This Is The Place

Due to the terrible and sad events in Manchester yesterday I wasn’t sure what to write in my blog today, everything seemed so trivial. My heart goes out to everyone affected. The vibe in the city was one of sadness, but also of coming together & supporting each other.

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I went to the vigil last night which was beautiful and so lovely to see everyone standing together, also saw Tony Walsh (@LongfellaPoet) read his poem which I think sums it up:

This Is The Place
by Tony Walsh

This is the place

In the north-west of England. It’s ace, it’s the best

And the songs that we sing from the stands, from our bands

Set the whole planet shaking.

Our inventions are legends. There’s nowt we can’t make, and so we make brilliant music

We make brilliant bands

We make goals that make souls leap from seats in the stands

And we make things from steel

And we make things from cotton

And we make people laugh, take the mick sommat rotten

And we make you at home

And we make you feel welcome and we make summat happen

And we can’t seem to help it

And if you’re looking from history, then yeah we’ve a wealth

But the Manchester way is to make it yourself.

And make us a record, a new number one

And make us a brew while you’re up, love, go on

And make us feel proud that you’re winning the league

And make us sing louder and make us believe that this is the place that has helped shape the world

And this is the place where a Manchester girl named Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side led a suffragette city with sisterhood pride

And this is the place with appliance of science, we’re on it, atomic, we struck with defiance, and in the face of a challenge, we always stand tall, Mancunians, in union, delievered it all

Such as housing and libraries and health, education and unions and co-ops and first railway stations

So we’re sorry, bear with us, we invented commuters. But we hope you forgive us, we invented computers.

And this is the place Henry Rice strolled with rolls, and we’ve rocked and we’ve rolled with our own northern soul

And so this is the place to do business then dance, where go-getters and goal-setters know they’ve a chance

And this is the place where we first played as kids. And me mum, lived and died here, she loved it, she did.

And this is the place where our folks came to work, where they struggled in puddles, they hurt in the dirt and they built us a city, they built us these towns and they coughed on the cobbles to the deafening sound to the steaming machines and the screaming of slaves, they were scheming for greatness, they dreamed to their graves.

And they left us a spirit. They left us a vibe. The Mancunian way to survive and to thrive and to work and to build, to connect, and create and greater ― Manchester’s greatness is keeping it great.

And so this is the place now with kids of our own. Some are born here, some drawn here, but all call it home.

And they’ve covered the cobbles, but they’ll never defeat, all the dreamers and schemers who still teem through these streets.

Because this is a place that has been through some hard times: oppressions, recessions, depressions, and dark times.

But we keep fighting back with greater Manchester spirit. Northern grit, northern wit, and greater Manchester’s lyrics.

And these hard times again, in these streets of our city, but we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity.

Because this is a place where we stand strong together, with a smile on our face, greater Manchester forever.

And we’ve got this place where a team with a dream can get funding and something to help with a scheme.

Because this is a place that understands your grand plans. We don’t do “no can do” we just stress “yes we can”

Forever Manchester’s a charity for people round here, you can fundraise, donate, you can be a volunteer. You can live local, give local, we can honestly say, we do charity different, that Mancunian way.

And we fund local kids, and we fund local teams. We support local dreamers to work for their dreams. We support local groups and the great work they do. So can you help us. help local people like you?

Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes, because this is the place that’s a part of our bones.

Because greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact that this is the place, we should give something back.

Always remember, never forget, forever Manchester.

G x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Gemma!

Recently I have been thinking about how short and precious life is and how we should spend it being happy and doing the things we love. So, I am putting it out there for all to see Project Gemma has begun!

I have decided to focus on me! Which means focussing on the things I enjoy doing that make me happy. Also, focussing on being healthy (in both mind and body), looking after myself, writing a list of life goals and the small steps I can take to reach them.

I recently saw a TED Talk by Sarah Knight, the author of The Magic of Not Giving a F***, very amusing and also very true (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwRzjFQa_Og). We’re always doing things we don’t want to because we are so bothered about what others think. Why? Why should we? I do think there must be a balance of you being happy and not upsetting people purposely just because you don’t want to do something! So, this part of the Gemma Project is a work in progress to find that right balance.

