The Masthead

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masthead the



Later Life Planning...

where to start

James Cole, Managing Director, Talis IFA

ASK THE EXPERT Grant Saw Solicitors LLP looks at shareholders’ agreements, what they are, why you would need one

THE BIG INTERVIEW From Apprentice to Director, Danielle Cassidy FIRP, of MC Personnel Ltd

SKILLS The Croydon College Group a learning environment that blends hands-on technical learning with knowledge and professional work experience

OPEN EVENT Sat 4th Nov 2023

| 10am – 2pm

Wed 13th Mar 2024 | 5pm – 7pm Wed 19th Jun 2024 | 5pm – 7pm


OPEN EVENT Thu 16th Nov 2023

| 5pm – 7pm

Wed 20th Mar 2024 | 5pm – 7pm Wed 26th Jun 2024 | 5pm – 7pm


OPEN EVENT Sat 4th Nov 2023

| 10am – 2pm

Wed 13th Mar 2024 | 5pm – 7pm Wed 19th Jun 2024 | 5pm – 7pm


ur black creators and

et. The town centre was

nd footfall increased

provides much loved entertainment and, with its festive food offerings, really creates a Christmas buzz in town.

art of the project we


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which is on display until

reet and online. There

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Your Bromley BID



Winter Lights Spectacular third BR1 Lates event of the year is taking place on WELCOME The Wednesday 25th October from 5pm - 9pm. The Winter


ince the last issue of Masthead, we have Spectacular, will see the High Street illuminated held a great Summer BBQLights at The Clarendon Hotel and two sponsored Office Drinks at 20 23 with attractions including light up walk through Metro Bank in Bexley and Alcatel Submarine Networks and ITS Technology Group in Greenwich tunnels, sensory spheres, a giant light up walk on where ASN has been on the same site since 1819. Today, both companies are linked by fast fibre piano, a campervan photobooth, glow-in-the-dark face and being part of the Chamber’s Strategic painting, beautifully lit food vans, live music, walkabout Partners network. We also would like to thank Davy’s for the wonderful BBQ in their Vintner’s performers switchedYard, onpart onof a former Victorian brewery close and much more. to the Greenwich DLR station.

h On

at midday, our event

There have been some great webinars which can all be Lighting ing arts schools, found on our website and a virtual Coffee meeting up with Bromley will last for longer than one day Clive Efford MP and Roshanara Ali MP, Shadow Minister The e to welcome the and Small Business.though. for Investment Again, this is on our Your Bromley team and London Borough



website, and we aim to hold more of the virtual Coffee of Bromley have secured additional funding for the wn local face joins Meetings withus our MPs in the next few months. 4 Chamber News darker lighting up the town centre 30-31 Astown’s you will see from Mark Jenkinson’s article onwinter Page 16, months, tch on the at last year’s RBG Greener Greenwich Summit we came 6 Economy longer term lighting installations. The Churchill33 up with the strapline – ‘Just 1 Thing’with to make a change to our future. A small step, we have changed the office lights 8 Focus on Lewisham Theatre will be lit by a changing light projected on the 34-35 to LEDs and as a Chamber we continue to work on green issues. We are extremely excited to have been chosen by 9 Focus on Croydon outside of the building, the Bromley North sign will 36-37 RBG to run theirto next Greener Greenwich Summit in March mley by subscribing 11 Focus on Greenwich 2024. The venue for this will be at our Strategic Partner, be lit up and further installations in town will bring Athletic Football Club. In addition, we look m. Follow Charlton Your Bromley 38-39 12 Your Bromley forward to working with Croydon on greener issues at a beautiful light into our town until the end of January. gram @YourBromley big event at the Fairfield Hall in the early part of the year. 40-41 13 Focus on Bromley Over the next two months, we are holding a Charity Quiz 14 Focus on Bexley 42-43 in aid of the London Air Ambulance Charity, our official charity on Thursday, 23 November at The Clarendon 16-17 Net Zero 45 Hotel our Virtual AGM on Tuesday, 28 November and 19 Ask the Expert Christmas Lunch on Thursday, 14 December at yourbromley 46-47 The Bromley Court Hotel. All golfers, please save the 20-23 Skills date of the SELCC Golf Day - Friday, 14 June 2024 at the 48 Royal Blackheath Golf Club. 26-28 Cover Feature – Helen McIntosh FCIPR Later Life Planning 50 President Editorial and General Enquiries South East London Chamber of Commerce Unit TW/145, Trinity Wharf, Harrington Way, Warspite Road London SE18 5NR Tel: 020 8317 3365 Email: @SELondonChamber @SELondonChamber South East London Chamber of Commerce

Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: Web: Published: October 2023 © Benham Publishing

Chamber photography by Warren King Cover photo: Pixabay

Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Media No. 1981 Disclaimer The Masthead is published for South East London Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members.


The Big Interview Skills LCCI – James Watkins Past Events Forthcoming Events News Arts & Culture News Health & Wellbeing New Members and Finally…

All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at South East London Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in The Masthead are not necessarily those of South East London Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. © 2023 Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.


Chamber News

Boroughs welcome

devolution push in UK Urban Futures Commission report London Councils has welcomed a major new report from the UK Urban Futures Commission, which makes the case for unleashing the potential of the UK’s cities for boosting growth, repairing the social fabric, and meeting net zero targets.


he report, produced in partnership between the RSA and Core Cities UK, calls for a new suite of local powers to support city leaders and attract private sector investment.

Cllr Claire Holland, Acting Chair of London Councils, said: “Devolving more powers and resources to the local level

“Compared to other countries around the world, the UK still operates within a highly centralised national structure that too often undermines local leaders’ ability to get the best possible results for residents.

devolution journey is not yet over. With more financial levers at our disposal, we would be in a much stronger position to boost growth and invest in the long-term future of Londoners’ local services. We will continue to work alongside cities from across the UK in pushing forward this vital agenda.”

“Boroughs in the capital are as determined as ever that London’s

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Fixing people problem is key to tackling inflation

A survey of almost 5,000 UK firms of all sectors and sizes by the British Chambers (BCC) has revealed that recruitment issues remain a significant factor in the business community.


he latest Quarterly Recruitment Outlook (ORO) shows that the percentage of firms facing recruitment difficulties has fallen just three percentage points from the historical high of 82% in Q4 2022. This has now remained above 75% for the last two years.

Attempted recruitment in Q1 was virtually unchanged from the previous quarter, with 60% of those surveyed looking to find staff (59% in Q1 2023). While recruitment difficulties are being experienced across the economy, the construction and engineering and the hospitality sectors were the most likely to report problems with 86% of firms reporting difficulties (up from 81% and 83% respectively in Q1). This is closely manufactured on 81% (83% Q1) and then professional services on 77% (79% Q1). Of the firms in the construction and engineering sector facing recruitment difficulties, 76% faced difficulties in finding skilled manual/technical workers. However, for hospitality businesses that struggled to recruit, 69% faced difficulties in finding semi/unskilled workers. Just over a quarter of firms (27%) reported an increase in their training investment plans over the last three months (the same as Q1), while 14% reported a drop (also the same). The data shows that the main factor for increasing prices is now coming from wages rather than utility bills or raw materials.


With concern around utility costs dropping, 63% report these as an issue (74% in Q3 2022), the number of firms reporting labour costs as a source of pressure has risen to 68% (67% in Q1) and is now the lead cost pressure. Although, overall, the percentage of firms expecting their prices to rise fell below 50% for the first time since Q3 in 2021.

reduces opportunities for investment, including in training – part of the long-term solution.

Jane Gratton, Head of People Policy at the BCC, said: “The tight labour market continues to ramp up wage costs, fuelling inflation, and creating huge difficulties for businesses. With the Bank of England expected to increase interest rates again, it is vital that Government boosts efforts to increase the supply of labour to help break the cycle.

“But where there is evidence of critical national skills shortages, that are crippling business sectors and pushing up wages, the government must look again at the role immigration can play in easing difficulties in the short term. This includes making sure the criteria for the Shortage Occupations List are proportionate and realistic, as well as expanding access to youth mobility schemes.

“Firms are being squeezed on all sides. With 36.8 million jobs in the economy there are more employment opportunities than ever before. But we also have low unemployment, and over a million jobs are currently left unfilled. Firms cannot fulfil order books and are turning down new work. “They are caught in a vicious circle where the lack of people holds back growth and

“While firms can do more to make workplaces more flexible and jobs easier to access, the government must redouble its efforts to support people into work.

“Access to a skilled workforce is a major concern for businesses across the UK. The longer these shortages continue, the more long-term damage is caused. Government has made a start but has yet to shift the dial. If we are to get the economy growing again, we need more action, now.”

The tight labour market continues to ramp up ❛❛wage costs, fuelling inflation, and creating huge difficulties for businesses. With the Bank of England expected to increase interest rates again, it is vital that Government boosts efforts to increase the supply of labour to help break the cycle.


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Focus on Lewisham

Lewisham Council announces £930k funding

to increase affordable workspace across the borough The Council has launched three one-off grants to increase affordable workspace and support growth in the borough’s creative and digital sectors.

Photo: Pixabay


ocal businesses can apply for a Creative Lewisham Enterprise Workspace Grant of up to £200k to transform vacant or underused spaces into vibrant and affordable workspaces that attract businesses to the borough; generate enterprise opportunities for residents; and create jobs. The grants form a key part of the Council's Affordable Workspace Strategy, which was approved by Mayor and Cabinet in July, and will also see measures including affordable workspace accreditation and businesses connected with an approved list of local providers come into force over the next two years. The Council secured funding for the three grant schemes through the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, administered by the GLA.

Creative Lewisham Enterprise Workspace Grants:

to expand on the existing provision and create more jobs and opportunities for our residents.

• Strategic Workspace Grant: Businesses could receive up to £200k to deliver new, high quality, affordable workspace across the borough.

“This is about taking steps to ensure more genuinely affordable workspace is available to the entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses that are essential to our local economy so that our borough remains a place where entrepreneurialism and enterprise can thrive.”

• Small Workspace Grant: Businesses could receive up to £5k to deliver new affordable workspace within the Creative Enterprise Zone of Deptford and New Cross. • Lewisham Empty Property Grant: One-off grants of up £10,000 to support businesses to revamp and reopen empty shop units in the borough. Cllr Kim Powell, Cabinet Member for Businesses, Jobs and Skills, said: “There is an increasing demand for affordable workspace right across Lewisham so I’m delighted to launch these grants

Marcel Baettig, founder of arts charity, Bow Arts which provides affordable workspace to creatives across London, said: "Affordable workspace is incredibly important to artists, designers and makers, especially at the start of their careers when much of the work they do is research-based and they don’t earn an income. These grants will ensure creatives have the time and space to hone their skills so they can contribute to the community.”

Lewisham agrees new dockless bike partnership with Lime Bikes will need to be parked in designated bays around the borough moving forward.



ewisham Council has announced a new partnership with Lime to expand and improve the operation of dockless hire bikes around the borough.

Lime have also committed to removing bikes parked obstructively or discarded within 12 hours once reported. In cases where bikes are causing an immediate obstruction or danger, they will be removed within two hours once reported.

As part of the partnership, dockless e-bikes operated by Lime will need to be parked in designated bays around the borough, helping to reduce issues caused by inconsiderate parking. Riders will not be able to end their journey without parking in a designated bay.

Cllr Louise Krupski, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Action, said: “Dockless hire bike schemes are a great way to promote active travel, provided they are managed properly. By agreeing this new partnership with Lime, we can support people in Lewisham to make more journeys

using hire bikes, as well as addressing existing issues with inconsiderate parking and discarded bikes.” Manish Kharel, General Manager for Lime in London, said: “Demand for shared e-bikes in London is at a record high, and Lewisham is no exception. It’s really promising to see more residents choose greener, active transport options to connect around the borough and city. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Lewisham Council to launch this new service, including the

Photo: Pixabay

introduction of designated parking bays. We have worked closely with them to identify suitable locations for these bays - clear of pedestrian walkways and based on Lime trip data to ensure they are in areas of high demand." The new scheme will be rolled out in phases across the borough from September 2023, with designated bays installed in various locations. E-bikes that are parked obstructively can be reported directly to Lime by emailing or by using the Love Clean Streets app.

Focus on Croydon


a place of opportunity URBAN ROOM – TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION One of the things that I’m often asked about as Executive Mayor of Croydon, is ‘what is happening with the regeneration of Croydon town centre?’ Since being elected, the regeneration of the town centre has been a key priority for me – working with businesses and residents to develop a new, sustainable plan to regenerate the town centre, attract investment and restore confidence in Croydon.

in the Whitgift Centre, in the heart of the town centre. The North End area of the town is the focus and projects will look at its history, how it serves residents now and what they would like to see in the future. This could encompass education, community projects and more. These ideas will help us to develop clear priorities for an action plan to steer the town centre’s recovery in line with what people want, helping to restore a sense of pride in Croydon. We’re really excited about this project and will be calling on our residents, businesses and partners to get involved. As a collaborative project, we will also be looking to our community for ideas and suggestions on what they would like to see hosted at the Urban Room.

