Thirst for networking in Hambleton receives funding boost

Thirsty Thursday  Picture by Dawn McNamara

Thirsty Thursday
Picture by Dawn McNamara

Stokesley’s ‘Thirsty Thursday’ networking event has launched a new website to help it grow even further.

The new website  was made possible thanks to funding from “How’s Business”, set up to help businesses across York, North Yorkshire and East Riding, which provided financial support due to the success of the events so far.

Launched last November by Stokesley business women, Anna Addison and Sue Thompson, Thirsty Thursday now attracts around 50 different companies to each of its events, held regularly at The Mill in Stokesley.

How’s Business selected Thirsty Thursday for a grant to help with website design and also to fund marketing materials to allow Anna and Sue to attract more businesses to their events.

Since launching last November, over 150 businesses have now taken part in the informal events and have started to work together on various projects, both commercial and community-based.

The aim of the free get-togethers is to allow businesses to meet after work and talk about new projects and opportunities and share advice on everything from accounting, marketing and PR to business accommodation, retail and events.

Liz Barker from How’s Business said: “At How’s Business we want to get more business owners talking to and learning from each other because we believe that those productive, informal conversations are an essential part of having a strong and thriving small business community. We were delighted to support Thirsty Thursday’s growth ambitions and if there are any other local networks who want to grow, we want to hear from them too.”

Thirsty Thursday was the brainchild of Anna Addison, who runs PR company Anna Addison Associates, and Sue Thompson, who runs Catch Design Management. The ladies came up with the idea after meeting through Superfast North Yorkshire when they recognised the need for an informal networking event for people living and working in Stokesley and the surrounding towns and villages.

In June, Anna and Sue came in the top three in the Hambleton Business Awards’ ‘Hambleton Champion’ category beating off competition from 10 other local organisations.

Anna said: “It really has been an exciting few months for Thirsty Thursday. Being able to launch our website is a major boost as we can now reach more people with mailing lists and also our Hambleton news channel which we plan to update regularly. We’re really pleased that people are embracing the idea of networking with other local businesses, especially as many are now reaping the benefits.”

Sue added: “We now hope to take Thirsty Thursday even further as we head towards our first anniversary in November. We’re quite overwhelmed by the response from local businesses and also the support from organisations such as the LEP who have really helped us with our development.”

The next Thirsty Thursday events take place on September 24th, October 22nd and November 19th between 5pm and 7pm at The Mill on Springfield in Stokesley.

For more information on How’s Business visit