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BUSINESS The voice of Kingston’s business community

Issue 11: Winter 2018

Time to sign up to the Employer Pledge - p 17 The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce Focus on New Malden - p 8

Welcome to New Patron - p 21

Big interview with Willmott Dixon's Roger Forsdyke - p 24



B R E A K FA S T Thursday 31 January 8am – 10am Kingston College 11th Floor Undergraduate Centre Kingston Hall Road KT1 2AQ

Part of the South Thames Colleges Group

Meet the College’s Apprenticeship Team, network with other employers and learn about the latest developments in Apprenticeships. Register for this FREE event at: or via the QR code.

South Thames Colleges Group Business Centre


BOROUGH BUSINESS The Kingston Chamber of Commerce magazine for all Businesses in Kingston So, what is the secret of our success, you may ask. Well, I believe it is three things; great teamwork within the organisation, effective partnerships outside the organisation and an engaged and supportive membership. None of these are a given and, once achieved, must be cherished and given proper recognition. My thanks , therefore, to everybody who has worked with us in 2018.

This time of year is a period which allows me the opportunity to do two things; reflect on the last twelve months and look towards the future. Twelve months ago, I said that 2018 would be a challenging year for us and although this has certainly been the case, on reflection, the Chamber has had, in many aspects, a great year. Success has been achieved in most areas of its core business including growth in membership numbers, establishing a Patron Membership Scheme, delivering two acclaimed Business Expos and the Kingston Business Excellence Awards, all despite reduced funding and for our local businesses, a tense and uncertain economic climate.

Patron Members

+ forbesdesign

The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

Looking towards the future and next year, in particular. Well, from the Chamber’s perspective we are in a strong position. We have the support of some great patron companies and organisations who understand our importance in representing and championing the cause for the business communities across the borough. We have a diverse membership which recognises the benefits of the business development opportunities we offer as the largest business network in the borough as well as being a key founding member of the London Local Chambers Forum. There is no room for complacency, however, as 2019 is likely to be even more challenging than last year. As economic, financial and political uncertainty continues businesses are likely to need even more support and representation than ever and it is essential, therefore, that independent Chambers of Commerce like


ours remain able to provide it. Also, it is essential that the Chamber of Commerce retains its role as the representative voice of its business communities, enabling them to have their say in influencing future economic development and growth strategies. To do this it must continue to grow its membership and work closely with its patrons and strategic partners to develop deliverable growth plans. By achieving these objectives, I am confident it will remain one of the largest and most effective, independent Chambers of Commerce in London. I do hope you enjoy this edition of Borough Business and if you have not contributed to it before and would like to know how you can subscribe content and promote your business in the next issue, please contact us here at the Chamber or our publishers, Benham publishing. Finally, may I offer you my very best wishes for 2019.

Jerry Irving CEO Kingston Chamber of Commerce



Welcome to new members 4 Economy 5 Business Awards 6 Finance 7 Focus on New Malden 8-9 Legal 11 Skills 12-13 Patron Membership 15 Health & Wellbeing 17-19 Expo Review 21 Chamber Events 22 Ask the Expert 23 Big Interview 24-25 News 29 The Person behind the Business 30-31 Top Tips 32 A Day in the Life of ... 33 Starting Up 34 Editorial and General Enquiries Guildhall, High Street Kingston upon Thames. KT1 1EU. 020 8541 4441 Email: Web: Chief Executive: Jerry Irving Publisher: Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: Web: Published Winter 2018 © Benham Publishing and Kingston Chamber of Commerce Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email:

Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Media No. 1629 Disclaimer Borough Business is published for Kingston Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to Kingston Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Borough Business are not necessarily those of Kingston Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. © 2018. Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


welcome The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce When Jane saw a business opportunity, nothing was going to get in her way

Welcome to our new members AFW Digital Solutions Anthon Fynn-Williams

Kingston Voluntary Action Patricia Turner

Chessington School Paul Moralee www.chessingtoncommunity

Magenta Counselling &

Excell Design & Marketing Richard Excell Express CIC William Illing FHW Events & Marketing Ltd Ross Feeney Finding Excellence Jose Luis Ucar

This new year, give your business a kick start and fresh energy. Expand your local network, connect with like-minded people and find new work opportunities. Best of all, have fun doing it. Come and join us and see for yourself For more information or to discuss how we can help you, please contact us at: Kingston Chamber of Commerce T: 020 8541 4441 E: Connect with us on



Kingston CoC

Flare Path Financial Services Ltd Alex Lynford

Psychotherapy Patricia Bahs Martin Sarga Photography Martin Sarga

Monty's Restaurant Kishor Shrestha Osgood Inventories Gary Carter Palace Plumbers Ian Nash Saffron Summer Ralph Sousa

Fresh Lifestyle Sveta Longley

Sodaka Digital SEO Agency Limited Stephen Shenk

H W Fisher Andrew Segal

Summers Inman LLP Lee Orchard

Sketch Better Kate Andrews

Super Developments Steven Lai

Kay Galbraith First Aid Trainer Kay Galbraith

The Bishop Chloe Morant

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

economy Cautious response to economic figures The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has sounded a note of caution following the publication of encouraging figures for the UK economy by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). According to the ONS figures, the UK’s GDP expanded 0.6% in Q3 after a 0.4% growth in Q2.

The value of wellbeing

However, analysts have suggested that, although Britain's economy picked up pace during the third quarter, growing at the fastest rate since late 2016, this may yet prove to be a high watermark ahead of Brexit. According to the ONS figures, Britain’s economy outpaced the euro zone by a large margin during the third quarter, helped by solid consumer spending during an unseasonably warm summer and the football World Cup. However, analysts say that the boost may yet prove to be ephemeral, driven by one-off factors rather than pointing to an underlying strength in the UK economy. As a result, the BCC has warned against reading too much into the figures and suggested instead that the months leading up to Brexit in March could prove extremely difficult for the UK economy because of uncertainty over what will happen. Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “While the pick-up in GDP growth in the third

As I look back on 2018 and the festive celebrations, I am always drawn to John Lennon’s opening lines to War is Over; So this is Christmas, And what have you done, Another year over, And a new one just begun. quarter is welcome, the stronger headline figure masks a loss of momentum through the quarter from the particularly strong July outturn, when a number of temporary factors, including the heatwave and the World Cup, boosted activity. “The services and construction sectors were the strongest performers in the quarter, reflecting a boost in activity from the exceptionally hot summer. “The fall in business investment is a concern as it stifles productivity and growth. However, measures such as the increase in the Annual Investment Allowance announced in the Budget should provide a lift to investment over the near term. “It remains likely that the stronger growth recorded in the third quarter is a

one-off for the UK economy, with persistent Brexit uncertainty and the financial squeeze on consumers and businesses likely to weigh increasingly on economic activity in the coming quarters. “Against this backdrop, the Bank of England’s recent hawkish rhetoric looks a little misguided and risks a further weakening in business and consumer confidence. “With inflation on a downward trajectory and the UK’s growth outlook subdued, there remains sufficient scope for the central bank to keep interest rates on hold for some time yet. “To ease the extent of current uncertainty, the Government must deliver a comprehensive Brexit deal that gives firms the clarity and precision they need.”

“The fall in business investment is a concern as it stifles productivity and growth. However, measures such as the increase in the Annual Investment Allowance announced in the Budget should provide a lift to investment over the near term.” The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

Forbes Low

Exactly what have we achieved? Listening to friends, the pushes and pulls of health, relationships or finances have impacted many of us this year. We often think we are the only ones going through difficult days, but the truth is that we are seldom alone. Someone close to us may be enduring their own difficulties. I think one of the positives from 2018 is the growing awareness and attention to the value of wellbeing: for ourselves, our friends or work colleagues. This can only be a good thing. Our Borough has plenty to be proud of. Yet, often unseen or unrecognised, we have a network of talented and hard working businesses and charities who are trying to defy a difficult climate. It is far from easy but I see at Chamber events people pushing their abilities and raising their game to benefit all of us. The Kingston Chamber of Commerce strives to provide our members better opportunities to grow their businesses. One particular success story of 2018 was our first Chessington Business Expo. The enthusiasm of the stand holders and the visitors (followed by terrific social media feedback in the following weeks) exceeded our expectations. I would like to thank the support for ASCA, my chosen charity for the year. To date, we have raised over £1,200.00 which will be used to provide 6 service users, with a course of one-to-one counselling. The donation will help local people who cannot afford to pay for a specialist private counsellor. Thank you so much and next year we will strive to do more. So as another year ends, I do believe we have all achieved far more than we think we have. I wish you all the very best for the new year and may 2019 keep you safe and well, with many days of successes. Forbes Low

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


business awards Kingston marks a brilliant year for business at sparkling sixth annual awards The Royal Borough’s business community celebrated a year of success at the glittering 2018 Kingston Business Excellence Awards in association with Willmott Dixon. The sixth annual awards Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony, hosted by founding partners Kingston Council, Kingston Chamber of Commerce and Kingston First, was attended by 270 people at the Ravens Ait venue on the River Thames. A series of category awards were presented during the evening, which was hosted by TV journalist Sally Bundock, with the premier award, Kingston’s Business of the Year, going to The White House Nursing Home. Managing Director, Rahim Nurmohamed, who collected the award with his wife and business partner Salima, said it was for all the staff providing end of life care at the Quality Care Commission ‘Outstanding’ rated home. He said: “Winning Business of the Year is overwhelming. We are very happy, very proud and very surprised to have won as we were up against a really tough list of fantastic businesses. In an age where care homes always seem to have a bad press, this is a real opportunity for a small community nursing home to shine. The implication for us as a small business in the borough is huge – it really raises our profile. For a small independent like us to win an award like this is a massive step.”