In terms of my health I am making a promise to myself that I will stop eating food that is bad for me, less caffeine, more water, more fruit and veg and generally eating well. I am not going to stop enjoying food and will be indulging in a nice meal out now and then but generally I don’t want to be putting rubbish into my body.

One thing I find difficult is exercise I HATE the gym! There I said it. Also, it can be so expensive when you can work out for free especially now it’s the summer. I am going to aim to do three runs a week, with some strength training. I have downloaded the 7 Minute Workout App, which I am going to do each day as well as my lovely shake weight. We’ll see how this goes!

In terms of my passions and things I enjoy, this blog is one of them it’s made me realise how much I enjoy writing, so I might start that book I have been promising myself I am going to write. I love spending time with my family and friends, spending time outdoors, reading, visiting new places, meeting new people and attending events. These are my passions that I am going to spend my time doing.

As I said at the beginning of this blog life is so short and I want to be able to look back on my life and say (in the words of Frank Sinatra) “I did it my way”.

G x

Confidence, I Believe in Me!

“I can’t do that”
“That will never happen”
“I can’t change my career”
“I’m too old”

I know that I have definitely been guilty of these thoughts, putting myself down and not having the confidence to do something. People do look at me having the jobs I have had and the fact I moved to two cities not knowing anyone as a confident person but I don’t feel that way a lot of the time.

So, this week I decided to attend the ThoughtWorks Women: Confidence – Clarity – Connection event, the speaker at the event was Amanda Brown from the Leading Ladies Company (@Make_LifeHappen). I was a little apprehensive as it did say it was an interactive event, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, however it turned out to be one of the most fun events I’ve been to and afterwards I felt a lot more confident about following my dreams! I’d definitely recommend checking out one of Amanda’s free taster sessions.

Confidence and following your passions seems to have been a bit of a theme this week. When I got to my parents this week I picked up my Mum’s Women & Home Magazine which had a number of articles around these subjects (think the universe is trying to tell me something). So here’s a list of things things I have learnt:

1. Each day before you go to bed, or on your commute home think of the things you achieved today that you are proud of. This can be something small like “I am proud that I made my lunch today instead of buying it”, or something huge that you achieved!
2. Think of the things you’d love to achieve no matter how out there they are and write them down. Then think of the small steps that you could do to achieve this. For example if you want to buy a house, small steps could be to look on the internet at the types of houses you’d like, look at the areas you’d like to live in and maybe visit them. Each small step is one step closer to your dream.
3. Talk about your dreams to people, when you say it out loud it makes it feel more real.
4. Step out of your comfort zone each day, again this can be something small.
5. Everything is possible, nothing it too out there or crazy if it’s your dream.
6. When you wake in the morning don’t allow bad thoughts, think good thoughts think about how awesome you are, the good things you have done the day before etc. You’re amazing!
7. Take time for yourself whether this is a pamper day, a weekend away, an hour reading a good book, take time to do the things you enjoy!

I think building my confidence is definitely a work in progress but even after a week I feel a lot more empowered and energised to work towards my dreams and to enjoy living life.

G x

It’s raining men…..or is it?

So being a single girl in her 30’s is an experience to say the least, with most people asking, “when are you going to settle down”, “are you dating anyone”, “when are you going to have kids”. I remember one friend who has been in a long-term relationship saying to me “surely it can’t be that hard to find a boyfriend” (bearing in mind she met her partner the old-fashioned way many moons ago).

There’s so much pressure on women in their 30’s to meet someone and have a family, I went through most of my life (from age 17 to 27) in long term relationships, some good, some not so good. Since then I have been on a number of dates over the years and really, I could write a book about the bizarre and some downright cruel experiences I have had.

However, I try not to dwell on the past and live for the here and now. I am more focussed on enjoying my life and being happy with myself than hunting for men! Of course it would be nice to meet my partner in crime and “settle down” I am sure it’ll happen when it’s meant to (I am a big believer of everything happens for a reason).

