News from members of Perthshire Businesswomens Network


Adventure Circus is to embark on a tour of Perth and Kinross care homes to entertain isolated residents during August and September.

Devised during lockdown thanks to funding from the Corra Foundation’s Community Wellbeing Fund, the 30 minute acrobatic outdoor show will thrill residents with trapeze, aerial silks and hoop, juggling, handstands and hula hooping.

Glencairn House Activity Co-ordinator, Julie Davies, initially got in touch with Adventure Circus to discuss ideas to help cheer up their Auchterarder residents who were missing their usual activities and family visitors. With Julie’s ideas, the show, called ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ was devised to be themed around the swinging 60s. The circus spectacular includes music from Marvin Gaye, Millie Small and Jackie Wilson as well as colourful costumes and fun props.

Adventure Circus Director, Gemma Simpson said:

“During lockdown, like all other arts and entertainment organisations, our performance work and circus lessons came to a halt. However it has always been on our to-do list to create a pop up outdoor circus show that we can take to care homes, galas, festivals and other events.

“The time that we gained during lockdown gave our team the ability to focus on creating the show and I am delighted that we are now in a position to visit care homes and bring a bit of sunshine into their lives after a long period of isolation.

“We are starting our tour in Auchterarder and so far we are heading to homes in Crieff, Pitlochry and Dunkeld. Our show takes place in the grounds of care homes rather than indoors, so that we can physically distance from the residents and keep them safe.”

Limited dates are available for performance bookings in August and September. Activity Co-ordinators are urged to get in touch with Gemma via email or by telephone on: 07709815564 and an information pack is available on their website.

Industry Body Awards Local PR Leader ‘Chartered Practitioner Status’

Chartered Practioner

PBN Member, Tricia Fox, Managing Director and founder of independent PR and Marketing agency Volpa, has been awarded ‘Chartered Practitioner’ status by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), the communication industry’s leading professional body in the UK.

The Chartered Practitioner status was awarded following an online Chartership Assessment day in which candidates were assessed on their understanding of ethics, strategy, and leadership. The Chartered Practitioner status represents the highest standard of professional excellence and integrity in public relations. As well as reflecting breadth of experience and achievements, it demonstrates candidates are keeping pace in a fast-moving profession and updating knowledge and skills through continuing professional development (CPD).

Tricia, who founded Perth based Volpa in 2002, joins an exclusive community of only 340 Chartered PR professionals worldwide. The CIPR is the only organisation with a Royal Charter enabling them to assess and award Chartered PR Practitioner status. There are many benefits to becoming a Chartered Practitioner including gaining a professional competitive edge and enhancing career prospects, enjoying greater influence within the profession, and reassuring prospective employers and clients that the highest standards are practised.

Tricia commented: “It is fantastic to be formally recognised as a Chartered PR practitioner by the UK’s leading public relations professional body and a great way to be rewarded and recognised for my professional judgement, industry knowledge, skill, experience, ethical competence and for the many hours I have put into my professional development to stay ahead in a constantly evolving industry.”

Volpa is a full-service PR & Marketing agency based in Perth. The agency has received a raft of awards over the years including the Silver Award for Outstanding Small Consultancy at the CIPR PRide Scotland awards for two years running.

Read more news stories here.

Find out more about being a PBN Member here.

Volpa Backs 2.6 Challenge

Perth based marketing agency, Volpa, is backing The 2.6 Challenge campaign which is aiming to help save the UK’s charities from Sunday 26th April.

Organisers of the country’s biggest mass participation sports events have come together to create the campaign to help save the UK’s charities which are facing an estimated £4 billion shortfall as a result of thousands of fundraising events being cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.

Volpa has been actively involved in the mass participation industry for over a decade, supporting the efforts of major sporting events like Etape Caledonia and, like many organisations operating in their industry, their business has also been directly affected by the nationwide cancellation and postponement of mass gatherings.

The 2.6 Challenge officially begins on Sunday 26 April, which should have been the 40th edition of the London Marathon, the world’s biggest one day annual fundraising event and, for many charities, the biggest fundraising day of the year.

