Forever Manchester Women celebrated two years of success at the event held on Wednesday 19th April in the event space of sponsors, Slater and Gordon.

The wonderful support of the women who attend this quarterly networking event have raised almost £15,000 to support female-led grassroots community projects across Greater Manchester since the event was launched in April 2015. This installment raised over £1,200!

We heard first from Jennifer Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer of ITC Luxury Travel. Jenifer told us about her career before ITC, in marketing, and then her progress at ITC over a period of 13 years from Marketing Manager to becoming Chief Executive Officer just six years later. She told us about the progress of ITC since she became Chief Executive Officer in attracting capital investment and her plans for future growth, including acquisitions and investment in staff.

Providing inspiration and advice for women attending the event, Jennifer talked about courage and confidence being key to success: “really stretch yourself into that arena of fear… be bold and courageous, but don’t forget to have fun – you spend a lot of time at work.”

 

The impact of funding and support provided by Forever Manchester was demonstrated to full impact by June Kelly MBE, our second speaker at Forever Manchester Women, who has run Cheetham Hill’s Abraham Moss Warriors Junior Football Team for many years. June told the audience of the challenges faced to her in terms of funding and her enormous challenge to the FA about observing the religious obligations of young players and her continuing responsibilities to them and their families. June told us about the fabulous successes of the club; not only in terms of young players going on to achieve professional contracts with top flight clubs but also in terms of the personal achievements of members of the teams, learning a new language, literacy and numeracy skills and integration into the community.

June also spoke about her personal achievements in being the first woman to be voted Coach of the Year by the FA and receiving the MBE – an award which was tinged with sadness as, on leaving the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, June found out that funding for the team had been cut: “Forever Manchester were there for us. When we lost our funding that £1,000 from them enabled us to finish the season – not let people down.”

 

A big thank you to the ladies that attended on Wednesday and, with their ticket price donated to us, helped fund and support community activity across Greater Manchester. Another thank you goes to our fantastic hosts and sponsors, Slater and Gordon, and our two amazing and inspiring speakers.

 

The next Forever Manchester Women event takes place on Wednesday 19th July from 5-7pm – check the website in next weeks for details on how to sign up, or join the mailing list to be notified.