All posts tagged: swindon

Create Your World of Possibilities!

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It’s been a while since my last update, for no other reason than I’ve just been so busy! The summer has come and (almost) gone, with not much time for holiday, but I’m still thoroughly enjoying everything I’m doing.

I’m spending more time now giving talks to groups of young people, helping them see what the possibilities are for them out there and hopefully inspiring and encouraging them to fulfil their potential. One of the messages I’m trying to get across to them is there’s nothing to lose by trying something, and you’ll find that if you just ask people for help and advice, most of them will say yes. I’ve met some very smart, bright and positive youngsters who have just never been shown that there are opportunities for them to take their ideas and passions forward and make a difference to their own lives, while positively affecting those around them.

Things have moved forward with the 4 Children charity and I’m now part of the Family Commission, a campaign chaired by Esther Rantzen, which will run for 18 months, focusing on the real needs of families in the community. I’ve also been travelling around the country with the ‘Make Your Mark’ team, helping judge the Enterprising Britain competition, to find the most enterprising place in the UK. The regional winners will all be at the awards ceremony in London in October, where I’ll be part of the final judging panel. I’m also hoping to work with Vodafone, helping promote their ‘World of Difference’ campaign, which encourages and supports young people in volunteering for various charities. And I’ve recently become an Ambassador for Have A Heart (formerly GWR Kids) in Wiltshire, and will be working for the next few months to encourage local businesses to partner with the charity. I’m sure there will be a good response – I’m already working with Zurich and other organisations in Swindon to promote working with their local communities, and the response has been really positive. It’s good to see that, even in times of recession, so many businesses out there are still keen to operate with a principle of giving back.

On a personal level, I’ve started my own coaching business and so far have helped 3 friends start up their own businesses, using their unique talents and gifts. I am now running sessions in Swindon for small groups and putting together coaching materials, based on my own experiences.

I can’t believe how things have changed for me in the last year and how many wonderful people I’ve been lucky enough to meet, all around the UK. I don’t think we realise how much untapped potential and how many good ideas and good people there are in Britain. It makes me very hopeful for the future.

Finally, please don’t forget that it’s Peace Day on Monday September 21st. If you haven’t already come across the amazing Peace One Day cause, here is an introduction, and I would urge you to visit the website, which has all sorts of educational resources you can download to spread the word and awareness of this global day of peace.

In 1999, filmmaker Jeremy Gilley dreamed that one day all the countries of the world would unite in recognising a specific day in the year as a day of ceasefire and non-violence. In 2002, the 21st September was officially ratified by the U.N. as International Peace Day and adopted by its 192 member states.

Jeremy’s latest film, ‘The Day After Peace’ has been screened in over 90 countries, and the 2008 Peace One Day concert, held at the Albert Hall, has been seen by an estimated 250 million people. The next major objective is to introduce 3 billion people to Peace Day by 2012.

You can help Jeremy achieve his goal simply by making everyone you know aware that the day exists and marking it every year, in even such a small way as lighting a candle.

www.peaceoneday.org

God Bless,

Caroline

Caroline MarshCreate Your World of Possibilities!
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Back from Zambia…

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I’ve just got back from a trip to Zambia and can’t believe how cold it is here!!

Just before I went, I helped launch the Make Your Mark With A Tenner Campaign in Swindon, which was really good fun.  Both LTV and BBC local stations covered the launch – you can watch the footage by clicking on the logos below – as well as most of the local papers.  It was absolutely wonderful to be involved and to see so many young people with some really creative, great ideas!  I can’t wait to find out how they’re getting on.

ITV Local

BBC News

As a result of that day, I’ve also now been asked to take part as a judge in ‘Make Your Mark’s flagship competition called The Enterprising Young Brit Awards, which was launched by Alistair Darling during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Anyone aged 13-30 can enter, with finalists pitching their ideas in a sort of ‘X-Factor’ style, and it takes place on the 24th March in London.

And it’s back to television on the 5th March, when I’m going to be a guest on Ben TV’s ‘Bright Talk’ show (Sky184). Viewers can ring in to discuss topical issues live on air – I’m really looking forward to that!

I’ve also got more speaking engagements being confirmed all the time, so keep checking my events calendar and hope to see some of you at one of them!

