Rok szkolny 2014-2015 w Polskiej Szkole w Canterbury rozpoczęty!

W ubiegłą sobotę, 5 października, rozpoczęliśmy nowy, już czwarty rok szkolny w naszej polskiej szkole. Dzieciarnia zjawiła się licznie i świetnie się bawiła! W ciągu trzech godzin pisaliśmy, czytaliśmy, słuchaliśmy i dyskutowaliśmy. A także rysowaliśmy, kleiliśmy i śpiewaliśmy polskie piosenki!

Następne zajęcia za dwa tygodnie,  18 października, zapraszamy – mamy jeszcze miejsca w najstarszej grupie:)

Teatrzyk obwozny ‘Wloczykij’ ponownie w Canterbury!

Zapraszamy na trzeci juz z kolei wystep znanego i lubianego polskiego teatrzyku obwoznego, teatru ‘Wloczykij’w Canterbury. Teatr Wloczykij zostal zalozony przez pania Ewa Zielinska, aktorke i rezysera i jej przedstawienia ciesza sie duzym powodzeniem.

Teatr wystawi u nas powtornie spektakl pt. ‘Przygody Jeza spod miasta Zgierza’, 40 minutowe przedstawienie dla dzieci od 2 do 10 lat, oparte na bajce Wandy Chotomskiej.

Jest to opowieść o tym, jak trudno jest żyć bez rodziny oraz bliskich krewnych i dlaczego dziadkowie, babcie, ciocie, wujkowie i kuzynostwo są tak ważni w życiu młodego człowieka. Głównym bohaterem bajki jest mały jeż, który bardzo tęskni za swoją rodziną i dlatego postanawia wyruszyć na poszukiwanie krewnych. Po drodze napotykają go przeróżne niespodzianki i przeszkody ale po pokonaniu trudności znajduje liczną rodzinę i jest najszczęśliwszym jeżem na świecie.

Po przedstawieniu odbeda sie 40 minutowe warsztaty teatralno-plastyczne. Warsztaty składają się z dwóch części i nawiązują do tematyki przedstawienia.

Co: ‘Przygody Jeza spod miasta Zgierza’ przedstawienie i warsztaty
Gdzie:
6 The Friars
CANTERBURY
CT1 2AS
Kiedy: 29 wrzesnia 2013, godz. 16.15
Cena biletu:dzieki grantowi Brittish Lottery Fund bilet kosztuje tylko 7 funtow za kazde dziecko (przedstawienie + warsztaty); rodzice wchodza gratis (nalezy wydrukowac darmowy bilet), ale bedziemy wdzieczni jesli zechcecie wesprzec nasze przyszle dzialania mala dotacja (bilet Parent Extra). Dziekujemy!

Coming back after a break…

It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. I am both impressed and pleased to come back and see that despite lack of my blogging presence, people still read and comment on my blog, and I even gained a few followers! Many thanks guys for stopping by and finding my writing interesting:)

So what I have been up to? Shortly – too many things at once, typical for me, but all of them quite exciting. I have been madly networking, mainly because it is one of my passion – meeting people and organising events, but also because I am working on my new venture, Inspiral Enterprise.

I have been working on my new logo with lovely Ken Lloyd, who designed a pretty cool logo for me. I am currently working on the content of my website, and on my business offering, which is oh-so-exciting. And adding to that my usual busy schedule – translation, managing my local Polish organisation and family/children related duties, days seem to be too short.

Anyway, I hope to start my venture very soon, and will be soon blogging more about serious business development stuff, so stay tuned:)

Canterbury fire station opens its doors to Polish community.

The short article below is an official press release for the joint event organised by Kent Fire and Rescue Service with the help of Polish Educational Club in Kent. We all are quite excited about the event, should be good fun!

Members of the Polish community have been invited to Canterbury fire station this Saturday (19 November) for an open day aimed at engaging local people with the work of the fire service.

Image:Surachai/Freedigitalphotos.net

The event, organised by the Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) in partnership with the local Polish Educational Club takes place between 4-6pm and promises a live fire demonstration, informative displays, the opportunity to talk to firefighters and to even climb aboard a working fire engine. Entry is free and refreshments will be provided.

