The Masthead October 2022

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the masthead ISSUE 24 OFFICIAL MAGAZINE FOR SOUTH EAST LONDON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ENVIRONMENT The journey to Net Zero SKILLS Investment to increase green and digital skills across the capital SUCCESSION PLANNING What business owners should think about TAJINDER BHAMBRA ASN is keen to play an active role in the local business community
TAKE ON AN APPRENTICE WITH CROYDON COLLEGE Scan the QR code to view current There has never been a better time to start an apprenticeship For more information visit TAKE ON AN APPRENTICE WITH CROYDON COLLEGE Scan the QR code to view current vacancies There has never been a better time to start an apprenticeship For more information visit


decided not to


BBQ at The Clarendon. Thankfully, the

has an indoor BBQ in their kitchen, and we enjoyed a great meal in the Meridian Restaurant. Just before this edition went to press, we held an Executive Lunch in Croydon with their first elected Mayor, Jason Perry as the guest speaker.

have a Charity Quiz/Bangers & Mash evening coming up on Thursday, 17th November back at The Clarendon and I hope to see many of our members at the Bromley Court Hotel for the Christmas Lunch on Thursday, 15th December.

Chamber has a new Strategic Partner, longstanding member ASN whose MD, Taj Bhambra is on the front cover and the subject of the Big Interview. At our virtual AGM, I agreed to stand for another year as President and I am very pleased Taj has joined the Board.

2023, expect many more in person events, including another golf day in July at Royal Blackheath; business/accountancy events in all five boroughs; Executive Lunches, Office Drinks and on the virtual front, more specialist webinars.



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3 Editorial and General Enquiries
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: Nov 2022 © Benham Publishing Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Media No. 1915 Disclaimer The Masthead is published for South East London Chambe r of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. CONTENTS
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4 Chamber News 6 News 8 Focus on Lewisham 9 Focus on Croydon 10 Greener Greenwich 11 Focus on Greenwich 12-13 Royal Greenwich Business Awards 2022 15 Focus on Bromley 16 Focus on Bexley 19 Technology 20-24 Education & Skills 26-27 The Big Interview 28-29 Succession Planning 31 News 32 Past Events 33 Forthcoming Events 36-37 LCCI -Richard Burge 40-41 Property 43 PR & Marketing 44-45 Arts & Culture 47 Health & Wellbeing 48 New Members 50 And Finally… WELCOME The Chamber had a good summer hosting two very popular events. In late July, the sun shone on our golf day at Royal Blackheath. This day was in partnership with Visit Greenwich and sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover dealer, Beadles
Sidcup who brought electric and hybrid vehicles for us to admire. At lunch, we heard a fascinating presentation by Trevor Dorling, Digital Cities on the future of transportation. The sun
shine on us
August for our
9 16 12 24 3628 40

Chamber welcomes new board members

The Chamber’s Virtual AGM took place in mid-October.

Three directors, Yadav Bhandari Everest Inn Group, Dave Millett DRF Consultants and Terri Johnson HR2HR Solutions stood down after many years’ service on the Board. They will be greatly missed.

Two new directors joined: Tajinder Bhambra, site Managing Director of Alcatel Submarine Networks UK in Greenwich. ASN is a wholly owned subsidiary of a French parent company ASN, part of the Nokia Group.

Mark Jenkinson, Director, Crystal Associates is a consultancy who help cities, communities, and businesses on the path to be smarter and more sustainable.

Prior to setting up Crystal Associates, Mark spent 25 years in senior global roles at Siemens with a focus on sustainability and digitalisation of city infrastructure and industry.

The SELCC Board is delighted to have such experienced business professionals as part of the team.

The race to Net Zero

The UK economy is legally bound to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and reduce carbon emissions by 60% by 2035 from today’s levels.

The Mayor of London has also set ambitious aims for London to be a zerocarbon city by 2030. The five boroughs covered by the South East London Chamber of Commerce are also playing their part, as demonstrated by the Greener Greenwich Summit.

Businesses also need to play their part and act now to reduce their carbon emissions accordingly. According to the latest London Business 1000 survey by YouGov published in November 2021, nine in ten businesses (89%) are aware of the UK’s 2050 net zero target and over two-thirds of businesses (69%) are doing at least one activity to reduce their environmental impact.

Instead of being seen as an additional burden, businesses - large and smallincreasingly see the drive to net zero as an opportunity. An opportunity to reduce the impact of rising energy costs, an opportunity to attract and retain talent, an opportunity to be more competitive and win more business – all while impacting positively on the local community and helping to save the planet.

Sounds good but you don’t know where to start or what to do next?

The London Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has formed the ‘Environment, Sustainability & Green Growth’ (ESGG) Committee to support businesses on this journey. I have the pleasure of chairing this group, made up of organisations large and small, from a wide range of sectors across London. Our aim: to share good practice around four initial themes: jargon busting, green supply chains, sustainable finance, and sustainability in the built environment, helping London to be a centre of excellence in the approach to the environment, sustainability, and green growth.

As an LCCI affiliate and local champion, the South East London Chamber of Commerce is keen to support your local business along the net zero / sustainability journey. If you need guidance or want to share the great stuff you are doing with others in the network, please drop us a line.

Email me on or SELCC

In the meantime, check out the London Chamber’s ESGG climate hub section which includes case studies and upcoming events, such as an interactive webinar ‘Sustainable Finance: The Green Frontier’ on 29th November.

4 Chamber News
LOCAL EXPERTS SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES Commercial Property Commercial Law Company Law Commercial Disputes Debt Recovery Employment Law Providing expert legal advice to businesses across Bromley and the South East. Tel: 020 8290 0333 Offices in Bromley, Beckenham and Blackheath

Building Surveyor

Council backs new Woolwich town centre sports complex

Woolwich is to have a new leisure complex in the centre of town. It will replace the existing Waterfront Leisure centre on the edge of town next to the Thames.

The new development will include a set of residential buildings, as well as a new community square and commercial space.

courts and swimming lanes than currently offered at the Waterfront site.

For 30 years we have represented our clients’ interests in the built environment, ensuring regulatory, contractual, and legal aspects of building maintenance and construction are maintained by all parties.

In many instances, building surveyors are an intermediary between building owners and the building users, or between building owners and/or their representatives and the contractors carrying out work for them.

We ensure all work by contractors is completed according to the agreed programme and the appropriate statutory regulations, within the parameters of any applicable landlord/tenant agreements, to a professional standard, and within budget. Frequently this will be listed buildings that require a particular building conservation skillset.

We represent landlords to ensure that their commercial or residential leaseholders/ tenants, conform to the terms of their lease.

We also undertake Professional Services including Party Walls, Dilapidations and Expert Witness.

Who we do it for

The majority of our clients are commercial organisations located throughout London, (from The City through to Belgravia) and across the Home Counties.

Our clients include:

• Mansion-owning landed estates and housing associations: both types of accommodation providers employ us to manage multioccupancy tenant issues.

• Owners and users of business premises.

• Housebuilders, either building completely new homes or repurposing heritage buildings to meet today’s regulatory standards and market expectations.

• Accommodation providers for the elderly in almshouses, for armed forces veterans (who are sometimes disabled), and on behalf of London councils.

• We have worked with hospitality and retail chains. In each individual case, it’s essential to understand the client`s needs and aspirations in order to produce the correct service and solution.

Greenwich council recently gave approval for the new leisure centre which will be located between Vincent Road and Wilmount Street, Additional facilities in the new centre will include a spa, a splash pool, and more sports

The new set of residential buildings will include a total of 482 new apartments, built by the council’s development partner, The Hill Group.

Construction of the new leisure centre will begin early next year with the demolition of Viscount House on Vincent Road beginning in October.

Bowie’s bandstand set for £250k restoration


Plans for the £250,000 project have been submitted by Bromley council.

In 1969, Bowie helped organise and play at the one-day Growth Summer Festival in Croydon Recreation Ground.

The Edwardian bandstand was built in 1905 and given Grade II listed status in 2019.

After years of


Molly Hankinson’s

6 News
fundraising, a refurbished bandstand could be ready next summer.
bandstand in Beckenham where David Bowie performed could soon be restored to its former glory. Among the murals was artist Boudicca Collins tribute to Sybil Phoenix for championing young black voices and transforming lives in the borough, where she has lived with husband Joe since 1963.
mural paid tribute to Ono Dafedjaiye for making creative arts more inclusive for people with learning disabilities via Deptford charity Heart n Soul.
murals pay tribute to local heroes Lewisham artists dedicated six murals to change-makers, which were unveiled at Lewisham shopping centre in late September. What does a
do? Murray Birrell is a boutique Chartered Surveyors with offices in Mayfair and Petts Wood. For further information visit our website on

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Meet faceto-face with local buyers in Lewisham

Are you looking for public sector contract opportunities in Lewisham? The Council encourages local small to mediumsized businesses, third sector and voluntary organisations to attend its Meet The Buyer event, which takes place on Thursday 10 November 2022, 9.00am – 2.00pm at Goldsmiths, University of London.

This is a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with construction contractors and local buyers from the Lewisham Deal partnership - including Lewisham Council, Lewisham Homes and Phoenix Community Housing; to learn how to look for public sector contracts; and to increase your chances of placing winning bids.

This is a free event which will include talks from industry experts and local success stories, plus presentations, workshops, panel discussions and amazing networking opportunities.

Places are limited so please book in advance by contacting

Business rates discounts available for newly accredited Living Wage employers

Lewisham Council has almost doubled the number of Living Wage employers in the borough from 47 to 86, in the past four years alone. With Living Wage Week approaching, it is encouraging even more local employers to cover the costs of living in the Capital for their workers.

Lewisham businesses who pay their employees the London Living Wage report significant benefits, including more motivated and productive staff. The Council is offering a business rates discount of up to £6,000 for local businesses who become accredited Living Wage employers in the current financial year.

For more information on becoming a Living Wage employer, please visit the Lewisham Council website

A new service for Lewisham’s entrepreneurs

Do you run a Lewisham-based start-up or established business? Are you an aspiring entrepreneur, with a great business idea you’d like to get off the ground? Then BIPC Lewisham is here to provide the support you need.


Lewisham is a great, new service for local entrepreneurs at whichever stage they’re at in their business journey – from start-up ventures, to inventors and anyone with a business idea. This community-focussed programme helps local people build the skills and confidence they need to start and grow successful businesses or charities.

