Platinum Business Magazine - issue 108

Page 1

THE LARGEST CIRCULATION REGIONAL BUSINESS PUBLICATION IN THE UK platinum ISSUE 108 APRIL 2023 THE MOST CARELESS CEOs IN THE COUNTRY Gatwick Airport: annual results Managing a workplace toxic culture TRAVEL Alternative road trips How to sell your business 40 years of Southampton’s Science Park MOTORING BMW M5 Competition WATER COMPANIES’ EFFLUENT DISCHARGES


32 Raw sewage dumping

Platinum highlights the mess the water utility companies are making of the UK’s waterways and coastlines


10 Local and international news

A round of the important business stories in Sussex and around the world

14 Bizarre news

A selection of some of the weirder stories from across the globe


2 Sussex Business Awards

Announcing details of this prestigious event, now in its 35th year

8 Platinum Club

Now in its 15th year, the South East’s premier networking social event is in full swing

42 Surrey Business Awards

Entries are now being invited for Surrey’s premier business awards

50 Central South Business Awards

Returning for its second year, you have until mid-April to enter

56 Gatwick Diamond Business Awards

The winners are announced!

72 Glitter Ball

Highlights from Rockinghorse’s Children’s Charity Glitter Ball


40 Southampton Science Park

Celebrating 40 years of innovation

70 Sussex Innovation

Making physical space in a virtual world




16 Gatwick Airport

The 2022 annual report is out, highlighting cautious future optimism

38 The Business Growth Group Directors helping Directors come to the right decision

44 Let’s Do Business

Fortifying the future businesses of the South Downs National Park

46 Notion

Dominic and Laura Ashley-Timms, co-creators of the STAR® Manager programme


Future-proof our youth!

60 Surrey Research Park Scanning technology revolutionises heart disease diagnosis

66 Let’s Do Business

Watering the seed of success

75 Cleankill

Why a pest control vehicle outside is a good sign


20 Help To Grow:Management


28 DMH Stallard

Action your company can take to minimise supply chain risk

48 Loch Associates

Managing a toxic culture

54 Mayo Wynne Baxter Cohabiting couples: the common law myth


62 Hurstpierpoint College

AI won’t replace humans


69 Chestnut Tree House

Looking for an activity with meaning?


76 Anger Management

Maarten Hoffmann calls out the First Lady of France

Platinum Business Magazine has an exclusive offer for anyone who wishes to take part in the University of Brighton’s 12-week mini-MBA programme to help you grow your business


24 Kreston Reeves

Exploring possible alternatives to liquidation

26 EMC

Ensuring a smooth as possible journey when selling your business

65 Haines Watts

Why do businesses restructure?


78 Fantastic road trips

Tess de Klerk has a look at what you can see off the beaten track across Europe


80 BMW M5 Competition

You can’t win anything, although Maarten Hoffmann has clearly been won over

All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. The publisher reserves the right to change or amend any competitions or prizes offered. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit. Surrey Business Magazine is owned and published by Platinum Media Group Limited.

APRIL 2023 • ISSUE 108 32
Visualise your future with a 360° review delivering trusted, expert advice. Pensions Investments Estate Planning Financial Management Get in touch 020 8936 3970 Now in the South East, Mattioli Woods will work hard to deliver the best financial outcomes for you. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


As the days grow longer and we look forward to summer, there is a palpable buzz around that business is booming in many sectors and confidence is rising to the point that the immediate future will not be as bleak as many, mainly the press, paint it.

It is so easy to talk ourselves into a recession. Therefore, all Platinum titles avoid the awful headline scare stories and will continue to tell it how it is from the lips of the business community.

Certainly at the 15th year of the Gatwick Diamond Awards held on March 23rd, there was laughter and joy throughout the room as a fabulous array of great businesses took home the trophies. Platinum is proud to be the exclusive media partner for the event and inside we reveal all the winners.

Talking of events, the season is almost upon us, and entries are open for the Dynamic Awards on May 25th; the Central South Awards (covering Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey and West Sussex) on July 5th; the Surrey Business Awards on October 17th; and the big one, the Sussex Business Awards on November 30th. Get those entries in now! To boot, the Lewes Business Awards will be returning in November. And finally, the Brighton & Hove Business Awards (BAHBAS) will be returning very soon.

In this issue, we look at the life of Betty Boothroyd, the first female Speaker of the House of Commons; DMH looks at supply chain risk, EMC discusses selling your business, Kreston Reeves looks at ways around liquidation and, in Anger Management, Maarten gets hot under the collar about the first lady of France.

We uncover the horror being inflicted upon us by the leaders of our water companies; the Gatwick Airports Annual Report is in, and Loch Associates discusses how to manage a toxic culture at work.

And that’s just for starters as the magazine is packed with great advice, news of who’s doing what – and some light hearted items such as travel and motoring.

We are not the highest circulation business magazines in the UK for nothing.

