November 19 was a special day in my life. It was the tenth anniversary of my women’s network. And it was celebrated with a terrific party attended by 100 top calibre business women in conversations with Cherie Blair.Lady Val's Networking Image

Our 10th birthday lunch was exactly what I hoped it would be – inspirational, fun, relaxed and knowledgeable.

Cherie answered networkers’ questions with clarity, humor and had some pungent comments on the law. We found out about her background in Liverpool and the staunch support from her mother and grandmother who pushed Cherie and her sister into education so they would have better lives. She also told us about life in Downing Street juggling her career, family life and being the wife of the Prime Minister. It was a snapshot of a woman whose media image is very different to the reality, as many networkers commented.

The Military Wives Choir sang “Bring Him Home” from Les Mis beautifully, which made a lot of us tear up but they followed it with a cheerier number which raised the spirits again. The choir needs advice about how to attract more funding for the 75 MW Choirs all over the UK, please let me know if you can help. There were some offers, but the more support they can have the better. If you can lend any support, please contact Sara Scott.

Then there was the Fabulous Baker Boys. My hips won’t thank the Bad Boys Bakery in Brixton Prison but their beautiful cake with our logo and its frieze of handbags and shoes was admired by all – it was simply perfect. We need to ensure that those staring the journey started in prison continue on the straight and narrow. These guys need jobs! If anyone can help with names of hotels, bakeries or any potential employers, please contact the Bakery Manager Malcolm Cock.

To add to all this, our auctions raised nearly £1,000 for our charity The Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation. We also received some terrific feedback after the lunch! Read a selection below and you’ll see why I am blowing that trumpet.
Thank you for organising such a fabulous lunch! It was my first time attending and I was inspired by the positivity and enthusiasm in the room. Cherie was a great choice of speaker, wonderfully candid and open in her responses which is often a rarity with public figures and something I find admirable. I also made a few helpful new connections which was a great bonus.
Yesterday’s lunch was absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for all you do to get us women together to support each other – and for your work with the Bad Boys Bakery. It was my first networking experience of any kind and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I have diarised future dates already.
There are days when I do feel truly blessed and yesterday was certainly one of those days.  I enjoyed a fabulous lunch in great company whilst listening to Cherie Blair and the Military Housewives – thank you for organising such a fabulous event!

I didn’t know what to expect from Cherie but I found her truly inspirational and charismatic. I could have listened to her for hours. Thank you for arranging her to speak. You are a fantastic host, very entertaining and infectious. Everything was brilliant, the venue, the food and the choir – which brought a tear to my eye. The guests were also delightful!

Fabulous lunch as always, thank you so much. And I have a feeling it will be one of those events that you don’t ever forget – they stay with you. Cherie Blair was amazing and is a true inspiration.

About the author

Lady Val is our Life of a Lady Blogger. Lady Val is also the founder of 'Lady Val's Professional Women's Network.' You can Reach Lady Val on: Life of a Lady Blog, Lady Val's Professional Women's Network

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