Edition 2 May & June 2020
The magazine for Gatwick Diamond Business members
Maintaining a focus on cancer while the world battles COVID-19 Healthcare providers and their patients continue to fight
The future of UK Manufacturing Connect with nature and help your wellbeing The Creative Group expands by investing in SEO agency
Jeff’s Message Welcome to the second edition of your Diamond magazine. We have not been able to produce printed copies this time, but I hope you will agree that we have maintained the quality of the new features we introduced for the launch edition. Like all of you, we have had to adapt to very changed circumstances, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the strength of the gdb community which is evident in the contributions to this magazine. With everything that is going on, I have been struck by the positive themes that connect the experiences shared here – there is opportunity as well as challenge. Several contributors describe how their businesses are adapting their business models – ‘pivoting’ has become the vogue term. We are seeing accelerated change which, without for one second dismissing the negative impacts, will endure beyond the current crisis. This gdb community is clearly well-placed to support this change. The ‘Global Economy’ has undoubtedly brought advantages – but has it gone too far? In this edition one of our leading manufacturing businesses, Pentagon Plastics, identifies the trend in manufacturing for ‘reshoring’ and how this could be accelerated by the current global crisis. They are rising to the challenge of increasing production to help meet the needs of the NHS (around 35% of the products the company manufactures goes to the medical sector). It is also important to remember that other challenges, and business opportunity, have not gone away. Dee Mathieson of Elekta emphasises that, as
the world rightly focusses on COVID-19, cancer will continue to be the long-term challenge and describes the importance of remote technology in maintaining the essential systems they provide – ‘the ultimate in social distancing.’ Chris Meeking of Avtura describes how his business has secured a new contract to supply ground management systems for Zurich International Airport, demonstrating that business has not stopped even in such a hard-hit sector. Transvalair report on how they are joining forces with other major Pallet networks to put their fleet of delivery vehicles at the government’s disposal. We also see how smaller businesses are responding - none more so than our friend, Paella Fella. We are as a nation rightly celebrating the charitable contribution made by individuals and groups directly to support the NHS. With this understandable focus of attention, we must not forget the ongoing work of our charities to address social disadvantage, care needs, the quality of our natural environment and many other issues that remain at least as pressing as ever. We are proud of our strong charities’ groups and, as a business community, I know we will pull together to support the essential work they do – there are excellent examples in this edition. Looking ahead, we know how important Gatwick Airport, the wider aviation sector and their supply chains are to our economy. Major employers - including gdb members and strong supporters who we have perhaps taken for granted, are being hard hit with thousands of individuals affected.
However, other crises, including 9/11 and the 2008 crash, have shown that we are a diverse and resilient economy that enjoys many advantages that will still be there when COVID-19 has been beaten. Recovery will take time and some of the changes we are seeing will have lasting effect. The contributions to this magazine begin to show how the gdb community will rise to the challenge. My thanks to Creative Group for their creativity and support.
Jeff Alexander, Chief Executive of Gatwick Diamond Business
Chairman’s Column Firstly, I hope you are all well and managing to get through the initial shock of the Covid-19 lockdown. In these fast-moving times, it is difficult to write a piece which may be rather dated by the time of publication. As I write this, it’s a beautiful sunny Monday morning and I’ve been working from home for I don’t know how many weeks. The gdb Steering Group has been meeting regularly to assess risk and plan budgets and strategy. The first difficult decision was the postpone the Awards, without government guidance at the time we wanted to show leadership. I look forward to the ceremony later in the year and at least the entrants can continue to use the ‘gdb Awards 2020 Finalist’ strapline on their emails! Similarly, we have decided to postpone the AGM until September. This way we can have an engaging and successful voting
process, as well as an enjoyable event. I hope you are joining in the virtual Member’s Meetings and the host of webinars gdb is putting on with partners. Personally, I find these really useful, learning new things and importantly keeping in touch with the gdb community. I’m sure you will join me in giving massive thanks to the team for their hard work, professionalism and continuing to deliver excellent services to our members. How individuals and businesses act now will be remembered. We have an opportunity to come together, to support each other so that we can get through these difficult times. That’s the great thing about the gdb community - we do buy from each other, collaborate and work together, provide advice, guidance and even friendship to help us all improve and thrive. Let’s do more of this!
We’re getting through the initial crisis, now we should be thinking about the future. We don’t have to simply return to ‘business as usual’. We can learn from our experiences and use this as an opportunity to improve ourselves, our environment, our society, as well as our economy. We can #BuildBackBetter and gdb is well placed for this to happen. Anya Ledwith Eshcon Ltd email@example.com www.eshcon.co.uk/gdb Registered charity number 256789.
For making a difference! Do you want to... Have access to exclusive team bonding opportunities? Boost staff morale? Attract positive PR?
Whether you sign up for payroll giving, dream up funky fundraising fun or become a corporate partner – supporting your local children’s hospice can have a big impact on your business’s reputation. To find out more, get in touch with the Fundraising Team. 01903 871820 firstname.lastname@example.org www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk
Degree ApprenticeshipDegree Newsletter ticeship Newsletter Apprentic APPRENTICE VIEW
“The classroom learning at university is interesting but the best part is being able to immediately apply my knowledge at work.”
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testingAvailable: economic times we understand that every During these d that everyDuring theseCourses testing economic times we understand tha Courses Available: company and organisation will be finding their own way through, company and organisation will be finding their own way way through, • Chartered Manager • Chartered Manager securing their• business and working with their partners to safeguard ners to safeguard securing their business • Senior Leaderand MBAworking with their partners Senior Leader MBA • Digital & Technology Solutions & Technology Solutions for the future.• AtDigital the University of Chichester, we are ideally placed are ideally placed for the future. At the University of Chichester, we are id Professional (Software Engineer) Professional (Software Engineer) to support you during this process. to support you during this process. • Digital & Technology Solutions • Digital & Technology Solutions Professional (Business Analyst)
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Apprenticeships can be a useful tool to ensure succession planningApprenticeships in cession planning in can be aEngineer useful tool to ensure successio • Manufacturing • Manufacturing Engineer • Electrical and Electronic Technical • toElectrical Electronic Technical your company, retainand your staff members and to ensure those your company, o ensure those to retain your staff members and to ensu Support Engineer Support Engineer working with•youDigital haveMarketer the knowledge and skills they need to workworking with ey need to work you have the knowledge and skills they ne • Digital Marketer Postgraduate Teaching • Postgraduate Teaching as capable professionals in their field. Apprenticeships allow your as capable• professionals ips allow your in their field. Apprenticeships al • Social Worker • Social Worker staff to gain theoretical insight, whilst benefitting from the shared staff to gain theoretical insight, whilst benefitting from th om the shared experiences of other apprentices on their programme. me. experiences of other apprentices on their programme. Apprenticeship Team
Our dedicated Apprenticeships Team is made up of sector expertsOur dedicated Apprenticeships Team is made up of sect f sector experts Our Apprenticeship Team is made up of Our Apprenticeship Team is made up of who can guide you through process, providing impartial advicewho can guide impartial advice you through the and process, providing impar specialists on hand to support specialists on hand tothe support and worktailored with you throughout process. Our work with you throughout the process. Our and ongoing tailored support. Currently we have apprenticeships and ongoing pprenticeships support.the Currently we have appren experts can help you navigate the experts can help you navigate the andfunding Leadership, Digital, Engineering, Social Work ering, Socialavailable Work in Business available in Business funding and Leadership, Digital, apprenticeship pathway and the Digital Engineering apprenticeship pathway and the Digital Apprenticeship Service. We have Holly Service. We have Holly who across undergraduate and postgraduate levels. ate levels. and TeachingApprenticeship and Teaching across undergraduate andwho postgraduate lev
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deals with employer engagement, Cathy who deals with compliance and Lucie who deals would like toengagement know more, please with apprentice and recruitment.
If you contact us a email@example.com or by calling 01243 8121 All of the team are able to help with any enquiry so please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help.
Multi Award Winning Microsoft Gold Partner Extech Cloud Makes a Strategic Appointment Building on its success over the past five years Extech Cloud is delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Gregg to the role of Senior IT Consultant. In his new role Simon will be driving new client acquisition and creating new relationships, contributing to Extech Cloud’s ambitious growth and acquisition plans. Simon will have a particular emphasis on developing engagements across the following sectors: legal, manufacturing, professional services, logistics and recruitment. Simon will be working with his new clients to improve where they are now with technology and providing them with a future-proofed technology road map. His aim is to develop lifetime value clients; continually working with them in partnership. Director Andrew Hookway is thrilled to welcome Simon on board, about his appointment he had this to say, “We
have known about Simon’s impressive track record for many years and I’m elated he’s finally joining the team in these exciting times.” Extech Cloud took the brave decision to refocus its business model well in advance of the marketplace and is now positioned as a market leader in Sussex and beyond. Having developed the Extech Cloud Methodology, the service digitally transforms organisations by transitioning them to the public cloud, a revolutionary form of cloud computing. Simon, 46, previously worked for IT First for 15 years, Face Media Group and the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity. In his role with IT First, Simon worked closely with Brighton & Hove Albion FC as a key partner. Goring-based Simon has known Extech Cloud Director, Andrew Hookway, for several years and said this about the company, “Extech Cloud has always had
a different offering to its competitors, which has further developed over the last three years. It partners with clients to add real value, which I find very exciting!” extechcloud.com
Delivering your best work in VUCA times Our core business is management development workshop delivery and coaching to a range of businesses but COVID19 has seen this change; everything has switched to coaching - helping managers deal with remote leadership and the speed of change they are managing with their people. How are you keeping your business on track in this “VUCA” world? Life is currently pretty VOLATILE. Changes we are experiencing are fast and largely out of our own circle of influence. We are following guidance with little chance for input. Counter this volatility by giving your people clarity of vision. Give short and mid-term goals with clear measurable targets to celebrate along the way. Things remain pretty UNCERTAIN for now and the future may feel unpredict-
able making it hard to plan and prepare. Meet this uncertainty by focusing energy and effort on the things you can control and know to be true. You are still the same business, with the same teams delivering the same products and services – focus on what is staying the same rather than the things that are currently unknown. For some, this current situation feels COMPLEX – particularly where work/life boundaries have been tipped sideways. Your communication must be really crystal clear and everyone needs to be as informed as possible. Find opportunities to promote team working and collaboration and ensure there is shared accountability for this new way of working together. With remote teams, “little and often” communication is far more important than when people face each other day to day. And of course, testing the understanding
of your messaging becomes more important too. Finally, we need to fight AMBIGUITY with agility and flex. We currently lack clarity because at the moment, no one knows the answers. So keep a flexible approach to work – recognise efforts individuals are making and encourage creativity in delivering their best work. With ambiguity we are often presented with great opportunities to learn and grow, working things out as we go. Be sure to recognise this learning and acknowledge the skills and strengths people are drawing on. To find out how Development Garden could help support you and your business with coaching and development, please contact Sarah Cooper at email@example.com or on 07736 414097.