I’m delighted to be able to share that we have an exciting community engagement project launching this autumn that will help on this journey to making that vision a reality. Our town centre is, of course, vital for local businesses and the local economy, but it also plays an important role as a community hub. While planning for the future of the town centre, we want to explore what the priorities are for our residents, beyond being a retail destination. That’s why we are launching the Urban Room – a collaborative, community project that will provide a space for conversations, exhibitions and events, so we can hear the views of people who live, work and visit Croydon. Urban Room engagement will take place online initially, followed by in-person activities at a base

Isifiso, which sells recycled products and promotes sustainable fashion, has been chosen by Small Business Saturday as one of the UK’s top 100 small business firms. It was launched by Kavitha Soundararajan, from Thornton Heath, who sells handmade products using recycled materials and runs sustainable fashion workshops that teach sewing and mending skills.

The programme is part of the council’s Growth Zone – a partnership between the council, central government, the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) – to support growth in the town centre. I have also been working closely with businesses and partners to bring forward the redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre and welcomed the news that URW (Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield) completed the acquisition of Hammerson’s 50% stake in the Croydon Partnership. This 10-hectare area includes the Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres, high street retail frontage, office blocks and multi-storey car parks. We look forward to working with them as they develop a new masterplan for the town centre.

SOUTH NORWOOD BUSINESS LAUNCHPAD It’s important that Croydon is a place of opportunity for business, earning and learning. Starting a small business can be very challenging and often a helping hand is needed to get an idea off the ground. South Norwood Business Launchpad scheme – an initiative run by Croydon Council and funded by the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund – helped to kickstart small and developing businesses and we’ve been delighted to hear success stories from some of the entrepreneurs who took part.

“Selling things that you make is very personal and part of who you are is in the product. As a small business owner, it can be difficult to manage workload, but seeing the interest people have in coming to our workshops and buying our products has been amazing,” Ms Soundararajan said. The South Norwood Business Launchpad scheme gave entrepreneurs a chance to test their business ideas, in supportive environment, at Clock Tower Market in South Norwood. Ms Soundararajan was one of two winners on the programme. The second was Lorraine Alexis, also a South Norwood entrepreneur, who makes vegan, cruelty-free, organic skincare under the brand name, Glowpretty London. Glowpretty was the recipient of a Vegan Choice Award 2023. Ms Soundararajan added: “The South Norwood Business Launchpad was a brilliant scheme that helped to provide me with the marketing skills needed to help run my business. Through the programme, I met other traders and was inspired by the amount of talent, passion and ideas in the community.”

Jason Perry Executive Mayor of Croydon


Focus on Greenwich

Focus on Greenwich London’s Night Czar joins Woolwich Lates festivities

Discover the Business Awards shortlist! The shortlist for the Best of Royal Greenwich Business Awards, run in association with LandsecU+I and South East London Chamber of Commerce, has been announced. Competition was particularly stiff this year, with the Awards receiving a record of 324 applications. Of those, 72 businesses are in the running to win their categories. The winners of three of the categories will be determined by public vote, which means you!

We welcomed London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé back to Woolwich on Friday 22 September, marking almost a year since the area was chosen as one of the Mayor of London’s Night Time Enterprise Zones The Council has been working in partnership with local organisations to deliver ‘Woolwich Lates’, a varied programme of arts, fitness, retail and family events, that go on into the evening. Data captured from the events has shown, on average, a 23% increase in people flocking to the town centre in the evening. The evening walkabout was an opportunity for London’s Night Czar to find out more about the impact the programme has had. The group visited Woolwich Works and Tramshed, two leading evening destinations, as well community space the Woolwich Front

Room. They talked to residents, night workers, volunteers and business owners at AT VR, Coffee Lounge, Square Bubbles, Hitachi Sushi and Duck Duck Pork. Cllr Mariam Lolavar, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Business and Skills, said: “One of our missions is supporting a thriving night-time economy to ensure our high streets are prosperous, safe and vibrant for local people and to support businesses. Cultural events like the ones hosted for Woolwich Lates and the Heritage Action Zone are a proven way to attract people into town centres and experience the wider offer while there.” We are currently undertaking the final evaluation of the programme, which will inform the Council’s borough-wide vision for a vibrant, inclusive, and safe night-time economy.

Read more about the visit:

Celebrating Living Wage Week The biggest celebration of the real Living Wage is upon us! We're excited to have more accredited Living Wage Employers than ever before to celebrate in Royal Greenwich, who are going the extra mile to provide stability and certainty to all their employees, like Peter’s Panas, pictured. Championing the real Living Wage is central to our work to tackle in-work poverty and creating a more inclusive local economy. This is why we are offering grants to cover the cost of three years of accreditation to help more businesses to join us. We are also working with the Living Wage Foundation, employers, and institutions across the borough to radically increase the number of real Living Wage accredited businesses in the city. United, we can make Royal Greenwich a Living Wage Place. This is a recognition by the Living Wage Foundation that celebrates the geographical areas that are doing more to expand the uptake of the living wage.

Do you know any of the brilliant local businesses on the shortlist? You can vote for the ones that you think deserve to win the: •

Best Food and Drinks Venue

Market or Mobile Trader

High Street Business

The other categories will be selected by our panel of judges.

• Head Judge Cllr Mariam Lolavar

Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Business and Skills, Royal Borough of Greenwich

• Michael Bullion

CEO and Founder, Tribe Urban Entertainment

• Rachel Brown

Head of Enterprise and Innovation, University of Greenwich

• Cllr Majid Rahman

Economy Champion, Our Greenwich Plan, Royal Borough of Greenwich

• Tracey Sage

Associate, Emergency Exit Arts

• Steve Sayer

Vice President and General Manager, The O2

Our Living Wage campaign is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Find out more:

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

• Max Skomorowski

Director, Greenwich Enterprise Board

Find out more: With thanks to our sponsors, without whom the Business Awards would not be possible.


Visit Greenwich


“Autumn in Bromley has got off to

Christmas Market - 11th November - 2nd Jan 2024

a busy start with our Black History

Bromley’s popular Christmas market will be back in

Month celebrations. The event saw

the town centre with food and drink plus funfair rides.

a day of music, food and amazing

The market brings additional visitors to Bromley and

shopping at our black creators and

provides much loved entertainment and, with its

makers market. The town centre was busy all day and footfall increased

festive food offerings, really creates a Christmas buzz in town.

by 14.3%. As part of the project we have commissioned a photographic exhibition too which is on display until the end of the year on the High Street and online. There is plenty more to come this month too with the exciting Winter Lights Spectacular coming to the town centre on 25th October.”

Frances Forrest BID Manager Your Bromley BID

Winter Lights Spectacular The third BR1 Lates event of the year is taking place on Wednesday 25th October from 5pm - 9pm. The Winter Lights Spectacular, will see the High Street illuminated with attractions including light up walk through tunnels, sensory spheres, a giant light up walk on

Christmas Lights Switch On Bromley’s Christmas lights will be switched on on Sunday 19th November. Starting at midday, our event will see local theatre and performing arts schools, choirs and more take to the stage to welcome the festive season, before a well known local face joins us and our Local Hero of 2023 to switch on the town’s Christmas lights! Please keep in touch with Your Bromley by subscribing to regular e.shots via Follow Your Bromley BID on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @YourBromley


piano, a campervan photobooth, glow-in-the-dark face painting, beautifully lit food vans, live music, walkabout performers and much more. Lighting up Bromley will last for longer than one day though. The Your Bromley team and London Borough of Bromley have secured additional funding for the darker winter months, lighting up the town centre with longer term lighting installations. The Churchill Theatre will be lit by a changing light projected on the outside of the building, the Bromley North sign will be lit up and further installations in town will bring beautiful light into our town until the end of January.


Focus on Bromley

Bromley’s libraries are getting a refresh Libraries play an important role for communities across the London Borough of Bromley, as places for residents and families to access services, seek support, join various clubs and activities, or to get easy and free online access.


he borough’s much-loved libraries issued over one million books last year, more than any other London Borough with Bromley Central Library also ranking in the top ten busiest libraries nationwide. In recognition of their significance for residents, Bromley Council is regenerating its library network to carry out repairs and ensure facilities are fit for the future. Around £11m has been allocated for the refurbishment of eleven libraries across the borough, in addition to the extensive regeneration of West Wickham Library to create a modern building with a host of new facilities like a café, new children’s learning areas and community hire spaces.

Deputy Mayor of Bromley opening St Paul’s Cray library alongside Cllr Bear The first of these refurbished libraries to reopen was St Paul’s Cray in Orpington. As well as a host of new facilities like modern consultation rooms, new computer suites and accessible customer toilets, the remodelling meant a local Community Support Centre was able to co-locate with the service, to creating a convenient hub for local residents.

Councillor Yvonne Bear, Executive Councillor for Renewal, Recreation and Housing said: “This is a brilliant new facility that has been carefully designed to accommodate the needs of these important services for the benefit of the local community who use them. I am delighted that we have secured residents access to these services over the long term through delivering an impressive, modern library building for all to enjoy. This is just one step in our wider strategy of improving library facilities across the borough, in recognition of the invaluable role they play in so many residents’ lives, with our libraries issuing more books last year than any other borough.” Other libraries will soon also be refurbished across the borough, with planned works on libraries in Beckenham, Burnt Ash Lane, Chislehurst, Hayes, Mottingham, Orpington, Penge, Petts Wood and Southborough.

Crystal Palace Park set to thrive following historic handover In a key milestone in the regeneration plan, the management of the much-loved park has been transferred to the Crystal Palace Park Trust, setting the scene for a prosperous future.


he transfer is a major stage of Bromley Council’s £52m Regeneration Plan that will see a major transformation of the park, including restoring sites like the renowned dinosaurs and subway. The transfer is key to creating a sustainable model for the park’s future, with the Trust, an independent community-based charity,

now responsible for delivering wide-ranging improvements that benefit the whole community.

The Mayor of Bromley shaking hands with representative of Crystal Palace Park Trust.

The Regeneration Plan for the park is making good progress, with the restoration of the Grade II* listed subway now at an advanced stage and the next major stage of works now coming forward, including the regeneration of the Italian Terraces. The funding for the regeneration plan comes from a number of

sources with further grant funding still being sought. The Grade I listed dinosaurs are also being restored, thanks to development funding received from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The restoration of these iconic structures is being developed collaboratively with partners Historic England. • Photo credit to Kit Oates and the Trust


Focus on Bexley

Recycling locally to reduce our carbon footprint


n Bexley dry recyclables collected from residents' white-lidded wheeled bins will now be recycled locally in Crayford.

In line with Bexley’s Climate Change commitment, this step will help reduce our carbon footprint and deliver substantial savings for the Council. This new three-year contract with local provider N&P will reduce vehicle emissions and transport costs which will mean more money going to key services across the Borough.

Bexley Business & Employment launches

Dry recyclables collected in the white lidded bin were previously being transported to Hertfordshire for processing. The Crayford Material Recovery Facility (MRF) is the largest facility of its kind in Europe and one of the most efficient in the UK, employing up to 260 people providing local jobs for our residents. Councillor Richard Diment, Cabinet Member for Places said: “We are delighted that N&P in Crayford are now processing our recyclable waste within the Borough boundary and look forward to working in partnership with them going forward. We aim to take practical action to address climate change that has the support of local people. This contract helps reduce our carbon footprint and saves money too. The money saved will be directed to key services across the Borough”. At the MRF, using various techniques from handpicking to hi-tech machinery, the mixed recyclables collected are separated and sorted. They can then be sent to manufacturers and re-processors to be made into new items. Residents in Bexley are currently recycling over 10,000 tonnes of dry recycling annually.

To find out what else we are doing in Bexley to protect and enhance our green environment for our current and future generations visit



‘Talking Business’ programme

exley’s Business & Employment service (BBE) launched its ‘Talking Business’ programme on the 20 September 2023 at a South East Chamber of Commerce’s Office event held at the Metro Bank in Bexleyheath.

