Thursday 24th March 2022
Annual Celebration Lunch
WISH NE Celebrated their 4th International Women’s Day event on Thursday 10th March at Ramside Hall, Durham. This was our first in person event in 2 years, with our last being IWD Celebration Lunch 2020!
We welcomed over 160 guests, across our membership and beyond; including those from other WISH regions! As all previous events, the vibe was electric – filled with smiles, laughter, chatting and it has to be said… a few tears listening to some of our brilliant speakers!
We don’t do anything by half in the NE, so we were ambitious with our ‘themes’ this year; not only were we celebrating women of the sector, and #breakingthebias; we also wanted to remain conscious to our carbon footprint; we took the menu fully vegan, we asked our guests to wear something they already owned, our centrepieces were plants, and every guest took away a packet of seeds to plant some greenery in their homes or neighbourhoods.
Our IWD events always include a nominated charity that we invite to help raise awareness and much needed money. This years was an organisation that one of our Corporate Members Thirteen Group have been working with, called The Girls Network who provide a 121 mentoring service connecting young women in secondary school with female professionals to help them overcome barriers and on the pathway to achieve.
We had the pleasure to hear not only from one of the professional mentors xx from Thirteen Group, but also from a mentee Tamara. For the both of them, this was their first time publicly speaking – and they were both phenomenal. Hearing from Tamara about how much the mentoring scheme meant to her, brough a tear to the most hard hearted of us in the room; she was a real inspiration and she provided the quote of the day; “It changed my life”.
We want to kindly thank our sponsors of the event, notably Thirteen Group who were our headline sponsor; without which we could never have pulled off such a great luncheon.
If you would like to know more about The Girls Network, check out their website: www.thegirlsnetwork.org.uk
Well, if it wasn’t enough that we’d just pulled off another wonderful IWD Celebration Lunch earlier in the month, we had the pleasure of attending as a nominated shortlister, the Northern Power Women Awards in Central Manchester.
We were already on a high from our first in person event, and excited to be spending some in person time together as a Board (as like most, we have been hosting all of our Board meetings online for the past 2 years). One of our Board Members was also nominated in her own right – Laura Wood for the ‘Agent of Change’ category; so all the more reason to celebrate success of being shortlisted for such a prestigious award.
… So when it was announced that we had only gone and WON! (In addition to earlier in the evening, Laura Wood winning her category) We were absolutely ecstatic! Some of the exact wording is not for public consumption!
We are so incredibly proud of how far we have come as a Board from our initial set up in 2018 led by 2 phenomenal Chairs of Caroline Gitsham and Crystal Hicks; with the support from such a wonderful housing sector; it was so humbling and validating to be recognised in this way.
The passion, commitment, enthusiasm and time that all Board members – past and present show is truly commendable; and we are driven to challenging and improving an already open and willing sector; to ensure future generations of women can succeed and achieve.