I recently took on a more personal project after finding out about the work of non-for-profit Yorkshire Mentoring. Mentoring and coaching small businesses and start-ups has been part of my work as a digital marketer since I’ve been a freelancer. I was interested in doing some voluntary work to build up my experience but also to be involved in something more impactful and worthwhile.

Yorkshire Mentoring run a number of projects, one of which is ‘Youth in Mind’ a project run across the Bradford district matching mentors with young people with mental health issues.

After some initial training and meeting some fellow mentors, I was paired quite quickly with my young person. We had regular meetings (once a week or fortnight) for six months.

mentoring training

The pairing was a good one… a great one in fact and luckily we hit it off straight away. The sessions involved chatting, planning, brainstorming and discussing coping strategies. We had some serious conversations but we also took trips out and had a lot of fun.

For the young person, the benefit was confidence building, someone different to speak to and hopefully receiving new or alternative inputs and ideas.  For me the benefit was huge… I genuinely enjoyed the experience and learned to slow things down, listen more and how to plan sessions for this kind of mentoring.

To find out more about the work Yorkshire mentoring do visit their website www.yorkshirementoring.org.uk


Back in April 17, we joined local co-working space, Assembly Bradford. A space for freelancers, creatives and professionals founded by four Bradford based entrepreneurs.  We were asked if we’d like to take on the first networking event for the space, our answer was of course yes.

breakfast networking

The aim was to showcase the Assembly space, its freelancers and their offerings, whilst also offering a relaxed environment to network and learn – “Morning Assembly” was born.

Our workshop session, “Digital Mentoring and Knowledge Sharing” covered the importance and benefits of knowledge sharing and mentoring in a digital capacity. 

mentoring event

With an early start, the ping pong table was moved aside and our presentation corner was ready to go for an early 7:45 start! (It is Morning Assembly after all!)

Tea, coffee, juice and a little breakfast soon got bodies woken and mouths chatting for a bit of pre-workshop networking. We had people who knew Assembly well, some who had heard of it and some complete newbies, everyone was welcome and everyone was active throughout the workshop which we loved!  Questions were raised and answers were offered, discussions throughout the group showed how keen the Morning Assembly audience were to share their knowledge, brilliant, just what we’d hoped for!

morning assembly

There was plenty of time following the workshop section of the event for another coffee and a good chat with other attendees, some detail swapping and great discussion around business questions and issues carried on from the workshop before heading on to work filled days.

This was the first of a series of networking events hosted in Assembly Bradford, keep an eye out for future events on Assembly’s Twitter page. With a community of designers, publishers, architects, writers and many other creatives, there’ll be plenty to see, hear and learn.


Everyone Needs Digital Skills

This is very much the sentiment of Google’s Digital Garage project, and always has been, but with the brand new launch of a new look Garage (down the road) in Sheffield there’s even more focus on the ‘everyone.’

Since April 2016 we (Lucy and I) have been involved in Google’s Digital Garage project, starting off as digital mentors on site in Manchester and then in Newcastle. Since then we’ve worked with Google’s Digital Garage delivery partner Chesamel to create content, partnerships and help facilitate the launch and management of successive Garages. I am now excited to be working with the Sheffield team on a regular basis as Campaign Manager.

Last week (28th April) the Digital Garage returned to Yorkshire (following a stint in Leeds in 2015 right at the beginning of the Digital Garage project in the UK) and this time we’re in Sheffield.

The space is a very cool city centre ‘store’ environment where anyone (from a business owner wanting in-depth website advice to an individual wanting to learn how to get online for the first time) can drop in for a free workshop, masterclass or one to one session.

If you’re close to South Yorkshire and feel you could do with a bit of a digital skills boost it’s definitely worth a visit. And if you’re familiar with the Digital Garage you’ll find some new content to keep you right up to date with the fast moving digital world.

Find out more about the Digital Garage project here and how to book into the Sheffield Garage (open until October 2017) here.

*Edit – 2018* Since writing this post Google opened stores in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, each open for 12 months. The project has been continuing to grow in what it offers and we are pleased to continue our involvement.


It’s no secret we love a good coffee, so when it comes to business meetings we like to make the most of our beautiful Yorkshire surroundings and heritage. If you’re travelling to West Yorkshire for work or play, or you need an impressive spot to meet a client, check out our favourites and let us know what you think!


Salts Mill

Top of the list because I love this place, for so many reasons. The village of Saltaire is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the neat, uniformed, Yorkshire stone terraces, once home to the mill workers, all lead to the imposing but perfectly formed former workhouse that is Salts Mill. Now home of David Hockney’s collections, arty boutiques and outdoorsy shops the mill also has three very appealing dining options. Now, just to note, Saltaire itself is worth a visit for the vintage haunts, independent designer craft shops, coffee spots and stunning park, but as you gather I could talk about this place all day. So, for a business meeting I’d recommend Café Into The Opera. Salts Diner is the main restaurant and is fun, colourful and genuinely tasty (pizzas recommended) but noisy due to the open plan layout right in the centre of the mill. Climb a little further and you’ll find the slightly more formal Café Into the Opera, for a nice coffee and light bites, all under one of Hockney’s impressive, original murals.

corn exchange leeds

The Corn Exchange

So inevitably your business meetings in West Yorkshire may take you to Leeds – and there are many a gourmet coffee spot in the city, but if we’re taking heritage beauty, the Corn Exchange should be your stop. Central and close to the train station, this stand-out building is a great meeting place. I’d recommend heading to the Humpit. Vegan and veggies are well and truly caterer for here, as are the health conscious. But this place is trendy with a street-food vibe and is placed in probably my favourite building in the city – just look up.

bradford cathedral

Bradford Cathedral

I remember discovering Bradford Cathedral by mistake, while wandering on a lunch break back when I was working a contract in the city. Surrounded by a mixture of tall mill buildings and new developments it adds to the absolute diversity of the city’s buildings and culture, but is like a peaceful haven in the city centre as you wander into the pretty grounds. Right next to the cathedral in the modern Kala Sangam Arts centre you’ll find FoodWorks. Foodworks is a social enterprise providing training for people with learning disabilities and the lunch menu is a delicious with a distinct Yorkshire theme.

skipton train station

Skipton Filmore and Union

Skipton is a pretty, bustling market town and at the head of the market-lined main street sits Skipton Castle. Walk along from the train station towards the castle and you’ll hit Filmore and Union on the cobbled high street.  Fast becoming a Yorkshire foodie favourite, with new branches opening all over the region – this is a daytime spot for those who know good food, with an emphasis on healthy, clean eating.

salts mill

Ilkley Friends of Ham

Friends of Ham is also becoming a popular Yorkshire meeting place. The original Leeds restaurant recently expanded, and an Ilkley branch popped up last year. Safe to say, they won’t stop at two. Fantastic for meetings as you can order a mezze-style lot of dishes to pick on as you go. It’s a little quirky and great quality. The Ilkley venue looks small but there’s plenty of nooks and crannies and even an outdoor space at the back. Ilkley is an impressive, lifestyle town, a mini Harrogate if you like – you’ll find boutiques and gourmet eateries, even a Betty’s.