Volpa’s team, a number of whom have been furloughed as a result of the coronavirus crisis, have come together to create a team challenge. The team have created individual challenges to raise funds for Asthma UK, a charity that has seen its income drop while also experiencing an eightfold increase in demand for its services during the pandemic. Their challenges include hiding 26 rainbow stones around the Perthshire village of Scone for residents to find on their daily walk, and running 26km.

Tricia Fox, founder of Volpa, commented:

“Volpa has been acutely aware of the number of charities who income has been directly affected by the crisis and our clients in mass participation as well as retail have all been impacted as a result. We commend the efforts of those behind the 2.6 Challenge, many of whom we know personally and have worked with over the years, and we wanted to get behind them and support their efforts in any which way we could. This has included pro bono PR support for the campaign in Scotland, helping to get the word out on the challenge.”

“My team has also stepped up with a number of creative challenges. Linda’s rainbow stones are simply beautiful, while others are going the distance with running, and Emma’s going to be juggling for 26 minutes. For my part, I started playing the violin again last week after a 35 year hiatus, so I’ll be doing a Facebook Live of bad violin playing for those who are unfortunate enough to ‘tune’ in!”

“The 2.6 Challenge can be anything that works for you,” says Nick Rusling, Co-Chair of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers group (MSO) and CEO of Human Race. “You can run or walk 2.6 miles, 2.6km or for 26 minutes. You could do the same in your home or garden, go up and down the stairs 26 times, juggle for 2.6 minutes, do a 26 minute exercise class or get 26 people on a video call and do a 26 minute workout – anything you like. We want people to get active, have fun and raise money to help Save the UK’s Charities by giving money or raising funds for the charity close to your heart.”

To donate to Volpa’s fundraising efforts for Asthma UK, visit

For more information on The 2.6 Challenge, visit

Volpa, the Perth based independent PR and marketing agency, has won a clutch of Gold and Silver awards at this year’s prestigious Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) PRide Scotland Awards 2019 including Silver for the highly coveted outstanding small public relations consultancy category for the second year running.

The full-service agency, which boasts dedicated marketing, public relations, creative and digital teams, was shortlisted for a raft of awards at the annual industry event. They collected a Gold Award on the night for Regional Campaign of the Year for a promotion that encourages local employers to offer young people work experience placements as part of the #Learnaliving campaign run on behalf of Developing Young Workforce Perth & Kinross.

They picked up a Silver Award for Community Relations, recognizing the digital work undertaken for the Scottish Business Resilience Centre and Best Bar None to support a good night out in Scotland.

Tricia Fox, founder and CEO of Volpa, commented:

“The team are truly chuffed to be recognized once again in the category for Outstanding Small Consultancy, for which we have won Silver two years in a row. We were even more delighted to celebrate our gold and silver wins on the night with the teams from Best Bar None Scotland and Developing Young Workforce Perth & Kinross. It really is the hard work and talents of our skilled and passionate team, and their collaborative way or working with our clients, that delivers such outstanding work and these awards celebrate those achievements. I am incredibly proud of them all.”

Two Perth based full-service marketing agencies Volpa and Fraktul will join forces from October 2019, further strengthening Volpa’s position as one of Scotland’s top independent marketing agencies.

The partnership, which sees Volpa’s team boosted by the strategic marketing expertise of Fraktul’s founder and managing director, Stephen Gorton, will bring a stronger B2B focus to the award-winning agency.

With more than twenty years’ marketing experience, including senior marketing roles at Kier Construction, Halcrow and Millard Consulting, Stephen is a Chartered Marketer who founded Fraktul in 2009. In 2014, he was responsible for the rebrand of one of Scotland’s largest recyclers, Binn Group, and has provided marketing since which has helped to increase turnover from £10 million to £16 million. In addition, his work with The Bathroom Company has been instrumental in helping the company to achieve the accolade of UK Bathroom Retailer three times.

Stephen will take up the senior management role of Account Director at Volpa and will continue to service Fraktul’s extensive client base of more than 100 clients, which he has built up over the last decade. Stephen says:

“I’m pleased and excited to be joining the Volpa team. There is a really good complementary fit with clients who will benefit from being part of Volpa.”