I have tried your obligatory dating apps, Tinder, Bumble, Happn, POF, however it’s definitely a numbers game, and can be quite disheartening when you receive yet another strange, or creepy message. Also I think it’s hard to judge someone on a picture.

So, as my Mum says I need to get myself out and about. Here are some suggestions I have had for places to meet guys, what do you think? Did you meet your man in any of these places?

1. The gym. Now this one isn’t my favourite of the bunch, reason being I HATE the gym! Also, I’m not sure it’s the best way to meet men when I am sweating and red faced from running on the treadmill.

2. Clubs. As in the running club kind, not the raving kind (my raving days are most certainly over). I love to run so I am thinking of giving this one a go if only for the health benefits.

3. The supermarket. Once and only once have I been given a guys number in a supermarket when I lived in London. Needless to say, it didn’t go any further than him handing me his number and suggesting what rum I should buy!

4. Networking events. This one I am not so sure about, I think I’ll stick to the networking events for work rather than for meeting men. Although saying that my friend did meet her fiancé at a networking event.

5. Driving range. This one is quite promising and I might give it a go. Hitting the ball will be a good stress reliever and if I can meet a nice guy whilst doing it, bonus!

6. Dog parks. Any friends fancy lending me their dogs?

There are a number of ways to meet new people, but I think if it’s going to happen it will happen and isn’t something that can be forced. As they say “It’s better to be single than in the wrong relationship”.

Happy dating!

Gem x

Prolific North Awards 2017

So as many of you will know if you follow my blog I am very passionate about the digital industry. This week saw the North’s digital world come out in droves to see who the winners were of the prestigious Prolific North Awards 2017!

It’s amazing to see the North’s digital scene being recognised for it’s talent and contribution to the digital space. A massive well done to all that where shortlisted and a HUGE well done to all the winners!

So here they are, the Prolific North Awards 2017 winners and nominees:

Animation / Graphics Company
Winner: Flipbook Studio

Also nominated:

  • Bearded Fellows
  • Digital Imaging fx
  • dock10
  • Flow Creative
  • Process Moving Image

Small Digital Agency (Up to 25 Employees)
Winner: Marketing Signals

Also nominated:

  • Corporation Pop
  • Digitaloft
  • Fluid Digital
  • Mashbo
  • Modern English Digital
  • O.EYE
  • Reckless

Large Digital Agency (25+ Employees)
Winner: CDS

Also nominated:

  • Building Blocks (part of Dept)
  • Click Consult
  • Clicky Media
  • hedgehog lab
  • Latitude Digital Marketing
  • Twentysix
  • WMG

Independent Production Company
Winner: True North

Highly Commended: Audio Always

Also nominated:

  • Blakeway North
  • Endemol Shine North
  • LA Productions
  • Nine Lives Media
  • Veracity Digital
  • WhiteNoise Media

Small Integrated Agency (Up to 29 Employees)
Winner: We Are Boutique

Also nominated:

  • Absolute
  • BDB
  • Fantastic Media
  • Hitch Marketing
  • ICG
  • The if agency
  • ZEAL Creative

Large Integrated Agency (30+ Employees)
Winner: Jaywing

Also nominated:

  • BJL
  • e3creative
  • Intermarketing Agency
  • One
  • Stein IAS
  • Workhouse Creative Marketing
  • WRG

Media Agency
Winner: AKA North

Also nominated:

  • MEC Manchester
  • O.EYE
  • Media Sales

Media Sales
Winner: Channel 4 – Nations & Regions

Highly Commended: More Media Sales

Also nominated:

  • Guardian News & Media
  • Immediate Media Co.
  • Time Inc

Small PR Agency of the Year (Up to 20 Employees)
Winner: Roland Dransfield

Also nominated:

  • Acceleris
  • Avant PR
  • Harris
  • KC Communications (Marketing)
  • SkyParlour
  • Smoking Gun PR
  • Viva

B&S logo 2016Large PR Agency of the Year (21+ employees)
Winner: Brazen

Also nominated:

  • Weber Shandwick Manchester
  • Havas PR UK
  • PR Agency One

SEO & PPC Agency
Winner: MEC Manchester

Also nominated:

  • Branded3
  • Bring Digital
  • Click Consult
  • Latitude Digital Marketing
  • Marketing Signals
  • Return
  • The SEO Works

Content Team
Winner: MEC WAVEMAKER

Also nominated:

  • Digitaloft
  • Flipbook Studio
  • Hattrick
  • Lime Pictures
  • Reckless
  • Search Quest Europe
  • The Content Market

Broadcasting Programme – News & Factual
Winner: True North – Breaking the Silence

Also nominated:

  • Audio Always for BBC Radio 4 – The Best Exotic Etiquette Academy
  • Blakeway North – Panorama – Revealed Britains Mental Health Crisis
  • Endemol Shine North – Idris Elba Fighter
  • Lizardfish TV & BBC Learning – Early Civilisations BBC Teach for 7-11 year olds
  • Made in Leeds – On The Aire – When Local Went Live
  • Nine Lives Media & CBBC – Ground-breaking documnetary to help breakdown the stigma of mental illness
  • True North – First Day at Big School

Broadcasting Programme – Entertainment
Winner: True North & Channel 4 – The Lie Detective

Also nominated:

  • Blakeway North – 1966 – A Nation Remembers
  • Blakeway North – Julian Clary’s Greatest Ever Christmas Ads
  • Lime Pictures Digital Team – Hollyoaks Live from Facebook HQ #HollyoaksNoExit
  • Made in Tyne and Wear – Made with Pride
  • True North Productions – Teen Mom UK – MTV
  • True North Productions for Channel Four – A New Life In The Sun
  • True North Productions for More 4 – Homes By The Med

Broadcasting Commercial – sponsored by Group IMD
Winner: PHD & BMB – Rubicon Spring – grabbing the water market by the mangoes

Also nominated:

  • Equinox Film and TV Productions – Oak Furniture Land
  • On The Eighth & Transport for Greater Manchester – Radio Awareness Campaign
    Uber Agency

Website of the Year
Winner: Amaze & Childline – Putting children at the heart of digital transformation

Also nominated:

  • Code Computerlove & MediaCom North – Hillarys.co.uk
  • Diva Creative & Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust – Move it Boom! Rio
  • Formica Group & Kagool
  • Liquid Creative Agency – Southport Flower Show Website Design
  • Phoenix Digital & Argos Customer Support Website
  • Reckless & Bateaux London – Setting Sail In The Right Digital Direction
  • twentysix – New Era EMEA E-commerce website

App of the Year
Winner: Silverchip & Bolster Systems – Bolster App

Also nominated:

  • Apposing – Liverpool ONE Tree Fairies AR App
  • Bolser Digital Agency & KFC – KFC Colonels Club App
  • Code Computerloves – The Higher Lower Game
  • Forepoint – Deals App produced for Moto Hospitality
  • TransPennine Express & The App Builder – The Loop
  • Uber Agency – Sheffield Doc/Fest App

Video of the Year
Winner: Manchester United Foundation – United and Samuel – UnitedandMe

Also nominated:

  • Anattic, Shortcuts Software & Jam PR – Barber Better Faster Stronger
  • Bearded Fellows & Global Support Services – Career and Companionship Campaign
  • Intermarketing Agency & PhD Nutrition – Brand Video ‘The Difference’
  • Lizardfish TV & BBC Learning -Early Civilisations – How to Look Great Maya
  • Stein IAS – Cliche Killer Videos
  • TransPennine Express & Studio North – Platform Providers
  • Welton Media – Craig’s Story – His fight against pancreatic cancer

B2B Marketing / Integrated Communications Campaign
Winner: 3ManFactory & Innova Solutions – When You Dont Have Mark Felix

Also nominated:

  • BJL & BASF – Evidence sells Internally and to customers
  • Cameron Wells Communications & PMI Health Group – Superfoods Integrated FTSE 250 Campaign
  • Delineo & Aldermore Bank – Lazy Money
  • Don’t be Shy – ClassFlow – Bringing Learning to Life
  • Fox Agency & Pagid – Taking the niche to the masses
  • Outwrite PR & Jackson Fire & Security – securing a hot reputation
  • Upp B2B & Brian Alfred – Nice one Brian! (Early Tax Rebate)

B2C Marketing / Integrated Communications Campaign (Less than £50k)
Winner: Prohibition & Interflora – How good is your birthday?