Business of the Year, White House Nursing Home with Lawrence Wright of lead sponsor Willmott Dixon (left) and Sir Edward Davey MP with Wags N Tales (right), who won three category awards


A record 103 entries from a total of 69 businesses entered the awards this year, with the category winners, being chosen after a rigorous two-stage judging process and announced exclusively at the awards ceremony. Speaking at the event, the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston, Councillor Thay Thayalan, praised the area’s businesses saying they are the lifeblood of the community. Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive Officer of Kingston First, the Business Improvement District for Kingston upon Thames, said: "These Awards showcase the incredible commitment and calibre of Kingston's business community." Guests at the Gala Awards Dinner, who included Sir Edward Davey MP for Kingston and Surbiton, travelled by boat across the Thames at Surbiton to enjoy a meal and entertainment at the unique island venue. Jerry Irving, CEO of Kingston Chamber of Commerce, hailed it as another fantastic evening for the Kingston business community. He said: “Yet another triumphant event showcasing and celebrating the diverse and excellent talent we have across all business sectors in the royal borough. The Chamber is proud to act as their representative”. Stephen Parker, Company New Business Manager and National Leisure Sector Lead of headline sponsor Willmott Dixon, said the company has close links with the town and was pleased to support the local community and its businesses. The Kingston Business Excellence Awards were established to celebrate the successes and achievements of the Royal Borough’s vibrant business community. They are sponsored by Willmott Dixon, The Royal Borough of Kingston, Kingston Chamber of Commerce, and Kingston First, British Land and USS, CNM Estates, Kingston College, Kingston University, McDonalds, and Palmer Wealth Management. They are supported by IQinIT, Kingston Burrowes and Warren House.

The 2018 Kingston Business Awards Winners: Business of the Year Winner The White House Nursing Home Best New Start Up Winner A and G Corporate Travel Highly Commended Silicon Reef Commended The Dapper Fox Barbershop Best Business for Customer Service Winner UKcentric Ltd t/a Dotwise Highly Commended A-Plan Insurance Kingston Commended John Rose Eye Care Best Charity or Social Enterprise Winner Oxygen Highly Commended Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness Commended Momentum Children’s Charity Best Employer Winner MediaVision Highly Commended IQ in IT Commended Revive Skin and Beauty Centre Business Commitment to Education & Skills Winner Kingston Rotary Club Highly Commended Story Storks Commitment to the Community Winne Surbiton Farmers' Market Highly Commended Super Sitters Commended You Creative Rebel Entrepreneur of the Year Winner Kate Andrews, SketchBetter Highly Commended Dipesh Morjaria, Lionstrike Limited Commended Louis Venter, MediaVision Best Marketing Campaign Winner Wags N Tales Highly Commended Fortunella Cafe The SME Excellence Award Winner The White House Nursing Home Highly Commended Be Curious Ltd Commended Secret Garden Play Café Independent Retailer of the Year Winner Wags N Tales Highly Commended The Dapper Fox Barbershop Commended Rock and Rose Photography Best Business for Hospitality & Food Excellence Winner Wags N Tales Highly Commended Roz Ana Limited Commended Holiday Inn London-Kingston South Commended Las Iguanas

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

finance Programme seeks to help business raise money through crowdfunding

Debt & Stress: We’re here to help

Adam Nakar

A new programme has been launched to help companies raise money through equity crowdfunding campaigns.

Written by Adam Nakar - Partner at WSM Marks Bloom LLP

The scheme has been created by leading equity crowdfunding communications agency TribeFirst and global accounting and advisory company Grant Thornton.

Being a business is tough. So many liabilities, such as rent, rates, VAT, PAYE and utilities, can arise just through existing. Sales and especially income, conversely, can never be fully guaranteed. Many employees and their families may be counting on you.

Called the Crowdfund Bootcamp, it is designed to reduce the time it takes for companies to prepare and run their campaign. Crowdfund Bootcamp combines the best parts of an accelerator with a managed service, working with companies to plan, launch, market and run their campaign in as little as five weeks. According to the companies, crowdfunding campaign founders typically spend a third of their time raising funds, and

the average cost of running an equity crowdfunding campaign works out to be about £30,000. They say that their programme is designed to significantly reduce both the time and cost for companies that are looking to raise funds on an equity crowdfunding platform. John Auckland, Founder of TribeFirst, said: “Crowdfunding is a scary thing for newcomers. You’re going out to the world and very publicly saying ‘back me with your money!’ “The fear of failure, or of doing things the wrong way, is incredibly daunting. The platforms do a great job of providing advice, guidance and support for campaigners, but it’s understandably difficult to develop a one-size-fits-all solution. “The Crowdfund Bootcamp offers entrepreneurs a defined step-by-step programme, where business owners who are time poor can focus on doing the bits they already have the skills to do, and we can provide the support in the areas they need it the most.

“It’s underpinned by TribeFirst’s proven process, which has helped nearly 50 companies to successfully raise with the industry’s highest success rate of over 90%, The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

and Grant Thornton’s marketleading expertise in financial modelling and company valuations, the two elements of a campaign that typically keep most founders up all night.” Jonathan Keeling, Head of Partnerships at Crowdcube, said “At Crowdcube, we are always looking for new ways to provide additional value to our entrepreneurs. The Crowdfund Bootcamp brings together the very best marketing and finance professionals and combines all of their knowledge, experience and services into an affordable programme. “We’re really proud to be partnering with Grant Thornton and TribeFirst, who have excellent track records in helping companies successfully raise on Crowdcube.” Grant Thornton has worked with thousands of small and medium sized businesses, supporting them to achieve rapid and sustainable growth both in the UK and internationally. Grant Thornton’s Growth Finance team specialises in equity and debt transactions for businesses seeking up to £10m and 87% of the businesses they’ve supported have been successful in securing introductions to funders. TribeFirst is a global equity crowdfunding marketing communications agency, operating mainly in Europe and the USA. They are the first agency in the world dedicated to supporting equity crowdfunding campaigns only, which they do with a greater than 90% success rate.

If times get hard, where liabilities keep arising without the income to support them, stress can come in very quickly. Debts can quickly cause stress, anxiety, and depression – and this can more widely affect relationships with staff, customers, and family. And, of course, it’s not good for the prospects of the business. At the point where the level of debts starts becoming stressful, the right thing to do is to talk to a licensed insolvency practitioner, immediately. They will be able to provide someone to talk to, to listen to the issues you are facing, and will be able to use their expertise to recommend the best option for you, whether a rescue plan or a terminal insolvency, as a way of dealing with the debts. You should never be afraid to contact an insolvency practitioner if you fear for your predicament. We have spoken to so many people who were nervous or reluctant to contact us, but felt reassured having done so, and positively relieved once a solution had been found and acted upon. At WSM Marks Bloom we have three Licensed Insolvency Practitioners ready to speak with individuals and companies in financial distress. Give us a call at WSM’s Kingston Office on 020 8939 8240 or email and an expert will be ready to assist you.

More information is available at

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


focus on new malden

New Malden – London’s Little Korea New Malden has been home to a large Korean population since the 1980s with approximately 20,000 now living in the local area, which has become known as London’s Little Korea. 8

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

focus on new malden There are currently approximately 53,000 Koreans in the U.K including 18,000 Korean students. It is the largest Korean community across Europe. The first Korean association was formed in 1958. The association accepted membership of the people who studied in Britain for more than three months. In 1965, it was developed into a Korean Residents Association that included not only Korean students but also Korean residents. At that time, only 200 Koreans were here in UK.

relatively cheap housing prices in its early days. The Korean town, which began to grow with the increase in Korean immigration for 10 years from the late 1980s, expanded rapidly, especially between 1996 and 1997. However, due to 1997 financial crisis in Korea, 60 percent of Koreans in New Malden returned to Korea.

In the 1970s, the number of businesses operated by Korean companies increased dramatically, and the staff of the companies joined the Association.

Recently, the visa screening process has been tightened, and the growth rate has slowed down again.

New Malden had a fantastic and regular train service to central London and began to attract Koreans due to its

New Malden is the most populated area among Koreans in Europe. There are about 20,000 Koreans living here.