The Talking Business programme will deliver support though a dedicated Business Support Advisor employed by BBE and will work in partnership with professional organisations to offer further specialist support and business outreach. The programme will run up to March 2025. The programme is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared

Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). Bexley’s Business & Employment service will use the funding to deliver a series of business support activities to Bexley SMEs through online webinars and one to one advice including specific support for retail and hospitality. The UKSPF sits under the government’s Levelling Up Agenda and aims to make improvements to town centres and high streets and support local businesses. If you are a Bexley based SME and need help to develop and grow your business, you can enquire about support by emailing and our Business Support Advisor will get in touch to assess your business needs.

Let’s talk business!

For more information about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) please visit uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus


with Shooters Hill Sixth Form College Jasbinder Mato Futures Manager We at Shooters Hill Sixth Form College are committed to supporting organisations and employers to add co-operative social value. This academic year has been spearheaded with Futures Week, where employers have been involved in delivering mock interviews skills sessions.

I am excited to share that our existing Business Partners have generated some great opportunities, are involved in exhibiting at our careers fairs, come in and speak to our students, enabling them to learn about careers in the curriculum, and develop students’ knowledge about local labour market information, whilst giving them the opportunity to have valuable encounters with professionals, and last but not least give our students the opportunity to have industry experiences.

Our academic staff and top students are working towards preparing for the innovative future world of work. We value social mobility, diversity, and equality and are enthusiastic about developing young people to become reflective learners with a well-rounded knowledge about workplace skills.

Come along to our Business Breakfast on Wednesday 8th November, between 10am to 12pm, here at Shooters Hill Sixth Form College. You will meet our heads of department and gain an overview of T levels and find out what’s in it for you! Meet our careers and employability team and some of our top engineering and digital students.

Come forward and become a business partner, so that your organization can stand out from the rest!! Shooters Hill College can help and support you to build an early talent pipeline.

Becoming a business partner will give your organisation the privilege of having online presence on our website and our social media platform and celebrate success within the community.

For more information about how you could be a part of our Careers and Employability Programme contact 15

Net Zero

It’s going to be a Catastrophe… These were the words of Martha Lane Fox, dotcom entrepreneur and President of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), at an event I attended in late September. By Mark Jenkinson

Crystal Associates and SELCC Board Member


peaking in front of an illuminated Sphinx in the British Museum’s exhibition on ancient Egypt a once great civilisation - the message had a positive twist. If we act decisively, we can turn things around for our planet, while creating significant opportunities for people and business.

Sent from Coventry Earlier that day, another President, our very own Helen McIntosh, moderated a webinar by new SE London Chamber members, Coventry University. Lecturer Luisa Sykes explained what sustainability means for business and shared a common definition:

“Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The webinar set out how businesses can develop a comprehensive framework to apply sustainability to their business practices and lever this as a competitive advantage.


We also touched on what attendees would be prepared to change in their lifestyles to save the planet. Ideas included driving and flying less, eating more local produce, less meat and dairy and avoiding single-use plastics. What would you be prepared to change? If you missed the webinar, then fear not! It’s available on the SE London Chamber website.

Bromley’s green hub On 12th September Helen and I joined the launch of the new green skills lab at London South East Colleges’ (LSEC) Bromley campus, and it was an honour to say a few words. The green lab comprises of rigs which will allow plumbing and electrical students to work on heat pumps, solar panels, solar thermal and electric vehicle charging points to support their future green careers. I encourage any local employees to get involved. Later that week we ran an introduction to sustainability session for over 200 electrical, plumbing and built environment students at both LSEC’s Bromley and Holly Hill campus in Bexley. They were also introduced to the rigs as well as an insight into the wide range of career opportunities construction and the built environment provides.

Back in Bexley It was great to be back in Bexley a week later courtesy of the Metro Bank Bexleyheath. Sustainability was again the main agenda topic, with Bexley Council announcing the availability of 50 free licences for the carbon management tool, Climate Essentials. The tool helps SMEs to calculate their carbon footprint and develop an action plan get them on the net zero journey.

Net Zero

❛❛Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. “But if we get this right, and play to our country’s strengths then there is huge opportunity for UK Plc. It is vital we have a long-term Net Zero strategy which Government must demonstrate it can stick to.”

Greener Greenwich First, an early announcement; we plan to hold the next Greener Greenwich Summit for Greenwich businesses in early March 2024. Keep your eyes on the website and Masthead Light for details.

Image: Pixabay

The Council also revealed a whole host of other business support.

Playing my own small part in helping to make the world a little greener, the next phase of my home retrofit is almost complete. Forced to rectify a leaking roof and replace broken and missing tiles, I took the opportunity to install external insulation among the rafters. Shockingly but not surprisingly, there was no insulation previously! I’m sure with a properly insulated roof what used to be the coldest rooms in the house may become the warmest.


On the 31 October I’m running a free to attend breakfast networking session on ESG. ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) in real estate is gradually becoming a requirement across the sector for businesses large and small. The challenge for many companies is how to move from strategy to practice. The aim of this panel discussion is to make sense of ESG across the sector, touch on new and emerging market, policy and regulatory priorities and provide suggestions on how to start embedding ESG practice into business as usual. You can see more details in the weekly Masthead Light. If you see this too late, don’t worry. Just drop me a line.

In summary Another busy quarter ends and a lot has been achieved. However, we’ve got a lot more to do with lots of opportunity, and an equally busy period ahead.

criticism from many business groups.

Its now time to plan the next project!

The Director General of the British

ESG: from talk to action

I would recommend taking a quick look at the climate clock website which shows a countdown to 2030, a key year for London’s ambition to be net zero and develop a green economy of over £100 billion with over half a million green jobs.

One benefit of writing your own column and holding the proverbial pen, you get the chance to promote some of the things you’re doing!

So, get on board as soon as you can and take advantage of the support available. In the words inspired by that dotcom company, don’t leave it to!

All on the day the Government made its own net zero announcement. An announcement which received

Chambers of Commerce, said: “Other countries and trading blocs are pouring billions into low-carbon technology, and we are getting left behind.


JS Resilience and Leadership Advisory

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He has been integral to large organisation restructuring, multibillion dollar capital projects, country entry and M&A. Leading teams large and small across multiple countries and cultures he has enabled companies to navigate 9/11, the emergence of ISIL and its increasing influence, vast profit fluctuations as well as more recently the changes forced by Covid. He has delivered performance improvements through cultural and leadership programs in multiple cultural settings and has recently joined the lecturing team in Business and Leadership at UK based University.

Leading from Within – creating happy, confident and passionate leaders

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After his full recovery from cancer in 2022 and many years of undiagnosed high performing depression and his frustration with the multitude of mantras and models that fill the leadership development space today, he has decided to dedicate his career to working with your future and current leaders, through his program “Leading from Within” taking critical lessons from his career and industry leading executives.

He weaves his personal experience of the impact of leaders on mental health into the modules using lessons from his two published books on the same subject. The straight-talking program delivers critical skills, focusing on people knowing themselves. John brings his sense of adventure to the program, where attendees are challenged to step outside their comfort zone. Amongst the modules are: how your brain works, unlearning, personal values, unconscious bias, diversity as well as the attributes of leaders that deliver success and the fundamentals of emotional intelligence and happiness. The program can be accompanied by a unique company and individual cultural assessment tool enabling you to develop continuous improvement programs and enabling your leaders to plot a path to success in leadership and life.

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If you are a startup or established company JS R&L Advisory can deliver the leaders you need to deliver the future.


Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert Michael Pope, Solicitor at Grant Saw Solicitors LLP, looks at shareholders’ agreements – what they are, why you would need one, what should be included, what happens if a shareholder wishes to amend an agreement, what to do if there is a breach, who should sign the agreement and tag-along and drag-along rights. 1. What is a shareholders’ agreement? A shareholders’ agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of shareholders in a company. It typically covers issues such as ownership percentages, decision-making processes, dividend distribution, dispute resolution, and transfer of shares. The agreement helps maintain clarity, protect shareholders' interests, and govern the relationship between shareholders to ensure a smooth operation of the company.

2. Why do I need a shareholders’ agreement? A shareholders' agreement is extremely important for the protection of the interests of all parties involved in the ownership of the company. It clarifies shareholders' rights and obligations, outlines decision-making processes, and addresses potential disputes. By establishing rules for ownership transfer, dividend distribution, and confidentiality, it ensures a smooth operation of the business. The agreement helps prevent conflicts, provides a clear framework for resolving disputes, and maintains a cohesive vision among shareholders, fostering a stable and successful business environment.

3. What should a shareholders’ agreement include? A comprehensive shareholders' agreement should cover aspects such as shareholders' rights and responsibilities, ownership

percentages, decision-making procedures, dividend policies, dispute resolution mechanisms, restrictions on share transfers, confidentiality clauses, and the management of the company. It should also address matters related to board representation, exit strategies, non-compete provisions, and the procedures to amend the agreement. A well-drafted agreement ensures clarity, safeguards interests, and facilitates smooth collaboration among shareholders.

the breaching party to fulfil their obligations, or compensation for any losses incurred. In some cases, the agreement may also include provisions for alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, to resolve the breach amicably.

4. What happens if the shareholders want to amend the agreement?

6. Who should sign the shareholders’ agreement?

If shareholders wish to amend the shareholders' agreement, they must follow the procedures outlined in the existing agreement. Typically, this involves written consent from a specified majority of shareholders, often requiring a majority vote. Once the required approval is obtained, the amendment becomes effective and legally binding.

All shareholders of the company should sign the shareholders' agreement. This includes both existing shareholders when the agreement is created and any future shareholders who acquire ownership in the company.

The updated agreement will then govern the rights and obligations of the shareholders, reflecting the changes made and ensuring continued clarity and adherence to the new terms.

5. What happens if there is a breach of the shareholders’ agreement? If there is a breach of the shareholders' agreement, the affected party may seek legal advice. The non-breaching party can file a claim to enforce the agreement's terms and claim damages. Remedies may include specific performance, where the Court orders

Signing the agreement ensures that all parties are bound by its terms and conditions, fostering a cohesive and legally binding framework for the business.

7. What are tag-along and drag-along rights? Tag-along rights give minority shareholders the option to join in on a sale of a significant portion of the company's shares, allowing them to sell their shares on the same terms. Drag-along rights enable majority shareholders to force minority shareholders to sell their shares along with them during a sale to a third party.

For more information, email or contact the team on 020 8858 6971. 19


Navigating Generations in the Workplace: why generational labelling can be counterproductive



Workplaces are more diverse than ever. And it’s not only gender and ethnic diversity but also generational diversity. People work longer and increasingly start earlier. Apprenticeships are more popular than ever as illustrated by the growth in popularity of Euan Blair’s Multiverse Social Enterprise whose valuation nears unicorn status.


he literature and the media are full of generational stereotypes and labels, GenZ the digital natives, Millennials the me, myself and I generation, GenX the MTV generation, and the Boomers, the rebellious ones, who championed so many things from equality movements to sexual liberation and unprecedented wealth generation. Yet labelling is such an inadequate and lazy way of looking at things. Useful perhaps for tabloid newspaper headlines and marketing purposes. Occasionally, it can be helpful as a shorthand to illustrate the very real distinctions in how the generations relate to the world and one another. Yet even this can be fraught with misinterpretation, as a young Millennial from India probably has more in common with an American baby boomer than you’d guess. In many companies, generational labels are used for development purposes, reward, and benefit expectation but also for the design of leadership development programmes. Does it work…mostly it doesn’t.

One would expect GenZ not to show so much interest in pensions plans and health plans – but don’t bet on it – they are interested in much the same things as their older counterparts. It is a fact that people who chose to work for a specific company have a lot more in common across age and generation boundaries than one would expect. For example, a 70-year-old and a 25-year-old in the same energy company are much more closely aligned, than any GenZ engineer has with, say, a GenZ yoga teacher. Common interests, lifestyles and professional challenges are much more important in a work context than generational labeling. We have seen many Boomers happily work for Millennials. They key is being blind to stereotypes and working together for a shared, compelling purpose. This is where we’ve found that those that have built deep career experience but are unburdened by labelling dogma, possess an extraordinary transgenerational superpower. We think organisations should put the emphasis on values, quality of teams, and togetherness. Draw out what people have in common, rather than build generational walls. At the end of the day in any organisation the work to be done must bind people together. As Einstein once said, “Work is the only thing the gives meaning to life,” and thus work is what gives purpose to everyone irrespective of generation.

