Session 4 of The Growth Project took place on Friday 20th November with Peter Baines leading an inspiring session focused on Creating Shared Experiences.  Peter was supported by a formidable panel of Angela Garniss (Humpty Dumpty Foundation), Julie McDonald (The Ceo Sleepout) and Kerry Gonski (Variety) who shared their depth of experience in conjunction with Peter’s experience in establishing and growing Hands Across the Water.

At the half way point in the program, rather than provide our own summary, we thought we would share with you an email we received from one of the participants:

“As we are now at the halfway point of the Growth Project, I thought it may be a good time to share my reflections of my involvement to date. At the first session, Heather said her aim was to take us out of comfort zone and have us stay there for the entire 12 months. Well, 4 months in, Heather, I can say you have certainly achieved your goal. I do not think I have ever been more out of my comfort zone and I am not sure yet if I am loving it or scared to death, but perhaps a bit of both.

If I did not have the journey of the Growth Project ahead of me coupled with reading Inspired Destiny at exactly the right time in my life, I do not know if I would have had the courage to leave my job. That alone has made a significant difference to so many areas of my life. I am more present with my kids, who are happier and more grounded, and I have more time to spend with my wider family. I can also dedicate more time to the charity and reflect on what the next phase of my career will look like.

My main objectives when applying for the Growth Project were to improve my skills in networking and fundraising. I have worked in business for 15 years yet I have never really understood networking. After reading Never Eat Alone and participating in 2 sessions of the Growth Project, I finally understand what networking is, although I prefer to call it ‘connecting’ as this is what I enjoy and what feels authentic to me. I now understand that fundraising too is about connecting and considering the needs of those who we ask for funding.

I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity on Friday to stand up in front of a room of intelligent, accomplished individuals and having them workshop how to help our charity move forward. Peter, to have you lead the session was an extraordinary experience, as you clearly understood exactly the challenges we were facing. What I found most valuable was the questions I couldn’t answer, as that will enable me to be better prepared when I need to present to a less forgiving audience. What struck me most and what will stay with me forever was the kindness and genuine desire to help shown by every person in the room. That is what you’ve created with the Growth Project, you have taken a group of strangers and created a unique network of connected individuals who all support each other and inspire and encourage each other to grow.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Growth Project and I want to thank you all for your support and generosity of spirit in helping me become a true charity leader. You are all Doing Good by Doing Good in so many more ways than you can imagine.”