With accidental cooking fires still the main cause of fires in the home, visitors will be able to see the devastating effects of putting water on to a cooking oil fire, with a chip pan fire demonstration.

KFRS Risk Reduction Manager Mick Smith said: “We are looking forward to welcoming our Polish residents to Canterbury fire station. We hope to use this opportunity to further develop the relationship between the Polish community and KFRS. It looks set to be a great afternoon out for families with the chance for visitors to learn some vital fire safety tips.”

Image:Idea go/Freedigitalphotos.net

Dr Agnieszka J. Gordon, Managing Director of Inspiral Enterprise and Chair of the Polish Educational Club in Kent, who has helped to make the event possible, said: “All of the people who are coming along are really looking forward to the afternoon, and are especially excited about the opportunity to see a fire engine up close. The children are hoping to ask the firefighters all about their work, and of course any safety messages are very welcome.”

Image1: Surachai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image2: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The importance of networking for your business – in person and through social media

Written by: Aga Gordon                                 Follow me @acgtranslation

Image: jannoon28/Freedigitalphotos.net

Networking is a powerful marketing tool and can be very beneficial for your business. Assisted by the right strategy, it can create word-of-mouth referrals for you, known to be the most effective marketing tool. Faced with a choice, most people prefer a trusted recommendation when looking for a product or services.

Thanks to the rapid development of technology, we now have a plethora of online networking tools at our disposal. In addition to attending face to face business networking events, you have endless opportunities for expanding your customer network through the appropriate use of social media.

Although there is an abundance of these to choose from, you should be selective in order to ensure you don’t spend more time marketing your offering than carrying out paid work. Nevertheless, integrating personal networking with Facebook, Twitter, blogging, LinkedIn and your businesswebsite, along with an appropriate marketing strategy, can be extremely effective if applied correctly.

Image: jscreationzs/Freedigitalphotos.net

You should remember that networking does not simply mean personal promotion and getting more customers. It is more about expanding on your existing network of friends, acquaintances and customers, and leveraging on their networks. It is about creating, building and nurturing relationships, gaining credibility and trust, and showing off your professionalism, knowledge and expertise. This means that it is a long term strategy, so do not expect results overnight. It requires time and effort to be successful, with lots of pro-activity and patience from your side.

So where to start? There are several types of face to face networking events, and it is good to try at least some of them to see which one suits your personal style. Good examples of established organisations are BNI, 4Networking and the Business over Breakfast Club. Business events such as The Canterbury Tweetup  or similar business networking event in Whitstable  are less formal, and potentially less intimidating for people inexperienced in this kind of networking. I would encourage you to try as many as you feel appropriate, using them to meet people, engage in introductory conversations, and where appropriate to follow up your leads to get to know some people better. Networking does not finish after the first handshake: it is useful to send a follow-up email, meet for a coffee, and definitely connect on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Integrating social media into your standard networking strategy will take you to the next level of interaction with potential customers.

Image: sujinjetkasettakom/Freedigitalphotos.net

A good approach for showing off your expertise and what you can offer is to include a blog on your website. This will help your expanding network to know you better, and also to benefit from your knowledge. You should then recommend every blog post you write through Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

Overall, I believe that Twitter is your best marketing friend. Its advantages are copious: in particular it is used every day by millions of people who create, discover and share ideas. Both small and large enterprises find great value in the connections they establish on Twitter. Although for some people Twitter is a medium for meaningless chat, this is not true nowadays. Do not miss out on this very powerful marketing tool: ‘Innovate or die‘, as the business guru Tom Peters once said.

Twitter, similarly to Facebook page, will help you to connect with your current and prospective customers, facilitate two-way communication and promete easy feedback. It will assist you with branding and marketing strategy, will expose your coupons and giveaways, and help you share your knowledge and expertise from your blog.

