As 2016 comes to an end I reflected on what has had an impact / inspired me this year. So here’s my list… some people, some organisations. Mainly people I know – might make me biased, but it’s great to know so many inspiring people! The criteria I have used – did they make a difference to me and others or smash their goals (or both), as simple as that. Finally, I am not sure my quick summing up of achievements probably does anyone justice here (when you think of the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into what they have done) – to those below, sorry about that!

Dr Sam Collins (@DrSamCollins) and the Aspire Foundation (@AspireFDN) – with accolades coming out of her ears, she hardly needs mine (accolade, not ears) – but what an inspirational woman and organisation making a difference to the lives of women (and actually many men as well). Fortunate enough to have been able to go on their leadership conference, finding my passion and meeting some real inspirational people. Ambitious goals and vision that I have no doubt they will achieve.

Ed Patrick (@meEdPatrick) – Junior doctor and comedian all merged into one – you’d think it couldn’t work but it does (and so well). His set is dark and funny and talks about things that doctors do have to deal with but in a way that most people find accessible (he does push the boundaries sometimes). He’s made huge strides this year in developing both careers and you have to take your hat off to that alone.

Lizzie Outside (@lizzo010) – its odd when you’re reading the paper and you see someone you know going up and down the country’s water networks on a paddle board cleaning up thousands of items of rubbish that, actually, people have been all too casual about discarding in what is a completely inappropriate way. Raising awareness about a huge topic – I was amazed at the size of the issue we face in protecting our environment (perhaps I shouldn’t have been). Inspired by not just what Lizzie has done already, but what she is doing now and what she is going to do in the future (especially given her recent blog about giving less of a s*** and feeling happier about it).

Rebecca Eligon (@rebeccaeligon) – I met Rebecca at the Aspire conference who set herself her goal to make a difference to the lives of thousands of children in care by redesigning and improving the children’s services for a local authority (in the unlikely time of nine months). I did the ten step vision walk with her at the Aspire conference as we looked at what success would feel like and remember thinking this was pretty ambitious. Well she did it! If you’re looking for someone who can drive organisational change and transformation then look no further – she’s awesome.

Time to change (@TimetoChange) – for making mental health and the issues and stigma surrounding this far more understandable, accessible and sadly at times noticeable! They’ve got people talking about a subject that remains sensitive and made huge progress this year, working with some very high profile people to improve awareness. Personally inspired by the #timetotalk campaign. Something we should all get behind.

Sarah Walker-Smith (@pgwalkersmith) – some people are hard to sum up, Sarah is one of them. Leader at Browne Jacobson overseeing years of double digit, record breaking growth would probably be enough for some. Add to that writing, producing and directing her own musical ‘the legend of lady rock’ – which was awesome by the way – it’s hard to work out how she can have so much in her head! She’s also been part of the great debate in Nottingham about getting the most opportunities to grow our region and was also involved in the amazing Nottingham in Parliament day led by the University of Nottingham.

Nottingham in Parliament day (@Nottingham_day) – The University of Nottingham led on a programme, which pretty much does exactly as it said – Nottingham took over most of Parliament. This brought together over 40 events in one day, showcasing and celebrating the institutions, businesses and people that make Nottingham great. Over 100 businesses in Nottingham took part in delivering or sponsoring this and just showed what can be achieved when everyone works together. They’ve built a great platform for further campaigns to be built from. Looking forward to see what we can achieve in 2017!

Terri-Louise Murphy (@Terri_Louise_M) – a huge year for Terri with two external awards to her name, one for exceptional client service the other as digital ambassador of the year. Massive impact on our digital offering at Browne Jacobson and for many of our clients as well, showing some serious collaboration to drive quality digital experiences for all. She’s also growing a successful team of young women in their digital careers as well (Rebecca Sharp is one of them – see below!). Somewhere she also found time to do a full renovation on her house as well. Never gives up, no matter what, I’ve learnt a lot from Terri this year.

Blurt foundation (@blurtalerts) – more personal for me but I love the #365daysofselfcare campaign. For me it raised awareness of how little time I spent on me and taking care of myself – and actually it’s taking care of the little things that take care of the big things. Possibly the only email marketing I look forward to receiving – they are getting so many things right and making a huge difference.

Sarah King (@Sarah_Unstuck) – finalist for Nottingham Post Women in Business awards as ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, massively involved in some huge initiatives for Nottingham (that are going to make a real difference) and at a personal level has been my coach for the last 18 months, helping me to make the step change needed in my role at work (and to be honest, she’s so good its taken a life of its own outside of work as well). There aren’t enough words to describe how brilliant she is – looking to do things differently and make a huge impact, look no further than Sarah.

Rebecca Sharp (@beckysharp25) – ok so you may not have heard of her yet, but I bet in years to come you will! Someone I work closely with who set some ambitious goals and smashed them including breaking the two hour mark on her half marathon in Amsterdam (she ran the Robin Hood with me two weeks prior but I just slowed her down). Also got her CIM qualification whilst rocking our video production and development – coming up with new concepts one of which saw her win our firms exceptional service award. Always positive, always supportive, truly inspiring.

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