Loraine was born in Bath and has lived in the city all of her life. She’s passionate about the place she calls home and has devoted many years to Bath and its many causes. In 2002 she became the 775th Mayor of Bath. At 43 years old she was one of Bath’s youngest mayors and only one of a handful of women to take up the role.
In 2010 she was awarded an MBE from the Queen for her services to the area of Bath & North East Somerset and for her charity work.
Her business Morgan Brinkhurst Consultancy works with businesses and charities managing events and promotional activities. Loraine recently worked with The Business Exchange to deliver the inaugural South West Charity Conference.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we couldn’t think of a better role model for women in business. Loraine has successfully juggled raising six children as a single mum, achieved mayoral status, won multiple awards and is dedicated to continuing her work to improve the lives of others.
What do you love most about Bath?
I love the history and heritage our beautiful city has to offer, I feel so lucky and so proud to have been born in Bath.
Why are you so passionate about supporting charities?
In my early adult life, I experienced hardships and as I progressed with my career and bringing up my family I realised how fortunate I was. Reflecting back this made me realise that there are people worse off than me. It spurs me on to help charities and try to make lives better for people who are struggling with health issues, poverty or other problems. I support charities both as a volunteer and through my business.
You have worked with many organisations and charities locally, tell us more about them.
I’ve worked with Bath Tourism Plus and was proud to sit on the board. It was an opportunity to support the many businesses in the area.
Whilst I was on the council, I helped to set up Sirona Care & Health. The government at the time wanted councils to amalgamate health and social care and Sirona is a wonderful organisation. I have a background of 25 years working in the health service locally and it was a privilege to be the council’s first board member.
How do you find the energy for all of your work?
I have always worked since I was 17 and my parents taught me such great work ethics. I love what I do each day. Every event and client is different. I get excited in the planning of events and making a difference. I have a wonderful events team and we enjoy every moment of working together, this exudes through to the events.
What drives you?
Whether it is through my business or my charity work, being able to make a difference to people’s lives spurs me on to help when and where I can. I have built up expertise in the events business and it brings me so much joy and satisfaction when people enjoy coming to events that I have organised.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I am working on two charity events for the Chairwoman of Bath & North East Somerset Council. These will support her chosen charities Dorothy House Hospice and the Motor Neurone Disease Association which works in Bath and across the South West. The first will be a music event featuring local bands in March, and the second will be an ‘Elegance in the Afternoon’ Fashion Show with fizz and afternoon tea in April, both at the Guildhall, Bath. I have several events in the pipeline, launching a newly built children’s nursery, charity jazz in a beautiful garden in Somerset and many more.
What advice would you give to women in business?
Never give up, many of us have to juggle children, running a home and work, but we can achieve this and achieve in business. I believe my life experiences have helped me tremendously and spurred me on to try to do the best in all I do. But it is important to me to find family and friends time if I can, I haven’t quite got the work life balance right but I try.
Do you have a female role model? Or someone you look up to?
I admire my mother who brought up five daughters.
Emmeline Pankhurst: Although she said she wasn’t perfect, she demanded equality for woman as the leader of the suffragette movement. Her efforts led to the vote being granted to some women (those over the age of 30 who owned property or were married to a man who owned property) in 1918.
In Bath the first Mayor was in 1230, it took until 1950 to get our first lady Mayor Kathleen Harper, a magistrate. From then on women started to come to the fore in Bath and started making a difference in their communities and across the city. In recent years we have had two lady university Vice-Chancellors, a lady editor of the Bath Chronicle, a lady chief executive of the council and ladies in various other roles running businesses and charities in Bath and across the area.
What are you most proud of?
Gosh there are a few things, being one of Bath’s youngest female Mayors and a mum of six was incredible. Receiving my MBE was amazing, I never dreamt that I would achieve this. I joined the council after I campaigned for a crossing near my home after two children were knocked down, it took two years to get the crossing. Standing for council I felt would enable me to get more done for my community. It was an amazing 20 years.
If you could have one wish for Bath what would it be?
That we can find a way of investing in more affordable housing thus enabling more people to live in this beautiful city. It might also mean that our children can continue to live and work in the place they call home.
Visit Morgan Brinkhurst Consultancy online: www.morganbrinkhurstconsultancy.co.uk and follow Loraine on Twitter: @LoraineMB
Follow the International Women’s Day conversation on social media #IWD2019 #BalanceforBetter