Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 anecdotes end accountants’ annual dinner on a high

May 8, 2017

More than 400 South West business figures were entertained with anecdotes about Radio 2 listeners and humorous stories from life as a journalist by broadcaster Jeremy Vine at the annual ICAEW West of England annual dinner.

The event, one of the most popular in the region’s business calendar, attracts leaders from the accountancy and professional services sectors and their guests for an evening of networking and conversation.

But while Jeremy Vine ended the evening on a high with his anecdote-laden after-dinner speech – including the tale of Larry Walters, who after attaching 45 helium-filled balloons to his lawn chair soared 16,000 ft into the airspace above his Californian home, where he was spotted by two commercial aircraft – the dinner also had a serious side as it gave guests the opportunity to discuss the challenges faced by business in the region as well as again highlighting the vital work of the Prince’s Trust.

Addressing guests, ICAEW president Hilary Lindsay spoke about the organisation’s vision to build a world of strong economies and add value to society through continued professional development, connected communities – both within the membership and externally – and keeping pace with change through an agile mindset and flexible, future-fit workforce.

The dinner was sponsored for the 11th successive year by Swindon-based regional law firm Thrings.

Managing partner Simon Holdsworth spoke of the need to be flexible and nimble in such a fast-paced and ever-changing world and reminded guests that although change can bring uncertainty it also brings opportunity.  

“The pace of change in today’s modern world seems to be higher than ever,” he said. “But while the majority of these events are outside of our control, as a business community we need to be ready to change with them. How we react, adapt and respond to these challenges is what matters.”

Borrowing the words of Charles Darwin, he reminded the audience “it’s not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change”.

Jon Filer, business development manager at Brunel Professions, sponsors for the second year running, extolled the benefits of working collaboratively to overcome whatever challenges the year ahead may bring in his speech to guests.

Prior to dinner, ICAEW West of England president Duncan Stratford hosted a visit for Thrings and Brunel Professions to the Prince’s Trust regional office in Bristol to learn more about how it supports and mentors disadvantaged young people across the South West and beyond.

In welcoming guests to the dinner, Mr Stratford reminded the audience of the need to give back to the wider community in which it does business and to get involved in initiatives to help others.  

The dinner, which was this year held at the recently refurbished Ashton Gate stadium conference centre in Bristol, raised money for the Prince’s Trust for the 11th year running.

An inspiring highlight of the evening was a talk by Kayla Poulton, who had been able to overcome personal challenges to set up her own dance school business with help from the Trust’s Enterprise team. 

Pictured, top: Jon Filer of Brunel Professions with Jeremy Vine. Centre: Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol Peaches Golding and Jeremy Vine. Right, ICAEW West of England president Duncan Stratford, ICAEW president Hilary Lindsay and Thrings managing partner Simon Holdsworth

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