Coronation of New Club Chair

On a surprisingly cold and cloudy morning, 90 members arrived at the YMCA for our AGM where our new chair Simon Gabbitas was introduced to the expectant crowd.

Simon is well known to many members as ‘master’ of the ‘roving mic’ , a serving member of the executive committee with responsibility for managing the charity of the quarter and as a MD of Future Prospects

Mencap – 60 years of support

Newark Mencap, a charity that has been helping people with learning disabilities for over 60 years sponsored this months meeting. Just under 2.5% of the population have learning disabilities, and Newark Mencap provides a safe and caring environment in which they can make friends, develop new skills, increase their self-confidence, and most importantly, develop a sense of purpose in their lives.

Neil Allen and Carolyn Brocklebank gave us an interesting introduction to the charity and the services it offers. Their words were brought to life by images on the screen of the charity’s clients and staff enjoying day trips, crafts, a Christmas party, and many other activities.

Newark Mencap is a small charity that does not receive any government funding. All of its income comes from clients paying for the services. Therefore, Newark Mencap relies on kind donations from the local community. At the moment, they are reaching out to the community to see if anyone can help them in several different areas.

They are looking for volunteers to help with painting the church hall where they meet. Donations of paint would be gratefully received, as well as donations for raffle prizes and financial donations that would help them to expand the variety of opportunities that they offer their clients. They are also seeking a professional to damp proof their storeroom on a voluntary basis, as well as volunteer guest speakers and entertainers. It would be lovely if they could create a calendar based on their photographs of trips and activities, but they need the materials and resources to produce it.

Neil Allen Chair of Newark Mencap

Fire Side Chats with past chairs

First up was Elaine Ellison, the first ever chairperson of the club.who describes herself as “the mother or grandmother of the club,” Elaine, explained how business networking as it is now was not invented 25 years ago. Then, business owners would just meet in the pub!

On a more personal note, she explained how, over 20 years ago, the huge outbreak of food and mouth disease affected her business and lots of others at the time. So, she went out and just talked to people and Newark Business Club was born.

Initially, 12 people, a mix of retailers and small business owners, met for a coffee in Braithes Café, which used to be on Cartergate in Newark. Interestingly, the format of the monthly meeting has not changed very much over the years – table networking and guest speakers were features of the first meetings and remain so today.

Elaine’s parting advice was: “Don’t let go of your dreams. I haven’t touched to the top of the sky yet.”

Simon Shaw, of Duncan and Toplis was next to warm up by the fire, he is the longest-standing vice chairperson of Newark Business Club, having been in that role for around 15 years. He emphasised that it is important to surround yourself with great people in business and to give something back to the community. The most valuable thing you can give is your time, although we should be mindful of our priorities: family should come first, business next and then everything else. Simon was thanked for all the time he has devoted to the club over the years, for providing continuity and being part of the history of the club.


Member Spotlight

Lisa Davies of Get the Edge Training and Consultancy was this months lucky winner of the business card draw.

She askes as a regular attendee. are you looking for a way to improve your leadership skills and reconnect with your passion and purpose? Do you want to learn from an experienced team who have helped thousands of leaders achieve their goals and make a positive impact?

We are a company that specialises in leadership development, coaching and consultancy. We have been in the business for over 20 years and have worked with clients from various industries. Our team are passionate about helping leaders grow and thrive.

One of our most popular courses is our heartfelt leadership retreat, which is designed to help leaders reconnect with their core values, vision and mission. The retreats are held at Hill Holt Wood, an award-winning social enterprise set in a beautiful and tranquil woodlands.

The retreats typically last for two or three days and include a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. Some of the topics covered are:

– How to lead with authenticity, integrity and compassion

– How to communicate effectively and influence others

– How to manage stress and resilience

– How to foster a culture of trust and collaboration

– How to create a vision and strategy that aligns with your values

– How to deal with change and uncertainty

– How to balance work and life

The heartfelt leadership retreats are ideal for anyone who wants to enhance their leadership skills and potential. They are suitable for leaders at all levels, from aspiring managers to senior executives.

For more information visit

Finance healthy despite pandemic

Michelle Allen, of Access Accounts and our Hon Treasurer reported that the club’s income had increased substantially in 2022 as businesspeople returned to face-to-face networking after the pandemic. However, this also meant that costs, such as room hire and refreshments, had risen. Nevertheless, the club ended the year with a healthy bank balance.

Michelle also a past chair is pictured fourth on the left, together with some of the past chairs of Newark Business Club.

Charity of the Quarter

Twenty charities went into the hat and the lucky winners were Shaw Mind Foundation, Beaumond House and Positively Empowered Kids.

Representatives from each of these charities will be invited to speak at Newark Business Club, and the attendees will choose the club’s charity of the quarter.

Goodbye Kevin

The outgoing chairman, Kevin Guthrie, closed the meeting by thanking the team from Peachy Events for making the running of each meeting so smooth, the committee and all members of the club. He was presented with a surprise gift in the midst of an enthusiastic round of applause as everyone showed their appreciation for his commitment to the club in his two years as chairman.

Thank you to Our Patrons & Sponsors

We are delighted to announce the following Patrons for 2023: Gusto Group|Funding Round|Reflect Recruitment|Barcode Warehouse|Motorfinity|PeachyEvents

Next Meeting – YMCA Village
May 5th 2023 6.45am

We are pleased to advise you that we have a new home for our monthly breakfast meeting – YMCA Community and Activity Village , Lord Hawke Way, Newark on Trent NG23 4FH . Please park in the YMCA car park shown below with an arrow.

The YMCA catering team offer a range of delicious breakfasts which are available to purchase.

Please Book your tickets online

YMCA Community and Activity Village
Lord Hawke Way
Nottinghamshire NG24 4FH

For sponsorship opportunities, contact