Sunday, 30 May 2010

How I love networking!

Twenty ladies attended the Wessex Women's Network meeting at The Cloud Hotel on Tuesday 25th June to hear David Bridges Director of Countryside Education Trust at the Out of Town Centre Beaulieu give a very interesting talk on the centre and the work they do there. Their overall aim is to promote and operate courses, activities and facilities that enable children and adults to learn about, understand and care for the countryside drawing on the diverse resources of the New Forest and the Beaulieu Estate. It is a registered charity established in 1975 and relies heavily on donations. They en-able disadvantaged children to have a residential countryside experience many of whom have had very little contact with farm animals and the countryside. We all thoroughly enjoyed David's presentation and it opened our eyes to the wonderful work being done at the Out of Town Centre. Do look at the website where you will find out much more about the Centre than I have time to write about.

We always give our members an opportunity to promote any of their products or services that they provide and to give a short presentation to the ladies. This week Jane Pitt-Pitts told us about her new range of jewellry she has developed. 'BLUE SAIL GLASS' Yachting Reflected Jewellery Jane makes her own jewellery in glass and it really is beautiful. Since Jane started coming to the Wessex Women's meetings I have not only seen her confidence grow but her business as well.

As most of you know I'm a great believer in networking and I enjoy it. I meet interesting people, listen to inspirational speakers who I learn from and make friends. On Thursday I attended The Business Southampton Working lunch at Kutis Thai Restaurant hosted by Gareth Lewis, Business Editor of The Southern Daily Echo. I enjoyed an excellent lunch and heard two very interesting speakers before having to rush home to take my daughter to her physio appointment as she has had a shoulder operation and can't drive. Women are able to cram so much into a day and still keep smiling! Sian Thomas, Artistic Director of Celebrations of the Winchester Hat Fair spoke about the Festival which is Britain's longest running Festival of Street Theatre and Outdoor Arts to be held in Winchester from 1st-4th July. Although I have a daughter living in Winchester I was not aware of The Winchester Hat Fair but after listening to Sian I definately want to go and experience the fun and atmosphere the Festival creates. I love the quote from Lyn Gardner Theatre Critic of The Guardian.
"One of the great pleasures of Street Arts festivals is that they make you slow down and put the wonder back into everyday life. Wherever you were  in Winchester at this years' Hat Fair, you could hear the distant sound of laughter- as if the whole town was smiling together" I think I could do with some of that!
For more information visit

The second speaker Wayne Hemmingway MBE founder of a new festival to be held at Goodwood 13th-15th August. Again a festival with a difference and you can find out more about it on

The next Wessex Women's meeting is on June 21st and I look forward to seeing you there, meanwhile I hope you give yourself time to relax. I went on a Nordic Walk in The New Forest with Karen Gutteridge on Thursday morning and I felt great after it even though it was raining at the start of the walk. I shall report more about Karen and her business in the next Blog.


Friday, 7 May 2010

Biz-Fast Breakfast Forum

This morning I joined the early morning traffic on the M3 to attend The Biz-Fast Forum organised by 'everyWOMAN' sponsored by Nat West Bank and held at the RBS building in Farnborough. It was an early start as the meeting started at 8-30am but much to my amazement the traffic flowed and I arrived at
8-15am. The main attraction for me to get up earlier than usual was today's speaker Emma Wimhurst. I have heard Emma speak before but she is so inspirational and has such a lovely sunny disposition that you can't help but have your spirits raised and leave the event motivated and feeling positive. We certainly needed that today after the fiasco of the election! I also met up with my good friend Karen Gill one of the founders of and some very interesting women business owners. I love going to these events as I always learn something new and get reminded about what I should be doing! I suggest you read Emma's book BOOM! 7 disciplines to CONTROL, GROW & ADD IMPACT to your business. It really is worth getting, I have read it and it is full of good advice. for more information on Emma visit her website . May I remind you about the NatWest everyWOMAN Awards. The closing date for entries is July 30th. These are very prestigious awards and well worth entering. You can either nominate yourself or a woman business owner who inspires you.
 Enter at

It's been a busy week for me as on Tuesday I was invited to attend the official opening of Pennington Chase at Oakhaven Hospice by Susan Hampshire. The expanded Day Hospice, therapy and outpatient services is the first stage of the redevelopment programme. Once again I was so inspired and moved by the committment of all the staff and volunteers who make Oakhaven such a friendly and happy place. I learnt that it costs three million pounds a year to keep Oakhaven going and 80% of that comes from fundraising events and donations. I hope that if any of you are thinking of holding a fundraising event to consider Oakhaven because every penny counts.

Don't forget to 'Get up, Dress up and Show up' if you want to succeed.


Sunday, 2 May 2010

On Tuesday April 24th we welcomed Janice Taylor-Williams to speak to The Wessex Women at The Cloud Hotel in Brockenhurst on how she started The Herald Magazine from her kitchen table and now has 4 Directors.

It was an enjoyable evening with lots of chat and laughter. Sharon and Gloria Holloway told us about the new Hair Salon they have opened in Southampton called Vintage Hair Salon. They have had endless set backs with builders etc but have persevered and look forward to welcoming any members to the Salon.

We welcomed some new members to the Network on Tuesday who enjoyed the evening and commented on how friendly everyone was and supportive of each other. As most of you know I am passionate about encouraging women to reach their full potential and to help them to build up their confidence. There are so many success stories of women who have started thier businesses in a small way often from their homes and their businesses have grown into multi-million businesses. If you are ambitious and want to grow your business and be competetive you must have self belief and persevere. My favourite saying is 'It takes a long time and alot of hard work to become an overnight success'. I can vouch for that! To me networking is ongoing and although you might think one meeting is a waste of time the next time you make the effort to go to a Networking event you might meet that very person who can give you the opportunity you have been waiting for.

On Wednesday having had only 4 hours sleep I dragged myself to the Albert Hall to attend the IoD Annual Convention. I always attend this event when I can and come home inspired and motivated by the speakers. It was rather overshadowed this year by the General Election but you will be interested to hear that the two most inspiring speakers were Dame Kelly Holmes the Olympic sprinter and Emma Harrison CBE of A4e. The only two women to appear on the platform that day! Both have been successful in their chosen careers and both of them gave the same message. You must have self belief, persevere and never give up.

We all complain that we don't have enough time to do everything we want to do. How often do we say 'I haven't had time' I'm guilty of this too but I am reading a very good book 'How To Be Smart With Your Time' by Duncan Bannatyne one of the 'Dragons'. I can thoroughly recommend it.

I hope I will find time to write regular Blogs and keep you all in touch with different events you may be interested in going to or recommend books for you to read etc. I look forward to seeing you at one of our meetings.