Kellie Noon

Kellie is the Founder of Kellie and Co, a training company created to help those working in the education sector to better integrate international students into the classroom to enhance outcomes, retention, and happiness. Her work encourages a holistic understanding of people, culture, communication and educational pathways.

Kellie also works alongside the Manchester Growth Company on their Global Scale Up programme. This is fully-funded support for Manchester-based businesses who want to grow into new international markets, delivered in the form of 1-1 consultancy and group training.

Kellie is also a Spanish-English translator, a qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, and regularly assesses new applicants for the organisation. She’s a board member of a UK SME alongside four other wonderful people.

Outside work, you can find Kellie up a hill, rock climbing, visiting a new city, or snuggling up with a dog.

Learn more about Kellie and the work she does by connecting with her on Linkedin and visiting her website.

Tell us about your first Freshwalks.

My first Freshwalks was actually booked in because I’d signed myself up for the trip to the Lakes last year and didn’t know anyone, so I booked on the first walk I could – it was Knowl Hill circular.

How many have you attended?

I wouldn’t be able to tell you – since my first event I’ve been back as often as I can and it’s now a part of my monthly schedule, with 2 a month if I can (sometimes more!).

Why do you come back?

It’s a great way to get out of the office but still have a productive day, so I don’t feel guilty about taking the time off. It’s also a way to meet people, share ideas, develop plans, and make new contacts. The bonus is that it’s outdoors, and I love to spend time out in the hills as much as possible.

What’s your favourite route?

I’m a huge fan of anything around Edale or Hayfield. Who isn’t?!

The something you always bring?

A hot drink, even when it’s boiling outside. I’ve also got a small bag of dates that seem to have been at the bottom of my bag forever too…

Favourite Freshwalks memory?

I have to say the recent post-walk beer and cheese in Old Glossop was a particular treat (the size of the cheese boards helped!). With having been in lockdown for so long I haven’t been able to sit and chat with people post-walk a lot and that was a really nice way to end the trip. I’m looking forward to being able to do that more now that things are opening up.

How has Freshwalks helped your business?

Some of the people I’ve met have:

  • helped me think through and develop my plans, giving great advice and direction
  • offered me work or put me in touch with people looking for the work I do
  • helped me create a bigger network across Greater Manchester
  • checked in to see how I’m doing and generally brighten my day!

Recommend three people you have met on Freshwalks.

This is really hard because even in the short time I’ve been going I’ve met so many fantastic people. I suppose the 3 I’m probably closest to already are:

  • John Shinnick – if he ever gives you a piece of advice, RECORD IT. It’s like gold dust.
  • Nikki Chamberlain – a fantastic health coach with some really exciting plans, I can’t wait to see where she takes her business this year.
  • Michael Taylor – an all-round winner who is an excellent sounding board, an honest friend, and seems to have an amazing memory for detail as well as a really interesting career.

How does Freshwalks challenge typical networking formats?

It doesn’t feel like networking at all. I genuinely feel like I’m going for a walk with friends and a wider group of lovely people! I would never go back to an ordinary networking event knowing that Freshwalks is there. You make genuine connections in a really natural environment.

Freshwalks is a combination of exercise, networking, sharing knowledge and thinking time. How do you balance those components?

I think they tend to balance each other out quite naturally. As you’re walking you move in and out of conversations with different people, and based on the pace and difficulty there are usually a couple of short sections where you have a few minutes alone to think.

The conversations themselves tend to balance out between talking about work and then other interests and personal topics – people are genuinely interested in talking about more than just ‘what you do’.

Suggest one new place for us to go.

I’d love to do more exploring over near Marsden. I think there’s a lot to explore on the Heritage Trail that I’d love to see.

Sum up Freshwalks in three words.

Genuine, Fun, Effective.

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