Sweet #netwalking in New Mills with@dalesandpeak

Today Dales and Peak Network went on an #entrepreneurs walk in New Mills, in the High Peak. We started at Swizzels Matlow , where Nici Matlow , HR manager of the family owned business SwizzelsMatlow gave us a talk on the history of the companies , and lots of sweet tasters . Despite being a family member, Nici had to spend 18 months on the shop floor , plus a Uni degree before she joined Swizzels HR.  The company started in Hackney London in the 30’s, relocated to New Mills in the war, and never left.In the 40’s they moved into an old textile mill. They helped the war effort by making water purification tablets. In the 50’s Parma Violets were invented.Originally they were breath fresheners . In 1954 Love Hearts came about.

They have a top secret machine to do messages on the Love hearts.Love Hearts are global, imagine 100 tonnes a week ! Then the double sherbet lolly..another first. Swizzels are famous for their firsts.
In 1975 a new factory extension arrived. The Swizzels sherbet sugar & Matlows jelly & chews merged. They built a new products & innovations team. In 2001 the online shop arrived, plus #squashies . They continually innovate , using natural colours & healthy mixes where possible.
What does Success look like ?
A lesson to all employers … Swizzels say
1 Success is all about their people , empowering & developing them. Staff are fully involved in creating an inspiring vision & future direction. All staff get the opportunity for regular training plus self guided learning in the Refresher room. When I arrived at the gatehouse I was greeted & welcomed by staff, signposted to the walk start, and everyone that arrived at the desk while I was there received the same genuine helpful friendly service. How does your business appear to new visitors & the outside world ?
2 Provide continuous development including Coaching for your staff.
3 Communicate your Vision, make it a shared vision & encourage participation.
4 Encourage staff to be involved in continuous improvement of business process & direction.
5 Involve staff in the selection & implementation of new technology so they can see how it will benefit them, by removing boring processes, keeping their jobs more interesting & not threatening their jobs.Its a pleasure to be consulted when you are not worried about your job!
6 Work with the local community ,schools, groups to promote jobs, support community sustainability & pride.

After the talk we walked along Torrs Gorge & on the Millennium walkway along to the canal and back into New Mills . We swapped business ideas & discussed all the tips from Swizzels, plus of course eating the odd sweet ! Join our next @dalesandpeak  walk on 26th April starting from venue TBC in Hathersage.

Email me for details coachmekp@gmail.com Best wishes Karen Perkins . Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @fabcoach Book a free coaching taster to see how I can help you re balance your work life ! www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk


Animal Crackers Cakes at RSPCA Sheffield

Many thanks to Tony & staff at Sheffield RSPCA Animal centre off Woodburn Road Sheffield . We held our Sheffield Clandestine cake club in the center with  5 bakers & Pepper the dog. Tony told us how they rescue, treat & rehome animals. They do a foster then adopt service to help new owners decide if they can cope with their new pet & offer advice & tips while they settle in. People can view dogs by video & photo now as they found it doesn’t unsettle the dogs as much.

Here are our cakes
Annes Chilli Chocolate Orange Tiger cake

Choc Orange Chilli Tiger cake

Carolyns Chocolate Orange tiger striped cake

Choc Orange Tiger cake 2

Is this a hedgehog cake !! from Karen P

Mutant hedgehog choc cake

This is a proper hedgehog cake by Karen W !

Hedgehog Choc cake

Look at the inside of the cakes as we sampled then ! #yummy

Thanks to RSPCA Sheffield …we will be back .Tony always needs donations of money, charity shop goods, raffle prizes , & support for their events ! Donate & sponsor via http://rspcasheffield.homeip.net/cgi-bin/browsearea.py?areaid=2

Our next bake is Prohibition Cakes Nov 19th 3-5  https://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/ccc-events/prohibition-nohibition-cakes-vintage-twist/

Contact Karen Perkins for info about future events ! http://www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk/contact-sheffield-coach.phphttp://www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk/contact-sheffield-coach.php

Carob at Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club

imageBaking with Carob at our July meeting. The challenge was to learn how to bake with carob and I made a carob, honey and walnut cake using carob syrup. here is the write up I did for the Clandestine Cake Club


The cake I made had deep rich flavour and an almost treacly taste. #Yummy The carob was supplied by @savvyspreads in Sheffield.

