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St Albans hosted its first Literary Festival last weekend with over 40 initiatives taking place across the City. Debenhams Ottaway, one of the festival sponsors, hosted three events in their office and took part in one of the panels.

On Thursday evening, Debenhams Ottaway welcomed local authors Jessica Chivers and Christine Brown-Quinn who formed a ‘Women in Business Panel’ with employment partner, Louise Attrup and private client partner, Susan Glenholme. The panel debated a range of issues facing working parents who want to demonstrate professional commitment whilst still meeting family needs. There was great interaction with the audience, made up of local business owners, HR professionals and working parents.

On Friday, children’s author, Liz Baddaley engaged the audience with her discussion on ‘Hope and Loss in Children’s Literature’, which included readings from her book, ‘The Finding of Freddie Perkins’ as well as exploring some classic children’s books that deal with loss.

On Saturday the office welcomed local parents and children for a ‘Try Your Hand at Performance Poetry Workshop’ taken by Emma Thomas-Sloley from Killigrew Primary School. Since 2005 Emma has helped to encourage a love of reading and an appreciation of performance poetry by offering these workshops.

Chief Executive, Ian Hopkins commented, “Debenhams Ottaway is proud of its commitment to supporting local charities and initiatives. It was great to be involved in St Alban’s first literary festival this year and welcome some great local authors to our office.”

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