The new service, which is based at Catford Library, launched in September and is run as a partnership between Lewisham Council and the British Library’s Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC). It follows on from Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL) – a successful grantfunded programme which ended in 2021 that established Lewisham Libraries as go-to places for business support and information.

From understanding the vital role of trademarks and patents to business research on customers, markets and industries, plus workshops to develop practical skills in business, BIPC Lewisham will provide the help and support that small businesses and entrepreneurs around the borough need.

Cllr Kim Powell, Cabinet Member for Businesses, Jobs and Skills, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support and inspire our thriving business community by offering insights and access to free resources, training and events to transform the way ideas grow into successful businesses.”

“BIPC Lewisham is a great boost to the business provision we already offer in the borough. We’re delighted to be able to give this valuable support to all the local entrepreneurs who need a little help and advice to make sure their businesses have the absolute best chance of success.”

Cllr James J Walsh, Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “It’s fantastic to be part of the BIPC network and to build on the success of the SiLL programme. Our libraries are at the heart of our communities and have long been places that local business owners could go to access support - this is even more important post-pandemic.

“BIPC Lewisham is based at the new Catford Library – it’s a welcoming space with free access to PCs, desks, Wi-Fi, equipment for content creation, and lots of excellent business resources. Our 24-hour eLibrary gives access to a wide range of books, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers and more. So please head down to a library, speak to the staff and take advantage of this brilliant programme.”

BIPC Lewisham is open to all Lewisham Libraries card holders and provides – but is not limited to:

• Business information and resources e.g. free access to high-quality UK and global market intelligence, customer insights, and company data

• Intellectual property advice and guidance

• Free one-to-one support, mentoring and training

• Topical business networking events

• Equipment for content creation i.e. green screens, microphones, laptops and Adobe

• Access to the latest business books and eBooks, digital newspapers, magazines and journals

• Business databases: COBRA, IBIS World and Grant Finder

• Conference equipment and room hire

For more information, please visit or email

Focus on Lewisham

Helping Croydon residents and businesses grow and thrive

A core part of this is supporting our local economy to thrive, bringing the right businesses and opportunities to Croydon. This can only work if underpinned with a strong local workforce that can meet these new opportunities.

One of my priorities over the next year will be to make sure we upskill residents, providing them with education, training and access to job opportunities.

Croydon has some amazing training providers, from our provider CALAT which helps people enter education as adults, to London South Bank University (LSBU) or Croydon College, and I want to work with these organisations to equip residents with the skills to move up in their careers, especially as the job world is fast changing.

Looking to the future, we recently supported the establishment of the Innovation Centre at Electric House (LSBU) with £300,000 from the London Strategic Investment Pot. The Centre brings together local businesses to pool ideas and collaborate on research and development.

We have a really active business network in Croydon and across the south-east, with some great forums and initiatives which the Council runs, such as the Croydon Employers & Skills Forum and Croydon Business Network. The Employers & Skills Forum in particular, promotes employment and training opportunities within our borough, helping businesses to expand and grow. We’re currently looking to keep maximising the impact of this forum and our work by seeking further funding.

As a business owner myself, I know recruitment is not always easy and the council continues to work hard to match businesses with job candidates. Through the Croydon Works partnership, with Job Centre Plus, Croydon College and Croydon Council, we offer a free recruitment service to help residents and businesses find employment and training –helping 452 people into work and training this year alone.

Another initiative, that local businesses aren’t always aware of is that the council can cover the training costs of any small or medium-sized business looking to take on an apprenticeship –helping to bring through our next generation of skilled workers.

We have also recently had a massive vote of confidence from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) who have extended our flagship Work & Health and JET Programme for a further two years. We coordinate this programme through the South London Partnership and in Croydon alone 839 residents, who have the most difficulty accessing job opportunities, have entered the local workforce in recent years.

As a large local employer itself, the council will also strive to lead by example. We are already signed up to the London Living Wage as a minimum for all employees and would encourage our suppliers and other employers to do the same.

We are also committed to using the council’s spending power to buy and employ locally, encouraging local providers

to join our supply chain whilst still ensuring value for money. For example, as part of our current procurement of a new housing repairs provider we have asked all bidding companies to explicitly demonstrate how they would create work and training opportunities for Croydon residents.

As you can tell, there’s no shortage of activity going on at the moment to help both Croydon residents and businesses to thrive. Since taking up office, I have enjoyed meeting so many of our residents and local businesses in every corner of our borough, hearing their stories, aspirations and challenges.

It is a privilege to serve as Croydon’s first Executive Mayor and I look forward to continuing to work together over the coming years as we keep growing and supporting our workforce, harnessing all that Croydon has to offer.

9 Focus on Croydon
Through the Croydon Works partnership, with Job Centre Plus, Croydon College and Croydon Council, we offer a free recruitment service to help residents and businesses find employment and training – helping 452 people into work and training this year alone.
When I came into office as Croydon’s first elected Mayor,
was clear that I wanted to restore pride in our borough – putting Croydon back on the map for the right reasons as a destination of choice to work, live, and visit.

OCTOBER 20th 2022 ...the day that an ecosystem formed from across the Royal Borough to create a place-based review of sustainability and the journey to net zero, 2030.

Hosted by the University of Greenwich and delivered in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, a diverse cross section of stakeholders joined up their thinking on where we are, as a Borough, on the journey to net zero. We took a moment to celebrate the inroads and achievements made to date whilst looking to the challenge ahead.

This was not about a person, a business, or a group, this was about everyone. Scientists, Students and Business leaders united around the common theme of Sustainability, sharing their knowledge, their ideas, their actions, and their collective thoughts.

If you’re interested in ‘what next’ and want to be part of the Greener Greenwich Community, please get in touch via

On the journey towards Net Zero

We are working with the University of Greenwich (UoG) to promote knowledge transfer and business start-up around green technology.

On 20 October, businesses in Royal Greenwich came together at the University for the Greener Greenwich Expo to share their stories and get new ideas around sustainability and being green. Businesses in Royal Greenwich will have access to a variety of practical advice and information following the event, which we’ll be sharing via our newsletter.

The Greener Greenwich Expo is the first of a number of events exploring ways that businesses can contribute towards the green agenda. Our first Best of Royal Greenwich Business Networking Event will be focused on supporting businesses to become greener.

We’re also working closely with South East London Community Energy (SELCE) to deliver the Greener Business in Greenwich programme, helping businesses to reduce both their energy costs and carbon emissions through fully-funded schemes.

Sign up to our newsletter to hear about any future events: businessnewsletter

Join the Greener Business programme: greener-businesses

As a proud Real Living Wage Employer, we encourage other local employers to join the movement. With the cost-of-living crisis, it’s more important than ever.

Benefits of being a Real Living Wage Employer include:

1. Better employee retention

2. Happier staff equals more productivity

3. Improved relationships between employer and employees

4. Improved reputation of business

5. Differentiating your company from competitors

The Real Living Wage – Good for Business – Good for Society

The London Living Wage is an independently calculated, voluntary hourly rate of pay, set by the Living Wage Foundation. The rate, which is higher than the government’s national minimum wage, represents the minimum amount an employee needs to earn to provide a decent standard of living for themselves and their family.

How can the Council help your business?

Marco Olmi, Managing Director at the Drury Tea & Coffee Company, an accredited Royal Greenwich Living Wage Employer, said: “As a fourth-generation family business, we care about our employees. Paying the London Living Wage proves this and is vital in cementing the relationship between all our colleagues. It’s not always the easy path for a business, but it is the right path.

Interested in becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer? Or, if you’re already accredited, would you like to join our campaign celebrating London Living Wage Week (14-20 November)? Email to express your interest or to find out more.

In Royal Greenwich, professional advice is available on many aspects of running your business, from tendering for contracts to recruitment and marketing. We also run an e-business support programme to help businesses reach their potential online, which includes free workshops and seminars.

For the latest business news, sign up to receive our newsletter:

11 Focus on Greenwich
The Royal Borough of Greenwich declared a climate emergency in 2019 and agreed to set an ambitious target to reach net zero carbon emissions 20 years ahead of the national target.
The support of our business community is crucial to achieving this.

BUSINESSES SHINE at the Royal Greenwich Business Awards 2022

It was an exciting moment for many Royal Greenwich businesses on Friday 7 October as the winners of the Royal Greenwich Business Awards, sponsored by U+I and supported by South East London Chamber of Commerce, were announced at a glittering ceremony.

Architecture practice BPTW snapped up Business of the Year Award at the annual event, which highlights and celebrates business excellence in Royal Greenwich.

The borough is home to 11,600 businesses providing over 100,000 jobs. The 12 categories and overall winner represent a range of different industries from across the borough’s business community.

The Awards received over 230 applications this year with hundreds of businesses competing to showcase their work and skills and be in with a chance of winning the £3,000 top prize.

The event was hosted by Tim Campbell MBE, TV star on The Apprentice and renowned ambassador for youth employment and social enterprise, at the InterContinental London – The O2 hotel.

Read the full round-up from the event at: business_awards_ceremony2022

The Winners are:

u Business of the Year Winner: BPTW

u Best Food & Drink Venue Sponsored by Drury Tea and Coffee Winner: Brothers Bakery Highly Commended: Copper & Ink

u Best New Business Sponsored by Berkeley Homes

Winner: Melodic Decoder Highly Commended: Camp Elite u Digital Sponsored by DG Cities Winner: Compass Supported Living and Domiciliary Care Highly Commended: JRVisuals

u Greener Greenwich Sponsored by IKEA Winner: Besbike Highly Commended: The Woodland Nursery u Health & Wellbeing Sponsored by GLL - Better Winner: Help Save Lives Highly Commended: MumsAid

u High Street Retailer Award

Sponsored by Hindwoods Winner: The Fudge Patch Highly Commended: Ben Oakley Art Gallery

Royal Greenwich Business Awards 2022
months of anticipation, the winners of the Best of Royal Greenwich Business Awards have been announced.

u Made in Greenwich

Sponsored by Grant Saw Solicitors

Winner: BPTW Highly Commended: Dart Flyscreens

u Market or Mobile Trader Award

Sponsored by London City Airport

Winner: Bonnie & Rose Bar Highly Commended: Joy’s Caribbean Fusion

u Technology Innovation Award

Sponsored by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN)

Winner: Champion 3D Highly Commended: First Step Trust

u Tourism & Culture Award

Sponsored by Peabody

Winner: Punchdrunk Highly Commended: Intercontinental London - The O2

u Workforce Development

Sponsored by London South East Colleges (LSEC)

Winner: Cleaning Express Highly Commended: CSB Logistics

u Young Entrepreneur Sponsored by University of Greenwich

Winner: Boba & Co

Highly Commended: Power Mobile Gym


Our local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. The Business Awards shine a light on their hard work and achievements. They are also a timely reminder of how important it is to show our support for them, shopping locally wherever possible.


