NetWorks Issue 12, The Circular Economy

Page 28



Celebrating our members in 2021!


How does your sustainability measure up?


Relaxing plans for the advent • Edition 12 • 2021 PEOPLE WHO KNOW PEOPLE THAT HELP PEOPLE

Helping you build a successful business

Evans Mockler are a long established and dynamic firm of Chartered Certified Accountants and Registered Auditors. We specialise in both the construction industry and the property sector.

We are business and tax advisors and recognise that our clients require more than just annual compliance. We understand the many challenges that businesses face, particularly within the construction industry. We work closely with our clients to ensure that they overcome these challenges and achieve their goals.

Kindly contact us on 020 8449 9632 if you would like to discuss our range of services and to find out how Evans Mockler can help you build your business.

TEAM Editor: Diane Birch, BITA Executive Director

Sub Editor: Laura Watkins


Features Editor: John Reynolds

BITA Contributors:

Imogen Larkins, The British Hovercraft Company Ltd.

James Valentino, Lucas. Rach McGuinness, Wake up with Zest.

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NetWorks is published by BITA Ltd. Its entire content is protected by copyright 2021 and all its rights reserved. Reproduction without prior permission is forbidden. Every care has been taken in compiling the content of the magazine, but the publisher assumes no responsibility in the effect arising therefrom. Readers are advised to seek professional advice before acting on any information which is contained in the magazine. Neither BITA Ltd or NetWorks accept any liability for views expressed, pictures used or claims used by advertisers.

It can feel a little self-congratulatory to consider how you have helped others over the year, however with BITA, when we help people, it’s a team effort. As such, I want to make sure that everyone who has worked hard over the past 12 months feels acknowledged, and knows that their dedication to change, to helping people, and to the organisation, is recognised.

I’m not just talking about our team, our board members, non-executive directors, and patrons, although they all do incredible work, but also our members.

BITA has always had an ethos which is encompassed by a ‘spirit of giving’, but as a membership organisation, BITA reflects the values that our members hold. Ultimately, if the ethos of our members didn’t match with the ethos or the organisation, we would be going nowhere fast!

This is why I want to make sure that all our members feel seen. The community work that individuals and businesses have done raising money for disadvantaged young people, for victims of domestic violence, for cultural awareness, mental health and everything else; we see your achievements and are humbled by them.

Attendees at the Geberit BITA Golf Masters raised £10,000 for the Lighthouse Club Charity, a charity that helps people in the construction industry deal with mental and physical health issues. Guests at the Liverpool and Manchester lunches raised hundreds for Frea and Launchpad. These two charities work to support vulnerable Irish diaspora in the UK, and supports veterans, respectively.

Our friends at the Southwest Chapter lunch raised funds for Balloons, a charity that supports people through bereavement, and the London Chapter held a fundraising event where tickets costs went to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. The newly formed Kent Chapter hosted an evening of live music, and guests there raised over £700 for the CareforChristmas Appeal.

In August 2021, Oliver Connell & Son raised over £70,000 for the Lighthouse Club Charity and the West London Kidney Patients’ Association with a sponsored bike ride, Powerday have taken steps to increase their reach and help their community through the Powerday Foundation and Go Green Office Solutions ran a fundraiser for the Aintree University Hospital.

If we wrote about every fundraising, volunteering and promotional activity that our members have done for different charities over the last year, we wouldn’t be able to fit anything else in this edition.

We are a non-profit membership organisation, we are ‘helping more people and influencing further as a collective’, and we rise by lifting others. Most importantly, we are a reflection of our members; we really couldn’t be happier about it.

Merry Christmas

Sponsored by Powerday 3
CONTENTS Not Such a COP Out A Gain or a Strain? Delay and Disruption – What’s the Difference? Racing Ahead Hearing from the Powerhouse Tackling Prostate Cancer Expansion Down South Bring your Teenager Delivering on Levelling up Returning or Relocating to Ireland Sustainability Reporting The BITA Recognition Awards 7 9 11 12 14 16 18 19 22 25 26 28 PEOPLE WHO KNOW PEOPLE THAT HELP PEOPLE 7 8 12 Sponsored by Powerday
# 12 I December 2021 I the Circular Economy issue PEOPLE WHO KNOW PEOPLE THAT HELP PEOPLE Go West Plans for the Advent Laying off the Sauce Staying Safe at Christmas Keeping Staff Motivated Notes from Ireland A Cracking Christmas The Twelve Days of Christmas Reaping the Benefits Gifts of the Season 9 Natural Cures for Winter Lurgies 32 34 36 38 40 41 44 46 50 51 52 34 36 38 THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

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The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) was held in Glasgow from the 31st October – 12th November, with a mission to unite the world to tackle climate change.

Following intense negotiations, COP has released the Glasgow Climate Pact, which has been agreed by every party that attended COP26 – representing nearly 200 countries. You may remember the Paris Climate Agreement, which was agreed by 196 countries in 2016, which had the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. COP26 has completed this Agreement.

According to the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, the COP26 President, the agreement to keep within 1.5 degrees is alive, but it’s on life support and will only survive if nations keep to their commitments agreed at COP26.

But what were these commitments?

The focus of the Glasgow Climate Pact is focused on driving work in four key areas:

• Mitigation - reducing emissions

• Adaptation - helping those already impacted by climate change

• Finance - enabling countries to deliver on their climate goals

• Collaboration - working together to deliver even greater action

As the incoming presidency, the UK has been working over the past two years to secure agreements and support in these areas, as well as outlining expectations of all nations.

1. Mitigation: Over 90% of the world has agreed to net zero commitments, and 153 countries have put forward new 2030 emissions targets. The Paris Rulebook has been finalised and countries agreed to return in 2022 with new, stronger commitments. Steps have been taken to make the shift away from coal power, to halt and reverse deforestation, reduce methane emissions, and commit to creating the infrastructure for electric vehicles. Sadly, only 137 leaders committed to halting deforestation and even then, their target was to do so by 2030.

2. Adaptation: This area focuses on countries already suffering the effects of climate change, and those at risk. 80 nations are now covered by plans which will increase their preparedness to climate risks. Records amounts of funding for adaptation have been pledged, including commitments to double the 2019 levels of finance available by 2025. New UK funding announced at COP26 will support vulnerable countries to adapt to climate impact and address, minimise and avert loss and damage. Additional partnerships have been created to improve access to funding for Indigenous Peoples.

3. Finance: Developed countries will deliver on the $100 billion climate finance goal by 2023 at the latest. 34 countries and five public finance institutions will stop international support for the unabated fossil fuel energy sector next year. Private financial institutions and central banks are moving to realign trillions towards global net zero. In Glasgow, countries agreed the way forward for the new post-2025 climate finance goal. Developed countries committed significantly increased funding to vital funds such as the Least Developed Countries Fund.

4. Collaboration: The productive talks at COP26 will accelerate collaboration between governments, businesses, and civil society to deliver on climate goals faster, whilst collaborative councils and dialogues in energy, electric vehicles, shipping and commodities will help deliver on commitments. The Paris Rulebook that was completed at COP26, sets out a new mechanism and standards for international carbon markets, and common timeframes for emissions reductions targets, making collaboration easier.

Further information about these goals and their achievements can be found in the Glasgow Climate Pacti, and we urge you to look her for more detailed information.

The historic COP26 had four main areas of focus and managed to negotiate commitments from nearly 200 nations


Whether it is or isn’t, how do you measure up?

Amid the disruption of 2020 a phoenix has emerged from a stark reminder of our fragility. We have seen the mounting financial and physical toll of climate change in floods, fires, droughts and hurricanes and are being forcefully moved to confront the risks of non-action.

Companies are increasingly incorporating sustainability and environmental policies – according to KPMG in their Sustainability Reporting Survey of 2020i, a majority of companies have plans to reduce their carbon emissions, and there is a growing trend to link corporate carbon targets to global climate goals.

Business reporting on sustainability has also increased colossally; when KPMG ran their first survey in 1993, only 12% of businesses published sustainability reports, compared to 80% today, and 90% of the world’s largest companies.

The drivers behind this increase are varied – government requirements, civic duty, public pressure, and recognition that environmental factors have an impact on bottom lines, are all contributing factors.

With the increased trend for ‘calling out’ businesses on social media and an increasing cynical outlook for many denizens of the web, companies also need to be careful not to fall into ‘greenwashing’ territory (see box out).



Although a business can always do something to increase their sustainable practices, without knowing your starting point and accurate measurements, it’s difficult to impossible to know what impact your initiatives are having.

Recognition of this issue has led to a wide range of offerings becoming available to help businesses measure their carbon footprint, from online calculators to independent assessors, whatever your industry.

An online tool that may be of benefit to businesses is This offers free annual results if your revenue is under £300K and starts from £99 a year otherwise.

You enter your company data; they calculate your carbon usage giving you a starting point. By regularly updating your information, you can chart your journey of improvement and spot areas that could use more attention.

This is a particularly useful tool, as it doesn’t just measure your direct emissions, but also indirect emissions from the business, and all other indirect emissions from other activities in the organisation occurring from external sources. A business may find that they can drastically reduce their carbon footprint for minimal costs, just by switching to a renewable energy provider for example.


Businesses know that they can capitalise on green credentials, however it pays to make sure that you can’t be accused of ‘greenwashing’. This is a practice of dressing something up as sustainable or environmentally friendly when it isn’t. For instance, when Starbucks responded to the straw backlash by creating a strawless cup that contained MORE plastic, or in 2020 when Shell, the global oil and gas company, posted an online poll asking, “What are you willing to change to help reduce emissions?” to a rather vicious, yet predictable backlash.

There are, according to the university of Milan, five main ways to make sure that your company is sustainable:

1. Make sure you are within the national and international standards that govern your industry.

2. Measure the number of resources and raw materials that are used, and the amount of waste and emissions they generate.

3. What effect does your company have on the environment, community, and employees?

4. What is the life cycle of your product, and what is the supply chain? Can your product be reused or recycled at the end of its life?

5. Finally, what is the impact of your business in a social context – internationally, nationally and locally?

Listing these points is a lot easier than putting them into action, for which companies need staff, expertise, money and time; things that often aren’t readily available. However big changes can happen from small beginnings, and with the growing availability and simplicity of online tools, most businesses will be able to start measuring and making effective changes. With 94% of UK businesses releasing sustainability reports in 2020, wherever your business is starting, it seems that sustainability reporting is here to stay.

The drive for businesses to promote the positive environmental impact of their products and services, whether or not it’s completely truthful, is hardly a surprise. Studies from the Institute for Consumer Research and others have shown that a majority of consumers consider the environment when making a purchase, and around 70% would be willing to pay more for a product with green credentials.

But when it comes to employing eco-advertising, it’s not just the twittermob and ‘cancel culture’ that companies need to be wary of. In August 2021, the UK government launched an investigation into deals from UK energy companies that were branded ‘green’ or 100% renewable. This will be followed by imminently expected guidance on ‘eco-marketing’ from The Competitions and Market Authority.

It seems that if you do have a sustainable product and use green messaging, you will get more customers than non-green competitors; just make sure that your claims are accurate!




We often get clients telling us they have been delayed and disrupted without realising that these are distinct issues which are assessed differently. The words ‘delay’ and ‘disruption’ are often used interchangeably in construction disputes without parties really knowing the distinction between the two. It is often assumed that delay leads to disruption and disruption leads to delay, thus a cycle of additional time and cost is incurred on projects that go wrong. This is a common misconception.

What is delay?

Delays to construction projects are a common feature of the industry and plenty of time and money is spent arguing over who is responsible for them.

Whilst delays often occur on activities on projects, not all of these events will delay the project completion date. Those that do are known as ‘critical’ delays. Employer risk events that sit on the critical path may give rise to an entitlement to an extension of time (“EOT”) and compensation to the contractor. An example of this is when an employer is late giving possession to the contractor. Conversely, delays to activities that do not sit on the critical path, although not extending the completion date, might lead to reduced productivity on that activity (a potential disruption claim).

Where a contractor is in culpable delay, usually there is no entitlement to an EOT or compensation. An example of contractor culpable delay could be a

lack of labour to start the works when possession is given to it by the employer.

There are some rare instances of truly concurrent delay where both the employer and contractor are in delay concurrently and those delays are of similar causative potency. Whilst employers and contractors are commonly in some delay at the same time, often these delays (a) do not sit on the critical path and (b) are not of equal causative potency. A good example of when a truly concurrent delay arises is if an employer fails to give the contractor possession on time but that contractor is unable to commence the works in any event. In such circumstances, the usual position is that the contractor gets additional time but not money.

The principal benefit of proving a delay claim is (a) it provides relief to the contractor from liquidated damages and (b) it opens the door to the contractor for compensation for its time related costs.

What is disruption?

Contractors’ profit margins are often negatively affected by events on site making it more expensive to undertake the works than anticipated. As noted, it is important to understand that disruption is separate and distinct from delay although both often overlap. Disruption does not always lead to delay (although it often does). As the Society of Construction Law notes, disruption is the:

“…disturbance, hindrance or interruption to a Contractor’s normal working methods, resulting in lower productivity or efficiency in the execution of particular work activities. If the Contractor

is prevented from following what was its reasonable plan at the time of entering into the contract for carrying out the works or a part of them (i.e. it is disrupted), the likelihood is that its resources will accomplish a lower productivity rate than planned on the impacted work activities such that, overall, those work activities will cost more to complete and the Contractor’s profitability will be lower than anticipated.”

