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Chamberlink Magazine

SPRING/2020 NO.08

JTape’s fast response to a crisis

News and views from Chamber members


Chamber news We are pleased to announce the launch of the North Cheshire Business Mastermind! This initiative is aimed at helping SME’s across North Cheshire to access advice and support on business issues they may be encountering, and will be running through the current Corona Virus situation and beyond. This is a free event run via Zoom video conferencing and provides attendees access to a specially selected panel of 9 local business ‘Masterminds’. You are invited to submit up to 2 questions for our panel of experts to help you with, and attendees will be split into 8 ‘rooms’ to discuss these issues, and hopefully get them resolved. It is also a great opportunity to network with local business owners.

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Launch of North Cheshire Business Mastermind The panelists have expertise in Accounting, HR, Recruitment, IT, Mindset & Wellbeing, Business Coaching, Marketing, Websites and SEO, and North Cheshire Chamber are pleased to be part of this initiative. If you don’t have a particular issue at the moment, please come along and select two areas you have an interest in. You may actually learn something new, but more importantly you may actually be able to help another local business in your group.


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Chamber events

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Welcome to new members

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COVID-19 - its effects on your business

SPRING/2020

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and how to come out stronger

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J-Tape’s Face Shields - a story of diversification in a crisis

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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: where are we up to?

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Trust stands up to virus

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Advice on child maintenance during COVID-19 coutbreak

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Fantastic support for East Cheshire

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What lasting impact will the pandemic

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have on the way we conduct business?

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News on courses from Stockwell Safety

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Why being efficient should improve your

Coping with the impact of lockdown on relationships

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Illingworth Research launches PatientGo for patients in clinical trials

financial position

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King’s student manufacture face masks

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Medico-legal consultancy expands into

Hospice

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Orbit’s Oakfield House

20 Project to protect older people from scams launched

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Keeping Britain on the move

22 New campus on track for September opening

23 What’s the travel forecast Items for the next issue of Chamberlink should be sent to sue@northcheshirehamber.co.uk by Friday July 17, 2020 (please mark Chamberlink magazine) North Cheshire Chamber of Commerce & Enterprise Suite 2A, 9 King Edward Street Macclesfield SK10 1AQ Tel 01625 665940 Fax 01625 665941 email info@northcheshirechamber.co.uk Editorial and advertising have been received from a variety of organisations and individuals and their content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Chamber. The contributions have been reproduced in good faith and the Chamber cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in relation to them.

Chamber patrons

Chamberlink Spring 2020

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Chamber news

A WorkTaste breakfast

Our networking breakfast in association with The Rossendale Trust gave members a real flavour of the benefits of the Trust’s awardwinning WorkTaste scheme. WorkTaste provides work experience for people with learning disabilities, and businesses and community projects work in close partnership with the Trust to provide placements for Rossendale’s tenants. Pictured is Mark Winder of Bear Grills Café who talked about his experience of WorkTaste and what a huge success it had been for his business, and how easy and rewarding it is to offer someone with a learning disability a taste of work.

Nothing can stop a team! Our recent webinar with Fabric IT on how to stay productive when working from using Microsoft Teams attracted over 40 people – businesses used the webinar as a training and awareness opportunity to learn about the key functionalities within Teams and get their own teams up to speed during these uncertain times. Fabric IT’s MD Carl Enser ran an engaging session on how to utilise this powerful Microsoft tool which has really gained momentum in these times of working from home, and staying productive and keeping in touch.

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A networking "trip" with EveryBody@Alderley Park Our breakfast event at the new EveryBody @ Alderley Park was our last event before social-distancing became the new norm! After a typically healthy breakfast there was a talk from Everybody on health, wellbeing and fitness, the small changes you can make that have a big impact; and the fantastic facilities were showcased with a tour around together with the opportunity to experience Cheshire East’s first immersive workout experience: ‘Les Mills THE TRIP’!


Chamber news

Pro bono business support – How to survive and prosper through the downturn A special offer from one Chamber member to another – getting a plan in place for your business to come through this challenging time stronger than you went in. Ceri James, local business owner based in Adlington, is offering free coaching and education sessions to help fellow members to think, plan and take action to get through the COVID-19 crisis. Ceri’s business is in partnership with ActionCOACH, the world’s number one business coaching operation with access to around 240 other coaches working across the UK in every SME business sector.

Q&A Webinar with David Rutley MP Macclesfield MP, David Rutley, joined our members for his first online event when we ran a Question & Answer webinar recently – the webinar gave the audience an opportunity to raise questions and issues with David about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy. Over twenty attendees took part in the engaging Q&A session which covered a wide range of issues like how we will all move on from the current lockdown, the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, furloughing employees, support for self-employed people and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans. David also discussed issues surrounding the regeneration of Macclesfield Town Centre and plans to help bolster the local economy in the months ahead.

Ceri has already run two webinars for the Chamber since lockdown, both chaired by CEO Sue Bowden, with the first “The Missing Link” focused on getting the most from LinkedIn and the second on “Cash is King – Let it Reign” which went through a step by step process of setting up a cash-flow forecast to decide if, when and how much extra funding a business might need to stay alive over the next few months. Feedback from attendees included “Great webinar this morning thanks to you, your team and Ceri” and “I thoroughly enjoyed Ceri’s session this morning- lots of good tips there for me to take away and work on.” Other sessions are planned on optimising home working and best practice marketing through a crisis. Ceri observed: “Once again, SME business owners are getting the rough end of the stick – even if all their staff are furloughed there is nothing for the business owner who has to carry on to keep the business alive - I’m trying to help as many as a I can.” If you would like a customised consultation focused on your business, please contact Ceri at cerijames@actioncoach.com or find him on LinkedIn or Facebook Business Page “Ceri James – Business Coach”.

Chamber member, Ceri James, a business coach at ActionCOACH who has worked with the Chamber on several events recently, facilitated the webinar and he and Sue Bowden worked together on the day to host the event and present questions to David. Following the Q&A Webinar David said, “I am very grateful to the North Cheshire Chamber of Commerce for helping to arrange this opportunity for me to help answer questions from many local businesses. During these unprecedented times, they are facing real challenges and I am working hard to address their concerns and provide support. I am particularly grateful to Sue Bowden and the Chamber for all that they are doing to support our business community during the pandemic and I look forward to continuing to working with the Chamber in the months ahead.” Chamberlink Spring 2020

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Chamber news

Welcome to our new Chamber members LearningBook Ltd

Choice Travel

MACCLESFIELD 0161 713 4129 James Huntington

Choice Travel MACCLESFIELD 07931 301 511 Sean Baguley

Illingworth Research Group Ltd

Choice Travel is an executive private hire business-to-business punctual car service based in Macclesfield. We offer all aspects of business travel including cars, MPV’s and coach. We have 40 years experience in the taxi/car service industry. We look after manual workers to lords, lady’s, MP’s, actors and actresses with the ultimate discretion.

Illingworth offers a unique combination of patient-centric services to facilitate worldwide participation in clinical trials. Illingworth’s bespoke solutions include: Mobile Research Nursing, PatientGo (a unique patient concierge service using mobile technology) and Medical Photography. Mobile Research Nursing focuses on taking the trial to the patient, whilst PatientGo supports patients in getting to site visits when required.

chaufferchoice7@gmail.com

MACCLESFIELD 01625 617 447

LearningBook is a Digital Learning Journey that combines easy to use, practical features with beautiful design, underpinned by safeguardingaware technology. Developed by head teachers, Ofsted outstanding nursery operators and IT experts for schools, preschools, nurseries, children centres and childminders. It is quickly becoming the number one choice of learning journeys for teachers and Early Years Professionals in the UK and abroad.

www.learningbook.co.uk

www.illingworthresearch.com

Nettl of Macclesfield Footprints Day Nurseries Ltd MACCLESFIELD 01625 662 200 Claire Huntington ‘At Footprints we focus on the children and everything else follows’

MACCLESFIELD 07919 594 644 Fabio Mazzieri and Steve Morton

Footprints Day Nurseries are based in Macclesfield and Bollington, both our nurseries are Ofsted Outstanding, multi-award winning and underpinned by family values. We believe we give the best possible start for every child and their development by working in harmony with individual family values and by treating your child as an individual.

