WIBN raises £1,300 at Kent Christmas charity lunch

On 7 December, the Women in Business Network (WIBN) united members and guests for an all-Kent Christmas gathering at the Abode Hotel in Canterbury to raise funds for Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance, Royal British Legion Industries, Power of Women Thanet, Pilgrims Hospice, and The Fire Fighters Charity.

The well-attended event was organised by WIBN Kent franchise owner Katherine Vass. Katherine’s network launched in January 2023 and already has over 60 members, with current groups in Kings Hill, Canterbury and Thanet, and ambitious plans for further expansion.

WIBN membership is for businesswomen who own SMEs, are self-employed or provide professional services for small businesses. Its mission is to foster communities of businesswomen who cultivate robust business relationships, benefiting from mutual support, referrals, collaborations and more.

The Christmas charity affair commenced with networking and a festive welcome drink, generously provided by sponsor Furley Page. Attendees then enjoyed a delicious two-course meal prepared by the skilled chefs at Abode.

Following this, members and guests were treated to an inspiring keynote speech delivered by Kresse Wesling CBE, co-founder of multi-award-winning luxury accessory brand Elvis & Kresse, which operates from its very own farm based on the outskirts of Faversham, Kent.

Kresse Wesling CBE

Established in 2005, Elvis & Kresse salvages decommissioned fire hoses destined for landfill, transforming them into eco-friendly bags and accessories. Today, their skilled craftspeople create accessories and homeware from 15 reclaimed materials, with 50% of profit from the Fire-Hose Collection going to The Fire Fighters Charity and 50% of profit from the Fire & Hide Collection going to Barefoot College International.

Elvis & Kresse stands proudly among the pioneering companies in the UK to achieve B-Corp certification. Under the leadership of Kresse and her dedicated team, the company consistently explores innovative avenues to leave a lasting positive environmental footprint.

The event’s main attraction was the Christmas raffle to support Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance, Royal British Legion Industries, Power of Women Thanet, Pilgrims Hospice, and The Fire Fighters Charity.

Members and friends of WIBN generously donated over £3,000 of prizes. These included a £100 Elvis & Kresse voucher on behalf of Furley Page; afternoon tea at the Abode Hotel Canterbury; a two-course meal at No 9 Restaurant at Chapel House; dinner for two at the Spitfire; a spa voucher at Sheldon Spa Massages; facials and skincare products; business coaching; life and health coaching; handmade accessories; hampers; an artist print; a photography session; dog grooming vouches; and more.

In total, the WIBN Christmas raffle successfully raised £1,300 – a sum divided equally among the five charities. The event exemplified the spirit of generosity and community engagement that defines WIBN’s commitment to making a positive impact on both local businesses and charitable causes.

To find out more about the WIBN Kent and how to become a member, contact Katherine at katherine.vass@wibn.co.uk.

Photo credits: Gemma Jane Photography

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