Midlands Network

Forthcoming events are currently being planned and will be publicised here soon.

The Midlands Network runs a variety of professional development events, benefitting CIOL members and non-members alike. Click an event to see its original listing and, if applicable, event reports and downloadable materials:

Shropshire, Sunday 8 May 2022

Birmingham, Sunday 13 March 2022

Birmingham, Saturday 8 January 2022

Kinver, Stourbridge, Sunday 4 July 2021

Coventry, Saturday 9 November 2019

Coventry, Saturday 28 September 2019

Yelvertoft, Saturday 20 July 2019

Northampton, Saturday 11 May 2019

Nottingham, Saturday 26 January 2019

Birmingham, Friday 7 December 2018

Birmingham, Saturday 3 November 2018

Birmingham, Saturday 8 September 2018

Worcestershire, Saturday 16 June 2018

Birmingham, Saturday 7 April 2018

Coventry, Thursday 18 January 2018

Birmingham, Friday 24 November 2017

Birmingham, Saturday 9 September 2017

Alvechurch, Saturday 20 May 2017

Birmingham, Saturday 18 March 2017

Birmingham, Saturday 19 November 2016

Nottingham, Saturday 22 October 2016

Birmingham, Thursday 21 July 2016

Ludlow, Saturday 18 June 2016

Birmingham, Saturday 16 April 2016

The Midlands Network was officially formed on Saturday 16 April 2016 and now runs a variety of events aimed at supporting CIOL members who live and work throughout the region.


The network is managed by a committee which meets informally every month. If you would like to join a meeting to contribute to the discussion about future events and activities please contact the network via the link on the right for committee meeting dates and locations.

Over the last 12 months the network has held a series of varied events including walks, visits and networking opportunities and is now planning the events programme for the current membership year. For an indication of events previously held take a look at the committee’s event reports via the tab above.

Get involved

If you have any suggestions for events or you are interested in lending a hand simply email the committee.

The committee endeavours to hold events throughout the Midlands so please do let them know if there is a place of interest near you or if you know of a speaker that may be able to give as talk of interest.

And finally, don’t forget you can join in the discussion via LinkedIn and Twitter too.

Role Bio
Mr Graeme HUNTER



After 25+ years working in I.T. for the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, banking and local government sectors in Australia, France, Belgium and UK, I switched to translation full-time in 2014, several years after being awarded the DipTrans and joining CIOL. Originally from Sydney, I have always been passionate about languages and I work in French, Italian and Polish. I love meeting new people and exploring new places, and the CIOL Midlands Network is a great way to increase my opportunities for networking, make new friends and promote languages as a profession and as a vector for future economic success.




I worked in Spain for several years as an English teacher and fell in love with all things Spanish. I set up Sunflower Spanish in 2001 which provided Spanish lessons in Warwickshire and Northamptonshire, teaching all ages and levels of students: my two highlights from this time were teaching my local rugby team, the Northampton Saints, and helping a class of 60-year-olds to pass their Spanish GCSE. I passed the Diploma in Translation in 2011 and now combine teaching and translating, a combination which works well. I have really enjoyed helping to set up the Midlands network and meeting other people who work in this sector.

Mr Peter BARON

BA CertEd DipTrans MCIL


I took early retirement after being a language teacher for 29 years. Then followed a new career of 20+ years, combining fencing coaching with translation. Finding translation work required extra qualifications, including the IOL Dip French and the Dip Trans. I worked mainly from French, specialising in technical fields, with some basic Spanish, German and Italian, having 6th form Spanish and "A" in GCSE German but with a wider knowledge of each of the three. I love learning languages, making the effort to learn something of the language of countries I visit, having managed smatterings of at least 8 others.
Now retired, I continue to do a little coaching, whilst retaining my interest in languages. Sport always has been a big part of my life, with interest and participation in many sports. The last 50 years has been mainly linked to fencing, in which I blossomed as a competitor in later years, having spent much time organising.

Mr Stephen DOSWELL



Steve Doswell is a corporate communication practitioner with extensive experience spanning energy, power engineering, robotics, financial services and higher education. He has also had experience as a translator (French/German-English) and became a CIOL member in the 1990s after completing the Final Diploma in Spanish. He was President of FEIEA, the European Association of Internal Communication 2010-2012 and CEO of the UK’s Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) 2011-2016. Steve took time out aged 50 to complete a Masters in European Politics (University of Birmingham). Steve has a deep affinity with Slovenia and is learning Slovene. A keen club runner, Steve is currently writing a book of his experience of running in all 28 EU countries during 2018-19 for charity. “I’m a Londoner but I’ve lived in Birmingham for almost 30 years and I’m really pleased to be able to support the Midlands Network. We can be both local and international in our outlook and that’s a real strength.”




I am a Spanish-to-English translator based in Birmingham, specialising in business and education and with a particular interest in Latin American varieties of Spanish. I have a BA and an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Sheffield and I learned Spanish after graduating, whilst living in Uruguay for six years. I have been a member of the CIOL since I passed the Diploma in Translation in 2012, and a Chartered Linguist since 2019. I became a member of the CIOL Midlands Network committee when it was set up in 2016, shortly after I returned from living abroad, and it has played a key part in my efforts to develop a professional network in the region, not to mention a group of like-minded friends.




I graduated with a BA in English Philology & Tourism from the Universidad de Jaén, in my hometown. I achieved an online MA in Applied Linguistics in Spanish as a Foreign Language at FUNIBER and the passion I have for my work led me to qualify as a Teacher in Spain and in England. I have taught Spanish in several secondary schools in the UK and at Coventry University as Assistant Lecturer in Spanish. At the moment I am studying for a PhD at the Open University as part of an AHRC-funded project called Language Acts and Worldmaking. My research interests revolve around the role of mediator that foreign language teachers play in the classroom and their personal and professional perceptions and reflections on this process. It is a pleasure for me to be part of CIOL Midlands Network to help to foster the use of foreign languages and support every professional in this field as part of our team.

Mrs Astrid Fiess

Magister Artium PGCE MCIL


Originally from Germany and having spent some time in Ireland, I have lived in the UK since 2005. I graduated with an MA in English, German and Celtic Studies from the University of Freiburg, Germany, I have a Diploma in Celtic Studies from Galway University in Ireland and a PGCE from Aberystwyth University. Having worked as a language teacher for over twenty years in very different settings (university, adult education, secondary school), I set up my own company, Mundo Connect, at the end of 2019, became a CIOL member and now work full-time as a self-employed translator (English – German) and language instructor (German). Additionally, I have worked as a travel writer for over ten years writing guidebooks in German mainly about Ireland and I am currently studying for an MA in Translation with the Open University. Languages fascinate me and I really enjoy learning new ones. Apart from German and English, I speak French and Irish and I have been learning Mandarin for a few years. I am very happy to join the CIOL Midlands Network as I like meeting new people as well as promoting languages and supporting fellow linguists.

If you are interested in supporting the Midlands Network we'd be delighted to hear from you.

Simply fill in our Online Eligibility Check form and a member of the committee will contact you for a no obligation discussion.