Inspiire Coaching specialise in helping small businesses to grow and become more profitable. Our 5-part proven Marketing and Sales System will enable you to achieve the rhythmic acquisition of customers for your business. Giving you a consistent, predictable flow of new customers that you need to grow and increase profits.

www.footprintsnurseries.co.uk

www.inspiirecoaching.com

Hub Creative Services Ltd STOKE-ON-TRENT 07950 637 979 Mike Wilkinson We are a highly experienced team who have worked for the biggest advertising agencies on some of the largest client accounts, Including Etihad Airways, Age UK, National Trust, Boots and P&G. We bring this experience with an agile, personable and cost effective twist, where you get to work with the whole team as an extension of your brand.

www.hubgroup.ltd

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Inspiire Coaching

Chamberlink Spring 2020

Macclesfield 01625 300 123 Steve Morton With 30 years’ experience, Nettl of Macclesfield will help make your business STAND OUT from your competitors and engage with potential customers to develop sales for your business. Branding | Graphic Design | Printing | Website Design | Search Engine Optimisation | Exhibitions | Social Media

www.nettlofmacclesfield.co.uk

Judi Goodwin Training and Coaching

Zinc Technical Services

MACCLESFIELD 07799 644 000 Judi Goodwin

MACCLESFIELD 07790 806 855 Andrew Thompson andy@zinctechservices.co.uk

Training consultant specialising in helping people to write faster, more fluently and more creatively. Ideal for organisations and individuals wanting to bring a more human touch to their written communication, particularly in technical, scientific and financial areas. I am also a life coach helping clients with writing, career and small business issues.

www.judigoodwintraining.com

Technology experts across multiple sectors. We can help you to focus on your core business taking the technical strain away. From simple IT fixes through to full IT solution management. We offer a full estate audit where we can create cost and operational efficiencies through our modular approach to IT!

www.zinctechservices.co.uk


Williams & Crosby

COVID-19 - Its effect on your business

and how to come out stronger As the devastating impact of Covid-19 escalates every day, we are seeing more and more businesses having to scale back operations with many facing dire consequences. We have spoken to a number of clients recently who have told us the pandemic has reduced their turnover between 60% - 95%. There’s no question, the business landscape is going to change forever as we learn to adapt to ‘the new normal’... With so much uncertainty, we understand the urge to batten down the hatches but you could be missing out on vital opportunities. A certain amount of downtime could be beneficial to your business if you use the time constructively, so consider how you can maximise this time to ensure your business is in the best shape for now and ‘the new normal.’ First there are the practical considerations. Check your subscription software and ask yourself, do you use them all or even need them all? Do you need all the licences and are they being utilised? When was the last time you checked your utility and service providers’ costs? When was the last time you updated your CRM and customer list?

Then there are the proactive steps you can take to get your business in good shape to capture the attention of your target market. With more traditional marketing channels now more restricted, are you fully utilising your digital marketing? When did you last check or refresh your website? Is it still current and reflective of your business and what you can offer your clients? How is it ranking and could it be working harder for you? How strong is your presence on social media and paid online advertising? Are you

Free social media audit exclusively for Chamber members

actively using LinkedIn, do you know how to? Are you keeping in touch with your followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube? How active are they and how are you managing and measuring the success of these cost effective channels? Do you have planned activities for e-shots, articles and blog posts and how are these working for you? Have you set KPI’s so you can measure your success and ROI? If the answer is no to any of the above, you could be missing out on powerful sales and marketing opportunities and the chance to create your own ‘normal’ for the future.

We want to support local businesses as much as possible, so this month we are offering a FREE social media audit exclusively for North Cheshire Chamber businesses. By using this time to strengthen your online activity, you could give your business greater exposure to both existing and new audiences, helping your business come out the other side even stronger. Our bespoke audit will give you the tools to make the most of your social media activity, giving you tailored tips on.. 1. How to maximise followers and engagement 2. How to create engaging, quality content targeted to your audience 3. The tools which can help save you time and money 4. How to make your social media work harder 5. The specific opportunities you may be missing in social media And much more… Simply give us a call and quote the code on the voucher to claim! Chamberlink Spring 2020

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Members News

JTape's Face Shield: a story of diversification in a crisis In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, JTAPE, designed a Disposable Face Shield to help protect care workers and key workers in environments where they may be exposed to people showing symptoms of coronavirus. The company employs over forty passionate people who traditionally manufacture a portfolio of individually designed exceptional quality innovative masking and related products. JTAPE delivers to a global customer base within the automotive, marine, aerospace, construction, industrial, rail, trade and creative sectors. In March the company created its first face shield prototype and over the following days and weeks have been refining the product and the process of manufacture. They worked closely with NHS nurses and doctors to understand their needs and focussed on how the company could improve on existing products currently in use. The prime concern of face shield users was around comfort and the impact of pressure points on the ability to wear the shields for long shifts. The shields also needed to provide sufficient coverage of the face, extend below the chin, provide good peripheral vision and fit over glasses and masks.

“Having made many refinements to perfect the product we started tackling the challenge of adapting our machinery to produce the face shields. Initially we were able to produce around 1000 units per shift with an element of manual assembly required,” said a JTAPE spokesman. “Although this quantity sounds high in comparison with the cottage industry face shield producers around the UK, we quickly realised that demand from distribution channels home and abroad meant that we would need to rapidly ramp up levels of production to meet demand. “We made further changes to refine the process and purchased new machinery and we will be able to produce around 100,000 fully assembled face shields every week from the start of May.” The final product is a Disposable Face Shield which provides lightweight, comfortable protection to the eyes, nose and mouth from splashes and projected liquid droplets when used in conjunction with other task specific personal protective equipment. The headband is produced from a soft, elastic polyurethane foam that is self-adjusting and ensures comfort to the wearer allowing for longer use without discomfort. JTAPE Disposable Face Shields are manufactured using optically clear film to give the wearer full peripheral vision when in use and can be worn with or without glasses as the soft breathable foam headband provides clearance from the face.

Although the government relaxed the rules on PPE certification, JTAPE have applied for the CE mark and the face shields have been tested in compliance with EN 166:2001. They took this additional step to give confidence to all care workers and key workers that the British made PPE product meets quality standards in line with the rest of the JTAPE range.

For more information about JTAPE, traditional products or JTAPE Disposable Face Shields please see the website jtape.com or call 01625 618185.

New initiative from The Pledge The Cheshire & Warrington Pledge, hosted by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), has launched a brand new Broadcasts initiative that kicked off towards the end of April. The initiative is designed to help young people (Year 10–13) access career support and guidance whilst in the lockdown period. This is also an opportunity for local businesses to reach out and engage with young people in the current climate. The Pledge is particularly keen to help SMEs use this initiative as a platform to maintain their visibility within these unchartered territories. So if you are a business or organisation that is keen to engage with young people, either to explain about your organisation, careers, volunteering, pathways, training, employability skills, then please get in touch! Or if you have bored teenagers at home or can help us spread the word to reach young people please point them in the direction of our Pledge page at the Learn Live website.