Councillor Anthony Okereke Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich

Royal Greenwich Business Awards 2022


Repair work on the East Courtyard is already underway and new drainage has been installed underneath. Rebuilding of the north wall is soon to commence on site and next year a new courtyard roof will be constructed for the Victorian subway, which will be visible from Crystal Palace Parade.

The restoration works are being carried out by specialist contractors DBR Limited, who were appointed as contractors by the Council earlier this year. Works are being closely coordinated with partners Historic England and the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway, who have been involved throughout this special project.

The historic Crystal Palace Subway is currently being regenerated, as specialist restorations works to the Grade II* listed structure are now well underway.

Councillor Yvonne Bear, Executive Councillor for Renewal, Recreation and Housing said: “This stunning Victorian structure really demonstrates the incredible international importance of this historic Park, through the glimpse it gives us into the former Crystal Palace and the amazing experience visitors would have had upon entering the park when it first opened. I am delighted that the specialist restoration works are now well underway and a big thank you to our valued partners for their support in getting us to this point. I look forward to seeing the subway returned back to use in these magnificent surroundings, which is just one aspect of the Council’s vision to regenerate this beloved park.”

The restoration works to the Victorian Subway are estimated at over £3m, to include the rebuilding of existing walls, construction of new parapet walls, and a roof structure. The subway exterior will be made from glass and stainless steel, and the gable enclosed with Corten steel.

Ian Harper, Heritage at Risk Architect at Historic England, said: “It is very pleasing that, working with the London Borough of Bromley and their funding partners, we are now repairing this remarkable

surviving subway and ticketing hall. Skilled craftsmen and apprentices will see the Victorian brickwork restored and roof replaced to create a new sustainable facility in the park for enjoyment by the local community.”

Funding for the project has been received from Historic England, the City of London Strategic Investment Pot and contributions from the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway.

The subway first opened in 1865 and is located to the edge of Crystal Palace Park under the Crystal Palace Parade and is one of the last original Crystal Palace structures and is much loved by the community, with its own dedicated Friends’ group. London Borough of Southwark continue to be a project partner for the subway restoration.

A spokesperson for the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway, said: "Ten years ago, the 'friends' organised their first open event at the subway, supported by Bromley Council. The backing from local communities and businesses along with volunteer support over the last decade has been central to the success of this project. It will be an emotional moment for a great many people to see the subway restored to a usable condition."

15 Focus on Bromley

Supporting local businesses Bexley

Business & Employment (BBE) are hosting a FREE CARBON ENERGY WORKSHOP for SMEs in partnership with Better Futures+ at London Borough of Bexley Civic Office on Wednesday 9 November 2022.

The workshop will be delivered by Richard Dormer, Managing Director of an SME, and business mentor. Richard has a unique understanding of the challenges SMEs face and has spent 20 years working with other professionals to bring important services and associations to deliver the right solutions to business.

There will also be a Business Market Place where SMEs can talk to providers about digital solutions to enhance their business and general advice on funding and business growth.

For more information on this workshop, and on other support available, visit the BBE website

Knowledge Hub

16 Focus on Bexley
Night Markets The final night market event this year takes place on Friday 28 October, from 6pm to 10pm, in the pedestrianised area of Bexleyheath Broadway. In addition to the usual mix of delicious food, local products, craft beers, cocktails and music, and fun activities for children, local businesses will stay open an hour later during the event. The night markets which have been held across the summer have been welcomed by local businesses and residents and the intention is for them to continue in 2023. Business
Libraries in Bexley offer a free Business Knowledge Hub which can help local businesses. • find new B2B customers • find new suppliers • get up to date market intelligence and consumer behaviour information • access fact sheets on how to set up and run your business For more information on how we can help you and your business contact For more information please go to:

SAVE the date

• Jasdeep Singh Degum (sitar) Sunday 30 October 11am

• Diwali Dinner with Indian dance Sunday 30 October 7pm

• Tessa Uys & Ben Schoeman (piano duo) Monday 31 October 1.10pm

• The London International Early Music Festival Wednesday 9 – Saturday 12 November from 10am

• Sabina Rakcheyeva & Gunel Mirzayeva Monday 14 November 1.10pm

• John Willis | Nagasaki The Forgotten Prisoners Thursday 17 November 8pm

• Show of Hands with Miranda Sykes Wednesday 23 November 8pm

• Blackheath Halls Orchestra Concert Sunday 27 November 7.30pm

• A Festive Family Sing-A-Long Saturday 3 December 3pm

• Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long Saturday 3 December 7pm

• Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet Saturday 10 December 7.30pm

• The Snowman with East London Brass Sunday 11 December 11am & 4.15pm

• Elgin String Quartet Monday 12 December 1.10pm

• The Magic of Christmas | Belverdere Concert Band Monday 12 December 7.30pm

• Blackheath Goes Gospel Saturday 17 December 7.30pm

• Blackheath Halls Christmas Concert Sunday 18 December 7.30pm

• The Nutcracker Tuesday 20 December 1.30pm & 4pm

• The Nutcracker Wednesday 21 December 11am & 1.30pm


17 Blackheath Halls
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LP Lite+ is suited to growing businesses who are becoming larger, and LP Lite Pro is for those bigger or more established small businesses who need certified Cyber Essentials compliant IT.

Remote support

Each package provides you with access to our remote IT Service Desk specifically designed to support the IT needs of your business for a fixed monthly fee. Available between 8am and 6pm, our team of highly trained and experienced service engineers can provide you with the help and support you need to keep your IT running smoothly.

Because our packages provide remote assistance, it means we can fix your IT issues wherever you’re working. We decided to create a remote service because we understand that new business owners could be anywhere at any time, trying to drum up business, and especially in the new world of hybrid working too. The last thing you need is to be waiting for an engineer to call.

Our experienced team are here to help

Our Support Desk team works with businesses of all shapes and sizes and in across a breadth of industries, and are trained to a high standard, which ensures that they are experts in all the programmes and platforms that you rely on. This means that you have access to the IT support that larger businesses have at their fingertips, giving you a competitive edge over your rivals.

Made for small businesses

Specifically designed for small businesses employing less than 7 staff, whatever package you choose, we can guarantee to get your IT systems up and running as quickly as possible.

We also work hard to learn about our clients’ businesses and take the time to find out what they need now and in the future. So, when your new business takes off and grows, we’ll be there to help and advise you on your next IT investment.

with Lee Pepper, Owner LP Networks
Discover how we can help support your small business.
0800 970 8980 Technology

London South East Colleges has joined forces with 12 other Further Education providers in the region and secured almost £2.5m to improve the region’s supply of Green Skills.

The DfE-funded Local London Strategic Development Fund is providing much-needed capital and revenue investment to develop teaching and learning environments dedicated to green technologies. This pioneering partnership will focus on collaboration with employers to ensure every

is driven by

20 Education & Skills
industry College and employer partnership secures investment to increase green and digital skills across the capital

skills needs. This content will then be shared across the network to optimise consistency, quality assurance and value.

Seven local Green Lab training centres are being funded by the project, supporting employers and learners across the 13 colleges with industry-standard facilities.

In addition to the partnership of 13 FE colleges (list below), over 30 employers are supporting the project, together with 11 Local Authorities and five chambers of commerce.

Dr Sam Parrett CBE, Group Principal and CEO of London & South East Education Group, says: “This unique collaboration of providers, employers and Local Authorities demonstrates the exceptional impact that partnerships can have on delivery.

“Together, we have been able to secure a level of funding that is enabling us to make a real difference – not only in terms of offering high quality provision, but ensuring that this provision truly meets the skills needs of employers.

“Having recently held our first employer event, we look forward to developing this partnership further and expanding our connections with the green industry. So many exciting job opportunities in this sector exist so we are working hard to secure a much-needed pipeline of skills to fill these jobs, both now and in the future.”

Alongside this project, London South East Colleges is also heading up the Local London Green and Digital Mayoral Academy, funded by the GLA.

This is partnership of FE colleges and London Boroughs, focusing on supporting Londoners to prepare for the emerging needs of the green and digital sectors – complementing the DfE’s Strategic Development Fund.

Collaboration is central to both projects, linking to Local Skills Improvement Plans which are putting employers and local skills needs at the centre of post-16 education.

Sarah Murray, Director of Local London, says: “Congratulations to London South East Colleges in securing this important investment. Collaboration between education providers, businesses and local authorities is vital to identify where the green and digital jobs growth will happen and to ensure local people have the skills and training to prepare them for these exciting roles.

“Employers on the Green and Digital Advisory Board will play a key role in helping drive this investment in the right direction. This unique project we will pave the way to contribute to social mobility and widen participation for all across the emerging green and digital sectors.”

The full list of partners involved in this project are: Colleges:

• London South East Colleges

• New City College

• Newham College

• Barnet and Southgate College

• Waltham Forest College

• Barking and Dagenham College

• Capital City College Group

• Capel Manor College

• New Vic 6th Form College

• Shooters Hill 6th Form

• Leyton College 6th Form

• St George Monoux College

• Lewisham College

Other Partners:

• BusinessLDN

• MCS certified

21 Education & Skills
is partnership of FE colleges and London Boroughs, focusing on supporting Londoners to prepare for the emerging needs of the green and digital sectors – complementing the DfE’s Strategic Development Fund.



That’s why LSBU are here and committed to this area.

Our new campus is the latest in a string of exciting developments in one of London’s most ambitious areas. Home to big businesses, start-ups and a uniquely South London buzz: we’re playing our part in its future.