A Career Carol: A Tale of Professional

Nightmares and How to Navigate Them By Dr Helmut Schuster and Dr David Oxley is published on October 13 by Austin Macauley Publishers and is available on Amazon. 21


Learning environment that blends hands-on technical learning with knowledge and professional work experience

Photo: Pexels

The Croydon College Group, encompassing Croydon College, Coulsdon Sixth Form and Croydon University Centre, has a long history of delivering education.


roydon College offers a wide range of technical and vocational qualifications, including apprenticeships, which are career-based and are tailored towards real working environments and are designed to give students the best opportunities to gain the qualifications and skills they need for the career they want. The College has recently received over £60 million in investments and is planning further improvements. The College prides itself on top-quality teaching spaces, industry standard facilities, software, and equipment, as well as links to over 1,000 employers. Studying at the College prepares students for the workplace, by creating a learning

environment that blends hands-on technical learning with knowledge and professional work experience. Coulsdon Sixth Form College provides the young people of Coulsdon and the surrounding area with an exceptional sixth-form experience. Small enough to know each individual student, yet big enough to provide wide subject choice and access to amazing facilities and teachers who bring their industry experience to the classrooms, studios, and workshops. The choice of subjects at the College is extensive with 30 A Levels to choose from and a wide range of BTEC subjects. There is more choice at Coulsdon than many other school sixth forms or colleges and its small class sizes provide room for individual attention and support. Students can also build their own programme of study combining A Levels and BTECs where appropriate, allowing a specialist focus on their studies while boosting their UCAS points.

Croydon University Centre, located right in the heart of Croydon, are passionate about offering high quality, affordable university degrees and higher national programmes directly to community. Courses are designed with local stakeholders in industries with high demand including healthcare, nursing, teacher training and construction. Tuition is offered in small groups in a supportive and inclusive environment, making the Centre a truly unique place to study, with contact time built flexibly around existing work, childcare or other commitments. The College has a partnership with the University of Roehampton – one of the top ten universities in London. This collaborative partnership ensures the programmes are updated and incorporate important employability elements and essential academic skills within it. This allows students a real opportunity to further their career ambitions or progress to postgraduate opportunities beyond Croydon University Centre.

We have open events in October and November, find out more and register at, and 22


Why employer partnerships are no longer enough to tackle the skills crisis


he Further Education sector has long prided itself on having ‘excellent relationships’ with employers. Accordingly, colleges around the country have been collaborating on a level not seen before to help tackle skills gaps. Whether it’s via apprenticeship provision, work placements or some curriculum delivery, there is no doubting the value that strong, industry partnerships can have on students’ learning and progression.

And many employers recognise the benefits of engaging with colleges; enabling them to secure their future skills needs and influence the types of skills and behaviours being taught to the next generation of experts. Government skills policy has always been focused on the need for employers and educators to collaborate. The apprenticeship act of 1964 established the framework for young people to receive practical training alongside their academic education – and FE colleges have continued to play a crucial role, designing courses with local employers to meet the specific skills requirements of a regional workforce. There has been a growing emphasis on collaboration between higher education institutions and employers too. Degree apprenticeships are well regarded, together with research and development opportunities and work placements being integrated into HE programmes. The more recent apprenticeship levy and development of T Levels have further reflected the government’s support for employer-led training, and the fundamental role it needs to play in the growth of the economy.

By Louise Wolsey, Group Chief Strategy Officer, London & South East Education Group So, at first glance, the introduction of LSIPs (Local Skills Improvement Plans) is not revolutionary in terms of employer-educator partnerships. Arguably, they’re just another take on encouraging organisations to work together, with the aim of getting more people into good jobs. But having become fully immersed in developing the LSIF (Local Skills Improvement Fund) bid for the Local London region over the summer (which is our response to the LSIP), it’s clear that meeting the challenge of the skills crisis requires more than that. What we have realised and learned through the LSIF process is just how much more can be achieved when working collaboratively with other colleges, HEIs, training providers and local authorities – as opposed to just linking up with employers. Crucially, every organisation involved in this work has the same aim. We all want to meet employers’ skills demand, open up great local job opportunities for people in our communities and help support a thriving economy. This goes beyond just working with employers. This is about breaking down barriers - including any concern about ‘competition’ between colleges. It is about working as a regional collective to maximise the funding available and develop effective proposals that will achieve the greatest possible impact for local people.

❛❛Colleges are expert collaborators; we understand the needs of our students and we can adapt and flex to meet the needs of businesses.


By joining up with 12 other FE colleges across the Local London region, three universities, adult education providers, local authorities and many employers – we have been able to collectively design an approach that will address green and digital skills gaps across our whole region. This process has not been straightforward. It has taken time and, most importantly, has required genuine drive and commitment from every partner to make it work. But the skills crisis is not going away. We need to create a system that can operate with greater agility to meet the rapidly changing needs of the workforce. This isn't just about qualifications; it's about training people in the way that employers need, to respond to their ever-changing operating environment. Our focus on digital and green skills is just one example, but the picture is the same across multiple industry sectors. Colleges are expert collaborators; we understand the needs of our students and we can adapt and flex to meet the needs of businesses. But discrete college-employer partnerships alone are no longer enough to close the rapidly expanding skills gap.   Genuine engagement with stakeholders across the whole skills ecosystem – including local authorities, funding agencies and all types of education providers – is crucial if we are to develop, create and sustain long-term solutions and secure the necessary funding. What’s more, by creating this collaboration blueprint, we will have a far greater ability to influence and shape policy moving forward. The Local London LSIF is proof that there is strength in numbers and shows just how much impact can be achieved when people are committed to achieving a shared aim. This article was first published in FE Week on 22 September 2023 Employer partnerships alone won't solve the skills crisis (


The Peninsula Ballroom

Book the new Peninsula Ballroom and receive 3 complimentary Meeting Rooms. Available with Dinner Packages, DDR Special Offers, and Room Hire. Offer available until March 31st 2024

We are delighted to announce that the luxury hotel, InterContinental London - The O2 is set to open its doors to a second pillar-free ballroom named the 'Peninsula Ballroom', this coming Autumn of 2023. The Peninsula Ballroom will boast a private entrance separate to the hotel lobby, leading directly into an art-deco inspired pre-function foyer with a stylish bar and cloakrooms where guests can meet, greet and relax before the Peninsula Ballroom doors open. Accommodating over 1,000 guests with 1,300sqm of space, the ballroom boasts the ability to be configured into two separate soundproofed breakout rooms featuring state-of-the-art audio, visual and lighting technology, as well as three boardroom-style meeting rooms and green room. Moments away from the Peninsula Ballroom are the Riverview Suites, Arora Ballroom and Greenwich Suites, as well as luxurious accommodation at InterContinental London – The O2. With 453 stylish rooms and suites, a full-service spa with relaxation pool, an exclusive InterContinental Club Lounge, and five bespoke restaurants and bars, the in-house planning team are dedicated to making your next event truly unforgettable. For more information: Phone: +44 208 463 6868 E-mail: For media enquiries, please contact the team at

Live the InterContinental life.

The Arora Ballroom

Modern, dynamic and inspirational ballroom space. Step inside the UK’s largest pillar-free ballroom and see your event come to life. The Arora Ballroom can host up to 3,000 guests and is a leading destination in the U.K. for large-scale gala dinners, conferences, receptions, exhibitions, weddings, and banquets.

Discover more on our website

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Live the InterContinental life.

Cover Feature

Later Life Planning...

where to start By James Cole, Managing Director, Talis IFA In many respects, financial planning in ‘later life’ is no different to other life stages – think about what you want to achieve (your goals and aspirations), then consider what financial resources you have at your disposal to make it happen. Mitigate any risks that might derail your plans along the way and make sure that you’re doing all of this in the most tax-efficient way possible!

Simple, right?


ell, yes and no. If you’re reading this publication, you already know that a multitude of external factors will influence your decisionmaking let alone the action you take as a result. In later life, there are two specific factors that we will address in this article.

First, increasing age inevitably means more help which can look like a stay in a care home, and second, the distribution of assets that we leave behind starts to feel much more real to us and our loved ones. In truth, none of us knows when our time on this planet is up. The risk of accident or ill health could affect any of us. However, the longer we live, the greater the reality that it won’t be forever. Ironically the two factors mentioned above actually compete for our attention; greater wealth means you can afford to pay for the help you might require which in turn can mean a smaller legacy to leave behind. Each of us feels differently about leaving wealth to future generations with the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett famously declaring that most of their fortunes will be left to charitable foundations. We also attach sentimental value to certain assets, elevating the family home above cash in the bank, for example.


Image: Pixabay

Cover Feature The average stay in a care home is around two years so buying an annuity from an insurance company often represents very good value for money especially if it is index-linked to take account of rising fees in the future.

The great wealth transfer It is estimated that over £5tn (five trillion pounds!) will flow from baby boomers to younger generations over the next three decades. Undoubtedly much of this wealth is held in houses, but pensions and investment portfolios can be worth just as much or more. Inheritance tax (IHT) is famously described as an optional tax because there are so many ways to mitigate against it. Of course, if it was that simple the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) wouldn’t be predicting IHT receipts of £7bn in 2023/24 and £8bn by 2027/28. One of the reasons for this is that many people defer decision-making until it is too late or fail to understand the rules in sufficient detail, perhaps thinking that no action is required.


It is estimated that over £5tn (five trillion pounds!) will flow from baby boomers to younger generations over the next three decades. Undoubtedly much of this wealth is held in houses, but pensions and investment portfolios can be worth just as much or more. So first and foremost, it can be really helpful to get clear in your own mind if you’re up for ‘spending the kids’ inheritance’ (ski-ing!) or preserving wealth by whatever means necessary. In either case, don’t delay – book the flight and take the holiday, or start transferring assets that you can reasonably afford to live without right away.

Care-fees planning The cost of care in later life can certainly be eye-watering and successive governments have repeatedly failed to get to grips with the implications of an ageing society. Right now, there is a tug of war between the NHS, local authorities and private care providers that many of us have experienced firsthand. There is a growing trend of buying in-home care for as long as possible which can be


an attractive option. You still have all the costs of running your own home, but the additional cost of care is modest compared to moving into a facility that charges for the accommodation as well as the care. Under current legislation, you are responsible for the cost of care until your assets are depleted to just £23,250. If you own a house in the Southeast, the value of other assets is probably irrelevant. The local authority will also take account of your income so if you are fortunate enough to have a very large pension, you may find yourself ineligible for much support at all.

Given that most estates don’t pay IHT, it is perhaps more important to consider how your assets are distributed and ensure that they go to the people you want to benefit. With an increase in ‘blended families’ and a persistently high divorce rate, it is easy to imagine that your hard-earned wealth might be shared more widely than you had anticipated. In short, as we approach ‘later life’ it is essential to strike the right balance between using your wealth to enjoy your final years, and protecting any surplus for those you care about most. Ignoring these issues can be costly, but talking to a suitably qualified professional will help you prepare with confidence.

To find out more about how Talis IFA could assist with later life planning or any other financial advice please get in touch on 01233 722999 or visit

At the point care is required, there are two distinct options – simply fund the cost from your income and capital or secure an insurance policy (known as an annuity) to offset the risk of running out of money.


Talis Independent Financial Advisers operate throughout the South of England, supported by the head office team in Ashford. We offer impartial advice to businesses and private clients. Our experienced team of advisers can help with pensions, investments, estate planning, life assurance, mortgages, equity release and much more.

01233 722999 @talisifa

Cover Feature

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The Big Interview

Recruitment firm’s focus on going the extra mile – and even have the wheels to get you there! From Apprentice to Director, Danielle Cassidy FIRP, of MC Personnel Ltd, talks to Sarah Dale about her focus on nurturing young talent, how the business has overcome adversity, and how they are futureproofing the company to thrive for another 25 years.


anielle Cassidy is passionate about Recruitment as well as mentoring people and helping them climb their chosen career ladder.

MC Personnel Ltd, main hub based in Gillingham, are a busy Recruitment Business. At the core of their growth plan, training and development are key. The business offer apprenticeships internally to at least two people per year who are looking to enter the industry. Director, Danielle is especially passionate about this and assisting those looking to get back into work, especially young mothers. “I’m very keen on mentoring people who show willing and helping them to develop their careers” said Danielle, who started at the firm in 2000 on a YTS (Youth Training Scheme) herself and became Director this summer. “Getting young people excited about their future career is important to me. As a young mother myself, I didn’t want to have to make a choice between my family and my career. I wanted both! As a nation we are missing out on a huge amount of talent where parents, in particular mums, cannot afford to go back to work due to the cost of childcare or lack of support. Advances are being made, but there is still a long way to go”. “We are very strong on apprenticeships (for all ages!), it’s how I started, and it works. Across our senior and management team, many of these people started through this route. We support our teams with their career and personal development which includes professional qualifications up to degree level should they wish to embark on that journey. Empowering the team with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need is at the heart of how we operate”.