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The Broadcasts series will run every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am, visit: https://learnliveuk.com/partner/cheshire-andwarrington-lep/ For any more informaton please contact Georgina Mills at Georgina.mills@871candwep.co.uk


Legal Eye

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Where are we up to? Businesses in the UK and globally are currently facing unprecedented times and numerous employment challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis. With fast changing Government guidance and the prospect not knowing when normality will resume, we understand how daunting and difficult it can be to ensure you’re not only keeping up to date but also doing the right thing in your business and for your employees. At the time of writing, there have been several versions of the guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, each with amendments to the previous, and more recently a Treasury Direction has been issued to HMRC. This is now the legislative basis which HMRC must follow to administer the Scheme (hopefully the final document!) and it does contain some important changes to the guidance that thousands of employers have previously been relying on to furlough staff. In the worst of cases, it could potentially mean that employers who have previously furloughed staff relying on the guidance might now find themselves in a position whereby HMRC refuse to pay out! The online HMRC portal to claim for employee wage costs under the Scheme is now up and running but with reports that it had crashed within two hours of going live, it's likely to be a chaotic time for all involved. There are also still numerous questions unanswered regarding what can and can't be done under the Scheme which are causing a great deal of uncertainty for UK employers. Unless and until further clarity is given in certain areas it's likely that employers will need to apply a "best guess" approach, supported by legal views, in relation to some aspects when furloughing staff. At Thorneycroft Solicitors we're doing all we can to support UK businesses in these difficult times. We appreciate that it's a minefield and in many cases the time and efforts of employers need to be better spent elsewhere to ensure survival when it's back to business as usual.

If we can help your business in relation to any employment law/HR matters please don't hesitate to contact our Employment & HR Team by calling 01625 507 540 or email employmentteam@thorneycrofts.co.uk.

Chamberlink Spring 2020

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Members News

Trust stands up to virus Despite the bleak and uncertain nature of all our lives at the moment, and especially those in the Adult Care sector, the Rossendale Trust is standing strong under the pressure of COVID-19 and is currently free of the virus.

With no immediate end to the lockdown the Trust, who cares for people with learning disabilities, remains committed to fighting C19 on all fronts. The tenants and staff continue to remain symptom free, illustrating the Care Support Workers ability to maintain very high levels of hygiene with the tenants - when they are at home and away from work. The Trust has set up a ‘Respite Suite’ to tackle the difficult situation in a care setting of ‘Isolation’ should the need arise. The suite being an option if any tenant within the Trust displays symptoms enabling them to be cared for effectively and safely. To do this the Trust has repurposed rooms within Rossendale Hall and fitted them out as bedrooms to enable this care to be available if needed. During the ‘lockdown’ our health and wellbeing is very much in focus, and this alongside fighting the virus is of paramount concern at the Trust. With tenants & staff unable to go about their normal activities – the Care teams have needed to be very creative. Normally they would be able to access work-based placements, community activities, art sessions and so on. Now a variety of activities are taking place in the front rooms, kitchens and garden spaces of the Trust with extraordinary results , as pictured here.

Rossendale Trust tenant Edward Graves making a rainbow flag for Rossendale Keyworkers

Left: Chris Ratcliffe, Tenant at the Rossendale Trust, proudly displays his scones

Below: Tenants Eleanor Dobson (left) and Joanne Ewels baking together

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Andy Caesar, Head of Care at the Trust said: “The fact that the Trust has managed to continue to support 60 tenants during this emergency to live safely and without their care diminishing is a great testament to the dedication, skill and creativity of our outstanding staff teams, all of whom are truly key workers”.

Illingworth go Red for Research The Red for Research campaign focuses on encouranging people to wear red to demonstrate their support and appreciation for all those supporting the research into COVID19 vaccines and treatments. Within Illingworth Research there is a global team of Mobile Research Nurses driving around seeing clinical trial patients within their homes. So let’s show our support for all the workers going the extra mile!


Members News Nicola Wilburn-Shaw, partner with McAlister Family Law and based in the firm’s Alderley Edge offices, offers advice to parents regarding maintenance payments and the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Advice on child maintenance during COVID-19 outbreak

Child Maintenance via the Child Maintenance Service (CMS)

Simply pulling the plug, is not advisable. At the very least, you should offer complete transparency and provide some evidence of the loss of or reduced income. If you cannot agree, and/or you fail to take reasonable steps (such as suggested) it is open to your former spouse to issue an application for a Maintenance Pending Suit and, if successful, you may also be hit with a costs order (as above) to pay their legal costs for having to do so.

If you are paying child maintenance via the CMS and have a change in circumstances, you must get in contact with them immediately. Expect to provide evidence of your income being impacted and speak to the other parent (the payment received) in advance. See what you can work out between you, so as not to leave either of you unable to make ends meet. Failure to take the appropriate steps are likely to render you subject to an enforcement action which can include payment of arrears. If you are the receiving payment of Child Maintenance and your ex fails to take the steps above, you will need to contact the CMS immediately yourself to commence the enforcement procedure.

Maintenance via a Court Order If you are making payments via a court order, and you do not meet these payments then you will be in breach of that order. Unless you can agree between you a differing amount for the time being, you are at risk of being held in contempt of court and taken back to court for enforcement. The courts remain “open for business” and hearings are being conducted either by telephone or video link. If you fail to prove to the court that you cannot meet the payments and/or you have unreasonably caused an application to go back to court to be made, you may also find yourself hit with a costs order to meet the payments of your former spouse of co-parent.

Nicola Wilburn-Shaw

Voluntary Maintenance If you have been making payments to your former spouse on a voluntary basis and there is no court order in place, the situation is slightly different. Failure to make those payments does not render you potential to a finding of being held in contempt of court. It does not, though, provide you with a free reign to withdraw those payments unfairly. You should, in the first instance, speak to your former spouse and try to come up with an amount that works for you both.

Finally, the COVID-19 outbreak is proving unpredictable and we do not know at this time what the immediate, and indeed long-term, future holds for us. That said, the pandemic should not be utilised as a means to seek an unfair financial (or other) advantage over a former spouse or coparent and the courts have made clear that they will take an extremely unfavourable view upon any who seek to do this. As with most situations in family law, communication will be key. We are in this for the long haul so my advice here is be sensible, be fair and above all, try to be compassionate to each other. And, if all else fails, be sure to take legal advice.

Delamere Dairy invests into ‘pioneering’ Billy Tannery Delamere Dairy is now promoting a fully sustainable cycle from food to leather. Delamere, supplier of speciality, award-winning fresh and long-life goats’ products (milk, butter, cheeses and yogurts) has acquired a share in Billy Tannery, which produces a range of leather goods from goat hides in its pioneering microtannery. Billy Tannery was founded by Jack Millington who set up the company, based in the Midlands, after discovering that not one goat hide left over from the food industry was being tanned in the UK. Tapping into local leather knowledge it built a pioneering microtannery - the first new tannery to be built in the UK in over 50 years. After enlisting the help of experts at the University of Northampton, they developed a bespoke tanning recipe to produce a sustainable, bark-tanned goat leather which celebrates the natural markings in the hide. The business then uses purposeful design to produce accessories including bags, sneakers and aprons in small workshops in the UK. Knutsford-based Delamere Dairy, which is responsible for a third of the UK’s goats’ milk, now has shares in both Billy Tannery and also goat meat supplier Cabrito. Cabrito was founded in 2012 by British chef James Whetlor and sources its farm assured goat meat from Delamere Dairy farms, to supply restaurants, butchers and catering companies, as well as delivering directly across the UK. The interest and appetite for goats’ meat is growing in the UK. Previously billy goats were a biproduct to the 30,000 female nanny goats producing milk for the market. Supplying goat meat to restaurants and caterers and sending hides to the tannery, completes the sustainable cycle from milk to meat to leather in this small but dynamic sector of the dairy industry. Ed Salt, MD at Delamere comments: “We have developed a unique model for how dairy businesses should look in the future - honest, transparent, ethical and continually pushing for sustainability. I genuinely feel we can create a model partnership with each aspect of these three businesses enhancing the other and reducing unnecessary wastage.”