Also nominated:

  • Great Western Railway & MEC Manchester – #TracksOnTheTrack
  • K2L Marketing & GMPCC – #SittingRightWithYou- Domestic Abuse campaign
  • Liverpool ONE – Tickle on tour as part of the Tickle the Ivories festival at Liverpool ONE 2016
  • Markettiers, Playtime PR & BBC Worldwide – Getting the nation hugging for Cbeebies Hey Duggee
  • Pace Communications & KCOM – KCOM mobile acquisition campaign
  • Strawberry & Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust – Remarkable People. Extraordinary Place.
  • Weber Shandwick Manchester & Aldi – Kevin The Carrot

B2C Marketing / Integrated Communications Campaign (Over £50k)
Winner: BJL & Sherwin Williams – #RonsealAdBreak

Also nominated:

  • BBC Learning – The Mind Set campaign
  • Channel 4 Nations & Regions – MediaCom Hijacks C4 Comedy Gala
  • Everton Football Club – 2016/17 Season Ticket Campaign – Nothing Will Be The Same
  • gyro Manchester – University of Salford Undergraduate Recruitment Campaign 2016/17
  • Manchester Airport – Hainan Airlines takes off in the UK
  • MC2 – See Things Differently
  • More Media Sales, AdMaxim, DAN Network – Pizza Hut; Taste Freedom Christmas Campaign

Digital / Social Media Campaign of the Year
Winner: Modern English & Foo Fighters – Foo Fighters Glastonbury Announcement Campaign
Highly Commended: Rule 5 for British Cycling – Half Way to a Billion – Taking Track Cycling to the World

Also nominated:

  • CreativeRace & Ritter Sport UK – Creating Social Magic for Ritter Sport Unicorn
  • Havas Media Manchester – BBC Eastenders #EELastOrders
  • I-COM & JMW – Website search visibility and conversion campaign
  • Prohibition & Interflora – How good is your birthday?
  • Social Chain X hungryhouse – #LoveTakeawayActually
  • University of Salford, Tunafish Media and Petal & Co – A Match Mad

 

Where’s your head at?

MHAWSo this week is Mental Health Awareness Week. This is a topic quite close to my heart.

Mental health is a subject that has been getting a lot more press recently, as you know from reading my blog I recruit into and am passionate about the digital media industry, I recently saw an article about Tunafish Media’s MD Sam Jones talking about his battle with anxiety attacks (http://bit.ly/2prqDyC) it was a lovely piece and it’s very brave of him to speak out.  A number of celebrities have also been speaking out about their battles with Mental Health, your life might look perfect to others, but nobody really knows what is going on inside your head.

I am so lucky that I have people around me who I can talk to, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have my “Positive Polly’s” group on WhatsApp, my wonderful friends and fantastically supportive family. But there are a lot of people who feel ashamed to talk about how they feel, or don’t have that support network to reach out to. Anyone who suffers from anxiety, panic attacks or depression will know how difficult it is sometimes to see through that fog or think rationally about a situation, BUT there are people out there who can help.

There are a number of different places you can reach out to or get advice from such as Mind (www.mind.org.uk) and ReThink (www.rethink.org), or the NHS website which has a number of different resources.

Don’t suffer in silence!

Gem x

Happy list

So life can get pretty overwhelming sometimes, a couple of my friends and I have a WhatsApp group where we build each other up, have our moans and give each other support (we call in the Positive Polly’s). During one of these chats my lovely friend Anna sent me a “list of lists”, it was something to do when you’re feeling down or anxious to bring you out of that slump.

One of them was a list of things that make you happy, I thought I’d share mine as it’s something that helps me when I’m feeling a bit blue and I’ll try to do the things on the list, or just reading it helps to remember all the positives in life.