Where Twitter is, in my opinion, more powerful than Facebook, is its viral nature (that is the ability to spread in an uncontrolled manner – potentially an advantage or disadvantage, but very useful if the message is positive for you), and the fact that your messages are visible to users worldwide, not just your friends. It therefore helps you to benchmark against your competitors, and so aids your efforts to add value. It not only allows you to receive instant customer feedback, but can also multiply your networking at an incredible rate. Provided your tweets are frequent and meaningful, you will gain exposure and build relationships at an incredible speed. Twitter also enables you to conduct free market research, as any question you ask is rapidly answered (often by many people), provided you use a proper hashtag.

Image: basketman/Freedigitalphotosnet

On which subject, what is a hashtag? It is a label with the hash (#) symbol aiming to group the tweets so they can be found easier and faster. You can create your own hashtag and put it in any of your tweets. Alternatively, you can use established ones, so make sure you search for the hashtag you have in mind before you put it into your tweet. If the one you have used has already been used for something else this could create confusion at best, or extreme embarrassment at worst!

Both Twitter and Facebook are also great for your search engine optimisation (SEO). This simply means how easily you are found by the search engines such as Google. In general, the more fresh content you generate, the better your SEO. Therefore, writing your blog posts frequently, and publicising them on Twitter and Facebook, increases your SEO, provided the content is not the same each time. Search engines dislike repetitions and will punish you for that, moving you to the bottom of the search.

Frequent and interesting tweets and Facebook posts will also act to your benefit in terms of SEO. Twitter is also great for the public relations (PR) community, because many journalists use Twitter looking for stories. Your post might just attract their attention (should you desire it!).

One important aspect to bear in mind is that your social media posts are truly professional. This means avoiding an aggressive sales pitches, bragging, and meaningless messages. It is useful to share valuable business related content and knowledge, for example what you wrote on your blog, interesting articles, events, or promotions. It is always good to retweet or share interesting content posted by other people: this is a form of networking in its own right. In this way you can engage in online conversations, and help others with your knowledge and expertise, form long term, strong relationships, and build trust and engage in partnerships.

I hope to have convinced you of the power and importance of an integrated social media strategy for your business development and growth. In this article I have only concentrated on Twitter and Facebook, but there are many more. The one to watch in the near future is Google+: this has great potential and has just introduced pages, but its relative novelty takes it out of scope for this short article. At present, however, becoming a regular business user of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be a powerful way to generate word-of-mouth referrals, and will build your network rapidly, provided you offer an interesting and meaningful content. Combine a social media networking strategy with a face-to-face approach, and you will both have fun and the potential to gain loyal customers for the long term.

About the author: Dr Aga Gordon, MBA is a business management consultant and trainer specialising in helping ambitious business owners and managers to improve performance through creative and innovative methods. She also offers specialist English/Polish translation. She runs The Canterbury Tweetup, free business networking event in Canterbury (www.canterburytweetup.com). Follow Aga on Twitter @acgtranslation or contact her on 07878957519.

Versatile blogger award

I was offline for most of today and when I finally logged onto Twitter this evening, I found out I had been awarded a Versatile Blogger award by Ewa Erdmann @transliteria.

I feel truly honoured, especially because Ewa is a fantastic blogger herself, who bloggs about translation, language, marketing and law.

I was a bit confused first when I saw a Twitter message congratulating me on getting a Versatile Blogger badge. I have never heard of it before but I quickly found out and I am so pleased I got one. THANK YOU very much, Ewa .

The accompanying rules for this award are as follows:

  1. Thank and link back to the blogger that awarded you the badge.
  2. Share 7 things about you.
  3. Award 5 or 15 other bloggers
  4. Contact these bloggers to let them know about the award.

Now there are 7 facts about me:

  1.  I hold Master’s degree in Chemistry and a PhD in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry. Plus a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Thinking hard what to study next🙂
  2. I worked as a lecturer and researcher in quantum chemistry at one of the major Polish Universities for 13 years.
  3. Through the years, I held various roles: teacher, business consultant, translator, conference organiser, cross-boundary networker, curriculum coordinator, entrepreneur.
  4. I found my soul mate and decided to move from Poland to the UK and have a career break, during which I carried out various pro bono roles including setting up and running Polish school, and being a member of various boards of directors.
  5. I am passionate about languages and became a real bilingualism expert when successfully bringing up my two daughters.
  6. I am a night owl, ENTP-type, volunteering for everything, talkative, loving helping people, multitasking and networking.
  7. I love books, good food, travelling, different cultures, computers, learning and meeting new people.