“The Korean town, which began to grow with the increase in Korean immigration for 10 years from the late 1980s, expanded rapidly, especially between 1996 and 1997.” The BBC featured New Malden as part of an article and named it ‘London's Little Korea’. There are: • More than 30 fantastic Korean restaurants in New Malden. • Almost 100 Korean shops including

“In the 1970s, the number of businesses operated by Korean companies increased dramatically, and the staff of the companies joined the Association.” The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce




Estate agents


Travel agencies


Study centres


Hair salons and barbers

Korea Foods, with its headquarters in New Malden, is considered one of the most successful companies in the local area. The company, which has been in business for more than 15 years, operates a chain of wholesalers selling Korean ingredients such as noodles, tofu, and kimchi, and has eleven grocery stores in the UK.

At first, it was targeting Korean customers, but later it expanded its business to including traditional Chinese food and has become famous among British people. Earlier this year, local resident Jaesung Ha became the first Korean councillor to be elected in the UK. He is keen to get more Koreans involved in local politics and build on New Malden’s reputation as an open, tolerant place to live. Jaesung Ha said: “New Malden is a fantastic place to live – it is both cosmopolitan and continues to retain its village reputation. “Going forward, I want to continue to build on New Malden’s reputation as both open and vibrant whilst involving more of the Korean community in local politics.”

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community



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A BITTER PILL for employers by Carla Whalen Associate, Employment In October this year the Court of Appeal rejected an appeal by Morrisons against a High Court ruling that the supermarket was vicariously liable for damage suffered by its employees after an IT auditor deliberately disclosed their personal information on the internet. accessed by self-employed Where does this leave employers?

Coming at a time when businesses of all sizes have been working hard to ensure they are compliant with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this decision raises difficult questions about how employers can avoid liability for data breaches perpetrated by rogue employees. What happened? In January 2014 Mr Skelton, then a senior IT auditor at Morrisons, deliberately posted the personal details (including payroll data) of almost 100,000 Morrisons employees on a data sharing website. He was acting in revenge for disciplinary action Morrisons had taken against him the previous year. Mr Skelton was arrested, charged and eventually convicted and sentenced to 8 years in prison. Over 5,000 employees whose personal data had been disclosed by Mr Skelton then brought a group civil claim against Morrisons seeking compensation. They argued that Morrisons was liable for its own acts and omissions, and that it was vicariously liable for Mr Skelton’s actions. Morrisons’ liability Morrisons was not directly liable for the data breach as it had not directly misused the employees’ personal data and it had not permitted the breach – no reasonable measures could prevent an employee like Mr Skelton from disclosing information, if they were determined. The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

However, the Court of Appeal agreed with the High Court that Morrisons should be held vicariously liable for Mr Skelton’s actions. Firstly, the Court of Appeal confirmed that data protection legislation includes the possibility of vicarious liability. It then went on to set out a two-part test for deciding whether Morrisons should be held vicariously liable: 1. What functions or ‘field of activities’ had been entrusted by Morrisons to Mr Skelton, and what was the nature of his job? 2. Was there sufficient connection between Mr Skelton’s job and his wrongful conduct so as to make it right for Morrisons to be held liable? The Court of Appeal was satisfied that Morrisons had entrusted Mr Skelton with the employee data as part of his day-to-day role and that he had been appointed to the position of senior IT Auditor on the basis that he could be trusted to deal with this kind of confidential information. It agreed that Morrisons should be vicariously liable as there was an unbroken thread that linked Mr Skelton’s work to the disclosure and which therefore constituted a continuous sequence of events. It did not matter that Mr Skelton’s motive in committing the data breach was to harm his employer. The fundamental aim of data protection legislation is to protect the rights of individuals and, if an employer were to cease to be liable when an employee went off on a frolic of their own, that would defeat individuals’ rights rather than protect them.

This decision will certainly not be welcomed by employers as it effectively means that, no matter how good your data security measures are, there is no way to guarantee protection from vicarious liability if one of your employees deliberately and maliciously sets out to cause a data breach. It also increases the potential risks for employers who suffer a data breach as awards of compensation are entirely separate from any monetary penalties that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) might impose for failure to comply with data protection legislation. Nevertheless, the decision does provide a forceful reminder of the importance of having robust data protection measures in place to protect against internal as well as external threats. For many small and medium-sized businesses, this will mean reviewing what personal data can be

consultants, agency workers and/or interns as well as employees. Businesses should also ask: • Do we have appropriate authorisation levels in place so that confidential information can only be accessed by the people who really need to see it? • Do we provide data protection training to all personnel on induction? • Do we have strict information retention and deletion processes in place to ensure we don’t keep more data than we need? • Do we regularly check that data security processes and procedures are being followed? • If all else fails, does our insurance cover personal data breaches? This is the first group litigation case in the UK relating to a data breach and we do not yet know how much Morrisons will be required to pay as this will be decided at a separate hearing. Morrisons has also indicated its intention to appeal to the Supreme Court, so this may not be the last we hear.

+44(0)20 8546 6111

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


skills FOUNDATION DEGREES – the route to a degree and improved career prospects at any time in life By David Hillier Assistant Principal - HE and Apprenticeships, Kingston College

Is it too late? A question posed of themselves, by many people as their career progresses and who in earlier life did not have, or take, the opportunity of study for higher qualifications after school or college. Sometimes too, a question posed by an employer who sees an employee with real potential, whose personal and professional development would benefit themselves and the business, and wonders how they can help the employee maximise that potential. Studying for a Foundation Degree at Kingston, or one of our sister colleges, could be the answer to the question. Launched as a new qualification in 2001 to give the chance to people at different stages in life to gain higher-level qualifications Foundation Degrees recognise the value of vocationally relevant and driven work experience over traditional academic qualifications. Foundation Degrees are something of the hidden gems in the higher education jewel box. In February 2017 the consumer magazine, “Which University”, published an article, which explained “you may not have heard of foundation degrees, but they are worth investigating if you’re looking for a flexible qualification that combines academic study with work-based learning”. The article continued, “It’s great if you like learning on-the-job, but also want to gain a recognised qualification for your CV. It gives you a unique opportunity to develop knowledge and skills that relate directly to the workplace and you can even top it up to gain a bachelor’s degree at the end (a foundation degree (FdA)

is equivalent to two-thirds of a bachelor’s degree, and is in itself a recognised higher education qualification).” Whilst “Which University” focussed on the attraction for the student in terms of their career development many employers, support and fund their employees to study part time for a Foundation Degree alongside work as part of their training and development. At Kingston College, the suite of Foundation Degrees in Early Years Education is a particular example of such a study opportunity pursued by many childcare and early education providers to support their staff to achieve the sector endorsed, and required qualification, to provide career progression. For many potential students pondering the question “is it too late to gain a degree” they will tentatively consider their up-skilling journey. Knowing where to start is the first challenge – full time or part time study; sponsored or self-funded; navigating Student Finance; and then of course choosing the right course and the right place to study. The Foundation Degree in Business, which is Kingston College’s longest delivered Foundation Degree, provides a cost effective opportunity to improve educational qualifications whilst still working full time in a very wide range of business and employment settings. It is tough, of course to come into College after a long day at work but at Kingston and its sister Colleges, many more than a thousand students have shown that it is manageable, fulfilling and even enjoyable. Business students tell us that they feel inspired, unleashed, challenged and motivated. For our staff here at the College these courses are very rewarding to teach on because you see how life changing this opportunity can be with growth in confidence, ability

and career progression. Some of he College’s own, and our partner Kington University’s, non-teaching staff have also kick started their careers with the study of the Foundation Degree in Business, which many have later “topped up” to the BA (Hons) Business Management Practice with one further year of part time study at the University. Many students join Foundation Degrees because of a personal recommendation from friends, relatives and work colleagues. Over the past ten years the Foundation Degree in Business has seen sons, daughters, aunts and uncles join the course as they have realised the opportunity available to them. Work colleagues who are line managers, mentors or friends and peers to those with aspirations have provided a pipeline of new and eager students. Having joined students often cannot believe that there is not more demand from people just like themselves searching for that later in life degree opportunity. Foundation Degree Subjects

With formal face-to-face teaching time in the evening, and in some cases on Saturday (perhaps on average 5 hours per week), students need to work independently for about 15-20 hours per week. Some of this can be completed in their workplace by applying what they have learned in the classroom in a practical way. Students report that being able to join in conversations at work, and with their seniors, by using appropriate terminology opens many doors. So, it is never too late! The Foundation Degree in Business, and the other Foundation Degrees in the table below, recognise past work experience (a minimum of 2 years is essential) as part of the entry qualification. Along with ongoing employment for the duration of the course (minimum 16 hours per week) they allow those with aspirations to take this potentially life changing journey to help them add the much needed qualification to their CV – and as importantly, give them the confidence to achieve. College



Early Years Education

Kingston and South Thames College

Children’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Inclusive Practice


Leadership and Management in Early Years Education (Sector endorsed)


Health and Social Care


Other Foundation Degree Subjects taught full time at College and without a direct employer component


Art and Design


Fashion and Textiles


For more information and details of how to apply to the courses featured in this article and all of the other courses mentioned please see the links below; and for information about Foundation Degrees taught at Carshalton College please see;


BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

skills Grow your Business in a Productive Workspace Recent research has indicated that demand for flexible, affordable workspace far outstrips supply in Richmond, which is why Richmond and Hillcroft Adult and Community College (RHACC) has invested in a new co-working space that opens this spring.