Stephen’s appointment is the latest in a series of senior appointments for the award-winning agency. Former Head of Marketing at Crieff Hydro, Sarah Brown, has recently joined the agency as a senior account manager, which followed the appointment of Emma Davies as senior account manager, who brings more than 18 years of PR experience in the B2B agency environment and who also previously ran her own PR agency.

Tricia Fox, founder and MD of Volpa, commented:

“We’re absolutely delighted to be joining forces with Fraktul and welcoming them into Volpa’s den, further strengthening our credentials as one of Scotland’s leading marketing agencies. I am especially pleased to be welcoming Stephen at a time when Volpa is expanding its horizons. He brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise, specifically in the B2B marketing arena, and I look forward to working with him to develop and grow the businesses of our combined portfolio of clients.”

Volpa is a full-service marketing agency boasting dedicated marketing, public relations, design and digital teams. Specialists in the tourism, hospitality and food and drink sectors, as well as working with entrepreneurial high growth startups, the agency has received a raft of awards over the years. This includes The Courier Business Award for Best Small Business, a CIPR Pride Scotland Silver Award for Outstanding Small Consultancy and three times winner of the Scottish Event Award for Best Marketing Strategy for its work on Scotland’s premier sound and light event, The Enchanted Forest.

A Dundee-based design studio has been named
as one of the top 25 branding agencies in the world

The Malting House Design Studio, based in Tay Street Lane, secured the accolade from the Design Rush Agency, a business-to-business online portal that allows firms to connect with creative agencies around the world.

The firm came 19th in the list which also included agencies from as far afield as America and Canada.

Founder and creative director Wendy Maltman said: “We’re delighted to have this acknowledgement.

“It shows that our design and branding work is being recognised on a global basis. This can only be good news for our local clients who can have confidence that they really are getting great quality design and branding work from us.

“It demonstrates that you don’t have to go to expensive agencies in Edinburgh, London or New York to find world-class designers.”

The company is currently undertaking an expansion drive and has committed greater resources into marketing.

The move is paying dividends with an influx of new clients, as well as existing customers buying into more of the company’s offer.

Ms Maltman said: “Currently we are working hard to increase the capacity of the business, bringing in new work and adding to the range of services we can offer existing clients.

“We have had recent success in developing our website design skills and this has brought a great deal of new work into the business, which could see the team expand.

“There are three of us currently working in the business but we will look to increase this when the time is right.”

Ms Maltman previously completed Elevator’s business accelerator programme in Perth.

The ambitious company has set itself the goal of building an influential studio in the creative heart of the city which not only impacts the local business community, but is also sought after by businesses and organisations throughout Scotland.

If you think the Menopause is doom and gloom and ‘the beginning of the end’, think again. That’s the message from the team behind the world’s only Menopause Festival, returning to Perth this month.

The festival, now in its second year, will take place at Perth Theatre on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April 2019 and will be officially opened by Christine McKelvie MSP, Scotland’s Minister for Older People and Equalities.

Saturday 27 April will give members of the public, both men and women, the opportunity to explore different aspects of the menopause.

Keynote speaker Kelli Jaecks, author of ‘Martinis & Menopause: strategies, science and sips that empower women to beat the Hormone Groan’, is travelling from Oregon, USA to speak about ‘the fantastic four’,: exercise, diet, sleep and HRT. Meanwhile, Dr Laura Jarvis from Tayside Menopause Clinic will focus on medical aspects of the menopause. There will also be a number of stalls and workshops on everything from creative writing and photography to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, nutrition and exercise. Evening entertainment is also on offer, with comedy from ‘Gusset Grippers’ and, of course, the chance to mingle, eat and drink!

The first day of the festival, Friday 26 April, is aimed at Human Resources professionals, line managers, trade unions and employment lawyers, with the ‘Menopause at Work’ seminar exploring the rights of both women and their employers, menopause policies and how the menopause impacts on women’s economic participation at a national level.

Sponsored by Rowan Consultancy in Perth, the festival is open to all genders and all ages and follows on from the World’s very first Menopause Café, which took place in Perth in 2017. Menopause Café has gone on to become a registered charity with respected Scottish broadcaster Kirsty Wark as Patron.

