A lot can change in a week. This interview with Lisa took place a few days before the Government announced that people should work from home and schools would close. Lisa, true to form, has since, in unprecedented circumstances, stepped forward and gathered vital information on how a community, asked to disconnect with friends and family due to the risk of COVID-19, can continue to benefit from and support it’s High Street traders. Please support them. They are the lifeblood of our community. With luck, in a few months time it will almost be business as usual.
If you want something done ask a busy person, local resident Lisa Wyborn is that person.
Energetic, and engaging, Lisa Wyborn, 43, who moved to Teddington 10 years ago, makes things happen. In 2018, `gutted’ at the prospect of the town’s popular Christmas Lights Up event being shelved due to lack of funding, she initiated crowdfunding which ensured it went ahead.
Since then she’s become Teddington Together’s secretary; supported another memorable Lights Up; and started a new venture, Boudoir photography, along with a full time job.
Fiona Kingston reports on her motivation.
“I have always loved `Lights Up’. It’s the event of the year in Teddington – everyone comes out for it. In 2018 I saw a tweet from Polly Dunn, the Kings Head’s manager, about it being cancelled due to lack of funding and decided to set up a Just Giving page to see if residents would help.” They did. She adds: “the page raised over £3000 in less than a week which was amazing.”
This sum plus the £2500 raised by Teddington Together, and the Council’s decision to pay for road closures, bus re-routing and street cleaning, put `Lights-Up’ back on the agenda. The ensuing challenge, to do in three weeks, what had normally taken months.
“At the time I knew nothing about Teddington Together. They contacted me having read my social media posts. After a meeting with them and the Council I realised how much work was involved in organising the event so got stuck in.”
At the meeting Wyborn discovered that Teddington Together works with 300 local traders and companies to unite the town and make it an attractive place to work and live.
Her interest in people, and time management skills developed through her day job as an Account Director in a marketing agency, proved invaluable for the switch on.
Five key people, not least Teddington Together’s Chairman Bhavana Patel from La Casa Del Hebano shared the mammoth challenge. It paid off. Tens of thousands visited the town, the community loved it, people shopped, and Teddington sparkled.
Of Teddington’s appeal, Wyborn said: “It has to be the community that I love the most. It’s a town on the outskirts of London but it feels like a village with everything on your doorstep.”
And added: “You can’t beat speaking to someone face to face – these local independent shops provide a service you can’t get online”
She also loves its pubs: “I’ve never been shy walking into pubs on my own to make friends and Teddington has plenty. It’s the social aspect that I love. I’m more often seen drinking tea than alcohol.”
Following the triumph of 2018 Light’s-Up, Wyborn accepted the role of Teddington Together’s secretary in January 2019.
Within two weeks she created a website https:// http://www.teddingtontogether.org/about . Since then she’s helped traders with social media, secured `Lights-Up’ sponsors, and boosted the organisation’s following on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. One highlight: “getting to know the traders, they all have a story”.
Future plans for this go-getting lady, “a Summer music festival, maybe in 2021” showcasing the town’s best musicians, traders, cafes and restaurants.”
Before tackling this, any spare time is focused on another passion, photography. Five years ago she set up her own company and took wedding photographs. She’s recently gone a step further and ventured into Boudoir Photography.
“People often have a misconception of Boudoir photography, my photos are tastefully done – it’s all about women feeling good about themselves no matter what their age. It’s really rewarding to see these women’s confidence increase and know that I am part of that.”
Visit http://www.fluttershutter.co.uk to find out more. Finally regarding the High Street’s ongoing health Wyborn finished: “It’s simple really – shop locally”.
You can get in touch with the writer Fiona via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or LinkedIn link: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ FionaIMackenzie