The PlatinumTeam


PUBLISHER/EDITOR: Maarten Hoffmann



EVENTS MANAGER: Zaneta Bealing

TRAVEL EDITOR: Tess de Klerk



HEAD OF DESIGN: Michelle Shakesby

SUB EDITOR: Alan Wares


The Platinum Club has been the region’s leading peerto-peer business networking event for CEOs, Managing Directors and Partners of many of the leading companies across the South East for over 15 years. Limited memberships are available and to apply, please contact

The Platinum Business Club for Leaders and Innovators in Business

1 Stefan Buss, Storm 12 Emma Cleary, Flexibility Matters Kevin Boyd, Sussex Financial Coaching 2 Neil Laughton, CEO, Laughton and Co chatting with Richard Zinzan of archangels ARCHITECTS 3 Rob Clare, Chairman, Sussex Chamber of Commerce and Kate Partridge of illume Partners chatting with Keith Carr from Brighton & Hove Financial Consultants 4 Maarten Hoffmann, MD, Platinum Media Group, with new member, Keith Carr from Brighton & Hove Financial Consultants 5 Stefan Buss from Storm 12 chatting with Jonathan Grant, Head of Corporate, DMH Stallard
5 8
6 Jenny Ray, Partner, DMH Stallard Tamzin Silander, CFO, Spa Breaks Craig Staddon, CEO, Plumpton Racecourse Lesley Alcock, Commercial Director, Platinum Media Group Rachael Pigg, Senior Architect, archangels ARCHITECTS
❛❛ The networking highlight of my month and never to be missed ❜❜

❛❛ We see the Platinum Club as an important and integral part of our brand awareness strategy, through interactions with well-connected businesspeople and other influencers ❜❜ MATTIOLI


❛❛ I make sure I never miss an event and thoroughly enjoy it ❜❜


❛❛ The Platinum Club is a really well organised networking group, with the hosts helping facilitate to ensure we always make useful, new contacts at each event ❜❜


7 2 3 1 9 EVENTS


KPMG has unveiled a new report finding that companies’ Environmental, Social, and Governance commitments now have a huge influence in their recruitment/retainment prospects. It found that they are a deciding factor in applying for a job for half of the UK workforce, with one in five willing to turn down work if it doesn’t align with their values.

The report also found a growing trend of younger workers are participating in ‘climate quitting’; actively seeking out new employment that is environmentally conscious. As employees take more of an active stance in the companies they choose to work for, organisations that care about their environmental impact and make strides to ensure their staff are educated on the effects of their everyday decisions, are becoming more attractive to employees when looking for work.

A landmark report from SaveMoneyCutCarbon found that 34% of Brits agreed that they would be more loyal to their workplace if they provided them more detailed information on how to be greener at work and at home.



The BBC has advised staff to delete TikTok from corporate phones because of privacy and security fears following on from the UK and US government instructing their staff to delete.


Saudi oil giant Aramco has announced a record profit of $161.1bn (£134bn) for 2022, helped by soaring energy prices and bigger volumes. It represents a 46.5% rise for the state-owned company, compared with last year. It is the latest energy firm to report record profits, after energy prices spiked following Russia’s fullscale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

America’s ExxonMobil made $55.7bn, and Britain’s Shell reported a $39.9bn profit. Aramco also declared a dividend of $19.5bn for the October to December quarter of 2022, to be paid in the first quarter of this year. Most of that will go to the Saudi government, which owns nearly 95% of the shares in the company.

The BBC said it would continue to use the platform for editorial and marketing purposes for now. TikTok has consistently denied any wrongdoing. Countries imposing bans include the US, Canada, New Zealand and Belgium, while the same applies to anyone working at the European Commission. However, it is still permitted on personal devices.

The big fear is that data harvested by the platform from corporate phones could be shared with the Chinese government by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, because its headquarters are in Beijing and the Chinese state have automatic access to all data harvested. Many private companies are now looking at what data can be accessed through their employees’ phones.



The retail giant John Lewis may dilute its 100% employee ownership to raise fresh investment. The change to the partnership model would signal a major departure for the company, which runs the department store chain and Waitrose supermarkets. The firm warned of job cuts and told staff it will not hand out a bonus for only the second time since 1953, after posting an annual loss of £234m as costs soared and sales dipped.

Dame Sharon White, its chairwoman, is in the early stages of exploring a plan to change its mutual structure in an attempt to raise up to £2bn of new investment, according to The Sunday Times. The group would consider selling only a minority stake and its priority would be to maintain majority employee ownership, the newspaper said.


It is generally accepted that when the US sneezes, the UK catches a cold. Therefore, US banking failures are of keen interest here. The recent banking crisis in the United States has negatively impacted selected stocks in the sector, with investors raising trust issues about the industry’s stability.

With investors looking for alternatives, it seems Bitcoin is among the winners despite the asset being a relative newcomer in the broader financial scene. In this line, data acquired and calculated by Finbold indicates that, as of March 20th, five leading US banks have lost a cumulative market capitalisation of $108.92 billion in 2023 alone. In comparison, Bitcoin


Recent analysis has found that two Surrey councils spend more on interest and paying back loans than they do on services, like transport and social care.

