'The conversation starts outside' by Andrew Metcalfe

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

So where did this idea come from? I’ve been wanting to set up a networking group for a while. Quite a while actually. But I could never find the right angle. I’ve done my fair share of networking over the years, so I knew what I didn’t want it to be. I’m a keen runner, but haven’t always been. Seven or so years ago, I was unfit. I took up running to run a marathon to raise money for a charity. I lost a load of weight, and before I could say ‘I’m never running a marathon again’, I’d done several of them, plus a couple of ultramarathons.

But what I get from running is the being outdoors. Taking in the world. And in so doing, I become mindful, I get clarity on problems, issues, creative inspiration. And when I get back from being outdoors, I feel a better person.

It was while walking home from a run last November, cooling off on the local high street, that I received a text. ‘Shorts? In this weather?’ Matt was sat in a coffee shop and had seen me walking past. Never one to turn down a coffee, I popped in for a quick chat. Which turned into a two hour conversation. Kids, work, running, birthdays, problems… we had the conversation that we’d always had, generally over a beer until Matt stopped drinking! But then our conversation took a turn. We started talking about health, about wellbeing. About how it’s amazing to be outdoors, whatever the weather. Taking in the scenery and how it enlivens us. Wouldn’t it be great if we could combine this with meeting new people, getting together and collectively sharing our goals, issues, solutions. Bingo! A networking group. Where the conversation starts outside. And continues. Collectively, diversely, finding solutions to our problems. Running? No… but walking? Oh yes!

And that’s where this all started. On the back of a coffee shop napkin. A networking group that combines business with health, wellbeing, mindfulness, cognitive diversity, philanthropy, creativity, the supporting and promotion of local business… we all think differently and we all have our own skills. And we want to encourage that, to help others find solutions, to allow others find solutions for you.

And this is just the beginning. The beginning of something much much bigger. Looking forward to seeing you all on this journey.

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