A CONFIDENCE and image coach who empowers women to embrace their bodies has joined forces with another local businesswoman to launch a new networking group.

Victoria Kennedy, of The Fairy Clothes Mother, and brand strategist Gitte Louise, have teamed up to create Purpose and Passion, to offer more support for women in business in Overton and the surrounding area.

The first event was held at The Barn, at The Red Lion Pub in Overton, where around 25 businesswomen came together to share ideas and offer each other support.

Victoria said: “We wanted to create a networking event that was less about sales and gaining clients and more about the person behind the business and gaining knowledge and confidence as a businesswoman.”

Freelance journalist Emily Roberts gave a talk at the launch event.

She offered attendees an insight into how to engage with journalists to gain promotion, offering tips and advice on how to write a good press release and ways to publicise businesses, in both the local and national media.

The 35-year-old from Basingstoke told of how she began her career as a freelance journalist while on maternity leave two-and-a-half years ago, and now writes for both the local and national media, as well as helping businesses with website content.

She said: “Prior to having my son I’m not sure I had the confidence to make the move to freelance journalism.

“I feared I wasn’t good enough, or that I would face endless rejections.

“There was always an excuse not to.

“Becoming a mother gave me the confidence to believe I could do it, and the inspiration to write.”

She also spoke about the importance of supporting local papers so that they can continue to serve the communities they operate in.

The monthly networking event will include a different guest speaker each week, with the aim of providing local businesswomen with support, encouragement, motivation and knowledge.

The next event takes place on June 17 from 10am to 12noon at The White Hart, in Overton, and will focus on how to use Instagram for your business.

For more information, follow Purpose and Passion on Instagram.