Richard Place Dobson round up a year of fundraising for their chosen charity, St Barnabas House Over the last financial year, Richard Place Dobson (RPD), Crawley based Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, has hosted a range of team activities and events to raise money for their selected charity, St Barnabas House. As the financial year comes to an end, RPD has amassed an incredible £4,355 to support the charity. St Barnabas House provides palliative care to adults with life-limiting illnesses, both at the hospice based in Worthing and in the comfort of patients’ homes across West Sussex. Thanks to the generous support of people fundraising, volunteering and participating in community events, they can provide comfort for their patients while supporting them through a range of different specialist care services. As their dedicated charity, the whole team at RPD have got involved in helping raise money throughout the year by organising a range of exciting activities, which included RPD’s Iron Man Challenge where the team cycled a remarkable 226km, swam 5.55km, ran 60km and walked 3.7km. They also held their muchloved annual Charity Quiz Night at The
Hawth in Crawley, which was their most successful yet with a total of 27 teams and raising over £1,500. Other events included Dress Down days, a Footgolf championship, a Charity Car Wash, an internal BakeOff competition and a game of ‘Guess how many Easter Eggs are in the Jar’. Matthew Tyson, Director at RPD, said: “This has been another fantastic year supporting our chosen charity. We have enjoyed the events and activities throughout the year whilst fundraising for St Barnabas House. They are a wonderful charity that provides important services and care for adults. They have been a pleasure to support.” Jo Bacon at St Barnabas House said: “With our shops now closed, events postponed, and most fundraising activities ceased for the time being due to the coronavirus outbreak, we need the support of our local community more than ever. We are incredibly grateful to Richard Place Dobson and all our supporters. Your support makes local hospice care possible – now and in the future. Thank you.” Over the coming weeks, RPD will announce their new charity partnership for the next financial year. If you would like to get involved with any of their fundraising activities, please contact RPD through their website. www.placedobson.co.uk
Taking the Plunge! A few years ago, two entrepreneurs launched a business called Family Focus UK, offering parenting training and support. Their tagline was ‘Who is Your Family?’, helping to build the connection between healthy homes, healthier working parents and stronger relationships. As Mental Health became a priority in the home, workplace and society, their work expanded to include Emotional Resilience and Mental Health (First Aid). They have recently re-branded and you will now see Åse & Jenni behind the name MRT Consultants: Mental & Resilience Training. Here is their top tip for this edition: Human Beings have 6 basic needs. At the very top of the list is certainty: the assurance that you can avoid pain and gain pleasure, safety and security. Amidst all the fear and speculation with the coronavirus, people are living with a lot of uncertainty: are they going to contract the virus; will their family members be safe; what about income and finances; job losses; the long term effects of the financial crisis? At this time - the need for certainty cannot be met. So what can you do? When something is outside of your control (eg the coronavirus), all you can do is focus on how you respond to the situation. What is within your power to control? Can you manage your own isolation and health? That of your family? Can you work from home and remain sustainable? Can you alter your offerings or services to meet needs remotely or online? What is in your power to do? If certainty is beyond your grasp, make sure that the other components of the needs are being met: Variety, Significance, Love, Growth and Contribution. Contribution can balance the lack of certainty: so, do something to help others. Give back and you will find your own needs being met. www.mrtconsultants.co.uk
The Creative Group expands by investing in Sussex based SEO agency
The Creative Group announced its latest expansion into the world of search engine optimisation, by investing in SEO agency, 427 Marketing based in East Sussex. Headed up by Ade Holder, the announcement sees Ade and his company 427, joining forces with The Creative Group’s portfolio of creative based businesses and its well-known CEO and Patron of Chestnut Tree House, Matt Turner. Currently, the group consists of; Creative Pod, which is possibly the groups most recognisable brand and is a well-known and award-winning marketing agency, ECHO, a sponsorship brokerage, Square One, an international market entry specialist and The PrintShop, a dedicated printing solutions specialist. This announcement follows hot on the heels of the
announcement of Spacelink Commercial Interiors, recently joining the group and marks 427 as the sixth company to join The Creative Group. CEO of The Creative Group, Matt Turner said: “SEO has become a force to be reckoned with and must be regarded as a core part of any marketing strategy. Ade brings a great skill set to the group and I am excited to see this relationship develop.” Ade and the management team have over 20 years combined experience and during their tenure have worked both client and agency side managing the SEO for over 40 clients. Ade and his small team aim to advise its clients on SEO in plain English and provide a no-nonsense approach to the advantages this can bring to small businesses. Ade Holder, MD, and Owner of 427 Marketing said: “Over the past few
months, it has been incredibly exciting to get to know the team at The Creative Group and learn from Matt’s experience. Currently, we have a small team based in Ringmer and this partnership has already enabled us to grow as a business. I’m incredibly excited to see how this partnership continues to develop. To find out more about The Creative Group, please visit: www.thecreative.group
Recruiting staff in a candidate lead market So, you have heard about a “Candidate lead market” – What is it Currently as unemployment figures are currently at 3.8% in the UK which is the lowest level in 45 years.* Great for the economy but not ideal for employers when searching for new staff. We are experiencing that we have more employers than employee’s in the market. As a result of this candidates can decided who they wish to work for rather than us as employers getting to choose who will would like to hire. What can be done The way you can get the best staff is to look at your offering compared to your competitors – we do not mean competitors in the same market, just the other companies locally who will also employ the same person. What do they offer staff? • Higher Salaries • Longer Holidays • Higher Pension Contributions • Health Insurance • Life Insurance • Day off for their birthday • Perkbox Sometimes this isn’t always affordable to add all theses, so another way is to look at your recruitment process and free benefits. How long does it take you to make decisions? When you decide to hire, respond to applicants quickly, if they look good on paper meet them and if you like them offer them the role quickly. Remember that in most cases will not be the only employer they are speaking with. Sell you own benefits, maybe consider using some that will not cost you any money.
• Free Parking • Social Events • Team lunches • Charity days out If you need any help, we can offer you free salary and benefit surveys to see if you are competitive in your market place.
Steve Parmar-Greaves Parmar Staffing www.parmarstaffing.co.uk 01323 844664 01903 245027 *Source – The Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on a mission to Keep Britain Working
Reed have launched a project that sees business leaders and politicians from across the UK join forces to lead an economic fightback against Covid-19. Keep Britain Working will help redeploy workers from struggling sectors to in-demand ones, help people who have lost their jobs find new ones, share and implement the best ideas to help the country keep working and get people back into work. The movement has already received support from Lord Alan Sugar, James Timpson, CEO of Timpson, Severn Trent CEO Liv Garfield and JCBâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lord Bamford.business group the CBI and trade organisations Recruitment & Employ-
ment Confederation (REC) and the Family Business Place are also on board. As well as Locally Jeff Alexander, Chief Executive of Gatwick Diamond Business. Henry Smith, Conservative MP for Crawley and Jo McGowan, HR Director at First Central. The campaign has been launched on keepbritainworking.com. It will encourage businesses and workers to make pledges to #KeepBritainWorking both during the crisis and beyond it. Keepbritainworking.com also features ideas, advice and resources to support companies and their workers through this difficult time, giving guidance on topics such as supporting teams who are working, or even onboarding new
recruits, remotely. As Businesses we have a responsibility to work together not only to survive these challenges but to ensure that when we emerge, we are well placed to rebuild the economy and support people back into work. Please join us in Keeping Britain Working and pledge your support. Grant Rigler, Regional Manage: firstname.lastname@example.org Helen Foster, Business Manager: email@example.com Landing page: keepbritainworking.com
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Reigate Manor hosts Careers afternoon for local students Reigate Manor recently invited twenty sixth form students currently studying at Reigate college to come along to the hotel and learn more about what’s involved with working in the hospitality business. The students who have shown an interest in working in the industry spent an informative few hours at the busy Reigate hotel learning about different roles within the industry. The hotel belongs to Manor Collection hotel group which also owns Hartsfield Manor in Betchworth and Hadlow Manor in Kent. The group have previously done something similar and invited students from The Priory School in Dorking to have a tour behind the scenes at Hartsfield Manor. Giles Thomas, Operations Director for Manor Collection, said; “As an Enterprise
Advisor for The Priory School it was an obvious experience to be able to offer the students and once that was a successful day I decided to offer the opportunity to other schools and colleges in the areas. The students were very interested and left with a better knowledge of what’s involved with working in a hotel. They were given talks from our HR Manager, our Marketing Manager and one of the hotels Mangers who has worked his way up from a waiter to Management level. We’re more than happy to host these events so please do get in touch if you would like your school or college to benefit from it.” Hannah Thomas, Enterprise Coordinator for East Surrey and North Sussex said; “Giles volunteers his time to help with
career activities at the Priory School, Dorking. His experience and knowledge of running a business and managing staff recruitment is of immense benefit to the students. The school has benefited from work experience opportunities, trips to Hartsfield Manor, mock interviews and top tips for what employers look for. Giles continues to help the school and we are very grateful to him”. Giles Thomas, Operations Director at Manor Collection, gt@manorcollection. co.uk, 07712 335716 Joelle Cullender, PR contact at Manor Collection, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07789 551041
Creative Process’ Rising Star! Creative Process are proud to announce that our digital marketer Megan has been nominated for Apprentice of the Year for the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards 2020. Megan has been part of the Creative Process team for 2 years with responsibility for developing and implementing the digital marketing strategy across multiple channels and platforms. Her enthusiastic and committed approach is an excellent example of how digital apprenticeships can really deliver for SME employers. Having a digital apprentice on board ensures employers keep up to speed with the skills needed for the digital transformation era including effective solutions for remote working and web based platforms to support current challenges. Megan was nominated by Creative Process MD Jack Hiett; “Megan has had an excellent year as our digital marketing apprentice - it’s been amazing to see how quickly Megan has progressed in such a short space of time, she gets the job done to a high level, brings innovative skills and learning into the business that delivers real results whilst helping to create a positive work atmosphere.”