I would like to award the badge to the following blogs:

 Polish translations by Ewa Erdmann @transliteria

John Paul Aguiar @JohnAguiar

Marketingwizdom by Robert Clay @marketingwizdom

Adventures in Freelance Translation by Catherine Christaki @LinguaGreca

My Lord, my fam, my job, my friends by Olga Arakelyan @olenkaarakelyan

Leadership and rock’n’roll by Peter Cook @academyofrock

These bloggers truly deserve this. And I hope you will pass on the love to the other blogs out there. Happy blogging!

First Canterbury Tweetup at Millers Arms – how did it go?

Written by Dr Aga Gordon                                           Follow me @acgtranslation

Most of you who read my blog know that I organised the first Canterbury Tweetup on 7th September 2011 at the Millers Arms in Canterbury. I meant to write how it went soon after the event, but as always I have been devilishly busy (which is not necessarily a bad thing!).

Canterbury Tweetup, which is simply an informal business networking meeting arranged through Twitter, went extremely well. I was very excited and a bit anxious before it started, but the turnout was good, and a friendly bunch of people came along. The number of attendees (11) was ideal for allowing everyone to speak to everyone else, although we could easily accommodate some more for future meetings.  A part of the group consisted of wonderful people I met at the Whitstable Tweetup, which is held every third Thursday on the month at Hotel Continental. I am very grateful to the Whitstable Tweetup organisers: Jules @pressupgroup, Maggie @Officehounds and Ken @Ken_W_Lloyd for marketing the Canterbury event.

The venue, the Millers Arms pub, proved to be an excellent choice, not only due to its convenient location next to the Northgate car park, but also due to its atmosphere, friendly and helpful staff, and lovely coffee. We also discovered that they also offer a customer loyalty card, meaning that the 7th coffee is free, which will be a nice bonus for future meetings.

The atmosphere was nice and relaxed, rather different than in the large (and costly!) networking organisations. I find the structure of these too rigid, thus losing focus on the key aim of networking. In my view, the most important part of networking is not what it brings for me, but more about meeting new people in a friendly atmosphere, working on forming relationships and seeing where I can help. It was lovely to find out that Roger, whom I met at the Whitstable Tweetup, was happy with the client I referred to him. I was extremely pleased to find out not only that my friend was happy with his teaching methods, but also that they decided to continue tutoring through Skype. I am very much in favour of innovative methods of reaching the client.

We were a small group of people, some of whom knew each other, and others who were newcomers representing a wide array of local businesses. The group was small enough to talk to everybody, get to know them and what they do, and actually remember it! I hope the event will continue to grow and will represent a friendly platform for Kent businesses to make useful and fun business relationships.  This way it will be useful not only for finding new clients, but also for forming friendships and providing long term support and advice to each other.

The next Canterbury Tweetup business networking meeting will be held on the 5th October 2011 at the Millers Arms, from 10:00 until noon. Everyone is welcome and feel free to tell your business friends and colleagues, too. Events will be held regularly thereafter on the first Wednesday of the month. I hope to see you there!

Why networking is important to your business?

Networking is a powerful tool which can work wonders for your business. It is getting easier to network these days with many online powerful networking sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

You need to bear in mind, however, that networking is not about personal chat or bragging about yourself. You need an effective strategy to ensure that networking results in word-of-mouth referrals, which are known to be the most effective marketing tool. At the end of a day most people rely on trusted recommendations for the services they need.

Networking is less costly than traditional marketing, but does not come free. You need to engage your time and effort to make it work for you. Be a proactive rather than a passive networker. Use multiple channels to maximise the outcome of your networking efforts. Become active on Twitter, engaging passionately into discussions and providing professional, high quality advice to build trusted relationships. Offer advice on LinkedIn. Attend local networking events, and once you have a substantial network of business colleagues set up your own event to expand your network even further.

