Chester women’s group take networking online

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A Chester women’s networking group hasn’t let the current pandemic halt chat!

The West Cheshire Women’s Network held its September event all online, with its members able to get involved from the safety of their own homes.

Founded in 2013, the networking group is co-hosted by Natwest PLC, Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce and Cheshire West and Chester Council, and meets four times a year with a different guest speaker at every event.  

September’s speaker was photographer and businesses owner Melissa Cross.

Melissa, who runs Ginger Pixie Photography, spoke of her journey from starting out as a press photographer in 2007 working for local news titles in Cheshire and North Wales.

“As the years went by, juggling full time work and motherhood, and after losing four members of my family, I decided there was more to life,” said Melissa.

“I knew it was time for me to try and gain a more home/work life balance.”

It was in 2015 that she left her role as a press photographer and ‘took the plunge’ starting up her own corporate photography business.

“I love what I do, I work with some fantastic clients, every day is different and luckily I get to work the hours that I want to do.”

That was the case up until March this year, when Melissa fell into a ‘dark hole’ when her clients started to cancel bookings and the country was put into lockdown.

“The first week really hit me hard, I became very anxious about the health of my friends and family and also how lockdown would negatively affect my business,” said Melissa.

“I had to do something to put a smile back on my face, and wanted to bring my camera back out too, that was when I began the Life in Lockdown project.”

Melissa’s Life in Lockdown project aimed to create a body of work that would reflect positivity in a ‘now’ negative Britain, brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Her plan was to photograph her neighbours who were willing to take part, at a safe distance, in their gardens and outside in the open air, performing an activity of their choice.

“Thirteen of my neighbours took part in the project, each with their own story to tell, I believe it helped them take their minds off the lockdown, it certainly helped me too!”

Find out more about Melissa’s Life in Lockdown project here.

The next online event will be networking with a Christmas Twist on Thursday, December 10.

The event will begin at 9.30am with a chance for online networking before some Christmas fun (festive attire optional), bringing the morning to a close at 11am.

Spaces are limited so booking is essential.

To book your place click here.