Neighbouring borough councils Spelthorne and Runnymede have said they have had to make investments in response to government cuts. Both councils’ investment has mainly been in commercial property, which they rent out for a profit. In 2021/22, Spelthorne spent £36m on financing debt, almost 60% more than the £22.8m they spent on services. Runnymede also spent nearly 50% more on debt than on services, spending £17m on debt and £11.5m on services.

Across England, the amount of Revenue Support Grant given to councils overall has decreased by 90% between 2013/14 to 2021/22.

has added $219.86 billion to its market cap during the same period.

Among the banks, Charles Schwab suffered the worst loss in capitalisation, dropping from $155.42 billion to $105.33 billion. Bank of America has the second highest losses at $43.72 billion, followed by Wells Fargo at $15.74 billion, while JPMorgan Chase recorded an outflow of $4.59 billion. Only Morgan Stanley recorded gains, with $5.22 billion added to its market cap year-to-date (YTD).

A breakdown of the market cap movement shows that Bitcoin has gained 69.07% from $318.31 billion to $538.17 billion since the start of the year. Bitcoin has also dwarfed the banking giants regarding return on investment (ROI). On a yearto-date basis, Bitcoin’s return stand at 65.42%, while the average ROI of the banks is -11.64%.

Morgan Stanley has the highest ROI among the banks at 0.28%, followed by JPMorgan Chase at -5.17%, while Wells Fargo is third at -8.29%. Bank of America has the fourth worst losses at -15.26%, followed by Charles Schwab at -29.75%.

❛❛ There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them ❜❜
Friedrich Nietzsche
❛❛ Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood ❜❜ Friedrich Nietzsche


Companies based on the Manor Royal Business District in Crawley are joining forces to invest in clean energy and reduce their impact on the environment.

Re-Energise Manor Royal is a new local energy community working on behalf of businesses to attract investment into Manor Royal and deliver new clean energy projects for the business district, such as roofmounted solar panels and batteries to store clean electricity. Creating a more sustainable Manor Royal is a key objective of the Manor Royal BID’s new business plan for the next five years, and West Sussex County Council has worked alongside the BID and Crawley

Borough Council to support this aim through the local energy community.

Re-Energise Manor Royal is a Community Benefit Society that will raise capital through community share offers, including a ‘pioneer’ share offer that will launch before the summer to attract initial capital investment. While investors will receive a return on their investment, Re-Energise Manor Royal will operate on a not-for-profit basis by reinvesting the financial surplus it makes from selling energy and other services into new energy projects that benefit members and the wider community.



An application has been submitted for a business park which could create 100 jobs. Wealden District Council has submitted a planning application for business park in Farningham Road, Crowborough. The project could start later this year and be finished by summer next year. Last year, Wealden councillors agreed to retain the land, as opposed to selling it off, and instead deliver industrial units with a total floor space of around 12,900 square feet on the 1.8 acre site.

Wealden District Council councillor Philip Lunn, said: “I am delighted we have now submitted a planning application for Farningham Road, which we believe will go some way in helping alleviate the shortage of smaller units in the Crowborough area.”


Small Batch Coffee has permanently shut its branches in Brighton & Hove; at Seven Dials, Norfolk Square and Wilbury Road. The other two branches – in Goldstone Villas, near Hove station, and its Wellington House café and roastery in Camden Street, Portslade –will remain open. There is also a stand at Brighton Station. It is not known whether this will remain open. Staff held a goodbye drinks at the Seven Dials branch recently after their final day of business. A statutory demand letter on the same door claims that Small Batch Coffee Company Ltd owed creditors £11,250.

❛❛ Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon ❜❜
Susan Ertz, Novelist, 1943


A country club is embarking on its next chapter after it was snapped up by international leisure centre chain, David Lloyd Clubs. Lee Goossens, who owned Wickwoods, said he will ‘watch with interest’ after selling to the international leisure chain. Goossens said: ‘The last three years have been exceptionally challenging for the entire hospitality industry, and I’m incredibly proud of how the Wickwoods teams have dealt with those challenges.”

Lee has owned Wickwoods for over ten years. He said there will be no changes for members of the club in the short term. He said: “It is very much business as usual. David Lloyd Clubs are able to deliver a greater level of opportunity for the team, an increased level of investment for the club and significant industry experience. As such, for the club to move forward, it is right that I step aside and hand over the reins to David Lloyd Clubs”.

David Lloyd has 102 leisure centres dotted around the country, including in Brighton, Worthing and Eastbourne.


Following on from five recent acquisitions, following the backing of Capital Partners, Brighton-based financial advisers, Skerritts has announced its latest acquisition with the purchase of Horsham-based Mercier Allen & Associates. The purchase of Mercier brings in an additional £73 million of AUM and brings the number of deals that the Skerritts Group has completed since the Sovereign investment to six.


Ambitious plans to transform Newhaven into a major contributor to the Sussex economy by 2030 have been unveiled.

Newhaven Enterprise Zone has set out a three-year programme to build on the port town’s reputation as a hub for marine, industrial and creative businesses and to attract further investment in its business plan.