1. Spending time with my family. I am MEGA close to my family and I love going out to the countryside to spend quality time with them. My family are my best friends I am very lucky to have them.

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2. Spending time with my friends. Due to having lived in Cleethorpes, London and Manchester I have built up an amazing network of friends around the country. Many a fun time has been had over the years & many more to come I’m sure.

3. A bubble bath. One of my favourite things to do, especially with a good book and a Lush bath bomb!

4. Cold, but sunny days. When the sun is shining but there is that cold chill in the air. Beautiful.

5. Cuddles with the pups! Puddin and Pepi are my parents dogs but they are the cutest and craziest pups around. Having morning cuddles with them is the best!

6. Pamper nights. Face mask, hair mask, previously mentioned soak in the bath, nails etc. What girl doesn’t love to indulge?

7. Daffodils. This is one I share with my Mum. Love having daffodils in my room. Their colour and the fact they are a cheap and cheerful little treat is perfect.

8. A cup of coffee on a Sunday morning, catching up on my favourite blogs. Pure Sunday bless.

So that’s my happy list! Comment below to let me know what’s on yours!

Gem x

Networking, beer & pizza!

Having lived in London for five years and worked in recruitment for three I am very familiar with the myriad of networking events in the South, so having moved to Manchester just over a year ago it’s been interesting to see and attend the different networking events up here in the North.

I recently joined Amsource Technology and one of the main reasons for this was their passion for the industry and the depth of involvement they have in it. Especially with their Tech // Connect events. During my interview, Andrew advised we’d be bringing these events to Manchester which was really a big seller for me as networking is something I find imperative in any industry not just recruitment.

Last week I was lucky enough to attend Tech for Good Live (@techforgoodlive), held at The Shed at MMU and sponsored by Reason Digital (@ReasonDigital). Focused around Data and how it is being used in creative ways to enhance and define businesses. With interesting talks from Julian Tait of 360Giving (@360Giving) and Mor Rubinstein of Open Knowledge (@OKFN). Can’t wait for the next one!

Last night I attended the GlugMCR event, which was different to events I have attended before, they want to inspire people by bringing fantastic speakers who share their experiences and talk about their journeys in the digital media world. I was especially excited to see Alex and Anthony from Noir Agency, having worked with Anthony many moons ago in the world of financial services it was lovely to see how successful he has been in founding Noir Agency (@NoirAgency) and hearing about their views on AI. There were also some fascinating talks from Designer & Illustrator Jane Bowyer about life as a freelancer and BBC’s UX Lead Callum Peters on how they work with children to produce the apps they do. Fantastic event and I will definitely be attending more!

 

We also held our very first Tech // Connect 1.1 event in Manchester. Held in the wonderful Rise (@McrThinkRise) theatre, in partnership with BJSS we focused the event around Microservices. We were lucky to be joined by Thomas Drake and James Green BJSS Software Engineers who provided a LiveCode demo. It was a fantastic first event with really positive feedback and far too much pizza! You can check out a video of the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zOjrGeSd_8.

I am really looking forward to holding some more digitally focused events here in Manchester. It would be great to hear from companies wanting to partner in events and also from you, the people who will attend the events as to what topics you would like to hear about and events you would like to see up here in the North West.

For any information on our events or to get involved please do give me a shout gemma@amsourcetechnology.com

 

My First Blog!

Hey! So this is my very first blog post….exciting stuff! But please bear with me whilst I get into the swing of things!

I thought I’d give you a little overview about me as an intro and then the following blogs will be about my daily life, what I am reading, what networking events I have been/am attending.

I am 33 years old, originally from Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire I lived in London for five years and been in Manchester since 2016. After nearly ten years of working in financial services I moved into the crazy world of recruitment just over three years ago focusing on the digital media market, which is a passion of mine and something I would eventually like a career in.

I enjoy meeting new people, so love attending digital networking events in and around Manchester, love exploring and visiting new places, spending time with family and friends, also enjoy reading (especially crime novels) and sampling different foods, which means I also have to enjoy running to keep fit!