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Chairman's Message

7th February 2012

And it's Goodbye From Me

On 8th February 2012 I step down as Chair after two years in the post. As yet I am unsure who I will be handing the gauntlet to, but I hope it is to someone proactive and equally as passionate as I regarding Wayland business.
During the past two years the committee and I have re-established the Chamber as its own entity once more. Over the years it had become unrecognisable as an independent group. Its own Identity was achieved by moving the Chamber to its new home of Clayland House and changing its logo from the Dragonfly to the Yellow and Green logo we have today. I hope the new Chair recognises the need for the Chamber to remain independent whilst working in partnership with other local groups.
It was my goal when I took over as Chair to start adding value to our members. Firstly, a revamped website was required and this was achieved in good time. The website is a great directory for our members and moving forward I would urge the new Chair to provide a forum via the website to allow member businesses to upload offers they wish to present to the local community. We as a Chamber must also continue to remind our members to send in their logo to the Chamber to be placed on the website. The website remains a valuable advertising tool and I look forward to watching it benefit our members in the future.
The Chamber continues to produce an informative directory and deliver it free throughout the Wayland area. The paper directory circulation has been increased to 8,000. It includes helpful telephone numbers from local services, from GP Surgeries to Activity Clubs. The Chamber keeps these up to date for the benefit of the community. The cover is produced in partnership with Wayland Community High School, showing the Chamber's continued commitment to other Wayland Community institutions.
We also worked in partnership over the two years with Pride in Breckland. Firstly, with the jigsaw competition; increasing foot flow into local business. We then worked with them and the Co-op to jointly purchase and hand out reusable bags. We assisted with the first Cultural Event, held at the Watton Sports Centre. I enjoyed very much the Talking Shop Project and enjoyed capturing individual shop-keepers' stories.
My proudest achievement was proving that the Business Breakfast Forums, held quarterly, were wanted and have provided real business opportunities locally. I remember putting forward the idea to the Committee and was informed by one member "You will never get that off the ground, there is too much apathy locally...We have tried it before". Together with local business we proved that Committee member wrong. It is my hope that the Chamber continues to provide you, the members, with this service. It provides local business with networking opportunities, information relating to local grants and training available. Our feedback shows business has been generated because of the BBF.
I have enjoyed being vocal on a variety of issues from the Tesco expansion to High Street Christmas trees to Christmas lights to Car Parking Charges. I have thrown my hands up in the air with disdain over some of the decisions made, which I simply have not agreed with. I have stood steadfast and in doing so I hope I have done you proud. I am not ashamed to admit I have laughed, but have equally cried at people’s attitudes obstructing positive change. I have taken the hits very publically and have also received hugs for my efforts. I have not enjoyed every moment, but overall I have adored the role. We have some amazing dedicated people locally, who volunteer for the benefit of this community, business and otherwise. The role of Chair has allowed me to work with these people and gain a greater understanding of their passion for the Wayland Community. My hope for the future is that the Chamber continues to be proactive for you, our Members.

Kindest Regards
Salena Dawson

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