To achieve its aims, Newhaven Enterprise Zone offers businesses support to unlock sites and premises to ensure a healthy supply of land across the Enterprise Zone, which includes Avis Way, Eastside South, the town centre,

East Quay, North Quay and Bevan Funnell.

Corinne Day, Newhaven Enterprise Zone programme director, said: “Our vision is that by 2030, Newhaven Enterprise Zone will have been a catalyst to support sustainable economic growth and business resilience, helping to deliver a new era for Newhaven – a repurposed town centre built on creativity, a thriving business destination driven by our growth sectors and a major contributor to the Sussex regional economy.

Further objectives include helping businesses to reach a target of net

zero emissions by 2040, promoting Newhaven as a desirable place to invest, live, work and visit and helping the community and voluntary sector to support residents in reaching their full potential.

Businesses which took part in Newhaven Enterprise Zone’s Business Rate Relief Survey said they had been able to invest £20.4m in operations, with a further £2.8m of investment planned for 2023 as a result of the rate relief provided.

They added they had been able to create more than 600 jobs, refurbish 70,000 sq m of commercial floorspace and even create 2,900 sq m of new floorspace.

❛❛ It was shocking to find out that my own tragedy was so ordinary ❜❜
Nick Cave, lead singer of the Bad Seeds


Once a word enters into common parlance, its pronunciation tends to stick, whether it’s right or wrong. Below are words most Brits have been getting wrong all this time, and a pointer to the correct pronunciation.


Wrong – Jeck-ull - you may need to hide

Right – Jeek-ull


Nokki / Gnokki - nope

Nyokki – bellisimo


Eye-beeza / Eye-beet-za / Eye-beet-tha / Eye-beetha / Eye-beef - Hmm

Ee-beetha – party time!

Of course, you can pronounce it how you like, just don’t let the Ibicencos hear you…


Rhymes with ‘Zeus’ – wrong

Rhymes with ‘Voice’ – cool cat in the hat


Hi-un-die – nope

Hyun-dee – now we’re motoring


‘Kass-ee-oh’ – wrong

‘Kash-ee-oh’ – right on time

Hint: the company founder is named Tadao Kashio.




An estate agent’s house tour video for a property being sold for £700,000 has left people online in stitches after it was shared on social media.

The video, made to show off a five-bedroom detached house in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, features estate agent Claire Cossey singing a hilariously parody of Limahl’s 1985 hit ‘Never Ending Story’, with the lyrics changed to describe the property.

Claire can be seen twirling around in the hallway as she sings, walking past statues that stand on either side of the fireplace in the dining room, and showing off a bathroom which has a bathtub directly in the centre of the room. She explained that she’s been doing property parodies for several years – but has never had one blow up quite like this one.



A woman who has a perfect memory and can recall every day in her life. Californian Jill Price has a condition called hyperthymesia syndrome, a term coined specifically to describe her condition. She can remember just about anything from her life after the age of 14, including the dates of world events that were ongoing, so long as she knew about them then.

It’s not aways a blessing. When things have become too much, Price has kept journals to try to cope. “It’s all swirling and kind of in the front of my head because it’s not written down,” she said. “As soon as I write it down, it relaxes everything.”

Scientists are obviously very interested, as Price’s syndrome directs a challenge to the idea that memory changes over time, along with the emotional power of events we recall.


Back in 2009, a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S was found at the home of compulsive hoarder, Dr Harold Carr. Carr died at the age of 89 in 2007, and his family went through his belongings at his home when they found the profitable discovery.

Dr Carr purchased the car in 1955 for the sum of £895 –around £30,000 today – from Lord Ridley after the car had changed hands several times already.

Dr Carr only drove the Bugatti for a few years and left there for nearly 50 years when his family discovered it. It went under the hammer at the Bonhams’ in Paris and sold for a staggering £3,043,293. His nephew later said: “We knew he had some cars, but we had no idea what they were. It’s a wonderful thing to leave.”

Space exploration has been the stuff of science fiction for years but a new material could be the key to building life on Mars.

Scientists at the University of Manchester have created StarCrete, made from a combination of space dust, salt and potato starch, and say it is the perfect solution to transporting heavy materials to the red planet.

It is said to be stronger than concrete with a compressive strength of 72 MPa –- compared to concrete’s 32 MPa. Potatoes aren’t the only ingredient that appears to work, with researchers putting their blood, spit, and tears into StarCrete. Lead researcher Dr Aled Roberts joked, “You don’t want to know what else I tried.”


An asteroid lit up the night sky over the English Channel after entering the Earth’s atmosphere in the early hours of February 13th.  The 3ft meteoroid created a shooting star and an ‘airburst’ that could be seen as far away as Paris and London.

The rock, called 2023 CX1, entered the atmosphere around two miles off the French coast at 3am, creating a fireball as it disintegrated, finally landing in the sea. It was only the seventh time an asteroid strike had been successfully forecast in what the European Space Agency said was ‘a sign of the rapid advancements in global asteroid detection capabilities’. For scientists, forecasting harmless asteroids like this is seen as good practice for detecting ones that could pose a risk to the planet.