A contractor might experience various disruptive events in the currency of its works that do not necessarily fall on the critical path and therefore do not extend the completion date e.g. an electrical contractor returns to carry out its second fix activities only to find that the dry lining contractor has not closed up the walls (the disruptive event), thus requiring a return visit. Let’s say the electrician loses half a day waiting for the dry liner to complete this activity – it is this half day that is the lost productivity and ultimately, the loss incurred by the electrical contractor. This event occurred on a flat that was not on the critical path at that time meaning it did not cause a delay to the completion date. If then you take that disruptive event and multiply it by 100 similar occurrences, it is easy to see how disruption can soon lead to substantial losses on the project whilst not necessarily delaying it.

In our next article we will examine how to prove these claims.

Disclaimer: this content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by HD Construction Solutions Ltd.
David Daly, Director at HD Construction Solutions, considers the differences between delay and disruption



The British Hovercraft Company are the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational and light commercial small hovercraft. BHC Hovercraft have been developed over the course of more than 30 years. Producing on average 100 quality hovercraft each year, shipping worldwide to private clients and our distribution networks now covering 4 continents.

Hovercraft are the only solution to gain access to lowlying intertidal waters & mudflats and the recent World Cleanup Day (see pull out) really showcased how versatile our hovercraft are for both recreational and commercial applications. We are often commissioned for pilot and hovercraft hire for commercial works that can only be completed by hovercraft – including tender vessel services, crew and equipment transfers at low tide, bridge/pier/ geo-technical survey, marine biology studies, safety cover, search - rescue & recovery, including mud rescue – and for only a fraction of the cost of deploying a helicopter.

In 1997, BHC team members also discovered a passion for racing these awesome machines, and it’s impossible to exaggerate how much it has taught us – both from our own successes, failures and the input and advice from the super-talented enthusiasts and designers who compete in the sport. Racing really is at the forefront of small hovercraft design so various wins in national events including the challenging ‘Coastal Series’ championship was a real high point for us, as we raced over beaches and tides in physically demanding endurance races.

In 2008, we thought we’d achieved the ‘big one’ when two of our personal hovercraft crossed the English Channel from Dover to Calais, passing through the busiest shipping lane in the world. The hovercraft then cruised home, taking under an hour each way, and using only three gallons of fuel for the entire trip. No small hovercraft had managed that feat before, and we were very chuffed with ourselves. In 2010 we did it again, this time with 2 people on board! Yet again the 2-way crossing was completed, this time with our chief pilot Benn Bristow on board - just to prove the first time wasn’t a fluke!

It’s this spread of knowledge from building recreational, commercial, corporate, and race-winning hovercraft that make the BHC range the most accomplished recreational hovercraft available anywhere in the world. All our hovercraft are hand-built by us, here in the UK.

Starting with a roll of fiberglass, some very talented engineers, specialist fibreglass laminators, as well as some amazing creative talent, we have now sold hovercraft into over 50 countries. We want to reach 100 within the next five years under the new MD James Halligan and the team, without whom these amazing hovercraft would not be built.

BHC have warmly welcomed two young apprentices in 2021, with our ever expanding business and multiple orders for the USA, Canada, China, South America, Finland and the UK, we have decided to become the first hovercraft manufacturing company in the UK to offer apprenticeships in Marine Engineering.

In early 2021 The British Hovercraft Company acquired the assets of Reaction International (Hov-Pod) and we will continue to manufacture BHC improved Hov-Pod recreational models, a testament to our expanding business.

We are also very proud to announce our collaboration with Keith Smallwood of Vortex Hovercraft Services to present our latest addition to the BHC model range, the eagerly awaited BHC700/750D Hovercraft.

This versatile hovercraft is a twin-engine craft capable of carrying up to 9 passengers, depending on specification chosen. The BHC700/750D is perfect for commercial/ utility, search/response & rescue applications, with various specs & options including a cockpit cuddy for easy deck access, or a partially enclosed deck, or a fully enclosed upgrade option with climate control, luxury seating and accessories.

So with our ever expanding business and connections in Ireland, we were very proud to be part of this environmental event and support our local River Medway ecology as part of World Clean Up Day; the BHC team regularly enjoy spending time on the river, an area steeped in history with lots to see and explore, so we jumped at the chance to help give back for such a worthwhile, environmental cause. We hope to be back next year with an even bigger voluntary team to get stuck-in.

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BITA was thrilled to have support from our incredible members for our first annual World Cleanup Day. The Kent Chapter was out in force and were able to collect litter from mudflats, tidal inlets and small islands in the Medway, all thanks to the British Hovercraft Company.

On Saturday 18th of September, The British Hovercraft Company organised a team of volunteers to eagerly collect discarded plastics, fish netting, litter, and larger items along the Medway River in support of World Clean Up Day.

A dedicated team of volunteers, including members, board members and our own Paul Whitnell, worked hard along the riverbanks, with our hovercraft pilot volunteers getting into inaccessible areas to retrieve all sorts of weird and wonderful items! BITA would like to thank all volunteers on the day, with a special thanks to the BHC, and Skylapse Media, who recorded some incredible drone footage on the day: you can see the video of the hovercrafts and our volunteers in action on the BITA YouTube channel!

In conjunction with BITA, the support of Medway Council and volunteers from Ocean Network Express (ONE), the whole clean up team were able to clear discarded items from this environmentally sensitive area.

Would you like to join us on the next World clean Up Day and get a ride on a hovercraft?




All our hovercraft are hand-built to order at our factory in Kent

w: e:

t:+44 1304 619820 13


where the Mersey meets the Irish Sea

Sarah McCartney, Chair of the Liverpool Chapter and founder of SLMC Consulting

Iwas proud earlier this year when I saw that Liverpool is officially the safest city in the UK, with a significantly lower crime rate than the UK average.

Liverpool has had a difficult history, and has previously struggled with high crime and unemployment, which is why I was particularly pleased when I saw this headline. The businesses and people in this amazing city have worked long and hard to ensure that everyone has opportunity and safety, and it appears that we are well on the way to achieving this. It is

remarkable validation of our efforts to make Liverpool a wonderful place to live.

My dedication to the city is one of the reasons that I joined BITA; the ethos of giving back and rising by lifting others is something that I’ve always strived to live by. Since taking over as Chapter Chair of the Liverpool Chapter from the lovely Pam Moore, we have continued to grow, in both members and events.

This was very apparent when we welcomed over 120 guests to our Liverpool Networking Lunch at Anfield

MANCHESTER the UK’s Second City

Tim Ternent, new Chapter Chair of BITA Manchester, looks at what the future holds

Iam greatly looking forward to my new role as Chapter Chair of the Manchester Chapter of BITA, having taken the reigns from Tony Goodman last month. Tony was the chair of the Manchester Chapter for the past year, and I would like to thank him for all his hard work into getting us where we are now.

Over the past decade Manchester is a city that has grown upwards and outwards, hundreds of millions of pounds have been invested in what is now a very exciting and vibrant city. Visitors enjoy some of the finest food and drink available in the North, watch top class sporting events and visit museums and galleries that show off Manchester’s rich cultural heritage. The Manchester business community (just like the Manchester Worker Bee) is buzzing, and I believe that BITA Manchester brings something new to the table, with a style of networking that values people over process and face to

face over cold social media interaction.

In October 2021, the Manchester Chapter, in conjunction with the Leeds Chapter, hosted its first networking lunch at the Lowry where we were thrilled to welcome 140 guests from businesses not only from Greater Manchester and Leeds, but from across the UK. I would like to thank Network Plus, Krol Corlett and Business Connect Magazine for sponsoring the event.

We will be hosting more events in 2022, including lunches, panel discussions, social events and more. Our first networking lunch is going to be on the 4th March – you can purchase tickets on the BITA website.

For those of you who travel to Manchester regularly, or live here, I also urge you to attend our monthly networking events. All the information is available online, and we are currently frequenting the Marriott V&A; I hope to see you there!

on the 30th July, for a truly memorable day networking, learning about some incredible local businesses, and discovering how tall everyone really was! I would like to thank Dough Dough, a new venue, for being kind enough to host our afterparty.

Where do we go from here?

Investment in the local area is continuing; along the docklands with new residential developments and the Everton Football Stadium, and continuance of the ‘Regenerating Liverpool’ investment scheme. BITA Liverpool is continuing to provide opportunities for local, national and international businesses, by hosting an exciting line-up of events, including our monthly social networking and further networking lunches – the next to be held at Anfield on the 18th February.

Check out the BITA website events page, for full details of these and other events.


of Change

Tariq Hussain, Chapter Chair of BITA Leeds, and lawyer at Peterbridge Bassra

We were looking forward to hosting our first big event with Manchester back in October, and what a great event it was! It’s exciting to plan the next events for Leeds; our social networking evenings are starting on the second Thursday of each month starting in December, and we will be joining up with Manchester for another joint lunch on the 4th March at the Lowry.

For such a historic city, one of the few that has kept its beautiful Victorian buildings, there are always new things happening in Leeds, and we are excited to see what 2022 brings with it.

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There are a lot of reasons for those bleak headline figures; men don’t like going to the doctors with intimate issues and don’t like to ‘make a fuss’. There is more junk food, more chemicals, and we’re all living longer. All of these elements need tackling if we are to reduce instances of fatal prostate cancer, with special focus on tackling the fear that some men feel when going to the doctor.

If anyone reading this has any concerns at all, please book an appointment with your GP. Although unpleasant, an exam should only take 5-minutes and will most likely result in peace of mind. In the less likely result of a diagnosis, early detection can make a huge difference in outcomes not just for mortality, but in quality of life.

Something that many people aren’t aware of is the journey after a diagnosis, something that charity Prost8 is trying to change. Prostate cancer treatments are improving all the time, options available today are less invasive and mean that men with early stage cancer can enjoy better lifestyle outcomes. Sadly, these new options are rarely offered as a first choice and more than 8,000 men diagnosed with early stage cancer this year will receive the same invasive treatment as those with advanced cancer. On the surface this doesn’t seem like bad news, we associate strong measures with effectiveness. However, these invasive treatments can have a long-lasting and devastating impact, carrying with them a very high risk of permanent incontinence and erectile disfunction; as well as the associated psychological, emotional and relationship side effects that these can cause.



The top line figures make for bleak reading. This year, more than 48,000 men in the UK will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, a 44% increase since the 1990’s. 11,000 will die, mostly due to late diagnosis.

pretty final when it comes to maintaining normal sexual function.

“I was less scared of having the disease than I was about what would happen after treatment. I was in my 60s, active and happily married. I didn’t much like the idea of having to wear pads in my underwear for the rest of my life. What man would choose that?’

In light of this devastating news, Paul did what many people do and researched options online. This is where he found HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound) therapy. HIFU is a minimally invasive treatment that targets the cancer with ultrasonic waves that can be used to destroy tissue, including cancerous cells. They target the cancer rather than the prostate and are successful for many people in the earlier stages of cancer diagnosis.

Unlike the traditional invasive surgery, recipients of HIFU have only a 1% chance of short-term incontinence after treatment, 75% of men will have no issue with ‘sexual potency’ and a further 20% will only need over the counter medicine.

It seems clear that for those in the early stages of prostate cancer, patients should be offered the minimally invasive and low side-effect option of HIFU. Many are not.

“My doctors were very much against it” recalls Paul; “they weren’t interested in discussing it with me and told me that I wasn’t a suitable candidate.” Not to be deterred, Paul decided to meet with a surgeon he’d read about online, Professor Hashim Ahmed at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Professor Ahmed assured him that he was in fact a perfect candidate, and after insisting his GP refer him for treatment Paul underwent the procedure in July 2018.

“I was an outpatient, and the fact it was non-invasive meant that I could just get on with my life. I make sure I get regular check-ups of course, but I’m happy to say that the cancer is gone.

“I think it’s awful that if I had listened to my original doctors, I could be incontinent, or my sex life would be suffering. If I hadn’t insisted and done my own research, I would have undergone the standard treatment; this is why I am passionate about helping other men with a diagnosis to make the right choice”

As a result of this experience Paul founded Prost8 UK, a charity dedicated to championing alternate treatments for prostate cancer; alternative treatments that are scientifically proven to be effective for early stage cancers. Their aim? Nothing more than raising money to donate at least one HIFU treatment


Paul Sayer is from Southend-on-Sea in Essex and was diagnosed with prostate cancer in his early 60s. ‘My surgeon was strongly in favour of surgery,’ remembers Paul; ‘the radiotherapist told me radiotherapy was better. I was worried about both options – as they’re both Get the facts about Prostate Cancer now… Before it’s too late!

unit to each of the 23 NHS regions across the UK, as well as raising awareness and providing information that will lead to better life outcomes for 1000’s of men.

They have a plan that includes three steps to improve outcomes:

1. Get men to talk, and to address symptoms sooner

2. Help improve access to easier and more effective screening

3. Donate equipment to provide less invasive treatment options

The HIFU treatment that Paul had is used for many cancers including breast, liver, pancreatic, brain and more and is one of the new treatments available under the banner of Focal Therapy. Focal therapy also includes cryotherapy, a surgical technique that can treat localised prostate cancer by freezing and destroying cancer cells. This is a relatively new treatment, and longterm outcomes are still being assessed, however it is recognised alongside HIFU as effective in treating early cancers and has markedly fewer side effects than a surgical prostatectomy or radiotherapy.

