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This month the spotlight falls on Sandra Flanagan, helping businesses keep their employees (for all the right reasons) and Michael Flynn, helping businesses keep their ideas and their intellectual property safe.

Looking for a beer that's also a keeper? Then don't miss our beer-tasting event on 18 May at 17.30 in the Narthex...

Network Spotlight: Sandra Flanagan, Maynard Training and Consulting

Years of experience in the charity sector has given Sandra Flanagan the tools to train companies in the importance of looking after their employees' wellbeing.

The former deputy CEO of Norwich MIND is on a mission to prove there are huge benefits for businesses who work to protect the welfare of their staff.

Sandra Flanagan

"People don't leave their jobs if they are well looked after," explains Sandra." Their performance improves, they are sick less often and more productive. It's a win/win. I also support managers on how to ask difficult questions about mental wellbeing, and also teach them how to manage change in an organisation."

Sandra has already worked with a number of businesses. But she says that some delegates are more responsive than others.

"I just did ten sessions with an organisation and that was very interesting. At times, they were quite hostile to me, but I coped!" she tells us. "It was a training programme about how you can't always remove the work stress but you can learn to be more resilient. That's your responsibility."

Of course, as a new business owner, Sandra is going through her own work stresses. That's where her Thrive group comes in.

"My Thrive group has been an anchor for me," she explains. "I can have a rubbish week and then I go in on Friday morning and come out feeling refreshed and with the determination to carry on!"

Read the full interview with Sandra here.

How safe are your business ideas?

If you've had a bright idea that needs protecting, Michael Flynn, European Patent and Trademark Attorney at Flynn-IP, is your man.

Michael Flynn

A specialist in intellectual property, Michael helps creative types navigate the complicated process of safeguarding their ideas, and helps inventors and brand owners on the tricky journey to market.

However, this niche area of law isn't Michael's only passion - he's also got a vintage VW campervan hire company and has an impressive collection of guitars. Find out more in our profile interview.

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