The airport has published its annual results for 2022 and is looking ahead to a promising summer


But remains cautiously optimistic about full recovery

Forecasts have been revised up, and over 40 million passengers are now expected at the airport this year. Passenger forecasts are still some way off pre-pandemic levels of 46 million, but the airport is cautiously optimistic about the future.

Gatwick’s network of flights has

bounced back strongly, which has seen the business return to being profitable.

Its short haul network was the first to recover last year, and now serves 159 destinations – 92% the number pre-pandemic – after easyJet, Wizz Air and Vueling increased flight numbers significantly.

Long-haul connectivity took longer, due to travel restrictions still being in place in some countries, but now boasts 47 routes – 76% the number in 2019.

“While things are looking up, a full recovery is still some way off and it is also not guaranteed” says Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate.



n Passenger demand at 70.4% of pre-pandemic levels, with 32.8 million passengers passing through the airport in the year ending December 31st 2022.

n Revenue at £776.6 million, driven by a strong and steady recovery in passenger numbers throughout 2022. This includes aeronautical income (£405m), retail income (£159m) and car parking income (£102m).

n Returned to a profit of £196.5 million in 2022, after over £830 million of losses from 2020 and 2021.

n EBITDA at £446.3 million.


During this year’s results, Stewart Wingate also announced that Gatwick has set an ambitious goal to be a net zero airport by 2030 - 10 years ahead of its previous commitment.

This will be achieved by investing over £250 million to reduce carbon emissions, such as moving to an electric vehicle fl eet and replacing gas boilers and refrigerants with low carbon alternatives. The airport will also continue to reduce overall energy use, invest in on-site renewable energy, including solar power, and source renewable electricity through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), to further continue London Gatwick’s role in helping the UK to decarbonise.

Stewart continues: “We know long-term sustainable investment is critical to the future of our airport and provides a significant boost to the regional and national economy.

“Central to this is our commitment to be a net zero airport by 2030. The aviation industry is addressing the challenges, and we are working closely with our stakeholders to ensure we create a sustainable airport for the future.”

❛❛ Gatwick has set an ambitious goal to be a net zero airport by 2030 – 10 years ahead of its previous commitment ❜❜


Gatwick Airport’s global connections are growing back strongly

Gatwick Airport is recovering strongly from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.

Stephanie Wear, Vice President, Airline Relations at Gatwick says, “We still have some way to go before full recovery, but the vast majority of our airlines have returned.

“Several new operators have also started over the last 18 months,

including JetBlue, Norse Atlantic, Bamboo Airways and BA’s new shorthaul brand – Eurofl yer.”

Some big-name, legacy airlines are also set to take off from the airport this summer. Air India started fl ying to four new destinations in March, and both Delta and Lufthansa return with regular services this month.

British Airways also continues to have a strong long-haul network from Gatwick, while a recent announcement from Norse Atlantic means the airline will serve seven destinations across the USA this summer, including the capital, Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Stephanie continues, “We are particularly keen to continue our longhaul growth across North America and Asia.

“Our Chinese routes have not yet returned, so we are keen to build these back. We also want to grow our US network to pre-pandemic levels and the recent announcement from Norse is a significant step forward in that respect.”

Middle East Doha - DOH Dubai - DXB NEW Mexico & South America Cancun - CUN Georgetown - GEO Liberia - LIR Puerto Vallarta - PVR San Jose - SJO Caribbean Antigua - ANU Aruba - AUA Bridgetown- BGI Grenada - GND Kingston - KIN Montego Bay - MBJ Port Of Spain - POS Punta Cana - PUJ St Kitts - SKB St Lucia - UVF Tobago - TAB NEW Africa Banjul - BJI Boa Vista - BVC Cape Town - CPT Dakar - DSS Ilha Do Sal - SID Khartoum - KRT Mauritius - MRU NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW North America Boston - BOS Calgary - YYC Fort Lauderdale - FLL Las Vegas- LAS Los Angeles - LAX Montreal - YUL New York - JFK Orlando - MCO Orlando - MLB Quebec - YQB San Francisco - SFO Tampa - TPA Toronto - YYZ Vancouver - YVR Washington - IAD NEW NEW NEW South & Southeast Asia Ahmedabad - AMD Amritsa - ATQ Goa - GOI Hanoi- HAN Kochi - COK Phuket - HKT Ho Chi Minh City - SGN Gatwick currently serves long haul destinations 47 ❛❛
to take off
Some big-name, legacy airlines are also set
from the
Contact us to book your tour! /01293 368050 FLEXIBLE OFFICES CO-WORKING / HOTDESKS MEETING ROOM / EVENT SPACE Desks and Chairs Meeting Room Access Refreshments and Fruit / Cereal FREE Beer Friday Business Support / Mentorship via Barclays Eagle Labs Access to Members Directory 24/7 Access Honest Pricing / Flexible Contracts Managed Space Super fast Internet (1GB Dedicated Shared Line) Utilities Printing Open Plan Kitchen and Break Out Areas Contact us to book your tour! / 01293 368050 WORTHING LANCING HOVE CHICHESTER HASTINGS GATWICK/CRAWLEY SOUTHAMPTON