Cryotherapy is also an outpatient procedure and although slightly more invasive than HIFU, it is considerably less invasive than traditional treatments offered by doctors as standard.

Ultimately, Paul’s aim via Prost8 UK is to arm men with information and encourage them to speak up; “too many men don’t want to cause a fuss and would rather stick their heads in the sand over troubling symptoms than ask a doctor to perform an exam.” It is important to note here, that although a third of diagnoses are in men over 75, an increasing amount of over 50’s are also receiving the bad news. “If they receive a positive diagnosis, they just want to deal with it immediately and ask the doctor what to do. People often don’t question doctors, and surgery to cut out cancer happens to be very effective.” Says Paul; “I just want men to be more

likely to get an early diagnosis, which means they would probably be a candidate for these non-invasive treatments and have better lives as a result.”

You can book a prostate exam through your GP and the charity’s website provides information on a man’s right to be screened. Sadly, there is still a reluctance among a large number of GP’s to screen if a man does not present with obvious symptoms. Paul’s case is typical as he had none of the expected symptoms yet by persistence was checked to discover a sizeable tumour in the left side of his prostate.

Paul is very happy to be contacted by anyone who needs help. “I founded this charity, but I’m also a cancer survivor who was lucky enough to find a doctor that would help me. I don’t want others to rely on luck, they need information.”

If you want to learn more about alternate treatments please email Paul at INFO@PROST8.ORG.UK or visit online at where you can also donate to the charity; they are seeking corporate supporters



It’s been incredibly busy since we were allowed to meet in person, it seems we’re making up for all the online meetings we’ve been forced to endure and finding any excuse for a meet up – not that I’m complaining!

The London Chapter has been as busy as anyone, with our Construction Lunches in July and September, Labour Shortage Dinner, first social drinks back in the Rising Sun in September and our first in person London Board meeting. Of course, we’ve also been busy attending and enjoying events that other chapters have hosted in Liverpool and Exeter.

It’s something that we’ve waited a long time for, and it was too long since we met our incredible members, long may it last! Something that has stood out for me at our events this year, is the amount of people travelling long distances to attend. At the Liverpool and Exeter lunches there were people from nearly every chapter of BITA, something that was great to see.

I believe this is testament to the successes of our weekly Social Networking, the increased cross networking between

Iwas honoured when Paul asked me to Chair the new Kent Chapter of BITA.

I knew it would be both worthwhile and a lot of work, and I haven’t been disappointed!

I have recently taken on a new role with Sika. This has been a big change, but something that I’m really enjoying, and I can’t wait to go to the BITA networking events representing this incredible international company.

In the months since we were founded back in March, we have been very productive and have created an excellent board filled with passion and expertise. We have also hosted two breakfast events and monthly networking events at the Hive at Edenwood, which are very well attended! We were also thrilled to be able to support our board member, and long-time BITA members, Julie Anderson of Rap Interiors in November. Rap have long championed their Care for Christmas appeal, and in November we were able to host an evening entertainment featuring the toe-tapping music of Trackdogs. I am proud to announce that this event raised

Chapters. It has been great to see so many of our friends from the North and Ireland at the London events and equally the London members have enjoyed attending the other chapters’ events. This has led to some productive business connections, genuine friendships, and thus demonstrates that when you join BITA, you are not only a member of your chosen chapter but part of the whole BITA Eco-System – making membership truly great value.

Over the last couple of months, we at the London Chapter have also been working on two great projects in response to our members’ requests. Labour shortages in construction and the need for more apprentices and other issues facing apprenticeships. We are working on this in the background and look forward to updating you all on both of those subjects at forthcoming lunches, and through the next couple of editions of this magazine.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on the BITA events page for some exciting events, including our next Construction Networking Lunch on January 28th; you can book your tickets today!

over £700 for the Care for Christmas appeal, which is this year going towards helping victims of domestic violence.

Join us at the Hive at Edenwood on tthe third Thursday of every month (from January) for our social networking evenings, and keep an eye out for additional events, including panel discussions and lunches. We’ll see you in 2022!

Bridie Cunningham, Chair of the London Chapter, looks back at the last few months and reflects on the future Carly Northwood, Chair of the Kent Chapter, discusses the launch of BITA in her area, and the opportunities for Kent businesses


Construction Helpline are collaborating with BITA on an exciting new project for April 2022. The Bring Your Teenager to Work scheme will run during the Easter holidays next year, allowing 16–18-year-olds to gain work experience with an employer for the day. Parents who would like to get involved can either bring their teenager into their own workplace as part of the scheme or allow them to join a friend or family members workplace. The scheme is also open to all businesses which are willing to accommodate one or more teenagers for the day, in all remits of the workplace including manual labour, administration, technology, finance and more.

Teenagers were severely disadvantaged by the COVID-19 crisis. They missed out on educational learning, socialising with peers and conversations about careers and opportunities. In some cases, parents have seen a negative effect on their child’s mental health. Our aim for Bring Your Teenager to Work is to give 16–18-yearolds the opportunity to experience a real-life work setting where they socialise, learn and improve their overall mental health. As the future workforce, we believe that we and other organisations should take responsibility in helping and guiding teenagers prepare for their futures. 16–18-year-olds in particular, have gone from school to college or sixth form without correct preparation or conversations with peer groups.

The teenager can be registered by an adult such as their parent or guardian, to take part in the scheme which shall run through the 2022 Easter break so there is no disruption to term time learning. To register your interest as an employer or parent/ guardian with a teenager, email us at 19



BITA member from Kent, Danny Lucas, is a man on a mission. He is fed up with the amount of litter on our roads, fly-tipping, the poor state of road signage, and the apparent inability of local councils up and down the country to clean up our roads themselves. So, he’s taking direct action.

Six years ago Danny developed a smartphone app called Littergram. The technology potentially gave the UK’s 40 million smartphone users unified access to all 433 councils under one system, identifying and locating litter or fly-tips and reporting directly into the local council’s system for immediate clean up.

Users liked the possibility of cleaning up their neighbourhoods and downloads of the app reached 50,000. Sadly, local councils weren’t so keen. In fact, not keen at all. They refused to link up to the app even though it offered them a national army of litter spotters to make cleaning up neighbourhoods cheaper and more efficient.

So, Danny’s latest initiative with Littergram is to encourage local businesses to run an “Adopted Zone” scheme. The idea is to empower communities and end highway neglect.

The timing was perfect, ahead of the BITA community coming together on 18th September 2021 to take part in World Clean-up Day.

Danny’s company Lucas has “adopted” London Road in Wrotham near Lucas HQ. It runs between roundabouts on the M20 and the M26 and is a particularly bad stretch for roadside rubbish and poor signage. They have organised a six-man team kitted out with hi-vis vests, a branded van to carry their equipment and a marshal to ensure road safety.

The team went much further than just litter picking, though. On average each safety island resulted in 18 sacks of mixed debris and required all road safety signs to be deep cleaned because many of them were unreadable.

Danny said: “We found litter dating back to 2016 and lots of dumped highways equipment such as signs, sandbags and cones tossed in bushes or thrown downside embankments. It also appears that there is not one intact cat’s eye on the entire roadpretty incredible when you think they are a key safety factor.”

The Lucas Adopted Zone pilot scheme started in July and had an instant positive impact on the local community. The area was transformed and Danny and the team will return to London Road on a Sunday morning every three months to maintain the huge improvement.

Local businesses and organisations will have the opportunity to take back control of their neglected communities and bring

back pride to their area through the Adopted Zone scheme. People are becoming increasingly aware of their surroundings and the urgent need to do more for the environment, so it is no longer acceptable for businesses to just “tick the box”.

Today’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards now place moral, legal and financial obligations on businesses to demonstrate their commitment and showcase the positive actions they are taking.

The Littergram Adopted Zone scheme will allow businesses across Britain to do just that and make a positive impact on their staff and local community.

The scheme will be launched in 2022 with an official partnering service provider, fully insured and with all the right permits to operate on the roads network and clear rubbish.

The Adopted Zones will drive positive change, fuelling investment, tourism and employment as well as providing a safer, happier place to live and work.

However, ahead of the official launch, there is a great opportunity for BITA member companies to join the “early adopter” programme now and launch their own self-delivered pilot as Lucas has done.

To make it really easy, Littergram has produced a template for starting a new scheme on its dedicated website,

The site sets out five steps starting with how to identify a suitable zone, how to put the right team together from your company, the necessary paperwork such as a Risk Assessment Method Statement, the right kit needed by the clean-up team and the tasks that will be required to clean up your local zone. This ensures the work is done properly.

Danny Lucas said: “Frankly, I know I’m pushing boundaries here by going ahead with running our own local Adopted Zone. But I’ve spent years dealing with councils, trying to get them to work with Littergram, but they keep stalling all the time.

I know BITA members are concerned to help improve the environment so here’s the chance to do something positive for the community. By voluntarily taking on some of the work council’s should be doing, I hope we’ll be shaming them into action which will be even more beneficial.

What we’ve done in our Adopted Zone so far has made the news locally, so more positive action by BITA members and we could be starting a new movement that builds momentum. I believe if we don’t act now, nothing will ever get done and Britain will remain one of the most littered nations in the world.”



Six years ago Danny and his team at fit out and finishing specialist Lucas were developing apps for his workforce on construction sites. These not only monitored the progress of their work but could also be used to spot safety issues on site, photograph clean up or poor signage issues, and send the information straight into the back office system for action.

When Danny finally lost patience with the appalling state of our roadside verges it was a logical step for him to develop and launch a clean-up app for the whole nation. He called it Littergram.

Surely an army of smartphone users could help their local councils by snapping litter, fly-tips or broken road signs and sending image and location directly into a back office system to then be sorted.

It would save the council time and money and would be super

The technology would also allow for the enforcement of the Environmental Protection Act that was introduced in 1990 but has sat on the shelves of most council and government offices gathering dust.

Danny’s belief in Littergram even saw him win an out of court battle with Mark Zuckerburg’s Facebook who originally tried to sue him for using the word “gram” which they said was infringing their Instagram app.

Yet six years on and the response from councils across the country has been massively disappointing. They do not want to accept the app into their systems. Instead they have to be shamed into action by the

Council’s do not seem prepared to tackle the litter crisis in Britain and to Danny’s complete surprise, having been behind closed doors with many of their teams, he learned that their biggest fear was having to do the work.

“This totally shocked me as I genuinely thought they would embrace the chance to deliver the service being paid for. Their resources are huge but are not being used effectively,” he says.

There’s a complete absence of education on the litter problem in our schools (Littergram made a two minute animated video which it sent to every primary school), so over 48% of people now admit to either dropping litter or leaving it behind. Littering has increased in Britain by 500% since the 1960s, at an annual cost to the public purse of £1bn and making us the third most littered nation on earth.

Danny says: “We live in an era where disruptive technologies and approaches are transforming and improving our lives. Public services are not, or should not be, exempt from this process. We need urgent change in order to improve our quality of life and general well-being. Public littering is a big problem for most of us and the sad thing is, it is totally unnecessary. On the Continent you will find litter-free nations and a complete absence of fly-tipping. I believe this is predominantly a British disease. So time to get a little disruptive, I think.” 21

It has been a challenging year, and all of us across the infrastructure sector are keen to find new and innovative ways to help the country build back better from the pandemic.

That is why it was interesting to hear the CBI recently calling on the government to do more to end the North-South divide and to use new climate targets to push forward a new industrial revolution across Britain. Tony Banker, head of the CBI, delivered his warning that plans to level up the UK must be spread across the entirety of the

However, new industries such as green energy, fintech and biotech provide us with ample opportunity for the new industrial revolution to take place across Britain as a whole and to ‘redeem’ struggling areas which have seen chronic underinvestment for decades.

In fact, cybersecurity, clean energy, life sciences and renewable technologies has no need to be based in the South East - with old and declining industries such as shipbuilding in the Clyde, textiles across Lancashire and Sheffield steel being allowed to decline ever since the eighties.


UK rather than being concentrated across the south east of England.

Tony spoke at the business group’s annual conference to warn that public sector plans to level-up the country after the pandemic couldn’t be delivered through a free market mechanism - one that has always favoured London and the South.

Instead, new high-value sectors, including jobs, skills, and investment, were required across the entire country. We see this regularly at CG Utilities, with some parts of the country where our work takes us having a lack of skills and resources compared to other parts.

Boris Johnson, who was also attending to speak at the conference, said that the call to level up the UK was both an economic imperative and his own ‘moral mission’.

It is clear that many business HQs are still based in London and the South East, showing that free-market mechanisms have never delivered true and balanced prosperity across Britain. Instead, the rest of the country has become a ‘branch line’ economy in support.

We must find new and engaging ways to improve this, and organisations like CG Utilities stand ready to help deliver this in reality and on the ground.

It is also why it was disappointing to see the scrapping of the HS2 high-speed Leeds leg, which was originally planned as a pivotal means of delivering the levellingup strategy. The government recently dropped plans to take the HS2


line into Leeds, saying that the Liverpool to Leeds Northern Powerhouse Rail route would be invested in to operate mostly on existing lines rather than building new ones. We must be doubling down on our efforts to deliver prosperity across the country and delivering projects and plans to spread jobs and growth everywhere.

