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Celebrate International Women's Day 2021 with us - virtually! 23 Feb



International Women’s Day. It may just be one day, but this year the occasion nods its head to an important theme – equality. The Choose to Challenge theme is one that could not be ignored, despite lockdown and the ongoing pandemic-induced restrictions preventing any real-life events being scheduled.

In light of our current, global situation, under the Choose to Challenge banner, this year’s International Women’s Day event is being brought to you to celebrate the boundless limits of female strength. A partnership for 2021, between Fortis Therapy & Training and Lincolnshire Agricultural Society at Lincolnshire Showground, this year’s IWD could not go by without acknowledgment.

Every year for the last three years Lincolnshire Agricultural Society has worked with local media and phenomenal local and national women to bring its members and the public an inspiring and informative day – and a pandemic isn’t going to stop Fortis and the Society doing the same for 2021.

Rather than the usual invite to gather at The Epic Centre for afternoon tea and talks, 2021’s IWD will be held virtually. On Friday, March 5th, from 2pm until 3.30pm (approximately) this new partnership will be bringing you the perfect excuse for an aspirational afternoon – with a little online socialising thrown in.

Alexis Powell-Howard, Managing Director at Fortis – a speaker from 2020’s event in fact - will act as host during the afternoon event, throughout which she will share some of her story and introduce our four further remarkable speakers.

From business and fashion to the silver screen, working with celebrities and global luxury brands, we have some wonderful speakers lined up to make the 2021 event an unforgettable one. Alexis will be joined by, Claire Brumby, Charlotte Bennett, Jenny Pacey and Jane Means, for four 15-minute talks, ending with a live and interactive Q&A panel session. The event will be hosted on Zoom, so everyone that attends can interact and ask questions during the Q&A portion of the event.

Rather than charging a ticket price, this year’s event will be free, and in way of food the award-winning Healing Manor Hotel is offering those who register to join us for International Women’s Day an exclusive delivery.

Steven Bennett and his team, has put together a special International Women’s Day Grazing Box. £20 per person + P&P, this Grazing Box will be brimming with half sweet, half savoury – think cheese, crackers, crudities and charcuterie, mini brownies and biscuits. If you wish to order, simply email and please include ‘International Women’s Day’ in the subject line. Gluten free, vegetarian and nut free options are available so please do specify when placing your order. You will also need to include your full name and a delivery address, as the Grazing Boxes will be sent to you via courier prior to the event. Storage instructions will be included. Pre-orders must be registered with Healing Manor Hotel by Monday, March 1st.

To register for the event itself and join this wonderful, free, afternoon of inspiring chat, please click here and fill in your details. You will be sent a reminder of the event with a Zoom link the morning of the event; all you’ll need to do on the day is click.

Alexis said: “I can’t wait for this event. Truly – it will be something of a first for Fortis Therapy & Training. We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with Lincolnshire Agricultural Society and the Lincolnshire Showground to mark such an important day.

“Personally, I felt that we couldn’t let International Women’s Day go by without marking the occasion this year. Each year, including last year when I presented my story to the hundreds of women who attended Lincolnshire Agricultural Society’s event, we see so many fiercely inspirational women put themselves out there to let others know they aren’t alone. That their story too is important and should be heard. To deliver these talks that are engaging yet relatable, one’s that do inspire and, in turn, inspire action, is something we could not let slide due to a pandemic.

“So, working with the team at the Showground, we’re taking it virtual and have some wonderful speakers lined-up for 2021, representing myriad industries. A real-life wonder woman, ex-Olympian and Gladiator from the TV show, who has not only starred as an Amazon in the silver screen reboot but trained the squad for the new WW84 movie; an award-winning business coach who faced the Dragon’s Den and swam the Channel; the queen of gift wrapping, consultant to luxury brands such as Dior and Selfridges, and cancer survivor; and, an award-winning business woman and hotel owner, fashion and celebrity stylist and lifestyle brand and social media expert. Each of these incredible women has an equally incredible story to tell.

“I’m really looking forward to the interactive Q&A element of the event, as well as listening to these ladies talk. It’s going to be fantastic to be able to host something live that allows those who attend the free event to get involved. Hopefully it’ll be the first of many such events to come.”


