Since Beam turned one a couple of weeks ago, a lot has happened - we hit £150,000 in donations, supported 27 members into training, 12 of whom have entered paid work. Naturally, the end of our first year was a good time for us to celebrate, with our first ever BeamFest!

Early on a Tuesday morning, we pile into a huge black Volkswagen. Seb, our COO, laughs: “Forget the A-Team, we’re the Beam Team.” Moments later, we’re headed out of London and on our way to the Peak District. The agenda? Walks, strategising…and roller-coasters.

We start in a barn, conveniently next to a bigger barn (with a games room!), panoramic hills all around us.

The first day is super productive. We use OKRs which stands for “Objectives and Key Results” (you can find out more about how they work here), and presented on our individual plans for the quarter, while reviewing progress in Q3. We also worked on our new Core Values, and Alex ran a session on  ‘moments of wow’ - focusing on how we can build an amazing user experience for everyone we work with: our members, charity partners and supporters. But above all, the retreat gave us a chance to start work on our 2019 strategy - watch this space for a future blog.

We run a successful social enterprise together, but it’s in the kitchen that you find out if you’re really a good team. Delicious vegetable fajitas, freshly-cooked brekkies and soups - and a lot of washing up - later, it’s obvious. Beam’s ethos really shines in our team - we support each other, and we all take turns. Someone drives, someone cooks…everything gets done.

Our midweek weekend ended with a trip to Alton Towers, and one lingering look across the Peak District - from the mountains, to the sheep in our back garden. And the Beam Team is on their way home, rested and inspired for another fantastic quarter.