Posted by: nmarsh August 21st, 2015

In the depths of a cold, dark January we had a discussion about how to mark the 10th Anniversary of Ashlea which was due in June 2015. Dreaming of warm summer days we thought a Garden Party would be an appropriate celebration, so a visit was made to the Rococo gardens in Painswick, just as the famous snowdrop drifts were appearing, and the idea became a reality.

And so to a speaker for the event.  We were hoping to find someone who was inspirational without necessarily being part of the financial world. A client introduced me to the Military Speakers website through which we found Joe Townsend, a veteran Royal Marine, who lost both his legs in an explosion in 2008 whilst on duty in Afghanistan. 

Joe is carving out a new career for himself as a public speaker but also used his Marine training to become a successful athlete having won 4 gold medals in the Invictus Games in 2014. He has recently achieved another of his goals; being selected to compete in the 2016 Rio Paralympics.  Joe’s talk was really humbling. His story was a lesson in the strength of the mind needed to achieve amazing results when the body has experienced such trauma.

 

“…a remarkable, inspirational young man

His positive, brave attitude is an example to us all”

Suzanne

“I wanted to give him a standing ovation”

Vicky

 

The day selected, 23rd June in midsummer, was a perfect blue-sky day.  We had a fantastic turnout too - eighty people!  The caterers produced a wonderful meal, rich with local produce including their own mouth-watering home grown salads. The gardens are inspirational, from the quirky Italianate design to that delicious vegetable garden. Well worth a visit.

 

“…we hadn’t visited the gardens before and thought they were delightful”

Hilary & Cerys

 

“…you fed us deliciously in a very stylish place!”

Mike & Ali

 

For me it was an opportunity to say thank you to many people.  The clients, without whom Ashlea would not exist, and my terrific team.  Paul, my husband, joined the business in 2005 and has worked tirelessly on the finances as well as supporting me in many other ways. 

Sue, who has many titles of which Office Manager is one, joined in 2011 and has made huge strides in organising the office.  In addition she is very knowledgeable and is responsible for the high standard of customer service that we aim to give.

Clara also joined in 2011, part-time, and has cheerfully turned her hand to anything that is required. With her marketing experience and creative eye, she has contributed much to the development of our new website.

In 2014 we decided to take up the Government initiative and employ an Apprentice to support Sue.  Lauren joined us and has since proved to be very quick and willing to learn.  We were glad to be able to offer her a permanent post which she started in January of this year.

To help us grow to the next stage we have taken on another adviser.  Nik has already spent many years in Financial Services but was looking for a change of career.  He joined in September 2015 following a year out when he took all the relevant examinations.  Since joining he has gained Chartered Status and is about to submit his case study for the IFP Certified Financial Planner qualification.  He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst and so I hope to tap into this experience to improve our investment proposition.

 

“…we really enjoyed ourselves. It was great to meet the

rest of the team too – now I can put faces to the voices!”

John & Carol

 

In all the day was a huge success.  The feedback we had from the event was very positive. Clients have been introduced to the whole Ashlea team.  We are now considering whether we should organise an annual event so ‘watch this space’…

“It was lovely to meet and be with so many of

your clients in such beautiful surroundings”

Sheila

 

“Here’s to the next successful 10 years!”

Alex