We are pumped up about starting a new six week Friday series called 'Best Business Books' we will be looking at some of the best business books out there to support all our startup business owners in the first stages of getting prepared for success in business.
This week we look at Author: Daniel Coyle
Book: "The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups"
About: An essential book that unlocks the secrets of highly successful groups and provides readers with a toolkit for building a cohesive, innovative culture, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code.
Buy: Click for shopping options
Reviews: Fab book. Really interesting little anecdotes that illustrate quite complex theory and psychology. What was best was how actions and behaviours were clearly illustrated that could be applied by any individual committed enough to try. Have shared with my entire leadership team and it has had a profoundly positive effect on our business. Would definitely recommend. Writing style had a lovely tone and wasn't all about the writer. Buy it.
Earlier this month, Anita Frost (founder of Curricula & Co) and Rebekah Billingham (blogger) took a trip to Askham Grange, a low-security women’s prison in Yorkshire to speak to some of the residents about life goals and aspirations. In this second installment of the series about the trip, we share some of the ways we were inspired by such a strong and resilient group of women.
Anita and Rebekah’s trip to HMP Askham Grange
After our tour, a number of ladies joined us in one of the classrooms. We introduced ourselves, and Anita asked everyone to take it in turns telling everyone their name, and what their life goals were. For me, this was the most fascinating part of the trip. It amazed me how determined and resilient these people still were after having been through so many challenges.
So many of them had decided to use their time inside to better themselves and work on leaving stronger than they were when they came in. One lady used the phrase ‘gap year’ to describe her time at Askham Grange...an opportunity instead of a punishment. A chance to really focus on growing herself. So many of their dreams were very big, but they seemed to be taking their first small steps very seriously.
I noticed that there was a real strength in their togetherness as a supportive community. I noticed that they had developed tight knit friendships with each other that sustained morale in a beautiful way.
When Anita spoke, she shared her own story of how she got to where she is today, and all of the things she gained from the times when she had to learn what was not right for her, on the way to finding her perfect fit as an entrepreneur. She shared her words in a highly relatable and down to earth way, but also in a way that encouraged and uplifted.
I spoke for ten minutes, and explained briefly what I do with Curricula and Co, and what I do as a full time job. I told them about the work I do creating content for this blog, and about some of the things that have inspired me most of all about the successful people I have written about.
The main takeaway I get from writing these inspiring stories is the countless people who have started from rock bottom, and failed so many times before finding the success they are reknowned for. This takes away the pressure to be perfect, but also gives an encouraging push to keep working and persevering through the toughest obstacles and having the courage to keep trying again. I told the ladies a few small tips that I used to get me through some tough times, such as gratitude, and getting around positive people.
At the end of the session, we had a chance to chat to some of the ladies and their mentors for a bit before we left. I was humbled at their responses, and how they related on a personal level. Most of all, they appreciated our honesty and vulnerability. And that was the main thing that inspired me about this amazing group of women.
We came with the aim to inspire, and we left possibly more inspired by them than they were by us!
HR is one of the many aspects of running a start-up that require the input of knowledgeable people. We have Peach Law as one of our most valued and trusted professional partners to help you as you venture into the business world…
Peach Law are experts in the area of HR, and all of the legal aspects of hiring your first team members. As your business grows and needs more people, our amazing HR partners are here to help you get the most out of your new team!
Check out more on Peach Law on pages 5 and 30 within our Annual Magazine
Lift your mood and you will lift too.
Make changes to your routine, hold them in place for 30 days you will create your own new momentum, and achieve new wins, while seeing life from and different perspective.
1. Get up and out.
Feel the fresh air and wave bye to the hustle bustle of everyday life just for 20mins per day can be a game changer, explore new sights, sounds, and smells of nature.
2. Goodbye, negative thoughts.
Make a list of all the negative things which may be consuming you and flip them to a positive alternative. Problem-solving can enhance your ways of overcoming challenges
3. Be realistic about your progress.
Can I be a millionaire sure, buy tomorrow maybe not, set bite-size goals own them collaborate where collaboration is needed.
Next time you have a fry-up, I’m sure you won’t forget this in a hurry!
Barry John Crowe, a skilled butcher from Cavan, Ireland, has set a new record by making 78 sausages in one minute! He achieved this title in a record attempt on RTE’s Big Week On The Farm last year.
Not your typical women’s prison, Askham Grange has the lowest rate in the country of released prisoners re-offending, thanks to its comprehensive learning and development programme that empowers them to overcome their past and create a better future. Read about Anita and Rebekah’s trip to meet some of the ladies who are staying there…
Curricula & Co’s founding director Anita Frost met Charlotte Harker, the head of education and development at Askham Grange Women’s Prison at a networking event. A magnet for inspiration, Anita was amazed at the work that is being done at the facility to rehabilitate female offenders towards a successful transition back into the community. Likewise, Charlotte was intrigued by the work Anita does in employability and entrepreneurship.
In true Curricula and Co spirit, the two leaders came together to create an opportunity for the ladies Charlotte mentors and leads to meet with Anita and be encouraged and inspired to keep moving forward and pursuing their dreams despite their pasts, and any other odds.
When Anita presented the opportunity to join her on this trip, I said yes without hesitation. For me to have the opportunity to address a group of people is absolutely incredible. With my written skills being greater than my verbal skills, I would have been easily justified in turning this down, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to try something new and push my boundaries.
After a lovely car ride, where Anita and I exchanged stories of our most recent personal and professional victories, we were pleasantly surprised to find that this did not look or feel like a stereotypical prison. There were no grey concrete walls, iron bars, or barbed wire...instead, we found ourselves in the grounds of a beautiful stately home with lush grass, swaying trees, and singing birds!
HMP/YOI Askham Grange is located in the North East Yorkshire and Humberside region. It is a low-security prison, sometimes called an ‘open’ prison. It is unique, and a truly special place, as it houses a state-of-the-art rehabilitation programme centred on skills-based education, learning, training and personal development. As part of the comprehensive learning programme that sets it apart from other institutions, the aim is to create an individual development strategy starting from the induction of a resident, setting achievable targets for individuals to work towards as they prepare for their release.
What’s more, opportunities are available for the ladies to do voluntary and paid work placements in the local community.
When we met Charlotte inside, she took us on a tour of the educational facility. This includes a fully stocked library, an IT suite, and a beauty salon setting where the ladies could learn professional hair dressing, nail art, and facials. We got to see some of the artwork created by some of them, which included an embroidered quilt!
Askham Grange was built in 1868 for Sir Andrew Fairbairn as a country house. Sir Fairbairn was a man of many talents - he owned a successful factory business in Leeds, was an MP and a philanthropist. He also spent some time as a soldier. This magnificent building was passed down through the generations until 1939, when its current owner died. After being given over to the government by his widow, it was turned into a women’s prison in 1947.
Right now, the prison provides conferencing facilities for businesses that can host up to 120 people. The services are run and operated by the residents. This is just one of the ways the facility contributes to the community and helps its residents to do so as well.
Tune in next week for more updates on Curricula & Co’s visit to Askham Grange…