Basically Useful - Practical Life Skills, Business Etiquette & Protocol


Having worked in sales for over 15 years Sonia has experienced first hand the necessity of excellent etiquette and soft skills in the business world. Sonia has a wealth of practical knowledge, a set skills which have been gained from both personal interests and many years working for multinational blue chip companies.

Sonia has a great passion for renovating old properties and has recently completed her current project of bringing a derelict thatched cottage back to life. As the project manager with a tight budget the necessity of employing many practical skills came to the fore.
A season managing a Chalet in the French ski resort of Meribel combined with some of Sonia's other passions - cooking and entertaining. Coupled with this Sonia has recently completed several certified courses with Minding Manners - international etiquette and protocol academy of London.
Sonia set up Basically Useful in February 2012. Multiple requests from friends of could you show me how to do that ... or where did you learn to do that .... made Sonia realise that she had a unique set of practical skills which many people found difficult or had just never learned.


Basically Useful now delivers courses to both adults and children. Practical Life skills for children facilitated through cookery, dining and crafts. Courses are designed give children skills that will lead to independence and confidence.

Adults courses are aimed at developing crucial soft skills that are an essential but often forgotten part of doing business. Courses include First impressions, Image, Dining, Communication, Effective Networking and cross cultural awareness.

Featured Courses

Basically Useful

Basically Useful was set up in 2013 by Sonia Purcell. It focuses on improving independence and confidence in children, young adults and graduates. It specifically looks at developing social and life skills through a combination of cookery, communication, dining and presentation.

So, what is covered?


  • Introduction to the kitchen
  • Weights, measures, mixing & baking
  • Sweet, savoury & economical dishes
  • Communication – stance, eye contact, clarity
  • Homemade Gifts & invitations
  • Presentation
  • Party and canapés for parents
  • The art of the table

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Basically First Impressions

The programme focuses on exploring the importance of making a great first impression by looking at the key areas of Appearance, Behaviour, communication & Dining. Giving the participants confidence and independence in any environment - social, professional or in interviews.


  • To develop excellent business etiquette, protocols and social nuances that will give them an edge in a competitive professional world.
  • Promote the importance of effective communication and networking.
  • To develop the participants overall image both verbally and non-verbally to ensure an excellent reflection of the business/organisation they represent in order to build a lasting rapport.

This programme is facilitated through a combination of verbal, visual presentation and practical activities.

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Basically Business in a Box

Turn your skills and passions into extra income.

So, what is covered?

  • Your skills – cookery, gardening, crafts, computers, web design........
  • Indentifying a market
  • Writing your business plan
  • Developing your modules
  • Grants available
  • Social media – website, facebook, twitter, linkedin
  • Budgets/Cashflow
  • Time management
  • Selling your business
  • Online support and follow up

Each Client’s programme is developed on an individual basis.

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