God bless,

Caroline

Caroline MarshBack from Zambia…
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A very busy year

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It’s shaping up to be a very busy year already! Here are a few updates on some of the projects I’m involved with, all of which have come about as a result of the Secret Millionaire programme. I never believed this many opportunities would come up, and am so excited about how I am able to help in all these small ways. My hope is that I am able to inspire the wonderful people who have had the passion to set up charities, foundations and businesses aimed at helping others have a better life, and help them achieve and exceed their goals.

The Zambian High Commissioner came to Swindon recently and met some of the organisations that are raising money to provide support in Zambia. He’s now looking at ways in which the High Commission might be able to help these charities with tax efficiency etc. and facilitate their efforts.

The national charity 4 Children focused primarily on helping teenagers in 2008 and is going to be concentrating on families this year. The annual conference is on the 2nd & 3rd April, at Westminster and I’ve been invited to join their panel, which pitches to government and business representatives in order to secure funding. I’ve never done anything like that before and am so thrilled to have been asked! The charity have also asked if I will be involved in some of the media publicity surrounding the event – of course, I’d be delighted!

Make Your Mark with a Tenner is an incentive to encourage schoolchildren to become entrepreneurs and introduce them to business and making money. They’re loaned £10 for a month and have to find a way to make as much profit and social impact as possible from it in that time. Tomorrow I’m visiting a school in Swindon, along with a representative from the campaign, to help launch its first round of publicity in the area.

GWR Kids did such a great job raising money for children in Wiltshire last year, and I’m going along to a meeting they’re having in London on 27th February to help decide where the money they raised from their last few events can best be used.

In December I spoke at the National Black Womens’ Network Business event in Birmingham and was amazed to find just how great the need is for mentors and inspirational role models for black women – more than 50 women wanted me to be their mentor! I’m going to be keeping in touch with the organisation and try to help them move forward in certain areas.

The Book Bus foundation is a very small UK-based charity that takes a bus filled with books round schools, orphanages and small communities in Zambia, providing a mobile library service and distributing books where they’re most needed. The bus is amazing – it’s been decorated by Quentin Blake, who did all the illustrations for Roald Dahl’s books – and it’s staffed entirely by volunteers. Waterstones have recently said they will donate books to the charity, which is fantastic, and Jo, who runs the UK operation for the Book Bus has organised an event in April, that she’s asked me to speak at. I think this is a wonderful charity, and will certainly be getting involved in their plans to set up links between primary schools here and in Zambia.

And finally, some news from Toxteth, where things are progressing nicely: one of PPP’s associate mentors, who is a great friend of mine, has been up this month to give Dijuana some personal and business mentoring. And DCLP has now had their roof fixed and started the refurbishment of their premises, which I’m really pleased I was able to help them get underway with.

Photographs from various events I’ve been to over the past few months will be uploaded soon…

In these tough times, believe in yourself, stay positive and always greet people with a smile – remember, you attract what you give out.

God bless,

Caroline

Caroline MarshA very busy year
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Another busy couple of weeks!

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Following my last meeting with the Mayor, he introduced me to a group of African women in Swindon who are focused on making a difference in the community and I have now volunteered to help them. I didn’t mention anything about the Secret Millionaire, so they only found out last Tuesday, when we all accepted an invitation from Anne Snelgrove, the MP for South Swindon, to meet her at the House of Commons – they were very surprised! We had the privilege of touring the House and getting VIP seats to listen in on some of the debates – it was such an honour to be there – and we spent about 45 minutes talking about how we are going to work together. I am just so excited that the Mayor and our MP both want to help us move forward with helping the disadvantaged in Swindon, and we are meeting with them both again in a couple of weeks to talk seriously about what we can all focus on together, and what action we are going to take in the coming months.

On the 18th October I was invited to speak at the Christian Outreach Centre Business Achievers Conference in Berkshire, which was a wonderful experience, not least because it was at this event in 2006 that I first came across Steve Bolton and started my own journey to financial freedom. It was great to be inspired by the other speakers and have the opportunity to also inspire people in return by sharing my own story and highlighting the untapped potential that exists within all of us.

I am now also working alongside a charity called GWR Kids, and from 24th October to 2nd November 19 selfless people are giving their time and effort to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, hoping to raise funds for disadvantaged children in Wiltshire. I admire them so much and wholeheartedly support them, and it was a privilege to send them off with love and a hearty pat on the back last Friday! You can check them out and see how they are doing by going to the website which will have an update on their journey – http://www.wiltshiresgwrfm.co.uk/sectional.asp?id=16176 – and they have a justgiving page if you would like to sponsor their expedition and help the charity.

