A fond farewell…
On Friday 14th July 2023, our Vice President and Director of Sales & Marketing for Environmental and Aids for Daily Living – Lara Bryant – left through the doors of The Helping Hand Company for the final time.
Lara has spent the last 27 years dedicating her passion, drive and many, many hours to being an integral part in the rise and success of The Helping Hand Company. Starting as a Product Manager, and now leaving a legacy behind as VP, Lara has been instrumental in leading, developing and nurturing the relationships that have seen many happy customers, businesses, and charities receive over 16 million reachers and litter pickers.
During her time at The Helping Hand Company, Lara has taught many of us not only how to carry ourselves as professionals, but also how to carry ourselves as people.
The whole company gathered on Friday to wish Lara a fond farewell, share memories, and present Lara with some leaving gifts.
Lara addressed the company in her final speech as VP, saying:
“How lucky I am to have been part of that which makes saying goodbye so hard. It’s the people I will remember fondly, the brilliant team I have worked with, mentored, empowered; the successes we’ve achieved, and the relationships we have built. To my colleagues, customers & lifelong friends I have made, thank you. It is by chance we have met, by choice we became friends.
I’m now making a commitment to my family, and to myself. You are never too old to set new goals, dream new dreams, or start a new chapter.
I have only 3 points of note (not 4 or 2, always an odd number…)
1. Live to work, or work to live? I will admit I’ve not always got that right – my poor husband – I have been here longer than I have been married. Don’t get so busy making a living you forget to make a life.
2. Never stop learning, never stop listening, and don’t be afraid to make a mistake. A mistake is not failure – as success is not final, I’ve worked hard for it. Failure is not fatal. Have the courage to stay strong, stay positive and never give up.
3. In case nobody told you today – never forget you are enough. The world is a better place with you in it. Be proud of the work you do, the person you are, and the difference you make.
As I say goodbye, I think fondly of each of you and the roles you played in making this company and the workplace more than just a job.
Alone we can do little – together we have done so much.
I wish you all every happiness & success for the future.”
Lara’s contributions over the last 27 years have helped shape the Helping Hand Company into what it is today. Her expertise, passion, and drive have propelled the company and team in to what we are today.
Chrissie Jeffrey, colleague and friend of Lara for over 20 years said the following:
“Today is a day that I never thought I’d see. To be stood here today having to say goodbye to you as our boss was never on our agenda. I think many of us old timers will agree (there are still a few of us left) that Gavin may have owned this company all those years, but the heart of the success of HH has come from the people.
Lara, you have been the heart of this company, and without you I truly believe it would not be where it is today. Leadership isn’t a given gift, but you led from the start. You helped build this place to what it is today, and that has taken hard work and courage. HH would have been lost without you. We as a department would not have seen the growth or the success. Who would have thought that ADL and Environmental would have reached the heights it has?!
You have always been the driving force behind never failing. The passion and knowledge you have is something money can’t buy. You’ve been an inspiration to so many of us, and taught us one of the most important things in life – “never ever give up, but most importantly always believe in you, because you matter” – a phrase that today really does stand with so much emotion behind it.
Lara, we want to thank you for being you, please make sure you never change. HH would not have survived without you, and how lucky are we to have had you as our boss!
It’s not goodbye, because our friendship goes way beyond being colleagues. I know myself along with your other colleagues will miss you more than ever, but I know that wherever life takes you after today, you will be amazing. It’s our loss today and someone else gain.
Here’s to you, LB!”
The Environmental team have worked closely with Lara during her time as VP. Members of the team offered a few parting words for Lara.
Stacey Lovering – Area Sales Manager: “The past 16 years have been a rollercoaster, but I always knew when times got tough you would be there with your wise words or a kick up the butt! Or sometimes just a big hug. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your guidance, and for that I will always be grateful. You are the ultimate female boss don’t evert forget that. It won’t be the same without you, but I am sure whatever the future holds you will absolutely smash it. For now though enjoy a large glass or two and a well-earned rest!”
Claire Jellis – Sales Support Administrator: “When I think of Lara I smile because she was like a cloud of positivity breezing through.”
Larni Williams-Davies – Marketing Manager: “Thank you for imparting your wisdom on me, leading me and teaching me how to not only carry myself as a Manager, but also how to myself as a Woman.”