Rachel Weiss, Partner at Rowan Consultancy said, “There are a lot of negative connotations around the menopause but, for many, the third stage of life is an opportunity for women to take stock of their life, and take control.

“As well as succeeding in getting more men and women talking about the menopause, through our Menopause Cafés now running throughout the UK and beyond, there are other steps women can take which we will be exploring throughout the festival.

“From encouraging women to get stuck into some new creative past times and exploring mindfulness, to taking a closer look at their diet, our speakers have lots of practical tips to reduce symptoms and embrace the changes which the menopause can present.”

The Menopause Festival 2019 is delivered in partnership with Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre, and funded by Perth and Kinross Council and Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust.

To attend, visit

For more information, visit

Check out our other news stories.

The only menopause festival in the world will once again be held in Perth next year, it was announced today (Thursday 18 October 2018, World Menopause Day).

This year saw the very first Menopause Festival take place in the city, with four events in April and May.

Sponsored by Rowan Consultancy in Perth, the festival, which will be held at Perth Theatre on 26 and 27 April 2019, is open to all genders and all ages and follows on from the World’s very first Menopause Café, which took place in Perth in the Summer of 2017.

Menopause Café has gone on to become a registered charity with respected Scottish broadcaster Kirsty Wark as Patron.

WOW – Women of the World – Festival at Perth Concert Hall.
Kirsty Wark with Rachel Weiss, founder of Perth’s first Menopause café.
Fraser Band
07984 163 256

Indeed, what started in Perth is slowly being replicated throughout the UK. Menopause Cafes have now spread throughout the UK and beyond, with over 700 people having attended over 60 Menopause Cafes.  The Cafes are pop up events open to young and old, male and female, to create space for conversations about the menopause and to reduce the taboo.  By attending, women report that they are better prepared, with partners, colleagues, family, friends and managers better informed and able to support women.

Rachel Weiss, Partner at Rowan Consultancy, was also recently awarded the Association of Scottish Businesswomen’s Award for Community Commitment, and was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award for her voluntary work in founding Menopause Café.

Rachel commented, “When we organised our first ever Menopause Café, we knew there would be some interest but we had no idea of what would follow.  It soon emerged that people  really want to talk about this and to break through the silence that so many suffer from when it comes to the subject. We feel we have sparked a shift in the mindset of both women and men – after all, this is a topic which affects us all!  To now be supporting women in organising Menopause Cafes and workplace events worldwide, and now a second festival, is a fantastic outcome. We look forward to revealing the details of our speakers in the new year.”

To fund raise for the Menopause Festival, the Menopause Café voluntary committee has signed up for the Perth Santa Run on 8 December 2018, with the chance to donate in due course.

The Menopause Festival 2019 is delivered in partnership with Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre.

To keep in touch with the latest announcements about the Menopause Festival, please visit

WOW – Women of the World – Festival at Perth Concert Hall in 2017.

Pressing issues affecting women’s lives – including mental wellbeing, body image and surveillance – will be the focus of this year’s Women of the World Festival in Perth City Centre. Other key topics to be spotlighted will include social and economic injustice, the menopause and women’s relationship with alcohol.

A keynote session by WOW founder Jude Kelly OBE- who launched the movement which has now reached more than one million people worldwide in 2011 –  will set out why a gender equal world is a better place for all.  PBN members can also see Jude at our Breakfast Networking event on Friday 28th, ahead of the Festival itself. Book your place now >>>

The Perth event, which takes place on 29 and 30 September, will also feature an award-winning version of the hit play, The Vagina Monologues; an evening with the iconic Scottish singer songwriter Horse McDonald; and a packed programme that includes dance, poetry, puppetry and comedy.

A range of workshops will include speed mentoring sessions, a panel discussion on different approaches to leadership and tips and tricks on how to change a tyre.

It will be the second time that Perth has hosted an event promoted by WOW, which is the largest women’s festival movement in the world, taking place across five continents.

The festival, which made its Scottish debut in Perth last year, celebrates and recognises the achievements of women and girls, and takes a frank look at factors stopping them from achieving their potential.