For the UK to grow and prosper in 2022 and beyond, we need to see firms encouraged to cluster in towns and to be encouraged to take a role in local economic strategies on local infrastructure decision making - and the government must come up with a more ambitious, firmer strategy for growth.

There are chronic problems still plaguing our economy, including a significant imbalance between cuttingedge tech-driven firms of the future and older firms which lacked the necessary investment and skills to compete for the longer term.

The levelling up agenda for the UK feels achievable and can help the country to grow a larger economy than before the pandemic hit. I am excited for what 2022 holds and feel confident that with the involvement of private sector and the government working together, we can reach our shared goals.

Phil Ridgwell, Founder, CG Utilities 23 SPECIALISTS IN CONSTRUCTION INSURANCE We are proud to be a trusted partner and to continue as BITA’s platinum sponsor. With over 35 years’ experience, and as a Lloyd’s of London accredited insurance broker, Kerry London is well positioned to offer bespoke insurance advice for BITA members. No matter what cover you need, we will invest our time to understand your business and how best to protect it. Our covers include: • Surety Bonds • Professional Indemnity • Employers / Public Liability Insurance • Contractor’s All Risks • Directors and Officers Liability • Credit Insurance • Cyber and Crime Insurance • Latent Defects In Partnership with Tel: 020 8225 1165 Email: Web: Registered Office: John Stow House, 18 Bevis Marks, London EC3A 7JB. Registered No. 2006558. Kerry London Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
For accurate advice you can rely on, please contact us directly: +353 (0) 1 876 4550 As an Irish based accountancy and business advisory firm, Roberts Nathan assists frustrated UK and Irish business owners who are confused, worried, and uncertain where to turn to in a bid to maintain their turnover and profitability following Brexit. YOUR TRUSTED ADVISORS FOR BREXIT AND IRISH BUSINESS ADVICE Aidan Scollard, Chartered Accountant Partner, Roberts Nathan Dublin Chapter Chair of BITA



With the Covid pandemic hopefully nearing an end, we have seen an increased interest in expats looking to return home to Ireland. Perhaps it is the long absence from being home during the last 18 months or the new flexibility around home working for many industries which has led to this.

If you are someone returning or relocating to Ireland from abroad, it is important to be aware of the tax considerations outlined below.

Residency and Domicile

There are two basic tests of residence in Ireland:

1) The current year test: If you are present in Ireland for 183 days in a calendar year.

2) The two-year test: If you are present in Ireland for 280 days taking the current and preceding calendar years together. However, if you are present in Ireland for 30 days or less in the second of these years, you will not be regarded as a tax resident in Ireland for that tax year.

Individuals arriving in Ireland during the year may be regarded under domestic law as resident in two jurisdictions. If this is the case, a Double Tax Agreement can provide a tie breaker test to determine where the individual is regarded as resident. If you are resident in Ireland for 3 consecutive tax years, you will be considered an ordinarily tax resident on the 4th year. Domicile is a concept of general law. A person can only have one domicile at any particular time but cannot be without a domicile. Your domicile can have an impact on how you are taxed and is important to examine in detail when moving between countries.

Tax Consequences

An individual who is Irish tax resident and Irish domiciled will be subject to tax on their worldwide income, however, if an individual is Irish tax resident and non-Irish domiciled, they will only be subject to tax on Irish source income and foreign income to the extent it is remitted to Ireland. This can allow individuals to plan around what income they may wish to remit to Ireland.

Employment Income

If an individual relocates to Ireland and is in receipt of employment income, there may be some reliefs available.

• Split Year

Split year relief allows for employment income before arriving in Ireland to be excluded from the charge to Irish tax (despite the fact that the assignee might be resident in Ireland for the year of arrival).

• Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP)

SARP allows for income tax relief on a portion of income earned by certain employees assigned from abroad to work in Ireland by their relevant employer, or an Irish associated company. SARP provides for relief from income tax on 30% of the employee’s income between €75,000 (lower threshold) and €1,000,000 (upper threshold).

Payroll Obligations

If a foreign employer sends an employee to work in Ireland, they would be required to register for payroll taxes in Ireland.

A general overview would be that if an employee is present in Ireland for less than 60 days, there would be no payroll obligation. If the employee is present for a minimum of 60 days and does not exceed 183 days in total, a PAYE registration would be required but a PAYE clearance may be granted by Revenue to ensure no Irish payroll tax arises.

If an employee is present in Ireland for more than 183 days, PAYE should be operated.

Corporation Tax Considerations

If a foreign employer sends an employee to work in Ireland, as well as considering the payroll obligations mentioned above, they would also have to consider whether this employee creates a Permanent Establishment (PE) in Ireland.

A PE is defined as “fixed place of business through which the business of an enterprise is wholly or partly carried on ”. If it is determined that a PE arises based on the duties of the employee, the foreign company may have an Irish corporation tax exposure.


As we see more people considering moving home to Ireland or being allowed to work from Ireland for a foreign employer, we remind them to consider the tax impact from an early stage. Your tax position should form part of your planning stage when considering such a move.

Brendan Murphy of Roberts Nathan discusses the tax implications



The 2019 Climate Change Act commits the UK to ‘net zero’ by 2050, increasing the UK’s duty to a 100% cutback in emissions in less than thirty years. On 20th April 2021, the Government declared that it will “set the world’s most ambitious change target” to decrease emissions by 78% in contrast to 1990 levels.

We are seeing Government pressure for companies to consider sustainability but there is also greater stakeholder expectation that a company is ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) compliant, and that sustainability and net-zero carbon principles are well-entrenched within businesses.

But how embedded within an organisation has sustainability really become? In many cases it has been compartmentalised, managed by a single person or perhaps a small department. To date, despite targets and incentives, this has not been regarded as a core business issue by most companies, but more as a marketing topic.

It is only when something is picked up by Finance and reported regularly to the board, however, that it means it is being taken seriously. We can see this is now happening. ESG is no longer an agendato-be-discussed item at the next board meeting, but rather a ‘how are we doing?’ item. And the companies that are doing it well are reaping the results.

How do we see finance getting involved in measurement?

ESG is here to stay and, increasingly, it’s the Finance Executive’s responsibility, whilst firmly the lead of the owner or Managing Director, to identify and incorporate sustainability considerations

into the budget and calculate how they futureproof the business and help growand not erode - the bottom line.

The green metrics that SMEs are embracing are wide ranging. Finance Directors are engaging with green energy providers and collaborating with those who can advise about the cost benefits of changing company fleet to electric vehicle only, but there are also quicker wins to be had. Finance can measure the contribution recycling products (such as bricks or packaging, for example), or indeed using recycled products to reduce carbon footprint, can make to a business. These initiatives can be quantified, and this is where the role of Finance plays its part in measuring sustainability from a financial perspective.

Spend to save

Many corporate initiatives that form part of an ESG strategy will require capex investment and the Finance department needs an understanding of the risk/return ratio, probable payback periods and the less tangible and quantifiable value these initiatives will bring to the business through customer loyalty, staff retention, brand, and reputation - to name but a few. We are seeing Finance Director’s roles coming to the fore here in decisionmaking. The Finance department is sourcing necessary funding, or indeed sourcing strategic partnerships, to enable a business to become more sustainable in the way it operates. Equally, one can argue,


Environmental, social and corporate governance is a complex topic, and as enterprises assess the risks and opportunities within their existing business activities, we have the experience to support and advise financial teams on meaningful sustainability cost savings and reporting.


Finance’s role has become more complex, undoubtedly requiring a new mindset and possibly new ways of reporting.

It’s what investors, stakeholders and employees want

The adoption of a ‘sustainable sustainability’ strategy is reputation enhancing but companies with demonstrable ESG practice are using their credentials not just as a creative and inexpensive marketing tool, but rather building them into the corporate narrative to secure green grants and save money too.

The benefits gained by financial reporting on sustainability and ESG initiatives are real. ‘Greening’ or ‘Greenwashing’ property, estate, personnel, and corporate culture isn’t as fanciful as it first appeared on the page and companies are reporting tangible results. Investors, stakeholders, and employees - designate and existing - are saying they want to be associated with a company that cares about sustainability at a wholesome and wholesale level – a company that is collectively and concurrently looking after climate, community, and corporation. In addition to the external accolades, the churn rate among employees is reportedly lower and loyalty higher – another measure for the Finance department to consider and evaluate.

Get in touch –Email us at for more information.
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Recognising the efforts of our members and singing their praises is something we look forward to every year. In the absence of the Gala ball to do just that, we have decided again to continue our tradition and celebrate those that have achieved over the last 12 months with the BITA Recognition Awards 2021 by shining a light on some of the incredible initiatives spearheaded by our members.

The Executive and Non-Executive Board members were asked to anonymously vote on a shortlist of finalists for six categories: BITA Supporter, Commitment to Sustainability, Rising Star, Innovation, Commitment to Community and World Travellers. The nominations were sent in by our board members from across the UK and Ireland.

It was of course a very difficult decision to vote on the winners, and we would like to say a huge well done to all those that were shortlisted as finalists, and a massive congratulations to the winners of course!

The annual Gala Ball and Awards Ceremony will be back in Autumn 2022, so keep your eyes open for more information!


This award is for companies or individuals that really ‘get’ BITA and make sure that they are involved with and contribute to the organisation –giving as good as they are receiving! They are the ‘People who know people that help people’.


Paddy Tamplin, Stira

Paddy Tamplin is the Chair of the newly founded Galway Chapter, and he is excited to make his foray into BITA representing the third chapter in Ireland, after putting together a truly excellent group of board members. Paddy has been a long-time member of BITA before this and has regularly attended events across all our chapters.

Bridie is the Chair of the London Chapter of BITA and has been tireless in her dedication to our members and the growth of the London Chapter. In 2021, she developed and lead the initiative looking into the labour shortage and apprenticeship issues facing the construction industry.


Kevin joined the Cork chapter board earlier this year, and he has quickly made an impact with his enthusiasm, willingness to share expertise and introductions, and his vast knowledge. He is a wonderful advocate of BITA, and an excellent introducer.

BRITISH AND IRISH TRADING ALLIANCE Paddy Tamplin Bridie Cunningham, Portman Scott Bridie Cunningham
Kevin Deasy, Accounting Pro


This award is for businesses who put sustainability at the core of what they do, and how they operate. COP26 has proven that sustainability is not just a buzzword by showcasing the UKs commitment to net zero and gaining agreement to The Glasgow Climate Pact which will speed up the pace of climate action. BITA has it’s own commitment to global sustainability by providing information and support to initiatives that increase participation in the overall goals. Finalists for this award are businesses that are leading the pack in their sustainable practices.



With a strong community focus and a dedication to champion sustainable waste management practices, Powerday were a very close second for winning this award. Their sustainability and wellness pillars that promote community, carbon management, procurement, staff and clients are folded into their business practices all the way up to the highest level, and their manifesto, published in March this year, showed clearly their commitment to leading in this area.

Green Building Design Consultants

A business that has literally been built around concepts of sustainability in the built environment, this company specialises in the delivery of sustainable, innovative, and practical building services and design solutions. From improving the green credentials of existing buildings to championing innovation in new builds, this company is working hard to make a real impact.



Since they were founded in 2016, OceanR have stopped 269,980 plastic bottles from entering the environment. Following two years research, founder Tom Cotter created a sustainable way to create colourful, comfortable and light fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles. They create great clothing solutions for any business or person wanting to cut down on their carbon footprint.


This award is for newer members of BITA who are getting heavily involved and who are committed to making it work. Not just for the younger members of BITA, this award recognises hard work and innovation in all our members.


Elliott came to Paul Whitnell in the early part of 2021 saying that none of his class in school had benefitted from work experience in this year and he felt that they were all missing out on an important experience. Working with Paul and other members of BITA, Elliott helped organise a weeklong event in his school where his classmates benefitted from online talks and Q&As with some of the leaders in BITA and our community.

Dan Marsden is a member of the newly formed Kent Chapter of BITA, and he has not been shy about getting involved! Dan has taken on the role of events lead in his chapter, where they have already started their monthly social networking events, been involved in the Kent Construction Expo, and hosted a fundraising gig featuring the Trackdogs!


Tara has joined the board of BITAx this year and has quickly become involved supporting the chapter and helping with events. She spearheaded the Powerday Canal Cleanup for World Cleanup Day, has been integral in organising the BITAx Breakfast events, and has also provided a speaker in sustainable businesses practices to the BITAx event in October.

Elliott Looney Elliott Looney Dan Marsden, Searchflow Dan Marsden Tara Crossan, Powerday


This award is for organisations that have successfully pivoted their business operations or strategy in response to crisis, or who have provided unique solutions to issues facing businesses.


Nicholas Challen, HBSL Procurement

This company has been working hard developing solutions to save businesses money in their procurement and supply chain. Specialising in hospitality, HBSL Procurement have been able to assist businesses in a very beleaguered industry and help them to save money.

Charlie Reed, Skylapse Media

When he was unable to work as a pilot during the last two years, Charlie decided to take a risk and found Skylapse Media. Taking advantage of his flying abilities, Charlie (and his team) now pilot top of the range drones to get jaw-dropping footage from hard-to-reach areas, and ongoing projects.