Our new home will be in a Grade II listed building, Electric House, in Croydon town centre. With its original purpose of empowering local people to explore new technology in mind, we aim to build on this mission by allowing our students to engage with the latest innovation in technology and build digital innovation.

LSBU is here to meet the need for an exceptional civic university powering the future workforce, building sustainable and engaged communities and boosting the region’s standing on a national and global stage.

We’re providing ambitious, business minded Londoners with a brand new business hub, brimming with entrepreneurial spirit, where students, staff and our Croydon community alike gather to share knowledge and ideas.

As well as Undergraduate programs in Business Management and Accounting and Finance, LSBU Croydon offers CPD and upskilling short courses, designed to help the local community get into careers and improve their job prospects.

Find out more

There are six million SMEs in the UK which account for over 99% of all businesses, 33% of employment and 21% of all turnover – so the effect on the UK economy will be felt for a long time unless they are prioritised in receiving support.

Over recent years there has been increasing demand for fairer government funding and investment in south London, coming from the public, the council and members of parliament. LSBU is taking action in supporting business growth in south London and the Croydon area with this subsidised programme, designed and delivered around the needs of business owners. Participants of Help to Grow receive multi-faceted training to develop strategic skills to increase their business’ long-term productivity, resilience and capacity to innovate. Some of the key benefits to business leaders include peer support, one-to-one mentoring, a hybrid learning environment and access to an alumni network. Let’s explore what the programme entails.

Accessible Training

The fact that Help to Grow is a 90% government funded programme means that specialised business growth training becomes accessible and affordable, especially in the wake of unprecedented disruption when SME debt has increased significantly.


Participants will learn directly from industry-leading facilitators, trainers and support leaders, who have been handpicked based on their knowledge and understanding of the challenges faced by SMEs. All have extensive experience in either leading small businesses to success or are experts in their particular business discipline, meaning business owners will find the support they need to achieve their individual business goals

Peer Support

Peer group sessions provide an invaluable opportunity for business owners to share ideas, challenges and successes in a confidential and supportive environment. Peer collaboration allows participants to gain insightful and objective viewpoints that help tackle problems from a different perspective and feed directly into plans for business development.

One-to-One Mentoring

Navigating an ever-changing economic climate is more challenging than ever, so receiving tailored advice to reach individual business goals can vastly impact success. Each participant receives 10 hours of dedicated support from an experienced mentor to develop a business growth plan unique to their needs and ambition.

Flexible and Hybrid

Designed with business owners in mind, the programme is manageable alongside full-time work and fits around busy working schedules. The combination of virtual and face-to-face learning allows flexibility whilst retaining the same level of high-quality teaching.

In times of uncertainty, business owners need to equip themselves with a robust business plan that mitigates risks, accounts for varying scenarios, and keeps operations agile and resilient against external influences. The Help to Grow programme takes participants through the four key stages of Innovate, Market, Build and Grow, to create a realistic and valuable Growth Action Plan specifically for their business.

Current participant Liam Oliver has already

the course and says: “The whole course has been invaluable in

move into this


course has changed

conversation between myself and the

enabling us to start planning strategically.

sessions with the mentor have


23 Skills
seen the benefits of attending
changing my mindset towards the growth of the company. We
natural growth but the
other directors,
been extremely useful in focusing on
strategic growth plan for the business.” To invest in your business visit Boost your business with HELP TO GROW at LSBU Croydon London South Bank University (LSBU) aids the growth and recovery of SMEs in Croydon with its government subsidised Help to Grow programme. The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have been challenging for all businesses and led to sharp a drop in economic activity in the UK, with SMEs being hit the hardest and now requiring the most support in their recovery. EDUCATION & SKILLS

The college works closely with local, regional and national businesses to gather valuable expert advice to inform the teaching and curriculum and to provide students with the opportunity to interact with some of the best employers in the country. This keeps staff and managers up to date with employer requirements and industry standards, and allows local businesses to advise on curriculum and courses.

Employers are regularly invited by the college to participate in “Learning walks”, giving them the opportunity to experience, first-hand, the skills, techniques and workplace-readiness that are prioritised in the learning offered to students.

College managers and staff take part in “Employment walks” on local business’ sites to refresh skills and upgrade their commercial awareness and expertise.

A cornerstone of the employability offer at Croydon College is the large number


Croydon College is one of South London’s leading providers of apprenticeships, with a growing reputation for its focus on the employability of students. The college ensures that students leave education not only with top qualifications, but work-ready and equipped with the skills employers really want.

of apprenticeships on offer, including opportunities in the following professions and industries:-

• Accountancy

• Building and construction

• Carpentry and joinery

• Digital marketing

• Engineering

• Hospitality

• HR

• IT

• Plumbing and heating

• Project management

• Property maintenance

• Teaching Apprenticeships are offered at Intermediate, Advanced and Higher (degree) levels, depending on the applicant’s existing qualifications and experience. There are no tuition fees due by the student, since training costs are funded by the government and employer.

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) acknowledged Croydon College’s focus on employability in their review

of the provision and stated, “There is a strong evidence of the development of employability skills.” At its most recent inspection, Ofsted noted, “Initiatives introduced by the college to develop students’ employability skills have been successful in exposing students to the world of work in a number of different ways, including through imaginative projects and live briefs.”

Croydon College continually works to maintain and improve its relationships with employers to ensure students leave with the skills they need, and employers want. The college is currently working with a wide range of employers including:-

• Gatwick Airport

• Westfield Hammerson

• Croydon Tech City

• Marks and Spencer

• Wates

• Interserve

• Malcolm John

• University of Sussex

• Estée Lauder

• John Lewis

If you are interested in working in partnership with Croydon College, please contact or telephone 020 8686 5700. Skills

❛❛ASN is likely to be a major presence in Greenwich for some time to come. Optical fibre represents the main channel of communications to connect continents around the world. Traffic is expected to continue growing as global users of the internet demand higher bandwidth. ❜❜

The Big Interview

The company he works for Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has an even longer connection with Greenwich which goes back centuries!

ASN in one form or another has been based in Greenwich for over 170 years. It has been a key manufacturer of subsea telecoms equipment during this time. It manufactured the first successful transatlantic cable laid in 1858.

Fast forward to the 2020’s and ASN’s skills in providing subsea cabling is in demand more than ever.

“The requirement for live data connectivity is massive. If you are connected to the Internet – could be via TV or a smart phone – no matter where you are in the world, the chances are you are using equipment made in Greenwich.”

Taj who is now managing director at ASN (he has worked at the company for over 23 years) explains that with the exception of a six-week factory closure during the pandemic, it has been full-steam ahead at ASN’s Greenwich facility.

“One thing that Covid accelerated was the need for connectivity for those working from home. If the pandemic had happened 15 years ago then there is no way the same level of support could have been provided.

“You must remember that 4K, 8K televisions and red buttons are all driving the need for data transmission”.

This consumer demand has contributed to the growth of ASN’s business. Over the last 4-5 years the company has expanded, its refurbished Greenwich factory has doubled both it permanent and contract staff numbers. The workforce is currently just shy of 1,000.

ASN received the Queen’s Award for International Trade 2022 and has been recognised for its excellence in international

trade over the last three years. Across various categories the company has chalked up at total of eight Queens Awards – so far.

Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Awards are the most prestigious business awards in the country.

Building local relationships

As a long-standing and respected employer in the area, ASN is keen to play an active role in the local business community.

Taj elaborates: “We were heavily involved with the local Chamber 20 years ago but when the tech bubble burst we didn’t really connect for a while. Now we want to inspire local business and work with the Chamber so that local companies are aware of us and that we can help them”.

So, what sort of ‘help’ can ASN offer local businesses?

“We have presented at things like Greener Greenwich. Outlining how we can make our site greener and improve waste management. But also explaining how ASN as a whole is reducing CO2 emissions. There is a ‘company strategy’ a ‘local strategy’ and an ‘individual strategy’ and all can have a positive impact on the Greenwich borough.”

As Taj is keen to stress presentations allow ideas to be shared from both sides.

“We also want to understand what other local businesses are doing in this area and learn from them”.

This improved engagement between ASN and the local business community has been well planned. The company set up five separate internal committees to look at ways to work closer and share ideas and resources with local firms and organisations.

ASN is a fundraiser for a Greenwich hospice and it has set up links with a Greenwich food bank. In addition to regular donations, it has positioned collection points around the factory.

In order to recruit local talent and boost the talent pool overall, ASN has actively built a stronger relationship with the University of Greenwich’s engineering department.

“We are going to be using some of their learning modules for our staff. The link also enables introductions to students studying in this area,” Taj explains.

He would like to have more local talent working at ASN but concedes recruitment is a constant challenge. “We have a training school on site and there are great opportunities to work in what is a growth industry. But you have to remember that we manufacture here 24/7. Hybrid working mode (WFH) doesn’t apply in manufacturing so recruitment can be difficult.”

Staffing challenges aside, ASN is likely to be a major presence in Greenwich for some time to come. Optical fibre represents the main channel of communications to connect continents around the world. Traffic is expected to continue growing as global users of the internet demand higher bandwidth.

Since submarine cable systems currently carry more than 99% of the worldwide broadband traffic– data, voice and video – the numbers are favourable. And as the market leader in this space, ASN looks in good shape for the years ahead.

Taj is keen to mention the support to ASN offered by Nokia (ASN is part of the Nokia Group) and how this has helped the business finance its development and maintain its market-leading position.

“Nokia provide the investment we need, particularly supporting our base line infrastructure which is hugely important.”

With accolades like the Queen’s Award already won, Taj is hopeful further recognition will come ASN’s way in future years and he proudly points to the company’s efforts to implement Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 refers to the ‘smart’ systems designed to sense, predict, and interact with the physical world in order to make decisions that support production in real-time.

In manufacturing, it can increase productivity, energy efficiency, and sustainability. It also should reduce downtime and maintenance costs.

As Taj explains, this is a forward-thinking company that is always looking to develop its capabilities and build on its success.

27 The Big Interview
Tajinder Bhambra has a long-standing connection with the Greenwich borough – he was born and bred in the area.
ALL AT SEA IN GREENWICH - in a good way!

What do business owners need to think about when it comes to estate and succession planning?

While many business owners are focused on growing the business, they often neglect to consider what will happen to the business when they are not longer there to run it, either due to retirement or if they were suddenly incapacitated.