The recruitment firm has developed over its 25-year history. Established in 1998, the company was the brainchild of two women who saw a gap in the market for transporting temporary workers to their place of work, often in hard-to-reach places. With a fleet of up to 20 minibuses it is a service they still continue to provide. Historically, they specialise in Industrial recruitment. Engineering, Hospitality, Commercial and Driving Recruitment with expansion into the Exec search and C Suite level have all been added in successfully over the years. They typically service sectors throughout the Southeast, predominately Kent, Essex and London and typically have worked with employers to fulfil temporary requirements, although after just a few years they diversified into permanent recruitment also. They pride themselves on providing a personal service with “real people to talk to” and aim to be an extended arm of their client’s own personnel department. “Even with the continued investment into new technology to make our processes more streamlined, MCP will never lose that personal touch. You will always be able to speak to someone dedicated to your needs”. Danielle is very proud that her team of 25 were able to adapt and helped to provide many Key Workers throughout the pandemic, many of these were part of the chain that ensured the essentials we all needed were available on the shelves. The Cost-of-living Crisis and changes to immigration laws following Brexit has contributed to create “a perfect storm”

of challenges for many in the industry, including MC Personnel. “The increase in National Living Wage in April had a knock-on effect, ultimately, we had to pass this cost onto the end hirer which is then passed on until the increase reaches the consumer. People may be earning more, but we are all paying more for day-to-day items. Increasing NLW alone is not going to help solve the issue, as employers and businesses we have to adapt and think outside the box”. “End hirers have, on occasion had to make the difficult choice to leave their orders unfilled, leaving supermarket shelves unstocked either due to price or a lack of people available. Following Brexit, a huge amount of people left the UK and it is now much more difficult for people to enter and work here”

The Big Interview “Industrial recruitment has always been at our core and our niche, we have also added many strings to our bow over the years including Events which has really taken off. There are not many recruiters that are able to offer a larger number of staff as well as transportation for them. As an example, we can provide up to 70 waiting staff over the Christmas period to just one venue alone. A lot of people who work in hospitality may be students and don’t have their own transport. If they are working at festivals or at events they may not finish until midnight and can’t use public transport. We can take them there and back and make sure they get home safe and sound”. To celebrate their 25th anniversary of business, they have had several different events and promotions taking place throughout the year. Recently the Mayor of Medway, Cllr Nina Gurung came along to the office where she spoke to the team at length and enjoyed some celebration cakes and photographs. All the team have been out delivering treats to their clients and work force to say thank you. There is also a special offer running for the rest of the year on permanent placements. In October, Danielle has organised a company weekend away for the team. “As an industry we went through a period where candidates were in short supply. Being based in Kent we have always had a large migrant workforce within our borders, and many seemed to disappear overnight! We had to think and adapt quickly. By working and listening to our clients’ struggles, needs and future plans, we were able to navigate our way through them together. Some solutions included changing working patterns to either extend days, add in shifts, offer more flexible working etc… Parttime workers (such as students) now make up a larger portion of our contingent work force which is ideal for them to gain working experience whilst filing a gap for employers. We increased our marketing budget significantly and following a successful Kickstart placement internally, we now employ our Marketing and

"To celebrate their 25th anniversary of business, they have had several different events and promotions taking place throughout the year. Recently the Mayor of Medway, Cllr Nina Gurung came along to the office where she spoke to the team at length and enjoyed some celebration cakes and photographs."

Social Media Manager rather than outsourcing. This gives us full control and she really knows our business and where we need to push advertising etc… Some of the things she can do still blows my mind! We have worked very closely with local government, job centres, attended jobs and career events more than ever before.” After a tricky couple of years for the Recruitment Industry, Danielle, who joined the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce over a year ago, is positive of the future of not only MC Personnel but the job market also. “The demand for temporary staff reduced over the last 18 months however I am delighted to say that has started changing and the outlook for 2024 / 2025 is looking much more positive!” The demand for MC Personnel’s assistance in permanent contracts has increased by over 100% over the past 5 years and their continued growth within the Events and Hospitality sectors has seen a significant increase over the past couple of years. The company was acquired 51/2 years ago when the original founders felt it was the right time and in very capable hands. In 2022 the company undertook the task to rebrand and modernise the overall look including a new logo and website. Next year, this continues following recent investment in new technology to further assist their Recruitment staff to save time on administrative tasks and match even more suitable candidates to vacancies as well as an office refurb to keep in line with the rebrand. “One thing that we pride ourselves on is being personable”, added Danielle.

“The team works so hard. Recruitment can be very stressful and throughout it all they all stay so upbeat and positive. I can’t wait to see everyone letting their hair down, they thoroughly deserve it!” she added. Danielle is proud to be a member of the Chamber calling it “an additional support system in the business hub of Kent”. “The Chamber has helped to put us in touch with other members. It is not only about picking up additional business though, speaking to people in a range of businesses about what’s happening to them and how it’s affecting employers is so worthwhile” she said. “Because we deal with employers daily, it’s good to know how we can support them further and understand their challenges alongside our own. “To new members, I would always advise them to check out the Events Calendar. The Chamber held a Social Media course recently which my Marketing Manager attended, and she said it was brilliant, very worthwhile and it was free!” She added: “There are lots of great Recruitment companies out there, we often work together. I firmly believe that the fact that MCP is a service-led business is what makes us one of the best in Kent. We don’t pretend to always be the cheapest but in the long run we are cost effective. Our service and ability to go beyond the normal or expected is what sets us apart. Standards are non-negotiable if we work together. People are our product so it will never be perfect but it will be an honest and hopefully long-term partnership when you work with us!”



EMPLOYER BOARDS LAUNCHED to help create green and digital jobs across Local London

Employers, Local Authorities and Education Providers have come together to develop three advisory boards, with the aim of helping to create more jobs in the green and digital sectors.


art of the Local London Green Skills and Jobs Partnership, each advisory board will have around 20 members, focusing on the following areas: Green, Digital and Social Engagement.

Liz Lake, Development Director at London South East Colleges, who leads the project, added: “If we are to effectively tackle the skills gap and help get people from all backgrounds into great jobs, it’s vital that we work collaboratively. The Advisory Boards we are launching today bring together employers, educators and Local Authorities – all experts in their fields and able to share their unique insight with the aim of creating exciting opportunities.

Members of each board include employers and industry experts, representatives from Local Authorities across the Local London region and further education providers. Led by London South East Colleges, the partnership was established in February 2022. This was in response to findings from the PanLondon Green Jobs and Skills Research, which revealed the skills gap being faced in the Capital. The Mayoral Skills Academy Hub is one of the programmes being supported by the partnership. The expert contribution of the new advisory boards will help create new jobs within the priority sectors of green and digital – particularly for people who are disadvantaged. The boards will meet on a quarterly basis. The Green Board will be headed up by Mark Jenkinson, CEO of green consultants, Crystal Associates, the Digital Board by specialist green and digital consultant Jo Tasker, and the Social Engagement Advisory Board by London South East Colleges’ Loraine Williams, Project Manager of the Partnership. The three boards were launched today at a special event held at the London City Institute

of Technology in Newham. Guests included representatives from across the Local London region, all supporting the collaboration and the need to work together to address the skills issues. Introducing the event, Mark Jenkinson from Crystal Associates said: "As industry specialists, we absolutely know the challenges we are facing in terms of skills gaps - particularly in the green and digital industries. But we are also aware of the many, exciting job opportunities that are opening up across the region. "By working together with employers, educators and other stakeholders, we can ensure that people have access to the jobs that are being created particularly people from disadvantaged groups. "We are really grateful to everyone who has committed time and expertise to our boards. We look forward to working with them all; collaboration is absolutely key to having a greater impact."

“We are hugely grateful to all our partners for joining us in this endeavour, which is set to benefit communities right across the Local London region.” One of the employers attending the event was GetZero. CTO and Co-Founder, Matthew Robinson, said: “The launch event was a high energy gathering of people from a diverse group of employers, educators and specialists, all keen to find practical ways to promote and provide green skills, giving people access to the growing number of good green jobs”.

For more information about the Local London Green Jobs and Skills Partnership and the members involved, visit: Local London Green Jobs and Skills Partnership - High-quality Green Skills Training (

Celebrating the success of our outstanding pupils

The remarkable achievements of over 130 children and young people have been celebrated at the annual London South East Academies Trust awards evening.


ringing together nine schools from across Bromley, Bexley, Lambeth and Surrey, along with the Trust’s music service and alternative curriculum college – the special event took place at Fairfield Halls in Croydon. Pupils were presented with awards for many different achievements, from most progress made, academic achievement and attendance, through to resilience, sports and community. London South East Academies Trust is a multiacademy trust comprising Mainstream, Special and Alternative Provision schools across the region. These are: Bromley Trust Academy (Hayes, Midfield and Blenheim), Bromley Beacon Academy (Orpington and Bromley), Bramley Oak Academy (Guildford), Aspire Academy (Bexley), Heron Academy (Lambeth) Horizons Academy (Bexley), Endeavour Academy (Bexley), Belmont Academy (Bexley) and Woodside Academy (Bexley).

Awards were also presented to students of Bexley Music and London South East Colleges’ Alternative Curriculum College, which are also part of the Trust.

“I am extremely grateful to our staff, our trustees, stakeholders and parents for the continued support they provide. Thank you for everything you do, which makes celebrations like tonight possible.”

During the event, guests were treated to fantastic performances by Bexley Music students, with a wonderful solo performance by Binu Tenakoon.

Deputy CEO of London South East Academies Trust and compere for the evening, Neil Miller, added: “Our schools are very special places and tonight’s event rightly celebrated the many successes of these amazing children and young people. Bexley Music provided us with stunning performances and Noise Academy, with our two BBA students, was brilliant."

Two pupils from Bromley Beacon Academy – Tony Lee Lovell and Harry Thompson - also wowed guests with a DJ performance. This was in partnership with Noise Academy – an organisation which works with young people to promote music technology and helps them pursue interests and careers in the music industry. CEO of London South East Academies Trust, Dr Sam Parrett CBE, welcomed pupils and guests to the event, saying: “As our network continues to grow and we welcome new schools into our Trust, I am so proud of the work we do and the impact our schools have within their communities.

The Chair of London South East Academies Trust, Rama Venchard, was among the guests attending the event. He said: "This evening's celebration was a wonderful reflection of the hard work and commitment that staff and pupils put in daily. All our schools do a remarkable job, changing lives through fantastic education and care. Well done to everyone involved."



LONDON STANDS TALL as a global city making positive change across the world


James Watkins, Head of Policy and Public Impact at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, talks to Sarah Dale about new initiatives adopted by the LCCI to benefit London and its business community and their work to forge stronger international links.

ames Watkins has recently returned from a “moving and emotional” business trip to Ukraine to build on the work LCCI Chief Executive Richard Burge and his team started in January.

“What struck me most was how determined the people are, their resilience and their positivity,” said James, Head of Policy and Public Impact at LCCI.

“It was a very practical visit, but it was very emotional too to be honest. The resilience of the people is remarkable. I have never been to a country at war before, so I knew I had to be mentally prepared before I went. In Lviv, there was an air raid warning because a Russian missile struck nearby.

“Our trip was to build on the incredible visit by Richard in January,” said James, who has been inspired to learn Ukrainian to further assist his work with the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce.

We were talking to small business owners when the news of another missile attack came through. We went for a walk in a park in Kyiv and there was another air raid warning, but there was nowhere for us to go so we kept walking. A woman was singing Hallelujah and a ballet dancer was dancing and they just carried on. Normally, there would be applause, but everyone just stood together and took a moment.”

“We achieved a number of successes. We signed an agreement which will bring the UK and the UAE together to support Ukraine; we are working with the Ukrainian Government and SMEs in Ukraine on how to engage with

The LCCI and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce are working together to hold regular webinars for Ukrainian businesses in addition to face-to-face meetings in Krakow, Poland and Dubai.

Igor Bartkiv, Ukraine Project Officer at LCCI, accompanied James on the trip, which included visits to Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv.


the UK market; we have agreed to develop an online platform to bring Ukrainian and British businesses together; and we are working with another Ukrainian Government department to work on identifying Joint Venture projects.