The University of Brighton is offering all businesses a series of workshops to help you power your business forward into the future, and beyond



This mini MBA-style programme is designed for business owners and senior leaders of small and mediumsized businesses, Help to Grow: Management is a 12-week course that helps your business reach its full potential for growth, resilience and succession planning.


n In-depth training

n Invaluable 1:1 business mentoring

n Bespoke Growth Action Plan

n Low cost, high impact

n Peer-to-peer networking

n Time away from your business to work on your business

This course, accredited by the Chartered Association of Business Schools, is being delivered by the University of Brighton. Working in collaboration with industry experts and experienced entrepreneurs, the course covers strategies for growth and innovation, digital adoption, leading high-performance teams, financial management and responsible business practices. With the support of an experienced mentor, you will also create a bespoke growth plan for your business.



To facilitate busy work schedules, the course is a mix of both online and in person workshops.

1 Strategy and Innovation

2 Digital Adoption

3 Internationalisation and winning new markets

4 Vision, mission, and values

5 Developing a marketing strategy

6 Building a brand

7 Organisational design

8 Employee management and leading change

9 High performance workplace

10 Efficient operations

11 Finance and financial management




n Develop your leadership and management skills, enhancing employee wellbeing and engagement

n Identify what drives productivity and growth in your market, and understand what this means for you

n Learn how to advance responsible business practices, including more inclusive and greener practices

n Understand how to innovate your business model, including adopting and investing in new and digital technologies

n Identify key domestic and export markets for your business and develop strategies for segmentation, positioning and targeting


Here is even better news. 90% of the programme cost is covered by the Government therefore a total of £750 but using the code PLATINUM100 will reduce the cost still further to only £375.

n Generate strategies to improve operational efficiency, allowing you to save time and money APRIL

Now taking registrations for September PLEASE PRE-REGISTER HERE 20 EDUCATION
Implementing growth plans


To be eligible for Help to Grow, the following criteria must be met:

Your business must

n Be a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) based in the UK

n Employ between 5 and 249 people

n Have been operational for at least one year

n Not be a charity

You must

n Be a chief executive, owner/ founder or senior manager.

n Have at least one person reporting to you

n Commit to completing all sessions


You will be supported by an experienced business mentor who will support you in producing a growth plan, and taught by experienced academics and practitioners from the School of Business and Law.

❛❛ If you are feeling that you are in a bit of a grind and that your business is just stagnating, then definitely apply for this course ❜❜


Total Support Services (Security) Ltd

The Help to Grow: Management is delivered by leading business schools across the UK who have been awarded the Small Business Charter (SBC) by the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS).

Help to Grow is a 12-week course designed to be undertaken alongside full-time work. The time commitment is 50 hours over 12 weeks. Learning alongside other business owners,

you have the opportunity to learn from your peers and network.

Using a combination of online and face-to-face sessions alongside case study workshops, you will have the opportunity to apply the concepts being taught to real-life situations faced by business leaders. By the end of the course, you will have a tailored Growth Action Plan to help you lead and grow your business.


The University of Brighton has a long history of working with small to medium-sized businesses, and a strong track record of delivering business growth programmes. The school of Business and Law is home to the Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management (CENTRIM), which works with partners in industry, academia and government producing groundbreaking concepts to explain, harness and improve innovation, entrepreneurship and change management.

The 2021 Knowledge Exchange Framework results place the University of Brighton in the top 10% for universities for public and community engagement, and in the top 20% for skills, enterprise, and entrepreneurship.


We asked a participant of a recent course, Stella Gurney from Woodfire Camping to explain what she got out of taking part in the course:



The sense of support! I find it quite moving to see that there is help out there, people wanting you to succeed and willing to share their knowledge and experience. It can feel quite lonely, setting up your own business and being solely in charge of making decisions. It’s really well-structured and well-rounded - not just a series of online lectures at all but in-person sessions, lots of participation and mini-workshops, peer-to-peer sessions and then also the mentoring so you don’t just have to take it all in in an hour and then move on.


Absolutely invaluable little nuggets of wisdom and practical advice. In advance, I thought I may not find some of the modules as pertinent as others, but actually there has always been something really useful to take away from every one. Also, having a creative and not a business background, it’s given me confidence in seeing how to structure my ideas and decisions –and that what I’ve been doing up until now does (mostly) make sense!


We’ll definitely be thinking more about digitalising aspects of the business that we may not have explored. I’ve seen the value of networking and connecting and supporting other businesses, so partnerships and collaborations are also top of the list.