Athough it is perfectly natural to not want to think about planning for a future without you in it, business owners who do not have an estate plan run the risk of undermining a lifetime of hard work, jeopardizing the livelihood of business associates, and endangering the well-being of loved ones.

So, what are the key things business owners should consider?

Having a will A will is the most basic estate planning document that enables business owners to specify how their assets will be distributed on death. They can also name personal representatives or executors, who will be responsible for managing and disbursing the personal and business assets according to the business owner’s wishes.

Unquoted shares in a trading business can enjoy up to 100% relief from Inheritance Tax if they qualify for Business Property Relief

(BPR). Business owners should review their wills to ensure that valuable tax planning opportunities are exploited and potential difficulties are avoided.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)

LPAs are an excellent idea for everybody, especially business owners. An LPA enables the business owner to appoint individuals to manage their financial affairs if they’re ever in a position where they are physically or mentally unable to do so. This is particularly important for those who run their own business. Imagine the difficulties that can arise if a business owner can’t sign

28 Succession Planning

documents or make important decisions about the running of the business?

If a business owner hasn’t signed an LPA appointing attorneys a Court application may be necessary. The Court will appoint a Deputy to manage the business owner’s affairs. The Deputy won’t know and may not agree with the business owner's wishes. This could potentially cause conflict with business colleagues and other parties.

Legislation provides that a company director will automatically cease to be a director if they lack the physical or mental capacity to act as a director. However,

that the business will be sold or liquidated before the present owners die.

Where a business owner’s children are already involved in the business, there will be a requirement for careful succession planning. This means considering what stake the children should ultimately acquire in the business, and the process by which this should happen.

Lifetime gifts, appropriately timed and structured, can enable an important transition to be managed, and give those involved the best chance to lock into the existing, relatively favourable, inheritance tax BPR regime.

Cross-option Agreements

Cross-option agreements can be a lifesaver for inheritance tax BPR. Many company articles and shareholder agreements, or partnership agreements contain preemption rights. This is the right for those continuing in the business to buy out the share of a deceased business owner. HMRC’s view is that if there is a cast iron obligation to turn a business interest into money, BPR will not be available. The solution is a cross-option agreement, which contains a right to sell the business to those continuing (or the right for them to buy out a deceased’s share) which only becomes compulsory in nature when exercised.

Business protection insurance

where the director also holds shares in the business the attorney can potentially act on their behalf to secure the appointment of new directors, enabling the business to continue or be sold.

Lifetime gifts and succession planning

Developments within the business may also suggest that an early review of share ownership is desirable. A trend in the business from trading towards investment may mean that BPR cannot be relied upon as a tax-efficient means of passing capital to younger generations. The same will be true where there is a strong probability

Insurance aims to provide the remaining business owners with tax efficient funding, which they can use to purchase the deceased business owner’s shares or partnership interests. In most cases, where insurance is taken out on the lives of the business owners, individual policies must then be assigned into a specialist business protection trust. This ensures the proceeds of the policies remain outside the estates o f the business owners and sums are freely available to the survivors, if and when needed.

Final thoughts

With all the immediate everyday pressures involved in running a business it is hardly surprising if little attention is paid to what would happen if the business owners died or became seriously ill. Nevertheless, it is certainly in the interests of every partnership or private limited company to do so if they wish to ensure the long-term financial security, stability and continuity of their business.

Succession Planning
❛❛Lifetime gifts, appropriately timed and structured, can enable an important transition to be managed, and give those involved the best chance to lock into the existing, relatively favourable, inheritance tax BPR regime. ❜❜

Protecting wealth for generations

Generations of families and businesses have relied on our legal advice and guidance to help them build and safeguard their assets.

Whether it’s time to enjoy your wealth, or ensure that it’s protected for the next generation, our expert team will offer pragmatic advice to help you make informed decisions.

Contact our team of awardwinning lawyers for both individuals and businesses today. 01892 510000 @pragmaticlawyer

Her Royal Highness,The Duchess of Gloucester, paid a visit to Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice this autumn.

The visit to Abbey Wood on Monday 10 October, coincided with the start of Hospice Care week, an annual celebration to raise awareness of the important role of hospice care nationwide.

The Duchess met patients, long-serving staff and volunteers, plus took the opportunity to thank staff for their commitment to the hospice, speaking to some of the specialist doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and rehabilitation staff who provide expert, around the clock care to 3,000 patients every year. The Duchess also spoke to patients on the inpatient ward and their families, hearing their stories about the care and support they have received from the hospice team.


to Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice during Hospice Care Week


There was a moment of remembrance during the visit when The Duchess of Gloucester planted a tree in the hospice’s grounds in memory of the late Queen Elizabeth as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy Project, which aims to improve our shared environment by planting trees across the globe.

Hospice Chief Executive Kate Heaps, said: “We were incredibly honoured to be visited by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester. It made us all feel so proud that The Duchess recognised the huge difference our amazing team makes to the people of Royal Greenwich and Bexley at an incredibly difficult time in their lives.

“The planting of a tree in our beautiful gardens as part of The Queen's Green Canopy project added an extra special element to an already wonderful occasion.”

A VIBRANT VENUE for the whole community

before the pandemic hit and the doors were forced to close with events moving online.

Post pandemic and busier than ever, with some of the best acoustics in the country, the Great Hall has since been host to renowned ensembles such as the English National Opera, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia are regular visitors for both rehearsals and recording.

The 19th Century listed building underwent a major refurbishment in 2018 thanks to Arts Council England, The Hearn Foundation and other generous donors, providing a much-needed modernized re-fit of the stunning Great Hall as well as the foyer and bar areas.

After re-opening in November 2018, the venue only enjoyed one full season of events

As well as regular events, the demand for group musicmaking through community projects has been greater than ever and the popular Community Opera enjoyed some fantastic reviews this year for the Autumn performances of Candide by Leonard Bernstein; Fiona Maddox from The Guardian awarding the production 4 stars citing If heart, soul and inspirational music-making are more your thing, this is the place’.

For the past 2 years the Community Opera project has not been supported by Arts Council England and has only been possible through the generosity of individual supporters, meaning that it is even more centred at the heart of the community since so many have invested into the project, which brings together an intergenerational cast of both amateur and professional singers and musicians.

From performances by some of the biggest names on the comedy circuit, to large scale children’s theatre shows and classical recitals by some of the best in the business as well as students from parent company Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Blackheath Halls seeks to be a multi-purpose creative hub serving the local community and beyond…long may it continue to be so!

SELCC Executive Lunch with the Mayor of Croydon, Jason Perry

One of the UK’s leading Christian Colleges, and a Strategic Partner of the Chamber, Spurgeon’s College hosted the recent Executive Lunch with the Mayor of Croydon, Jason Perry, SELCC.

The lunch marked a fantastic opportunity for the College, local politicians and business representatives to hear from the elected Mayor and discuss plans to support economic growth and educational opportunity in Croydon for its local community.

During the lunch, the College was pleased to update attendees that Spurgeon's was awarded Full Degree Awarding Powers by the Office for Students (OfS), earlier this year. This exciting development marks a further step in Spurgeon’s mission to become Croydon's first ‘home grown’ university.

SELCC President, Helen McIntosh thanked the College for hosting the Executive Lunch, saying: “Spurgeon’s is one of the SELCC’s key Strategic Partners and we are delighted that it is on course to become Croydon’s first home grown university.”

The College is continuing to play an important role in supporting underrepresented groups within Croydon into higher education – with 38% of its student body identify as Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) – and delivers courses flexibly as weekday, evening or weekend courses in a range of subjects. The decision by the OfS to award Full Degree Awarding Powers will further enable the College to offer higher education opportunities to more people within the Borough.

In securing Degree Awarding Powers, the College has shown itself to be “an emerging self-critical, cohesive academic community with a clear commitment to the assurance of standards supported by effective (in prospect) quality systems.”

The Principal of Spurgeon’s College, Rev Professor Philip McCormack said: “Securing degree-awarding powers marks a critical step in the College’s journey towards becoming Croydon’s first home-grown university, and we are incredibly proud to have secured approval from the OfS. This decision is the result of many years of work at the College to provide high-quality teaching and develop a strong community of students and are looking forward to awarding degrees to our students in the College’s name.”

Following all the disruption of the past couple of years, Blackheath Halls is back to enjoying a full season packed with live events for the whole community and beyond.
L to R: Prof Sir Les Ebdon, Helen McIntosh, Mayor Jason Perry and Seidel Abel Boanerges

A busy summer on the Chamber calendar!

Lewisham Office Drinks Ignition Brewery

Wednesday, 20 July

Ignition Brewery in Sydenham hosted one of our newest events, Lewisham Office Drinks, which aims to bring the Lewisham business community together. Chamber members and non-members came together to meet and talk business,

get to know one another and create new contacts to take forward.

Ignition Brewery employs and trains people with learning disabilities to brew their great beer – and we got to sample it at this fantastic event.

Webinar: Cybersecurity with Bryan Altimas of Riverside Court Consulting

Wednesday, 10 August

Bryan Altimas from Riverside Court Consulting hosted an informative webinar regarding the new and evolving threats that cybersecurity can help you protect your business from, in the ever-evolving world of cyber security.

Bryan is a valued member and absolute expert in the field, with many years of valuable experience.

We heard some great information about how hacks and scams are done and how to spot them, plus how to prevent compromises.

If you missed it, the recording is here: https//

Webinar: Changes in Residential Ground Rents

Vikki Herbert Thackray Williams

Tuesday, 27 September

Vikki Herbert, Head of Residential Property at Thackray Williams LLP, hosted a comprehensive webinar to our members and other business owners around south-east London about how the Leasehold Reform Act has affected the market.

She went through what ground rent is, what onerous ground rent is and what’s changed. She also covered leases and extending leases before answering guest questions.

If you missed it, you could catch up here: https//

Golf Day

Thursday, 28 July

We had an amazing time at the SELCC & Visit Greenwich golf day at Royal Blackheath Golf Club.

It was generously sponsored by Beadles Jaguar and Land Rover of Sidcup who displayed the next generation of their electric and hybrid vehicles.

After the day on the fairway, golfers got to look at a Land Rover PHEV and Jaguar I-PACE, before an informative talk by Trevor Dorling of DG Cities about the future of electric vehicles.