Paula Fisher, Practical HR

Hearing that BITA had made a commitment to provide support to supply chains across the country, Paula set out to create a portal that supplies our members with hundreds of policies and procedures that meet their HR challenges. Provided as part of BITA membership there is more than enough HR related information for any small business and access to more if it is required. Paula has proven that her values are aligned with our own and her innovative approach turned this project around in a heart beat!


This is a one-off award as we couldn’t ignore the incredible travelling duo of Rachel McGuinness from Wake up with Zest, and Mark Williams of Pensar! This couple have been to more BITA events across the UK than any other member and have also stopped off at many exciting locations along the way. Their Instagram is a sure way to start feeling jealous, so here’s to you two!


This award is for companies that have a true community spirit and show this in the way they support locals and keep community at the heart of what they do. We give our thanks to all the members that give of their time and resources to support their communities and these nominations are just a tip of the community spirited mountain in our wonderful organisation!


Paul Mirage, Business Connect Magazine

Paul Mirage has been working on growing his magazine and has always been proactive in promoting local businesses to help them find a wider audience. Previously known as GM Business Connect Magazine, Paul has promoted many BITA members and Board members, and is a champion of his business community – sharing resources, promotional opportunities and introductions.

Tom O’Conner, Oliver Connell & Son

Being a family business can come with its own issues but with solid values and a belief that your team are your most valuable asset, a business’s foundations are kept strong. Oliver Connell & Son plays an active role in contributing to their community through sponsorship of a local gaelic football team and through the support of employees who take part in activities organised both by the firm and by themselves.


Julie Anderson, RAP Interiors

Staunch supporter of local community initiatives, Rap Interiors are long standing members of BITA, and Julie has now joined the Kent Board. Working with the Kent Chapter they initiate fundraising and ran an event in November at Edenwood Hive, for the Care For Christmas appeal 2021 – raising money for victims of domestic abuse.

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The Isle of Man has had the luxury of being very careful, after all it’s easier to check who is coming and going when there are fewer methods of entry. BITA IOM has decided to err on the side of caution as well, however we are excited to come back with a bang next year!

The incredible Jennie Thompson who is based on-island has been working hard with BITA board members, as well as the Department for Enterprise and Chamber of Commerce to plan and develop something brand new.

From the 4th – 6th of May in 2022, the IOM Chapter of BITA, DfE and CoC on island will be hosting a series of events to encourage trade and investment between the Isle of Man, UK and Ireland.

Events are of course subject to change at this stage, but over this three-day event, we are planning to include a golf day (with a spa alternative if golf isn’t your thing), a networking breakfast, a social networking evening, and we plan to finish the event on the 6th May, when we

will be hosting a BITA networking lunch at the Comis hotel. That will be the end of our event, but we encourage attendees to consider staying for the weekend. The Isle of Man is such a unique place, that we have been recognised by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Region – the first country in the world to have that honour. So much of our island is easily accessible, and there are lots of options; we hope that you’ll fall in love with it as much as we have!

In other IOM news, I was delighted to see earlier this month that Hartford Homes have been working with Manx Wildlife Trust to finalise plans for a micro forest in the new Royal Park development in Ramsey. Micro forests are an exciting idea; they grow incredibly quickly, are areas of high biodiversity, and will be comprised of native trees and shrubs. Ultimately the plan from Hartford Homes is to create several of these areas, and to plan a total of 1,600 native trees. It’s great to highlight schemes like this, as it goes to prove that great initiatives only need to start small. It’s the getting started that counts!

Following an excellent event held at the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club in September, the South West Chapter has continued to host weekly online events for our members, and anyone looking to grow into the South West.

Founded earlier this year, we have grown rapidly, and have managed to attract some incredible board members, including newcomers Niall Boland who some of you might remember from our London events, and Dan Gilmour from members Newton Waterproofing. Together we are looking forward to hosting some unique events in 2022, and we are already laying plans for yachting lunches and networking dinners. Make sure you keep an eye on your newsletters and check the events page for more information as we book them in.

For those of you that want to get stuck in right away, our weekly networking events are held on Tuesday mornings from 8am, and we would love to see you there. Just book your space through the BITA events page!


The new Halo building in Bristol is continuing apace, and it’s going to be one of the greenest UK office buildings outside London. The developers, Cubex, are looking for a BREEAM Outstanding Sustainability Accreditation, and the development will be the office for around 1,000 when it opens. This is wonderful news as it will help bring increased cashflow to the city, and really helps signify that eco commercial construction isn’t just for London.

Chair of the IOM Chapter, Brendon Kenny, has exciting news from the island Orla O’Leary, Chair of the South West Chapter, is looking forward to exciting events in 2022

Christmas is nearly here, but as with all good things, we should consider indulging in moderation so that we don’t have a serious festive hangover come January!

Rachel McGuinness from our partners Wake up with Zest, has been kind enough to share her excellent insight and advice for how we can all enjoy Christmas this year, and be raring to go in 2022!





It is a long-recognised belief that Christmas seems to be upon us a little earlier each year. It started eating into bonfire night and now we have wreaths and baubles battling for space with plastic pumpkins and polyester caldrons. Mince pies deck the shelves from mid-October and by the time the actual festive period rolls around, we can feel so overwhelmed from the constant advertising, food, and general rush, that we really need those few days off over Christmas. For those in charge of planning the Christmas celebrations, it can feel even more stressful, with marketing constantly admonishing us that anything less than perfect is failure. But don’t despair! For anyone pulling their hair out after being assaulted by Mariah Carey on 1st November, we have a handy guide for how to get through December. May we suggest no shopping without earbuds after October 31st?

Pre-Christmas work planning

This is more of a tip for next year. We’ve all been there, you think that your annual leave is lasting, only to have it disappear in a puff of school plays and shopping trips. Make sure that you have allocated enough time off over Christmas for a truly relaxing break and have a couple of days in your back pocket for extras – like lunch with friends or pantomimes.

What do YOU want to do?

If last year told us anything, it was that some people preferred the extra time to themselves. It can be so easy to over commit your time and not get enough R & R, which then leaves you exhausted when you start back to work in January. So before making back to back plans because that’s the norm, ask yourself what you really want to do. Reading that book you haven’t had time for, binge-watching a boxset or baking; whatever you want to do, make a list, and make sure you check it twice before January rolls around.

Preparation is key!

Although we probably won’t experience the ‘Christmageddon’ that some of the tabloids have been touting, it is possible that some popular items will be more difficult to find. So start buying things that can be frozen, organising a delivery slot, and arranging those ‘must-have’ toys. You will also want to think about prep-work that can be done in advance, any cooking, Christmas card writing, and if you have children, not waiting till Christmas Eve to wrap all the presents. We all know you’ll be up till 2am and woken at 5am; that’s no way to make it through the day!

Take care of you

This is the time of year when you start to get tired and stressed as you’re trying to meet deadlines before finishing for the holidays. It’s important to listen to your body and not ignore any niggles. If you’re tired and achy go to bed earlier and get a good night’s sleep. If you feel that

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you’re going down with a bug, take some echinacea drops to boost your immune system, pay attention to your diet, and make sure you’re getting enough water.

Tomorrow never comes

Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do today. If getting fitter, eating better, or learning a language is on the agenda for January, why not start now and ease yourself in gradually?

As a bonus, you can feel smug as you’ll be ahead of the game! If fitness is your goal, there are loads of workouts on

The Zest Wellbeing Hub to suit different abilities


It’s amazingly easy to eat so many rich foods in the lead up, that come Boxing day you just want a salad and non-alcoholic drink. So remember to pace yourself through December, and if you’re looking for an alternative to alcohol for Christmas, try out the mocktail recipes on PAGE 36. We’ve teamed up with fellow BITA member Steve Frehley from Jeffrey’s Drinks to promote these non-alcoholic tipples.

We should all take the time to do what gives us enjoyment this Christmas, it’s an incredibly stressful time for many people who feel pressure for perfection and the feeling that they absolutely must enjoy themselves. Christmas is what you make of it, and if you usually start January more exhausted than you ended December, try mixing things up and taking some time for you; whether that’s dancing around the room, seeing friends, seeing no one, or enjoying a glass of something with a good book. There is no such thing as a perfect Christmas, there is only time well spent.

Feel the breeze

Get out in the fresh air for a long walk to blow out the cobwebs - whatever the weather. It’s important to get outside in the daytime during the winter. You probably won’t get much of a Vitamin D fix, but it will help you sleep better if you’re exposed to daylight as it helps sets your body clock. And speaking of sleep...

Prioritise sleep

If you’re feeling exhausted - try to get into a good sleep routine with the run up to the holidays and keep to it. Going to bed and waking up around the same time will leave you feeling more refreshed (provided you have 7+ hours between those times), so come the New Year you will feel energised and ready to hit the ground running.

Thinking of others

It is the time of giving, and there are many people not as lucky as ourselves. When you’re out food shopping, consider buying a few extra bits and pieces and donate to your local food bank, perhaps make a donation, or you could go and volunteer. It’s always a positive thing to help others!

Thinking of you

Oftentimes we don’t have the opportunity to think about what we want, and how our lives are. We tend to be stuck in our tracks doing the same things and not really pulling away to look at the bigger picture of our lives and how things are going. Take the time to reflect on the past 12 months, and consider what you are grateful for, what made you happy, and what should you change?

Slave to the rhythm

If you’ve got out of the habit of listening to music, get a play list together, search out playlists on your favourite music platform or ask friends for their recommendations. Check out your favourites, go for different genres or bands you’ve not listened to for a while or your choice of festive tunes. Music helps to de-stress and relax, as well as energise you and put you in a better mood. Listening to great music is fantastic for your mental wellbeing - and also your physical wellbeing if you have a bit of boogie!





Sophisticated Soft Drinks

Extraordinary Mixers

We all know that December can be a bit heavy on the alcohol, but we don’t necessarily want to be sitting around of an evening with a coke. For those that want to lay off the alcohol, but still want an adult drink to enjoy, Jeffrey’s Tonics and Wake Up With Zest have teamed up to bring you 7 different Mocktails to enjoy any time of year. Jeffrey’s Tonics are great accompaniment to alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and can be enjoyed straight up with fizzy or still water and a few ice cubes.

If you wish to make the alcoholic version of these just add the appropriate spirit or go to for some inspiration. You can also purchase some of the ingredients directly from Jefferys Drinks, or the BITA shop.


Fruity No Alcohol G&T

A measure or two of no-alcohol gin

A measure of Jeffrey’s Yarrow, Rosehip & Elderflower

A few slices of strawberry or raspberries for garnish

Plenty of ice

Zesty Spicy No Alcohol G&T

A measure or two of no-alcohol gin

A measure of Jeffrey’s Oriental Lime

A sliver of ginger for garnish

A sliver of chilli for garnish

Plenty of ice

No Alcohol G&T with a twist of Seville

A measure or two of no-alcohol gin

A measure of Jeffrey’s Sicilian Lemon & Warm Spices

A sliver of orange zest

Plenty of ice

Alternative Vodka Tonic

A measure or two of no-alcohol vodka

A measure of Jeffrey’s Classic Premium Indian Tonic Syrup

A sliver of lemon zest

Plenty of ice

Mojito with a Twist

2 tsp sugar

1 measure of lime juice

1 measure of Jeffrey’s Oriental Lime

Bunch of fresh mint leaves

Soda or sparkling water

1 measure of no-alcohol rum

Plenty of ice

A few slices of fresh lime

Jeffrey’s New-fashioned

2 measures of no-alcohol bourbon

1/2 a measure of maple syrup

1 measure of sparkling water

1 measure of Jeffrey’s Classic Premium Indian Tonic Syrup

2 ice cubes

A sliver of orange zest

A maraschino cherry

Lemony No Alcohol G&T

A measure or two of no-alcohol gin

A measure of Jeffrey’s Sicilian Lemon & Warm Spice

Plenty of ice

A sliver of chilli

A sliver lemon zest

1. Fruity No Alcohol G&T 2. Mojito with a Twist 3. Jeffrey’s New-fashioned
1 2 3 4
4. No Alcohol G&T with a twist of Seville


Scams range from the sophisticated to outdated, but anyone can be caught out. Francis West of Westtek tells us what to look out for

Christmas gets earlier each year, and it’s not unusual to see Christmas items on sale and Christmas deals being promoted in October. It’s so easy to get caught up in the lights, music and frivolities of Christmas and to take our eyes off the bauble when it comes to security. And this is exactly what the hackers and cyber criminals rely on. Every little security lapse can result in lost data, lost money and lost time. The Christmas scams are varied but all amount to the same thing –scammers trying to get money or data from you.

Top five festive scams

1. Christmas e-cards – although not as common as they were 10 years ago, you may still get the odd e-card sent by email. These come with a link to the card – or more likely a phishing site designed to steal data or download malware to your device.

2. Phishing emails – November and December are the months of the marketing email, where every store you’ve ever shopped with (and many you haven’t) will email you with their Christmas deals. These emails will include links which could take you to a fake site where they will steal your data or download malware to your device.

3. Auction website scams – A lot of scams take place on auction sites, or sites where anyone can set up their own seller accounts. With a folder of stolen stock images, and a reputable looking fake account buyers can be scammed out of thousands of pounds on merchandise that doesn’t actually exist.

4. Seller scams – It’s not just the buyers who are at risk, as in 2020 there were a number of sellers targeted by cyber criminals. By keeping an eye on what particular sellers were selling, the scammers emailed them from a fake address pretending to be PayPal for example, informing them they had been paid for a particular item hoping the seller would then send it to the address provided.