Ms Kelly, who previously spent 12 years as Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre, said: “This will be WOW’s 50th festival, and we’re proud to celebrate this with the people of Perthshire and beyond. Has there ever been a more exciting time of change for girls and women? “

“There’s so much to celebrate and so much to improve and it needs everyone to be involved. Despite the gravity and seriousness of the issues that hold women back, we aim to build a place of warmth, shared respect and fun.”

Ms Kelly paid tribute to WOW Perth Programmer Louise Brodie, highlighting how she had worked with the whole community to create a thoughtful, generous and rigorous programme that provided a platform for so many different voices.

Said Louise: “There have been some significant shifts in the fight for gender equality in the year since we presented our first festival. Gender equality is no longer an urban-centric conversation – it is being discussed across Scotland and now, more than ever, we must push forward.

“Diversity and inclusivity stand front and centre at WOW. The festival aims to inspire debate as well as positive change. It is a call to action not just of the head, but of the heart also.”

WOW is funded by Spirit of 2012, a charity which was established with £4.7million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund. It funds partners across the UK that provide opportunities in sports, physical activity, arts and culture, volunteering and social action.

PBN will be sharing a Market Place stand with The Extraordinary Training Company – please do drop by and say hello if you’re there!

How Did WOW – Women of the World Start?

Southbank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World festival is a global festival movement launched by Jude Kelly CBE in London in 2011 that celebrates women and girls, and looks at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. To date, WOW has reached over one million people worldwide and this number is growing year on year. With the HRH Duchess of Cornwall as President, Southbank Centre is now planning a WOW Commonwealth festival at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 with all 53 nations.

Each festival across the world – made up of talks, debates, music, activism, mentoring, pop ups and performance – celebrates women and girls, takes a frank look at what prevents them from achieving their potential, and raises awareness globally of the issues they face and possible solutions. It reaches girls and women, boys and men from a broad range of social backgrounds and supplies a completely different sense of action and energy than a conventional conference approach.

Speakers have included Malala Yousafzai, Christine Lagarde, Salma Hayek, Annie Lennox, Gordon Brown, Julie Walters, Patrick Stewart and many more including hundreds of women and men who don’t have public profiles but are working everyday to achieve gender equality. Over 25,000 people came to WOW London in 2016, thousands more have come to WOWs across the world and festival organisers have collaborated on cross-continental projects.

What is Spirit of 2012?

Spirit of 2012 is a funding charity, established with £47 million from the Big Lottery. It funds partners across the UK that provide opportunities in sports, physical activity, arts and culture, volunteering and social action.  Spirit was founded to continue and recreate the spirit of pride, positivity and social connectedness that people experienced during the London 2012 Games.  They invest to create good outcomes for people and communities and have invested over £25 million into community projects in over 100 locations across the UK, benefiting more than 1 million people.

The founder of the internationally celebrated Women of the World (WOW) Festival is kicking off WOW Perth 2018 by attending a breakfast networking event in the city hosted by Perthshire Businesswomen’s Network (PBN).

Jude Kelly CBE, a prolific advocate of women’s rights, also a theatre director and TED talker, is in Perth for a weekend of events from Friday September 28-30 for WOW Perth 2018 which is the 50th WOW Festival since its creation in 2010. The Festival, which has reached 53 countries worldwide, celebrates the achievements of women and looks at the obstacles which stop them achieving their potential.

Kelly’s first stop on her Festival journey is a networking breakfast with PBN where she will meet many inspirational businesswomen from the local area. A pro-active and growing networking group which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, PBN’s membership consists of an array of businesswomen from the Perthshire region, from CEOs to one-women bands.

During the breakfast, Kelly will deliver an informal talk about how women have the power to change the world. PBN chairman and founder of The Extraordinary Training Company, Jane Rennie, commented:

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Jude Kelly CBE to Perthshire Businesswomen’s Network. In Perthshire, we have many exceptional women in business and we are sure Jude will be inspired by our members as much as they will be by Jude’s fascinating story. WOW Perth 2018 looks set to be a fantastic event and we are delighted to support the Festival, hosting the event’s founder at our breakfast networking event.”

Attendance at the event is free for PBN members and £10 for non-members. To book online and for more information visit