Chamberlink Spring 2020

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Members News

Fantastic support for East Cheshire Hospice During a troubling time of global pandemic and the knock-on effects of social distancing and cancelled events, East Cheshire Hospice has seen a swift and generous response forthcoming from local businesses. With the Government’s social distancing guidelines and the safety of its patients, staff and supporters in mind, the Hospice’s popular Corporate Challenge has been postponed along with almost all its other fundraising events and activities. This is predicted to leave a hugely worrying gap of £1 million in its funds over the coming months. All the while, nurses and key workers at the Hospice remain on the frontline, providing essential care to those who need it and to help relieve the NHS of palliative patients. However, thanks to the Hospice’s strong links with local businesses, it has welcomed enormous financial, moral (and edible!) support from its corporate supporters. Leek United, which has a branch on Chestergate in Macclesfield, have launched a campaign to raise money for three local charities including East Cheshire Hospice. They have pledged to match any donations up to £30,000 with an aim to raise £60,000 to split between the charities. Iconic Macclesfield furniture store Arighi Bianchi have also been providing support with deliveries of wellbeing donations to the Hospice, including homemade cakes and supplies, keeping staff moral and energy levels high during this oftenstressful time. PPE equipment has been a hot topic in the news lately and East Cheshire Hospice has experienced issues of its own with this, recently resorting to social media to plea for surgical facemasks after rapidly running out. Thankfully, these calls were quickly answered by local life science companies and staff were able to continue working in a safe environment.

Virtual fundraising The current crisis has also spurred pragmatism and ingenuity, with many businesses keen to find ways to fundraise within social distancing guidelines. Virtual fundraising has become the new norm and Spirit Global Medical Communications has been encouraging employees to complete their own challenges in support of the Hospice, promising to match their donations throughout the pandemic. Other virtual fundraising has included Apogee Wealth Management’s ‘dress up Fridays’, in which employees swap their usual pyjama bottoms and shirt and tie for full office attire, (or altogether more elaborate costumes!) and are encouraged to donate or gain sponsorship. The Hospice has also welcomed generous cash donations from many its corporate supporters, including a £5000 donation from Equilibrum Asset Management. At a time when many businesses have been forced to furlough staff and have seen significant reduction in sales and income, the corporate community spirit in East Cheshire is tangible. It is clear that East Cheshire Hospice is highly valued in the area and the projected loss of its vital funds during the coronavirus pandemic is not going unnoticed by local businesses, large or small.

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SAS Daniels

What lasting impact will the pandemic have on the way we conduct business? COVID-19 has had a profound effect on the way that we conduct business. Whilst many may have spent the odd day working from home, few people will be used to working like this on a full time basis. But what will be the lasting ramifications on the way that we work in the future? Paul Tyrer, a Partner in the Corporate Team at SAS Daniels, offers his view. 1. Working From Home Most businesses have adapted quickly to the unexpected challenge of remote working, but will this continue beyond the pandemic? Whilst owners may re-evaluate their approach to agile working, I suspect that many workers will miss the working environment, including engaging and collaborating with colleagues face to face. Once this enforced social distancing ends, I believe we will actually see employees embracing a return to the office environment.

Undoubtedly, it will have saved hundreds of thousands of jobs but, I believe it will also just prolong the inevitable for some workers. Unfortunately, there will be some roles that will become surplus to requirements. We may well yet encounter a spike in redundancies on the other side of the Coronavirus crisis.

3. Working Practices The lockdown has led to a seismic shift in how we engage with our colleagues and contacts. Meetings via Zoom and Teams are now routine and even the most ardent Luddites have changed their ways. From a legal perspective, there have been several positive changes to working practices utilising technology, such as the outmoded way of assessing stamp duty on share purchases requiring a submission of a paper

stock transfer and cheque to the Inland Revenue office in Birmingham, now replaced (temporarily) with an electronic replacement service. The adage, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, does seem to have been the case in a number of situations such as these.

4. Opportunity Times of economic upheaval are a test for businesses. Ultimately, those that survive and thrive will see the turbulence as an opportunity to reset and recharge, take a change in direction, adopt new working practices or even to acquire or consolidate. True entrepreneurs will adapt and accomplish. Those that fail to react do so at their peril.

For more information or guidance on Corporate Law

2. Furlough

matters, please contact Paul Tyrer, Corporate Law

Before the onset of the pandemic, few people had probably been aware of this phrase, let alone contemplated being pushed into a period of enforced leave. The Government should be congratulated on having the boldness of vision to adopt this measure.

Partner at SAS Daniels on 01260 282333 or email paul.tyrer@sasdaniels.co.uk.

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Training Courses

News on courses from Stockwell Safety Here at Stockwell Safety, we have been working hard developing our online course offering – here’s the courses we have available already and a few more coming online in the next few weeks. Learning online, using our Learning Management System is a flexible way of gaining qualifications. The whole syllabus is online and has been converted into exercises and interactive elements. It can be accessed via any internet-connected device. If you wanted to do some offline studying, you will be able to download a pdf format of the course manual.

Online courses available now: NEBOSH National General Certificate

This qualification will give you invaluable knowledge and skills AND a globally respected qualification that supports your current role and your long-term career.

IOSH Working Safely

IOSH is the Chartered body and largest membership organisation for health and safety professionals. This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge to keep yourself and your colleagues safe at work.

Pool Plant Foundation

This course is PWTAG and CIMSPA endorsed and provides you with the skills and knowledge to test and monitor the water conditions and respond quickly to emergency scenarios.

Fire Marshal

An online course to enable you, the appointed fire marshal, to carry out your duties.

Asbestos Awareness

This course will give you information about where you could come across asbestos.

Sales made simple Gilly Thompson, award-winning sales trainer and Fellow of the Institute of Sales Management, has created an online community to help salespeople and business owners. "Sales Made Simple with Gilly Thompson" is a private Facebook group with over 450 members who interact and offer each other support and advice as well as sharing success stories and exclusive offers. Gilly runs the group, providing free and live sales training once a week and inviting guest speakers to do the same on a range of different topics relating to business and sales. "I think community, now more than ever, is so important, in life and in business. The Sales Made Simple group is a positive place for people to progress their careers and businesses for free. I have years of experience in sales and sales training - this is my way of helping others when they may need it." In June, Gilly will run her second free five-day Sales Challenge of the year. The challenge, which will teach those taking part to convert potential leads into clients, has daily tasks to encourage and teach people how to make steps towards their final goal. A member of the group, Jina, who tookpart in the first challenge, said: “I highly recommend the Gilly Thompson Original challenge. The training and techniques I received not only improved my sales knowledge and increased business strategies, but my confidence level have boosted! I am ready to apply these skills."

The "Sales Made Simple with Gilly Thompson" Facebook can be joined at www.facebook.com/groups/SalesMade SimpleGilly/ where all the information about the upcoming challenge will be released.

In the next few weeks, we will have available: Pool Plant Operator

Our Pool Plant Courses are accredited by CIMSPA and PWTAG and cover everything you need to know to be able to competently operate and manage commercial swimming pools.

IOSH Managing Safely

Managing Safely is designed for managers in any sector, and will help them to get up-to-speed on the practical actions they need to take, and gain the knowledge and tools to tackle the safety and health issues they’re responsible for.

If you would like any further information on the courses, please feel free to contact us on 01565 650 549 or email us info@stockwellsafety.com More information can also be found on our website stockwellsafety.com

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Chamberlink Spring 2020

Sales trainer Gilly Thompson in action


Financial Services

Why being efficient should improve your financial position By Chris Bentley, Tax & Forensic Director At the time of writing, it would be fair to say that most businesses are suffering significantly from the economic fall-out from the COVID-19 outbreak and associated lock down. Many business owners, particularly those in sectors which have been forcibly shut down, have also been left with far more time on their hands than they are used to. Although the economic turmoil from coronavirus and the government support packages are the most obvious subject for this quarter’s article, we are not seeking to add to the broad range of commentary on the government support packages which is out there. This is partly because the rapid changes mean that anything which is not published immediately (which is not possible for a publication such as Chamberlink) risks being out of date before anyone reads it, but also because we have already compiled a number of such articles, and webinars, which are freely available on our website (https://www.hartsltd.com/news/). Instead this article looks at why using the extra time currently available to be efficient and bring your own and your business’s accounting and tax affairs up to date is in your best financial interests. All of this can be done even if you are on furlough.

on 31 July, you should still consider your personal tax position now. This is particularly important for two groups of people.

