Having held our last meeting of 2019 and with the next year fast approaching you cannot help but look back at the year and all that has happened over the last twelve months. It’s been another super year, one to look back on with fondness as we continue to build a positive network and community with Socially Shared.
The year kicked off with Just About You, an event that now has a regular place on our annual calendar, a day of calm and positivity to brighten January after the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Different to all other events that we hold this event does not have a business focus but one of self care and personal development. Sarah Gray Image was our sponsor for the second year running and led a team of expert speakers to share their knowledge. Author and Award Winning Blogger Shelley Wilson spoke about motivation, Coach Angela Gordon shared knowledge about self care / kindness and Style Advisor Sarah Gray gave an insight into colour confidence. The event was also supported by BBC Presenter and Professional Singer Sandra Godley also popped in to interview our speakers which provided a further insight into their expertise. With a homemade buffet lunch and lots of tea, coffee and laughter, an enjoyable day was had by all.
We’ve had lots of member guest hosts for our regular monthly meetings this year including: Nishi Mehta / Career Mums, Mandy Sutton / Purple Mouse, Amanda Copsey / Cloud Nine Consulting, Hannah Watson / Grenfell James Associates, Kim Hulse Consulting, Jacqui Jagger / Beyond Boundaries Coaching, Nutritionist Izabella Natrins, Karen Ramsay Smith / Bigger Picture Coaching, Sophie Watkins / Under-Graduate at Derby University, Lorraine Checklin / Flourish Health & Wellbeing and Amy Hobson from Focus on You. Thank you to each and everyone of these fabulous women in business for sharing their pearls of wisdom with us!
The topics that have been covered this year have been wide and varied and as always have been steered by your requests and suggestions: social media, business planning, prioritising, online security, pressure & performance, marketing, the art of saying no and so many more! Thank you to the wonderful team of associates that have assisted me in being able to deliver these topics to reach so many ladies across the region. Regular associate hosts Kate Keene and Emma Kavanagh from Piece of Cake Marketing and also Writing Mentor / Author Shelley Wilson and Jane Farmer from SJO Chic.
The second of our special events this year was our 3rd Annual Women in Business Conference at Honiley Court in Warwickshire, where BBC Journalist and Presenter Jo Tidman was our MC. This year’s speakers were award winning retailers Sam & Emma from Lucy and Jane Jewellery, our own Hollywood Star Marie Rowe and the Sunday Times International Best Selling author Sue Moorcroft. A super morning full of inspirational stories, followed by Jo Tidman interviewing a panel of authors which included Shelley Wilson, Lyn Bromley, Elizabeth Beetham and of course Sue Moorcroft. A delicious networking lunch was then enjoyed before a series of informative workshops in the afternoon. Thank you to Sandy Hearn / Elite PA Solutions, Rebecca Mander / Guru You, Nishi Mehta / Career Mums and Claire Henley / Treehouse Social our workshop hosts. Davidson Mahon and Literary Lightbox our headline sponsors, Abby Wilkes our photographer and Ria Gor our videographer. Thank you so much to everyone involved including our social media agents Kate and Emma of Piece of Cake Marketing, Rebecca Jones / Glory Design for our conference brochure and Nichola Kelsey / Welcombe Productions our key event organiser!
This year has also seen Socially Shared out and about at various exhibitions and events including the Micro Business Show in Solihull, Kenilworth Chamber of Trade Expo, Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival and the Woman Who Awards, all great events where we have spread the word about our network and made new connections.
Online and offline we have seen real success and had lots of interest in the Socially Shared Book Shop. Our resident blogger and author Shelley Wilson supported us by taking the bookshop to several exhibitions and events and it’s a pleasure to be able to champion and showcase the fiction and non-fiction work of local women authors in our network and from across the region. Look out for more books arriving in the bookshop in the New Year sociallyshared.co.uk/bookshop
Our final special event of 2019 was of course our Festive Afternoon Tea and Shopping event, a fantastic social event with our friends from across the network. This year saw our biggest gathering to date with more than 40 women in business attending and we also introduced a special fundraising ‘Jingo Bingo’ game. It was a real pleasure to be able to present member Sharon Luca-Chatha from The Luca Foundation with £102.85 that was raised from ticket sales and Ruth Freeman was the lucky winner of the £25 shopping voucher prize.
The Advocate of the Year is an award that I started three years ago to acknowledge the work of someone that goes above and beyond for Socially Shared was this year presented to Sarah Gray. Always so supportive she promotes the network wherever she goes and has been instrumental in transferring our members spotlight features into informative videos. Sarah’s interview technique and approach is brilliant, helping to make our members feel relaxed so they are able to enjoy and benefit from the experience. This years’ Advocate Of The Year generally brightens up our network with her warmth, kindness and generosity...thank you Sarah Gray!
This year we also presented a special recognition award to Maxine Nicholls. Maxine works so hard behind the scenes and without her Socially Shared membership and the network in general most definitely wouldn't run as smoothly. It was lovely to be able to acknowledge the amazing work she does and for others at the festive tea to acknowledge it too!
2019 has seen our network continue to grow with more ladies than ever before embracing what our network stands for. This would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment from the associate team Kate, Emma, Shelley, Sarah G, Sarah K, Nichola, Becky, Phaedra, Sophie, Maxine and Jane. Thanks also to our latest member of the team Charlotte who is supporting with our digital marketing.
Personally Socially Shared has given me so much this year; extra knowledge, new business opportunities, great events, contacts and friends but most of all lots of enjoyment!
Thank you all so much for your continued support, you are what makes our network the success it is! Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.