And we will be having another one in July 2023.

Summer BBQ

Thursday, 25 August

Despite the cloudy skies and the pouring rain, the SELCC annual summer BBQ went ahead – we moved inside into the Clarendon Hotel’s beautiful Meridian restaurant. With delicious food served from the hotel’s indoor and a liberal amount of wine, the conversation flowed freely as our guests mingled and networked.

Webinar: Menopause at Work

Tuesday, 11 October

Lisa Rothon, Senior Associate Solicitor at Thackray Williams LLP, provided guidance on what businesses and organisations need to be doing to ensure they have the right policies in place to support staff around menopause in the workplace.

The webinar covers what the menopause is, who it affects and symptoms, plus how to

educate staff, train managers and colleagues, support them, make adjustments and open up conversations to improve comfort at work, productivity and understanding.

Lisa also outlined the advantages of creating a workforce that supports its menopausal staff.

If you missed it and want to find out mor, the recording is here:

32 32 Past Events

LOCATION: Greenwich Tavern, 1 King William Walk, London

GreenwichB2B Link ‘n Drink in association with the South East London Chamber of Commerce is an informal and free

SELCC Charity Quiz Night 2022

Thursday, 17 November 2022, 18.30

LOCATION: The Clarendon Hotel, Blackheath, London

Get your thinking caps on and join us for an autumn quiz night! Members and non-members are all invited to The Clarendon Hotel on Thursday 17th November for an evening of questions, fun and bangers & mash

Teams will be 8 maximum and places are £15 (VAT) per person, to support the South London Special League, a charity that provides sporting opportunities to disabled people across the area.

businesses from Greenwich and bordering boroughs but also businesses from afar.


hear from speaker Malcolm Cook as he explains the MCA six-stage process on how to improve your home/property.

Doors will open at 18:30pm and the quiz will get started at 19:00. Bring your staff or team, invite peers, colleagues or connections to join you or be added to a team on the night – a great opportunity to meet some new people and network.

There will also be a raffle with some fantastic prizes donated by our members - we’ll let you know nearer the time what we have! Raffle tickets can be bought on the night and can be paid for in cash or by card.


this webinar with David Hacker, Head of Property Disputes Resolution at Thackray Williams LLP, for this free webinar where David will guide

through all the need-to-know

Thursday, 15 December 2022,


LOCATION: The Bromley Court Hotel, Bromley Hill, London

After an extraordinary year, the South East London Chamber of Commerce invites you to our Christmas Lunch.

We’ll be looked after by our friends at The Bromley Court Hotel, enjoying a festive feast, delicious drinks and of course, fantastic company.

33 The Bromley Court Hotel Bromley Hill, Bromley, London BR1 4JD Thursday 15 December 2022 12:30 - 14:30 Join the South East London Chamber of Commerce for our Christmas lunch. We’ll be at the Bromley Court Hotel for a festive feast and delicious drinks. Our invitation extends to members, their staff and colleagues, plus non-member contacts, clients and suppliers too. Join us to network, dine and celebrate the end of an extraordinary year. £39 +VAT Members £46 +VAT Non-Members 2022 South East London Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lunch Forthcoming Events FORTHCOMING EVENTS GreenwichB2B Link n’ Drink Tuesday, 1 November 2022 18.30 – 19.30
UPDATE on Commercial Rent Arrears with David Hacker Tuesday, 15 November 2022 10.00 – 11.00
Virtual Join
changes to Commercial Rent law. SELCC Christmas Lunch 2022
12.30 –
Arrival 19:00 Start

WELCOME to Tramshed

Featuring a 153-seat main auditorium, 2 studios, a Media Suite, lighting and audio-visual equipment, the historic venue has all the mod cons needed to create your ideal set-up.

With fully retractable tiered seating in the main auditorium and portable equipment in the 2 studios, Tramshed offer the flexibility to create the layout you need for your event. Bookers also have access to a Duty Manager who will ensure that you are able to get use the facilities to their full ability. Additional support staff can also be agreed to meet more specialised needs.

With a friendly and professional team, Tramshed will make you and your cohort feel welcome from your initial contact all through to the conclusion of your event.

“Having quality facilities is an amazing feeling, we are honoured to be the custodians of a venue with so much history and meaning to local people. But equally as important to us is creating an atmosphere and experience that is supportive and welcoming to everyone, from the largest of organisations to local people needing a space to tell their story. We’re so happy to be back home and cannot wait to say ‘Welcome to Tramshed’” – Bethan Tomlison, Tramshed Executive Director.

Tramshed re-opens their doors on Monday 7th November.

If you have a meeting planned, show to rehearse or major corporate presentation you can contact Tramshed in the following ways:


Phone: 020 8854 1316

In Person: 51-53 Woolwich New Road, London, SE18 6ES

Tramshed is a theatre company and community arts hub based in the heart of Woolwich, South East London.

They believe that creative experiences can remove barriers, connect us and positively enrich our lives. Tramshed are a force for that change in the community - inspiring, challenging and entertaining people of all ages and from all backgrounds.

Tramshed offer performing arts programmes for young people and for adults with learning differences. They prioritise artist development seeking to create career opportunities in the arts for the community and are home to numerous and diverse community groups.

Find out more about Tramshed on: @tramshed_ : Instagram and Twitter

Tramshed have returned to their brand new, state of the art home in the heart of Woolwich and are looking forward to welcoming businesses, performers and community organisations from South East London and beyond.

WHY HAVE A SHAREHOLDERS’ AGREEMENT and what else to include?

Any company will already have a constitution, its articles of association (Articles), but without tailoring the Articles to the particular needs, or without a shareholders’ agreement that builds on its contents, the relationship between the company’s shareholders will be largely unregulated, or might be a framework unsuitable for their needs.

A shareholders’ agreement, often with altered Articles, is likely to include some or all of the following elements:

• Statement of shareholders’ rights which perhaps go beyond or constrain each shareholder’s statutory rights

• Entitlements to appoint and remove directors, and what constraints should be imposed on authority? How often should directors meet, and how should they report back to the shareholders?

• What information should be provided to shareholders and when?

• How will the business be financed?

• Dividend policy?

• What decisions are reserved to shareholders?

• Should there be a defined dispute resolution procedure?

• Regulation of share transfers

• What should happen on death or incapacity of a shareholder?

• Should anything change upon a shareholder getting divorced?

• On departure, should a shareholder be restricted from being involved in a similar business or otherwise competing with the company?

Any of the points above can lead to conflict, which can destabilise an otherwise successful business while issues remain unresolved.

It is vital to control the way shares may be transferred. Some mechanisms can become fairly complex, but some fundamental points to consider are:

• May shareholders transfer shares to any person?

• Is there a formula for valuing shares? Should this vary over time?

• Should shares be offered first to existing shareholders?

• Should a shareholder director ceasing to work in the business be forced to sell their shares, and should there be other compulsory sale triggers?

• Must an offer that is attractive for one shareholder’s shares be extended for all shares, or should a selling shareholder have the right to force the sale of all shares?

A shareholders’ agreement may also refer to further documents that have an impact on the running of the business, for example service agreements for directors; a business plan outlining the shareholders’ wishes for the business, which is reviewed on a regular basis; or should there be a set of rules dictating what happens on death or incapacity of a key person?

There may also be provisions that are not referred to in a shareholders’ agreement itself, which will have an impact on the ownership or running of a private limited company.

Company legislation provides that a director who loses mental capacity but is still alive would likely be removed from that office. However, they will continue to own any shares held in the company. What should happen regarding voting rights? Unless a shareholder grants a Lasting Power of Attorney to authorize

someone to make decisions on their behalf in the event of incapacity, nobody can act for that person without a Court Order.

A shareholder’s will is a private document, but should ideally set out what should happen to that person’s shares upon death. Care should be taken to ensure the shareholder’s wishes don’t conflict with any share transfer provisions, and that the value attaching to the shares ends up in the right hands, allied perhaps with a suitable life insurance policy. It is worth shareholders considering in advance what should specifically happen to their shares or the value attributed to them in the event of death, rather than simply leaving it to their executors to deal with this as part of the estate.

Surviving directors and/or shareholders may not wish to work with former colleagues’ family members, who might not be familiar with this particular business dynamic or might have conflicting demands or agenda. It is important for directors and shareholders to have a succession plan in place.

Shareholders and directors might also wish to put in place a non-binding set of guidelines for management in the event of incapacity or death of a key shareholder or director, which can avoid confusion at a critical time. There is no perfect or prescribed framework for this, and each business will have its own unique characteristics to accommodate. Thought given to certain key areas can guide those involved and might avoid issues arising when the company’s management are at their most vulnerable.

A shareholders’ agreement can set out a framework for shareholders to be able to work effectively, helping them avoid pitfalls and unnecessary disagreements.
If you have a question relating to a shareholders’ agreement, please contact Ben Madden, a partner in our Corporate and Commercial team on 01689 887845 or email Legal


Tough times but London has resilience to shine

A lot has happened since Richard Burge’s last article for Masthead a few months ago. Not only have we seen a change of monarch for the first time in 70 years but also two Prime Minister’s at Number 10.

Does Richard, CEO of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, think the Carolean Age (if that is what it is to be called), will begin with a period of major change and is there cause for much optimism?

We have certainly had change but as Richard stresses, it is still a Conservative government aligned to a manifesto it was elected on three years ago. The Cabinet reshuffles may have been dramatic but will the direction alter radically over the longer term?

Certainly, enforced reversals of policy and subsequent resignations have meant a huge loss in confidence and an urgent call for stability and direction.

“The old saying that ‘business hates uncertainty’ is true and that it what we have right now,” Richard says.

Like many who watched the Conservative Party leadership campaign, Richard was sceptical as to how many of the populist ‘commitments’ were ever deliverable. He also thinks some measures just sent out the wrong message at the wrong time –particularly the cap on bank bonuses.

“Lifting the cap on bonuses meant a few hundred getting a lot of money in their pocket

– this money was not going to the thousands of businesses that keep London alive”.

“Is there a talent drain in the City? There is a small number moving to Europe but there is no great outflow to, say, New York. Banks were not complaining about problems with recruitment.”

Richard stresses that the real problem in terms of finding talent is being faced by SMEs across many sectors, who cannot find people sufficiently well trained or who have seen skilled staff return to their European homeland with little appetite to return to a country they now feel is unwelcoming.