The Chambers formed strong links through working together during Eurovision, which was held in Liverpool in May. Another way the LCCI is hoping to support the Ukrainian business community is by working with London Fashion Week in February to showcase Ukrainian fashion designers. Further afield, 12 London-based businesses went with Marta Kozlowska, Head of International at the LCCI, to Bangalore in India for a Start-Up Festival. This global approach to working with businesses has led the LCCI to offer an international membership. “London is a global city and it is about recognising our responsibility as such,” he said. In London, the economic landscape is “looking good”, says James. “We can fall into the trap of talking down London, but fundamentally, London contributes over 20% towards UK GDP and it’s still the base for Fintech, the pharmaceutical industry, some American films are filmed in Soho, most of the


“We were also pushing for a grace period because the Chinese Government has put a delay on the release of rare earths which are used in micro chips used in the production of electrical vehicles. One of the other suppliers of rare earths is Russia which has been hit by sanctions. Now as long as you can show proof that you have bought it, you will be given a grace period.” They are also lobbying against the “stringent cuts” to Arts Council funding. “The arts in London provide £46 billion of revenue in the UK which is quite staggering,” he said. “Just before Christmas, the Arts Council announced the stringent cuts. This was very harmful. London is the gateway for tourists across the UK. To cut the arts in London is levelling down the whole country. We have written to the Arts Minister and the Arts Council to urge them to reverse the cuts and, at the very least, to stop any further cuts.” From left to right - Olena Shyrokova, President of the UAE - Ukrainian Business Council, Igor Bartkiv, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ukraine Project Manager, James Watkins, Head of Policy and Public Impact at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry listening to Gennadiy Chyzhykov, President of the Ukrainian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

gaming is designed here. London is still driving the economy forward, thanks to the entrepreneurialism of our business community doing an incredible job. Our members are optimistic and so am I.” The LCCI has recently become an officially accredited Living Wage employer. “We felt that, as a team, to be successful we have to be ethical and have to do the right thing and lead from the front,” said James. “We are really proud to be a Living Wage employer and we believe passionately that it is the decent thing to do and that it is good for the economy too.”

“It should not be seen as an extra tax during the cost-of-living-crisis. At the same time, we needed to look at the practicalities of the scheme.” Mayor Sadiq Khan’s announcement to widen access to financial help to every Londoner with a non-compliant vehicle from 21st August and extending the “grace period” of the scheme so business owners can comply has been hailed a success. “We lobbied for the vehicle scrappage scheme to be available to small businesses and that now covers three vehicles per firm,” he added.

Another issue the LCCI is keen to tackle is the safety of female Chamber members who have expressed rising concerns following the high-profile criminal cases against some Metropolitan Police officers. They are working with both the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police to ensure misogyny and racism have no place in any community. “We are in a dialogue with the police and recently set up a business crime group looking at the safety of women, cyber and IT crime, retail crime and financial fraud,” he said. “We will be working with the police and local authorities to ensure the safety of all our boroughs. I do genuinely think we are moving forwards to generate positive change.”

As well as supporting its members, one of the key roles of the LCCI is to lobby the Government on issues that are pertinent to the business community such as the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), cuts to arts funding and Government support for SMEs.

❛❛We are really proud to be a Living Wage

“The LCCI has always accepted the evidence the Mayor of London has provided regarding the effects of poor air quality and the tragic case of Ella Adoo Kissi-Debrah who lived near the South Circular Road and died as a consequence of poor air quality, and we believe it is right to take action,” he said.

that it is the decent thing to do and that

employer and we believe passionately


it is good for the economy too.


Past Events

Making the right connections

Each month the Chamber hosts a variety of events which offer members a superb opportunity to meet and chat to fellow business people. Here, we review a few of our past events.

Bexley Office Drinks at Metro Bank We were joined by SELCC Members and other like-minded professionals & entrepreneurs at the Metro Bank in Bexleyheath for an informative evening of Networking. Starting off the evening, we had our very own Board Member, Mark Jenkinson, give a brief introduction on Sustainability and our SP, ITS Technology Group, and how they are bringing fast fibre to South East London through their partnership with Royal Borough of Greenwich. One of the highlights of the evening was a talk from Emma Sampson from the Business & Employment team at Bexley Council, who shared valuable insights into local business programmes, employment support, and other opportunities available to SMEs in the borough. We would like to give a special thanks to Metro Bank for sponsoring and hosting this event, providing delightful drinks & snacks for our guests. Credit: Warren King Photography

What sustainability really means for businesses?

What it means to be a Digital Business with Digital Greenwich Connect

We had a fascinating & interactive webinar from Luisa Sykes, a lecturer from CU London’s North Greenwich campus, who is involved with the BSc Energy Management Programmes and IEMA Sustainability short courses available at the university, as well twenty year’s consultancy experience in the energy sector.

Throughout the month of August, in Partnership with Digital Greenwich Connect, the full fibre networking in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, we ran a three-part series, each covering an introduction to everything a growing business would need to know to be future fit, prepared for growth and change.

Webinar with CU London

She took our attendees through the transition a business should take to improve their sustainability approach and why they should be switching to greener energies, and the benefits that their businesses would be open to having should they embrace it.


Our Speakers included Justin Robinson, who has worked in IT and Digital Communication sales and business development for over 25 years, working for some of the largest and smallest businesses in the world. And Charles Lyon, Operations Director at ConnetU, a London based provider of unified data centre services.

Why SMEs need Cybersecurity with Bryan Altimas Our Member, Riverside Court Consulting, and their Director and Founder, Bryan Altimas, joined us for a webinar that taught our attendees about how their business can become more cyber secure and the simple practical steps they can take to improve your digital security. Bryan Altimas has over 25 years’ of experience in Technology Risk and Cyber Security. He has provided pragmatic cyber security, data protection, and regulatory compliance for large organisations internationally, he now aims to bring big-4 quality cyber security consultancy to the SME market. He showed us where exactly to increase security, and why you should quickly improve it to ensure you don’t become a target.

Past Events

Evening at Davy’s Vintners Yard Our esteemed Members and Strategic Partners were honored to join us for a truly exceptional evening hosted at Davy’s Vintners Yard, a delightful collaboration made possible through our valued member, Davy’s Wine Merchants, an independent, family-owned wine merchant with a rich legacy dating back to its founding in 1870. Our guests were warmly welcomed with a complimentary drink to kick off the evening. To cater to diverse tastes, they were also given the delectable choice between a gourmet burger and mouthwatering pizza. It was a delightful evening of networking and many guests had not visited Vintner’s Yard which lies behind the Wine Vaults. Vintner’s Yard has its own entrance off Waller Way, close to the DLR. Guests visiting the exciting Houdini’s Escape Rooms above the Wine Vaults have to choose between: Escape From Alcatraz, Escape from RMS Titanic or Room 13. After an exciting 60 mins experience, the teams can return to Vintner’s Yard to enjoy the food and drink we enjoyed. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to James Davy and Davy’s Wine Merchants for hosting the evening. Warren King, caught an excellent picture of two former front page stars of the Masthead. Tajinder Bhambra, ASN (Oct 22) and James Davy (Jan 23), thankfully not sitting in the Escape Room’s electric chair. Credit: Warren King Photography

Croydon Sales Club

with Sales Geek South London

Our first Sales Club in Croydon, in Partnership with Sales Geek South London, was a huge success and was an unforgettable experience for all attendees. We saw a diverse group of business leaders, managers and entrepreneurs, and sales professional coming together for an insight day of networking and learning, including how to maintain focus and harness their untapped potential, setting the stage for personal and professional growth. We want to give a huge thank you to 56 Westow for hosting this event, and for kindly providing nibbles for our guests, we look forward to holding future Sales meetings soon.

Virtual Coffee Meeting with Clive Efford MP and Rushanara Ali MP

SELCC Summer BBQ We were so pleased to be welcomed with warm weather at our annual BBQ this year, the food offerings were nothing short of exceptional, from the robust flavours of Lebanese styled chicken and Turkish Lamb Shish Marinade Skewers to desserts like Watermelon Surprise, and Kadayif Pistachio Twisted Rolls.

To each of our members who attended, we thank you for being part of this remarkable event. Your support and enthusiasm are what makes these gatherings truly exceptional. Credit: Paul Sanders Photography

Greenwich Office Drinks We had a wonderful night of networking at Alcatel Submarine Network’s manufacturing plant on the River in East Greenwich, where they have been sited since 1819.

We were joined earlier this month by Clive Efford, MP for Eltham, and Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, and currently serving as the Shadow Minister for Investment and Small Business, where a fascinating debate took place regarding how the next Labour Government plans to support business growth.

Our Strategic Partners, ASN and Digital Greenwich Connect/ITS Technology Group sponsored this event, and we want to thank them for providing non-alcoholic drinks and delicious canapés. Thank you to ASN Greenwich and their Managing Director, Tajinder Bhambra for hosting us and speaking.

Did you miss the meeting? You can watch it back on our website, please find the link here:

Guests also heard from Justin Robinson, Account Director at ITS, where he discussed their plans to bring connectivity to Royal Greenwich & South East London as a whole. Credit: Warren King Photography


Forthcoming Events

FORTHCOMING EVENTS Smart & Sustainable Building Masterclass Tuesday 31 October 2023, 08.30 – 10.30 Factoring in ESG in real estate is gradually becoming a requirement across the sector but there’s a long way to go. The challenge for many companies is how to move from strategy to practice. Join our member, Crystal Associates, partnered with haysmacintyre, for breakfast, networking, and a great panel discussion, focusing on all things ESG! To book, please go to

Bromley Office Drinks At Thackray Williams Wednesday 22nd November 2023 17.30 – 19.30 Informal Networking: Meet and connect with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and professionals in an informal and welcoming atmosphere Delicious Snacks and Refreshments: Provided for by Thackray Williams LLP, Guests will enjoy a variety of delicious snacks and refreshing drinks throughout the night.

Keynote Speaker – Mark Jenkinson: We have Mark Jenkinson, Director at Crystal Associates and SELCC Board Member, as our guest speaker. Mark will be sharing insights on Green Skills and actionable steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint, leading to a more sustainable planet.

SELCC Charity Quiz Night Thursday 23rd November 2023, 18.30 – 22.00

Get ready for an unforgettable night of quizzing for a living-saving cause! Members and Non-Members are all invited to join us at The Clarendon Hotel overlooking Blackheath on Thursday 23rd November, for an evening filled with questions, fun, and delicious bangers & mash (with a vegetarian option available) Not only will you have the chance to test your knowledge and win exciting prizes, but you’ll also be supporting a vital cause – London’s Air Ambulance Charity. This organisation strives to deliver an advanced trauma team to London’s most seriously injured patients, making a significant difference in emergency medical care. Here’s what you can expect: Teams of 10 maximum – Grab your spot now! £20 (+VAT) per person – All proceeds go to London’s Air Ambulance Charity Cash bar available – Enjoy Refreshing drinks before the quiz

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Forthcoming Events

SELCC Virtual AGM 2023 Tuesday 28th November 2023, 16.00 – 17.00 Join us for our highly anticipated Annual General Meeting (AGM) of 2023 – an exclusive virtual meeting designed for our valued members. It’s a unique opportunity to gain in-depth insights into the inner workings of the chamber and learn more about the organisation, key objectives, and structure.

SELCC Christmas Lunch 2023 Thursday 14th December 2023 12.30 – 14.30 Fee: Member £39+VAT Non-Member £46+VAT We are excited to announce that we will be hosting our SELCC Christmas Lunch this year at the wonderful Bromley Court Hotel – this is a great opportunity to spread some joy and celebrate the spirit of togetherness with our valued members and business partners. It’s a time to reflect on the successes and to look forward to the years ahead. At the Christmas Lunch, you can expect a delightful three-course meal, which includes Beer, Wine, Soft Drinks, and complimentary Tea & Coffee. This will be our final networking event of the year, giving you the chance to meet people from businesses across our five boroughs of Royal Greenwich, Lewisham, Bromley, Bexley, and Croydon.

To BOOK EVENTS please visit 39



on the future of Lewisham Lewisham 2030 – an ambitious project aimed at defining hopes and aspirations for the borough to the end of the decade – has been launched.


he initiative is committed to preserving and improving the best parts of Lewisham while addressing what matters most to local communities.

An online survey, which takes just 10 minutes to complete, has been launched.

should look like and identify the steps needed to achieve it.

Other events are being shared across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and listed in libraries and community spaces.

The council will work closely with partners across the borough to focus on the needs and aspirations of people in Lewisham, working together to achieve more than any one organisation could alone.

Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, said: “We want to hear from as many people as possible and for them to share their ideas, no matter how big or small.

“By bringing together partners from across Lewisham, we can shape a better and more inclusive Lewisham for generations to come.”

There are different ways to get involved so the project can hear from as many people as possible who live, work and study in Lewisham.


“As well as launching our online survey we will be talking to people with in-person events.

The project hopes to launch the Lewisham 2030 Community Action Plan in spring 2024. This collaborative plan will embody the shared vision for Lewisham as a vibrant place to live, work, study, visit and invest in.

“Your input is invaluable as we collectively explore what the future of Lewisham

The Lewisham 2030 online survey closes on October 29.

Accreditation success for Bexley Business & Employment Bexley’s Business & Employment service (BBE) is celebrating after regaining matrix Standard accreditation.


he news sees BBE regain accreditation under the new standard for another three years.

