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Creating an event to empower businesses to grow through doing good

In early 2023 we were approached by the team at the North of Tyne Combined Authority to create ‘Good to Grow: Realising success and growth through better business’, an event to empower businesses to grow through doing good.

The event, which will be held on Tuesday 23 May at INNSiDE by Meliá Newcastle, will bring together North of Tyne and wider North East businesses community to discuss how growth can be fueled by doing good and share best practice, linked to the Good Work Pledge project which already has almost 100 businesses signed up to be part of the scheme (including ourselves).

Good to Grow is a free, face-to-face, offline seminar which will see over 150 delegates from the North East business community coming together to discuss the importance of sustainable, ‘good’ growth and the challenges and opportunities that it gives businesses in the region. Guests will be joined by keynote speaker, writer, film-maker and doer Big Ian Donaghy, alongside an address from North of Tyne Combined Authority and speakers from regional businesses discussing the impact they have achieved and how they have approached good work practices.

Driving the growth and resilience of North East business is a topic that is close to our hearts here at BeaconHouse Events and we are working towards our application to be a Good Work Place Employer, so were honoured to be selected to support the team at the NECA to bring this event to life.

We spoke to Caroline Preston, who leads the Good Work Pledge project for the North of Tyne Combined Authority, on why this event is so important to the North East in 2023 and how working with BeaconHouse Events has taken it to the next level.

Caroline said: “The work place has changed and sustainable growth now needs to be a top agenda item. This event is a way for businesses to discuss how we can pull together as a community and encourage good practice as a means to grow, retain staff and attract the next generation of talent to our North East businesses.

“The North East currently has the highest rate of child poverty in the UK at 38% and 75% of families that fall within that figure have at least one person working. We need to act now as a business community to make work better for everyone. We have an amazing spirit here in the North East and many businesses are working hard to make sure their employees are happy, healthy, and well rewarded but we need to do more. Poor employment can have a really detrimental effect on our communities, these jobs are low paid, often unreliable  and offer zero or minimal additional benefits. Worse still these low paid jobs are often done by the very people who keep us supplied with food, who look after our loved ones and keep us moving.

“While there are many factors that affect this, businesses do have a part to play when to comes to offering opportunities to progress, flexible working so families can juggle childcare or other responsibilities, promoting health and wellbeing and proving security for their people wherever possible.

“A lot of our sectors are still suffering from a skills shortage, and this is a proactive and actionable way of addressing this as a region. Research shows that when businesses invest in their people, employees are more loyal and perform better in their roles, giving you space and resource to grow your business in a sustainable way.

“It’s customers too that are looking for something more these days, as are the next generation that are entering the workforce. They actively want to support companies who are supporting the people who live and work in the region and businesses can no longer ignore this. There are already businesses doing amazing things here in the North East and this event will be a catalyst for new conversations and connections to help everyone learn from each other in a really practical and inspirational way. We’ve always come together as a region in the past, and it is time to do it again, let’s aim a little higher, harness the skills in our network and get this moving.”

“We wanted this event to inspire and motivate people to make change within their organisations, and we chose to work with BeaconHouse Events to really make sure that the event had the right balance and impact that it deserved. It was important to us that the speakers were inclusive, diverse and had a new and interesting perspective on the problem and the team at BeaconHouse have gone above and beyond to ensure that they are representative of the wide range of businesses that will be in attendance.”

Choosing a keynote speaker who encapsulated the vision and the values behind the event was really important to us as we strategised how the event would look and feel on the day. We finally found the perfect choice, Big Ian Donaghy. Ian works tirelessly to raise dementia awareness and combat loneliness, always focusing on the individual drawing on his experience of 20 years teaching young people with learning difficulties, and nearly 10 years in the world of care. Ian will be discussing his book ‘A Pocketful of Kindness’ which discusses the power of kindness and the idea that nobody ever changed anything by doing nothing.

Caroline continued, “Alongside the managing the speakers, Sarah, Katie and the team have been hugely helpful when it comes to logistics, planning, venue and have brought their years of expertise to the fore with advice and guidance in making this event really flow. While I have worked on large scale events in the past, they have used their industry knowledge to become critical friends through the whole process and to support me with additional resource and advice.

“There is a reason they are so successful as an organisaton, their attention to detail and knowledge of the corporate events space is second to none. The team have experience in event management in a wide range of sectors and I really valued that insight into what works, trends and themes in the industry and how to create an event that people will still talk about after they leave.

“I can’t wait to have BeaconHouse Events as a member of the Good Work Pledge and want to say thank you for making the event planning process so smooth and pain-free. See you on the 23rd!”

The Good Work Pledge scheme was launched in 2021 to make poor employment a thing of the past, and Good Work the norm. As part of the scheme businesses are awarded a level of the pledge, helping to build a ‘community of good work’, where members will have access to learning, networking opportunities and support in the pursuit of good work and sustainability. The pledge includes five pillars of best practice; promoting health and well-being, developing a balanced workforce, valuing and rewarding your workforce, effective communication and representation and demonstrating a social responsibility.

Tickets to the event are free, register at