Hello and welcome to our first blog.

If you are reading this then let me first say thank you; for joining Worcestershire Advance and for putting your faith in what we are doing at this early stage.

Each member of the Worcestershire Advance board will be writing a short piece here to explain what the group as a whole has been doing as well highlighting any opportunities, development experiences, or information of relevance to our members.

That said, they can talk about anything they want and if you think there is anything of use that should be covered here, then please do not hesitate to let me know. If, as a member, you feel that you have something to say and would like the opportunity to contribute to this blog, then again please just get in touch with me.

As this is our first blog entry, I wanted to make sure I wrote it to introduce myself and to tell you, in my words, what Worcestershire Advance is and what it means now that you are a member.

Firstly, who am I?

Well, I am an individual banking manager for Handelsbanken Worcester, but I have been working in personal banking in Worcestershire for 7 years. I have lived in Worcestershire for all of my life (though I did move to Lincoln for 3 years when I was at University), and I am passionate about promoting the County to developing individuals; be that graduates, professionals, business owners, or simply individuals looking to further themselves.

This passion led to me forming and founding Worcestershire Advance alongside the other members of the Board. We are a community focused not-for-profit membership group and all of the Board members share my passion and vision for Worcestershire. We all work and live within the County and recognise the potential it offers to us and to others.

Worcestershire Advance aims to support developing professionals, business owners, and career-driven individuals who are looking to expand their skill set and experience whilst building their own network. Additionally, we support local businesses to attract and retain talented individuals.

We hope to help you, and the other members of Worcestershire Advance, by providing exclusive access to our network of members alongside our private LinkedIn and Facebook groups. We will be running a number of social events throughout the year, aimed at helping everyone start or expand their networks by meeting people at a similar stage in their personal, professional and/or business development. We will also be arranging seminars that will feature guest speakers who will impart valuable knowledge from their own development experiences.

Importantly,

I will be actively encouraging you, and all of our members, to participate in events that will help Worcestershire Advance give back to the local community and help grow Worcestershire for the benefit of future developing professionals, business owners and individuals. All of our profits are going to be put back into our County to help retain, attract and develop talented individuals and better our community.

Together, we aim to promote Worcestershire as a place for talented individuals to live and work, and by sharing this same inward focus we will promote the growth, development and retention of talent in our County.

Thank you again.

Chris Orr, Chairman.