ALEXIS POWELL-HOWARD | Managing director of Fortis Therapy & Training, and one of our guest speakers from 2020, Alexis is our proud host of this year’s event. A TEDx speaker, psychologist and award-winning business woman in her own right, Alexis and Fortis together have won numerous awards since it was founded in 2012. In 2015 Fortis won Best Small Business at the Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards; in 2018 Alexis gave her first TEDx talk at Lincoln’s TEDxBrayfordPoolWomen event, and in 2019 she took part in a prestigious roundtable discussion with IOSH magazine. Fortis took home the Best Service-Based Business Award at the National Business Excellence Forums & Awards and the At Your Service Award and overall Small Business of the Year at The Small Awards 2019. Last year too, Alexis was listed in the top 100 Female Entrepreneurs in the UK. If you saw Alexis speak at last year’s event, you’ll know that she is more than familiar with taking on a Challenge and succeeding. Throughout the event you will be hearing snippets of Alexis’ story as she hosts, and introduces each of our speakers.



CLAIRE BRUMBY | Claire Brumby is an award-winning high-performance business coach, Channel swimmer, Dragon slayer and best-selling author. Her mission is to encourage, inspire, instil resilience, and help entrepreneurs and leaders realise their own potential and live the life they desire. One sector of specialism is the food industry having founded, grown and exited her multi-award winning healthier snacking brand -Scrubby’s Vegetable Crisps - now sold in 21 countries. Claire has also judged on several food awards in the UK and contributed on numerous platforms with her knowledge and expertise in the food retail world. She has helped 100’s of food brands launch and grow. Her entrepreneurial journey has had many twists and turns; from facing the dragons and pitching on Dragons Den, to being invited to St James Palace twice and rubbing shoulders with countless celebrities along the way.


CHARLOTTE BENNETT | Charlotte kicked off her career in her very early 20’s freelancing as a celebrity and fashion stylist - working with the likes of Dannii Minogue, Holly Willoughby, Caroline Flack, Nigella Lawson, Christine Bleakley, Petra Ecclestone and Kelly Hoppen among others. She worked alongside Angie Smith and had work featured in publications both nationally and globally, as well as styling clients for the likes of X-Factor, Dancing on Ice, The One Show and This Morning. After falling out of love with the fast-paced fashion industry, Charlotte moved back to her hometown of Grimsby and launched a sustainable fashion brand with her friend Paris - Stella and Alf, now known as STALF which is still in existence today. Moving away from the fashion industry all together and quite a natural fit with her move back to Grimsby, Charlotte freelanced as a lifestyle branding and social media specialist, all while falling into the food styling industry. A few years on, Charlotte now runs Healing Manor Hotel with her husband Steven Bennett, as well as The Lincolnshire Chef and The Creative Larder brands. Healing Manor Hotel is home to 37 bedrooms, an award-winning family and dog-friendly pub – The Pig & Whistle - restaurant The Portman and two wedding and event function rooms. Charlotte and Steven employ a team of over 50 and actively work to promote locally sourced and seasonal food, through videos, recipe writing and their supply chain.

@healingmanor @charlottelarder


JENNY PACEY | Jenny is a local lass, originally born and raised in Lincoln, she is now one of the most successful female personal trainers in the world. Jenny is not only a fitness expert with 17-years’ experience, but she is also a Hollywood movie trainer, global master trainer, an Olympic-level bobsledder, international athlete, motivational speaker, sports scientist and she also stared as Gladiator Enigma on the TV series reboot. Jenny frequently appears on TV as a fitness expert, and has also recently trained the Amazons and Kristen Wiig (as the villain Cheetah) for the new WW84 movie – starring as an Amazon warrior herself in both Wonder Woman films.


JANE MEANS | The undisputed Queen of Gift Wrapping, and one we are very proud to call a yellow belly, Jane has honed an incredible niche in the luxury market for herself. Alongside training luxury stores including Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Dior - to name a few – when it comes to the art of wrapping their products, Jane and her wrapping team also provide gift wrapping services for celebrities, royalty, luxury brands and private families. Splitting her time between London and Lincolnshire, and Jane also designs her own wrapping and ribbon collections which are stocked in stores worldwide and can often be seen featuring on TV and radio shows.



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We are open for essential meetings & training

Following confirmation from the government that essential meetings can go ahead, our Epic Centre meeting suites remain open for small meetings and training. 

If you can’t visit the venue in person, view our virtual tour here or contact us to book a virtual guided tour here.

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