The matrix Standard is the Department for Education’s (DfE) standard for ensuring the delivery of high-quality information, advice and guidance. It helps providers to improve their services by benchmarking against best practice and accredits those that meet the standard. The matrix Standard, originally introduced in 2002, was revised for 2023 reflecting the evolving landscape of work and career development. The BBE team is based in Erith High Street and works from other Bexley outreach locations. Councillor Cafer Munur, Bexley’s Cabinet Member for Growth, said: “This is the first time that the BBE as a stand-alone service has been accredited by the DfE. “We are delighted with the assessor’s report and the feedback we have received, which all highlights the brilliant work of the entire BBE team and the high standard that they work to.”

The Standard is delivered by the Growth Company and is applicable in all IAG – information, advice and guidance – settings. Roger Chapman, Head of the matrix Service for The Growth Company, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for BBE and I would like to congratulate the team on their success. “We believe that at the heart of high-quality advice and support services are strong leadership, excellent service and a focus on continuous improvement, all underpinned by effective use of the resources available. “The matrix Standard is designed to benchmark organisations against best practice in these areas. With their accreditation success, BBE is working to provide the best possible support to their clients.” The assessor spoke to BBE clients, partners and staff and heard a detailed outline of how BBE helps Bexley residents into sustainable employment. BBE clients described feeling safe, happy and supported in their feedback. The council’s employment services have continued to maintain the matrix Standard for many years. The former Resources plus received it prior to 2017 then again when the service was based at the LECB in 2020.

❛❛The matrix Standard is designed to benchmark organisations against best practice


Industry experts join Croydon’s Design Review Panel Industry experts have been appointed to Croydon Council’s newly launched Design Review Panel.


he 31 members and four chairs are using their areas of expertise to advise the council on major planning proposals, capital projects, regeneration and development projects in the borough.

The panel was first formed in 2016 and has been refreshed to include members from different specialisms, while making sure it represents the Croydon community. It is self-funded, with the cost being met by developers. Through a rigorous selection process, the council appointed panellists with experience in planning, architecture, urban design, culture, landscape design, green infrastructure and placemaking. They will meet regularly to review all major development schemes in Croydon, town centre regeneration proposals and Growth Zone and public realm improvement projects, providing impartial advice to the council. The Design Review Panel will support these priorities by assessing proposals to make sure they enhance the unique character of Croydon’s communities, as part of Executive Mayor Jason Perry’s commitment to restoring pride in the borough. Among the schemes the panel will be examining are planning applications for major development and regeneration projects, infrastructure and highways, parks, street furniture, public realm and public art projects. Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon, said: “This revitalised and enhanced Design Review Panel will play a key role in making sure that major planning, public space, regeneration and development projects being proposed will vastly improve our town and district centres for residents and businesses, while protecting their character.

BBE is working to provide the best possible

“We have selected a panel of experts with knowledge and experience from a broad range of disciplines who will be able to support planning application decisions, guide our plans and help our towns and districts to thrive.

support to their clients.

“We welcome the new panel members and look forward to hearing their views.”

in these areas. With their accreditation success,



Arts & Culture

Celebrate Diwali at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich


rom live music to light shows, the Diwali: Shine Your Light festival promises to be a treat for the senses at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Every year, the museum hosts a free familyfriendly celebration featuring live music, workshops, art displays, light shows and more. The museum has teamed up with Mehala Ford, founder of south Asian arts collective, COMMONGROUNDS, to curate this year’s Diwali celebrations, which will be held on Saturday 11th November from 11.30am to 5pm. “Diwali is a festival that celebrates new beginnings, wealth and prosperity and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness,” explains Mehala. “It is observed around the world by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. “Shared rituals and ceremonies, such as those that take place at Diwali, can offer us a sense of belonging. New rituals and ceremonies are emerging and old ones are being revised to include people who do not identify themselves as traditionally religious, bringing people together based on a sense of community, rather than shared religious beliefs.” This year’s theme is ‘Shine Your Light’, a chance “to celebrate the light within all of us, highlighting creativity, joy and wellbeing”.



Thamesmead’s talented youth shone at the annual, community-powered festival.


ance, music, poetry, community stalls, family activities, food and drink and the annual dog show all featured at this year’s Thamesmead Festival, which is organised by local residents and showcases talent from one of London’s most creative neighbourhoods.

This year’s celebration, which took place on Saturday 12 August was expanded to spotlight young talent with the new Wanderlust Hill Stage, entirely programmed and co-produced by local youth collective The South East Way. Over six months, eleven 14–16-year-olds, brought together by community arts project Three Rivers, learned about every aspect of putting on a show, from prop making and set-building to DJing and programming the young local acts. The stage was a major success on the day with acts including young talent Jabz, four-piece rockers Everything in Mono, alternative hip hop artist Lavs, singer-songwriter HURU, UK-based K-Pop dance group Paradox, soul songstress Taite Imogen and pop-punk band Breakup Haircut, all of whom performed against a beautiful, Alice in Wonderland-inspired backdrop, designed, and created by the teenagers. Speaking to ITV News on the day of the festival Everything in Mono who “play rock music loudly” and range in age from 15-18 said: “When we were growing up in the area there weren’t opportunities to perform other than in the pub down the road. To get the opportunity to perform on a stage like this is a big deal”. Speaking with Robert Elms about the Wanderlust Hill Stage on BBC Radio London, South East Way member Lola Holdstock-Supersad said: “That’s our bit. We’re proud of it. It’s our stage. We’ve designed the stage; we’ve picked the acts. Thamesmead and Abbey Wood have a big youth culture. Wanderlust Hill is by the youth, for the youth.” On the Park Stage the House Gospel Choir brought the festival to a soulful finale, with a

rapturous repertoire of club anthems and gospel classics paired with uplifting vocals that filled Southmere Park with euphoric vibes. Jerusha Ujanga of the Festival Production Group, made up of local residents, said "The festival is all about community involvement, community unity and diversity. We want everyone to come here and feel represented". Funded by Peabody, which is putting culture at the heart of its long-term regeneration of Thamesmead, this free, family-friendly festival is co-produced by local residents in partnership with event producers Serious. The entire festival is programmed and led by the Festival Production Group, made up of 14 residents’ representative of Thamesmead’s diverse cultures and neighbourhoods. Dance and performance are woven into the rhythm of life at Thamesmead, which is home to several dance companies including Greenwich Dance, The London College of Performing Arts and Dynamix Dance School. On the Southmere Stage dance performances included hip hop, Afrobeat and street dance from Dynamix; competitive cheerleading from Utopia Cheer; and Thamesmead-born TikTok dance sensation Dancer Ras. Performer and choreographer Melissa Rayne and her dancers invited audience members to join in with a creative dance workshop, and 14-year-old Ruky Star whose debut single Watch Me Now was released to raise awareness about brittle bone disease, gave a special performance. Lisa Drew, Peabody’s Cultural Programme Manager said: “This year’s festival felt like the best one yet, with great young bands performing on our new Wanderlust Hill Stage, lots of local talent showing their work on and off stage and the House Gospel Choir finishing the day with a brilliant all-singing, all-dancing set! Putting this on is a real community effort and would not be possible without all the hard work from our residents in the Festival Production Group, the South East Way and my colleagues at Peabody.”

Arts & Culture

New arts and culture activity for local communities The Royal Borough of Greenwich is excited to announce the nine organisations to receive Community Arts funding to deliver arts and culture activities across the borough until April 2024.


he Community Arts Fund supports local organisations across the borough to deliver new arts and culture activity for local communities.

Learn about the projects:

These community-based organisations

• Greenwich Winter Night Shelter – Pottery Workshops at Greenwich Winter Night Shelter Day Centre: A series of pottery sessions followed by an

will engage a wide range of community members in the arts, particularly young people, older people and underrepresented groups within the borough. This year’s programme will provide £50K in funding to nine organisations to put on events and activities to help increase access to the arts throughout the borough. Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities, said: “At the Royal Borough of Greenwich we’re committed to developing networks with communities and key partners to address local needs together. The Community Arts Fund is an excellent opportunity to bring residents and communities together and reach those who may not have the chance to take part in arts and culture otherwise. “Engaging in the arts brings so many wellbeing benefits for our residents from reducing stress and increasing relaxation to meeting new people. “We know there is so much artistic talent in the borough, and we are excited to partner with these groups to engage even more people with the arts and bring out the creative spirit and hidden artists within our community.”

• Age UK Bromley & Greenwich – Sherard Road Creative Collective: Creative art workshops ranging from Batik to embroidery and stained glass, ending with an exhibition displaying artworks made by local residents.

exhibition at Greenwich Winter Night Shelter Day Centre, Middle Park Avenue.

• TARU Arts – Samba Troupe: A 12-week community samba drumming group workshop for all ages, with no experience required, to learn and play Brazilianstyle drumming and perform at local events over the Christmas period.

• UK Latin Community CIC – Latin Expo: A celebration that highlights and honours the Latin American community with traditional dance, music, food, interactive workshops and folkloric activities in Woolwich Works.

• Young London Print Prize – Young London Print Prize: A series of printing workshops in schools to enter a competition which will be exhibited at Woolwich Contemporary print fair.

• Anna Fiorentini Theatre & Film School – Performing Arts Access for Children: Performing arts workshops for children and young people with two community performances.

• Black Female Entrepreneur Greenwich – Benin Cultural Theatre Play: A series of community theatre workshops based on the Benin Kingdom Live Theatre Play for local residents to take part in and final live performances to enjoy.

• Everyone’s A Singer CIC – Reggae & Soul Jam: Deepening Community: A series of workshops to learn to sing and write music inspired by ska, reggae, soul, afrobeats, R&B and pop, followed by a performance in Cutty Sark.

To view the full calendar of events of the Community Arts Fund visit:





Councillors have celebrated the final concrete pour on a 100% affordable development of 304 apartments and houses in Woolwich The topping out ceremony marked a major milestone in the construction of Trinity Park, which consists of 262 homes to be let at London Affordable Rent to local people on the Council’s housing register, with a further 42 homes available via shared ownership.


f the London Affordable Rent homes, 175 are Royal Borough of Greenwich council homes, part of its 1,750 home Greenwich Builds programme, while the rest are Paragon Asra housing association properties.

Each home will be built in accordance with the Future Homes Standard and will take into account upcoming changes to building regulations, through the use of sustainable technologies like air source heat pumps and solar panels. One in ten of the homes are wheelchair adapted, and all meet or exceed the Nationally Described Space Standards. Trinity Park is being built on the site of the former Morris Walk North estate as part of the Woolwich Estates regeneration project, which will create a total of 1,576 new homes. 677 will be made available at truly affordable rents to people on the housing register, while a further 167 homes will be shared ownership. The remaining 732 homes will be for private sale. Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Anthony Okereke, said: “I am immensely proud of the role the Council has played in driving forward the partnership with Lovell and Paragon Asra, which is maximising the provision of affordable homes for those most in need in our borough. “Once complete, Trinity Park will provide highquality homes for over 300 local families and individuals currently on our housing register. This is just one example of how we are delivering on our commitment to make sure everyone in Royal Greenwich has access to a safe and secure home.

“We look forward to seeing Trinity Park completed as part of a newly revitalised and re-energised Woolwich”. Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Councillor Aidan Smith, said: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich had the highest number of new affordable homes started of any London borough last year, and developments like Trinity Park are a key element in our success at delivering affordable housing for all. “Extensive landscaping will make for a thriving, green neighbourhood, perfectly complementing a newly revitalised and re-energised Woolwich, while our social value requirement means that the local community will further benefit from the building of these homes in the form of jobs, apprenticeships and more”. Lovell Managing Director, Mick Laws, said: “We are delighted to see the next phase of this expansive project reaching this milestone and we look forward to delivering another high quality batch of homes for the people of Greenwich”. Trinity Park will provide a mix of homes alongside landscaped communal areas, play spaces and parking, and will join Trinity Walk, a 684-home scheme completed by Lovell in 2021. The Woolwich Estates regeneration will also benefit from £8m of Section 106 contributions to further improve the area, and the Council is working closely with Lovell to ensure that social value is provided in the form of employment opportunities for local people, with all jobs issued to Greenwich’s job brokerage service, Greenwich Local Labour and Business (GLLaB). For some months on the now-completed Trinity Walk development, this resulted in over 80% of those working on the site being Royal Greenwich residents.


Selling your products or services for Christmas?


lanning your marketing will give you the sales boost you’re hoping for – and it’s not too late to start.