Tax cuts and inflation

Tax policy has dominated the headlines of late. Ex-Prime Minister Truss initially lowering taxes for higher earners but was then forced into a U-turn on the grounds that these cuts would be financed by borrowing. This proved the beginning of the end for Liz Truss’s brief premiership.

New PM Rishi Sunak and his Chancellor Jeremy Hunt are following a different path – no tax cuts (likely tax rises) and spending cuts.

Richard’s concern with taxes generally is that they are too often used in a non-strategic way. “If you use taxes tactically, rising or lowering between budgets in response to popular demand, this creates more business uncertainty.”

As for inflation, Richard believes the world is so volatile it is difficult to say whether (and when) the rate will go down.

“The businesses that will feel the most pressure is those with less access to cash or borrowing. SMEs don’t have much ballast in anything – be that people or asset value”.

He adds: “In time of high inflation, businesses with low-skill, low wage employees will struggle. They will have to increase wages”.

It is certainly an argument for UK businesses focussed on exports that the weak pound is a helpful tailwind right now. Richard takes this on board but stresses that the price of trading in goods and services is really accelerating and companies are feeling the impact of no longer being part of the EU trading bloc.

“The level of documentation involved and costs, means a lot of UK businesses are not trading with Europe anymore. Trading terms need to ease with Europe. At the moment it is easier to trade with Canada!”

So, what needs to happen? “Both sides (UK and EU) are fighting an argument that has already moved on. Rather than trying to prove Brexit has worked/not worked, they should be asking ‘what is the trading relationship we want in the future?”

As far as Richard is concerned, there has to be an acceptance that EU trade is handled as a collective and build on that.

Richard Burge

He explains that the EU is a hugely important trading partner for the UK and unlike China, is an amenable trading bloc. Nor does Richard think mega trade partnerships elsewhere can swiftly dispatch the EU to periphery status.

“The US has never really been a ‘free-trading nation. The easiest place in the world to do business is with the EU.”

London spirit

The UK’s standing in the world may have been damaged by tussles with the EU and even threats to rip up signed agreements, but Richard is confident London business are well equipped to succeed regardless.

London has a lot of resilience. It is such a diverse place, with wealth coming from a vast number of sources not just the City.

For instances, life sciences, creatives and education. Not only is London home to several top 20 universities globally but Middlesex is now one of the largest vocational focussed universities in the world.

“I am optimistic about London – we will find ways of riding this storm; a storm that has been made worse by indecisive government,” he says.


Both sides (UK and EU) are fighting an argument that has already moved on. Rather than trying to prove Brexit has worked/not worked, they should be asking ‘what is the trading relationship we want in the future?

LCCI - Richard Burge


The Sparkling Christmas Dinner Package: (perfect for team parties or corporate celebrations) includes a luxurious 3-Course Dinner with Christmas decorations, additional treats to upgrade your package such as a live Roast Dinner Carving Station, Champagne and DJ with the option of customising your dinner with private room hire including the stunning Riverview Suites boasting views of the London Skyline, River Thames, and Greenwich Peninsula.

The Sparkling Christmas Reception Package includes cold and hot canapes, bowl foods and lots of scrumptious desserts to choose from in your choice of the Riverview Suites, Greenwich Suites or our Dining Outlets such as Clipper Bar, or the iconic Eighteen Sky Bar.

Festive Afternoon Tea Prepared by Executive Pastry Chef Amit Arya, who last year featured as a guest judge on C4’s Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas.

Christmas Day Buffet at Market Brasserie; perfect for families with kids including live music, activities and Santa.

Clipper Bar New Year’s Eve Party with Fireworks at midnight overlooking the River Thames, Canary Wharf and The O2 Arena.


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Originally living next to Peckham Rye common and then moving in the early eighties to the North Peckham Estate, I remember those years when places like Peckham struck fear in the hearts of many people, family, and school friends, with even visitors to neighbouring suburbs often choosing to go around rather than go through the area. Such was the stigma the area held for drama, crime and poverty. Much like Brixton at that time, it was a place to avoid!

As recent as 2012, when we opened our first office on Queens Road, Peckham specialising in residential sales, lettings, and management - the stigma still surrounded the area with very little happening on the North side of Peckham, around the Queens Road at the time. Three-bedroom terraced houses sold for on average of £350,000 with the same properties commanding a maximum rental income of £2250 per calendar month.

Fast forward to 2022-, and three-bedroom period terraced homes have more than doubled in price with most falling into a price range of between £850,000 - £1.1 million and as much

What’s the real state of Real Estate in South East London

Well, it’s been 35 years of being a resident of Peckham and almost 20 years of operation, within the property market working within the boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich and the changes and regeneration witnessed throughout these regions has been both significant and simply put, nothing short of amazing!

as £4100 per calendar month when letting! Such has been the influx of buyers and renters from other places and boroughs of London, especially north and west London where many first-time buyers and families have migrated south of the river being able to secure so much more for their money!

This naturally has influenced some change in demographics and contributed to the staggering regeneration experienced, with an almost ripple effect for surrounding areas as London remains a leading area in the UK for house purchases.

Walk through the streets of Peckham now and at times it’s hard to believe it’s the same place, with its array of swanky bars, quirky spots and delicious restaurants it evolved into a place with a real cosmopolitan vibe! In fact, in 2017, both the evening standard and timeout reported Peckham as the most prestigious and best places to live in London. With the insider running an article in 2019 naming Peckham as one of the coolest neighbourhoods to live in in the WORLD! What a change and how it continues to evolve.

But Peckham is not the only place to have changed. Our world has changed. We now live in a post pandemic era, with gales of concern

currently being felt in a climate of economic uncertainty, a cost-of-living crisis, and ridiculous hike with energy price rises.

It’s easy to see and understand why someone could through fear lose faith in the property market. For much of us and more so, our millennial and gen Z generations making up a large percentage of the current first-time buyer population, they have never seen anything like these current affairs, and quite frankly it’s a lot!

But if one thing has been proven over the decades, (and at times like this, it’s worth reminding ourselves,) that despite boom and bust cycles, with the right strategy and approach, you can still safely navigate your way through and weather a storm!

The property market is crucial to the economy and as such a sector that will always survive and perform, with a unique knack of bouncing back bigger and stronger! Continuing to make the London property market still one of the most sought-after places in the world to buy property and real estate.

So don’t underestimate the robustness of the

market and keep a close eye out for emerging areas once despised. Change is happening. Change is coming. Change is a constant and often, change leads to better.

London property Property 40

We are proud to announce that this year marked the 10th year anniversary celebration’s of JT Clarke London, a premier independent estate agency based in Southwark, located on the Queens Road of Peckham.

When the office opened back in 2012, Queens Road really didn’t have too much going on in terms of commercial trade. However, with the improvements made to this prominent line coupled with the Agencies vision for improvement to the strip where they are now based, brought much needed improvements to Peckham.

“J T Clarke London provide comprehensive services for both the residential sales, lettings and commercial markets, we began to bring other reputable traders into the empty shops that lined its streets” says Jason Morris, the company’s Managing Director.

“We secured commercial leases for a variety of new eateries, bars and even another estate agency! People thought I was crazy for bringing the competition so close to our own doors but I was fed up of seeing empty derelict shops, and earnestly wanted to see change for the better in the area, so I kept my eye on the bigger picture! “

With 20 years experience in the industry, these transactions coupled with the warm reception we received to the area allowed us to get off the mark quickly selling and letting homes in the local area. There is no doubt, that we began to see a demographical change in the area with Peckham becoming a named ‘Hotspot’ and sought after area for homeowners and first time buyers.

Serving our area and community for over 10 years now has been a real privilege, with our agency competing amongst the best of the bigger brands. We have established ourselves as an agent of choice which I’m pleased to report has allowed us to expand operations yet further with the opening of our Brixton office in March this year!

The culture and mantra of our company remains this he says, PEOPLE. PROPERTY. PASSION. PERFORMANCE. People we serve come first as do their objectives. Property is the product we handle with an expertise and knowledge by those we serve. Passion - we love what we do and do it refreshingly with an energy, enthusiasm and warmth that gets our customers telling their friends and family about us and PERFORMANCE, well he says we simply get it done for our clients and customers!

T: 020 7277 6699 E:

Public Relations: What it is and how it helps your business

Quite simply,

Sarah Hawes, from Izzy PR has worked across journalism and PR for the last 22 years, with the Kent Messenger Group, BBC, Kent Police, Essex Police, the NHS and a variety of corporate clients.

She now works with clients in the private, public, corporate and charity sectors.

Understanding the basics of PR can be hugely beneficial for businesses big and small.


PR is about influencing how others view you and your business whether via email, blogs, press coverage or social media –basically, any outlet where they might read, see, or hear about you. It’s building an impression of you and your business.



all necessary but

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– this is all about being

and consistent when it comes to who you are, what you say, your personality, values, how you do business, how you treat people, how you collaborate, help,

support, and interact with relevant groups and communities.


this is what the company represents. If you stick to your values, employ good business practices, look after your staff, suppliers, stakeholders and customers, and run your business as people expect, your reputation will build.

43 PR & Marketing
is PR different to marketing?
PR is about reputation - building it, maintaining it, strengthening it and protecting it. Done well, it helps to build credibility, trust and value, so that your target clients choose you over your competitors. It’s about managing how you come across so that all your communication consistently gives a good impression and you get talked about – in the right way! If you would like help with managing your PR, get in touch at or find out more about our services
sides to PR –personal and business: Personal
07748 631100 Use your Chamber membership for marketing Izzy PR can help you to reach Chamber members with: • Member News: 350 word story in this magazine (£200) • Blog/news for the Chamber website (£150) • Directory listing: Chamber website – to make sure you can be found (£45) Full package - everything above£350 Marketing is promotion, advertising and selling. It’s how products and services are presented to the end user and could be via a website, social media, e-marketing, display advertising, SEO, or Google Ads, for example. Marketing should address, among other issues: • What’s the customer’s problem? • How can you solve it? • Why choose you? • What do you offer? • What’s the outcome? • What’s the future benefit?
do PR? Businesses usually start off with the basics
a website and social media channels, plus
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the focus
owner -
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repeat sales, recommendations and
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thinking about PR.
and your company become: • Trusted • Credible • Sought-out • A voice of authority • A good partner • Valued • Recommended

Island at the Greenwich Theatre

44 Treasure
Arts and Culture Yo ho and a Bottle of Rum! 44

ho ho Rum!Bottle

It was aimed at young children and adults alike, and from the minute the four strong cast actors took to the stage, portraying more than thirty characters in full panto spirit, we were entranced. The cast of two women, and two men swapped genders to produce, amongst others, a female Long John Silver, a female Captain Billy Bones, a male aunt, and a very camp male mermaid.

