With club chair, Kerri Saxby jetting off on her holidays, vice-chair Simon Shaw welcomed members to June’s meeting of Newark Business Club.
This month, members heard from Totally Locally, Robert Jenrick MP, Lincoln College Group, and our first ever Charity of the Quarter was announced after a secret ballot.
As well as choosing our charity, another important announcement was a message of gratitude to former chair of Newark Business Club’s Action Group, Peter Duncan. Peter is moving away from the area so this will be his final club meeting. Current chair, James Fountain thanked Peter for his work and drew particular attention to his successful lobbying campaign for town centre management which is now being put in place by Newark & Sherwood District Council.
Helping mental health and homelessness
The sponsor of the June meeting was Our Minds at Work, which promises mindfulness for busy people.
Leadership and performance coach, Ann Russell helped members to explore how the mind works and explained ways we can train our brains to improve our focus, creativity, relationships and decision making. As well as making sure we sleep well and look after ourselves, Ann explained the importance of being able to ‘skilfully respond’ to our thoughts and emotions instead of reacting on impulse.
Every month, the sponsor announces the winner of our business card prize draw. The winning new member, who gets an advert in the Newark Advertiser, was Nathan Eaves from the Art of Selling, while the winning established member was Nikki Burley, Chief Executive of Newark Emmaus Trust.
Newark Emmaus Trust is an independent charity that has provided accommodation, care, support and training to over 600 homeless young people since 1994. Its aim is to help local homeless and vulnerable young people by giving them a temporary home and real opportunities to learn and develop as individuals. They help young people aged 16 to 25 develop the skills to move on to independence and employment and they also offer accommodation and care to pregnant teenagers as well as teenage parents and their babies.
This year, the charity has accommodated 70 young people who were made homeless, most of whom didn’t have family or friends willing to accommodate them or were escaping violent relationships. You can find out more about Newark Emmaus Trust by visiting newarkemmaustrust.org.uk.
Jill Brown from Totally Locally Newark was the next person onto the stage. The organisation is part of a national campaign to promote independent businesses on high streets. Amazingly, if every adult in Newark spent £5 per week in a local independent shop rather than online or at the big supermarkets, it would be worth an extra £5.4 million to the local economy. As Jill explained, we have a plethora of independent shops which help to define our town and make it a unique shopping experience.
Charity of the Quarter
As we finished last month’s meeting, club members were asked to decide which of three worthwhile charities should be our first ever Charity of the Quarter through a secret ballot.
Given an agonising choice, the winning charity was Me & Dee; a charity which provides families that are facing life limiting illness to enjoy a peaceful holiday by the sea.
Mee & Dee will be given a donation of £250 plus continued exposure by the club. It will soon be time to choose another deserving cause. You can nominate a charity for next quarter by email@example.com with the charity’s name, a representative who would be available to speak before Newark Business Club and their contact information.
After some roundtable networking and a short break, the next speaker was Gary Headland, CEO of Lincoln College Group, which includes Newark College. The college, which is the only place in the world to offer BSc (hons) programmes in four separate musical instrument crafts, offers 50 different classroom based study programmes and nine apprenticeship programmes.
Gary explained that the education sector is facing significant financial challenges and as a not-for-profit charity, the group reinvests any profits into a sustainable cycle of training that benefits the local community.
Going forward, the group’s mission is to be employer led; producing a highly skilled and productive local workforce. The college aims to increase the economic and social value it provides to the area, improve quality and introduce new supra-study programmes.
End the gridlock
With the Conservative leadership contest now under way, Newark & Sherwood MP Robert Jenrick was our final speaker at this month’s meeting. Although Robert is supporting Boris for PM, his main message was regarding the A46 Newark Bypass. Working with Newark Advertiser, Robert is petitioning for the bypass to be made into a dual carriageway. Explaining that “it’s time to end the gridlock”, Robert wants a dual carriageway between Farndon and Winthorpe roundabouts, a new northern bypass and upgrades to “broken roundabouts and unsafe slip roads”.
Robert said that the £400m project is the most important investment for securing the future of our local economy and improving our quality of life. So far, Robert has managed to get the project included in the draft government plans but he wants to make sure the project goes ahead under the next Prime Minister.
You can support the campaign by visiting www.robertjenrick.com/endingthegridlock or firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to The Office of Robert Jenrick, 29a, London Road, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 1TN.
That’s it for this month’s meeting. The next one will take place on Friday 5th July at the Everyday Champions Centre.