Event Report: Meet the Neighbour with Somerset Chamber

The Chambers came together to enjoy the last of the summer sun over a networking lunch yesterday.  Members and other businesses of North Devon through Barnstaple Chamber met with Somerset Chamber Members in another of our Meet the Neighbour events.

Neighbourly interest

The day dawned bright and clear which made it a joy to pop down the North Devon link road to the Hartnoll Hotel to meet up with a variety of businesses to make new connections and catch up with existing contacts.

With drinks on the terrace to make the most of the end of summer, networking began, with a great buzz as businesses started to talk.  Our colleagues from Somerset had met us halfway at Tiverton and we were able to enjoy a two-course lunch where the conversations flowed as much as the coffee afterwards.

Event sponsors Petroc

The event was sponsored by Petroc, who, with campuses in both North and Mid-Devon, were please to engage with more Somerset based businesses.  Petroc Vice Principal, Bill Blythe, commented afterwards "Fabulous networking opportunity, we were really pleased to be asked to sponsor as it gave us a great opportunity to talk about the training we're able to offer businesses across the area".  

Bill (shown centre in the header image alongside Somerset Chamber Chief Executive, Stephen Henagulf, and Barnstaple Chamber President, Paula Byers) gave a short presentation at the meeting describing the quality training on offer, alongside the exciting developments with the Centre of Technology Innovation Excellence and being the North Devon hub for the South West Institute of Technology.  

Ranked as the best college in the country in 2018 (Ranked no 1 in NICDEX league table, published by FE Week), Petroc is committed to driving forward educational success in further and higher education. We are extremely passionate about raising the aspirations, knowledge and skills of individuals, communities and businesses in Devon and beyond.  They have three campuses in North Devon and Mid Devon, and offer an exceptional range of study programmes, courses and qualifications, including A-levels, apprenticeships, vocational training, degrees and professional programmes.

Chamber introductions

Barnstaple Chamber President, Paula Byers, opened with a welcome and gave a brief overview of the Chamber's work in Northern Devon.

Stephen Henagulf rounded off the event with an update on Somerset Chamber alongside saying that we should take every opportunity to network to build connections to ensure that we can come together to make our voice heard in the South West.

Having had much positive feedback, we are looking forward to our next Meet the Neighbour event and will make sure that we have a get together with Somerset Chamber on the calendar again soon.  In the meantime, make sure you check out our other upcoming events.

And introducing Archie

We were also joined for lunch by little Archie, who has a big mission.  He is the brainchild of Fiona Mahoney, founder of dementia charity Reminiscence Learning, whose use The Archie Project as an intergenerational dementia awareness initiative, taking him into schools to engage with children at a young age to dispel the fears and change attitudes around dementia.  They have been supported with a little funding from our very own Chamber member Dementia Champion, Adam Crispin, of Home Instead North Devon & Exmoor


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