Jane looks back at our fifth Business Networking event in partnership with MCB Financial Services

Following the success of our Women & Golf Business Networking events on the south coast, we changed location last week and headed to Norfolk. In partnership with MCB Financial Services we welcomed professional businesswomen from the Norfolk area.

As always with these events we keep a close eye on the weather but we were extremely fortunate that the sun shone and made the golf clinics so much easier to manage - nice to be out on the grass for your first taste of golf.

The Business Networking event started with a welcome glass of prosecco and a Women & Golf goody bag.

A light breakfast of fruit and Danish pastries followed which enabled participants to dive straight into getting to know each other.

After a brief welcome from Kim Wild, Chairwoman at Women & Golf, it was the turn of our host for the day, Hannah Stoner, adviser at MCB Financial Services, to introduce our guest speakers.

“I've recently taken up golf because, as well as the health benefits, it will give me another way to get together with clients in a different environment get to know them a little better. Golf is a fantastic way of getting to know people, which will make your business relationship so much better.”

Our headline speakers

Hannah Stoner, Adviser, MCB Financial Services
Hannah Stoner, Adviser, MCB Financial Services
Vanessa Bell, Head of Fundraising, Golf Foundation
Vanessa Bell, Head of Fundraising, Golf Foundation
Joanne Herd – Regional Manager, East Anglia, Marks & Spencer
Joanne Herd – Regional Manager, East Anglia, Marks & Spencer

Vanessa Bell

Vanessa Bell, Head of Fundraising, Golf Foundation

Vanessa Bell is a former PGA Professional & current Head of Fundraising at the Golf Foundation charity. She told us how she is from a keen golfing family in Suffolk, and started playing golf at the age of 11. After a string of successes, she played on the professional golf tour in the US and Europe after attending a golf scholarship at the University of Alabama.

She explained how golf gives her the space and sense of calm when work is 90 miles an hour. It gives her a chance to put everything to one side and relax. Plus, the added benefit of the social side of the game.

Joanne Herd

Our second speaker was Joanne Herd – Regional Manager, East Anglia, Marks & Spencer. Jo's love of golf started when she was 12 after her Dad took her for a free lesson for girls at their local golf club. From the first lesson she was hooked, quickly joining the local golf club and starting to play in the County Girls team. Golf has remained a big part of her life through school, university and now work. She joined the management trainee scheme at M&S and keen to progress her career, was open to moving. In the first 6 years, she moved house three times and on each occasion joined the local golf club and quickly established a new set of friends and a place to unwind after work.

She explained how golf not only has health benefits but is good for your well-being. Allowing you to socialise both personally and professionally.

A Q&A followed which gave participants the opportunity to ask anything. It was good to be able to highlight the different opportunities that there are to take part in the sport. It’s not all about 18 holes. Both speakers explained that there were now options such as driving ranges (Topgolf) and 6-hole academy courses.

Once everyone had a slice of delicious cake and a tea or coffee, it was time to get a golf club into everyone's hands.

An introduction to golf

Sam Cubitt, adviser and golfer from MCB & PGA Professionals Steve Rastall & Ryan Forbes were on hand to guide the attendees through three basic golf skill activities - grip, putting & chipping.

In three groups, they rotated around the areas and were given a full golf taster session over the next hour and a half. The coaches provided a relaxed and informal environment with some easy to remember takeaways.

A chance to network

Following the golf clinics, a change of seating plan for the group allowed different people to meet new people.

Business networking group at lunch

It was lovely to see a variety of professions interact - an acupuncturist with a solicitor, a bursar with an accountant. There was an enormous amount of chat. So much so, that another conference in the next door room complained about the noise!

The food throughout the day from the catering team had been fantastic. Lunch definitely did not disappoint with a delicious two-course meal.


It was then time to bring to a close our fifth Women & Golf Business Networking event, in partnership with MCB Financial Services, so that everyone could miss the Friday traffic.

An inspiring day, not only for our guests but also for the team at Women & Golf. These events have shown us just how important it is to reach more women in the corporate world, so that they can enjoy the many benefits that golf brings to our lives, both professionally and personally.

Here's to the next one!


Don't just take our word for it, here is some initial feedback from attendees:

Thank you all so much for putting on a great event. It was such a great way to end the week!


Thanks again for a great day. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was lovely to meet people who I wouldn’t normally meet in a professional way. I certainly think I’ve caught the golfing bug now too! The vegetarian dish was delicious - in fact I think all of the catering was a huge success. Many thanks for all of your hard work putting it together.


With thanks to our Partners

MCB Financial Services
MCB Alex Hannah Pippa Emma
Feel free to contact any of the MCB Financial Services team - Alex, Hannah, Pippa & Emma (click on photo)

For a refreshing drink before lunch