Visit the Clandestine Cake Club website to join the Sheffield group . We meet monthly and new members are always welcome … Come by yourself … We are very friendly !

Contact me Karen Perkins via coachmekp@gmail.com or via @fabcoach on Twitter

Cakey Update from the Cake & Bake Show

I was excited to be asked to help on the Clandestine Cake Club stand at the Cake & Bake Show Manchester 2014. It is an amazing combination of cake & foodie suppliers stands, baking clubs and demonstrations by famous bakers like Peter Middleton, Frances Quinn from the #GBBO Great British Bake Off . There were lots of opportunities to sample the cakes & learn tips on icing, sugarwork & prunes !! The CCC stand was busy all day with novice bakers looking to bake with others . We had a Bundt competition with 10 entries . They were judged by @dollybakes ,the Bundt Queen , Rachel McGrath the Bolton group CCC organiser and Peter Middleton . Health and safety rules meant no tasting by anyone but the judges …but I managed to scrump a bit of the winners …yummy !! I am the Sheffield Clandestine Cake club organiser .

Here are some action pictures from the day !!

CLANDESTINE PRUNE POUTWe are doing the Prune Pout !!


Cakes from Saturdays competition .


First Prize !




Meeting a real #GBBO competitor !

CCC at the Cake & Bake Show 6.4.14






20140406_100525Cakes that look like savouries !








20140406_163812Competition cakes from the main Cake & Bake Jungle themed bakeoff .



If these cakes have inspired you please join the Sheffield Clandestine cake club & our upcoming events ! http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/groups/sheffield/events/

or contact me Karen Perkins via @fabcoach or email me at coachmekp@gmail.com



What’s the difference between life coaching and counselling?

What’s the difference between life coaching and counselling?

By Gill Wier, Counsellor and Director of Sheffield Central Counselling Ltd

If you have a burning issue you want to discuss in confidence you might be asking yourself what sort of person would be right for me to speak to? As a counsellor, Gill says,  I am often asked by clients “Have I come to the right place? Do you think counselling will help me?” I’d like to share a bit about counselling and how it’s different from life coaching.
It’s not surprising that people sometimes feel unclear about which approach is right for them. After all, both counsellors and life coaches will meet with you on a one to one basis and aim to create a confidential and non-judgemental space where you can talk freely about the issues you are facing. Both professions aim to help you explore and gain understanding of your problems with a view to helping you make positive changes in your life.
So what are the main differences?
In summary, life coaching is focused on setting goals for the future and making positive changes in your life. The life coach provides the practical and psychological support you need to motivate you towards obtaining these goals. Counselling works with personal issues in much greater depth than would normally be expected in life coaching. Counselling tends to be focused on emotional issues and on helping people break free from issues that are holding them back from living life to the full.
Life coaching is of most benefit to people who are generally feeling well but have some sense of discontent, frustration or unhappiness and want to make changes in their lives.
Counselling might be beneficial for you if…
• Problems are getting on top of you and affecting your well-being, causing depression, anxiety or stress
• Issues from the past are having an negative impact on your day to day life, affecting your relationships or work
• You are finding it hard to come to terms with a traumatic life change such as a bereavement or relationship breakdown

But isn’t having counselling a sign of weakness?
On the contrary it takes a lot of courage to come and talk about your personal issues with a counsellor. It is a sign of your inner strength and resourcefulness that you choose to access the support that you need when you need it. I have seen first-hand how counselling helps many people address deep seated emotional issues so that they can move forwards with greater freedom. Life coaching can work well as a next step after counselling once you are feeling better and ready to set some new goals for your life.
So if you have deeper underlying emotional issues that are holding you back I would recommend seeing a counsellor. There’s no need to leave it until you are in crisis or have reached rock bottom. If you have any questions or would like to arrange an initial appointment to discuss how counselling could help you feel free to contact me on 07504492224 or gill@sheffieldcentralcounselling.co.uk

