Elaine pearce

Elaine Pearce – #IABstories

Our little Bijou Coffee Club came to life on the 22nd January 2021, and a whole year has flown by since then. Being part of this group of amazing women has help not only get us through the pandemic but to really bond through our common interests and work. Ours is very much a collaborative group and every member is treasured, each brings different skills that complements the group and whenever someone cannot make a meeting they are greatly missed. Recently Hazel had to change her weekly routine and we adapted by changing to a time that would suit us all.

When the idea was first announced it was an answer to something I’d had in mind for some time, after attending the IAB Seminars in Bristol I’d wanted to set up a local group that could meet on a regular basis to share ideas with having someone come along and give talks on subjects relevant to bookkeepers. I wasn’t sure I would be able to run my own Ambassador Group, but my husband, Mark, encouraged me to apply. With tuition from Simon Jordan I was able to use Zoom and after some initial technical hiccups our Bijou Club was launched.

We have been able to keep each other sane over the course of the pandemic, supporting one another through Zoom, WhatsApp, a joint dropbox and we know we can phone one another for one to one support. We have supported each other through the changes in AML and we have been the first to develop a Joint Continuity Plan that any member of our group can be part of if they want too.

I would encourage anyone considering joining an ambassador group to definitely give it a go and if you’re thinking you would like to become an ambassador but feel that you don’t have the confidence or technical skills, to take a leap of faith, that’s what I did and I’m so thrilled to have these five other ladies in my life.

Jill said ‘The IAB Ambassador Group has helped me by holding my hand and giving me encouragement. You’ve made me believe in myself and we don’t feel as if we are working entirely alone. Recent changes in AML have been extremely challenging and it’s the Ambassador Group that has kept me going after 30 years of Bookkeeping. The group has been a godsend to me! A breathe of fresh air, bouncing thoughts off of each other, it’s been amazing help, so supportive. Simon would be proud’.

Karen said ‘One of the best things to come out of the Pandemic has been the Ambassador Groups set up by the IAB following on from the successful Coffee Mornings. It really is like having your own virtual office , the group has been such a support for bouncing thoughts off and getting technical advise and help and most importantly we have had a lot of laughs along the way as well. We can’t all know everything 100% and sometimes you just need confirmation that you are on the right tracking and having the group to refer to has been invaluable. You have done a great job hosting Elaine and I look forward to many more’.

Hazel said ‘I want to thank Elaine for hosting the Bijou Coffee Club over the last year. I have really enjoyed being a member of this group of six ladies, all of whom are members of the IAB. It has been invaluable to be able to connect on Zoom and also through our WhatsApp group. We help each other with work queries and also support each other as individuals. As Self employed bookkeepers we work very much alone and have little contact with others and this group gives us that. We have a verity of skills between us and being able to ask questions of each other makes each of our businesses more effective because we support each other as a team. Membership of the IAB whether you are employed or self employed is a recognised accolade within our industry . It signifies to others that you are competent and you are maintaining that level through continuous development training’.