A CHARITY networking hosted by a Chester law firm saw more than 40 leading businesswomen from across the region come together for a fundraising afternoon filled with tea, cake and chat.

CHAT! - Come Here 4 Afternoon Tea! - is a monthly event held in the Cloisters of Chester Cathedral that brings together some of Cheshire’s top businesswomen, while raising money for small charities who desperately need funds and a chance to raise awareness.

Jan Chillery, partner at Chester-based Aaron & Partners, which is behind CHAT!, said: “We really wanted to create a local event that allowed professional women to build long-term relationships in a less formal setting than other networking groups.

“We know that networking can seem intimidating and the formality of some groups can be off-putting. It was important to us that our event had a relaxed and inviting atmosphere and gives something back to our community.”

The most recent CHAT! raised more than £300 for Book At Bedtime, a Chester charity that collects and supplies books for children at Women’s Aid refuges. Each refuge is supplied with a bookcase full of as-new books to encourage children staying there with their mum to “take refuge in a book”.

Some of the businesswomen who came along to CHAT! also donated books to the charity, which were gratefully received by trustee and fundraiser Peta Pendlebury.

The January CHAT! raised more than £400 for Chester Aid To The Homeless.

Judith Kenyon, event organiser at Aaron & Partners, said: “The CHAT! events have been extremely successful, and it was great to see so many incredible women in business coming together for another wonderful meeting.”

Jan added: “As well as networking, CHAT! is raising money for some amazing charitable causes in our area. The feedback we have had from attendees has been very positive and we are looking forward to hosting many more CHAT! events throughout the year. My objective is that CHAT! raises at least £5,000 for small, local charities in 2019.”

The next CHAT! event is being held on Wednesday, March 27, at Chester Cathedral. It will raise funds for Children Today. Pre-booking is essential as numbers are restricted.

Each month CHAT! will raise funds for a different charity and, just as importantly, gives small, local charities the chance to raise public awareness of their great work.

For more information on future networking events, visit www.aaronandpartners.com

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