Friday, 28 April 2017

What was this bunch of people doing in the Kitchen Croxley today?

We were having fun but what else?

Sharing knowledge, expertise, tips and generally supporting each other in our businesses.

Once a month... soon to be twice a month, the +The Kitchen Croxley plays host to an informal working lunch.

A FREE to attend event where local business people can come and work together with the specific Intent of helping each other get over hurdles, around obstacles and move on in their business.

So today... here is a short list of some of the things we covered...
  • Screen capture from an iPhone and then upload to Facebook
  • How to use facebook as a CRM tool
  • How to add a workshop with Video and Documents to the +Link4Skills training platform
  • How to create a Facebook Group... upload the main picture, invite people, update the group's description (purpose) and to put on some extra admin people
  • Blogging and why it might be a good idea to start... overview of the main blogging platforms and which ones might work
  • Where to start on a social media business strategy when everyone keeps bombarding you into overwhelm with information and good ideas
  • Website design and benefits of different platforms
  • Accounting... when you are starting out what do you need... bookkeeping... filing... sole traders... partnerships and limited companies..
  • Connections were shared... signposting to other people... useful new apps to make life a bit simpler on the phones
  • What to do after a networking event..
  • How to analyse a twitter account to see if the person is worth following back
  • Bite sized low cost training and how to access it
  • Where to go (apart from today's session) in SW Herts for quick answers, support advice and guidance at no cost (except buying your own refreshments)... so that you can move on in your business without spending a fortune.
It was fun... it was lively... and everyone went away with new knowledge... contacts to follow up... things to try and do... and ideas for growing their endeavour... 

Big thanks to +linda anderson and the team at the Kitchen for fabulous sandwiches and an endless supply of tea and coffee which kept us going throughout the session.

If you want to come along and join us please do... you can find out more on this this SW Herts Help website

which has been set up to help all micro and small businesses across the region... goes under the name of the Town Business Creatives...

Click here to go straight to the page with the calendar of events
(the calendar is towards the end of the page)

Monday, 24 April 2017

A whole new approach to Business Support in SWHerts

If you run a local business and are in SW Herts

...then you are one of the first in the country to get access to a new Holistic Business Support service the "Town Business Creatives".

In the past love it or loathe it we did at least have 'Business Link'; a focus organisation that did pull resources together in an attempt to service and support the small and micro businesses in our community. As with all things government funded they can be just as easily whipped away as they are given, and so it was with Business Link.

In its place we really have very little. With the exception of Business Networking groups (both membership and free) there is very little available for our small businesses today. Basically, when it comes down to advice, guidance, signposting and support, well it's up to you to decide who to trust, and then... "you pays your money and takes your chances".

Blast from the past
The Town Business Creatives like 'Business Link' of the past has not been set up to make a profit. One of its primary goals is to provide a single place of reference (or directory) for local businesses so that the services that are there can easily be found (whether paid for or otherwise).

But more than that... the Town Business Creatives is about providing much needed 'on the ground' support and advice to our local independent businesses. This support is provided via a number of 'events' hosted around the SW Herts area. [... visit here for details and the calendar of events]

The majority of these events are not only 'free' to attend but their purpose is to help move you forward in your business or project. That could be simple tips or tricks, being shown how to do something, some advice or guidance or maybe a new connection that can help with something.

The whole ethos of the Town Business Creatives is that if we put our minds together, if we innovate and collaborate as a team, then we will be able to develop ourselves through shared experiences and knowledge... grow our businesses by supporting each other, and thereby create a robust local business economy... Building this through our communities will have a huge impact on everyone locally whether in business or not.

Click here or on the image below to find out the many ways you can get support and help in your business.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Chorleywood to have a Food Festival 29th May 2017

If you hadn't yet caught up with the news yet Chorleywood is to have a Food Festival

It will be held on the Whitsun bank holiday weekend at the end of May.

The idea is the brain child of Daniel Rolnick who is the main administrator on the This is WD3 facebook group and who also started the WD3 Foodies group in 2015 now with some 2,000+ members.

PRESS RELEASE can be read here :

There is ample opportunity to get involved in this first ever food festival in Chorleywood... the first I am sure that will be of many going into the future...

If you are a Food Fan? Get this date : 29th May into your calendar.. check out the visitor info here

If you are a Local Food Business? Talk to Daniel about being at the festival and taking an active role

If you run a food related business from home? Discounted stand rates to join in the fun

If you have a family secret recipe? Come and share mum's / dad's / granny's tasty treat

If you are a budding food entrepreneur? Now is your time to shine... make a bit of money for your school or charity

This is a real community event. Designed right from the start as an expose of all the fabulous eateries and catering services that we have in our vicinity... but more than that.. a chance for the whole community to come together around one of the oldest discussion topics ever 'Food'.

Below Daniel talking to Chris Ogle about the Food festival... 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Launch of our SW Herts District BLOGGERS website

Finally it is here...

