It’s been a little while since my last update on all things me, so I thought it was about time I got everyone up to speed. To say that I’ve been “networking my arse off” would be something of an understatement to say the least…
Asides from my local networking groups that I’ve got into a regular habit of attending, I’ve been lucky enough to bump into two billionaires (as you do), Ajaz Ahmed and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (Stelios, or “the Easyjet bloke” to most). The former was at an event literally just around the corner from me so it seemed rude not to go, but the latter came as a result of my application for the Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year award back in 2010. Despite only coming 6th (I’m not bitter about it… much…) I appear to have remained on their radar and was quite happy to accept an invite to their networking event celebrating the launch of this year’s award. It was also a great excuse for a trip down to London for the day, reconfirmed by the business paying for my travel expenses (win!).
As with my networking in Leeds, I found I was introducing myself not as a web designer (or even a consultant or digital marketing expert) but as an entrepreneur. More often than not I end up talking less about marketing and websites, more about projects like MyCareTracker, my work in social care and Free to Live Leeds. It’s perhaps quite timely, immediately after the London 2012 Paralympics (sporting, cultural and commercial) success, that these sorts of projects seem to be striking a cord with many who feel more comfortable discussing such issues. By developing this niche for myself over the last 6 months, I definitely feel I am in a relatively unique position doing the work I am.
With that I’m somewhat pleased that my webinar idea I pitched to Universities offering a social worker degree course seems to be taking off. The first two webinars with Bradford College (recordings available on my presentation page) have been extremely well received by the students as an innovative and interactive learning method for them, so as I build this programme further with the other Free To Live volunteers I hope that other educational establishments will follow suit quickly.
Development of MyCareTracker has also kicked up a notch in the last month too and I’m pleased that a new public area for the website is now live and kicking for all to see. There’s far more information about the system to read, along with details on how users can become part of the pilot programme over the coming months. By getting their feedback now, we intend to develop a system that meets exact needs rather than using standard modules which “don’t quite work” for anyone. Further developments are already on their way, so make sure you check the MyCareTracker blog or sign up for the newsletter for direct updates.
And with that, back to work I go!