Megan’s training coach , Rozelle Bowerman, says; “Megan has a typical Creative Process Digital Apprentice mindset - she is dedicated, hardworking and throughout her apprenticeship she has shown commitment and a passion to learn, develop and exceed expectations. She has taken ownership of her role and with very little direction, has implemented her ideas, improving the company’s marketing activities and customer engagement” Megan has developed hugely over the duration of her apprenticeship programme and has found it extremely valuable, “My apprenticeship has provided me with numerous opportunities and I feel it has given me a real head start in my career. Along with being promoted to Digital Marketing and Talent Manager, I am now an apprentice ambassador, where I get to promote our digital apprenticeships to others. I feel grateful for my apprenticeship and the position I am in now. I’m excited to see what the future holds for me at Creative Process.” We wish Megan the best of luck at the awards ceremony! www.creativeprocessdigital.com
Why digital classrooms are key to saving our children’s education Covid-19 has been the most disruptive crisis to impact our education systems since the Second World War. Exams and lessons have, on the most part, been postponed or cancelled; but more importantly, millions of children of all ages have been deprived of a huge chunk of their learning experience. To aid our education system during this crisis, trained tutors and teachers have set up online classes and video conference lessons; created digital resources and even set homework, all for parents-turned-teachers to utilise for home tutoring lessons. There is no doubt that parents and teachers across the nation are doing what they can to aid our school chil-
dren during this trying time, but what about the on-hands aspect of school learning? Providing children with unique learning experiences, such as that provided by Young Enterprise’s Company Programme, has been a growing and invaluable part of the schooling experience in recent years. This is why we, at Young Enterprise, put together a range of resources and activities, and made adaptations to a number of our programmes to ensure that they can continue to provide crucial learning opportunities within a home learning environment. This includes amending our Company Programme finals to be digital events. We understand that not all students
learn in the same way, which is why parents should be given a plethora of options, including our own activities, competitions and programmes which are still available for students to partake in, on top of any learning resources created from home, taken from the internet, or provided by schools. If mishandled, Covid-19 could have an even worse impact on the future of our children’s’ education than anyone has so far imagined, but with the resources available – we can hopefully generate excitement for learning again, from the comfort and safety of our own home. www.young-enterprise.org.uk
COVID-19, what will it mean for the future of UK Manufacturing? It is no secret that the lure of low component price, rapid tool manufacture and short lead times is attractive for anyone looking to bring a new plastic injection moulded product to market and for many, overseas manufacture is the go-to production route of choice. However, considering COVID-19 we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but wonder, will this bring about a new wave of demand for UK manufacture? For many years now UK Manufacturers have been sharing the benefits of having both tooling and production of moulded components carried out here in the UK. Promoting ease of communication, ease of distribution and quality production in facilities that you can go and see. To a degree reshoring of existing tooling has been increasingly evident for a business such as ours from 2015. One of the main hurdles that UK manufacturing does face is the prevalent skills gap, many people now setting their sights on a desk-based role or chasing the current trend of social influencing, unfortunately for many people manufacturing and engineering are not an option they are considering. In the current climate what is it that as a nation we truly need? We need our wonderful NHS workers, our key workers and more than ever we need UK Manufacturing. We have been so fortunate to be able to get what we want, when we want it at the touch of a button that it seems a shock to many that there are not enough ventilators to support the victims of the 2020 pandemic. Having the required volume of essential life-saving and personal protective equipment bought in from offshore is currently proving not to be a simple
process and we now turn the focus on what we as a country can do for ourselves. It has been nothing short of humbling to see how UK manufacturing and engineering companies have united to help support and develop the much-needed PPE, ventilation systems and test kits in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Firms that may not have previously run products for the medical sector are stepping up to adapt and change their scope of service to support the needs of the NHS while firms that already serve in to the medical sector, like us here at Pentagon are facilitating increased production demand and prioritising key components. Over 3,000 companies and individuals have registered their services to the governments NHS Ventilator Challenge, offering a range of services and manufacturing capabilities to assist with the urgent demand for life saving equipment. Here at Pentagon around 35% of the products that we manufacture are delivered into the medical sector. We supply products used in ventilation systems, stoma care, fluid drains and other essential medical devices used in hospitals or for general patient care. Both our Toolmaking and Plastic Injection Mould-
As our country pulls together in unity, we are seeing businesses and people come together to support one another on a whole new level
ing services are ISO2009:2015 accredited and the level of service we have built up over many years means we are well equipped to provide support to the COVID-19 response, with a wealth of experience on the processing of medical grade thermoplastics. Is there any kind of silver lining to this dark cloud that is engulfing us? Finding a silver lining to the current situation can seem like a real challenge right now, however there is always one to be found. As our country pulls together in unity, we are seeing businesses and people come together to support one another on a whole new level. Seeing the resources and the supply chain network that we have on our own doorstep work night and day to keep our country going through this challenging time is inspiring. The current demand for suitable medical equipment is highlighting just how important UK manufacture and engineering is to the economy and what a fantastic career choice it could be. Our industry is working tirelessly to help play its part in drawing us out of the COVID-19 pandemic and what may have previously been perceived as an ‘unglamorous’ option has
now become vital in the UK’s fight against this virus. • Will UK manufacturing earn the recognition that it deserves once the storm passes? • Will demand for UK manufacturing deliver exciting and interesting career paths and increased employment within the sector? • Will people be looking to have tooling and products manufactured here in the UK to safeguard their supply chain for the future? The answer to all of these must be a resounding yes. Although we never want to experience anything like COVID-19 again we must learn from the failings and will welcome the inevitable growth in demand for UK services over the coming years. www.pentagonplastics.co.uk
Here are 6 business benefits of an accessible website Business continuity - Are you prepared?
Making sure your website can be used by people with physical, cognitive, environmental or technological accessibility problems means your business will benefit as a result. Here’s how: 1. Better Search Engine Optimisation: SEO dramatically improves if your HTML is structured in a way that allows screen readers to communicate effectively to people with impaired sight. Why? Google reads your web pages in the same way a screen reader does. 2. Better communication means increased sales: A more accessible website heightens user experience for everyone, regardless of potential accessibility issues. Think of a library - built for everyone, appreciated by everyone. 3. A website that works for users wherever they are: Environmental factors accounted for in accessible design make your website more effective for people ‘on the go’ - for example in direct sunlight where contrast is an issue.
6. The BEST marketing: Doing a ‘good thing’ is unarguably good anyway, of course, but reputationally – it’s fantastic for business. Shouting about your accessible website is great marketing, amazing content for award entries, and nice to speak about at networking events!
These past weeks have seen a seismic change in how organisations, employees and our nation operate, as we collectively tackle the Coronavirus (COVID 19). Businesses are under increasing strain to maintain operations, optimise business continuity solutions and support employees to adjust to their new working environments. Companies are now forced to question practical issues. If you are forced to close your office and staff cannot work from home, do you have a quick spin up solution? Are you required to maintain a key worker skeleton team but cannot host at your current site? Since the Government’s announcement that all businesses and employees who can operate and work remotely should do so, Freedom Works have been focusing on the support it can provide to organisations to de-risk themselves from future disasters. Have you thought about having key teams split across multiple sites - if one site goes down the others can step up and fulfil workloads and commitments. Board of directors are starting to have these conversations, the majority of companies do not have flexible plans in place which tackle the above problems - Covid -19 has presented the economy with issues that could not have been planned inline with national and global restrictions. Most cases of disaster recovery and contingency planning only cover instances such as total power outages, flood and fire damages - not viral or individual health cases. Unlike traditional disaster recovery options Freedom Works are continually looking at new ways to support businesses. We offer proactive, flexible, extremely costs effective, no brainer solutions which guarantee office space for when a disaster hits.
Talk to email@example.com if you want to know more about website accessibility.
To find out more, reply to: Dave@freedomworks.space or call us on 01293 368100
4. A competitive edge: Businesses who have accessible websites have an advantage over businesses who don’t. About 25% of the population are affected by accessibility issues, and will prefer using your website over others. 5. Tested with real people: When you follow accessibility standards, you have to design and test for everyone. Putting a website through proper user testing at several stages in the design and build process, without exception, improves the usability of a website. Testing against official standards means checking over the code structure and content quality. Everything is done properly when it’s designed to be accessible.
Effective proofreading tips At Scaramanga we have pulled together a few handy proofreading tips to help you when you are writing copy, so you can avoid the same mistakes. Check spellings of proper nouns If your copy is name checking then ensure you have the correct spellings. If you are including email addresses and telephone numbers, check these by making a call, or sending an email and checking the website address. Is it a co.uk or a .com? This could be a fatal error, especially in a print advert. Check the punctuation Make sure you are using punctuation effectively; capital letters, full stops and everything in-between. Reading your copy out loud will help identify long sentences and where pauses copy fall naturally so you can add in commas, colons and semicolons where needed. Brand guidelines and style guides Make sure you are following your business’s brand guidelines and adhering to them when it comes to tone of voice, use of capitalisation, headers and other typographical styles.
Check any data If you are writing reports, budgets or citing financial data, double check the figures as this kind of mistake is easily made and the omission or addition of an extra digit can be significant. Avoid repetition When you are writing, it is often easy to fall into a pattern of repeating words. Look out for words you use regularly and make sure you aren’t using them too frequently. Look out for over-use of synonyms: the enormous large dog for instance. Both adjectives mean the same thing, so pick one and edit out the other word.
you to spot errors, as will seeing it in a different medium to on the screen. Get a second person to proofread It can be difficult to spot errors if you have been writing for hours and you’re on a tight deadline. Ask a colleague to proofread your copy; they will often be able to spot errors that you haven’t seen.
Homonyms Spell check only picks up incorrect spellings, check carefully you are using the right word, for example stationary and stationery. Both these are homonyms and have very similar spellings but completely different meanings.
Finally, proof the document at least five times 1. Check the sense and wording. Do you have the right words in there 2. Go through the detail. Put a ruler under each line and go through word by word to check the spelling 3. Check the layout to make sure everything is there that should be, images in the right place, correctly captioned, all headings in the correct size and style 4. A final check to make sure you have picked everything up 5. A second person proof
Print out the copy Printing out copy and reading it slowly in a quite room where you won’t be interrupted by phone calls or email alerts. The focus and concentration will help
Spot the typo If you can spot the deliberate typo in this article, email sarah@scaramanga. agency to let me know. No prizes, just great to know you’re paying attention!
Sussex Wildlife Trust shares ways to connect with nature and help your wellbeing
A big thank you to all gdb members who are keyworkers or finding new ways to support customers and communities during this crisis. During this time, whether on the front line or working from home it’s so important not to lose our connection with nature, and the health and wellbeing benefits it provides. Sussex Wildlife Trust has produced some easy ways to help
you and your family connect with nature. Take a break and read Michael Blencowe’s entertaining daily wildlife diary,
Take part in the Garden Bird Race, or get creative with one of our Wildlife Watch activities. Whether you’ve got five minutes or an hour, or you need an activity to entertain the kids there’s plenty of ways you can bring a little wildlife into your day. Visit sussexwildlifetrust.org. uk/gowildathome When working from home, it can be really easy to stay in front of a screen all day and never venture outdoors. Creating a routine with regular breaks will help structure your working day, and have a positive impact on your wellbeing. Take time to stop and stare from your window or in your garden, and notice the sights and sounds of nature around you. From new leaves and buds that might be emerging, to wonderful bird song, it’s amazing what you can discover. Read The Wildlife Trusts blog for more tips
on staying connected to nature whilst working from home, including links to national wildlife webcams www.wildlifetrusts.org/blog/guest/how-workhome-and-stay-connected-nature To help you, and your colleagues enjoy nature Sussex Wildlife Trust is also sharing amazing photos, videos, blogs, and activities for everyone, through their social media channels, do follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For further information, or if you would like to share how you and your colleagues are connecting with nature please contact Louise Collins, Corporate and Community Fundraising Officer LouiseCollins@sussexwt.org.uk
Swindells Accounting promotes manager Sally Webber to partner Melanie Richardson, Managing Partner, ‘The partners are very excited to announce that we have appointed a new partner at Swindells from 1 April. Sally Webber joined us straight after leaving college 11 years ago, she first qualified as a Chartered Accountant and more recently a Chartered Tax Advisor. We are looking forward to Sally joining the partnership team and helping us continue to grow the business.’ We sat down with Sally to talk about her eleven-year journey with Swindells, how her role and the industry has changed and where she sees the accounting industry moving in the future. This is what she had to say: ‘Numbers came easily to me, much more easily than letters and words, that’s how my brain works. I think it was that quirk of genetics and further interest that first took my thoughts towards a career in accounting at a young age.