Gill Weir

A new Harvest of cakes with Sheffield Clandestine Cake club

Sheffield Clandestine Cake club September event  produced  17 fabulous cakes on a Harvest theme & were displayed & demolished at Honey Pie Tearooms ,Meersbrook.  Hosted by Jo Hardiman and her lovely staff who made us very welcome,we had lashings of real tea…complete with strainer !  Here are some of the delicious cakes with a little bit of cakey techie info to help you bake them too ! Sheffield bakers are famed for their originality and ingredients as you will see from the wide range of autumn fruits & spices used in the cakes . Join a future meeting  …we bake for fun and are all non competitive bakers ! Howard Middleton sent his apologies too ! #GBBO


My name is Karen Perkins & my own recipe cake was a roasted hazelnut & almond cake, topped with home-made blackberry jam, whipped cream with blackberries & home made hazelnut & almond praline . I was surprised how easy the praline was , but take care with the hot sugar ! Follow me @Fabcoach on Twitter for dates & events from the Sheffield Clandestine cake Club.

DSC03825Alice made an apple & pear crumble cake. Fruit & seeds were popular ingredients in our autumn theme .
Dawns Streusel cake had Cinnamon & mixed spice streusel topping  with fruit and a butter & salted caramel filling. Caramel frosting topped it off !

Plum & Ginger was the sticky yummy Autumn theme chosen by Suzanne !


Mary’s chocolate & damson cake, one of Nigel Slaters finest ,had a soft mousse like centre .

DSC03832Pauls Apple & Cinnamon cake from the BBC Good food programme had moist apple inside.


Bernie made an Orchard fruit cake with 4 whole apples and pears in. Very yummy and full of your 5 a day.

Karen W made a Maple Syrup & Apple cake with ginger . It was still warm #heaven. She suggests serving it with cream.


Jacky made an apple, strawberry & blueberry cake with a marmalade syrup glaze.
Marthas cake came from the comedy thriller Drag me to Hell… following an internet search & had 1lb of grapes, slightly crushed plus olive oil instead of fat. It also contained fresh rosemary.
Debbies Apple & Walnut cake had black treacle & cream cheese frosting

Silvana baked a cheesecake from the Hummingbird bakery cookbook. It had homemade blackberry jam swirled in it.
DSC03827A beetroot, cinnamon & seed cake was Hannahs creation. Another Nigel Slater masterpiece with poppy & sunflower seeds , and icing topping with poppy seeds


Final cake was a delicious Dutch Apple cake by Liz with massive apologies from me as I missed the photo. It was round with neatly circled apple slices and a shiny sticky glaze .


DEC  ALTERNATIVE XMAS CAKES joint meeting with Chesterfield & Newark & Sherwood groups, …OMG over 25 cakes to try & a Secret Santa   ! Register free on the website & book via the events page! Its really easy ! www.clandestinecakeclub.co.uk

Contact me for any details ! Hope to meet you soon Karen Perkins

Homemade Jam, Labelled with Love, Ready in 25 minutes !

With all the pressures on your time these days, this Jam recipe is perfect for using fresh ingredients and only 25 minutes of your time.  From fruit to jar in 25 minutes !

jam-labels-banner Jam Today

The recipe is a traditional one from my ex mother in law who at 93, has embraced modern technology and brought her Jam recipe into the ‘teenies ‘ decade using the  microwave . I was dubious to start with but have found that making microwave Jam avoids all the boiling and hot sugar dangerousness of the old fashioned pan method .Re-using your favourite shaped  jam jars and personalising them for vintage presents that people love as’ home made’ shows a real ‘effort’ and care ! If you want to sell your jam for charity fund-raising or your own business or start up , having personalised labels  really makes your jam stand out and look appealing. You can add all your business details, charity website and photos on sites which sell customised labels for jam and preserve  makers .

