I realised how wonderful it felt to be welcomed by a group of happy, funny and kind women

I was so nervous and apprehensive about joining Ladies Circle two years ago, I didn't know if an all female group could work for me, especially as a woman in a senior role who has struggled with inequality at work. I was probably guilty of having preconceived ideas about what it would involve... but wow was I proven wrong!

It took me just one zoom meeting (damn covid!) to realise how wonderful it felt to be welcomed by a group of happy, funny and kind women. Within weeks, I was so happy to have joined. I have a group of friends that I can turn to for absolutely anything; who come for coffee during my lunch breaks, go for dinner on the weekends, join me at the gym (or spa) in the evenings, and bring their partners on holiday with me and my husband. I've never been so welcomed into a community before and it's been amazing to feel at home with a wonderful group of people.

Until recently, I thought that I was experiencing all that ladies circle had to offer, especially with my awesome crew at Long Eaton, but I was wrong (that's a second time!)

There is so much more.

In March of 2022, following the awful news of the breakout of war in Ukraine, my husband Ash (who is in Round Table) and I decided that we needed to do something to help. On the Sunday we came up with the crazy idea of walking from Birmingham to London, by the Thursday we were actually doing it. With just the two of us, that would have been impossible. But it wasn't just the two of us, it was 100s of people from the Round Table Family coming out to support us. It ranged from the incredible Fiona driving the car, the wonderful Stacey who rubbed my feet when I was at my worst and the huge numbers of people who came out to see us as we walked.

Seeing the Round Table Family come together to make the impossible, possible, was the most inspiring thing I have ever seen. Together we raised 20,000 Euros, contributing to the millions raised by tables and circles internationally.

I have been completely blown away by the recognition and support from everyone at Ladies circle. I was humbled, grateful and proud to be given the Circler of the Year title after winning the Anthony Nolan Award. To win both the Side by Side award and the International Make a Difference Award alongside this was a true honour and something I never thought possible. I said it at AGM and I truly meant it; these awards are shared with every circler who watched online, donated money, sent messages of support, raised money by creating beautiful things, walked with us, brought us food (especially jammy dodgers!), rubbed our feet and drove alongside us. None of it would have been possible without all of you, and I just hope that you’re ready to support the next crazy adventure!

Since joining Circle, what I now know is that if you want to achieve something, there are 100s of people who are just waiting to support you, cheer for you and make it happen. The power of that is incredible.

Come and see what Circle is all about…

May 26,2022 Emily Letchworth