It was an area I had a natural comfort with, I fitted in. At Swindells I spent two years as a trainee studying for my AAT, followed by further studying to become a Chartered Accountant (Sally actually achieved the top mark in the world for her first exam at the time with a score of 96%) and most recently qualifying as a Chartered Tax Advisor last year… As a training firm Swindells has been excellent. The firm is committed to developing staff internally, they have funded my training, provided study leave and people are always around if you need to check something. Having a strong partnership team including a mentor and role model in Melanie at the firm has been a real influence in my career. Sally Webber, ‘I’d like to thank the partners and the wider team at Swindells for the training, support and guidance I’ve received throughout my career. I’m
looking forward to the new challenges ahead and to working with the partners to grow the business.’ www.swindellsaccounting.co.uk
Transvalair UK Ltd Joins 700 UK Logistics Businesses to Offer Emergency Delivery Service Crawley-based Transvalair has joined over 700 logistics businesses, all members of the UK’s eight major Pallet networks, to put their combined ﬂeet of 23,500 vehicles at the government’s disposal. In an unprecedented move headed by the Association of Pallet Networks (APN), the networks have joined forces to offer their services for the express distribution of critical emergency and food supplies. Between them they have 30,000 employees, over 750 depots, and offer 100 per cent national coverage by postcode. As member of the UPN network, Transvalair is a leading distribution specialist within its own region, with knowledge of local distribution centres, essential businesses, hospitals and community hubs. Rob McCabe, Transport and Warehouse Operations Manager at Transvalair, said: “We are proud to play our part in this unique collaboration as the
entire UK industry joins forces to transport the most vital supplies. Collectively our sector has unrivalled resource and the individual companies are local experts with vast experience of express distribution and a key link in the UK supply chain.” APN chairman Paul Sanders says: “We are uniquely placed to offer our services to ensure that emergency supplies coming from anywhere and destined for any corner of the UK, can be delivered quickly, safely and reliably to support critical services, whether in rural or urban settings. “We would urge the government to take advantage of our unique skills set and infrastructure at this time of national crisis. The supply of emergency supplies for critical operations – not least ensuring food in our supermarkets and well stocked pharmacies and hospitals – is one of the most important
aspects of protecting the UK public during this crisis.” Pallet networks are one of the most efﬁcient forms of freight distribution enabling overnight deliveries of consignments of any size from a single pallet upwards, anywhere in the UK. Regional members collect freight from their local area, and transport it to the most appropriate regional Hub, where it is reloaded onto vehicles returning to its destination area. This model is particularly important at a time when many users of essential goods are requiring small frequent deliveries of vital goods with many drop points within a given locality. In 2019 UK pallet networks delivered 26 million pallets of goods. www.transvalair.com
Looking after your business assets: a series of short articles on how to upgrade your old spreadsheet to a modern cloud based register! Episode 2: labels - tiny investment, big return! Continuing our commentary about asset management, let’s go back to the beginning. If your property isn’t tagged with a unique number you can’t defend it or easily prove ownership or track it or link it to inspections, so it’s important to fix a label that at least has an eye readable unique number. Unless you’re a supermarket, printing in house is not worth the bother as even a medium sized business won’t need many more than 1000 labels for existing assets and a few extra for new purchases. Get the label company to include a barcode, it won’t cost any extra, to assist scanning more quickly with a machine, if not now then for later on. Barcode Labels - Some considerations: Style: Generic or recovery is assisted if carrying a logo, postcode and phone number. Costs from 12-25p subject volume Size: 50mm x 25 mm is large enough for easy viewing or scanning, but small
enough for fixing to most of your inventory. Smaller sizes are available for digital cameras and small profile IT equipment.
If your property isn’t tagged with a unique number you can’t defend it or easily prove ownership Materials: Tamper resistant labels made from ultra destruct vinyl are popular because once pressed firmly in place and allowing some ‘curing time’ they cannot be removed in one piece. The theory is that the attacker will give up once the corner starts to shred into very small pieces! Laminated pvc, laser etched, and aluminium are good for more hostile environments such as outdoors, but the metal tags are more expensive as are plastic tags that need a separate epoxy adhesive. Etching labels allowing a compound to be painted through punched holes are effective where a post code is required on the asset
surface for extra theft deterrence. Sticky paper labels are not recommended. Content: The message can be generic ie ‘Asset Registered’ and a barcode with the sequential number underneath, (don’t start with a zero, XL drops them unless you’re careful) or ‘Property of...’ with name, post code, phone, and even a full colour business logo if you want extra branding or an IT help desk number. Fixing: The optimum position is a compromise between easy to see or scan and discreet enough to not to attract unwanted attention. For example the side or back of a monitor is recommended rather than the front. Care should be taken with anything that has any artistic quality or danger of being scratched by contact with another surface. There are companies that will stick all the labels on if you don’t have the time! “You can’t manage what you don’t measure!” Stephen Laing Managing Director, ASSETtrac Ltd firstname.lastname@example.org
Control Energy Costs supports Crawley Open House by paying their energy bills When the team at Control Energy Costs was looking for a charity to support, we wanted to ensure we were able to help a local charity, not just by giving financial support, but by using our energy procurement and advice expertise to help in a more hands-on way. We researched local charities and decided on fellow gdb member Crawley Open House. Crawley Open House Provides support for those suffering the effects of homelessness, unemployment, loneliness, discrimination, or other forms of social exclusion in and around the Crawley and surrounding area. After contacting them, we imme-
diately felt that they were the charity we wanted to offer our support to. Our proposal to Crawley Open House was that Control Energy Costs would pay their energy bills. We’ve also offered to manage their energy supply arrangements at no cost, and to audit all their previous bills to see if we can recover any overpayments made for their gas, electricity and water. This review will include any levies or charges that we can recover on their behalf. Charlie Arratoon, Director of Crawley Open House, commented: “We were approached by Control Energy Costs with the most generous offer to pay our
bills and offer us their energy expertise, and it has made a big difference to us and the people we are supporting. It is lovely for a local business to offer a unique way to help us.“ We are proud to have made the donation covering the first quarter of their bills; this means we already sent them a payment of £3,571 covering energy costs for the first quarter of 2020. www.cec.uk.com www.crawleyopenhouse.co.uk
The Job Retention Scheme
The Job Retention Scheme has been introduced to help employers whose operations are “severely affected” by the COVID-19 outbreak. It allows employers to furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their regular monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. The scheme, which will initially run from 1 March 2020 until 31 May 2020, is open to all UK employers that operated a PAYE scheme & had a UK bank account as of 28 February 2020. All employees that were on the employer’s PAYE scheme as at 28 February 2020 are covered, including those on part-time and zero-hour contracts, com-
pany directors and salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships. If employees have been made redundant since 28 February, employers can choose to re-hire them and place them on furlough, and the latest guidance has also confirmed that employees who resigned post 28 February can, at the discretion of their former employer, be re-hired and placed on the scheme. Employees, including directors, cannot do anything that provides services to or makes money for an employer that has furloughed them. Furloughed directors can still undertake statutory duties and all furloughed employees can carry out voluntary work for other organisations and work for other employers if they are contractually permitted to do so. The minimum length of furlough is
three weeks and employees can be placed in and out of furlough whilst the scheme remains in place. Claims should be submitted via a new online portal which the government plans to have up and running by the end of April. Payments under the scheme are grants not loans and as such are not repayable, however, the government has indicated that it will retrospectively audit claims and may look to claw back any that are fraudulent. If you would like any support on the Job Retention Scheme or any other provision offered by the Government during the current pandemic, please call our team at RPD on 01293 521191 or email email@example.com
Maintaining a focus on cancer while the world battles COVID-19 Although the global population and news media are rightly consumed with all things COVID-19 these days, cancer has killed and will continue to kill or impact far more people than this novel virus will, long after the pandemic subsides. Healthcare providers and their patients continue to fight their own daily battles against cancer and are justified in their anxiety that the logistical effects of COVID-19 could interfere with timely treatment.
As a representative of a provider of cancer treatment technology, I appreciate their apprehension about the obstacles COVID-19 has placed in their way, namely the disruption of global supply chains and the risks posed by on-site maintenance and repair of their treatment systems. However, I’m also confident that our existing remote technology and the steps we are taking as a company to address these challenges will go a long way toward helping them maintain their focus on cancer. Our aim is to give our customers and their patients peace of mind. To the best of our ability – virus or no virus – our staff will continue to work hard to keep their systems up and running and their clinical activities running smoothly. Take our remote support, for example. It’s the ultimate in social distancing. Through our Elekta Care Support Centres, customers receive 24/7 support from three support centres that cover all time zones and geographies. A key service for providing remote support is Elekta IntelliMax®, our remote
system support service. IntelliMax securely connects to Elekta systems in hospitals to monitor and diagnose system data. It can identify issues remotely and enables our customer service agents to either do remote fixes on Elekta systems or determine that an onsite visit is required to resolve an issue. Today we achieve greater than 60 percent remote issue resolution globally We’ve also got our finger the pulse of global supply chains, wherein we perform a daily assessment of global supplier status, including which suppliers are still operating during the pandemic and border closures that might limit transport of essential parts and equipment.