After building your visibility on line and in the local business community, you still need to work on building credibility and trust. Again, this will require time and effort, but will pay off. The most important thing is to excel professionally to the highest standards. Make the quality of your services exceptional, your pricing transparent, ensure excellent communication and exceed customers’ expectations in meeting their needs. Benchmark against your competitors, see what they do and do it better. Also, be realistic and ensure you never under-deliver or over-promise.

Canterbury Tweet-up Free Business Networking Meeting

When and where is the first tweet-up?

The very first Canterbury Tweet-up will be held on Wednesday 7th September from 10 am until noon, at The Millers Arms, Canterbury. Following the successful Whitstable Tweet-up, held at Hotel Continental, Whitstable on the first Thursday of the month, I decided to set up its sister event in Canterbury.
Everyone is welcome, so please come along, bring your business cards and join us for coffee/tea/drink. You are welcome to bring your friends and colleagues with you.

What is a tweet-up?

Tweet-up is an exciting and free networking opportunity for businesses in Kent. Come and have a chat about what you do in a friendly atmosphere. The Millers Arms is a lovely pub so you can even have a bite to eat if you so wish.
In principle, a Tweet-Up is an opportunity for business people who use Twitter to meet face-to-face. You do not need to be on Twitter to join, but it might prompt you to join this exciting and powerful marketing tool in the future. The idea is to have an informal networking meeting once a month, share ideas, and hopefully help each other to become more successful in your business. Let’s bring the East Kent business community together!

How much does it cost?

The event is free, but you will need to pay for your own refreshments.

For more information and to book please hook up with me on Twitter @acgtranslation, email me at aga.gordon(at)acgtranslation.com or give me a ring at 07878 957519.

You can also subscribe to the event on Facebook.
I am looking forward to seeing you there!

About the organizer: Aga Gordon is a business consultant, coach and Polish translator specialising in business, scientific and medical translation. She holds a PhD in chemistry and an MBA, her interests lie chiefly in strategy, creativity, innovation, change and social media marketing.

Translation of official documents – what does it really mean?

Written by Dr Aga Gordon                                       Find me on Twitter @acgtranslation

I have recently received several enquiries about the meaning of ‘sworn’ translation in the UK.  Therefore, I thought it would be useful to clarify a common misapprehension among Polish people regarding the translation of the official documents in the UK. Sworn translators do not exist in the UK, as the country does not accredit translators with seals subsequently used to confirm the translation’s authenticity. You can still find sworn translators from Poland, Germany or France, but their stamp is not required by local authorities.  In the UK translations needed for official purposes are certified or notarised.

 

There are three main levels of the official translations:

Certified translation – this is when the professional translator performs the translation, and then certifies it by putting a clause at the end that they are a qualified translator, and that the translation of the official document is accurate and true to the best of translator’s knowledge and ability. A certified translation is usually sufficient for most governmental bodies, universities, schools, insurance providers or employers for documents such as birth, divorce and marriage certificates, study transcripts, diplomas, medical reports, contracts, power of attorneys, household bills etc. Translators do not have to be members of professional translators’ organizations.

Notarised translation – this type of translation might be required for certain governmental or legal bodies. In this case, a qualified translator will perform their translation as in the case of certified translation, but will have to collaborate with a notary public, in whose presence the affidavit is sworn to declare true and accurate translation of the official documents. This will be confirmed by the notary public with their official stamp and signature.

You should always check with the body concerned whether you need a notarised translation. Such a translation carries an additional cost of about £70 for notary public fees.

Apostille – this certification might be required for documents needed overseas, especially concerning countries complying with the Hague Convention.  Examples might include when you plan to marry overseas, adopt a foreign child, or obtain a job abroad.

The process follows the same procedure as for a notarised translation, after which the notarised document is sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). They will confirm that the signing notary public was authorised to do so. Similarly to an affidavit, the apostille will incur an additional cost on a top of the cost of the translation.