100% – I was lucky enough to be sponsored by Platinum’s Dynamic Magazine but the fees were reasonable and absolute value for money.


email: website:
Smart advice to help you make the right decisions for your financial future. You needn’t be.” “ The economy is uncertain. The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested. RBC Brewin Dolphin is a trading name of Brewin Dolphin Limited. Brewin Dolphin Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register reference number 124444) and regulated in Jersey by the Financial Services Commission. Registered Office; 12 Smithfield Street, London, EC1A 9BD. Registered in England and Wales company number: 2135876. VAT number: GB 690 8994 69 Call our Gatwick office to arrange a free introductory meeting with Paul Cannons. Call 01293 661323 or email

James Hopkirk, Restructuring Director of Kreston Reeves discusses some of the alternative solutions to putting a company into liquidation and the processes company directors should follow

What alternatives are there when liquidation feels like the only option?

With the pandemic largely behind us, business owners now find themselves having to repay their Bounce Back Loans or Business Interruption Loans at a time of high inflation, whilst they are trying to re-build their ‘pre-Covid’ turnover levels.

Many diligent company directors are seeking advice as to whether they should be continuing to trade at all but, in most cases, the advice is that they can proceed – just with caution. Common concerns which are raised are as follows:

❛❛ We’re making losses and if we had to stop trading now, we wouldn’t be able to cover the costs of redundancies on top of everything else… ❜❜

A period of loss making can cause directors a lot of anxiety. When a company becomes insolvent on a balance sheet basis, the duties of the Board switch to being owed to creditors rather than shareholders, which means that transactions can potentially come under greater scrutiny should the company ultimately fail.

However, if the company still has some reserves and is meeting its liabilities as they fall due, then there is no need to factor in contingent liabilities when deciding if the company is insolvent. These might include redundancy costs or costs relating to the termination of a lease, which might crystallise if the company did cease trading. If the intention is for the business to improve its finances and retain its current work force then the Board can make decisions on that basis, provided the company is solvent.

A recurring theme when a Board is concerned about the future of the company is that discussions and decisions should be recorded so that the Board has a note of their thought processes at the time.

❛❛ Personal claims against directors could arise where additional debts are incurred when there is no reasonable prospect of the company avoiding an insolvency ❜❜

❛❛ Should I invest more money to keep the company going?

Whilst company shareholders are under no obligation to provide funding to cover a company’s losses, they may well wish to do so with a view to returning the company back to profitability and preserving what they have managed to build up. The shareholders should ensure that they have the most accurate management information in order that they can assess the risk of potentially not seeing a return on the money. If the additional funds are put into the company as a loan, then shareholders will need to be mindful that their debt will be ranked as unsecured in the event that the company doesn’t survive.

Investors might consider whether the company is able to grant security to the lender over its assets in respect of new funding. A lawyer would be able to advise on how that might legitimately be achieved.

❛❛ Can I prioritise redundancy payments / key suppliers? ❜❜

If a company reaches a stage where it is unable to meet all of its obligations as they fall due, then the Board needs to think carefully about which payments are prioritised. If certain creditors are paid at the expense of others and the company subsequently fails, then a Liquidator could look to overturn the transactions or pursue personal claims against the directors.

For such a claim to be successful, a Liquidator would need to show that the directors had a desire to prefer the particular creditor rather than the motivation being a legitimate business need – for example to procure an essential supply of goods. As before, the best defence that directors can have against potential scrutiny of such transactions is a contemporaneous note recording the Board’s decision making process at the time of making payments.

❛❛ Cash flow forecasts are showing problems in a couple of months but we’re seeking further funding to address that ❜❜

Personal claims against directors could arise where additional debts are incurred when there is no reasonable prospect of the company avoiding an insolvency. If the Board is continuing to trade on the basis of future funding being obtained then it should carefully record minutes of discussions and decisions to set out a record of why trading continued and why that was expected to improve the position of the creditors of the company.

The Board is not expected to be able to see into the future but it should be able to explain its motivation should the funding not ultimately materialise, which might leave the company unable to pay its debts.

In conclusion, there are three key lessons here:

1 Records of decisions – the board should be able to demonstrate that it believed at the time that its actions would be in the best interests of the company and its creditors.

2 Treat creditors fairly – if the company cannot afford to pay all creditors as they fall due, then careful consideration should be taken before prioritising any one creditor.

3 Seek advice – the consequences of acting in an unreasonable way, or a way which the Board cannot demonstrate was reasonable, can be severe, so if a Board of directors is concerned that it may be unable to avoid an insolvency then it should seek advice from its accountant or an Insolvency Practitioner.

25 FINANCE If you have any questions and want to achieve optimal results for your business, get in contact with James Hopkirk: Email: Call: 0330 124 1399 Visit:

Selling your business

Selling your business can be a life changing moment and not one to be taken lightly. With the decades of hard graft put into building a business, it is your right to get as much for that business as possible. But how do you ensure you achieve that? Expert in his field, EMC Corporate Finance’s Michael Pay explains the basics

Selling a business can be a complex and daunting task, and it is often a once-in-a-lifetime event for business owners. The decision to sell a business can have significant financial and personal implications, and it is essential to get it right. Despite this, many business owners decide to ‘go it alone’ or use non-specialist advisers to assist them.

