Honorable Members

Penny Andrew

I started my business in September 1994. It was immediately apparent to me that I needed to have links with a networking club and I looked at those which were on offer at that time. I attended some networking breakfast meetings but as a woman setting up in business for the first time felt that I needed something more friendly and supportive that that on offer. It seemed to me at that time (and have things really changed?) that an all female networking club would have advantages and go some way to counter the pub/club/sports networks which serve men so well…

The reasons that caused me to conclude that I needed networking links were first that I wanted the company of others in a similar position to me as working women and second as a woman in business I needed to know what was going on in my local area in the business world. I had the idea that if women with different skills and knowledge met together we could help each other in obtaining information outside our own areas of expertise and could also improve awareness in that world of our own skills and availability – hence the setting up the Wednesday Club with the help others in 1995.

We were a small group during the early years, but a loyal and committed association. Quite surprisingly, in spite of considerable growth in numbers, the original atmosphere and spirit of friendship and co-operation does not seem to have diminished. I have benefited directly (by increasing my business opportunities) and indirectly (by receiving support and encouragement from other members) by being a Wednesday Club member – and I am sure you will do too.

Now that I have reached retirement age (well actually a little over) I can look back and evaluate the benefits of membership of the Wednesday Club and would like to thank all members for their cheery support over the years to me personally and the Club.

Jo Menhinick

I joined Wednesday Club in 1997, shortly after moving to Worcester from London. I had a small toddler at the time (now she’s 20!) and I didn’t know a soul in Worcester. I had worked in central London for 10 years or so and then I got married.  Then, with starting a young family, we needed to relocate nearer to where my husband’s new job was based in The West Midlands. I wanted to be self-employed, mainly for flexibility, and I knew I would need to get to know professional people somehow, in order to grow my business. It was a daunting task as I didn’t have any family in Worcester either and felt very isolated.
I heard about Wednesday Club through sitting next to another woman, Rosy, at the Federation of Small Businesses, which I had looked up in the Yellow Pages!  The meeting was at the then Star Hotel in Worcester, just opposite Foregate Street Station. Rosy suggested Wednesday Club to me, which had recently been started up by Penny Andrew at the Family Law Firm.
In those days networking was just beginning to take off, and I soon attended the Wednesday Club events regularly. It was nice, relaxed forum in which to meet professional women like me who had families but were trying to keep a career going as well. Networking with women meant there was no pressure to compete with men, or be evaluated by them either!  The ethos of the club has not changed, it’s as friendly and relaxed as ever.
As the internet revolution took hold, I expanded my skills into web design and was soon approached by Andrea Palmer in 2006 to create the club’s first logo design and a website. This was a great project to test my skills and a steep learning curve at times, but paid off well for both the club and a way for me to keep developing my web skills. Being part of Andrea’s committee was also a great opportunity to get involved in the event planning and I made many connections with businesses through the club.
Time has flown by, and now in 2016 I have three grown-up girls, and in the last two years have started another business, a holiday cottage in Cornwall. I am busier than ever.
After a 10 year stint of designing and managing the Wednesday Club website I have decided to hand this work over to a team with more time to dedicate to this role than I can now. With all the new and exciting web networking technology there is on offer today, I’m sure embracing this, will take the club to the next generation of networking.
I will continue to attend events and be on hand to help and advise at any time. I will still enjoy taking photos at the events, when needed, to help provide a valuable resource, on which a good website depends.