superwoman who goes by the name of Vick Hope and she's giving us all hope in these times.
At 30 years old, Vick Hope has climbed and achieved monumental mountains whilst remaining as joyous and inspiring as she is today.
You may recognise Vick’s face from presenting TV shows such as The Voice, or you may recognise her voice as she dominated Captial FM’s ‘Captial Breakfast Show’ – however, that’s really only the surface of what this multi-disciplinary and intelligent woman can do. In between appearing on the nation’s beloved shows – Vick published a children’s book and went onto win awards such as the Broadcasting Powerhouse Award at the Marie Claire Future Shapers Awards.
It appears as if the path Vick Hope is on is a tough, difficult but inspiring one – the obstacles she has overcome, the experiences she has been through and how despite it all, she manages to pour every inch of her being into charity work is something we can all take from Hope, particularly in these tough and necessary times the world is continuing to go through.
Just yesterday, Hope was announced as an Amnesty International UK Ambassador, which is unsurprising really considering everything this trailblazer has done, and everything she stands for. With human rights at the core of what Hope does every day – it’s clear that she has an ever-expanding love for the human race, and the stories each of us has to offer. Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty UK, has commented “never has there been a more important time to speak out for human rights and we’re absolutely delighted that Vick will be joining us in our goal to make the world a fairer, safer and more equal place.”
With lockdown still happening throughout the world, Hope is still attending her local refugee project weekly, continuing to help those who need it most and to tell the stories of those who need a voice and representation within the world of print and online media.
We caught up with this absolute hero on Zoom to check in with how she is keeping during lockdown, how she stays so grounded and inspired and what’s next for this incredible woman.
When I ask Vick how she began the journey is on today, she tells me, “I received a book called ‘The Kindness of Strangers’ and I was so moved by the author’s accounts of travelling the world, specifically in warzones, and the stories that other people told her. It wasn’t necessarily her story, but all the stories that make up a person.” Vick continues, ” I just realized that that’s what I wanted to do – I wanted to wear a bulletproof vest, a hardhat and go to warzones and be a foreign correspondent.” And that’s what Vick did do.
During Vick’s year abroad from Cambridge University, when she was nineteen in Argentina, she became the youngest ever journalist employed by independent English language expat newspaper The Argentina Independent, and soon found herself aligning with another path. By a twist of fate, she met MTV producers in Buenos Aires and soon found herself presenting a show for them.
“I realised I was still doing what I set out to do – learn from people, try to understand them and to ultimately, tell their stories,” Vick tells me. “I might not be in a warzone, but I do have plans again to travel more with work when things hopefully calm down a little with the pandemic, but at the heart of what I do is all about telling people’s stories.”
“From being in Argentina,” Vick begins, “it was a natural progression from print journalism into TV because I was young and love music, but I will always carry on reporting. I worked at ITN, and still do occasionally, and my children’s book – I guess the stepping stones for me were very natural as it’s what I love doing. I think it’s important to flex a lot of muscles as anything can happen, which we are seeing now, so having the tools to adapt is very important – and to never lose sight of why you started out.”
Emotion is essentially what makes us humans, and this is ultimately a huge factor in why Vick does everything she does. “I keep trying to remind myself what it is I want to feel,” Vick tells me. “When I’m doing whatever I’m doing it always plays on my mind what I want other people to feel also.”
Not only does Vick have her fingers in countless other pies, but she does it all with a smile on her face, whether it’s her teaming up with Shea Moisture UK to celebrate the beauty of black women’s hair or fighting for justice for refugees all over the world. When I ask how she manages to stay so grounded and inspired, Vick tells me, “I think it’s about trying to maintain perspective. We are all going to have our bad days, but it’s all about maintaining balance within your life. I guess in a way, doing so many things is my way of continuously working on them and improving, but also remembering to balance yourself otherwise you’re going to crash and burn.”
When it comes to self-care, Vick is trying to improve on that, but she tells me that the greatest thing you can do for yourself it just to be kind. When it comes to the future, I’m so interested to hear what this superwoman has up her sleeve next. “I can’t say too much without giving things away, but there are so many things that I am so grateful to be apart of next year – whether it’s presenting, journalism, broadcasting – I’m so excited to be telling people’s stories and travelling the world to learn more about people.”
If we haven’t said it enough, Vick Hope is definitely one of a kind and there’s something we can all learn from her – even if it’s just being kind to one another and listening to what stories people have to tell. On joining Amnesty, she comments “sometimes we can feel so powerless about what we can do in the face of the atrocities and injustices of our world, but Amnesty International has shown me that through diligent research, policy, publicity and pressure, prisoners of conscience have been released, threats have been averted and human lives have been saved. Amnesty fight tirelessly for freedom, justice and peace, and it is an honour to fight alongside them.”
For more information on Vick’s passion for Amnesty please visit: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/vick-hope