5. Fake loan scams – Christmas is an expensive time, which can lead some people to consider loans. Scammers target people via phishing emails, with the offer of a same day loan, no credit checks and a low interest rate. And if you contact them you will be told to pay a small set-up fee upfront via bank transfer. The scammer will then disappear with your money.

Keeping safe in the festive season However, although the scammers are waiting for you to drop your guard during the festive season, it’s easy to stay safe and still enjoy the build-up to Christmas.

• Shop safe – Although it is convenient to click on links in emails, this is the easiest way for a scammer to send you to a fake site. So, make it a habit, to use the promotional emails as information only, and go direct to the company website without clicking on their links. If the deals are genuine they will be on the site, and if they’re not you dodged a bullet.

• Email safe – As most scams come in via email, ensuring you have email security processes in place will help. These include a robust spam filter, anti-virus software and end to end encryption for good measure. But nothing beats being scam aware. Check who the email is from – a reputable business is unlikely to use a Gmail account (e.g., and their username will not be fahlkjhjh! Also check the company name is spelt correctly in the email address or website they are trying to link you to (not Paypa1).

If the email appears to be from a friend – with just a link for example and no message – contact them and ask if it is genuine before clicking on it.

• Use secure networks – Always use a secure Wi-Fi network. If you do connect to free Wi-Fi whilst out shopping, be careful of the sites that you visit and the data you are entering. If it is something you wouldn’t want a hacker to know, don’t type it in over an open network.

If you want more advice on avoiding phishing and smishing campaigns and generally being safer online during the festive season speak with Security Everywhere today. /


Northern Line Extension

Northern Line Extension

The Northern Line Extension is the first major Tube extension this century and encompasses a new 3km twintunnel railway between Kennington Station with new stations build at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station (where the line terminates) There are also two new service and ventilation shafts at Kennington Green and Kennington park.

The Northern Line Extension is the first major Tube extension this century and encompasses a new 3km twintunnel railway between Kennington Station with new stations build at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station (where the line terminates) There are also two new service and ventilation shafts at Kennington Green and Kennington park.

Emico's scope involved the Tunnel Ventinaltion System (TVS), Electrical Fit out of the shafts, Fire Suppression and Dire Detection across all sites. Emico also self-delivered the design, install and commissioning of the Fire Systems which consisted of over 2100 addressable devised all networked together across the 4 sites with central LUL control, along with over 3 5km of Fire Suppression Pipework in the form of Hydrants and Sprinklers

Emico's scope involved the Tunnel Ventinaltion System (TVS), Electrical Fit out of the shafts, Fire Suppression and Dire Detection across all sites. Emico also self-delivered the design, install and commissioning of the Fire Systems which consisted of over 2100 addressable devised all networked together across the 4 sites with central LUL control, along with over 3 5km of Fire Suppression Pipework in the form of Hydrants and Sprinklers

These systems have all been successfully commissioned and Emico is proud to hvave played their part in this landmark project

These systems have all been successfully commissioned and Emico is proud to hvave played their part in this landmark project

w w w . e m i c o . c o Emico-Ltd R i g h t F i r s t T i m e
w w w . e m i c o . c o Emico-Ltd R i g h t F i r s t T i m e

In the UK, we tend take our time getting back into the swing of work after Christmas and New Year. Probably something to do with the short days, grey skies, cold, wet weather and, well frankly, it is generally much nicer all round to be at home. This year it may be even harder with the looming threat of further Covid restrictions.

Returning to work after Christmas and New Year is not an easy thing to do, according to psychologists. Following the

Allay fears and anxiety

The cascading fallout of Covid, lockdowns and uncertainty about the new variant make an impact on each of us to one degree or another. Arranging catchups will give line managers or team leaders the opportunity to discover what employees’ concerns are, if any, and how you can put their minds at ease. This isn’t a part of an end of year review, it should be separate. Reviews further add to stress and anxiety.


nice break of no routine, travel, deadlines and demands, motivation and the “work mode mindset” is a thrown off. The mix of sadness and reluctance to leave this time and memories behind for another year combined with the worry about the waiting workload, emails and other issues can cause feelings of anxiety.

Avoidance is easier than getting down to it.

This isn’t such good news for you, if you are an employer with waiting, agitated customers and clients wanting results in the New Year.

There are a few things that you can do now, before the break, to better support and prepare your staff to help their motivation to return to work, keen, ready, and engaged. A HR survey in 2015, reported that 84% of employees interviewed would feel more motivated if they received a non-financial reward. So, bearing this in mind, what can you do?

The gift of time

People appreciate others spending time on them. It makes them feel valued. Depending on numbers and company structure, you can either survey or have a chat individually with each about how they are doing. How about a quick coffee to do this? It will give a huge morale boost and make them feel appreciated. 38% of employees want rewards that make them feel valued.

Providing the personal approach

In the survey or chat, include topics around the goals and aims of the individual for 2022. It doesn’t have to be work-related, such as looking for a promotion, pay increase or improving skills (but it might). They might want to move house, build an extension, a new kitchen or have a special holiday/ anniversary. Identifying something which is personal and meaningful is important for both of you and can help bring the goal to fruition.

Reminding your employees about their goals could be a simple way of refocusing and keeping motivation up as the year draws to a close.

Keeping staff motivated who work between Christmas and New Year

If you need a skeleton staff on during the down time, offer incentives and rewards. Having something special for lunch delivered or an unexpected financial “thank-you” will go a long way to perking them up and keeping them motivated and happy!

Rewarding employees for a job well done

Incentives and rewards shouldn’t be viewed as a way to bribe staff into working harder – they should be provided to make staff feel valued for the work they do for the organisation. With as many as one in five people looking to change career in the next 12 months, inspiring the loyalty of staff is essential. In January, 18% of employees look to change jobs.

By valuing your staff and showing it, you will more easily retain them and avoid the disruptive, costly recruitment activity needed to replace them.

Paula Ruane considers how you can help your staff return to work feeling engaged




The air of excitement coming from our chapters across the Emerald Isle is palpable, as they organise their plans for 2022. The last two years has meant that there has been a stall in face-to-face events, but with the vaccination drive going apace, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the Irish Chapters are ready to leave the starting blocks.

The Dublin chapter was the second chapter of BITA founded, and their Christmas Networking lunches are a staple in many calendars. Sadly, for 2021, this event was postponed, however they have a new date of 11th February 2022 which will remain at the InterContinental Hotel. “In the meantime, I want to wish all of our members a very merry Christmas.” Says Chapter Chair Aidan Scollard; “It’s such a shame and was a difficult decision to postpone this event, but it was the right choice. We want our first event back to be joyful and living up to its full potential, and we are hopeful that we’ll be able to host that event in February.

“We have more events planned for the Dublin Chapter, with our social networking events starting again as soon as it is safe to do so, and we’ll also be hosting a networking lunch at the lovely Westin Hotel in the city centre, on the 13th May. We’re looking forward to welcoming all our members, old and new!”

The Cork chapter was founded in 2019, and they too are hoping to get back to hosting their social networking evenings held at Sober Lane soon. Not content to sit on their laurels, they have also been working hard to develop new ideas and add more value for their members. Tina Coy, Chapter Chair of the Cork chapter explains; “We are really excited to announce that in 2022 we will be hosting an exhibition, not only for Cork chapter members, but for all Irish members – and anyone that wants to fly over of course!”

This exhibition is in the planning stages and a co-location event but will be held around the end of June in Cork and Limerick, and will showcase companies and developments in sustainability, innovation and the environment. “Cork has such a thriving industry and is an incredible hub of innovative ideas and businesses, I’m looking forward to sharing this with all the attendees.

“In addition, we are also arranging our first networking lunch on the 29th April, so it’s promising to be a busy start to 2022 for Cork! We meet very month on the 1st Friday online using the REMO platform where we can network across all chapters, details are on the events tab on”

2021 saw the founding of two chapters of BITA – Kent and Galway. Galway is the third chapter of BITA based in Ireland, and Paddy Tamplin who works with Stira, has been an incredible advocate of our mission and ethos having been a long-term member. Paddy has assembled a board with a wide range of expertise, all of whom are also passionate about BITA and what we can offer businesses. “I’ve always been an enthusiastic supporter of BITA, as I have seen what belonging to the organisation can achieve. I was delighted when I was able to found the Galway chapter and can’t wait to get started on growing it in 2022.” Explains Paddy; “The Galway chapter will look to support and bring businesses throughout the West of Ireland in the BITA network. With this in mind, I am thrilled to announce that our first networking lunch in Galway is scheduled for early March, when we’ll be meeting other members of the board and local businesses that want to get involved. Of course, businesses from outside Galway will also be welcome!”.

Working in concert with our three Irish boards, is Philomena Leonard, who has taken on the role as Market Development Manager for Ireland. She will be supporting them in their growth, and ready to meet and assist any Irish members as needed. 2022 is going to be a year of expansion for BITA, and Ireland will be a driving force behind this growth. It’s going to be an exciting year!

Aidan Scollard, Dublin Chair Tina Coy, Cork Chair 41 COMMUNITY
Paddy Tamplin, Galway Chair

The most successful building and construction firms from across the UK have been crowned at the National Building and Construction Awards 2021. The event, of which BITA is a proud partner, was held at the Hilton London Wembley in the shadow of the iconic Wembley Stadium. The winners of the prestigious awards were announced including the overall winner, United Living Group, a company that employs more than 1100 people with a supply chain network of over 2000 resources supporting their projects.

“After one of the most challenging 12 months for the building and construction sector tonight we have celebrated those firms who are literally building the future of Britain.” said Awards Director Damian Cummins. “We were delighted that across the evening we saw and heard from apprentices, contractors, architects, surveyors and more, all of whom are making an enormous impact in the UK and it is right to award them for their amazing hard work.”



The National Building and Construction Awards are made up of 19 categories that allowed any successful business in the UK to enter the prestigious awards. All entries were judged by a national panel of judges, and BITA President Paul Whitnell was honoured to present the awards for Contractor of the Year (contract value £1m to £5m) and Digital Construction.

For information on the National Building and Construction Awards 2021 please visit our website:

Entries for the National Building and Construction Awards 2022 will close in June 2022, and the award ceremony will be held in November 2022



The Gold, Silver and Bronze winners from the NBCA from Thursday 18 November 2021 were:

Apprentice of the Year

Gold - Sasha Harvey - Anderson

Crannull Architectural Practice of the Year

Gold - Alessandro Caruso Architects

Silver - ARCO2 Architecture

Community Engagement

Gold - National Grid - Hinkley Connection Project

Silver - Novus Property Solutions

Contractor of the Year (contract value up to £1m)

Gold - JNF Limited

Silver - Citi Contracts

Contractor of the Year (contract value £1m to £5m)

Gold - Cardon Property & Construction

Silver - Longwood Property Management

Contractor of the Year (contract value over £5m)

Gold - Anderson

Silver - CField Construction

MHA Mcintyre Hudson Green/Sustainability Award

Gold - Cardon Property & Construction

Silver - Panthera Group

Health & Safety Award

Gold - Foreman Homes

Silver - Gridlocked

Liebherr Innovation of the Year

Gold - Water Kinetics

Silver - energystore

Project of the Year £10 million to £25 million

Gold - United Living Group

Silver - CField Construction

Project of the Year up to £10 million

Gold - CField Construction

Silver - MAS Architecture

Quantity Surveyors of the Year

Gold - Soben

Residential Developer of the Year

Gold - Iguana Developments

Specialist Contractor of the Year

Gold - Kane Group

Silver - Cardon Property & Construction

The Jockey Club Sub-Contractor of the Year

Gold - New Homes Customer Care (NHCC)

Silver - Roann

Women in Construction Award

Gold - Josie Britton - Modus Workspace

Silver - Natasha Bray - Rapleys LLP

Bronze - Kelly Cartwright - Jark Norfolk

Digital Construction Award

Gold - Kane Group

Silver - Skanska UK Plc

Consultancy of the Year

Gold - CornerStone GRG

Silver - Greengauge Building Energy Consultants

Overall Winner

Gold Winner - United Living Group 43 ADVERTORIAL



The tinsel is hung, the parties were fantastic (if you were lucky enough to have one this year!), and the presents are all wrapped nicely under the tree. All in all, we’re ahead of the game and feeling good about the big day. But what does that consist of?

If you are part of the brigade that has the same festive food offerings each year, this could be the time to shake things up!

Brown Sugar Baked Ham


While our Irish friends might be okay, we’ve been told in the UK that we might have to go turkey-less this year, so what could be better than borrowing a tradition from the Americans and create a showstopping baked ham? Sacrilegious to some, delightful change for others!

Get a ham, score it diagonally so it looks insta-worthy and set in a roasting pan. Cover with foil and put in the oven until there is 45 minutes of cooking time left.

Near the end of the cooking, make the glaze: over a medium heat, whisk together 64g brown sugar, 3 tbsp of Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 350ml apple cider. Let the mixture simmer until it’s reduced by half, and from the time the oven beeps, you glaze that ham every 10 minutes for the last 30 minutes of the cooking. To finish, check the meat is cooked, remove from the oven, give it one last glaze and rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Boiled sprouts? No thanks

So, if you roast the same turkey, with the same pigs in blankets and the same Bisto packet gravy smothered over the same boiled veggies every year – well, we won’t judge you if you want to carry on, you’re probably busy enough! But if you want to liven things up a bit this year and do things just a bit differently, read on for some of the BITA HQ teams top tips!