Elekta will continue striving to ensure healthcare providers have the tools and resources they need to preserve their focus on patients
Lockdown or isolation regulations vary between countries, but it seems at the majority of our customer sites, working remotely is the rule of the day for many key clinical staff. To address one particular challenge, we have provided a way for the clinician to prepare and review a radiation treatment plan remotely. Starting on April 13, Elekta began providing free 90-day access to its ProKnow software, a cloud-based solution that enables retrieval and storage of data for distributed contouring, plan evaluation and peer review. ProKnow facilitates a remote and distributed workforce from anywhere via the Internet and can help avoid potential delays in patient treatment. Also accessible since April 13 for a free-of-charge 90-day trial, is our Monaco treatment planning system, which is enabled for remote use. Elekta will continue striving to ensure healthcare providers have the tools and resources they need to preserve their focus on patients. Our employees’ efforts to disseminate our lifesaving and life-prolonging technology to where it’s
needed has been impressive – we can’t thank them enough. And, to all healthcare providers – particularly those on the front lines treating patients – we thank you for your tireless efforts! The management of COVID-19 is uncertain, and we all hope to be rid of it in the short term. Tragically, cancer won’t be eliminated any time soon. That’s why at Elekta our motto is: “We’re here until cancer isn’t.” Dee Mathieson, Senior Vice President & Head of Product Management Linac Solutions - Elekta www.elekta.com
Net XP: Virtual Tradeshows and Conferences In a topsy-turvy world, like our current economic environment, having a clear niche is more important than ever. Network Xpress’ niche is tradeshows and so is excited to announce we are launching Sussex’s first ever virtual tradeshow and conference! On the 18th June, the West Sussex Tech Expo was set to roll into Chichester for its second expo of the year. COVID-19 had other ideas. Net XP had to hit the drawing board and completely rethink its marketing and sales strategies for their 2020 events as Net XP had two very clear, stark choices! Adapt to changes and work through it, or go bust! Net XP has always been a business disrupter and as such is at the forefront of B2B expos and conferences; to make these radical changes to better serve our clients was a challenge we were excited to get our teeth into to stay in the game. Face-to-face meetings and mass gatherings are not an option, so we are turning our heads to the virtual technology on offer – fitting for our Tech Expo. Setting up initially was a different story. Whilst we loved to jump straight into a challenge, having not used any cloud-based video marketing services before, other than VR at our tradeshows and Zoom for The Director’s Hub, it was a big step to transform our events business in such a short space of time. Our clients were using Zoom for video conferencing, so we started to look at this platform to see if it could be utilised into our events. At first, we didn’t think that this software would be the platform to use, until we found an additional feature which enabled us as hosts to have breakout rooms (up to 50 in total) which meant we could run many different elements of the show: the Early Bird Virtual Speakers Conference, Virtual Networking Rooms,
The Tiger’s Pen and the Virtual Speed Networking. Suddenly the pieces came together and in under 1 week we had an actionable plan to execute a cutting-edge tradeshow and conference virtually. We hear you – how can a virtual tradeshow be any good? There are multiple benefits to hosting online: • Anyone with an Internet connection can participate in a virtual tradeshow. No travel required. • The virtual platform lends itself to a broad range of applications beyond tradeshows such as workshops and training sessions. • A major benefit of virtual tradeshows is cost. There is no travel, hotel and meal expenses are eliminated.
Our conclusion is that as technology advances, virtual tradeshows may be able to provide the same “experience” as traditional shows. Some traditional tradeshows offer a virtual component like streaming presentations online, but in today’s climate, we must think outside the box. Virtual shows offer a cost-effective alternative and potential to reach people that cannot for whatever reason attend a traditional tradeshow, be it distance geographically, the weather or office meetings preventing entire days off etc. We’re now virtually networking on the internet 24/7, so why should tradeshows be any different? www.netxp.co.uk
Menzies: How to Manage your Cash Flow In a pandemic such as this, it is more important than ever to understand and manage the cash flow of your business. We understand that as the situation continues to evolve all businesses will need to adapt. We have included below five steps to consider to help SMEs get through this unprecedented time. Loan (Capital) Repayment Holidays Talk with your bank and other lenders you have borrowed money from to see if you can agree a loan repayment holiday to assist with cash flow. The communications need to be carefully managed. Don’t forget this may also be applicable to debts with leasing companies. Time to Pay Government Taxes The government has announced that all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support for their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay service. This may help your business in the short term.
Overhead Reduction Consider what overheads can be delayed, reduced or avoided - what overheads could be renegotiated in the current climate. Managing Staff Costs There is specific legislation covering layoffs and short-time working. It is important you understand how to apply the legislation, please see our blog on the FAQs regarding the Job Retention Scheme https://www.menzies.co.uk/ covid-19-job-retention-scheme-update/ to guide you through this. Current and Future Sales Consider whether future sales should be covered by deposits or cash in advance given the current economic environment. Analyse how much work is on your current order book, what new work may arise and how long it will take before this is exhausted. Consider the ability of your staff and supply chain to deliver goods and services in a timely manner to help you fulfil
your customer orders. What contractual liabilities may arise for contractual breaches where you cannot fulfil what you agreed with customers - can you re-negotiate clauses with customers given the exceptional circumstances? www.menzies.co.uk
Crawley based Avtura Limited secure new airport contract in Zurich Against all the current economic challenges in aviation Crawley based Avtura Limited have secured a new contract at Zurich International Airport (ZRH) with Airline Assistance Switzerland (AAS). Avtura will be supplying their Real-time Aircraft Turnaround Tool (RATT®) and their RATT® Billing System to the Swiss Ground Handler from the 1st June for all flights handled by AAS at ZRH. Avtura have previously been working with AAS in Vienna since early 2020 and as a result of the success of the implementation of their system there have now expanded the relationship to include AAS’s operation at their home base of ZRH. Although it is not expected that flight volumes will increase for several months across Europe the award of this con-
tract bodes well for the future of both companies and shows a confidence in both the anticipated recovery in the aviation market an in Avtura’s products and standing within the sector. Having decided to maintain staff levels and use this time of lockdown as an opportunity to further develop and enhance their current product suite, with several new prototypes in development, Christopher Meeking, CEO at Avtura feels that decision has more than been justified with the acquisition of this new contract at ZRH and hopes this is a sign of things to come as we make our way out of lockdown later in the Summer. www.avtura.com
The Award-Winning Phileas Foggs attracted Celebrities to the launch of their Titanic Themed Dining Experience at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton This Valentines evening saw the launch of Phileas Foggs World of Adventures new dining experience “The Titanic” as they worked collaboratively with The Old Ship Hotel. The experience saw over 200 guests surrounding themselves in the sights and sounds of the most famous ship ever to set sail. The event, set over 3 floors, attracted the likes of Loose Woman Host, Andrea McClean and husband Nick Feeney. The couple met on Valentines night in Brighton back in 2014 and they wanted to return to the city choosing the Titanic Experience as first-class passengers the prefect way to celebrate the occasion.
Kieran Hayler and Girlfriend Michelle Pentecost also attended the lavish event after news that his divorce to Katie Price is soon to be finalised. Other guests included Ibiza Weekend couple Jordan Davies and Isobel Mills and Capital DJ Joe Cooper and girlfriend Millie Woodman. Guests sat back and enjoyed a timeless performance of glamour and sophistication from the spectacular Gatsby Girls accompanied by a live Jazz quintet as they experienced touching tales of love aboard the Titanic portrayed by Phileas Foggs very own team of acting staff. Graham Owen, Director at Phileas Foggs said “we are so excited by the ex-
perience and are really grateful to the team at The Old Ship Hotel for giving us the opportunity and working with us in order to deliver an amazing experience. We received brilliant feedback from customers who attended the and have been inundated with enquires about upcoming events ever since”. For more information about upcoming experiences and tickets visit: www.excellentexperiences.co.uk www.oldshipbrighton.co.uk www.phileasfoggsworldofadventures.co.uk
St Catherine’s Hospice seeks community’s support Whilst many of us are working at home, St Catherine’s Hospice staff continue to provide vital care and support to local terminally ill people. Claire Irving, St Catherine’s Chief Executive asked us to share this message with you. “As your local hospice, we’re proud to help people in our community through the most difficult of times. Now, more than ever, we must look after one another.
Our hospice is continuing to support people as we do 365 days per year. We’ve made swift changes to the way we operate to make sure that we’re still able to safely provide care for local people, on our wards and in our community, during this challenging time.
But we can only do this with your support. And we’ve never needed your support more than we do now. That’s why I’m asking for your urgent help today. Please will you donate whatever you can afford to keep St Catherine’s going through this most difficult time? By donating whatever you can, you’re making sure vulnerable people in your community can have hospice support. Our supporter care team is waiting for your call on 01293 447361 or you can donate quickly and easily online at: www.stch.org.uk/BeThere We’re all experiencing challenges we never expected to face, and I’m conscious that you may have your own difficulties now, so I’m particularly grateful for anything you’re able to donate. As a local charity we rely on people like you to be able to provide our expert care and support. I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well and have everything you need. Thank you so much for being there
for your local hospice and helping us to continue to be there for your community – your family, your friends and your neighbours.” www.stch.org.uk
Coping & Catering with Covid-19
As premium event caterers the impact of Covid-19 measures could not have been more immediate on our business. Social distancing. Working from home. No mass gatherings. No weddings. No parties. No business. The irony is not lost on us having started the year with our strongest performance in 3 years. Last year, 2019, was a pivotal year for Paella Fella. We proudly celebrated a decade in event catering with a dedicated year of marketing and promotional activities. We took time to evaluate our business model, recruit
new expertise, and implement changes to our operations and communications. All of this with a view to laying the foundation for the next successful decade. So where does Covid-19 leave a catering business with no-one to cater? Essentially in a sink or swim scenario. Contingency planning and a quick turnaround to launch a contactless home delivery service in under a week are keeping us afloat and have taken the business in a new direction. Flexibility and versatility are our new buzz words. It is not business as usual but â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;crisis as
usualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and somehow, we have found our new normal amid a global pandemic. It is early days and we are a long way from being a Covid-19 success story however, this crisis has challenged us to diversify and grow the business in new tactical ways, and to either embrace change or go bust. Contact us 01342 777846 firstname.lastname@example.org www.paellafella.co.uk
Upcoming Events May & June Tuesday 5th May: 10:30 - 11:30
Thursday 14th May: 10:00 - 11:00
gdb Virtual Elevenses & Networking
COVID-19 Communications clinic – How businesses can communicate effectively during Coronavirus
• Online Event • Stay connected with the gdb Team and your fellow Members • Free of Charge – gdb Members only
• Online Event • Matt Turner, Creative Pod • Free of Charge
Wednesday 6th May: 13:00 - 14:00
Survive & Thrive: How to apply for grants • Online Event • David Porter, Sussex Innovation and Graeme Cox, Emteq • Free of Charge
Friday 15th May: 10:00 - 11:00
Ask the Expert- Virtual Q&A Session: Employment Law and Accountancy • Online Event • Kreston Reeves & Martin Searle Solicitors • Free of Charge
Tuesday 12th May: 10:30 - 11:30
gdb Virtual Elevenses & Networking • Online Event • Stay connected with the gdb Team and your fellow Members • Free of Charge – gdb Members only
Tuesday 19th May: 10:30 - 11:30
gdb Virtual Elevenses & Networking • Online Event • Stay connected with the gdb Team and your fellow Members • Free of Charge – gdb Members only
Wednesday 13th May: 13:00 - 14:00
Survive & Thrive: Furloughvation! • Online Event • Sussex Innovation • Free of Charge
Wednesday 20th May: 13:00 - 14:00
Survive & Thrive: Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing • Online Event • Sussex Innovation • Free of Charge
Thursday 21st May: 10:00 - 11:15
Tuesday 2nd June: 09:30 - 11:00
Advanced Communication: Working with your communication style
Should I consider selling my business now and what is it worth?