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RHACC IS A HUB FOR BUSINESS TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT. • Start a Business – Self-employed | Consultant •Accounting – AAT | ACCA •Marketing – Digital Marketing| PR Advertising • Social Media – SEO | Google Analytics

The Annexe which is located at the College’s campus in Parkshot, will provide newly refurbished co-working space where individuals and businesses can hire desk space, offices, board room or meeting rooms by the hour, day, week or even longer. The brand new facility will offer a bright modern environment equipped with high quality superfast wifi, on-tap refreshments, showers and rest areas as well as well-designed workspaces for a variety of requirements. RHACC Principal Gabe Flint, who has been the driving force behind the development said: “We have been focussing on developing our Business School programme to meet the needs of the small, medium and large business owners.

The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

During this process we identified a growing need for collaborative working space for micro enterprises who would benefit from a convenient and affordable option to grow their business. We also have seen our commercial hires programme growing with more demand for commercial meeting space that is flexible, convenient and professional – The Annexe will tick all these boxes.” She continued: “We hope that the business community will make the most of the new facility and may also choose to combine working with learning on our specialist short workshops and seminars.” The Annexe will open in the Spring 2019. For more information contact

•ICT – Excel | Websites | WordPress • Professional Skills – Minute Taking | Chairing | Health & Safety

Courses at times to suit you and your business needs – daytime, evening and weekends. Visit for course details or contact our Business Development Adviser at



BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


CORPORATE FUNDRAISING Does your business have a global footprint? Is your supply chain affected by global issues? Or, are you and your colleagues passionate about making a difference in today’s connected world?

©VSO/Peter Caton

Workplace fundraising can help with staff retention and personal development. VSO have creative team-building activities that we can deliver for your organisation, in just one day or over a whole year. As a local charity, with an international footprint, VSO are seeking partnerships with local businesses to inspire those who work with you to join us in the fight against poverty.

VSO AT 60 When Alec and Mora Dickson set up VSO 60 years ago, they had a vision of the power of volunteers to change the world. They recognised that only by standing shoulder to shoulder with the poorest and most marginalised could we begin to understand the challenges that those communities face.

IBM staff completing their one day fundraising challenge for VSO

At just 20, Yeano Kamara had to face the pain of her first pregnancy ending in stillbirth. When Yeano became pregnant a second time, Rosaline, a VSO-trained midwife supplied with a portable ultrasound machine (V-scan), spotted that the baby was not well positioned. She gave Yeano exercises to do to encourage the baby to move into a healthy birthing position. Weeks later, Yeano gave birth to a healthy daughter.

“At 5am I delivered Sally. When I saw her the first thing I did was say thanks to God. I am grateful to Rosalin.” VSO has supplied training for health staff on the effective use of this equipment in Sierra Leone’s Bombali district. To date, over 600 women like Yeano have been supported to deliver safely.

Find out more at and get in touch with VSO’s dedicated Corporate Fundraising Manager, Georgina Oxlade at VSO, 100 London Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames KT2 6QJ |

NEW PATRON MEMBER Kingston Chamber of Commerce are delighted to announce our newest Patron Member – Holland Hahn & Wills. The news was announced at a recent networking breakfast in Bentalls department store. Holland Hahn & Wills are one of the most respected Chartered Financial Planning and Investment Management firms in the country. Managing Partner, Chris Hirsch says “We have benefited from Chamber membership for some time and becoming a Patron is

our way of giving something back to the local community”. “We are active in shaping financial planning through our involvement with the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment’s (CISI) Financial Planning Forum Committee and are keen to continue to help people make better investment decisions.” Head of Marketing, Katie Lovatt says, “I have some exciting ideas to make our Patron membership a resounding success and look forward to working with Natalie to really make an impact!”.

L to R, Forbes Low, Forbes Design, Chris Hirsch and Katie Lovatt of Holland Hahn & Wills

FORBES DESIGN NEWS In the past couple of months, Forbes Design has worked a on several branding projects, including this one for IMSTA, the Irish Medical and Surgical Trade Association, and their annual Medtech awards. We have worked with them for seven years, producing the branding, signage and marketing for their event held at Croke Park in Dublin. “We’ve loved working on a project with new Chamber member, Adrienne Gibson, a facilitator and conference speaker. It has been an enjoyable and collaborative partnership as we designed a new logo identity. We are now beginning work on the website and other marketing material.”

PATRON MEMBERS EVENT Leader of the Council Cllr Liz Green joined Patrons and key local stakeholders for a working lunch in November. Patrons were invited to a private lunch to hear from the Leader of the Council on the vision for the

Borough and were given the opportunity to share their views with her. Patron members Saipem, Kingston University, Forbes Design, Kingston College and new Patrons Holland Hahn & Wills were in attendance with select other local influencers.


Patron membership provides high level opportunities to connect, influence, and raise brand profile whilst demonstrating commitment to the local community.

The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

To find out more about this please get in touch with Natalie Crew on 020 8541 4441

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


hr dept

Do you find recruitment difficult? If your answer is yes, then you are one of the majority of business owners who find the recruitment process often laborious, frustrating and expensive. As the current series of The Apprentice comes to an end, Lord Sugar has spent 12 weeks whittling his initial group of 16 candidates down to the well deserving, and no doubt exhausted, one. He has two trusty sidekicks to assess the candidates, deep pockets to fund the process and £250,000 on offer. We definitely don’t all have those types of resources! Finding the right talent for your business can make or break you. The implications of a wrong hire can cost the business customers, harm team morale and create risk when trying to exit them from the business. There are many questions that need to be answered to be able to hire successfully: • What are the key requirements of the role and the skills needed to do it well? • How much should the role be paid?

• Where should you advertise or seek candidates? • How can you optimise your advert or search process to attract candidates? • What questions should you ask at interview to be able to identify the best candidates? • How should the candidates be managed through the process so that they ‘cross the line’? Over the last few years the world of recruitment has changed in two significant ways: 1) Technology and social media – the effective understanding and use of recruitment specific and social media platforms is crucial. Choosing the right approach to find candidates is the first step and then using it effectively is the next. There are key strategies needed to be able to ensure that active candidates see your advert or that you find them in your candidate search.

2) Candidate expectations and management – candidates have higher expectations than ever before. The ability to understand their expectations and manage candidates effectively at each stage of the process will determine who makes the final decision ... the candidate or the employer. There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours on finding candidates, sifting through CVs, arranging interviews… to then be turned down at offer stage because you have not given enough attention to their needs through the process.

At The HR Dept – Elmbridge, Kingston and Surbiton we offer recruitment services to support local SMEs. We are not a recruitment agency. We work with you to find the best approach to finding candidates, help to write job descriptions / adverts, advise on pay and benefits and do all of the advertising, sifting and screening for you so that you can focus on what you do best. We can provide additional services to write your interview questions, create work sample tests, offer psychometric testing if needed and manage the negotiation on your behalf.

“The implications of a wrong hire can cost the business customers, harm team morale and create risk when trying to exit them from the business.”

If you have a vacancy that you need to fill and don’t know where to start then call Joanna on 0345 208 1290. Get 10% off any recruitment costs if you reference ‘Kingston Chambers’ when you call before the end of January 2019. P.S. We do not provide black cabs for any unsuccessful candidates though!


BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

health & wellbeing

Time to sign up to the Employer Pledge Time to Change and your Kingston Hub Time to Change is a growing national movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. We’ve already reached millions of people and begun to improve attitudes and behaviour. Despite the progress we’ve made, we know that many people still don’t consider mental health relevant to them. They don’t believe mental health problems are likely to affect them or people they know. But the reality is that mental health can affect anyone. Statistically, 1 in 4 of us will fight a mental health problem in any given year. That’s why our work is so important. No one should have to fear being treated differently because of a mental health problem. The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

We are a social movement At the core of our movement are passionate people who want to change the way we all think and act about mental health. That includes thousands of people who have their own experience of mental health problems. Time to Change is made up of: • Hundreds of Time to Change champions across the country campaigning in their communities • Our network of Hubs bringing local organisations together to change attitudes in their area • Hundreds of employers, and their employees, putting mental health on the map in their workplaces • Thousands of schools delivering assemblies and lessons on mental health, and supporting young campaigners to influence their peers

• Thousands of people joining in our online community and campaigning through social media Through sharing our stories, calling out stigma and discrimination and helping others to talk about mental health we are using our own experiences to change the attitudes and behaviour of a nation. Creating change through partnership Kingston upon Thames became a Time to Change Hub early in 2018. The Royal Borough of Kingston (the Hub Host) and Healthwatch Kingston (the Hub Co-ordinator) are working in partnership with a range of local stakeholders to ensure mental health anti-stigma and discrimination work and policies are embedded across Kingston.