Developed by the Brits and then sadly forgotten and currently enjoyed by our American and Canadian brethren, it’s time to bring this delicious drink back to the British Isles. Eggnog started life in medieval times as ‘posset’ a mix of strong ale curdled with hot milk, spices and sometimes, eggs: thank goodness we aren’t stuck drinking that, this recipe is much more palatable!

Slowly bring to the boil 470ml of milk, with half a tsp. each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

Whisk 6 large egg yolks with 60g of sugar until they are pale. Very slowly (so the eggs don’t scramble) add the hot milk to the egg yolks and whisk.

Return this to a saucepan and cook over a medium heat until thick and coats the back of a spoon – don’t boil!

Remove from the heat and stir in 230ml heavy cream and either bourbon, whiskey, or rum to taste – we recommend around 230ml of alcohol as well.

“believe it or not they taste incredibly different to the boiled variety!”

The marmite of the Christmas meal, brussels used to be a lot more bitter than the veggies we know and perhaps love today. Long years of selective breeding have changed the humble brussel, and cooked correctly, it has a lot to offer.

Start with fresh brussels, wash and peel the outer layers.

Trim the stem and quarter or shred if you have time/can be bothered.

Heat a very little olive or coconut oil in a pan and add the brussels when hot. Put a lid on the pan so they steam down on a medium heat, you don’t want them burning.

Remove the lid and add chopped good quality bacon or lardons, and cook the sprouts in the fat.

When done, add flaked or crushed almonds for a few minutes and then serve. Also delicious with crushed walnuts or cooked and crushed chestnuts!

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Mr Whitnells favourite, normally cooked by his own fare hand :) One of Philomena’s favourite tipples –we weren’t so sure but will give it a go! Brussels à la Diane

Peppermit Bark

Felicity’s sugar treat!

A fun treat for those that enjoy their chocolate minty, peppermint bark has only been around since 1999 and it has exploded in popularity since. Incredibly easy to make, beautiful in gift baskets if you’re doing home-made gifts this year, and delicious to snack on – give this recipe a try!

You only need white chocolate, dark chocolate with no more than 50% sugar, half a teaspoon of peppermint extract and some crushed candy canes. It’s up to you if you want equal portions of white or dark chocolate! Here are the steps:

Melt the dark chocolate – either in a bowl over boiling water or in a microwave in short bursts.

When melted, add in the peppermint extract and pour over a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Leave to cool or refrigerate for around 20 minutes till set. Then you repeat this step with the white chocolate and pour this over the set dark chocolate. Immediate top with the crushed candy canes and refrigerate till set, again, around 20 minutes.

Then break up your bark – either by hand or with a hot knife for the more professional look and bask in the glory.

Pretty easy to make, proper gravy is a meal game changer. I love hosting dinner parties and I’ll often include all sorts –juniper berries, port, red wine – it’s worth looking up different recipes to see what would work for you. However, as a base, here is what you want to do:

Take the pan that you roasted the meat in (with the meat removed) and pour out the juices into a jug or mug. Leave to stand and skim off the fat. Add the meat juices to around a pint of stock

(you can go homemade here, or just get a pre-made stock from the supermarket).

Put the fat back into the roasting tin and put the tin on the hob over a medium heat. Slowly sift in plain flour (around 30g) and when smooth, slowly stir in the stock mixture. Use a wooden spoon to scrap off any bits of meat that are stuck to the roasting pan, bring to the boil and then simmer for around 10 minutes. Check the taste and add any seasoning you think is needed.

Proper Gravy Laura’s party trick! Peppermint Bark


Sometimes the days during the festive season all bleed into one, and before you know it, it’s January 4th and you’re back at a desk! Rachel McGuinness has some suggestions for how you might wring every last drop from your Christmas break and start the 4th feeling refreshed.

Saturday 25th December - Day 1 - Christmas Day

Have a wonderful day however you choose to spend it.

Sunday 26th December - Day 2 - Boxing Day

After the indulgences of Christmas Day, get that body moving and get out in the fresh air. If your body is feeling a bit stiff and out of kilter, try some stretching exercises. There are plenty on the Zest Wellbeing Hub from Chiropractor Dr Laura Knowles.

Monday 27th December - Day 3

Yesterday was the warmup, so it’s time to move your body a bit more. If you’re not used to exercise, then it’s a great time to start. Whether it’s a gentle 10-minute session of yoga or something a bit more vigorous such as a HIIT workout, or even a trip to the gym. Your body will thank you for giving it a bit of TLC!

Friday 31st December - Day 7

How was 2021 for you?

Reflect on the past 12 months. What went well for you, what didn’t go so well. Think about what you’re going to keep doing, ditch or start doing. Tomorrow is goal planning day!

Saturday 1st January - Day 8

Happy New Year!

Sunday 2nd January - Day 9

Start getting into a healthy routine over the next few days before you head back to work – including getting to bed on time.

What are your goals or aspirations for 2022? Think about what you want to achieve, what do you want to do, where you want to go, who do you want to see? Write them down and create a way to be accountable so that you can track your progress.

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Tuesday 28th December - Day 4

Have a cleaner, healthier eating day today. Give the carbs and sugar a bit of a rest especially if you’re feeling as though your waistbands are getting a bit tighter!

Wednesday 29th December - Day 5

Treat your liver to a rest today if you’ve been over doing the alcohol.

Thursday 30th December - Day 6

Ditch the resolutions and create healthy habits. Plan 30 days ahead. Work out what you’re going to do, when and where you’re going to do it, and with whom.

Monday 3rd January - Day 10

For some of you this may be the last day of the festive break. How are you feeling? Are you feeling energised and ready to rock and roll, or are you wishing you had another few days off? If you wish you’d done things differently, then make sure you plan your break differently next year.

Tuesday 4th January - Day 11

If you want to get super healthy for the beginning of the year, then may be try a 7-day detox. It doesn’t have to be hard core. Just cut out alcohol and carbs including fruit, watch your portion sizes, drink plenty of water and do a 30-minute work out every day.

Wednesday 5th January - Day 12

Now that the celebrations are over and if some of your goals were health related, think about what you could achieve in the next 30 days. For some 30 days is enough to instil a habit, especially if you do something every day towards it; whether it’s getting fitter, eating healthier, selfcare, or being more organised. Plan it and diarise it. To get started, book your space for Kickstart 2022 with Paul Whitnell on



Matt Cuoghi, Martin

Murray and brothers

Michael and Johnathan van der Straaten bought Edenwood Place in 2020. The venue was originally Kits Coty Brasserie, a well-known local restaurant that had closed at the end of 2019. The four directors spent the lockdown period dramatically updating and adapting the building. The Hive at Edenwood, which is based at Eden-wood Place, is an exciting venture for all four directors.

The Hive at Edenwood is a coworking space where freelancers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and work-from homers can work Monday to Friday. Coworking is an arrangement where workers of different companies share a workspace, ideas, and knowledge. It offers flexibility and provides members with a sense of community. Since the pandemic coworking has grown in popularity. Workers no longer want to commute to offices in the city but get distracted when working from home. Coworking enables workers to work closer to home and helps them to avoid feeling isolated.

Hive members can use our facilities to work, entertain clients, host meetings, grow their net-work and collaborate with like-minded professionals. We boast simulating spaces inside and out, with fantastic views across the North downs in Kent, a resident chef, meeting rooms, tea and coffee, free parking and easy access to the M2 and M20 motorways.

The Hive is based upon the following 6 words: Balance, Dynamism, Nourishment, Enabling, Creativity and Collaboration

Balance: We know just how stressful the day to day running of a business is –we’ve been there and done it. So, we know it is imperative to fine your correct work-life balance. Here at The Hive we have created not only a fantastic workspace, but have thought about your much needed down-time too. Take a break and make full use of our unlimited coffee and tea throughout the day or enjoy a freshly prepared lunch at our onsite restaurant. We also have relaxation spaces both indoors and outdoors, so however you like to take a break, we’ve got you covered. In addition, Hive membership includes free social membership to Edenwood Place, so you after-work rest and recreation is also taken care of.

Dynamism is about having a positive mindset by encouraging ambition and growth in the workspace. We promote this in the Hive through inspirational talks and our partnerships. Our level of support can take your ambition and growth to the next level.

Nourishment is about supporting wellbeing in the workspace. Your wellbeing is important to us, so make time for yourself at our regular wellness sessions, including yoga, Pilates, and aromatherapy massages (discount for Hive members). You can even hire our quiet/therapy room to really get away from it all and focus your mind.

Enabling is about providing our members with the education to succeed. Looking for business support? Our partnership with BITA enables members to access BITA events hosted at Edenwood Place. Want to speak to a business expert for advice? Attend our drop-in clinics and speak to a specialist. Need upskilling in a specific area? We host training events, such as SEO management, marketing, and finance on site for members.

Creativity is vital for any business; you need to adapt and stand out from the crowd. We encourage creativity through art exhibitions, creative workshops and design ideas to boost your imagination and innovation to drive your business forward.

Collaboration is at the core of coworking; a concept that is all about bringing professionals together to share their knowledge and let ideas collide. Our flexible coworking space, networking connections and social events give you the tools to be as collaborative as you would like and your business needs

The Hive at Edenwood is keen to build partnerships with a wide variety of businesses. One of our partnerships is with The British and Irish Trading Alliance (BITA). BITA is a non-profit making organisation that encourages its members to build relationships to generate business through exciting networking, educational and social events held in both countries. Members of the Hive get access to BITA events here at Edenwood Place.


Our facilities

The boardroom

Whether you are an existing member of The Hive or a company in need of a meeting room, our boardroom is the perfect space. Ideal for board meetings, conferences, presentations, workshops, and more. The boardroom can seat up to 14 people, has an 82” dis-play monitor and flipchart/whiteboard. Catering options can also be provided at an extra cost.

Conference room

The conference room is an ideal space to host board meetings, con-ference, workshops, training sessions, and more. The room is bookable for existing Hive mem-bers and external companies.

Balcony room

The balcony room is a space where members can breakout and collabo-rate with others. The balcony room has desks for hot desking, sofas to relax and a balcony where you can view the North downs.

Quiet/therapy room

Members can use this space to work when they need somewhere quiet. This room is also bookable for a fee for a range of therapies such as massages, aesthetics, etc (discount for Hive members).

Outdoor terraces

In addition to indoor spaces, the Hive has plenty of outdoor spaces where you can work, take a break, and admire the view. We also have a summerhouse that is available to book; ideal for informal meetings or space to relax.

Event space

Maybe you are looking for the perfect venue to host your own corporate, training, or social event? Not only can we provide the location, our friendly and knowledgeable event staff can help you with the planning. Hive members can book our event space at a dis-counted rate.


We have a bar that is stocked with locally sourced beers, wines, and spirits. Our suppliers include Curious Brew, Chapel down and The Maidstone Distillery.


Josh, our head chef, combines his 2 AA Rosette background and love of all things Italian into a menu that celebrates the best of Kent, with a distinct Mediterranean feel. We are committed to working with and supporting local growers, farmers, and suppliers. Our brunch and lunch menu is available to Hive members 9am-2pm, Monday to Friday,

Our features and benefits:

• Located in the countryside

• Quirky interior design

• Unlimited coffee, tea and chilled water

• Free on-site parking

• Shower room

• Printing and scanning facilities

• Super-fast fibre broadband with back-up system (200 Mbps)

• Discounted event space for members

• Access to networking, training, and social events

• Partnerships with local business that offer exclusive rates and discounts

• On-site catering facilities

• Social membership to Edenwood Place (exclusive member’s nights etc)

• Onsite financial services

• Registered address

Bronze membership (£80+VAT):

• 40 hours of hot-desking per month

• Discounted meeting room hire

• All of the above features and benefits

• Joining fee £25+VAT

Silver membership (£110+VAT):

• 60 hours of hot-desking per month

• Discounted meeting room hire

• All of the above features and benefits

• Joining fee £25+VAT

Gold membership (£165+VAT):

• Unlimited use of hot-desking per month

• Discounted meeting room hire

• All of the above features and benefits

• No joining fee

Virtual office (£50+VAT):

• Discounted meeting room hire

• Registered address

• Access to events, discounts, and partnerships

• Discounted event space

• Joining fee £25+VAT

Registered address only (£25+VAT):

• Professional registered business address (ideal for billing, Companies House etc)

• Extra costs for large items and mail forwarding

Day Pass (£25+VAT):

• Access to The Hive for the day (9am-5pm)

• Unlimited tea, coffee and chilled water


Sign up before the 31st of January to get the benefits of our Gold membership (£165 plus VAT) for the price of Bronze (£80 plus VAT)

*Offer valid for the first two months of membership only

If you would like more information or would like to book a tour, please email and quote ‘NetworksHive’ 49



The wellbeing of our members is important to us, which is why we felt it was important to provide access to wellbeing resources to our members. As part of your BITA membership, you get access to the Zest Wellbeing Hub from Wake Up With Zest. It’s an online wellbeing resource that includes access to their quarterly health webinars and ZestCasts (like a podcast) where they interview other health experts.

What’s on the Hub?