• Online Event • Nicky McCrudden, McCrudden Training • Free of Charge
• Online Event • Ken Gorman, Director at Transworld Business Advisors - London South West • Free of Charge
Tuesday 26th May: 10:30 - 11:30
gdb Virtual Elevenses & Networking
Thursday 4th June: 10:00 - 11:30
• Online Event • Stay connected with the gdb Team and your fellow Members • Free of Charge – gdb Members only
• Online Event • Joe Cheal, Imaginarium Learning & Development • Free of Charge
Wednesday 27th May: 13:00 - 14:00
Friday 12th June: 11:30 - 12:15
Survive & Thrive: Building your social media presence • Online Event • Sussex Innovation • Free of Charge
Digital Apprenticeships Employer’s Briefing Webinar • Online Event • Creative Process Digital • Free of Charge
Friday 29th May: 11:30 - 12:45
gdb May ‘Virtual Members Meeting’ • Online Event • Stay connected with the gdb Team and your fellow Members • Free of Charge – gdb Members only
Go to the gdb website for breaking news on the gdb events programme
Previous Meetings & Events March Thursday 5th March: 12.30 - 14.30
Thursday 9th April
Networking at Ease hosted by The Old Ship Hotel
90 Day Planning Workshop
Tom Hosking, ActionCOACH Brighton
Thursday 12th March: 08.30 - 10:00
Wednesday 15th April
Pastries & Networking hosted by Plan Insurance Brokers
Survive & Thrive: How to pivot to a direct to consumer model
Helena Jevons, Sussex Innovation’s Head of Sales & Marketing
Wednesday 25th March
Thursday 16th April
‘Don’t Panic, Plan it. Critical operational actions in a crisis.’
Virtual Selling Skills. How to transform face-to-face selling skills into effective virtual selling techniques!
Steve Jebson, Business Doctor Crawley & Redhill
Jeff Downs, Quantum Sales
Friday 27th March
Friday 17th April
gdb March ‘Virtual Members Meeting’
‘Collaboration; What’s in it for Me?’
Stay connected with the gdb Team and your fellow Members
Jeremy Taylor, The Company Connector
Tuesday 31st March
Tuesday 21st April
Steve Jebson, Business Doctor Crawley & Redhill
Jo Sawkins, Wings Wellbeing
Stress Busting amid the Corona Crisis Wednesday 22nd April
April Wednesday 1st April
Survive & Thrive: Positive Mental Health & Wellbeing Sussex Innovation
Thursday 23rd April
Marketing Ideas for Your Business
Joe Cheal, Imaginarium
Claire Scaramanga and Simon Leadbetter, Directors of Scaramanga Agency
Friday 3rd April
Friday 24th April
‘Don’t Panic, Plan it. Critical operational actions in a crisis.’ Steve Jebson, Business Doctor Crawley & Redhill Thursday 7th April
‘Don’t Panic, Plan it. Critical operational actions in a crisis.’ Steve Jebson, Business Doctor Crawley & Redhill Wednesday 8th April
Survive & Thrive: How to keep your business running during a pandemic
Nigel Lambe, Sussex Innovation’s Interim Chief Executive
gdb April ‘Virtual Members Meeting’
Stay connected with the gdb Team and your fellow Members Monday 27th April
Google Drive and Collaborative Working with G Suite Jane Hames, Director and Lead IT Trainer, Glide Training Wednesday 29th April
Survive & Thrive: Making and Maintaining Sales
Simon Chuter, Innovation Advisor and Student Enterprise Manager, Sussex Innovation
gdb welcomes new members Membership of gdb will help you raise your organisation’s profile within the Gatwick Diamond and build your business connections. AutomationSquared www.automationsquared.com 020 3026 8807 IT Services / IT Support
Nicky’s Workshop www.nickysworkshop.co.uk 07766 092834 Leisure / Entertainment
Bibby Financial Services Ltd www.bibbyfinancialservices.com 07341 562666 Accounting / Financial Services
Verlingue Limited www.verlingue.com 020 8290 6900 Insurance / Risk Services / Compliance Services
Elevate Business www.elevate-business.co.uk 07866 772124 Business Consultants
Westridge Construction Co Ltd www.westridgeconstruction.co.uk 01737 906080 Architectural / Construction / Maintenance
The Growth Company: Organisational Improvement www.growthco.uk 07970 276674 Business Support LMP Education www.letmeplay.co.uk 07961 791401 Training / Education Malmaison Brighton www.malmaison.com/locations/ brighton 01273 041482 Hotels / Venues / Events Middle Earth Minibus Co Ltd Inc Affordable Events www.middleearthminibus.co.uk 07748 243505 Logistics / Travel Services
Young Enterprise www.young-enterprise.org.uk 07867 001515 Charity
Referrals • Simon Gregg from Extech Cloud for Middle Earth Minibus Co Ltd Inc Affordable Events • Steve Jebson from Business Doctors for LMP Education
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Charity supporters rise to the challenge Back in April, Chailey Heritage Foundation launched a campaign to keep their supporters active at home. Following the need to postpone their annual running challenge, the Focus 10k, the charity invited people to participate in the #Focus10Stay instead. Supporters were invited to take on any active challenge connected to the number 10 from the safety of their own homes. Those wanting to go the extra mile could also opt to keep their challenge going for 10 consecutive days. Individuals and families took on the challenges, with people posting videos of their evidence: from shooting ten hoops in a minute, to skipping round the garden 10 times. One family set themselves a target of completing 10,000 steps each day for 10 days, even with the limited opportunities to exercise outside. Ellie McCurdy whose sons are age seven and four said, “we’re loving the daily challenge and it wipes the boys out (for 20 minutes) but still, every little helps!” The Focus10Stay was a hit with regional media, with coverage on BBC Radio Sussex, in the Agrus, and on Meridian TV. To see some of the challenges that people took on, check out the hashtag #Focus10Stay Although not a fundraising challenge, many chose to make a donation to support the work of the charity, that provides care and education to children and young people with complex disabilities. To find out more and to keep up to date as fundraising events are rescheduled, visit www.chf.org.uk
Daniel Tozer of asb law scoops Corporate Lawyer of the Year Award
Daniel Tozer, Partner and Head of Corporate Finance at asb law has won Corporate Lawyer of the Year at the South East Dealmakers Awards 2020. The Corporate Lawyer of the Year Award recognises stand out Lawyers in the Corporate Finance field throughout the South East. Daniel was shortlisted with 5 other lawyers from top firms in the region and to take the award against such competition is a real testament to the dedication and hard work Daniel and the team put in on behalf of our clients. Daniel claimed the award due to his successes over the past year which included becoming a Partner at the firm and Head of Corporate Finance and his work in reshaping and expanding the team. Deal highlights included the acquisitions of Graybrook Insurance Brokers and WPS by Seventeen Group and
the acquisitions of Sussex Recruitment and Gel Resourcing by HRGO plc. Speaking about winning the award Daniel said “it’s great recognition for the whole team. We work very hard to ensure we always deliver results and this was a nice way to take a moment to reflect on a very successful 2019 and look ahead to an exciting future“. Daniel’s individual success is a reflection of the Corporate Finance team as a whole. Over the last year, Daniel has worked hard to expand the team with the right talent so that they can continue to offer the best service for clients. The new additions bring with them extra depth and experience and will work beside the incumbent team over both the Maidstone and Crawley offices. www.asb-law.com
Top tips for auditing a website by PRG Marketing Communications Often, the best way to audit a website is to ask someone outside your business to conduct an audit as they come with no bias. With business quieter for many during the COVID-19 outbreak, PRG Marketing Communications is offering free no obligation website audits to help businesses in Gatwick! In this article PRG offers a few pointers on what to look out for when auditing your site. Auditing your website is simple - you’ll need to look at it from two main perspectives. This includes the content and then the look and functionality of the site itself. The first thing to do is check your Google Analytics. You may think you can tell what you need to improve on simply by looking but get the facts to back this up. Questions to ask yourself are which pages are receiving the most traffic, which pages have a high bounce rate and how are people finding you? If your website doesn’t have goals set up, it’s worth using the time to understand the basics of Google Tag Manager. If your pages are lacking content or you don’t have any of your local service areas visible on the site think about how you can rectify this. Is your company address and local phone number visible? Have you thought about a Google My Business or Bing listing? Don’t assume keywords – check Google Search Console or use an online key-
Check there are no error pages and your server speed is fast
Create online business listings
Check google analytics
Check your content is optimised
word research tool to check what people are searching for. More technical fixes include checking for error pages, checking your site speed and security and testing your contact forms. If you’re unsure what to look out for you can find free website audit tools
online. These tools sometimes come with handy traffic light systems which are great for beginners as they’ll prioritise fixes by order of importance. For your free audit, please email email@example.com to find out more.
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Covid-19 & Workplace Pensions Q&A Can the employer put their scheme on a contribution holiday? The Pensions Regulator (TPR) have confirmed that they expect employers to continue making contributions into their scheme, and we would encourage any employers to do so if they can. What should employers do if any members want to stop paying contributions? Members can stop/restart their contributions at any time. Automatic enrolment rules also give employers the option of stopping their contributions, if members decide to stop making contributions. However, if it’s an occupational scheme, they’ll need to check the scheme rules, and for any other scheme – the contracts of employment as they may have a legal obligation, which means they need to continue paying the contributions. As an employer it is illegal to induce or coerce employees to opt out of a workplace pension scheme. What should employers do if any members stop paying into their pension, but they want to continue paying in contributions? If the member’s contribution stops, employers will need to stop deducting contributions from their salary. Similar to the previous question, employers will need to check to see if there are any conditions that apply to minimum/matching contribution amounts. Do employers need to make pension contributions if employees take unpaid leave? If the employer is not paying any salaries, then they wouldn’t need to make any pension contributions. However, the government have introduced a support measure for employers known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help them retain their employees. We’re expecting employers will continue paying the employees they’re retaining in the normal way, which also allows contributions to continue being paid into the scheme. Any payments the government make as part of this scheme, will be paid to the employer. We understand the available grant will be based on the following criteria: • 80% of (gross salary + Employer NIC + minimum AE Employer pension contribution) subject to the £2500 monthly cap* The grant will not fund further Employer NIC or AE Em-
ployer pension contributions on any top-up salary paid by the employer. *Gov.Uk – Guidance/Claims for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – 26th March 2020 What we do not know at this time is how this will impact backdated pension contributions and any members that need to be re-instated back into the scheme. If employers need to reduce salaries, do they still need to make pension contributions? If the salary has been reduced, any pension contributions the employer makes, should be based upon the revised salary. It’s important employers check that any reduced pension contributions are still in line with any specific arrangements they have with employees. Many employers will be using qualifying earnings as their definition of pensionable pay. If employees’ earnings fall below the lower earnings threshold (£6136 for 2019/20 tax year) in a pay reference period then you will not need to make a pension contribution on their behalf. *Lower earnings threshold expected to be £6240 in the 2020/21 tax year subject to parliament approval. If employers are taking on any new employees, should they still enrol them into the scheme? Yes. Until TPR provide any other advice around new joiners,
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will have access to support measures
employers should continue to enrol (or re-enrol at the 3 year cyclical period) any new employees into the scheme in the normal way. This would include an employee who wishes to opt in. Should employers continue making pension contributions if members are off sick? Yes. Employers will need to continue deducting contributions from the members’ salaries. Statutory sick pay is part of the qualifying earning rules for automatic enrolment. If the current situation means that employers cannot make their pension contributions on time, what are their options? We appreciate that current circumstances will be challenging for employers, however until TPR confirms otherwise, employers should try to make their pension contributions as soon as they can. If any employers are concerned about how they can continue to meet their ongoing duties, we suggest they speak to TPR. Can the employer change the certification basis of their scheme? If the scheme’s contribution basis meets the statutory minimums, then, yes, they can change the scheme’s basis. If they decide to make the change, they’ll need to:
• let their pension provider know • keep a record of this in case TPR ask for evidence in the future • tell their employees What happens if employers need to let some of their employees go either short term or long term? Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will have access to support measures. It’s designed to help them continue paying their employees’ salaries during these times, and hopefully avoid having to let some of their workforce go. If employers do need to let their workforce go, they’ll need to follow the normal rules and process for termination of employment, make any final payments into their pension scheme and complete the notification of leaving process on the scheme. There is more information regarding guidance for employers and the support available on the Covid19: support for business Gov.uk website by clicking on the following link; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses Senior Risk and Healthcare Consultant, Mark Beach. Mobile no is 07710 678237 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org
MHA Carpenter Box invests in the future with ‘home grown’ Partner appointment Sussex-based MHA Carpenter Box continues to invest in ‘home grown’ talent, with the promotion of Chris Reeves to Partner at the accountancy firm. Chris, 33, has been appointed Partner having joined the practice as a trainee in 2004. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ACCA) in 2010 and helped to set up the firm’s Gatwick office in 2015. Chris commented: “MHA Carpenter Box has been a significant part of my life for the last 16 years since joining as a trainee, and I’m delighted to be made a Partner. It’s a great place to work, with brilliant people and I look forward to advising and engaging with clients for many years to come. “Clearly, the business world is facing significant challenges at the moment, but we are working closely with clients to ensure they have access to the latest available information and the best advice through our dedicated coronavirus hub. We are also adapting our work-
ing practices to ensure we continue to provide the best possible support at this critical time. For example, to help facilitate audit work, we’re using technology such as Skype and Teams for virtual stocktake attendances.” In his role as Partner, Chris will help to drive the AAG (Assurance and Advisory Group) department forward as significant changes in the world of audit are expected over the next 12 months. Currently, he specialises in audit services focused on motor retail, pension schemes and FCA regulated entities in general, such as Independent Financial Advisers and brokers. He lives in Shoreham-by-Sea and, having recently married, he enjoys family time with his spouse and two children. Outside of work, he takes a keen interest in football, tennis, golf and cars. www.carpenterbox.com
Remote Environmental Audits Regular environmental audits are important to keep organisations on track in managing impacts, risks & costs. Anya Ledwith of consultancy Eshcon has adapted her ways of working to deliver remote audits to ensure her clients’ audit programmes continue effectively. Usually the audit is done actually onsite, walking around, viewing files, speaking to staff. With many business premises partially closed, you may be concerned about keeping the audit programme going. Should you do your internal audits? What happens with certification audits? Rather than everything grinding to a halt, it’s better to do something & keep up the momentum of your audit programme. Here are some top tips for preparing for your remote audit: • Set up the technology for interviews – we’re used to using Zoom, Teams or Facetime now, rather than just relying on the telephone.
