The October meeting of Carlisle Ambassadors was packed full of people and energy in the room. Thank you to all who made it such a positive event, and a huge thank you to Dalston Hall who provided such a stunning setting, and amazing food / hospitality! The afternoon tea is still being talked about! Here is a brief summary of the meeting for those who could not attend.
Jason welcomed over 200 people to the event, and outlined why, despite this being “his baby”, Carlisle Ambassadors is exceeding even his expectations! “It is down to the people in the room who are making this about more than just networking! Actions speak louder than words” He reminded the audience of the outstanding success of the pilot “Give a Day” scheme, and thanked Andy Fearon for bringing the project to CA.
After an introduction to the stunning venue by the team at Dalston Hall, Michelle Masters gave an update on Carlisle Ambassadors and membership. We are delighted to have 108 members, and our range of member benefits and community perks is developing well.
Michelle reminded us that we already have many examples of “joining up the dots” between businesses and organisations in the area, as people “trust” their co-members and are trading together more – keeping pounds in the locality. This is one of our core goals, and we are excited to see tangible results already. Watch out for member offers – details are here.
Michelle also mentioned the success of the “Give A Day Inspire” session at Carlisle College, and reminded the audience that we still need more mentors to support those who attended. Download Give a Day Inspire Mentor Form Carlisle Ambassadors here if you can help local business to develop.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench; a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs! And then there is a negative side…” It is fair to say that our guest speaker, Dave Robinson, had all in the room captivated from these opening lines to the last word! Dave gave a fascinating insight into both the music industry, and his founding of Stiff Records in 1976, the company who discovered Elvis Costello, and signed amazing talent such as The Damned, Ian Dury, Madness, The Pogues… the list goes on! As president of Island Records, Dave told us about the meteoric success of Frankie Goes to Hollywood once Radio 1 banned “Relax”, his release posthumously of Bob Marley’s “Legend”, and his work with bands such as U2. One of the main messages that came through was “Everything that lasts in the music industry starts out slow”.
There were so many points of interest that we would love to share his speech word for word, but this last quote was particularly relevant to why Dave supports the talented local band Hardwicke Circus. The band are far from the one hit wonders that can sometimes be seen on X Factor, and much more the real deal, working hard on the music circuits and building their reputation through talent and graft. Spotted by chance by Dave’s son Milo while waiting for fish and chips, the band is now managed by The Robinson duo at Smart Indie Records, and are playing and recording locally, getting gigs in good London venues, and doing this the right way with proper vocal coaching and more to enhance their natural gifts. Exciting times. Find out more about getting involved with support for this local band here. Lastly, a huge thank you to Dave for bringing some real magic to the meeting and raising the profile of this band of the future!
Next, Kate Wilson and Andy Fearon gave a whistlestop tour of the successful pilot #GiveaDayCarlisle “Give a Day to the City” that involved so many great people in the city, including many Carlisle Ambassadors.
The pages are just being updated on Give a Day, but you will be able to view these shortly, and find out how so many local businesses transformed lives during the week leading up to 3rd October 2015.
Kate also gave an overview of the new system for managing project proposals. We have all been so overwhelmed and excited by the number of inspirational ideas that people have mentioned over the last 9 months, and we realised that we needed a slightly more “orderly” process for managing them properly.
Gareth Presch, a significant contributor to the work and projects of CA, spoke next about his vision and plans for the World Health Innovation Summit. He is bringing over 200 health professionals, including some very influential academics and practitioners to the city of Carlisle next March. Take a look at the WHIS page here to find out much more, and see Gareth’s presentation.
Another Carlisle Ambassador who has played a big part in this year’s developments is Matt Bond. This time he took the stage to talk about his idea for raising the profile of Carlisle. As Jason has said before “if Carlisle isn’t on the menu, it can’t be chosen!” So what to do? Why not get a group of Ambassadors to walk 320 miles to Parliament, stopping along the way to ensure the UK sits up and takes notice of our fine city! Matt even threw in a challenge that if the walk raised over £150K for future projects he would do this barefoot. There were some slightly alarmed expressions from his potential co-walkers! There is great energy to make this happen, and more will be announced shortly. Find out more here.
Lastly before a round up by Jason, we enjoyed hearing more about the work of Sustainable Carlisle – our “2 min business hotspot”. The hotspots are chosen from business cards left at the meeting, and many people have commented how much they enjoy hearing about a business that may not have been familiar to them before. Sky Higgins told us about some of the practical projects they are involved in, and how they aim to create a vibrant, sustainable future for the city.
And a very big thank you to Charlotte, Jan and the team at Dalston Hall. The quality of food and service was outstanding, and added to a great atmosphere at our October meeting. We’re still talking about the profiterole swans….