Our South West Herts local bloggers directory.

For those who remain mystified by the term 'Blogging' then please do take a look at the website... there is a section all about "What's blogging?".

Visit our Local Bloggers Directory

Actually blogging all started in earnest back in 2004 but kind of lost its way when social media started gaining popularity... I've a feeling though it may well make a comeback. Blogging is a place where you can actually say things that you want to say without a sea of comments ensuing. It is your space... a chance for you to share where you are at, what you love doing, what's happening in your life...

In today's world there is so much noise and timelines are so fast and furious (and there is some manipulation there too) that we just don't see things that might interest us. Blogging allows us the space to write what we want without fear of reprisal from the hoards... but also... in my view Blogging provides a chance to consider, to reflect and this for many of us is a powerful force for good. Therapeutic? ... probably but also an oasis of stillness to think about what we are writing about.

I like blogs... they have grown up a lot since the 2004 era. Blogs are not throw away spontaneous comments made when under the influence, or as a riposte to an inappropriate post. They are measured more often than not and thoughtful pieces which give us a deeper insight into the mind of the author.

It's great to now have a place to host all our local bloggers content. If you know of a blogger... or you are yourself a blogger then do go onto the website and let us know... we can then pop you into our Blog Gallery and encourage people to discover your thoughts!

Monday, 10 April 2017

History Quizzes coming to SW Herts District

Do you like pub quizzes? 

If so then this might be right up your street... in more ways than one!

Starting in Croxley on the 4th May at +The Kitchen Croxley +David Sawyer will be the quiz master in what will be a 1st for South West Herts we believe. This is a Quiz about Croxley Green... held in Croxley Green about what is happening (or has happened) in Croxley Green... but interestingly where the questions are set by the community themselves.

The idea behind these Community Quizzes is to enable local people to learn (and share knowledge) about the area they live in. There are many local people with a wealth of knowledge about the area and the information is stuck inside people's heads. Being able to research our community, share and discover all this local knowledge in a fun way will hopefully make for a really interesting evening.

We might surprise ourselves and make some new friends and connections just as a result of learning who proposed the question and the background behind it...

When we know more about where we live we tend to feel better about it... and this positive energy has been proven to enhance community... so are we ready for a bit of enhancement?

How will it work? 

  • Practicalities : 6 tables (teams) of 4... each team member paying the entry fee £10 (includes a cake and coffee)
  • Categories : There will be 5 categories lasting 25 minutes each. 2 hours 5 minutes. With an interval in the middle. There will also be a Marathon round... to be completed during the evening.
  • Question Setting : This is the interesting part. There will be a website published this week where you the community can submit your questions (and answers). This gives everyone of us a chance to get at least one question right during the evening.
  • Winning Team : The team that wins will receive a small prize too.

The 5 Categories will be :-

Sport, Geography, Notables, History and Industry + marathon round (set by the quiz master himself)

Running Order

The whole evening will kick off at 7:00pm (for 7:30pm start) and finish around 10:30pm. So a really rewarding and hopefully enlightening evening for us all...

Local Charity raising the awareness of FACS

If you haven't heard of FACS - Fetal Anti-Convulsant Syndrome then you are not alone, until last week I would have been in the same boat. But I met up with Deborah Mann who is one of those behind the locally based charity looking to raise awareness of the condition.

In simple terms those women under medication for epilepsy choosing to have children run a fairly substantial risk of introducing ongoing health problems to their children. Some medications are worse than others introducing a much greater probability of a problem developing.

The charity based in South Oxhey is called OACS (organisation for Anti-Convulsant Syndrome). The website is here. There has been a long list of court appearances in an attempt to seek compensation from the pharmaceutical companies who produce these drugs. Being a small charity there is little that can be done from a legal perspective, especially when the pharma companies can continue legal cases for years and not bat an eyelid about costs.

the charity continues to raise awareness... disseminate information and hopefully bring about changes that lead to more effective and less harmful medication. The implications of current medicine is that not only can the effects be transferred to children, but there is suspicion it can be passed on to the next generation too.

Please do support the events below, both are on the 14th May... click the images or these links to go to the website for further information. Raising awareness talks (OACS Reception) ... OACS Charity Gala evening

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Are you blogging? ... We need you!!

Blogging is massive... millions of people spend their time carefully sharing their thoughts on things that they are passionate about. Precious few of these are even known about! ... let alone the content read and digested by those that might be interested in what has been written

Yet... here is a massive resource for us all... not stories you would see in a newspaper... not things that would reach mainstream channels... but... and it is a big but... things that we in the community are sharing because we felt them important enough to write down.

Writing a blog could be for a myriad of reasons

  • for the simple pleasure of writing
  • improving our writing
  • collecting our own thoughts together
  • as a journal in a type of scrapbook way
  • share our experiences, knowledge
  • to help others with our expertise
  • this South West Herts website is actually a Blogger blog

Whatever it is, whoever it is, they have decided to write (or video Vlog) and share to anyone that might want to benefit from what is being written about... On the SW Herts Community Communications Hub we are always looking for people who are creating content... Well what have we got here then???