• So the auditor can see the site, take your camera all around to see the key activities, equipment, waste, materials storage etc. • If the site is completely closed, the scope of the audit can be changed – operational control can be covered at a later audit. • Ensure key documentation is accessible remotely & try to get paper records in advance of the audit. • While managers may be OK speaking by video, other staff may be less so. Try to make them comfortable, they could phone in separately (maybe sitting alone). • To avoid technology problems (systems, connectivity etc), test it all out beforehand. • There may be scheduling challenges, especially if people are working from home (or even furloughed). It is important to get the schedule well organised in advance.
We’re all developing new ways of working. If you’re prepared, you should have a productive audit to meet your objectives & ensure the business is resilient. For more info, please see: www.eshcon.co.uk/remote-auditing Anya Ledwith email@example.com
Vazon Technology Supports Charity’s Transition & New CRM
With one hundred county-wide staff, Carer’s Support West Sussex (CSWS) have been in IT transition. This is to ensure that front line support to Carers can continue amid the COVID outbreak with staff relocating to home. It also ensures that CSWS can play their part in the StepUp programme to support the wider community in need, during this difficult time. Vazon Technology have been supporting this transition, whilst also maintaining momentum on the charity’s CRM upgrade too.
The CRM project is now at the crucial UAT (User Acceptance Testing) stage. This is often a tough task, especially the “User” part: Just how do you get testers to engage when competing with business not-as-usual activities? Vazon Technology have been utilising Microsoft Teams and integration with SharePoint to engage, collaborate, share and learn as a group throughout UAT of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This has worked to excellent effect for file sharing, editing, recording and simply keeping in touch. We’re looking forward to a successful UAT and moving the project on to completion. www.vazontech.co.uk
April 3 WebEx
Flexibility Matters specialises in flexible working and as a business we have, over the past 6 years actively promoted that businesses change and adapt the way they expect their workforces to work. The coronavirus has suddenly forced our entire world to embrace working remotely and from home. For some, with large teams (and not so large!) spread round the country, this has come as a huge shock as traditional working practices and presenteeism really doesn’t work in this disrupted world. On our recent WebEx, Dagmar Albers, Diversity and Inclusion lead at Pfizer and Anne Tickner Head of HR AVS Operations at Thales, both explained how their businesses have both embraced working remotely, Dagmar talked about their #InItTogether culture, an SMT leadership team who are involved and leading by example and are very clear that these are exceptional times and certainly not business as usual. Managers communicate regularly via townhalls or personalized videos Anne talked similarly about team charters, trust and work life blend and that strategies implemented over the years are coming to fruition in these tricky times. Not to mention both corporates working in industry consortia to battle the virus. Inspirational words from both in challenging times My worry is that we will just return to ‘the old normal’! At FM we will continue to challenge business leaders to em-
brace fluid and agile workforces and recruit candidates who really can work anywhere. With leadership, clear objectives, communication, technology and trust, businesses will become more productive, dynamic and empowered. Their teams will super achieve! Ursula Tavender and Liese Lord presented their guides on how to work remotely in these challenging times. Blaire Palmer supported their vision with a practical session on how to work from home whilst home schooling which, let’s face it is a massive challenge. I love her idea of ‘unschooling’ See the guides and links to Blaire’s work here www.flexibilitymatters/news To echo David Blackburn at the FSCS who believes that every job can be made flexible, it is all about ‘progress not perfection’. Particularly at the moment we can’t get everything right instantaneously, try and if it doesn’t work – try something different! Every job can and is being done flexibly and remotely now, sadly many will be furloughed or may lose their jobs, but let’s not revert to old style working the moment the coronavirus is under control. At Flexibility Matters we are here to resource your business when the storm passes Keep well. www.flexibilitymatters.co.uk
Zooming into the Imaginarium for Learning & Development Lockdown has been a time for adaptation and improvisation… an opportunity to test out how delivering training online might work for us. The result? Although my first choice will always be ‘in the room’ for running courses, I kind of love being virtual! The initial challenge was how to take live, interactive, engaging training sessions and translate them into a two-dimensional (i.e. flat) environment! Then it struck me that we can still deliver highly engaging, three dimensional ‘deep-learning’… but it is like people are looking through a window into the Imaginarium! There is a stigma to online training… that it is boring! And I’m finding many companies slow to take up the online training approach… but having now run over 20 learning events via Zoom (including one for gdb… with another coming up on June 4th on Crisis Leadership!), we are getting feedback that we are “doing it differently” and participants are “surprised how interactive and fun it was… kept my interest throughout” and that as a result they felt “reassured, re-engaged and re-energised”.
One session we’ve been running is “How to make online training captivating and compelling!” Here are some tips: • Start with the audience in mind. Not “What do I need to tell them” but “What are their challenges? What do they want to know and be able to do?” • Ask as many people as possible to be on video. Seeing other people’s faces (eyes in particular) helps people feel connected and safe. • Get introductions then ask the group:
“what challenges are you experiencing and noticing?” Then facilitate participants into the discussion. Use your session to help solve their problems and answer their questions, getting their ideas and input throughout. If you’d like to know more about making online training an exciting adventure, contact Joe Cheal (firstname.lastname@example.org), author of The Model Presenter.
Website Launch Keeps Business Moving Last month witnessed the launch of a brand new free website, designed to help businesses, community groups and charities in and around Crawley who are struggling in the wake of the Corona Virus crisis. SupportCrawley.com - designed and built by Gatwick Diamond member, Nettl of Crawley - aims to give local organisations the opportunity to seek help from their community. Users can issue up-to-date information on products and services, offer promotions, sell vouchers, invite enquiries, ask for reviews, seek donations, and plan for a positive future - all free of charge. Husband-and-wife team, Jim and Jen-
nifer Bolt, who jointly run the web and print design agency, conceived the idea as a positive response to the restrictions of lockdown, using their skills to help relieve the impact on the business community. “It’s easy to feel helpless when it feels like our lives and livelihoods are under threat,” explained Jennifer. “Like so many local traders, we’re very worried about how the restrictions might affect our future. It’s a really difficult time to be a small business owner or charity ambassador as bigger issues are taking priority and it feels like no-one’s listening. But our culture and economy rely on the survival of such organisations so it’s really important we do our bit to
help keep them afloat.” Getting published on the website couldn’t be easier. A form on the homepage allows you to upload contact information and a message about how others can support you, with the option to add links to social media, all of which can be adjusted as situations change. Visit the site now to get involved. www.nettl.com/uk/crawley
Is everything you’re paying out for really adding value to your business?
Having a spring clean of all the costs in your business is certainly a process we recommend as the chances are that you’ll find several outgoings that you don’t think add any value any more - you might be surprised at the savings that can be made for such a small investment of time. So what’s the best way to keep tabs on them all? Our tips to spring clean include: 1. Review the costs every month that come out on Direct Debit through the bank account and do take a long hard look at the company or personal credit card statement. 2. Make it someone’s job to make sure every cost is approved – often business owners just rely on their bookkeeper to record the transactions and the bookkeeper just keeps posting transactions (especially as many of the accounting systems now a days can “learn” where
to put transactions for you). 3. Don’t let your team get hold of the company credit or debit card without some form of approval from you. Set some delegated authority levels (buying approval levels). 4. Implement a system for regular reviews of certain cost lines, perhaps a different category every month or a raft of cost every quarter – subscriptions, adhoc software, stationery, memberships, mobile phones, credit cards, email accounts, etc. 5. Keep a spreadsheet of the ones that have been approved and why you’re using them and what value you’re expecting that subscription to add to the business and review that regularly. 6. If you don’t know what something is, chances are no one uses it anymore. It can be a high risk strategy but if no one is confessing to subscribing to something and no one knows why
you’re paying for it, cancel it and see who yells! 7. Compare your costs against your budget and last year – Once a year tally up how much you’re spending and decide what costs or areas you could do differently to reduce the cost – investing this time can potentially wipe a lot of money from your annual spend – a lot of money that could be spent elsewhere. 8. Look at marketing costs by channel and make sure you know what your cost per client acquisition is for every channel – what works and what doesn’t. Test and measure and adapt accordingly. There’s a reason most corporates have an analyst attached to their marketing team. To find out more call 01252 820002, visit www.yourrighthand.co.uk/blog or email email@example.com
Talent Gateway Hey everyone, In January we were finalising our plans for a record year – with clients across all sectors in a similar position, sharing their hiring plans and asking for our support. As recently as last month Covid-19 was something happening elsewhere, to other people, and with little or no impact on daily lives or business. Now here we are. At home. Life on hold, with no instruction manual. If you’re anything like me, being connected and meeting others is part of who you are, and personally I find the lock down difficult to deal with. I’ve thought about what to do best with the time on my hands, and rather than allow myself to go completely mad, I thought I would offer to help I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got:
• unanswered questions about recruitment or • you are facing new challenges such as still having to recruit but how to do this remotely, or • how do you on board someone remotely or • anything you would like to know about the process, • you fancy a moan about how bad recruitment’s been for you This is simply an opportunity to connect and share. This is completely free - no sales pitch or motive attached. We won’t add you to any mailing list (unless you want us to) Just a virtual coffee or beer/wine whichever you prefer. Then we can have a real coffee / beer/ wine when this is all over.
