The Brecon & Radnor Express commercial team held their very first networking morning today (Wednesday, September 27) at Arabella’s Café in Brecon.

Around 20 Representatives from a range of local businesses attended, sharing ideas, exchanging contact details with each other and enjoying hot drinks served by the staff at Arabella’s café.

Attendees included: Louise Griffin from Christ College Brecon, Sophie Box from Time Together Contact Centre, Des Lally from Pia Financial Solutions, Jo from Hilscott, Phil Blizzard from Phil Blizzard Media, Claire Gutteridge, Jo from Slimming World, Tim Jones from As You See It Media, and Janine Price from In body scan,.

The event enabled members of the commercial team from the Brecon & Radnor Express; Kirsty, Nigel, and Paul to meet and engage with local businesses.

Louise Griffin from Christ College Brecon said: “I think it’s a good opportunity to meet up in an informal setting and I think it’s something that has been long overdue. I look forward to hopefully more events in the future.”

Des Lally of Pia Financial Solutions added: “It’s one of those things that if you keep doing it more, even more people will come and benefit from it. It’s nice to see people in an informal situation and it’s not a big corporate event, it’s quite reserved.”

Conversations were had amongst attendees regarding collaborations between their businesses and following the event, two business owners visited each other’s stores to talk about how they could come together and help each other’s businesses.

Janine Price of In Body Scan said: "It was lovely to see friends Claire Gutteridge and Des Lally and also great to meet other businesses. Great networking event, very informal and friendly with a lovely venue.

"I’m looking forward to bringing InBody body composition testing to Jojo’s beauty salon soon."

Claire Gutteridge added: "It was a great chance to get to meet some other local business owners and I am looking forward to the next one!"

The event even saw old friends reunite with Phil Blizzard from Phil Blizzard Media and Jo from Slimming World meeting again for the first time in 20 years. Jo’s father used to work with Phil on a radio station in Dubai, where Jo’s father would do the sports coverage for the radio. Jo noticed that Phil was interested in today’s event and decided to come along.

With the event being a resounding success, Sophie Box of Time Together Contact Centre told the Brecon & Radnor Express: “It’s been a really good event, I only started up earlier this year and an event like this to connect with people is just what the town needs.”

Reflecting on a successful morning, Account Manager for Tindle Newspapers Wales and Borders, Kirsty Boag said: “Today exceeded the goal I had set for the event, I was really happy with it. The important thing is that we wanted to start something that brings the community together, it’s not about our newspaper, it’s about the businesses getting to know each other and us having that rapport. I want to bring Brecon together.

“I think this event proved that today with people who had never met before going off to each other’s shops. The event has done exactly what I wanted it to do. I just wanted to create something that would bring that community spirit and today I think that showed that it has worked. I’d like to grow this and make it into something that could be monthly.

“A lot of people may have been hesitant to come to today’s event because they may think it’s all about the newspaper but in fact, it’s not and I think a lot of people thought we would get up and do a presentation, which was talked about but we thought it was more important that we show we want to be involved in the community rather than it be an all about us show.

“For me, I hadn’t spoken to a lot of the businesses that showed up today and I think it was important that we weren’t trying to push sales on people or anything like that. It’s about getting to know each other.

“For future events, we hope to see it grow and hope to see more businesses here and make it bigger and better! A big thank you to Arabella’s for hosting us and providing refreshments in this beautiful place.”

The provisional date for the next Networking Morning is Thursday, October 26.