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West of England professional community gathers to hear astronaut Major Tim Peake at Aerospace Bristol

Author: ICAEW

Published: 19 May 2022

Astronaut Tim Peake joined over 400 guests at Aerospace Bristol on 5 May 2022, sharing inspirational stories from his time in space in a setting dedicated to the history of aviation.

The dinner brought together ICAEW members, their guests, representatives of the accountancy, professional services, and wider business community, for their first face-to-face event since 2019, to network and share insights. 

Speaking under the last Concorde to fly, Tim spoke about his experiences in space and how what he learnt can be applied to personal, professional, and societal challenges. He said “It’s a pleasure to visit Aerospace Bristol for the first time and be surrounded by the innovations that have made space flight possible. This setting reminds us how ambition and inspiration allow us to achieve the unexpected – a vision I know ICAEW and the West of England’s financial and professional services sectors share, and champion in the local area.” 

ICAEW West of England President Natalie Binstead was joined on stage by two young people, Catherine and Tannika, from the evening’s charity partner, Grassroot Communities. A South Bristol community organisation, Grassroot Communities delivers school, youth and community work projects based on the needs and wants of local people. 

Lead sponsors for the evening were Jacobs and Brunel Professions, with additional sponsorship from Aston Martin (Dick Lovett) and Moon Executive Search.

Natalie Binstead, ICAEW West of England President, said: “After two challenging years we’re delighted to have been able to bring the West of England’s business community together at last at this fantastic venue. Tim Peake’s speech really chimed with what we’ve been working towards during the past year; diversity and community have been the key themes of my presidency, and so it was great to hear him speak about his experiences, as well as hear from our charity partners, Grassroot Communities.”

Jon Filer, Divisional Director & Head of Retail Broking at Brunel Professions, said: “Brunel Professions are delighted to once again sponsor the ICAEW West of England business dinner. The dinner is always a highlight of the local business calendar, and this year’s event at the iconic Aerospace Bristol was no different. ICAEW West of England has done an incredible job at maintaining member interaction during the pandemic, and the dinner was a great way to celebrate successes, note some of the struggles and more importantly spend time face to face with everybody again.”

Dr Justin Goldberg, Vice President Defence & Security, Jacobs, said: “Jacobs is at the forefront of helping to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges to make the future better - climate change response, delivering critical national infrastructure and improving security and social equity. As the largest professional services provider to NASA, our reach extends into outer space, which I hope Tim Peake found comforting while he was orbiting the earth!”

Ben Carpenter, Founder and Projects Lead at Grassroot Communities, said: “A lack of opportunities and role models all too often hinder the aspirations of young people from marginalised communities. At Grassroot Communities, we have developed the yearlong Grassroot Activators Programme (GAP) to prove there is a different way that has the potential to develop future leaders of tomorrow and benefit entire communities, and we need the support from businesses and organisations across Bristol to make it happen.

This is why we’re so pleased to have joined together with the ICAEW and the West of England community at last night’s event, and to have heard Tim Peake speak so passionately about widening opportunities for young people. With the right level of support any young person can be the changes they want to see and be.” 

A fantastic night for all!