Firstly, if you are looking to raise finance in the coming weeks and months, whether this is a business interruption loan, or a loan for anything else once the economic climate changes and opportunities present themselves, then up to date accounts are important. This is particularly the case if your business had a good year last year as any lender – even if the loan is largely guaranteed by the government – will want to know that the underlying business is viable and that the loan has a fighting chance of being repaid in the future.

The second group is those who normally have more significant tax liabilities, particularly if their cash flow has been impacted by coronavirus. This is because individuals will have to pay the tax normally due in July 2020 in January 2021, as well as the tax that was always due in January 2021. For a business which recovers rapidly after the current crisis, this is likely to mean the business owner needing to find the cash to pay a whole year’s tax liability in January 2021.

And even if you are not currently looking to raise finance, it is worth using any downtime arising as a result of the coronavirus crisis to bring the books and records up to date. Accounts, VAT and tax returns still have to be filed, and this potentially painful job can be done much more easily when business is slack and time is available than in the future, when hopefully you will be busy once again.

The first group is those who are due a tax refund, for whatever reason. Common reasons include having made significant pension contributions in 2019/20, drawing a lump sum from a pension, a loss in a trading business, or income having dropped very significantly in 2019/20 as opposed to 2018/19. Repayments can only be made once the tax return has been filed. If you are due a repayment from HMRC would you prefer to provide the information to enable your accountant to complete your tax return now, or wait up to nine months until January? Is this any different from choosing not to chase the business’s debtors?

If the size of the tax liability becomes apparent over the summer then even if nothing can be done to mitigate the liability you will at least have had several months’ knowledge of the upcoming bill, and hopefully time to save up the necessary cash. You are likely to sleep far more easily than if the same large tax bill only becomes apparent in January! Chris Bentley heads up the specialist

It is worth a reminder at this point that although the current quarter’s VAT liability is automatically deferred, there is still a requirement for the VAT return to be filed on the normal due date. Secondly although personal tax returns are not traditionally thought about until the autumn, and HMRC have automatically deferred the payment of tax which was due

Tax and Forensic departments at Harts Accountants. For further information contact Chris on 01625 669669 or email CBentley@harts-ltd.com Chris Bentley

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Members News

Coping with impact of lockdown on relationships The COVID-19 lockdown has created a perfect storm for marriages that may have already been struggling. Anita Scorah, Partner in the Family team at Cheshire law firm SAS Daniels, discusses this impact.

Anita Scorah, Partner in the Family team at SAS Daniels

Since the lockdown began on 23 March, our Family team has been handling an increasing number of calls from people facing difficulties created by the enforced proximity of their partner. Peoples’ lives are usually busy, meaning that they are more able to internalise the dissatisfaction and upset generated by a dysfunctional relationship. With so many other distractions, in normal times, there can be a background of months and even years of unhappiness prior to them seeking help or legal advice. During the COVID-19 lockdown, irritations are amplified. Unequal division of household chores, for example, are more apparent and cause irritation and annoyance. Tensions can be heightened by an inability to keep children quiet or entertain them, whilst a partner works from home.

Financial pressures Financial concerns are a common thread within marriages that are in difficulty, and COVID-19 has pulled the rug on financial security for many couples. Anxiety over finances is not just limited to redundancies, furloughing and wage cuts. Interest rates on savings have reduced, investments have fallen, pension values have consequently been hit and property values are uncertain.

Three in the relationship Suspicion of your partner’s infidelity might also become more pronounced during lockdown.

Difficulties cannot be ignored It is clear that the intensity of being locked down together is bringing frustrations to the fore in an environment where they cannot be ignored. This is leading many to evaluate whether this is the life they want. Our team is working remotely and experiencing a greater number of out of hours calls - many from people who are only able to call after shifts or when out of the home during their daily exercise period. If you decide that divorce is the right route for you, it is still possible for proceedings to be issued. If not, it might still do you the power of good to talk through your situation with a solicitor.

For a confidential discussion with our divorce experts, please contact Anita Scorah on 01625 442123 or email anita.scorah@sasdaniels.co.uk.

86,000 people embed active lifestyles in Cheshire and Warrington Anne Boyd, CEO of Active Cheshire said: “A huge thank you to the wide range of our local partners who are working hard every day to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents. These results show us that the efforts of our partners fighting against a culture of convenience is helping to sustain physical activity levels in our region.”

A national survey, conducted by Sport England in partnership with Public Health England, has found that the concerted efforts of organisations across Cheshire and Warrington has stablised physical inactivity levels in the sub-region. Results show that 476,000 of Cheshire and Warrington residents are successfully hitting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate level physical activity per week. Whilst this is a decrease from last year, the findings of this national survey predate the COVID-19 pandemic. It has already been evidenced that the pandemic has altered people’s thoughts and feelings towards physical activity, with 63% of adults reporting that exercise is more important to them than before according to Sport England’s recent survey. It has now been over two years since Active Cheshire formally adopted the sub-regional strategy to tackling inactivity across Cheshire and Warrington, with over 300 stakeholders who pledged their support to mutual ambitions to tackle physical inactivity, and play a part in improving the health, wellbeing and prosperity for local residents.

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Physical activity reduces stress... creating a happy and motivated workforce The Blueprint to Tackle Physical Inactivity, codesigned by cross-sector partners, set to embed physical activity into all aspects of everyday life by 2040 through five pillars. This approach looks to embed physical activity through Active Workplace, Active Kids (0-11), Activators, Active Minds and Active Design. To date, 169 organisations have taken the Pledge and developed bespoke Active Plans which will influence the habits of more than 86,124 people.

Despite the numbers hitting the recommended goals, there are still 186,600 adults doing less than 30 minutes of moderate level physical activity a week and missing out on the array of benefits not only to health, but broader social and economic outcomes. The challenge in front of us is not only maintaining those who are already active, but also encouraging those classed as inactive to embed physical activity into all aspects of their life and battling against an increasingly convenience-led and sedentary lifestyle. As ever, Active Cheshire are being versatile and proactive during these challenging times to ensure we keep our communities active. We will also be ready to adapt to changes in societal habits as lockdown restrictions are lifted and, in the time, following.


Members News A NEW digital concierge service is being launched to help patients taking part in clinical trials. Illingworth Research Group (Illingworth), based in Macclesfield, has launched PatientGO, its inhouse service offering concierge support to those who give their time to the development of new drugs.

Illingworth Research launches PatientGO for patients on clinical trials they visit patients, usually in the comfort of their own home, so this really opens things up to those who could otherwise be put off from volunteering for incredibly important trials.”

Using a smartphone app or web portal, patients can pre-book travel and accommodation for their trial-related hospital appointments, helping reduce the financial burden and disruption caused by participation in the testing of medicines of the future.

This new service allows patients to liaise with Illingworth’s dedicated logistics specialists to produce a tailored solution for transportation, overnight stays, and to reclaim personal costs such as mileage, parking and subsistence. PatientGO will help prevent patients and their families being left out of pocket because of their involvement in a trial by speeding up the payment of expense claims. Currently some patients may wait for weeks or months to receive funds. Lessening the burden caused by being involved in clinical studies lowers the likelihood of people dropping out. This can have a major impact on a trial as it can be a lengthy and costly process to find replacements, which can cause delays to new medicines being made available to the public. John Illingworth, founder of Illingworth and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Without patients giving their time freely to help test the medicines of the future, quite simply there would be no new drugs

Helen Springford, Chief Operating Officer, commented: “PatientGO is the next step in our strategy tooffer a holistic service to patients on the clinical trials being run by the pharmaceutical companies we work with.

to treat some of our most challenging and deadly diseases. As many are suffering from an oftendebilitating illness, patients have enough to worry about without their involvement in helping others. We already offer a mobile nursing service, where patients enrolled in clinical studies are able to replace certain trial site appointments with visits by qualified professionals at their home – or wherever they may be. Now PatientGO can help ease the logistical and cost burden many of them face getting to the trial centres. “We can help them to book individually tailored travel, whether by car, air or rail, as well as accommodation if they need it. We want to ensure being involved in a clinical trial is as stress-free as possible for patients and ensuring they have their expenses paid quickly is absolutely the right thing to do. Our nurses on the ground can help set up the process when

“While we have used outside partners to book patient travel before, this never really worked because the needs of trial participants are often very different to those who travel for business or leisure. We must take into consideration things like specialist transport, the medical requirements of each individual, and their overall wellbeing. We’re often dealing with very sick patients, sometimes children going to a trial appointment with their parent or caregiver, or elderly people with degenerative conditions. “The stress and inconvenience of being part of a clinical study, as well as potential financial impact on patients, can contribute to patients dropping out. Looking after patients when they have to travel to hospital, as well as when they are at home means we can offer something completely different. By keeping this in house we can guarantee consistency and quality, provided by our people who understand patients, who know about the clinical trial process and who communicate compassionately. Having the patient concierge and off-site nursing element together under one roof gives us a capability that no-one else has and means our customerscan work with one less vendor.”