Partners include, local employers, the NHS, education providers, emergency services, the wider voluntary sector and youth organisations. Many came together in June last year to workshop local plans for the Time to Change Kingston Hub. Stephen Bitti, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Kingston said: “Developing ideas with a range of enthusiastic local people, many with experience of mental health, has created a step change in the way Kingston thinks and acts about mental health problems. Our partnership looks forward to continued leadership from the Kingston Chamber of Commerce, through the promotion of the Time to Change Employer Pledge, so that anyone living in the Borough can learn about and get involved with this important social movement campaign.”

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


health & wellbeing “Statistically, 1 in 4 of us will fight a mental health problem in any given year. That’s why our work is so important. No one should have to fear being treated differently because of a mental health problem.” sense: tackling stigma can make a real difference to sickness absence rates, presenteeism levels, staff wellbeing and productivity, and retention. Since signing the Employer Pledge, 95% of employers said it had a positive impact on their organisation. What happens when I sign up to the Pledge? Step 1. Submit your action plan

What is Time to Change and the Employer Pledge? When you sign the Employer Pledge you demonstrate your commitment to change how we think and act about mental health in the workplace and make sure that employees who are facing these problems feel supported. By signing the Pledge you will join a growing movement of more than 800 employers in England across all sectors from FTSE 100 companies and leading retailers to Government departments and local authorities.

Mental health is an issue your organisation can’t afford to ignore:

Step 2. Time to Change reviews your action plan and provides feedback in four weeks

• 1 in 4 British workers are affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress every year

Step 3. You will then have two weeks to resubmit your action plan

• Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee per year

Step 4. Once approved Time to Change will send you a pledge board for your signing event

Why sign?

• 95% of employees calling in sick with stress gave a different reason Looking after the mental health of your employees makes business

It's Time to Change the way Kingston thinks about Mental Health 18

This could include small actions such as running events for World Mental Health Day, to larger ones such as training line managers so they feel comfortable having conversations about mental health with their line reports. Once your action plan has been finalised, Time to Change will send you a Pledge board that a senior leader can sign in front of your employees to mark your commitment. Time to Change will offer dedicated support throughout the Pledge process as well as a year of support after you sign. This includes coaching on your action plan, connections to other employers (look at the Time to Change map to see who has pledged) and free masterclasses where you can learn from leading employers on how they have achieved success. Find out more about the Time to Change Employer Accelerator Programme.

Time to Change will work with you to develop an action plan to get your employees talking about mental health.

Healthwatch Kingston is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services.

We also help people find the information they need about services in their area. We have the power to make sure that those in charge of services hear people’s voices.

We’re here to find out what matters to people, and help make sure their views shape the support they need.

As well as seeking the public’s views ourselves, we also encourage services to involve people in decisions that affect them.

There is a local Healthwatch in every area of England. We listen to what people like about services, and what could be improved, and we share their views with those with the power to make change happen.

Contact: Stephen Bitti Chief Officer Healthwatch Kingston Tel: 020 3326 1255

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

health & wellbeing Survey reveals workers’ failure to tackle stress New research has suggested that too many professional workers are failing to do enough to relieve stress outside of work. According to the research, for one in ten people in the sector money was the reason post-work stress relieving activities are not pursued.

A survey of 1,015 UK adults in employment, carried out by learning marketplace, revealed that professional services workers – such as those in accountancy and law - are the worst in the UK at taking the time to relieve their stress levels, with 58% admitting they do ‘little or nothing’ to manage the problem. Professional services workers were closely followed by those in education and healthcare, with 55% and 53% of staff in these sectors respectively confessing they are guilty of failing to address stress. For the overwhelming majority of professional services workers who claimed this was the case in the survey, it was a lack of free time that was the biggest obstacle (78%).

Of those who do regularly take measures to reduce work-based stress, exercise and sport top the poll of most popular activities; 44% find relief from a physical outlet, while enjoying personal interests and hobbies came a close second (39%). A total of 35% of respondents say that they turn to spending time with friends and family to relax them. Tom Batting, co-founder at, said: “It’s extremely worrying how many workers within professional services claim they do not prioritise getting the stress relief that is so important for maintaining their mental health. “The irony is that this can actually become a vicious cycle – if we don’t make time for stress relief, this can lead to becoming more stressed or even burnout,

both of which can reduce productivity further. “It’s in professional services managers and bosses’ interests to ensure that employees actually do take measures to manage their stress levels, whether that’s communicating how important this, allowing them flexi-time so that they can attend whatever activity it is that they do to relieve stress, or even providing classes or workshops for their workforce. “As well as reducing stress, this can positively impact on employees’ focus, concentration and efficiency in the workplace, which are particularly key in industries such as law and accountancy, where attention to detail and precision are especially vital. “We see this time and again employers who provide workers with healthy and stress-busting ‘perks’ like yoga, meditation or even arts and craft workshops reap the rewards in a more productive – and satisfied – workforce.”

Absence figures trigger concerns New research from Direct Line for Business reveals that workers took 4.3 million sick days between 2014 and 2017, with 568,000 being the result of an accident in the workplace. Employers are losing on average 1.4 million days of workers’ productivity each year due to sickness, according to the report. Since 2014, an average of 3,927 workers a day have called in sick to work and 147,000 have been off for more than seven consecutive days. The construction industry alone lost 392,000 work days between 2014 and 2017 due to employees self-reporting illness caused or made worse by their job. Stress, depression or anxiety are the most common illnesses The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

keeping people off work, with more than 12.5 million days lost by more than 526,000 workers in the 2016/17 financial year alone. Musculoskeletal disorders, breathing or lung issues, upper limb or neck problems are other common ailments that keep workers from attending their job. Matt Boatwright, Head of Direct Line for Business, said: “Our research highlights that further improvements could be made to ensure productivity does not suffer due to sick days following accidents at work.

“Many jobs are dangerous, but the construction industry in particular comes with a lot of risks. A simple slip or fall could have disastrous consequences for an employee and a business as a whole. “Business owners should ensure they have the appropriate cover in place to cover them should they be liable for an accident occurring due to the work they are undertaking. Employers’ liability will cover them if an employee is injured and public liability cover will be required in the event that an injury is caused to a third party. “

Emergency First Aid at Work 6 hour one day First Aid course. This can be completed in one day or two half days and is the minimum level of training required in the workplace. Courses can be arranged at your place of work, home or a venue close to Kingston upon Thames. This course will give you the skills and confidence to assess and deal with the many situations that you may come across in your work place and everyday situations. Situations covered include: • The roll of the First Aider • Recording of incidents and accidents. • CPR • AED – (automated external defibrillator) • Recovery position • Choking • Seizures • Bleeding • Diabetes • Asthma • Sprains • Fractures • And much more Courses offer vital knowledge on how to deal with emergencies that can crop up and how to keep yourself safe whilst doing so. Courses are always fun to aid learning and can be taught to a minimum of 2 people to a maximum of 12 people at one time. Dates for your convenience. For further information please contact Kay Galbraith on 07764 795027 or email

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


Rest, Relax & Refuel THE WHITE HART HOTEL Fancy staying in one of our beautiful bedrooms for less. We are offering 25% off all flexible room rates. From 3rd Jan-10th Feb just visit our website and enter in the promo code SLEEP25 If you need to detox after Christmas & New Year’s why not use your 10% discount and enjoy our VEGANUARY our selection of mouth-watering vegan meal’s on our chefs signature board. Email or phone 020 8977 1786 to book a table.

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business expo 2018 Chessington Business Expo The very first Chessington Business Expo was held on 31st October 2018 and was extremely well attended, attracting a wide range of exhibitors and visitors from across the borough.

Its aim was twofold; to recognise and promote the large number of businesses based in the south of the borough and bring together the education and business sectors in Chessington School’s excellent facilities. As the first event of its kind in the area, the Expo attracted businesses of all sizes from across the borough and beyond with many visitors coming from the wider Surrey area. The official opening was carried out by Kingston and Surbiton MP, Sir Edward Davey who, in his opening speech, actively encouraged businesses to get out and network and look for opportunities to work together. The organisers, Kingston Chamber of Commerce, were keen to make the event stand out and encouraged exhibitors to “get creative” with their stands. As a result, activities included a putting green by Surbiton Golf Club, basketball challenge by Shine Workplace Wellbeing, a static exercise bike by GoCycling and Love Kingston; not to mention the Prosecco Van that served end of day drinks! A highlight for many and the opportunity for the “selfie of the day” was provided by Chessington World of Adventures who wowed attendees by bringing along a Skunk and an Owl to meet the visitors!

