Monday 11th December 2017

WISH North West Winter Newsletter

This autumn we welcomed our new Chair, Sasha Deepwell. Sasha has been a board member since May 2015 and was unanimously voted Chair at our annual AGM in September.

New WISH North West Chair – Sasha Deepwell

Sasha is Chief Executive of Irwell Valley Housing Association, with a successful track record of leadership in the social housing sector, as well as consultancy experience with the social and commercial sectors. She is passionate about developing people, places and property. She is committed to supporting career success for women and is particularly keen to support women into leadership roles.

She has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for housing and education projects and is a previous winner of the national leading mentor award from Women In Housing.


Power of Body Language

Have you ever been given feedback on your handshake? Too firm, not firm enough, a bit sweaty? WISH NWmembers practiced their handshakes and got some honest comments as part of the “Power of body language” event held on 12th September in Wigan.

We were treated to an insightful session led by body language coach, Laura Taylor. Laura gave us some great tips and techniques including for example how to maximise first impressions, improve vocal variation and adopt an influential and powerful stance.

The workshop delivered on its promise to provide us with actionable improvement points which can be put into practice immediately. You might even see one of us Power Gazing! Thanks to A Connolly for hosting what was an entertaining and educational morning. We were delighted to receive this feedback after the event: “Really enjoyed my first meeting! Thank you for your marvellous hospitality, I’m now trying to sort out corporate membership so my colleagues can also join.”

Developing talent and increasing diversity

Three speakers created a very special event on 15th November 2017, running two workshops and delivering a keynote session on how to advance their careers. The event was held at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, and Sarah Robinson, Head of Community Investment at RBH gave the keynote talk. It was inspiring to hear about how her passion for community involvement and her family values have shaped her career and set her direction in life. Sarah spoke about how much she had wanted the role when she saw it advertised, and how she went out and researched the organisation by driving round the patch, talking to workmen carrying out repairs, and interviewing customers.  This was a new sector for her, as she previously worked in retail at the Co-op, but her determination to work in a role where she had a social purpose really shone through.

Dora Blake delivered the first workshop, focussing on resilience and how to develop confidence. Dora is a good friend of WISH, as she was one of the founder members in the North West.  She shared her personal story and gave examples of how she has taken control of situations, learned new skills, and adapted to different situations. The session was a collaborative one, and the delegates were able to share their experiences and ideas with some great suggestions and tips.

Our second workshop was “Seven reasons why everyone needs a mentor”. Kam Urwin, board member of WISHNW, and mentoring manager at Housing Diversity Network really brought this to life, with some examples of successful people who have been mentored. Kam also put this into context by sharing some examples, such as the teacher who changed her perception of what she was capable of. As well as sharing the benefits of focusing on our development and how we are all potential mentors.

We are grateful to each of our speakers, their contributions complemented each other and left the room buzzing! Thanks to RBH who hosted the day, and to everyone who came along and joined in.  

Thank you


WISH North West Board Members would like to say a huge goodbye and thank you to 2 people who were involved in the creation of WISH NW.

At September’s AGM Janet Hale stepped down as Chair after 5 years, and Joanne Turley departed the board. Without both of them WISH NW would not be what is it today.


Influencing and increasing your impact

Grant Thornton Manchester Office

1st February 2018

How to get yourself heard and build relationships that work. We will help you find the right way to speak and have relationships that flourish to assist our personal and career success as well as delivering results in business.

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