The Manchester PA Network is a not-for-profit organisation, co-founded by Amanda Hargreaves and Melanie Sheehy in July 2011. Holly Moore (Managing Director of Make Events) joined the board in 2014, bringing with her invaluable event management experience and enthusiasm, and is now a key member of the team.
Our vision in 2011 was to give PAs, EAs, VAs and support professionals the opportunity to meet, network and develop meaningful long-term professional relationships and personal friendships. Our focus was on bringing together PAs, EAs, VAs and support professionals who were less confident in a networking environment and needed some encouragement to meet their peers. With the support and encouragement seen at every event, we have developed a platform for all PAs, EAs, VAs and support professionals across Manchester to meet and network with their peers. We now have over 700 members, with representation from all corners of the North-West businesses community.
Since the launch, the Network has grown beyond our expectations and has been a resounding success, not just in Manchester, but our success has spread across the UK, with PA networks now being established throughout the country. The Network does, however, have a serious side. Amanda, Mel and Holly, and all of our members, are committed to raising funds for The Christie, a charity very close to our hearts. In 2011, we set a target of raising £100,000 by 2020. From ticket sales at networking events, fundraising challenges and sponsorships, we were delighted to reach £109,000 three years ahead of schedule in December 2017. On the back of that success, we have announced a new fundraising goal of £200,000 by 2020.
Following the success of the Network, we believed that the PAs, EAs, VAs and support professionals of Manchester deserved to be recognised amongst their peers therefore in 2015, we established the Manchester PA Awards alongside Robert Walters. These are awards dedicated to the EAs, PAs, VAs and support professionals that make an invaluable contribution to businesses in and around the Manchester area.
In July 2018, we will celebrate our 7th year. We could not have achieved this success without the enthusiasm and commitment of our members that have supported the Network throughout its journey and we cannot wait for the events that we have lined up in 2018.