Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Derby's Finest group celebrating success of members and raising thousands of pounds for city charities as it approaches fifth anniversary

Derby's Finest group celebrating success of members and raising thousands of pounds for city charities as it approaches fifth anniversary

A networking group which celebrates and supports women in business is celebrating the success of its members and raising thousands of pounds for local charities as it approaches its fifth year.

Since Derbys Finest Launched in March 2017 the committee have been focused on inspiring, encouraging and celebrating women of all ages – and have given their backing to several local charities including the YMCA, Children First Derby, Safe & Sound and Revive Healthy Living Centre.

Together the members – led by the committee of Smith Partnership’s Claire Twells and Sophie Shapcott, social media expert Karen Cureton, Kim Radley, of Barclays, and Amanda Strong - have helped hundreds of people in the city and county.

Amanda, Company Ambassador for Little Eaton-based Mercia Image Print, said:

“It’s so uplifting to see the mutual support and encouragement that the group shares, and we’re excited about the future of Derby’s Finest as we approach our fifth year and adopt a more formal membership structure.

“We want to continue to empower women whilst raising much-needed funds for charities in the city and county; community is important to us.

“Over the past year we have held several fundraising events including a ‘live’ bingo evening, where the £1,500 raised on the night was match-funded by Derby-based Cosy Direct. It was a real team-effort to get up and running, as it was held online during lockdown, and Sarah Loates, of Loates HR, was instrumental in making that particular event a success.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, the group has gone from strength to strength with its members working together to build their businesses – and several being recognised for their efforts with industry awards.

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that there is strength in numbers and we have so many talented, inspirational and kind women in Derby and Derbyshire,” added Amanda.

“Our weekly group Zoom sessions have given us a glimpse into the lives of members; we’ve seen how diverse our community is and the many roles women play in life at work, home and during their leisure time.

“We’ve supported our members with guest speakers specialising in mental wellbeing, customer service, HR, social media and personal protection, and are proud to have so many members working together to better their businesses.”

Some of those who have worked together include Marketing Derby bondholders Natalie Bamford, of personalised gift company Colleague Box, from Sarah Newton and Kerry Ganly of Derby public relations company Penguin PR, Calm In A Box founder Sarah Markham, photographer Laura Firth of Covid start-up MiniAperture, and graphic designer Laura Parry.

Laura, of Parry Creative, has worked with several members including Crafty You, Crafty Me, VASK Therapy and social media guru Karen Cureton. She has recently re-designed the Derbys Finest logo ahead of the launch of their brand-new website and formal membership structure.

Claire Twells said:

“Our aspirations for the future are to continue to inspire the female entrepreneurs of the future with support, expertise and through working together to succeed in business.

“It is wonderful to see so many of our members working in collaboration and we are looking forward to more successful partnerships and welcoming more inspirational women to our group.”

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