The Hub gives you access to nearly 700 articles with more added each month, all from expert contributors on wide range of topics that include:

• Improving sleep

• Healthy eating

• Getting fitter

• Being more resilient

• Mental health

• Men’s health

• Women’s health

• Financial wellbeing

• Complementary therapies

• Menopause and hormone health

• Time management and productivity

• Mindfulness

• Motivation and confidence

• Resilience – kids and teenagers

How do you access it?

When you signed up for your BITA membership you will have received an email from Wake Up With Zest with your login information.

Just go to

Don’t worry if you’ve mislaid it, just email and they will be in touch to get you access to the platform.

If membership to the Hub is not for you, then please pass it on to another member of staff that you think will benefit. Just email BITA or Wake up With Zest with their name and email address, and they will transfer the free membership to them.

Helping your Staff…

If you want to find out more about what the Wake Up With Zest team can do to help keep your employees happy and healthy, then please get in touch and they’ll be happy to discuss the options available.

Services also include:

Webinars, talks and workshops on different aspects of mental and physical health

• Bespoke health videos

• Health coaching

• 121 Health consultations

• Sleep programmes

• Weight loss programmes

• Podcasts

If you’re at a BITA lunch or drinks event, Rachel McGuinness, our Chief Vitality Officer may well be there, so please do come and say hi to her.


An appropriate analogy for BITA this time of year, is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

As many of you can imagine, there is always lots to do, but business growth isn’t always about action – the vast majority is about strategic planning.

Strategy and planning are what bring me to life; I find it invigorating to work on a project that I know will have a direct and beneficial impact on our members and bring it to fruition. To consider how we can be best placed to help people and to tackle issues that some people haven’t even thought of next, is where I thrive. This is also one of the things I love best about BITA – the opportunities to pursue my passions that working here offers me.

way of life is as well. We were humbled by how enthusiastically our members threw themselves into the spirt of the day this year, and hopefully we’ll have even more sign ups in 2022!

Equality and the challenges facing some members of our society is a topic that has come up with increasing frequency in the past two years, and this is something we should all be facing together. After all, the happiest and most productive societies and workplaces are also the most inclusive.i We will be running an initiative that informs, educates, and engages our members on how we can all be more inclusive and address issues including racism and other forms of discrimination.


Diane Birch considers where we have been, where we are going and living with purpose in 2022

The past year, much of our planning has gone towards chapter growth and member support. We have been working with Paula Fisher on developing our HR Hub, where our members can find a solution to almost all their HR requirements! It has been a pleasure to work with Paula on this incredible project, which will be a godsend to many of our members.

I have helped develop many successful initiatives since starting with BITA, but none have had me as excited as what we have planned for 2022. And this is all thanks to the incredible support of everyone over the last few years. Our members, board members, non-executive and staff have all been working in their own ways to allow us at BITA to cast our nets further and start strategically planning for the future.

Three of the new initiatives we have planned for 2022 are continuing the World Cleanup Day, Equality, and Bringing your Teenagers to Work.

Following the gusto with which over 60 BITA member companies, and hundreds of individuals, threw themselves into the World Cleanup Day events in September 2021, we want to push this even more in 2022. We all know how precious our world is, and if nothing else the last two years have also shown us how precarious our


Finally, young people have suffered disproportionately during lockdown, with lots of experiences having been taken from them – from socialising and work experience, to learning. These are crucial years of development, when they start to decide what they want to do with their lives, start making forays into dating, and forming life-long friendships. In a survey by Young Minds, with 2,438 people 13 – 25, they found that 80% of respondents said their mental health was worse, and 40% were seriously struggling. To tackle this, BITA – along with Construction Helpline and Asset Training – are putting together an initiative to encourage our members to ‘Bring a Teenager to Work’ over the Easter period. BITAx is also working on an initiative to encourage young people to find a mentor to help them with their personal and professional growth.

I’m reminded of a quote from Simon Sinek; “The genius at the top doesn’t make the team look good. A good team makes the person at the top look like a genius.” In business, we can never have too much help and support, whether in the form of mentoring, strategic advice, excellent staff or just a friendly ear to talk to. This is why I think BITA continues to be relevant and continues to grow. It’s thanks to the culture that our staff and members have built –one of giving and helping others. And what could be more Christmassy than that?

i building-an-inclusive-culture-leads-to-happier-healthier-workers



Rachel McGuinness and her favourite cures for winter illnesses

Have you managed to escape the flurry of winter lurgies around at the moment as well as trying to dodge the dreaded COVID?

Colds are nasty at the best of times, but they are especially bad if you’ve not built-up immunity during last winter’s lockdowns.

A wonderful way of reducing your risk of getting ill is to keep your immune system boosted. So, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep is key. Also key, is a good quality daily Vitamin C tablet (I’m afraid that you really do get what you pay for).

If you do get ill, depending on your symptoms, paracetamol and ibuprofen help with fevers, aches and sore throats. As for over the counter ‘cold remedies’, do they work as better as natural remedies? I think natural remedies win hands down and have fewer side effects.

Echinacea Drops

If you feel like you’re going down with a cold or already have one, try Echinacea drops. Sometimes it can stop a cold in its tracks. Just 15 drops in a glass 3 times a day for a couple of days may just do the trick. The taste is a bit ‘grassy’, if you don’t like drops, you can get them in tablet form. It is recommended that you don’t take the drops for more than ten days at a time.


Garlic is great for keeping your immune system boosted, so keep up your garlic intake during the winter months to reduce your chances of picking up infections. But if you do get ill add garlic to as much of your food as possible.

I used to have a client that drank a small glass of fresh apple juice with 3 cloves of raw sliced garlic. She used to let the garlic juice infuse for 10 minutes and then knock it back like a shot! She swore that it stopped a cold or lessen its effect. I’ve tried it in the past and it has worked. It also means you will smell very garlicky. However, people will give you a wide berth and therefore lessen your chance of infection!

NETWORKS Sponsored by 52 1 2

Ginger, Lemon and Honey

These three ingredients are a great combination to soothe a sore throat. They have anti-viral, antiinflammatory, and immune boosting properties. Add slices or a wedge of lemon and fresh ginger with a teaspoonful or two of honey to a mug with boiling water. Keep repeating as often as needed.

Steam inhalations

If you have a bunged-up nose and are finding it difficult to breathe, then a wonderful way to open your nasal passages and give you some relief is steam. You could try running a bath or shower and inhaling the steam that way. But the most effective way is to stick your head over a bowl of boiled water with a towel covering the back of head to keep the steam in. Don’t get too close to the water as you don’t want to scald yourself. Try adding a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to ease the congestion even more. Repeat this up to three times a day. It will also loosen any phlegm on the chest - better out than in!


Chicken soup


Saltwater Gargle

Gargling with salt water is an effective way of reducing inflammation in the throat. Even dentists prescribe it for mouth infections and ulcers.

Just add a ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt to warm water. Stir to let the salt dissolve and get gargling.

But do remember to spit and not swallow!

Keep hydrated

It’s important to keep your fluids up as dehydration is the enemy! Water is best, which may be warm with a few slices of lemon. Or try tip number 3. Avoid alcohol (except the hot toddy, below), caffeine such as tea, coffee or fizzy drinks as they tend to make you thirstier.

Hot toddy

I’m not usually an advocate of drinking alcohol when ill, but a tot of whisky, bourbon or rum is quite comforting.

Put a 25ml measure of your tipple of choice to a mug with a teaspoon of honey, quarter of a lemon and a cinnamon stick. Add boiling water and stir. Drink and enjoy!

You could try using hot milk instead of water and add pinch of ground cinnamon and ground ginger but without the lemon.

5 6 8

As a child I always remember being given a steaming bowl of homemade chicken soup when I was poorly. It was comforting and almost felt it had magic restorative powers. In fact, I wasn’t far wrong, as soup made with proper chicken stock has a lot of great nutrients and healing properties. It can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract and help unblock congestion in your nose and throat. A superior quality store-bought one will do the trick too.

Sleep with an extra pillow

7 9

The thing you most need and crave is sleep when you’re sick. You yearn for your bed, and when your head hits the pillow and you’re all snuggled up, you discover you can’t breathe or stop coughing! Sleeping slightly propped up is the answer as it prevents you getting that horrible tickly throat and irritating cough. Also, you might find it easier to breathe through your nose.

What are your natural cold remedies? Let us know!


Neon Mavromatis, Managing Director Construction, reflects on the outlook for construction firms and their construction insurance needs heading into the Autumn

As the latest monthly construction statistics from the Office for National Statistics hit the mainstream and business press, the headlines seem to be unequivocal –whether it is cost, supply or demand, these are certainly turbulent times for construction. The summer, a historically quiet month for news, has been awash with increasing calls for support for post-Brexit improvements to supply chain challenges and skills shortages. And yet the headlines of major contract awards from infrastructure to a post-pandemic housing boom persist too.

As we head into the winter Neon Mavromatis reflects, “It’s perhaps too tempting to get caught up in the headlines. We know there are talented leaders running construction businesses large and small throughout the sector. Whatever the business challenge we all know it’s about resilience and adapting to manage out unwanted risks and reduce incident levels. Whilst we can’t help with the costs of raw materials or labour supply, we can advise on the right levels of insurances that your business needs in the current market.”

The latest ONS construction data points to sustained sectorwide growth in the quarter despite Brexit and the challenges still being felt due to Covid-19. Whilst overall output declined in June 2021, in contrast quarterly output (Q2 Apr – Jun) grew by 3.3%*. It will come as no surprise that new work in Infrastructure projects as part of the Government’s commitment to its “levelling up agenda” was a major contributor to output and all repair and maintenance sectors, except for public housing, were trending above February 2020 pre-pandemic levels.

Perhaps some of the most keenly felt challenges are in construction supply chains. In a second quarter statement by The Construction Leadership Council it reports that there has been some limited respite for supply chains most likely due to the holiday season and a softening of consumer confidence leading to postponements of domestic projects.** However, the latest state of trade survey by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association reports that 73% of firms are experiencing supply chain issues, up from 29% in Q1***, in part due to a well-documented shortage of lorry drivers.

Anecdotal evidence from ONS survey data points to this shortage being in part responsible for the increases in raw materials that manufacturers are passing on. “Evidence received from responses to the Monthly Business Survey for Construction and Allied Trades for June 2021 suggested a limited availability of certain construction products, most notably timber, steel, cement and tiles. This, in turn, is likely to have contributed to the price rises experienced in recent months in the industry.”

In considering the opportunities looking forward, Mavromatis comments: “I have a great deal of confidence that the sector will continue to be part of the UK’s post-pandemic recovery. As ever we continue to work closely with our clients as they adapt and evolve their businesses and looking forward our construction team will continue to approach your insurance needs holistically. It’s because we have an integrated offering combining public liability, performance bonds and professional indemnity to name just a few, that you can be assured of a comprehensive approach.”


Kerry London’s construction expertise and services enable us to offer insurance advice on the widest range of construction projects. From civil engineering, demolition and tunnelling, to housebuilders, refurbishment and property maintenance, we provide deep expertise and insurance market knowledge to meet the needs of our construction clients. This ensures that we deliver competitive pricing and high-quality covers through an approach that includes:

• An integrated solution including Performance Bonds and Professional Indemnity

• Direct presence in the Lloyds and Specialist Insurance Markets

• Dedicated London market broking team

Kerry London is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The company is a leading UK independent and Lloyd’s accredited broker which means that we work with a wide range of niche and major insurers.

* ONS Data - Construction output in Great Britain: June 2021, new orders and Construction Output Price Indices, April to June 2021 ** Construction Leadership Council - Construction Product Availability Statement (24 August 2021) *** CECA: Contractors Report Record Cost Pressures and Supply Concerns


B e yo n d L i m i tat i o n s

sos GRoUP aims to Be at tHe PinnaCLe in PRoVidinG tHe HiGHest QUaLity manPoWeR, enGineeRinG & ConstRUCtion soLUtions FoR oUR CLients.

Wi t h l o c a l p re s e n ce b u t g l o b a l re a c h , s os h a s b u i l t a re p u t at i o n fo r b o t h q u a l i t y a n d reliability in the services that it provides and w i t h a n eve r - ex p a n d i n g l i st o f key c l i e n t s

sos has successfully placed both permanent and contract staff, with roles in both white and blue collar sectors, ranging from senior m a n a g e m e n t p o s i t i o n s a n d c h a r te re d e n g i n e e r s t h ro u g h to t ra d e s p e r s o n n e l , commercial labour and project support staff

s o s a re c u r re n t l y p rov i d i n g p e r s o n n e l to s o m e o f t h e U K ' s l a rg e st co n st r u c t i o n a n d rail projects, as well as to some of the worlds b i g g e st re n ewa b l e co m p a n i e s o n a n i n te r n at i o n a l b a s i s , w h i l st t h e co n st r u c t i o n a r m o f t h e g ro u p d e l i ve r s p ro j e c t s o l u t i o n s across the UK on a sub-contract basis

Contact us on 01277 849 289 or email us at

sos ReCRUitment sos ConstRUCtion sos RaiL

Unit 6 Folkes Farm Folkes Lane Upminster essex Rm14 1tH

T 01277 849 289

E recruitment@sosgroup uk

Unit 11 Courtyard 2 Wentworth Road

mapplewell Barnsley s75 6dt T 01226 494014

E construction@sosgroup uk

Unit 6 Folkes Farm Folkes Lane Upminster essex Rm14 1tH

T 0203 4040575

E rail@sosgroup uk

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