Our Stories: Hannah Sweetman

Written by Ruth Keeling.

Screenshot 2023 12 17 at 16.35.14Everyone who comes to the UK to work has a different story, one shaped by circumstance as well as professional choices. The pandemic pushed Hannah Sweetman, sports nutritionist and lifestyle coach, into developing a thriving online business offering personalised diet planning and nutrition advice. ‘Hannah Sweetman Nutrition’ today allows Hannah to combine her established life in the UK with extended periods back home in New Zealand. Living and working across these lines would not have seemed feasible when Hannah, 34, made the choice to leave Auckland more than a decade ago. 

NZBWN’s Winter Survival Guide

Written by NZBWN volunteers.

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Getting through the depths of a northern hemisphere winter - whether it’s your first one away from home or your tenth - can be tough.

Seeing friends and family enjoy summer and the festive season back in New Zealand can be a reminder of how far away they are and for many, it brings on a bout of homesickness. 

But winter in London or elsewhere in the UK can be a magical time with new experiences to be had and the opportunity to create new traditions. We asked a few of our wonderful volunteers how they make the most of the colder seasons, to hopefully inspire you to do the same. 

Our Stories: Fiona Watkins

Written by Ruth Keeling.

FionaFor more than twenty years, the UK has been Fiona Watkins' home as well as the main source of inspiration for her high-end interior design studio in Cheshire. Fiona draws on quintessentially British influences to create calm and elegant modern spaces, which seamlessly integrate period elements with the local landscape and the existing building substance. Fiona’s love of Britain’s heritage is matched by her passion for European design culture and her down-to-earth Kiwi business acumen. Her warm, straightforward approach with clients cuts through any Old World stuffiness, although she doesn’t believe this is out of the ordinary for a Kiwi. “As a nation of people, we’re just dead-friendly and approachable,” she says. 

Our Stories: Bianca Robinson

Written by Ruth Keeling.

Bianca Robinson1“Thriving is not a straight line, it’s always a wiggly line”, says Bianca Robinson, chief executive of CEO Sleepout, a UK charity which gets business leaders involved with initiatives fighting homelessness. “You have to be resilient and crack on… until the right thing finds you.” Bianca, a Kiwi from Wellington who has lived in Saltburn-by-the-Sea for more than two decades, found her purpose leading CEO Sleepout’s city-by-city campaign that encourages business leaders to rough-sleep in the open for a night for sponsorship. As the organisation’s only full-time employee, she fundraises more than half a million pounds annually from events held over the UK, from Northumberland to Portsmouth. Funds raised through high-profile ‘Sleepouts’ go to grassroots initiatives which improve rough sleepers’ access to opportunities, role models, education, housing and the mental health care system.