The day’s programme of seminars were presented by bestselling author and international speaker Stefan Thomas, multi-award winning superfood retailer Julianne Ponan from Creative Nature and young entrepreneur Bryony Farmer, who launched her business using YouTube at the age of just 15.

Local business owner and Counsellor, John Sweeney, said, “Chessington Expo was a really worthwhile event to attend. A superb opportunity to meet with local business people and discover the wonderful capabilities existing across the borough. Looking forward to next year already.” Jerry Irving, CEO of Kingston Chamber said,“The Chamber of Commerce was delighted to grab the opportunity to partner with Chessington School to provide an opportunity to showcase the diverse and vibrant business activity that takes place in the south of the borough. My thanks to everybody who worked so hard to make the day such a success”. And it seems this may not be the last time we see an Expo in the south of the borough as in his closing speech, Jerry committed to running the event again next year! Indeed, the date is in the diary for Wednesday 6th November.

“Enjoyed meeting local business partners and thought it was a great opportunity to network and showcase the talent in Chessington!”

Forbes Low, Sir Ed Davey MP, Jerry Irving

“Sir Edward Davey MP actively encouraged businesses in the South of the Borough to get out and network.”

“We loved the venue and the fact we saw so many new faces. A really great day with lot's of new contacts. PLUS we got to meet a skunk and an owl!”

Breakfast, sponsored by Ecowelle The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


chamber events International Women’s Day

Networking Breakfast Thursday 17th January The Willow Restaurant

Friday 8th March Kingston Celebrates...

Wych Networking for Freelancers, Home-based workers and Start Ups Wednesday 23rd January The Wych Elm

International Women's Day 2019!

Women in Business Lunch Friday 8th February Hawkers Bar, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kingston

Networking Breakfast Thursday 14th February Hosted at the Guildhall by the Mayor of Kingston

Networking Lunch Friday 25th January Warren House

Chamber Quiz Night Monday 4th February The Willow Restaurant

Curry Club Wednesday 19th February Curry Club Saffron Summer

Networking Breakfast Thursday 14th March Networking Breakfast Venue TBC

There will be a range of exciting events happening across the Borough, including at the University, Kingston College, Hillcroft College, London Fire Brigade, Canbury All Weather Pitch, Kingston Museum and Libraries, St Paul's Parish Hall, Chessington and The Lamb, Surbiton. The focus will be on continuing to promote gender equality and celebrating the achievements and experiences of inspirational women from all walks of life across our borough. Most events are taking place on or around Friday 8th March, more details to follow... You are warmly invited to the closing event at Kingston University on Sunday 10th March in the Clattern Lecture Theatre 6-8pm."

Networking Lunch

To get involved email

Friday 22nd March White Hart Hotel

Cllr Sharon Young on:

Save the Dates Kingston Business Expo Tuesday 11th June 2019 Kingston University Business School

Chessington Business Expo Wednesday 6th November 2019 Chessington School Visit business-expos for more information.

New Chamber events and events run by our members are being updated on our website daily. Please visit for full details and to book.


BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

ask the expert What should I do to ensure a healthier workplace for my employees? Too many workers in Britain’s workplaces are still being made ill by their work, according to a new report. Recently-published annual statistics from the Health and Safety Executive showed that 1.4 million workers were suffering from work-related ill health in 2017/18, with high stress a major cause. So, what can we do to reduce the problem? Can we tackle high stress in the workplace when businesses are operating under such pressure? Well, yes we can. For a start, we all need to recognise the signs and causes of stress and not regard them as an inevitable part of working. There can be a tendency to regard stress as a sign of weakness when, in fact, it is very much a physical problem. If you are working with high stress, it builds and builds and your body releases chemicals that affect things like your thought processes and your decision-making.

The result is that workers’ productivity goes down as does their creativity. People with high stress can find themselves experiencing something called ‘rumination’, when their thoughts become repetitive. Thoughts go round and round in circles and people find themselves worrying about the next task, often focusing on worst-case scenarios, rather than concentrating on the current one. So, if we want to break the cycle, we have to recognise high stress when we see it and be prepared to do something about it. For example, business managers and owners need to do more to enable their employees to speak up about the stress they are feeling and to offer them the support and tools they need to reduce the feelings of stress and tension.

Rather than believing that stress is a normal part of life, because it inevitably creates negative results, they should guide their staff to learn how to reduce their stress and keep productivity up. We live in a fearful culture and managers can be scared of making changes but we have to overcome that kind of mindset if we are serious about reducing stress in the workforce.

Employees with manageable stress levels tend to be happier and happier employees are not only more productive and creative, but they are also more committed to the company. They are more loyal and much more likely to stay rather than seeking out another less stressful job

And it can be done. You only have to look at Sweden and Denmark as examples of what can be achieved with the right approach. They have both reduced the number of hours that people work and yet their productivity has gone up to among the highest in the world.

I hope that things are changing, that more and more companies are prepared to do something about high levels of stress, but the figures from the Health and Safety Executive would seem to suggest that there is still a long way to go. However, we can do something about it.

It is also important to acknowledge that tackling stress in the workplace is not just ‘a good thing to do’. It can have practical advantages for companies and benefit their bottom line as well.

Giselle Monbiot is a stress and anxiety management practitioner

Stress and anxiety management practitioner

Providing bespoke workshops for groups and individual therapy and coaching in the workplace Its all about knowing that you do have the choice to take control back

The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


big interview Leaving a legacy in your community – Willmott Dixon’s role in Kingston An interview with Roger Forsdyke, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon South East Willmott Dixon was founded in 1852, what would you say is the legacy of the business? Willmott Dixon has remained in private family ownership since it was formed in 1852. Our philosophy has always been steady sustainable growth. Five generations of the Willmott family have been custodians of the business, each one handing down a company focussed on astonishing our customers and leaving lasting legacies in the communities in which we work. Not only do we still stand out from the crowd in the way we do things, our commitment to leaving lasting legacies and creating opportunities is instilled in our DNA. We exist to have a purpose beyond profit and are committed to making a meaningful, sustainable and positive impact on society. Long before the term 'social value' was coined, Willmott Dixon was carrying out charitable works in the areas in which we build - we can see this in the company's 1978 report and accounts which states:

"At Willmotts we have, for a long time ... provided aid not only in financial terms but in the service of our employees to many organisations." Earlier this year, we were the only construction company to be honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise - Promoting Opportunity. The award recognises the huge contribution we all make at Willmott Dixon to enhance the lives of others through a host of activities and in 2017 over 80% of our workforce got involved. As a carbon neutral design and build contractor, we have worked tirelessly to have earned the full trust of our customers to deliver their projects to the highest quality and on budget. This is a huge responsibility, but it comes down to treating people fairly and we try to be human in our approach, working collaboratively with everyone who forms part of our wider ‘one team’ to achieve the best results. Following a recent report published by BuildUK, we remain the contractor with the fastest payment record and we invest heavily in our suppliers by supporting their development and training their people. This is rewarded by loyalty, whether facing a busy period or a downturn, our suppliers prioritise working for us because we treat them fairly. You are currently building the new Town House for Kingston University, what can you tell us about this project and your ongoing Employment Skills Plan in partnership with the university? We are so excited to be delivering the £50m Town House for Kingston University. Not only is this building an architectural statement, each and every detail has been so carefully considered to make this into a landmark that will lead the way in regeneration, lifting the borough’s built environment and to establish Kingston as a centre for learning. The Town House is a phenomenal building and will make a difference to so many people. Whether you are a student coming to


university, a staff member moving into a modern new working environment or even a member of the community looking to use the learning facilities; we are committed to creating opportunities and leaving a lasting legacy that can be enjoyed for generations to come. Towards the end of 2017, we launched the Employment Skills Plan in partnership with Kingston University. There was great uptake following the event and it has not really slowed down since. So far, the Town House project has had more than 500 students visit the site from schools, colleges and the university itself and nearly 900 students have been part of the construction workshops. In addition, 37 students have been supported by our team with their university research projects and we have provided 30 weeks of work experience and 370 weeks' worth of apprenticeship time. Having personally worked in construction for over 30 years, I have seen the industry change and evolve. There is a skills gap in the industry. The Employment Skills Plan is just one of the great opportunities we’ve created to promote the industry as an exciting place to work and to showcase the new innovation and technologies that are constantly emerging; after all they are the future leaders of our industry. Can you tell us more about the impact the skills gap is having on your industry and how you are addressing that? The skills gap continues to grow at a crucial time; Brexit looms on the horizon and we are at a point where the country needs more homes and infrastructure to meet demand. According to the most recent Construction Skills Network report from the CITB and Experian, the industry will need to recruit an average of 44,690 workers each year to meet the projected annual growth of 2.9% as reported in Construction Manager. The skills shortage means more people are leaving the industry than joining. Construction is also traditionally a male dominated environment, so there is a real drive to make the industry more attractive to pools of talent in under-represented communities and chiefly among women – we have set a target to

