Connections Club takes flight in Northampton

A brand-new networking group for business owners and leading execs in the Midlands has got off to a flying start in Northampton, as plans for appearances from some of the region’s leading businesspeople are revealed.

Barbara Hodgson, Northampton Businesswoman and creator of The Connections Club, which launched in January, has unveiled plans to bring in Richard Evans from The Back and Body Clinic and Phil Saxby from Saxby’s Cider to speak to members and guests at upcoming meetings.

Since launching, The Club has attracted some of the region’s leading businesspeople who come together on a monthly basis to share challenges, offer knowledge and expertise and discuss the changing business landscape. The agenda alternates to maximise the value taken from each meeting. Items include a ‘hot seat challenge’ where members discuss issues and receive feedback from peers, business presentations from experts on certain business topics and specialist speakers, who share their experience and learnings from starting their own businesses, followed by a Q&A session.

Richard Evans, Founder of Northampton-based physiotherapy business, The Back and Body Clinic will be sharing his experiences at the April Connections Club meeting. Since opening their doors just over 6 years ago with one part-time physiotherapist, The Back and Body Clinic now has 35 employees across three sites and have helped over 15,000 people across Northampton and Bedford.

The Back and Body Clinic’s awards include ‘Business of the Year’ and ‘Excellence in Customer Services’ at the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards, ‘Midlands Service Provider of the Year’ and ‘National Employer of the Year’. Richard will share his story, together with his learnings to help fellow members improve and grow their own businesses.

In June, Phil Saxby of Northamptonshire-based Saxby’s Cider, will also be sharing his experiences with members. Phil, who was originally an arable farmer, diversified into cider making in 2011 and has since won awards including gold at the Quality Drink Awards in 2017 and three Great Taste awards. Together with his commercial press which produces over nine varieties of cider, Phil also offers a mobile bar service and tasting tours.

Through this diverse agenda of knowledge sharing, together with time for friendly and purposeful networking, The Connections Club has got off to a great start, as Babarba hopes to make it one of the most productive and rewarding groups for business owners in the area.

Founder of The Connections Club, Barbara Hodgson, said: “What sets this networking group apart is the sheer quality of businesspeople we have in the room. The diversity of knowledge and connections has been incredibly refreshing so far, meaning members are able to take something away from every meeting we’ve had. Alternating the agenda month to month keeps each meeting fresh and exciting, with different business topics being discussed each time. The time set apart and dedicated to one-to-ones within the room and networking helps members and guests to build fruitful and reciprocal relationships and learn from one another – it’s great to see this in action.

“I’m delighted to be welcoming such a wealth of business knowledge to the group in the form of our expert speakers and look forward to hearing the back-stories to the amazing success they have had. I’m delighted with how it’s gone so far. It is essential for us that each new member brings value to the group and we’re still on the lookout for business owners and leaders to visit.”

Barbara, who also runs the Women in Business Network across the East Midlands has 11 years’ experience organising and running networking groups and specialises in making personal and purposeful introductions to help her connections’ businesses grow.

For more information about The Connections Club and to book your place at any upcoming meetings, visit: