‘I just live my life’ – the inspiring ‘anti-coming out’ story from a beautiful corner of Cornwall

“It’s just life for me.” Libby Pentreath can take or leave LGBTQIA labels, instead living for her family, music, and the chance to help countless people through charity and kindness.

“I just live my life, helping people when I can, writing songs, putting them out there, and looking after the kids,” Libby Pentreath, this week’s OUTcast Podcast guest, modestly laughs.

“It’s just life for me,” she smiles, speaking with Rosie for Episode 7 of OUTcast. The name is a giveaway, so you may have guessed it – she is a relative of Rosie’s.

“My grandfather and her father are brothers,” our host Rosie shares in the episode’s introduction. “It’s really special to get a chance to catch up with someone in my family for this podcast, and have a another gay member of the Pentreath clan on OUTcast.”

Singer-songwriter, charity worker and radio presenter living in Penwith, Cornwall

Libby Pentreath is a singer-songwriter, charity worker and radio presenter based in West Penwith in Cornwall. 

She spent her career working with children and in child support, and on the side she pursued her passion for music, playing guitar, and gigging and touring around the country. She tells Rosie about navigating her teenage and early adult years loving “guys and girls”, and by 1980 moving in with Chris, who would be her same-sex partner of 27 years, and Chris’s three-year-old daughter, Helen.

Libby moved to Cornwall in 1998 and worked at Falmouth University nursery while continuing to develop child support programmes, and initiatives to support children with autism. She had had her own daughter Lauren, in 1991, and now Lauren as her own family, making Libby the proud Nanny of three boys.

Since retiring, Libby has continued to be generous with her time, supporting children and also a small charity that raises money for Yezidi children in Iraq, who lost their homes and schools during Isis occupation in 2014. She’s a very busy lady.

“Tell me about it!” she laughs. “We work with Yezidi Emergency Support, and we work with the Woven Foundation in America who give us money every year to pay for a couple of teachers.” This is for the school Libby’s Yezidi charity has helped to build. 

“And we sell stuff on ‘Bag-a-Bargain’ on Facebook, and we have a shop when we can. This latest shop in the Greenmarket in Penzance, we have it for fifteen months – which is a long time when you’re retired!”

A life dedicated to helping people

Libby has dedicated her life to helping people – at work, as a child social care specialist throughout her career, and in retirement working for, and setting up, the charities she talks about on OUTcast. 

And, on Sundays, she’s a DJ for local Penwith radio station, Coast FM, fulfilling a dream for her younger self. She also continues to write and record music, as well as writing poetry and special stories to help children with autism and complex needs navigate everyday life.

“For me, this is one world, this is one home, and we’re all on this world so we need to be able to help where we can,” Libby says on OUTcast. 

And help she truly does.

Click here to find out about Libby’s charity One and All Aid. And head to Bandcamp to hear Libby’s music. You can listen to Libby on OUTcast Podcast here.

Published by Rosie Pentreath

Founder and host of OUTcast Podcast. Rosie is an LGBTQ+ writer, digital producer and musician, often found travelling to some far flung place or other, to take photographs on a 1970s Pentax SLR camera or flick through a good book. Rosie has contributed to Reader's Digest, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Classic FM, BBC Music Magazine, Homes & Antiques, Music Feeds, The Fashion Spot and other arts and lifestyle publications.

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