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

achieve gender parity by 2030 which will in turn create more diverse working groups. I am proud to say that 10% of our workforce is made up of apprentices and management trainees. However, it is imperative that we continue to do everything we can to support our industry. Through the Willmott Dixon Foundation, as a business we have committed to enhancing the life chances of 10,000 young people by 2020. This is measured in outcomes rather than financially, meaning we look at the opportunities created for individuals that they might not have otherwise had. In October, we opened a skills academy in Kingston, in collaboration with Kingston University, MRG Services, Surrey County Council and the South Thames College group. Aptly named the Building Lives Academy, it allows people to receive construction related training which includes operational and practical skills, CSCS training, employability skills, health and safety. We aim to upskill 10-15 people every six weeks and once trained, they are able to obtain work experience and placements through us, our supply chain partners and through other jobs advertised by the employment service. The Kingston academy was launched following the great success of the first, which opened earlier this year in New Addington, Croydon adjacent to the new Leisure Centre we are currently constructing. I am extremely proud of the team’s achievements and the results achieved so far, we are now in the process of setting up a third academy within the south east. What benefits does construction bring to a town like Kingston? A construction site is a sign of investment in the future. In the short term it creates income for local businesses both directly and indirectly associated with a project. In the long term it provides an economic benefit, providing a service as was designed to do and in this case, the Town House is an important chapter in the story of Kingston. The better we can deliver a building, the better a building will deliver for the community and local economy. I am excited about Kingston’s plans for the future and the part we can play in its story.

big interview

Open Doors 2018 at Kingston University Town House The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


Willmott Dixon are a privately owned contracting and t out company, building the social infrastructure that people depend on in their daily lives. We are committed to leaving lasting legacies in the communities in which we work and are proud to be delivering the new ÂŁ50m Town House for Kingston University, leading the way for regeration in the borough. To learn more about us, visit: @WillmottDixon

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business news Have you ever found yourself saying, ‘I’m so stressed!’ Yes? Me too! Stress and anxiety are fast becoming leading global health problems. The UK Mental Health Foundation reported 74 per cent of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. Sound familiar? We often convince ourselves that feeling overly stressed is part of life and that we should just soldier on. But although some stress is normal, life doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Your stress is completely within your control if you have the right tools. Mindfulness is one of those tools. You can learn new ways to respond rather than react to stress, identifying unhelpful automatic patterns of behaviour. You can make wiser choices for a happier, healthier life that you control. Perhaps you have an image of a bunch of hippies sitting on a cushion being a bit woo-woo and other-worldly. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It is evidence-

based, secular, psycho-educational, and backed by scientific research. It is used by the NHS, in business globally, in schools, and the public sector, to name a few. Having struggled with profound stress myself, I can vouch for the multiple benefits. I now teach it in the workplace, to individuals and working couples with positive results. I am passionate about mindfulness. Mindful communities are what we need right now to enable our stressed population to cope better with the demands of daily life, and hopefully decrease some of those worrying statistics about our stressed population. By Victoria Brookbank, to find out more visit

Russell-Cooke in Africa Putney headquartered law firm Russell-Cooke has recently provided a mixed rugby team at a primary school in northern Zimbabwe with a set of branded rugby shirts. This unusual turn of events has come about through the firm’s relationship with Barnes RFC Chairman Mike “Rhino” Whitfield and his involvement with a charity called TAG Rugby Trust.

The charity aims to “use the power and simplicity of team sport to engage with and educate individuals” worldwide. RussellCooke has sponsored Barnes RFC since 2014.

(LtoR) Karen Powell, The Creative People; Paul Neal, Orion Print; Andrew Connolly, Kingston Pound; Molly Dunne and Ella Hilton, Kingston University.

Kingston Cash Kingston has launched its own, unique, printed currency, Kingston Pounds (K£), in a bid to encourage residents to support local independent shops and cafes and keep money circulating around the borough. There’s been a digital version of K£ since 2014 and in Spring 2018 Kingston University School of Art students were given the task of designing the printed notes. The winning designs by Molly Dunne and Ella Hilton, featuring different landmarks in the borough, are highly collectable, and are available in K£1, K£5, K£10 and K£20. Specialist printers, Orion Security Print Ltd, who print the Glastonbury tickets and are also responsible for printing local currency notes in other parts of the UK, have incorporated special security features into the notes so they cannot be forged. Andrew Connolly, who founded the Kingston Pound, says: “Spending Kingston Pounds keeps money circulating in the borough - that means more spending and more thriving business and more happy customers, as using the local currency creates a community.

The printing costs have been covered by a combination of local business and private donations. In particular, we’d like to thank Banquet Records who helped us to fund the printing, and also sponsored the limited edition display wallets that hold the notes”.


SALMON - the magazine for an ethical and informed Kingston, promotes and endorses the Kingston Pound, and publishes a directory of participating businesses. Around 100 independent local businesses have joined the Kingston Pound project so far. You can convert your sterling to Kingston Pounds at Banquet Records in Eden Street; at the Post Office on Tolworth Broadway; and at local Farmer’s Markets. If you would like to order some K£ or you are a local independent business and would like to join the project you can sign up at

Dyno Drains

Expertly removing blockages (and stress) across Kingston Call 01932 765 555 or email for your local expert.

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BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


the person behind the business

Why investing in outstanding care makes good business sense The White House Nursing Home was recently named Kingston’s Business of the Year at the 2018 Kingston Business Excellence Awards. 30

The award was collected by Managing Director Rahim Nurmohamed, with his wife and business partner Salima. We asked Rahim what it takes to win such a high-profile award. I joined The White House Nursing Home in 2002, having come from a sales and marketing background. I have a degree in Engineering and Business but none of this prepared me for running a nursing home. Shifting from services and goods to dealing with people and emotions was a challenge but one I felt committed to, and passionate about. The home was owned then by my in-laws Mr and Mrs Manji, who had operated it since the mid 80s. Salima and I took over upon the demise of them both, sadly in 2013. It is their legacy that drives our passion for providing the best that we can.

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

We are small with a very homely atmosphere which families and residents love. We are also at present the only ‘Outstanding’ care home in the borough. From a business point of view, I think we have consistently over the years demonstrated strong leadership and putting together a management team that is suitably skilled. Our focus has always been on selecting and recruiting suitable and like-minded staff who live up to our motto of being ‘Passionate about Care’. In return, we have always believed in investing in people and remunerating staff accordingly. Our approach to achieving an “Outstanding” rating by CQC has raised eyebrows from fellow home owners and certainly our accountant. We are over-staffed. This is our decision. We have forgone profit for quality through increased staffing and this is evidenced by the reduced numbers of issues that the home faces.

the person behind the business Rahim Nurmohamed Managing Director The White House Nursing Home Staff are happy that they are not over-stretched, residents are well cared for, family always have someone to talk to when they come to the home and it’s a safe place to work.

We went through a gruelling two-year accreditation process to become recognised through a national governmental initiative as a “Gold Standard” end-of-life care provider.

It sounds simple but whereas people are driven by the pound and margins are scrutinised – and, of course, they should be in this economic climate - our approach is to invest in staff, retain staff and maintain a skilled team that deliver high quality care 24 hours a day.

I believe we go the extra mile for our residents in providing person centred care. We want to ensure that we maintain our outstanding status as well as our GSF accreditation which will involve a re-accreditation process.

Going forward, the important thing for us is to maintain the outstanding status from CQC and 100% occupancy so we can continue to be market leaders in our sector, as well as be financially viable. An additional huge achievement for us is that two years ago we achieved Beacon status in the Gold Standard Framework accreditation.

To do that, we place values such as humanity, compassion, respect and dignity at the top of the tree and we run a service built on strong foundations of these values. We try to give the best possible care to the residents. Some have more complex needs than others and the ethos of the home is that staff treat residents as if they were family, with respect and dignity.

“Our focus has always been on selecting and recruiting suitable and like-minded staff who live up to our motto of being ‘Passionate about Care’. In return, we have always believed in investing in people and remunerating staff accordingly.”