No hidden agenda just want to connect as I am missing connecting with people and sharing what I know. Maybe see you on a call shortly, but either way - stay strong and stay sane. Kindest, Nici My contact details: nici@talentgateway. net, mobile: 07881 349267 or contact me via Linkedin
University of Sussex helps meet needs of local employers The University of Sussex will meet the needs of local employers and provide employment opportunities to our students in the upcoming months by adopting creative and innovative approaches to student work experience placements. The demand for work-ready, highly-skilled employees is still evident within many sectors, even in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, and the desire from students for valuable work experience is higher than ever.
We are encouraging organisations to think creatively about how they might employ students on team consultancy briefs, virtual projects, or online internships. This could help your business to, for example, undertake background research to scope out a project, develop communication, online or marketing materials, or take responsibility for the delivery of specific projects. We will be providing support through a number of fully and part-funded intern-
ship programmes. One of our schemes, the fully-funded First-Generation Scholars Internship Programme, offers second-year undergraduate students a short internship with organisations across the UK, but predominantly in the south east region of England. Employers can advertise opportunities now, and internships will start in June or July 2020. “Having a University of Sussex intern for eight weeks was invaluable. Our intern was very proficient at creating videos so they were able to create compelling content for our social media channels, which we hadn’t done previously,” said an East Sussex-based media production company, which took part in the programme last year. For more information about all our fully-funded opportunities with the University of Sussex, please visit www.sussex. ac.uk/careers/employers or contact Andrea Wall, the University of Sussex Employer Engagement Manager: andrea. firstname.lastname@example.org
Insolvency reforms ‘ready to go’, says former R3 president and head of restructuring at accountants Kreston Reeves
A suite of insolvency reforms is ‘ready to go’ on to the statute books, says Andrew Tate, former president of R3, the restructuring trade body, and head of restructuring at accountants and business advisers Kreston Reeves. The proposals were first proposed and consulted on in 2016 when Andrew Tate was President of R3 and mothballed following the Brexit referendum decision. The proposals could offer struggling businesses a breathing space, forcing
suppliers to continue to supply goods, and relax the wrongful trading rules. Andrew Tate said: “The first, and most important, measure is breathing space for companies. This ‘moratorium’ would provide a period of time for companies to reorganise themselves and implement a rescue plan without court action being taken by creditors. Crucially this measure will also prevent action being taken by the banks against customers. “Forcing suppliers to continue to supply already applies to utility and IT companies to avoid companies and individuals being held to ransom. This measure could be extended to other suppliers who are deemed essential to the rescue of a business. Those suppliers would not be able to rely on clauses in their contracts, called ipso facto clauses, which allow them to end contracts of supply because of insolvency.” A relaxation of the wrongful trading
rules has already been mentioned by the Government on 28 March and would, says Andrew Tate, be a welcome addition to help business leaders “hold their nerve”. “The UK has wrongful trading rules which essentially make directors potentially personally liable if the company trades on past the point where liquidation is inevitable,” explains Andrew. “The liability is the increase in debt incurred beyond that point. In truth, it is a very difficult action for a liquidator to bring but the question does worry directors of companies, particularly bigger businesses where the numbers are large.” Andrew concludes: “We are expecting changes to the insolvency regime and would urge the Government to look to the proposals made back in 2016. They could easily and quickly be added to the statute books.” www.krestonreeves.com
Exploring the Benefits of a Structured Gym Based Exercise Programme for People Living with Parkinson’s In the UK in 2018 145,000 people were diagnosed with Parkinson’s; this equates to 50 people every day. A diagnosis of Parkinson’s is a life-changing event for both the Parkinson’s individual and their families. Exercise can help manage the symptoms of stiff slow movement; it’s an activity that provides significant benefits. Evidence suggests that a regular balanced aerobic and strengthening exercise will deliver a beneficial impact. The Branch agreed a pilot with Nuffield Health a structured gym-based exercise programme covering 14-weeks. The pilot included, six Parkinson’s individuals, with each exerciser completing formal physical and mental assessments to accepted national protocols. It has to be acknowledged that this small pilot study which, makes it difficult
to statistically prove that the changes in performance demonstrated are directly linked to the exercise programme. Such changes may result from improvements in general health and lifestyle.
The outcome suggests that a structured gym-based exercise programme encompassing strength, resistance, cardio-vascular and stretch exercises can have a positive impact on the quality of life for those suffering from Parkinson’s. To prove the real long-lasting benefits of this type exercise, a larger controlled trial is required, involving both Parkinson’s and Nuffield Health. It also requires academic support and above all else funding.
With these caveats in mind the results suggest that all 6 exercisers improved and benefited from the exercise programme. Individually some of the results are impressive with significant changes (40%) being recorded. All the volunteers have improved although some have improved to a greater degree.
Interested in learning more or would like to get involved, please visit: www.localsupport.parkinsons.org.uk/ provider/crawley-and-east-grinsteadbranch
Ifield Community College adapts to new ways of teaching!
At Ifield Community College both staff and students have had to adapt very quickly to new ways of working. As a school, although officially closed as directed by the Government, we still remain open to the children of key workers and our vulnerable students, including staying open throughout the Easter school break to do so. Teaching and support staff have been amazing in how they have risen to what has been a major challenge, all happy to undertake new tasks and responsibilities to respond to what is an unprecedented situation. We are proud to be in a position to support front line colleagues, which has included donating PPE resources for their use, in particular goggles and gloves. We are all working hard prioritising our resources to ensure all our students are supported and provided with the
learning programmes that are so vital to them. Our Pastoral team is working tirelessly both in school and from home with our most vulnerable students to look out for their wellbeing, as well as making regular contact with all our other students to ensure they are coping and are well. Our Teachers and Learning Support Assistants are adapting to delivering online teaching and resources for all our students, being there to provide additional reassurance when needed. The energy and strong leadership of the Headteacher, Rob Corbett, has proved invaluable in these difficult times, and is much appreciated by all staff and students as he keeps morale high - even regularly helping prepare lunches for those in school! Times might be very strange at the moment, and no one knows when things
might return to some sort of normality, but the dedication of staff to all our students has ensured that we have all pulled together and remain totally focussed on supporting not just the young people we care so strongly about, but also each other. www.ifieldcc.w-sussex.sch.uk
Don’t suffer in silence We wanted to make you aware of a new, dedicated Mortgage Information Support Line that Mortgage Advice Bureau has set up to help homeowners who are worried about their finances as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This is a free service available to homeowners nationwide, to answer any queries or worries you have about paying your mortgage, with an aim to
guide you back to financial security. In an ever-changing economic climate, the UK government is responding daily with new measures to minimise the impact of the Coronavirus, not only on our health but our finances too. This includes access to a mortgage payment holiday of up-to three months for those worst-hit financially by the virus. However, this may not be your only worry re-
garding monthly finances, and with the new Mortgage Information Support Line, Mortgage Advice Bureau can answer your questions around managing your household finances to help you cope. To speak to a qualified mortgage adviser via the helpline, homeowners should call 01293 52525 or email mabcrawley@ mab.org.uk
Kreston Reeves wishlist support for NHS Trusts Kreston Reeves has joined the #ThankYouNHS campaign and set up three Amazon wishlists to make it easier for employees, clients, contacts or the wider public to make a donation of much needed items for the doctors, nurses, medical professionals, students, staff and patients at three hospital trusts across the South East. In just a few days since the Kreston Reeves wishlists have been set up, over £1,800 worth of items have been purchased and donated including: • 174 tubs of Vaseline and 152 tubs of E45, useful for dry hands and faces due to the extra washing or wearing of masks. • 78 bottles body wash and 60 roll-on deodorants, useful for those staying in hospital overnight or washing after being on a Coronavirus ward. • Hundreds of treats including Haribo sweets, Biscoff biscuits and others. To make a donation go to https://www. krestonreeves.com/news/thank-you-nhsessential-items-campaign/ and follow the instructions. You can choose which of the three hospital trusts you donate to – either the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust, Support Barts Charity (London) or Support East Kent Hospitals Charity (Kent). You will need an amazon account to take part and you choose and purchase from the pre-selected items. Donated items will be sent to one of the Kreston Reeves regional Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reps who will
collate and distribute to the hospitals in need. In the event there are items purchased which are no longer required by the charity, they will be donated to local food banks. The campaign is supported by the Kreston Reeves Foundation, a registered charity. Sam Rouse, Charities and Not for Profit Partner from Kreston Reeves comments: “Everyone wants to feel they are doing something useful at this time and while staying at home is clearly the best thing people can do, we have also
set up something practical to provide much needed items and treats to our frontline NHS workers. Many people want to say thank you to our front-line workers and we know they will appreciate these items being sent to them. On their behalf thank you to everyone who has made a donation through our wishlist to date.” www.krestonreeves.com
An open letter to gdb members. Ten years ago, I was fortunate enough to win Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards. And it’s been a whirlwind of a decade ever since. Including taking part in many charity challenges, buying (and selling!) Crawley Town FC, becoming Patron of Chestnut Tree House and winning a few more awards along the way. Not to mention meeting some incredibly talented business professionals and helping over 300 youngsters start their first business with Young Start-up Talent. I am writing this because I know times are tough, and as a business community, we need to stick together, pay our bills on time and look after our local economy. gdb and its members helped me build my business, and I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without many of you; therefore, I want to give back to the membership that got me where I am - by offering free consultation sessions to discuss:
• Your post COVID-19 marketing Strategy • Creative ideas that will help you stand out from the crowd • Opportunities for funding and finance • Commercialisation and digitisation of your business There are no strings attached, and you’re more than welcome to extend my offer to anyone in your network. Plus, for every 1-2-1 I host, I will donate £100 to Chestnut Tree house (the only end of life hospice for children in Sussex) on behalf of Creative Pod. Stay safe, stay positive, and we will get through this together. So if you’re interested drop me an email, and I look forward to hearing from you. Matt Turner CEO of The Creative Group email@example.com
Servicing all your creative needs. 01293 908 100 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.thecreative.group • 3A Amberley Court, Whitworth Road, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 7XL
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