History Explorer Inspires Women at Launch of Female Networking Group

A brand-new women’s networking group was launched at Leander Club last Friday; The Henley Female Networking Group hosted by Life and Mindset Coach, Harriet Barcella and is raising money for The Chiltern Centre.

The group aims to bring together women for conversation, connection, community, growth, inspiration, learning and support.  Each month there will be a guest speaker to inspire, challenge and provoke conversation.

Harriet Barcello said, “We hope each time we will have someone here to inspire so we can then have really interesting conversations.  Integrity, making a difference and kindness it is all around the room this morning and I can see the conversations.  There will be people here that it is their worst nightmare to walk into a room of people they don’t know.  What is really nice to see are people who enjoy this engaging with people who might not be.  I hope this will make a difference in the community and we’re also raising money for the Chiltern Centre.  We’re her to challenge our thinking and learning new things.  We’re here to learn, listen to be inspired to connect and converse and I think there’s something really special about having conversations that are a bit more real and getting the opportunity to have them.  That’s when a real connection happens and we have authentic conversations.  This community will be both personal and professional networking.  The potential in this room is not only to gain new friends but also to build those genuine connections that you will want to work with them.”

On Friday the first guest speaker was Jacki Hill-Murphy. Jacki is an explorer, teacher, author and speaker. She left her job as an English and Drama teacher to pursue her interest in women explorers from history and her love of travel.  In 2008 she took her first adventure following the journey of Isabel Godin who travelled down the Amazon in 1770.  She has gone on to take other journeys charting the explorations of Isabella Bird, Kate Marsden, Lady Florence Baker and others.  Jacki commented, “All these women have taken me to remote parts of the world.  Each of these women I have respect for what they did back there in that era. They changed their life and they changed mine.”

Jacki spoke of the dangers of travelling to remote places even with guides; asking one armed guide in Sudan when bedding down to go to sleep to turn their gun away from her whilst they slept.  The audience got to ask Jacki questions afterwards which included how does she cope with the living arrangements, what was the most dangerous incident and what she always takes on her adventures.  Jacki said, “I cope because I love camping and the outdoors but my hair is the biggest problem and you’ll be surprised to hear I always take an Yves Saint Lauren pink lipstick with me.”  Her most dangerous incident was travelling on a bus in Cameroon when they discovered the bus didn’t have any brakes and they driver somehow managed to avoid being hit by a runaway lorry that had shredded tyres!

The next networking meeting will be on Friday 24 February with Niki Schafer, Chair of Henley Business Partnership and Interior Designer who will be talking about what the other side of success looks like.   More details can be found here https://www.chilterncentre.org.uk/news/launch-of-henley-female-networking-group/



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