Life is getting very, very busy, and I am amazed by the number of people still writing to me with suggestions about how we can work together – I’m just sorry I can’t help everyone who approaches me.

I have just added Brian Klemmer’s ‘the Compassionate Samurai‘ to my list of recommended reading. Brian teaches people how they can make anything happen and absolutely retain their integrity by operating with an abundance mentality. That belief and principle – that by doing something wholeheartedly and having the strength and courage to persevere, you can achieve a win-win outcome – is probably the greatest principle you can master. I’ve by no means mastered it myself yet, but I’m getting there!

God bless,

Caroline

Caroline MarshAnother busy couple of weeks!
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Still overwhelmed!

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I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by!

I’m still overwhelmed by the response I’m getting and the number of unsung heroes that are doing great works all over the world. I have even had emails from America – people who have read articles on the internet – how amazing that the programme has touched that many.

The past few weeks have been so busy, trying to run my business and keep up with the media and various organisations and community projects, including the Liverpool projects, which I have to say have made such progress.  Dijuana has now planned another big event for half term and is also raising funds for a pamper weekend to thank the older generation that have been there for them in the local community.  As part of the gift to her I specifically asked her to have a girly weekend, as she deserved it, and she has come back and told me how much she enjoyed herself.  It was something she had never experienced before, and so she wanted to do the same for her role models, most of them aged 55 and above (How good is that?!).

DCLP have now employed a member of staff to help run the office and also free up some time for people like June who can now spare some time to go on holiday and not worry about the running of the projects while she is away.  They may have been able to cope without her for a week or two, but this means it’s one less thing for her to worry about.

Yesterday the Mayor of Swindon invited my family and I to his home for tea, for which we felt honoured as a family – he has been so supportive since we met him formally at our Secret Millionaire screening evening.  The kids were so excited – and so was I!  It is wonderful to know that he is behind the vision we shared with him a few weeks ago about wanting to make a difference in our local communities.

He has put me in touch with a lady in Swindon who is working in the local community with young mothers and teenagers.  They need someone who can spare the time to talk with them, and who they can open up to, and while I’m not sure I’m the right person to do that right now, having teenage children and a young baby myself,  I am certainly going to help organise her events and make contacts.  I am excited about working alongside her as she was so passionate, but what makes it all the more amazing is that she doesn’t even know I was on the Secret Millionaire programme – she just thinks I’m someone who wants to help…..which of course I am.

I have also partnered with 2 other voluntary organisations working in Zambia – The Book Bus and Street Child Africa – giving them more business support and seeing how I can help them best.

Last week I also met with the Zambian High Commissioner, who had called to see if we could meet to discuss how we could work together, both in the UK and Zambia.  We are now sharing details and making plans for when I visit Zambia in December and it’s all looking really good.  I have always believed that Together We Can make a Huge Difference, and now it’s really coming true, in a far bigger way than I could ever have imagined.

Caroline MarshStill overwhelmed!
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Next morning

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Oh my goodness, what an evening!!  Better than I could have ever expected.  Everyone was laughing and crying  – mainly laughing at me trying to steer that awful buggy round the shops! – and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to share the evening with.

My pastor from my church came, Dijuana came down from Liverpool with her father and her sister, there were so many friends and other franchise partners…it was all such a whirl and I enjoyed every minute.

The mayor and Steve Bolton both gave speeches and Dijuana and I did a quick Q&A after the programme… I think I’m getting quite expert at answering questions now!  I’ve done absolutely loads of radio and newspaper interviews for Swindon and Liverpool and had another 3 come to interview me at the hotel just before the event started, plus there was a photographer from swindonweb taking pictures all evening.  I never expected there to be so much interest –  I got on the train at lunchtime to travel back to Liverpool with Dijuana and within an hour I had 3 phone calls to book in more interviews.

It’s all so exciting, and I just really hope all the listeners and readers out there are inspired to look around their neighbourhoods, look at what’s on their own doorstep, and think how they might be able to make a difference to someone else’s life.

Caroline MarshNext morning
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Secret Millionaire

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I am so excited about the programme tonight!

I have not seen it myself and really hope it will send the right message to the viewers, and that people will be inspired to make a difference by helping in their own local communities.

We’ve hired the Hilton Hotel in Swindon and invited about 100 people to watch it all together live on a big screen.  There are going to be local businesses coming, charity groups, friends, and we’re so excited that the Mayor of Swindon will also be joining us!

I do so hope that all these people will be inspired. Together we can make Huge difference…

Caroline MarshSecret Millionaire
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