Finding the right place for a loved one Hi! My name’s Sue. If you’re considering the White House for a loved one, from my experience with mum you’re doing the right thing. It’s hard to decide on a move to a care home. We hear so many stories about unhappy places, and feel bad having to take our loved one from their home. We, mum’s family, had sleepless nights wondering whether we were making the right decision for her, but she couldn’t look after herself any longer and had lost all interest in life. Luckily, we found her a room at the White House. Mum didn’t make friends easily, so it was a great start that, five minutes after their first meeting, she and Ajitha were laughing together. She was reluctant to leave the security of Tolworth Hospital, but as soon as she sat in her chair in her room she wriggled a bit and said ‘This is cosy!’. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Although her room was small, we’d already added touches from home, including dad’s photo, and she loved it. When we first walked in to the White House, it felt like home, not like ‘a home’, a comfortable place full of friendly people, and with no trace of the ‘smell’ so many associate with nursing homes and hospitals. In no time, mum was chatting with and teasing the staff and with encouragement from Janice and the carers she was taking part in activities and entertainment and going on trips out, including the

panto, garden centre and Hampton Court. She was enjoying herself again and it showed! For the first time in her life, she had nothing to worry about. She felt safe, secure and cared for. On her 90th birthday, she rang for the toilet at 2.30am and all the staff on duty went to her room to sing Happy Birthday, the start of a wonderful day for her. When she was found unresponsive one morning, she was taken to hospital where they told us nothing more could be done for her. The White House really wanted her home with them, so she spent her last days in her own room, surrounded by people and sounds familiar to her. They were so gentle and caring, and maintained her dignity throughout. I visited every day and there was always a carer either sitting with her, often holding her hand for tender comfort, or not far away, with music playing quietly. Five days later, she passed away. The White House organised our nominated undertakers so we didn’t have to worry about a thing. They didn’t rush us, but left her room with her belongings until we were ready to take them away. When we went there, we were greeted like members of their family – they obviously missed her too. They were willing to talk to us and help us with our loss. During mum’s stay, I began helping with activities and I’m still involved – I guess I’ve become part of their family! You couldn’t find a better home for your loved one!

The White House Nursing Home Ltd 274 Malden Road, New Malden, Surrey. KT3 6AR Tel : 020 8949 0747 Email : The Royal Borough of

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


top tips

What makes ideas sticky? Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die was written by Chip Heath and Dan Heath It is a thought-provoking book, filled with business illustrations we can all learn from. Forbes Low Forbes Design Associates In this editorial of Top Tips, I have taken very limited highlights from the book to demonstrate how to make our ideas stick. The book is a great read. 1. FIND THE CORE Finding the core of an idea is far harder than it may seem without turning it into a silly sound bite. The hard part isn’t weeding out unimportant aspects. It is in pruning the most important, but not truly essential aspects distilling the idea to its core. The military uses a “Commander Intent” (CI) instead of a plan. For example, rather than details on how to take a bridge, the CI might be “take the bridge.” As in journalism, tell most important aspect first, edit, then add details. 2. EMOTIONAL BUTTONS Emotion is a key component of stickiness, but it’s not about pushing people’s emotional buttons. The goal of making message “emotional” is to make people care. For people to take action, they have to care.


To illustrate this, a group studied the effect of soliciting funds for starving children in Africa with two appeals: one appeal based on statistics, the other focusing on a single named child. The latter appeal won. The study showed that any time reason was used, the amount of giving decreased. Once we put on our analytical hat, we react to emotional appeals differently. 3. TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED The first requirement of effective communication is getting attention. The second is keeping it. To do this, you use the unexpected. We all tend to think in patterns, the key is to break them. So, a good process for making ideas stick is: (1) Identify the central message you need to communicate – find the core;

4. DETAILS AND STATISTICS What makes people believe ideas? We base it on authorities - our parents, tradition or experts. There are several ways to do this but here are two: Details: A study revealed that jurors were more likely to grant custody in a case where they had lots of details - even though irrelevant like the type of toothbrush a child used - than when they had scanty, but essential details. Statistics: These are rarely meaningful by themselves but statistics will, and should, almost always be used to illustrate a relationship. A manager once tried to give the dry statistics. However, he got more impact when he mapped this figure onto a soccer team: “If a soccer team had this same make up only 4 out of 11 would know where their goal was!” 5. STORIES

Here are three examples: 1. The Challenge Plot: This is the classic underdog, rags to riches, or willpower triumphing over adversity. 2. The Connection Plot: This story is about people who develop a relationship that bridges a social gap. All connection plots inspire us in community ways. 3. The Creativity Plot:

(2) Figure out what are the unexpected implications of your core message and why isn’t it already happening naturally?

A key to making an idea sticky is to tell it as a great story. The hard part though creating it. Always be on the lookout for them.

(3) Communicate your message in a way that breaks your audience’s pre-set expectations.

To grow your business, you need to share your ideas. Get in touch and we guarantee our ideas will help bring out the best in your business.

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

This involves someone making a mental breakthrough, solving a long-standing puzzle in an innovative way.

a day in the life of ... Retaining the personal touch in an electronic age Lawyer David Hards has been Managing Partner of New Malden law firm Pearson Hards since 2012, the latest stage in a career stretching back four decades. Lawyer David Hards has been Managing Partner of New Malden law firm Pearson Hards since 2012, the latest stage in a career stretching back four decades. For David, the working day is a balancing act between meeting the constant demands of electronic media and retaining the personal touch on which his firm has based its success. He said: “Ours is a demanddriven business and the start of my working day depends on what needs doing. I can be in at eight or eight thirty or maybe nine, although we do have people in before seven. “I am more of an evening person than a morning person and my working day tends to be structured towards a later finish. “As Managing Partner, I divide my time 50-50 between practising law and managing the firm. “When it comes to management, so much has changed in the past forty years and today most of my time is spent in front of a computer

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screen. With email, there is much more immediacy than there used to be and, from the clients’ point of view, rightly so. “We communicate with our clients mainly by email and phone but we also believe that, useful as electronic media may be, it is still important to retain the personal touch. If a client wants to meet one of our people face to face, then they should be able to do so. “I do enjoy networking whenever I can do it. I know the younger partners appreciate the value of networking as well.” The firm has retained that personal touch throughout a long history which has seen it grow steadily. New Maldenbased Pearsons began in 1963 and just over 30 years later joined forces with C A Maddin, which had been serving the people of Surbiton since 1928, to become Pearson Maddin. The firm expanded further in October 2012 when it merged with New Malden firm ACS Hards & Co, of which David had been Managing Partner, to become Pearson Hards LLP. ACS Hards could trace its history back to the turn of the century in

the city of London and to the early 1930s in New Malden. In October 2015, Sutton law firm John Chapman & Co became part of Pearson Hards LLP. John Chapman & Co was founded in the 1950s. David said: “We are growing but I do not think that the level of growth we have seen would have been possible if it had just been organic. “We have certainly seen organic growth, largely through referrals because of our excellent reputation, but the majority of the growth has been down to the effect of mergers with like-minded firms with a similar

outlook as regards offering a personal service. “The mergers have allowed us to take on more people and broaden the services that we can offer. “It is something we have had to do because the old business adage is true; if you stand still you end up going backwards.” It all adds up to a demanding job. David said: “My working day finishes when the work is done. It can be 11pm but more usually it is 6pm or 7pm. Often when I go, there are people still in the office and we greatly appreciate their commitment.”

“When it comes to management, so much has changed in the past forty years and today most of my time is spent in front of a computer screen. With email, there is much more immediacy than there used to be and, from the clients’ point of view, rightly so.”

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community


starting up

Howard Freeman The GDPR Compliance Consultancy

Desire to Deliver Q1: Tell us a bit about your business?

Q4: What do you like most about working for a start-up?

We are a full-service regulatory compliance company focussing on the SME, education and charity space offering not just advice and guidance but able to deliver all that is needed to demonstrate compliance to the GDPR as well as other compliance matters.

The flexibility, being able to react quickly and be able to tell people about my plan to build the business. It can hard work too but if you keep focussed then that ceases to be a problem.

Q2: What gives your business

Q5: What has been your greatest

‘the x-factor’? We are a ‘full service’ consultancy. We inform, we educate, we understand and then, we deliver. We have a great reputation for prompt and accurate delivery and all our clients thus far have offered testimonials to the quality of our work.

Q3: What motivated you to set up the business? Desire to deliver the best I can and not have to tolerate a board of directors that lost its focus and forgot who pays the bills, the customer! I have always been client focussed and this business has allowed me to be exactly that.

business success to date? In this business, there have been many but winning our first client was wonderful and winning the primary schools’ business but also attracting larger clients through recommendation.

Q6: What has been your lowest moment? We started in April and so pipeline was building but the summer downturn in August was pretty tough but I always believed that the business would return in September, which it did and I have not looked back since.

Q7: In terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years? I am happy to be still running this business and delivering a wider portfolio of compliance and other services and training. A staff of 15 would make us a nice size company to be.

Q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? Belief is an absolute necessity. If you don’t believe in what you are doing, saying and delivering then go and work in a normal job. You must also believe that you will succeed and to do this you must know how you intend to achieve your goals. Don’t spend forever planning though, get on with it and adapt as you go.

We have a great reputation for prompt and accurate delivery and all our clients thus far have offered testimonials to the quality of our work. 34

BOROUGH BUSINESS - The voice of Kingston’s business community

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Situated within easy reach of central London, Guildford and Kingston, Surbiton Golf Club offers everything you need for a successful business event. Our meeting rooms are available with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi and can be hired by the hour or the day. Our rooms can accommodate 5-50 people seated, with stunning views of the golf course, and our hospitality team will make sure you have all the equipment and refreshments you need.

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Borough Business January 2019  

Kingston upon Thames Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management,...

Borough Business January 2019  

Kingston upon Thames Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management,...