Design your own Jam labels

400g chopped, washed strawberries  ( experiment with all sorts of fruit )
400g  Jam making Sugar   ( which already has pectin for setting the jam included )
Juice of small lemon
Small knob ( 1/4 teaspoon ) of  Butter  or Pure ( for lactose intolerant or vegans )
Prepare the following on a clean surface ready to pot your jam
2 – 3 warm Jam jars and lids   ( sterilise by microwaving with hot water  )
3 greaseproof paper circles to pop on top of your jam in the jar
3 personalised  Labels to add the perfect  finishing touches ( Order your own at   http://www.selfadhesivelabels.com/printed-labels/jar-labels/jam-labels/   
3 Circular jam covers cut from Vintage cloth with crimping scissors  ( 15cm  or 6″ diameter )

Now to make the Jam.. it’s so quick
1 Chop and wash strawberries & microwave for 2 minutes  in deep pyrex bowl ( to stop over boiling later )
Choped washed strawberries
2 Weigh 400g of Jam making sugar and stir into strawberries

3 Add the juice of small lemon or ( 2 tablespoons)

4 Microwave the mixture for  6 lots of 2 minutes on High.  That’s 12 minutes in total. Stir between each blast . Use oven gloves and be careful of the jam as you work  as HOT JAM sticks to your skin and burns .
5 Test for setting  by dribbling a small amount on a cold clean plate held at an angle.

6 Stir in the knob of butter
7 Using a jam funnel or large spoon/ladle carefully fill the jam jars to within 2 cm of the top . TAKE CARE WHEN POURING HOT JAM , wipe off any drips.

8 Pop the greaseproof circles onto the jam surface  & press down gently
9 Secure lids well and leave to cool .
10 When cool, stick your labels on and pop on the jam pot covers. 2 handed approach to pop the rubber band on works best.
11 Enjoy eating ,giving or selling your lovely Jam !

Jam Today

Thanks to Mercian Labels for all the advice on getting labels designed and printed on line ! http://www.selfadhesivelabels.com/satisfied-mercian-customers/

For Life Coaching and Jam making business coaching with Social media contact me on 07971 881251 or via my website www.karenperkinslifecoach.co.uk

Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club – Stir up some Passion Cakes – My Chocolate Valentine

Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club – Stir up some Passion Cakes – My Chocolate Valentine.

We had a fabulous time !!  Come and register with the Clandestine cake club Sheffield group and join our future events !! www.clandestinecakeclub.co.uk

We also have some star ‘Men who bake ‘ !!

Contact me Karen Perkins at coachmekp@gmail.com or via Twitter @fabcoach https://twitter.com/fabcoach  07971 881251

Healthy Cakes by Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club at Pure on Raw Cafe

Well done to all for making it through the meltwaters !! Thanks to Inga http://www.pureonraw.co.uk for the wonderful venue & healthiest cakes ! Our next event is Passion cakes ( my chocolate valentine ) .. on Sat 23rd feb join our Sheffield group on http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/groups/sheffield/
See you soon !


Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club – ‘Healthy Cakes’

Logo created by Anita Mangan Inspired by her designs for the CCC Cook Book. Linked to her website ‘The Cooper Family’ where you will see more of Anita’s design work.

After a night of snowfall the hardy members of the Sheffield branch of the Clandestine Cake Club made their way to the first meeting of 2013. Many peoples’ thoughts once the new year dawns turns to diets and healthier eating so the theme for the month was quite aptly ‘Healthy Cakes for a New Year, New You’. Low fat, wheat or gluten-free, vegetable ingredients, superfood fruits and brain enhancing nuts and seeds – there was plenty of choice of cakes for us to bake. Karen Perkins, our hardworking organizer known to many as @fabcoach on Twitter, found us a rather unique venue for Sheffield in the Pure on Raw café.

Located on Shalesmoor, the Pure on Raw café serves locally sourced, organic food as per the vision of owner Inga Dirziute. Despite the freezing temperatures outside Inga gave us a warm welcome to…

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