Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Walk in the Park and the Community Gospel Choir

Yesterday was the first instance of the Link4Growth "Walk and Talk" event in Cassiobury Park. A bank holiday weekend too sounded the alarm bells about the weather but as the saying goes "There is no such thing as inclement weather just inappropriate clothing".

At 1pm we assembled at the Cha Cafe... it was raining at the start as it was raining at the end of the walk... but the conversation was both varied and lively... Here are a few of the topics discussed but are just a handful of what I can remember...

"Sustainability, Farming, Seeds, Bermuda, Honduras, Poland, Hungary, Britain, London,  Community, Events, Oil, Canals, History of Cassiobury, Watford, Education, Books, Cooking, Technology, Weather (of course), Cassiobury country show (very quiet)... politics of course scraped in there eventually, a bit about 'anarchy' and the problems of the global economy, oh and Brexit too!"

So a wide range of topics as we walked past the Cassiobury country show... at about 11-12c, raining and a stiff breeze, the car park was very empty and the country show was understandably very quiet. We stopped to chat for a bit, and they were hoping for better weather on Bank holiday Monday (show was open for two days).

As we approached the bandstand it looked like the Community Gospel Choir was about to pack up and go home... had we missed the performance? With it still raining they'd almost given up any hope of people coming out to listen... we decided to stay a while and provide an audience "such as we were" at least someone to sing to. There was enthusiastic banter as the choir robed up and we made our presence felt with total appreciation for their dedication and what was a great performance.

The Gospel Arts Manna Choir practices in the Asda Community Room (North Watford) on Tuesday evenings from 7:30pm for those that might like to enquire... 

Sadly after another 75 minutes... the cold, the hunger and 'nature calling' we made our way out of the park... The first Walk and Talk event a great success... we finished circa 3:15pm ... another event next month on the 23rd September 2018... come and join us...

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Learning (and implementing) new skills made easy!

It's easy when you know how...

Many of us are constrained in what we can do by the knowledge we have. Everything is difficult and time consuming when we are struggling to understand things.

The challenge when we are starting out is that we don't even know what we don't know. There are plenty of people offering fabulous workshops and training, but how do you know if it is what you need and whether at the end it is going to make any difference.

Actually... all the training you will ever need is on the Internet. With unlimited time you could find out all you need without spending any money at all. What you won't discover though is what gaps you might need to plug for your business, how to go about it, a time line and a strategy designed for you, and... which applications (online tools) might serve you better than others.

In the normal course of events you might need to attend quite a few workshops and / or employ the services of a marketing strategist which might start to add up in terms of costs.

Keeping the costs to a minimum

In South West Herts there is something going on a little different to help you acquire the skills and knowledge you need. We believe that...

  • Price shouldn't be a barrier for people to pick up knowledge
  • Availability of a variety of "Learning Sessions" means we can obtain a broad range of skills 
  • We all have expertise and knowledge that others might need. We encourage all to share 
  • Each learning session provides a unique experience applied to your unique business
  • Small groups allow us to grow together and deepen our local business connections

All Learning Sessions are provided on a "Pay according to the value you received" ... that might be £0, £5, £10, £20 or £50 ... whatever you feel comfortable with.

Dedicated facility

We are now just about to complete the setup of our dedicated Learning Facility ready for September. Complete with Workspace (8 attendees), Power, WiFi, Whiteboard, Flipchart, Projector, Air Conditioning... all in a quiet and chilled environment.

Monday is Learning day

Monday's are dedicated to the "Learning Sessions". Keep an eye on the diary via the website here. Learning Sessions are all 90 minutes long. There are normally three 'session times' although in any given week not all sessions might be utilised. 
  1. 10am - 11:30am
  2. 12:00pm - 1:30pm
  3. 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Tuesday is "Take Action - Do it" Jelly day

Many of us go on Workshops, get inspired and then... we get home full of enthusiasm only for life to begin sucking that all out of us as soon as we walk through the door... 

The days pass... then the weeks and we realise that we have forgotten most of what we were shown / learnt... with enthusiasm ebbing away and our memory failing us it is no wonder that most of what we learnt never gets implemented.

....... NO MORE!

Learning Session on the Monday... TAKE ACTION on the Tuesday with the "JELLY". From 9:30am - 4:00pm get along and implement the things you learned on Monday. Maximum of 10 people in the Learning room... a day of fun working with others; also wanting to fast track their business.

With a specialist always there to handhold you through any problems you might encounter and which would stop you in your tracks on your own, you will be surprised what you can get done in a day. 

Setting up Newsletters, streamlining your LinkedIn profile, creating Facebook pages... setting up groups, creating your GMail account, writing content for your website, blogging, Twitter implementation... or just working alongside others rather than alone at home... 

It's a fun day of 'Massive Action' ... go for the whole day or part of the day just £10 ... bring your own lunch and drinks... coffee / tea making facilities available

Final Words

With the new school semester starting in a couple of weeks... why not get yourself some new skills and take some things that have been in the "too difficult" pile done and dusted...

If you would like to be kept up to date with all things SWHerts and join in the conversations... then just join the Facebook Group here... 

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Update on homeless warriors in Watford

It has been a busy few weeks and with the weather being so hot we have handed out nearly 1000 bottles of water, kindly donated by a company on Imperial Way who heard my talk at Stanborough Church.

Staying with the Stanborough Church we have a meeting on the 14th August with the Pastor, the church's youth group and deputy mayor of Watford. They have kindly offered their support to Homeless Warriors by helping put some survival kits together for our street friends and for those in shelters / venerably housed.

They have even ordered another cycle trailer as mine is getting a lot of use. Having two will make things a lot easier.

Myself and Ruth Lee met with Peter Taylor the Mayor of Watford to discuss our ideas and see how we can work more closely together to improve things for the homeless in Watford.

Warriors now includes a new organisation brought to fruition with the help of Ruth Lee. This organisation is called Homebrella. We are aiming to bring all the small projects and individuals in Watford into one communication network. This will enable us to improve effectiveness and opportunities to support one another.

An Example of how we could use such a network is when a small supermarket experienced issues with their fridges; food was in danger of being thrown out. Fortunately we managed to hear about this and saved most of it, with a network of people working together we could have probably saved it all!

So as you can see a lot is happening and along with all of the above we are also in the process of becoming a no profit community interest company (CIC) which will enable us to fund raise and approach business's for support. We are planning a fund raising launch disco and a sleep out too. Discussions are well under way with a company that organises such events.

We also held our first awareness event at GoFest which was held at Stanborough Park during July, a great success with plenty of interest and offers of support.

We are hoping that this is the first of many events and with a view to selling items for additional fundraising purposes. Warriors have some big plans for the future but slowly and surely to ensure that the support goes where it is needed most.

An Amazon wish list has been set up for those who wish to buy an item to donate. Just click on the link to visit and see how you can help.

We also have a Paypal account for donations which you can pay through


Only through working together can we change the Stigma

Written by : Stephen Phoenix Russell