Greetings from Galway where life as we know it has been anything but normal since 2020. Similar to businesses up and down the country BPW Galway had to adapt, pivot and change to embrace the challenges that Covid 19 presented to its members and the wider community.
Successfully embracing the virtual world in early April 2020 BPW Galway continues to support, advocate and empower its 80 strong membership with webinars, virtual meetings, online coffee catch ups and opportunities for members to connect and explore collaborations and enjoy new friendships.
Set up in 1986 by Breda Ryan who was the first President, the Galway Club has been at the forefront of support and advocacy for business and professional women across Galway for many years, growing from a small core group of members to one of almost 100 and counting.
Events and Activities
Pre Covid BPW Galway met on the second Monday of the month in the Ardilaun Hotel and hosted a variety of events throughout the year for both members and non members. The International Candle Lighting Supper held annually in February, is an opportunity for the club to acknowledge their presence and membership of a global influential organisation for women. Guest speakers from across business, the professions and the arts provide plenty of inspiration and entertainment for attendees on the night.
The flagship event of BPW Galway is the Summer Lunch held annually in May, this event is a highlight of not only the club calendar but also the social calendar in Galway. The Summer Lunch, hosted by the Ardilaun Hotel supports a worthy local charity and is organised by a committee of club members. With a business focus this event features a guest speaker each year who in the past have included, Ruth Curran Merc International, Breege Donoghue Primark, Chanelle, Lady McCoy Chanelle Pharmaceuticals, Deirdre Somers Irish Stock Exchange and Francis Brennan Hotelier to name just a few.
In addition to these flagship events the club holds a variety of smaller events throughout the year for both members and non members with varying themes from health to finance, fashion to fitness and everything in between. Some key events include International Women’s Day activities in March and The Schools Public Speaking Competition in November of each year.
With the global pandemic shifting many of the goalposts for the club, all events are now held online including our candlelighting ceremony , monthly webinars and coffee catch-ups as well as general meetings with fun guest speakers and activities for members and the wider community. We focused on Mental Health early in 2021 and ran a series of webinars delivered by experts which we opened up to the community as we felt everyone needed to be helped through lockdown. These were delivered in February by Dr. Jane Walsh Senior Lecturer Psychology at NUIG . Her topic was Beating the Lockdown Blues. In March we had Dr. Niamh Flynn Sports Psychologist and Business Performance Coach speak on Sleep and Managing Your Anxiety. In April club member Dorothy Scarry founder of Workplace Health and Wellbeing spoke on Combatting Work Related Stress. Lastly in May we had Clare Gormley HSE Director of Psychology for Galway and Roscommon . She spoke on Building Resilience through Psychological First Aid and Compassion based Therapy.We also instigated a Lunchtime Learning programme so that members could log on at their desks between 1-2pm. .
Other Events 2021 to date and Events Planned for 2022
January 2021: Virtual Coffee Morning , AGM.
February: Virtual Coffee Morning , Candlelighting supper with our dinner delivered by a local caterer , the guest speaker Aisling O Brien owner of a jewelley company , our MC and a guest singer logged on from all parts of Ireland a truly virtual experience.
March: Virtual General Meeting followed by cookery demonstration by Michelin star chef JPMcMahon .A Lunchtime Learning session on The Eanneagram delivered by a club member and local expert.
April: Virtual Coffee Morning . Virtual Beauty Night delivered by Neal's Yard Remedies from Dublin.
May: Lunchtime Learning on Building your Confidence and Choosing the Life You Want delivered by a club member .
June: We held an in person swimming get together followed by in person coffee morning.
October: Lunchtime Learning delivered by a club member on her experience with the Going For Growth programme. General meeting held in person followed by a cheese and wine tasting.
November: General meeting followed by a talk on the Going For Growth programme by Alma McGrath of Med Aesthetics . Lunchtime Learning 23/11 delivered by Siobhan McKenna Head of Equality Diversity and Inclusion at the Public Appointments Service.
December: Christmas Get Together – outside morning coffee.
January 2022: AGM virtual event.
February: New BPW members night. Candlighting Supper. Trip to the Opera. Lunchtime Learning. Monthly morning Coffee.
March: Health Event Lunchtime Learning. Monthly morning Coffee.
April: Lunchtime Learning. Monthly morning Coffee.
May: Summer Lunch.
Our members include women of all ages from a wide range of businesses and professions and we are always looking to welcome new members to the club so if you are seeking the opportunity to further your own personal and professional development all whilst building connections, friendships and supporting other women, then please do get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.
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