Phone 02476 654321

21in21 Workshop: Building Blocks of Resilience, Adaptability and Leadership


Thursday 20th January 2022




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Online Zoom Event Once registered, a calendar invite will be sent to you which will contain details and a link to join this event None

Event Detail

As part of our 21in21 Women in Business Mentoring Programme, join us for this event where we will discuss the building blocks of resilience, adaptability and leadership.

This event is sponsored by the West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association.

Open to all Chamber Members

Guest Speakers:
Warrant Officer Caroline Burns, Royal Air Force
Midshipman Sophie Wakeford, Royal Navy

About Warrant Officer Caroline Burns
WO Burns completed her secondary education with a strong desire to join the Royal Air Force and having reached the rank of Sgt in the Air Training Corps she realised that a life in the military was for her.

Joining the RAF in July 1991 as a Dental Nurse, WO Burns provided dental treatment to military personnel in the UK and abroad. She also took every opportunity to undertake adventurous training, including a number of parachuting and skiing expeditions.

Promotion was awarded in 2000 to Cpl and in 2003 to Sgt as a Practice Manager of multi-chair practices in the UK and in Cyprus. During this time, WO Burns developed a wider understanding of her role as a manager and leader, inspiring the teams she worked with and those in the wider community. Most notable was her involvement in a number of successful welfare and charity projects, such as Sqn Families Support Groups, School Club Chairman, NVQ Assessor to military families in Cyprus and organisation of events raising money for Cancer Research.
In recognition of WO Burns’ contribution to her charity work and services to the local community, she was awarded the prestigious AVM Cloutman Award in 2011.

In 2011, she gained promotion to FS and was assigned to Defence Dental Services, Regional Headquarters at RAF Cosford. Responsible for 16 dental centres across Wales & West Midlands and RAF Mount Pleasant, she provided all regional personnel with training, mentoring and support through a difficult period of mass redundancies.  Her success in this role resulted in her being appointed as the trainer to all other tri-service dental managers; a role which she relished as a great opportunity to inspire, motivate and educate others.

Having completed 25 years in the Regular RAF and looking for a fresh challenge WO Burns chose to transfer to Full-Time Reserve Service. In Aug 2016, she joined 605 (County of Warwick) Sqn RAuxAF as FS Training. With an excellent reputation for educating and motivating personnel, this role affords WO Burns the opportunity to train and develop Part-Time Volunteer Reserves who combine their military service with full-time civilian employment.  
In Dec 20, having excelled in her role as FS Training, she was awarded an AOC 38 Gp Commendation and promoted to WO where she assumed the role of Training Officer, 605 Sqn. 

WO Burns has enjoyed the challenges over the years, including that of being a single mother to Jake, aged 22 and Charlie, aged 17, who have also enjoyed a variety of postings and travel opportunities with their mother. She enjoys spending time with her husband who also serves on 605 Sqn and finds time for walking, going to the cinema, keeping fit and travel.

About Midshipman Sophie Wakeford - HMS Forward
Sophie joined the Royal Naval Reserves as an Officer Cadet in 2019 to try something different on top of her day job as a Systems Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover. So far she has completed the initial phase of Officer training, demonstrating leadership, management, boat handling and teamwork skills, passing out of Britannia Royal Naval College in 2020.

With the support of her employer, Sophie recently spent 1 month on board HMS Prince of Wales to experience life at sea and appreciate the role reservists play onboard the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers.

Since joining the Royal Navy Reserves, Sophie has developed as an individual and a leader, taking those qualities to compliment her day job.


11.00am - Welcome, housekeeping & scene setting by Keely Hancox, 21in21 Programme Lead
11.10am - Guest Speaker: Warrant Officer Burns: Building Blocks of Resilience & Adaptability
11.25am - Guest Speaker: Midshipman Wakeford:  Developing Your Leadership Style
11.35am - Armed Forces Covenant Update - Siamha Butt
11.40am - Audience Q&A
12.00pm - Event Close

Once you register for this event you will receive a calendar invitation from our Events Team which will containt the Zoom link for you to join the event.

Cancellation Policy

If you book a place and are unable to attend, please cancel your place in writing with 24hours notice by emailing

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Phone 024 7665 4321
Fax 024 7645 0242

Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

Chamber House, Innovation Village

Cheetah Road

Coventry, CV1 2TL


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