After retiring from working for HSBC in Sheffield in 2000, I decided to do volunteer work with the Dinnington area regeneration trust (D.A.R.T). I started working for the Ryton credit union on a Saturday morning, migrating onto running the Saturday morning children’s cinema and finally the restoration of the old Middleton Hall.
Before leaving HSBC in 2000, I used to go to Sheffield business club, which allowed me to mix with like minded people and keep a positive mind set. Sheffield business club used to have meetings in different venues, the City airport and the National centre for music were a couple of the locations.
After leaving H.S.B.C. in Sheffield I started to go to network meetings in Rotherham, Doncaster, Worksop Retford etc. Because I was working with the regeneration trust in Dinnington, I started to think why haven’t we got a business club here in Dinnington.
I did an article about setting up Dinnington business club with one of the editors from the Trader paper and only received one interested party. I was told I would never get a business club in Dinnington off the ground. However I didn’t let negativity put me off and eventually got one off the ground.
I used to charge £10 for the event. £5 went to DART for room and food hire and the other £5 to Bluebell Wood hospice. At the first event 15 attended, this increased to 30 for the next event and finally 45 attended the final event. The idea of the meeting was to have a guest speaker, informal networking while having a drink and a breakfast sandwich. Finally there was a formal networking event.
The problem I had with running the meeting, was that I was spending more and more time running it, whereas it wasn’t bringing me business indirectly and I couldn’t afford to use my time in this way. After this time I started developing my own presence on the web, which was a far better way of advertising my services.
Tierney Solicitors, DART, Dinnington Guardian and HSBC were supportive of my venture and a number of other businesses were willing to get behind the venture.
Dinnington business club didn’t fail due to a lack of number or interest. However my biggest disappoinment was the lack of interest from businesses on the Dinnington High St. If many of these businesses had attended, we could have found new ways for them to expand. One of the local green grocers went out of business, when he could have provided a service to stretched local business people, as per Tesco’s.
Other businesses have tried to run Dinnington business club since, but didn’t realise the effort required or were looking for short term results and weren’t that bothered about our community.
I would be interested to hear about anybody else interested in running a Dinnington business club. The S25 area of Dinningon and Anston is now a thriving business region.
Until next time