Entrepreneurial “spirit” at its best Since award-winning Forest Gin was launched in 2014, owners Lindsey and Karl Bond have shown amazing entrepreneurial spirit. From their kitchen table distilling tiny batches of Classic Forest Gin; to adding Earl Grey Forest Gin and now whisky to their spirit offering; to transforming the 17th century barn housing the distillery at Chambers Farm so they can offer gin and whisky-tasting sessions, and now private events nestled in the fabulous Macclesfield Forest. And most recently to have taken on a huge challenge in breathing life back into the renowned Cat & Fiddle Pub on Buxton Road. And if that’s not enough, during this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, they have begun a home delivery service of drinks in the local area – not just their own spirits, but also beautiful cases of wine, and beers from Redwillow and Wincle Brewery – a great example of local businesses working together at this difficult time. And what’s more delivery is free - order via the website: www.theforestdistillery.com And in real philanthropic spirit (pardon the pun) the success of everything they have done has meant that Lindsey and Karl have been able to donate hand sanitiser to local frontline services. Already working with high strength alcohol has enabled them to switch production to a sanitiser to World Health Organisation specifications. So far, they've donated to Macclesfield Hospital, the Rossendale Trust and some local community support groups. They also have production in place to offer excess sanitiser at cost price to local businesses who may require it. True entrepreneurial spirit!

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Members News

King’s students manufacture face masks for NHS Heroes Sixth Formers Ben McIlveen and Bryn Barker are working together to manufacture personal protective equipment for our local NHS heroes. The 17-year-old students at the King’s School in Macclesfield, who are both highly rated science students, have already manufactured nearly 1000 face visors, with no intentions of slowing production while there is still demand for the PPE. The idea was the brain child of Bryn Barker, who responded to his mum’s request for assistance. “It is clear that the NHS needs more PPE but that manufacturers were struggling to meet demand and I thought I could make a difference and knew Ben McIlveen had a 3D printer.” Ben had bought the printer when he won an Arkwright Scholarship, awarded to encourage Britain’s top young engineers, so they set about sourcing a design from the Internet. Each working from their separate homes, they found a design and then set up a Go Funding page to support their endeavours: gofundme.com/f/highpeakvisors The response was immediate with £2600 soon raised by family, friends and the wider school community, which enabled them to buy another 3D printer, purchase the filament to manufacture the headbands and the acetate for the visors. They also gained a sponsor who supplied a third printer and are now looking to buy a fourth printer as they step up their efforts. Current production is around 100-140 units a day or around 700 units a week. Ben said “It isn’t particularly labour intensive as the 3D printer does the work, but we have to set up the machines and then attach the acetate face visors and boxthem up for delivery.” Bryn added: “We have given them to several local GP practices, care homes, Buxton C-19 Hub, Wythenshawe Hospital, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and some to The Christie in Manchester. They should be worn together with face masks and other PPE, but they do keep any spray off the face and have been warmly received.” He continued: “We each spend a few hours every day working on the project, which supplements the home working programme we’ve had from

Bryn Barker with one of the visors he and his friend Ben McIlveen have manufactured.

King’s. It’s a shame to miss our schooling though we do seem to be getting through the work at home, but there are more important matters at the moment and we wanted to be part of the effort.” That effort also includes the school’s staff. Mr Jeremy Nichols, Head of Design Technology at King’s, and who teaches Ben A Level DT, has also put the school’s own 3D printers to good use since the shutdown started, so far manufacturing around 150 visors for Belong Care Home on Kennedy Ave in Macclesfield and for East Cheshire NHS Trust.

Autac launches electric vehicle programme with support of KTP Autac Products Ltd is one step closer to realising its ambitions in electric vehicle manufacture with the official launch of its Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Salford and the arrival of KTP Associate, Kamaal Ali. Part funded by Innovate UK, KTPs enable UK businesses to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project. Macclesfield-based Autac is best known for producing cable and cable assemblies. The critical role of cables in electric vehicle manufacture has led the company to establish a new division of the business, Autac EV Ltd. With a solid reputation as a leading UK centre for engineering, the University of Salford was the perfect choice for Autac’s academic partner. So too was KTP Associate Kamaal Ali whose dissertation on electric vehicle motorcycles really fuelled his appetite for EV innovation. After joining the company in January, Kamaal commented: “Working with an ambitious company like Autac presents me with the best opportunity to put my Mechanical Engineering degree into practice and truly fulfil my academic potential. Creating a product in an area of such global potential and interest is hugely exciting.” Autac’s KTP will take place over a two-year period. Its primary outcome is to create a brand new product that will revolutionise the EV market.

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Chamberlink Spring 2020

Autac MD David Lowe (left) with KTP Associate, Kamaal Ali

Autac’s MD David Lowe commented: “Welcoming Kamaal into our business not only allows us to accelerate a long-held ambition to push the boundaries of electric vehicle manufacture; it places innovation firmly at the heart of our wider business which will seed many more projects to come.”


Members News

Pulling together for The Christie Whilst their usual fundraising roles are difficult during this COVID-19 crisis, staff from The Christie Charitable Fund are diversifying and learning new skills! Pictured are some of The Christie Charitable Fund team who are now working directly within The Christie NHS Foundation Trust supporting their clinical colleagues with tasks aimed at making this difficult time for patients as easy and safe as possible.

Medico-legal consultancy firm expands into Orbit’s Oakfield House Collaboras Legal has moved its expanding team into Oakfield House on Tytherington Business Village, Macclesfield’s leading business park.

Even though the team are not medically trained, they have been helping out by screening patients, portering, doing pharmacy prescription drop offs to patient homes and transporting patients from their homes to the treatment centre – they are a team to be proud of!

The consultancy provides specialist support services to clinical negligence and personal injury departments throughout the UK, including screening, medical records pagination and medical reporting services. Clients include leading clinical negligence firms like Fieldfisher, Irwin Mitchell and JMW Solicitors. Changes in the rules governing the recovery of costs in clinical negligence and personal injury cases has put increasing pressure on firms to reduce overheads. This is where skilled, outsourced providers like Collaboras can assist. Managing Partner Jan Thompson explained: “Our clients choose how best to work with us, either instructing us on a flexible ad hoc basis, which helps with the peaks and troughs of their workload, or to use us more regularly to provide ongoing medico-legal services in their complex cases. “We enable busy clinical negligence teams to be more flexible and efficient thus increasing their profitability.” The company employs a multi-disciplinary team of experienced lawyers, doctors, midwives and nurses and has enjoyed a sustained period of growth since 2010.

