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Southern accountants celebrate ICAEW southern annual dinner 2019

Leading ICAEW Chartered Accountants from Southampton, Portsmouth, and Bournemouth, and their VIP guests recently gathered at the Ageas Bowl for ICAEW Southern’s annual dinner. This is when the profession gets together to reconnect with friends and colleagues, listen to a celebrity speaker, celebrate its newer members and contribute to the community.

This year there were 115 attendees, including the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr David Fuller and the Deputy Lady Mayoress Mrs Leza Tremorin. Southampton was represented by Cllr Peter Bail-lie, who is sheriff and mayor elect; and Paul Aplin, president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales was also there and spoke about the priorities and activities of his presidential year.

After a warm welcome by Martin Cavey, president of ICAEW Southern, marathon runner and motiva-tional speaker Ben Smith added the evening’s ‘wow’ factor. Speaking from the heart and unscripted, Ben held the audience in thrall for 45 minutes, telling how sport can help to overcome the mental health issues resulting from bullying and low self esteem.

Ben recounted his own journey from happy early childhood through years of bullying, and a high-flying career in retail despite low self esteem, to serious depression and a health scare at age 29. He found the solution in running and became a world record holder by running 401 marathons in 401 days. His charity, The 401 Foundation and latest enterprise, the 401 Challenge are the spin-outs of this, designed to raise awareness of the harmful effects of bullying and inspire and challenge people to do things they never thought they could.

There was a short talk by Ian Davies, one of two local ICAEW council members, who is a trustee of the Fareham-based Fair Ways Foundation, for young people with social, emotional and mental health needs and £1250 was raised for their benefit.

Richard Dibden, commercial director of the lead sponsor, CMA Recruitment Group then expressed his support for ICAEW Southern. The other two sponsors of the evening were Southampton Business School and the accredited tuition provider, Kaplan.