After meeting for 23 years the Swindon Women’s Business Breakfast Club has closed down and passed on its bank balance to Koala Special Needs Playgroup, which this year marks its twenty-fifth anniversary.
Club chair Janice Knight explained that the nature of business networking had changed and the club had not been attracting new members. “We were unique when it started; there was a need for many years for a meeting point for professional women willing to pay an annual subscription. And although we switched to a pay-as-you-go model five years ago membership didn’t pick up.
“There are now several franchise based networking groups in the town competing for members and the growth in social media means people can promote their services without having to go to meetings.”
A feature of the SWBBC was the annual Make It Happen Award funded by member subscriptions to assist a woman further her career with training and mentoring. Janice said: “As the first winner fifteen years ago I’ll be sorry that the award will no longer be offered. It helped a lot of women make progress.”
Koala’s manager Stephanie Hathaway received a cheque for £1,139. She said: “We’d like to thank the club members for choosing us. We have been planning on putting down an all-weather surface in the outside play space and this welcome donation will help us achieve this goal.”
Pictured: Janice Knight, left, and club member Julia Falaki with Stephanie Hathaway of Koalas, centre.