Prepare for future expansion Jan Thompson continued: “The move into Oakfield House was the right time for us. We have experienced a steady increase in work in recent years and needed to find suitable premises to accommodate our current workforce and prepare for expansion in the future.” Her team are now settled into Oakfield House, occupying 2,185 square feet on the first floor of the impressive two-storey property, which is based off the Silk Road, just two miles from Macclesfield town centre. It is an established mixed-use business and residential community in 43 acres of mature parkland. On Orbit’s role on managing the move Jan added: “Orbit were very professional to deal with and the move went very smoothly.” Benn Dickinson, Leasing Surveyor at Orbit Developments commented: “We are pleased to welcome Collaboras Legal into Oakfield House. This is great office accommodation set in extensive parkland with various on-site amenities and activities, plus good transport connections to Macclesfield, and proximity to excellent road and rail services to Manchester, London and beyond. We wish Jan and her team every success in the new space.” Tytherington Business Village amenities include a Premier Inn hotel, the Springwood pub, a Subway store, Bright Horizons nursery and the newly opened Coffee Tree café. Orbit also provides free yoga and mindfulness classes for customers on the Village. For more information on tenancy opportunities in Oakfield House or the wider Tytherington Business Village please contact Benn Dickinson on 07764 662329. Chamberlink Spring 2020

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Members News

McAlister Family Law bolsters Children team In a key move designed to bolster the awardwinning McAlister Family Law Children team, Melissa Jones has joined as associate and Charlotte Francis as assistant solicitor. Melissa brings to the role a wealth of experience, having been Head of the Family Department at IMD Solicitors where she specialised in provided legal advice and assistance for clients from migrant communities. She is a member of Resolution and is committed to resolving family law issues in a constructive and positive manner; for those cases involving children matters, she encourages a child-focused approach, putting the needs of the children first. Charlotte has always specialised in Family Law, and has worked in various areas of that specialism, including private law children, and divorce and finances, always guiding clients to a result that would be beneficial for the whole family. She now focuses primarily on care matters, handling a varied caseload including domestic abuse, children issues and public law children matters.

McAlister Family Law is one of the very few firms in the country that specialises not only in divorce and family disputes, but also in children law. In 2018 it took a five-strong Children Law team from Slater and Gordon and a 10-person Child Care legal team from Stephensons, trebling the size of the business and creating a unique offering designed to be disruptive to traditional family practices in the North West. Melissa said: “This is a very exciting move is for me, as the firm continues its rapid growth and increasing dominance of the family law market in the region. The firm’s reputation as experts in Children law is outstanding, and I am delighted to be able to join the firm as they build something very special in the industry.” Charlotte said: “McAlister Family Law is a firm not only committed to divorce and related finance work but is also unique in its dedication to the welfare of children. Its work in taking care of those vulnerable members of society, who need legal representation in some of the most harrowing of cases, is one which really resonates with me and I am very pleased to be part of such an excellent team.”

Age UK Cheshire East has launched a timely new project to raise older people’s awareness of scams and doorstep crime, at a time when unbelievably there are people out there trying to take advantage of older people during the COVID-19 outbreak. On the official launch of the project, done virtually due to the current pandemic, Project Manager, Sally Wilson says: “This project couldn’t come at a more important time. Since the project started just a few weeks ago, we have already alerted our social media followers to many virus related scams. These include offers of home testing kits, doorstep callers posing as charity workers and scam texts pretending to offer refunds from local councils or HMRC – all are scams and all look to exploit vulnerable older people at this particularly difficult time.”

Charlotte Francis

Melissa Jones

Amanda McAlister, managing partner, added: “As a firm that is passionate about the welfare of children, we believe in recruiting only those people who share our vision and values, so we are delighted to welcome two such excellent solicitors to McAlister Family Law. Our Children law division is one of the most highly respected in the country, and I am confident that Melissa and Charlotte will make a significant contribution to the team.”

Project to protect older people from scams launched

The project has two intertwining elements – awareness and aftercare. The team will be delivering sessions to groups of older people, and those who work with them, to raise awareness of all types of scams, how to avoid them and how to report them. Innovative ideas will be used to deliver the sessions and provide information, to overcome the additional difficulties that groups are not meeting face to face at this time. A Scams Awareness Bulletin has already been published, and is available on the Age UK Cheshire East website. As the project develops, a network of volunteers will be formed to support this area of the project. The project will also deliver one-to-one and group support to older people who have been victims of scams. Being scammed can seriously affect a person’s quality of life and wellbeing, as victims experience anxiety, embarrassment and depression, leading to social isolation and a decline in their health. Cheshire East Trading Standards will refer victims to the project who would benefit from such support to build their confidence and reengage in the community.

Cheshire East's new project has now started, as it will empower older people to avoid being victims of scams and provide much needed aftercare support."

The project, funded by The National Lottery’s Community Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation, will operate in Cheshire East, with a primary focus on the northern end of the borough. It has already attracted the support of David Rutley MP.

Age UK Cheshire East’s activities in this project will be updated and posted on its website, and through its Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Speaking to the project’s manager recently, David said: "I understand how scams cause enormous harm and distress to local residents, with older people particularly vulnerable to them. I am pleased Age UK

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Sally Wilson of Age UK Cheshire East

Chamberlink Spring 2020

If you would like to volunteer on the project or find out how your group could benefit from an awareness session and further information, please get in touch with Sally Wilson on 07932 999902 or sally.wilson@ageukce.org


Members News

Protect your privacy whilst working at home

Keeping Britain on the move New COVID-19 working practices at Autac Products Ltd are helping to keep Britain firmly on the move. The cables of this Macclesfield-based firm have, in fact, played a key role in keeping supply moving around the UK and overseas for some 50 years. Whilst the intricacies of supply chain management may not typically capture a nation’s interest, recent scenes of empty supermarket shelves have brought into sharp focus its importance.

Wilmslow-based Pipe Flow Software, have developed an app to protect your privacy whilst working from home. If you use an iPhone and need to keep your mobile phone number private when making business calls while working from home, then you may find this newly released ‘Hide My Call’ App useful. David Gardiner at Pipe Flow Software said “many business users needing their staff to use their own mobiles whilst working at home will find the Hide My Call app really useful in the current environment – it’s a really easy way to keep your personal number private”. Hide My Call is available on the App Store for just £0.99 and saves you having to try and find the option to turn off Caller Id which is buried deep inside settings, and you don’t have to remember to turn it back on again after one call. It also allows you dial an existing Contact while withholding your number. See: www.hidemycall.co.uk or go to https://apps.apple.com/app/id1494723370

Operation Protect! Inspire Coaching has put a booklet together to help all business owners at this extraordinary time. It’s a practical guide that focuses on the important things you can do – even during lockdown – to help ensure that your business not only survives but emerges from this crisis in the best possible shape to take advantage of the big upturn that will surely come. It’s about protecting your business and your future and preparing yourself for ‘freedom day’ that, please God, is only a few weeks away. Go to http://www.inspiirecoaching.com/operationprotect to grab a copy or scan the QR code.

Autac’s manufacturing operations are classed as “essential” business by Government, owing to the company’s role in supporting its customers to fulfil their critical roles within the transport, commercial vehicle, military, security and energy sectors. Without the company’s CV (Commercial Vehicle) cables (which connect the truck units and trailers), the commercial fleets of many of our major supermarkets would not be able to transport goods on time to their warehouses and retail units around the UK. Autac’s Managing Director, David Lowe, explains how the company has stepped up to meet the increasingly urgent demand to keep supply chains moving around the UK and abroad, “Operating under COVID-19 restrictions has presented a dual challenge: how to offer the team maximum protection whilst increasing production and ensuring that we can deliver our cables on time and to the highest standard.

We’ve addressed this by implementing a new seven-day split shift pattern, where each shift works alternate days across our manufacturing site and sales, technical and customer service teams. “This of course means that we’ve had to adapt our communication channels accordingly, and we’re currently working to the crisis communications plan we devised in light of the present situation. It includes face-to-face briefings with staff who are present on the day, a recently implemented company What’s App group and updates to customers on how we’re adapting our operations; ensuring that all key stakeholders are kept up to date with the right information, at the right time, and from the right people.”