The artistic director James Haddrell and set and costume designer Lauren Connolly, deserve special praise for their imaginative vision. Foam captain hats, jewelled eye patches, inflatable plastic fish, and acrobatic mermaids enlivened the production, along with some wonderful long swashbuckling pirate coats, and a magnificent French sailor’s outfit, complete with striped top, and bobble hat.

Orphaned cabin boy Jim Hawkins (played by David Haller), looks a tad tall for a fourteen-year-old, but his talents as a musician add another dimension to this character. The setting is the Admiral Benbow Inn, and a mysterious character Captain Billy Bones, arrives and terrorises Jim and his aunt, drinking them out of house and home. When he dies from a stroke, he leaves

behind a chest containing a map with directions to hidden treasure on a distant island.

Jim manages to survive the careless care of his Aunt Betsy and the machinations of sinister characters such as the hooded Blind Pew. He embarks on a voyage to discover the treasure with the seemingly cordial Long John Silver (Lauren Drennan) accompanied by the parrot Alexia on his shoulder. The staging was understated, but there was a wonderful barrel for Jim to hide in, while overhearing the wicked mutinous plotting of Long John Silver the crew. They aimed to steal the treasure for themselves and murder anyone in their way.

The actors vigorously engaged with the young audience, so there was plenty of participation in songs like ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart.’

The kids competed excitedly to shout to the actors 'There’s a Man Hiding Behind the Piano.'

The acting was exuberant and engaging from a very likable cast, but the outstanding performance, I felt, came from Elliott Bornemann both as an extremely camp mermaid, and as the wildly eccentric and demented castaway, Benn Gunn, who nonetheless rescues Jim Hawkins from a terrible fate and saves the treasure against all the odds.

All Hands-on Deck and Hoist the Mizzen. This performance will make Old Salts out of you Landlubbers.

Arts and Culture
The artistic director
Haddrell and set and costume designer Lauren Connolly, deserve special praise for their imaginative vision.
Greenwich, with its wonderful riverfront and majestic ships, formed the perfect backdrop to this jolly romp of a production of Treasure Island.

who you’ve always been...


a social
At Smyth Lodge care home being a social butterfly doesn’t stop when you make the journey into care. Bring your life with you to a place you can call home. Award winning, person-centred care for over 40 years. If you’re considering care for yourself or a loved one call 020 3993 9207. Trusted to care. Smyth Lodge care home Sidcup

Supporting menopausal workers is a win-win

Healthcare group, Bupa points out that 3.5 million of the UK’s female workforce are aged 50 or over.

Menopausal women are also the fastest growing demographic in the workplace.

If companies have for too long failed to listen or support these employees, they can no longer do so.

Common symptoms of the menopause include loss of confidence, poor memory, difficulty sleeping and fatigue. All these factors can negatively affect work performance.

The menopause is not in itself classed as a disability and there are currently no direct menopause discrimination laws protecting workers in the UK.

Although it’s not directly a disability, the Employment Tribunal has acknowledged that symptoms of the menopause can amount to a disability, and a claim for discrimination may succeed on a case-bycase basis. The perceived lack of clarity here has inevitably come in for criticism.

There have been calls from many quarters for clearer definition regarding menopause in the workplace and employers’ responsibilities.

The Women and Equalities committee set up an inquiry into menopause in the workplace and the extent to which women with menopausal symptoms suffer discrimination at work.

The committee’s report was published at the end of July 2022 and the Government’s response is expected soon. This could potentially lead to changes to the Equality Act 2010.

Even if there are no specific legislation changes related to menopause in the workplace, employers should make sure they have steps, procedures and support in place to help staff affected.

Supportive employers

Having regular conversations with staff and listening to their concerns might help resolve issues early on. This could mean an employee avoiding long, unwanted absences, not feeling isolated and encouraged by a support network in place.

A proactive approach could also prevent any potential legal action, demonstrating that the employer has not been negligent in any way.

Rather than seeing support as an unwelcome obligation, employers are being encouraged to identify the tangible benefits provided to both employer and employee. Notably, retaining high quality staff central to the success of the operation.

A 2019 survey conducted by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that three in five menopausal women- usually aged between 45 and 55- were negatively affected at work and that almost 900,000 women in the U.K. left their jobs over an undefined period of time because of menopausal symptoms.

The implication here is that women are leaving businesses at the peak of their experience which will inevitably impact productivity.

Women in this age group are likely to be eligible for senior management roles, and so their exit can lessen diversity at executive levels. It can also contribute to the gender pay-gap and feed into a disparity in pensions. There is clearly good reason for companies to act positively.

The menopause affects all women at some point in their lives. According to NHS figures, women in the UK typically reach the menopause, at around 51 years of age. The severity of symptoms and the length of time they last can vary from person to person.
❛❛Rather than seeing support as an unwelcome obligation, employers are being encouraged to identify the tangible benefits provided to both employer and employee.❜❜
Health & Wellbeing

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Compass Supported Living and Domiciliary Care 9 - 11 Gunnery Road London SE18 6SW

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Eclipse Financial Planning 155 Baizdon Road Blackheath SE3 0UL

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Eco Green Communities Ltd 207 Knutsford Road Warrington WA4 2QL

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EHT Accountancy LTD 2nd Floor, 15 Montpelier Vale Blackheath London SE3 0TA

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Get Living Unit 1 38 New Kent Road London SE1 6TJ

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Greenwich Pantry 67-71 Lewisham High Street London SE13 5JX

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members Members can access a range of services, networking events and support to help their business do better. Importantly, they can also access other members to find new suppliers, promote your business services, or join forces on new opportunities. Find out how to join and learn how others are benefiting from their membership. For more information telephone: 020 8317 3365 email: As a member of our Chamber, you are joining a unique organisation with a strong campaigning voice for business to local and national government. New Members
For more information and to preview our warehouses visit or scan the QR code. † Sign up for membership with this advert at our Croydon warehouse and receive a £10 voucher to spend online at New members only. *Membership Criteria applies. Membership must be obtained before purchases can be made. ∆Qualifying ID required to preview in the form of business evidence or company payslip ID. Accepting Mastercard, American Express and Visa credit cards as well as cash, debit card or cheque. No cash or cheque at fuel station. Fuel stations not available at all locations. JN32364 Costco Croydon, Imperial Way, Croydon, London, CR0 4RR T: 0208 253 4124 E: Costco Wholesale is a membership warehouse club, dedicated to bringing our members quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices. We provide a wide selection of merchandise, plus the convenience of speciality departments and exclusive member services, all designed to make your shopping experience a pleasurable one. We are confident in the quality and value of our products, and we stand behind them with our guarantee of satisfaction. Join Costco EVERYTHING YOU WANT. ALL IN ONE PLACE. You’re invited to Special Offer JOIN TODAY £10 V OUCHER ALL NEW MEMBERS WILL RECEIVE A £10 ONLINE VOUCHER WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR MEMBERSHIP† Expires: 30th April 2023 YOUR MEMBERSHIP IS VALID IN ALL 29 UK WAREHOUSES, WORLDWIDE AND ONLINE! Membership The annual membership fee for Standard Trade Membership* is £22 ex VAT (£26.40 inc VAT). The annual membership fee for Standard Individual Membership* is £28 ex VAT (£33.60 inc VAT). The annual membership fee for Executive Trade Membership is £56 ex VAT (£67.20 inc VAT). The annual membership fee for Executive Individual Membership is £62 ex VAT (£74.40 inc VAT), which also includes a complimentary card for your spouse or domestic partner. Executive Individuals earn a 2% Reward on most purchases up to a maximum of £400 per year, and receive this in their annual renewal notice, to use against goods in the warehouse.

Well-travelled empathetic individual, I have worked in sales to the public and businesses for over 45 years.

I love sunshine and being near the sea on a rough day. I love south Asian cuisine especially Thai food and happily married to Vicky my Thai wife for 16 years and we share a new home in Thailand.

Life is for living and I try to always see the best and try not to worry about things I can’t control and only concern myself with things I can.

And finally

• What was your first job and what was the pay packet?

MOD Woolwich Garrison MQES working as a foreman, marching soldiers and officers in and out to accommodation.

Pay was £32 per week.

• What would you do with your last pound?

Give it to someone for food or buy a lottery ticket.

• What is the biggest challenge facing your business?

Explaining to westerners why it’s important for massage and meditation to alleviate pain and stress. Unlike in south Asian cultures where it’s taught in schools as part of their way of life.

• If you were Prime Minister, what would be your first decision?

Nationalise utilities to remove shareholders and CEO excessive bonuses and ensure utility is fairly priced as everyone needs gas and electricity, it should not be delivered for profit. All profits should be reinvested in renewable energies.

• If you could do another job what would it be?


• What book are you currently reading?

1939 Countdown to War, by Richard Overy. Sadly those events are being replicated by the invasion of Ukraine by a deluded leader. Perhaps the benefits of massage and meditation would help the autocratic leaders around the world to see the error of their ways.

We bring from OSAKA Japan to the United Kingdom, the world’s most advanced therapeutic robotic massage that can improve your healthy living.

Fujiiryoki Japan started as a beautyoriented and health-related manufacturer and in 1954 was the first in the world to mass produce massage chairs.

The company has disseminated this unique “Japanese massage chair culture” from Japan to the world and has contributed to lifestyle improvement and health management for many people.

Since its foundation, Fujiiryoki has always developed products that respond to customer needs and is now developing a wide range of products that are certified as medical devices for home use, such as its key products: massage chairs.

Showroom address: Station Road 89, Sidcup, DA15 7DN 073910 23575

And finally...
Visit the ONLY SHOWROOM in the London area with real Japanese made massage chairs Now, you can feel why Fujiiryoki is the world number one manufacturer for the past 67 years.
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