July 2017 Breakfast: Have a business issue? There’s plenty of expertise on hand at our breakfasts

Even when our numbers are slightly lower, as they tend to be in July, there is always a wide range of business expertise on hand if you want to talk over a problem or issue.

July 2017’s breakfast included HR advice, IT support, printing services, marketing, admin and organisation, book keeping and invoice chasing, waste disposal, business coaching, production of videos and photography, and funerals.  We’re nothing if not diverse!

Our guests this month were Milee Brambleby, of Common Sense Services, whose expertise is in workplace mediation and helping businesses to manage change, and Glen Hoddy, founder of the social enterprise, I Roll Up My Sleeves, which offers opportunities for business networking groups to put something back into the community while networking at different charity locations.

Andrew Bingham, of Andrew Bingham Funeral Services, carried on the charitable theme by describing how they had been raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, after a young employee had been diagnosed with cancer. He completed the Three Peaks Challenge and so far, they have raised around £2000.


Pete Stanway’s presentation with a difference

We all expected the month’s presentation to be about the work/life balance, but Pete Stanway, of Project HR, very quickly disabused us of that notion.

Pete said he disliked the concept, feeling it was too simplistic and would be better expressed as “work/life integration”.

But sitting back and listening to his words of wisdom was definitely not on the agenda as he handed out work sheets depicting a wheel of life, divided into segments titled Spiritual Health, Emotional Health, Career & Mission, Contribution, Fun & Entertainment, Family & Friends, Consistent Growth, Finances, Intimate Relationship and Physical Health.

The idea was to give each segment a score out of 10 indicating its importance or prominence in the individual’s life.

Pete explained that any segments we deemed irrelevant could be removed or changed to something else.  The idea was to consider those elements that were relevant to one’s own life, assess their prominence, think about how things would need to be changed if the balance was not as one would like and create an action plan for doing so.

There is plainly more to this than can be done in just 10 minutes!

Information from our Chairman

Allan reminded everyone about our survey, which has been recently sent out to 350 people and is designed to assess how much people know about the benefits the Chamber offers and also whether there are other features it could offer. He emphasised that people did not have to be members to complete it.

He also announced that the Chamber is now linked to both ISSBA (Ipswich and Suffolk Small Business Association) and to Hadleigh Chamber and that Stowmarket members can attend their networking events at member rates.  In time, there may be a similar initiative in Sudbury.

There has been a meeting with the business section of the district councils at which Allan emphasised the two essentials needed for the area’s small businesses, facilities for growth and reliable, fast broadband.

There is little to report on the proposal for development of land alongside the A14 in Stowmarket, the project known as Gateway 14, he said, but MP Jo Churchill is very much involved and pushing hard to get things moving.

Finally, a reminder about our first ever business exhibition, to be held at The Mix, on March 21, 2018, from 9am-1pm. Members will get priority for booking stands.  There will be sponsorship opportunities for a networking breakfast at the start, seminars during the event and a lunch at the close.

Tell us what you want

Allan is happy to receive any suggestions for what members want to see the Chamber doing in the future. Please send your ideas (and your want lists) to [email protected].


Dates for your diary:

August Coffee Morning August Breakfast 
Needham Market Community Centre The Bistro, Stonham Barns
Friday, 4 August Friday, 18 August
10am-noon Starting at 6.45am

For more information contact Keely Taylor

phone: 01449 770965

e-mail: [email protected]


Anyone who has a story to publicise should contact marketing officer Alison Withers:

[email protected]

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