People who are already writing... about something they are interested in (and like as not others will be too)... and who live in our area... this sounds like a great opportunity to bring what we are doing together.

It absolutely fits in as well with the South West Herts philosophy of community coaching... 

  1. Provide a space (Community communications hub) that is free from the pressure to meet the needs or expectations of others... no one is being paid... no one has an ulterior motive... there just to help each other
  2. Encourage people to find their own way (they are writing about what they are passionate about)
  3. The only right way is that there is no right way... so no judgement

So we are building a local community mini blog site...

where we can showcase all our local bloggers.

There will be categories... these categories will evolve over time of course to include all the different blogs we have already out there today and easily updated for all the new blogs I hope this encourages people to start!

Are you a Blogger?
Do you know of a great local blog?

If so then please do tweet us the blog address so we can include it on @L4GSWHerts or email ... or fill in the form on our contact us page.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Moments That Matter

This piece has been sent to me by Ian Tottman based in Leavesden. Ian recently gave a short talk on this subject through his work with Herts Mediation.

and it is an extract from the work of a Dr. Richard B. Joelson DSW, LCSW

Many people fail in their effort to enjoy a successful romantic partnership because of either relationship difficulties, or, thinking that they are always doomed to have trouble and fail.

People often think that the trajectory of their romantic lives is downhill. Frustrations and disappointments develop in long-term relationships as early as a few years—sometimes even a few months—after the honeymoon ends and “normal life” begins. People think that the downward trajectory is “standard” and “everyone’s experience.” but long-term romantic relationship do not need to be doomed enterprises. Relationships do change over time, but that change does not necessarily imply that a relationship turns from positive to negative and some relationships deepen and improve with age.

The following are Seven ingredients Richard B. Joelson finds can help to establish—and sustain—a positive and successful romantic partnership:

1. Handling anger and avoiding arguments.

A major problem with anger and the resulting arguments is that neither partner does much, if anything, to avoid them. Instead of “taking the bait” and being sucked in , perhaps by the need to be “right,” instead of having an argument it could have been avoided if one of them had seen to it that the conversation had remained conversational or been postponed until calm was restored. This is not always easy, but certainly possible.

2. Listening to each other.

This is extremely important. Couples in conflict are often so busy preparing their accusations of the other person, or their defense of themselves, that they simply do not listen or hear what is being said. Often responses are just statements often entirely unrelated to what was just said to them. As a result many couples repeatedly recycle the same arguments and rarely, if ever, feel as though any conversation (or “attack and defend” exchange) accomplishes anything. Couples can often need help to “actively listen” to each other so that the dynamic between them changes to one that is productive.

3. Saying “I’m sorry."

Research has shown how difficult people find it to say sorry, both in and out of romantic partnerships. People say, “I know it’s the right thing to do, and I feel sorry: I just can’t say it!” Such responses suggest the likelihood that the individual might feel “weak” or “defeated” if they publicly acknowledge sorrow or regret.

4. Expressing gratitude.

When partners feel and express gratitude or appreciation for each other, they both feel cherished and valued and the relationship is enhanced. These expressions do not have to be confined to major gestures or actions. “Thank you, honey, for feeding the dog," or, "I really appreciate your picking up my prescription,” can be just as meaningful as a thank-you for a monumental gift or kindness.

5. Changing.

Yes, changing. By this he refers to what might be considered the “little things” that become big when they persist over time. These are the kinds of changes that, with some effort, might be easy to accomplish and deliver far greater dividends than the investment required to achieve them. If a wife tells her husband, she really appreciates getting a greeting card on her birthday and anniversary why would the husband refuse to please her and give one? If a husband informs his wife that he does not want to be interrupted by phone calls while at the gym, unless there is an emergency, why does she persist in calling about nonessential matters. When people feel ignored or, worse, devalued by their partners, resentments develop and these can become toxic.

6. Treating each other as special.

A wife once complained to her husband that upon leaving a party he helped every other woman guest on with her coat except her. When she questioned his reply was, “Well, that’s because you’re my wife!” Her response: “That’s the point!” She felt taken for granted! Incidents like this may be insignificant if they are infrequent, but if they typify an attitude or are common in the relationship, they have the potential to cause diminished regard and affection for the offending partner.

7. Hurting with words.

The damage potential of comments made in the heat of battle is extremely high. Words can cause wounds that may not easily heal when calm is restored. They are often referenced when a subsequent argument occurs, i.e., “I’ll never forget the time you told me, ‘Drop dead.’”The above are some of what might be considered “ingredients” of a successful romantic relationship and, perhaps, any relationship. Every one of these ingredients is best used by both partners. 

Above all, the parties should remember that the person with whom they are having conflict may be the very person whom they love the most, and who loves them the same way.