Marketing and PR consultant Sarah Hawes from Izzy PR advises setting aside some time to plan your content – what it is and when it will be sent, so that you’re ready to go. TARGET AUDIENCES AND KEY MESSAGES Who uses your products / services and why? Each target audience will need different messaging – don’t go general, go targeted. What does each target group want from your products/services? What problem can you solve and what’s the outcome once they’ve bought from you – tell them. SOCIAL MEDIA Choose the best platforms – where your buyers will see you. Think about your target audience again – where are they? Online, offline, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok etc? Use a mix of images and videos that show the product/service in action, used by the different target audiences, including the relevant key messages for each. Post demo videos, ‘how to’ information, flash offers and previous customer reviews. WEBSITE Make sure the customer has all the information they need to know and that the buying process is quick, easy and secure. If it’s not all there, you might lose them. EMAIL MARKETING Plan targeted campaigns – you will need to segment your audience for this to be really effective, so that you are telling the right people the right key messages. Don’t tell all the people all the messages – you’ll start to look like you don’t know what they want. Plan a sequence, so that they are sent a series that makes sense, moving them closer to a purchase. Remove those who have already bought, into a different audience and send different messaging. And always ask for a review! ADVERTISING Digital advertising can be fairly instant, but print advertising needs to be booked asap – publications close to adverts 2-3 weeks ahead of distribution. If there’s a place you want to advertise, think about it soon!


Health & Wellbeing

Carers in Your Workforce

Caring for a loved one can happen to anyone at any stage of life. Right now, it is estimated there are approximately 10.6 million unpaid carers in the UK. (Carers Week Report June 2023) Carers save the NHS as much money as it takes to run it. Imagine that. The status of unpaid carer needs to be given the recognition it warrants. Since 2020, there has been a 45% increase in unpaid carers providing significant care of more than 20 hours per week. These people work tirelessly with little or no recognition and support. Our charity, Greenwich Carers Centre are here for the estimated 45,000 unpaid carers within the borough of Greenwich who support family, friends or loved ones. For 25 years, Greenwich Carers Centre has offered practical, emotional and peer support to unpaid carers across the Royal borough of Greenwich. Soon, the charity will commence working with employers in the borough to raise awareness of working carers and support business to help make their lives a little bit easier. Despite longer hours and unpaid care duties going above and beyond that of a professional carer, many people simply do not recognize themselves as carers. In fact, across the UK,

a staggering 73% of people providing care do not see themselves as carers. To them, it is just something they take on, because someone they love needs them. Rather surprisingly, one in three of us will become a carer at some point in our life. It may be due to accident, illness or someone being born with a condition that requires care… whatever the reason, it happens to a lot of us, sometimes with very little notice. People that do not recognise themselves as carers often miss out on much-needed practical, emotional, and indeed financial support. In fact, juggling the commitments of caring with work, family, health and home is a very real challenge. Many carers reach breaking point as they become ‘ground down’ by relentless care responsibilities. They become isolated and emotionally and mentally exhausted. It doesn’t happen quickly, but helping carers to avoid reaching crisis point is very much what charities like Greenwich Cares Centre do. In the UK, 4.87 million unpaid carers are worried about the impact of caring on their physical and mental health.

Carers are within our workforces. They may not talk about being a carer, but if they look after, or support, a friend, family member or partner then they are one - and they may need our help. In fact, work may be the one escape they have from the hardships they are facing. Conflicting demands are a real problem for working carers. Being flexible as an employer really helps. Sometimes working carers need to be at hospitals, GP surgeries or even housing offices during working hours. They use holiday and sick days to provide the care they need to provide and when that runs out, they may risk losing their job by taking time off. It doesn’t need to be this way. Let's all look out for working carers because they aren’t a ‘them,’ they are an us.

Greenwich Carers Centre

If you know of someone who may benefit from our support, please signpost them to visit: for more information

Expert dementia care Guided by the latest academic evidence, our dementia specialists support each resident to live every day to the full. If you’re considering a care home, call 020 3918 9699 or visit

Trusted to care Smyth Lodge care home Sidcup 46

When it comes to our backs, there are many different types of pain. It can make everyday tasks difficult and lead to some of us having to take time off work.


ccording to the NHS, back pain is common and can have many causes. Around 80 per cent of us will suffer from lower back pain at some point in our lives.

Manual handling in awkward places, such as during delivery work.

Repetitive tasks, such as packing products.

And new figures from the Office for National Statistics recently showed back pain continues to be a major cause of time off work. Last year an estimated 185.6 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury, for a variety of reasons. Musculoskeletal problems – which include back pain, neck and upper limb problems – accounted for 10.5 per cent of those days. It is also one of the top five reasons for taking time off work. So, what should employers be doing to protect their workers – and how can employees take better care of themselves? The Health and Safety Executive says there are many causes of back pain at work – some tasks can be the cause of pain while others can make an existing problem worse or aggravate a previous issue. These include: •

Lifting heavy or bulky loads.

Carrying loads awkwardly, possibly one-handed.

Pushing, pulling or dragging heavy loads

of back pain. Then apply control measures identified and monitor and review them to make sure they are working. And don’t forget to consult workers - if they have health and safety concerns, do something about them.

Bending, crouching or stooping.

Stretching, twisting and reaching.

Being in one position for a long time.

Working beyond your capability or when physically overtired.

And what about workers, how can they protect themselves?

Working with display screen equipment (with poor posture).

Driving long distances or over rough ground.

If you have any symptoms report these as soon as possible to your manager, supervisor, health and safety representative or other worker representative. There could be help available and without action some problems can become long-term issues.

The HSE says employers must protect workers from the risks of developing back pain caused by work. There are things both employers and workers can do to manage back pain in the workplace. One key area is manual handling – this means transporting or supporting a load by hand or bodily force. This might mean lifting, carrying or moving loads. Employers must protect staff from the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling in the workplace with the law setting out how bosses must deal with risks. Companies can also protect their workers by avoiding work activities that can cause back pain, where reasonably practical. Where the activity can't be avoided, assess it to see what you can do to reduce the risk

Photo source: Pixabay

Get wise on preventing workplace back pain

Health & Wellbeing

Your employer can assess whether there is a problem in the workplace and may want to observe your job. If there is an issue, your employer may need to make adaptations – to the equipment you use, the way you work or to the work environment. You must follow any systems your employer has in place for your health and safety. Your employer may also be able to refer you to an occupational health provider for advice. If this isn’t available, see your GP to explain your symptoms and talk about the kind of work you do.

Get more advice from the Health and Safety Executive at 47

New Members

Welcome to our new members As a member of our Chamber, you are joining a unique organisation with a strong campaigning voice for business to local and national government. CIRCA Business Services Ltd Sylvan Hill, Upper Norwood Croydon, SE19 2QD Contact: Ade Adebola Tel: 07956 877029 Email:

Cogito IT Ltd 10 Courtlands Avenue London BR2 7HZ Contact: Alastair Tel: 020 3358 0005 Email:

ConnetU Ltd T/A Gwhizz Networks 207 Regent Street, 3rd Floor London W1B 3HH Contact: Charles Lyons Tel: 020 3929 4499 Email:

Dynes Vehicle Solutions 391-395 Erith Road London DA8 3LT Contact: Darren Brown Tel: 01322 621444 Email:

Equity Squared Ltd 8th Floor, 6 Mitre Passage, Greenwich Peninsula London, SE10 0ER Contact: Kalpesh Patel Tel: 020 8855 8999 Email:

Exclusive Financial

50 Gourock Road London SE9 1HY Contact: Chris Bell Tel: 020 3538 5671 Email:

JS Resilience and Leadership Advisory Ltd

104b Cumberland Road, Bromley London BR2 0PW Contact: John Slater Tel: 07510 007667 Email:

London Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Limited

Shadwell House, 65 Lower Green Road Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells London TN4 8TW Contact: Denise Christy Tel: 07889 519138 Email:

Mighty Plumb Ltd


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Sayes Court Garden CIC

Hatcham Hub 367 Queens Road London SE14 5HD Contact: Vanessa Celosse Email:

Stowe Family Law LLP

The Lansdowne Building 2 Lansdowne Road London CR9 2ER Contact: Sydney Hepburn Tel: 020 8017 2732 Email:

Sussex Innovation

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Value Privacy Limited

92 Roan Street London SE10 9JT Contact: Richard Sullivan Tel: 020 7442 2211 Email:

71-75 Shelton Street London WC2H 9JQ Contact: Spencer Sturgeon Tel: 07801 699965 Email:

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: 48

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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.


Become an Executive Member and earn an annual 2% Reward on most of your Costco purchases*. The annual membership fee for Executive Trade Membership is £56 ex VAT (£67.20 inc VAT) and as an Executive Individual Membership is £62 ex VAT (£74.40 inc VAT). The annual membership fee for Standard Trade Membership is £22 ex VAT (£26.40 inc VAT) and Standard Individual Membership is £28 ex VAT (£33.60 inc VAT), all memberships include a complimentary card for your spouse or domestic partner. To join and start saving please provide one piece of business evidence for Trade membership, or for Individual membership your employee ID card or current pay slip to prove your employment, PLUS one piece of photographic identification for both memberships.

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Expires: 31st December 2024

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And finally...

And finally...


What would you do with your last pound?


As a growing business it’s important that we do everything we can to protect our levels of customer service. As we scale, we never compromise on excellence in service.


CEO ITS // Digital Greenwich Connect Daren Baythorpe is CEO of ITS Technology Group. He is leading ITS to be one of the UK’s leading wholesale network providers, designing, building and operating gigabit capable full fibre networks across the UK through its 'Faster Britain' programme.

Daren has a strong heritage in the full fibre market, having previously held the role of managing director of Openreach’s Business and Corporate Delivery division at a time when alt-net entrants were coming into the sector. A member of the UK Fibre Connectivity Forum (UKFCF), he is passionate about supporting the rapid growth of the UK’s digital economy.

I worked in a bakery called the Crusty Cob close to my home in South Manchester. My shifts were overnight, making and preparing the dough for the following day. I think I earned £80 a week cash in hand.



Daren Baythorpe

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

I would buy a lottery ticket and have one last gamble.

What is the biggest challenge facing your business?

If you were Prime Minister, what would be your first decision? I’d look to drive for digital inclusivity for everyone. That means ensuring hard-to-reach communities are served, vital for both the residential and business communities. For example, looking at large investment projects like HS2 and assessing whether ensuring amazing connectivity for the duration of a journey is a better investment that shortening a train journey by 15 minutes.


If you could do another job what would it be?


What book are you currently reading?

I would have loved to have been a professional sportsperson having played several sports to a decent level. The competitive nature, discipline and focus needed to attain excellence in that field excites me. I’ve read ‘Surrounded by Setbacks’ (a book I gifted to a Liverpool FC supporting colleague!), but more recently ‘Dabbawala of Mumbai’. I’m fascinated by the precision and incredibly high-performance rate of this workforce in India.

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Articles inside

And finally...

page 50

Get wise on preventing workplace back pain

page 47

Carers in Your Workforce

page 46

Councillors have celebrated the final concrete pour on a 100% affordable development of 304 apartments and houses in Woolwich

page 45

New arts and culture activity for local communities

pages 43-44


page 42


page 42

Industry experts join Croydon’s Design Review Panel

page 41

HAVE YOUR SAY on the future of Lewisham

page 40

SELCC Virtual AGM 2023

page 39

SELCC Charity Quiz Night

page 38

Bromley Office Drinks At Thackray Williams

page 38

Evening at Davy’s Vintners Yard

page 37

Making the right connections

page 36

LONDON STANDS TALL as a global city making positive change across the world

pages 34-35

Celebrating the success of our outstanding pupils

page 33

EMPLOYER BOARDS LAUNCHED to help create green and digital jobs across Local London

page 33

Recruitment firm’s focus on going the extra mile – and even have the wheels to get you there!

pages 30-32

Later Life Planning... where to start

pages 26-29

The Peninsula Ballroom

pages 24-25

Why employer partnerships are no longer enough to tackle the skills crisis

page 23

Learning environment that blends hands-on technical learning with knowledge and professional work experience

pages 22-23

Ask the Expert

pages 19-21

JS Resilience and Leadership Advisory

page 18

It’s going to be a Catastrophe…

pages 16-17

PARTNER with Shooters Hill Sixth Form College

page 15

Bexley Business & Employment launches ‘Talking Business’ programme

page 14

Recycling locally to reduce our carbon footprint

page 14

Bromley’s libraries are getting a refresh

page 13

Focus on Greenwich

pages 11-12

Croydon a place of opportunity

pages 9-10

Lewisham agrees new dockless bike partnership with Lime

page 8

Lewisham Council announces £930k funding to increase affordable workspace across the borough

page 8

Fixing people problem is key to tackling inflation

pages 6-8

Boroughs welcome devolution push in UK Urban Futures Commission report

page 4
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