Timely intervention proves vitally important for older people Age UK Cheshire East, the older persons charity which operates specifically across Cheshire East, continues to support many older people at this difficult time, despite dwindling resources. To respond to the Coronavirus pandemic, the charity has focused all its attention on supporting people who need support and who may be isolated in their homes. As well as continuing its invaluable Help at Home service, it has developed a new COVID-19 support line, supporting vulnerable older people by contacting them on a regular basis to see that they have everything they need at this difficult time. The real value of this service was highlighted when John, who lives alone, was contacted for a welfare check. It became clear he was suffering from significant health issues, and after seeking his permission, an ambulance was called. John spent two days in Macclesfield Hospital and was discharged with a full support package including carers regularly visiting him in his own home. Age UK Cheshire East made arrangements with a local supplier for an urgent food delivery for when John arrived home and also made arrangements for subsequent food deliveries. Damon Taylor, Chief Executive of Age UK Cheshire East commented: “We know, from talking to the older people, that they really welcome our calls,

Hazel Salter of Age UK Cheshire East making welfare calls and as well as providing a friendly voice at the other end of the phone, it also enables us to put in place any support they made need.” Damon concluded: “If anyone needs to access our support, they can call us on 01625 612958. All of this work is being done against the backdrop of a significant reduction in our income, now that all our shops have had to close. To help us continue this valuable work, we are calling on the people of Cheshire East to consider our emergency funding appeal.” See the website at https://ageukcheshireeast.charitycheckout.co.uk/ donate#!/

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Members News

New campus on track for September opening The King’s School’s new £60 million campus is creating a sporting wonderland not only for its pupils, but for the wider community. As work nears completion on the sheltered woodland site on Alderley Road, the prospect of having one of Cheshire’s sporting jewels on Macclesfield’s doorstep draws ever closer. Located adjacent to the Derby Playing Fields, which already has its own superb pavilion and eight professionally kept rugby pitches, where Macclesfield Town FC train, will be a breathtakingly bold new complex with superb indoor and outdoor facilities. Inside the new Sports Centre will be a 25 metre, 6 lane swimming pool, a massive new sports hall with floor markings for six badminton courts and a netball court as well as space for umpteen trampolines. Plus there is a separate hall for Cheshire’s only dedicated indoor cricket facility, offering a three-lane netted area that will be used throughout the year by school and club cricketers. Upstairs there will be a fitness gymnasium with the latest weight stations and cross trainers, plus a studio for dance, martial arts and yoga.

Aerial view of new sports pitches on the new King’s School campus

Outside there will be two all-weather floodlit sports surfaces ideal for hockey and football, plus six floodlit netball courts which double up as tennis courts.

Future sports stars The list goes on: there will be five grass junior football pitches, a 400-metre athletics track with stations for the field events, plus a purpose-built rounders pitch. King’s has already produced an England rugby union captain in Steve Smith, an England cricket coach in Peter Moores and an Olympic gymnast in Jennifer Pinches and it is hoped the new facilities will enable many more current and future sports stars to realise their potential. Already a number of sports clubs and community groups from Macclesfield and beyond use King’s facilities and it is anticipated many more will be able to utilise all the new campus has to offer. Chris Thomson, King’s Director of Sport, said: “King’s has always enjoyed a national reputation for sporting excellence. On any given weekend we can have upwards of 400 young men and women competing in a variety of team and individual sports in A, B and even C teams in certain age groups, and the new facilities will enhance our scope even further.”

Encouraging all ability levels “It will mean we can arrange more sports for more youngsters and develop specific training and practice programmes for our elite athletes, whilst encouraging all ability levels to develop a passion for competitive sport and a healthy lifestyle.” Steve Moores, Head of Cricket and Hockey and Lettings Manager, said: “Outside of the normal school timetable, clearly there is scope to provide the community with some fabulous opportunities and access to some facilities that the locality simply doesn’t have at the moment, including the new allweather surfaces, the pool and the indoor cricket centre.” The new King’s campus is due for completion later this summer and will open to pupils in September 2020.

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Chamberlink Spring 2020

Two all weather astro pitches

Left, the Sports Centre with pool visible through window, and below, the swimming pool


Members News

The High Sheriff of Cheshire sets the bar for active isolation The High Sheriff of Cheshire, Mr Nick Hopkinson MBE DL completed 97.9 kilometres in two days. Inspiring people to create opportunities to workout and make it as fun and enjoyable as possible. During isolation and challenging times, Cheshire’s High Sheriff promotes exercise to help increase health and protect against the most common health problems. Physical activity is essential for good health and contribute to positive wellbeing. Following new social distancing rules, Nick ran over 36 miles in his garden yesterday making that three marathons in seven days. Cheshire’s High Sheriff, posted on his Facebook account, “So I ran a marathon yesterday around the garden without training and not having really run any distance for over 30 years. Today I thought I could do more...how about another marathon plus a 10km dog walk. “So I did. It’s amazing what you can do when you put a shift in...and you put your mind to something.” Amongst other things Cheshire’s High Sheriff has been up Kilimanjaro eight times, cycled down the Himalayas, from Victoria Falls to Cape Town, canoed three times across Scotland and cycled the Scottish 500...all for charity. The lead for activity and sport in Cheshire and Warrington, Active Cheshire, are proud to have Cheshire’s High Sheriff champion activity. Anne Boyd, CEO of Active Cheshire said: “Nick Hopkinson is truly an inspiration for achieving so much in just his garden, we are thrilled to have him as our High Sheriff.“Our vision is that everyone feels able to take part in sport or physical activity, especially during the global pandemic regardless of age, background or ability.” For more information about getting active from the comfort of your own home, www.activecheshire.org/active-home/

What’s the travel forecast? As of early April, the latest advice from the Foreign Commonwealth Office was ‘against all but essential travel’ indefinitely. So, what does ‘indefinitely’ mean? “The FCO have not thought this through,” said Richard Slater, Business Owner at Henbury Travel & North West ABTA Chair, and consequently has contacted David Rutley MP to ask him to seek some clarity. In reality, it simply means there is no obvious end date to stipulate. This leaves every travel operator to determine its own appropriate travel restrictions, but at the time of going to press more rules are coming into play and are ever-changing. At Henbury Travel, Richard and his team are in the process of speaking to all clients travelling until the end of August, to offer advice and reassurance. For travellers between 15 March and 22 April, around 70% have re-booked for future dates, mainly in 2021 - and many of summer bookings have also moved to 2021. So it's clear everyone loves holidays and wants something to look forward to.

The remaining 30% are split in to two camps, 10% have cancelled and lost their deposit, and 20% have requested a refund. In respect of refunds, the press have said a lot about agents not refunding – let’s be clear, agents do not hold any monies and have to wait for the airline or tour operator to refund them before they can pass it onto their clients. Going forward, new bookings are starting to recover, with clients confirming touring and activity holidays for 2021/2 – it’s early days yet but new shoots are showing. Richard commented: “Having been in the travel industry for 34 years, I have seen similar situations before – such as 9/11 and the ash cloud, but clearly not on the scale of COVID-19. The industry generally bounces back quite quickly, but there will be casualties, such as airlines and tour operators. When lockdown is lifted there will be a huge demand for holidays, and as with any surge there is generally an increase in price.

“So we are seeing many people re-booking and fixing 2021 dates as they anticipate increases - so now is a good time to book 2021, while agents still have deal codes for many operators, along with free kids places and early booking offers.“ Richard has received 100’s calls from people who have booked online or direct, and now unsurprisingly have found it impossible to contact who they booked with. Richard has experienced this before and endorses the fact that booking through an agent is, in 99% of cases, the same price as booking direct. The benefit of an agent is they have direct contacts within operators, so in most cases Richard’s clients were rebooked or refunded very quickly.

So support local and book with an independent agent. If Chamber members are in need of any advice, please feel free to call Richard on 01625 466100.

Chamberlink Spring 2020

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Chamber members rise to the COVID-19 challenge

Profile for North Cheshire Chamber

Chamberlink Spring 2020  

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