Caroline Marsh

Back from Zambia…

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

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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Happy New Year!

Happy new year to you all – I hope you had a restful and joyful Christmas. I had a very relaxing time at home with the boys (all 4 of them!) and managed to spend some wonderful time with friends.

Already things have got moving this year – I have been asked by ‘4 Children‘, the national children’s charity to give an after-dinner speech at Westminster on 2nd April, which is very exciting, and the Zambian High Commissioner is coming here to Swindon to meet the Zambian community and see how we can all work together to move ourselves and the community forward.

Media-wise, theVINE magazine has featured me in an article in the January issue, and I have some interviews lined up over the next few weeks, plus I’m continuing to be approached by various charities and individuals looking for support and guidance.

I have a very busy couple of weeks coming up, working on my property business and attending lots of meetings, including one encouraging women in franchising, which we’re all hoping may lead to an organisation that the BFA would be happy to support.

I don’t know where all of these opportunities will take me, and what difference I can make, but I am embracing each one, and that is something I wish for all of you:

Embrace the opportunities that come your way each day, and keep smiling – this is a year of possibilities!

God bless,

Caroline

Caroline MarshHappy New Year!
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Motivated and on top of the world!

A couple of weeks ago I went on a 5-day Brian Klemmer advanced leadership training course in Norway, which was intense but really productive – I’d recommend it to anyone. You are given tools that really allow you to see your own potential, the greatness in others, and to be so much more productive in all areas of life. And then, giving me an extra boost of enthusiasm and motivation, I have just spent an afternoon at an exclusive Platinum Partners Group seminar event led by Brian Tracy, where I had the opportunity to speak to him personally. I can’t stress enough the value in putting yourself in front of these world-leaders and listening to what they have to say – you’ll be amazed at the impact it can have on your life.

Last weekend I did an online radio interview for Zambian listeners from all over the world, which apparently 2500 people tuned in for! I was  honoured to be their guest speaker and hope I inspired them with the story of my journey, encouraging the listeners that they too could be successful in business. You can listen to the interview on the website: http://www.mwape.com/braindrain.html

I’ve also just been to Liverpool and met with DCLP. Seeing how they continue to progress blessed my heart, they have just excelled in the work they are doing for the local community and are moving from strength to strength, planning on making themselves sustainable. My business partners, Steve and Nick, have been heavily involved in the organisation of the refurbishment that is due to start this week & we’re all very excited about the difference it will make to the DCLP team and the work they do.

Following the Kilimanjaro climb with GWR kids, we were invited to join in the celebrations to congratulate the guys and girls that took part in the event. I was so inspired by their commitment, and we had a great evening, with Mike helping me showing off my dancing skills!!

This week I’m having an interview with African Vibes magazine – http://africanvibes.com/wordpressnew/ – for their January issue, which will also form part of their first online broadcast, and then in a week’s time, on 4th December, I will be in Birmingham, speaking over 100 women in business. This is the finale of three Birmingham events facilitated by the National Black Women’s Network http://www.nbwn.org/ , devised to inspire and support local women to join the enterprise journey, and help those entrepreneurs already on their path to become more successful. I hope I can inspire everyone there to truly BE more, DO more, HAVE more and GIVE more.

Stay blessed,

Caroline

Caroline MarshMotivated and on top of the world!
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Another busy couple of weeks!

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!

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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One week on…

I can’t believe it’s been a week since the programme went out – I’ve been so busy and am overwhelmed by the number of people who watched the programme that have been in touch.  It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I’ve been an inspiration to them and that I can share some of what I’ve learned over the past few years.

Last wednesday I caught the train back up to Liverpool with Dijuana and had some more interviews with local radio stations.  It was just so good to see the people again, especially after watching the programme – I was reminded why I chose Dijuana and DCLP, and knew they had been the right choices.

While I was there I had the privilege to meet DCLP’s new employee and also some more of the people in the local communities.  They told me the I inspired them to Be More, but in truth, it was just as much the case that they were an inspiration to me and I am so grateful for the way my eyes have been opened to what I can really do to make the most difference in communities like this.

I will continue to support the two projects in Liverpool and am now working alongside local projects in Swindon too.  Our big vision for establishing a women’s home is attracting a network of local people that want to get involved – the Mayor is on board with the idea and we are meeting with him to discuss how we can work together and make the project happen.  It’s all very exciting!

I’m also getting reading for a number of shows & events in October, giving talks at the HMO Summit at Heathrow on the 11th and at the COC Business Achievers Conference in Reading on the 18th, so have a look at the calendar and come along if you can…..

Caroline MarshOne week on…
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Next morning

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

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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