In a recent survey we carried out, the reason for this is because often a business owner doesn’t know where to turn to ask for this help, other than their bank, accountant or solicitor. So let us tell you the secret – engage a specialist corporate finance adviser. They will help ensure that you get the best possible outcome from the sale of your business.

The first thing to understand is that the day job of a corporate finance adviser is to advise on buying and selling a business, as well as raising money. They do this all day, EVERYDAY. Ask yourself, who would you rather have carry out complex surgery on a loved one – the man in the street, a general practitioner or an experience, expert consultant?


The primary goal of a corporate finance adviser is to help you maximise the value of your business. They help prepare the sales information, identify potential buyers and know how best to approach, pitch and negotiate with them. They will work with you to understand your business’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the potential risks and opportunities associated with the sale.

❛❛ No sale process runs smoothly but having the expert on hand will make sure that you have the best chance of a successful outcome ❜❜


Selling a business is a complex and time-consuming process that involves a range of legal, financial, and operational considerations. Having negotiated the offer, a corporate finance adviser will guide you through the entire sale process, from initial planning to due diligence, negotiations, and closing. They provide expert advice on structuring the deal, knowing the pitfalls that can come back to bite you later if not properly dealt with.

No sale process runs smoothly but having the expert on hand will make sure that you have the best chance of a successful outcome.


As any business owner can understand, selling a business can be a sensitive matter, and it is essential to maintain confidentiality throughout the process. A corporate finance adviser can help ensure that your business is marketed discreetly. They will qualify buyers and ask them to sign a confidentiality agreement. This can help protect your business’s reputation and prevent the loss of key employees or customers who may become aware of the sale.


Many corporate finance advisers will claim to have extensive networks of contacts and relationships. Although this does help, the truth is that it is the global research that uncovers potential buyers, including private equity firms, strategic acquirers, is rarely a ‘little black book’. More important is that, with you, they can evaluate and choose the most suitable buyer based on factors such as their financial strength, industry expertise, and cultural fit.


Selling a business can be an emotional and stressful process. A corporate finance adviser should help manage these emotional factors by providing a clear and objective perspective on the sale process. They can also help you navigate any potential conflicts with other shareholders, family members, or key employees.


Selling a business can be a timeconsuming process, and it can be challenging to balance the demands of running a business with the requirements of the sale process. A corporate finance adviser can help save time by managing the sale process on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the most important aspect of a sale

process – allowing you to do your day job of running your business.

Once agreement has been reached and all the due diligence carried out, the lawyers prepare the legal documents ready for signing. Your corporate finance adviser will make all the necessary arrangements and be there when pen is finally put to paper, ensuring that all the commercial aspects of the deal have been correctly documented and reflected – to ensure that what you see is what you’re going to get.

Of course, all of this takes time –a typical process can last between nine and 12 months – so fees are involved. The benefits of a having corporate finance adviser worth their salt should far outstrip the costs involved. To reduce your exposure to large fees, get a quote in advance and weight them towards a successful outcome, ensuring that they are aligned with you.

Above all, make sure that what you see is what you’re going to get. In other words, check that the senior person ‘selling’ you his or her firm’s credentials to support your transaction is the same person who will be your lead adviser throughout. What you don’t want is the job to be assigned to a more junior adviser once the appointment has been made.

EMC has been doing this for many years and has a strong, proven track record of success across an array of sectors. We are here for advice and guidance should you be thinking of selling your business. After all, it’s all we do.

27 FINANCE EMC Corporate Finance T: +44(0)1273945984 E:
❛❛ Selling a business can be an emotional and stressful process ❜❜

Restructuring and Insolvency legal expert, and Partner at DMH Stallard, Frank Bouette’s last article focussed on seizing the opportunities economic challenges create. He now looks at minimising supply chain risks to help keep your business stable

Action your business can take to minimise supply chain risk

In 2021, had an initial public offering (IPO) valuation of £775m. In 2022 it went into administration, citing supply chain issues as a major factor, and Next bought its business (primarily, the brand and intellectual property) for £3m.

The economic landscape is creating significant challenges. Increased costs, and reduced availability of materials and finance, combined with energy costs, currency fluctuations and labour shortages, are exposing financial weaknesses in supply chains. The risk of customer, or supplier, insolvency is real.

At the outset of a new trading relationship, early identification of those risks and monitoring them is key to resolving disruption, if insolvency arises in your supply chain. Key questions every business should be asking include:

n Who are your key customers and suppliers?

n If one fails, how would you replace that revenue or supply stream, and how would it affect your margins?

n Would any resulting disruption mean you breached related contractual agreements or banking covenants, and what would the impact be on your business and the rest of your supply chain?

Carrying out this analysis, and proper due diligence on supply chain relationships at the outset is critical to identifying and managing the risks. If possible, limiting your reliance on a particular supplier or customer, and identifying alternatives, also helps to reduce exposure.

Remember to conduct due diligence on key customers as you would key suppliers. Take care that the sales team’s desire to win customers doesn’t mean risks are overlooked. Simple things like credit checks, review of Companies House filings (including checking accounts and confirmation statements are up to date) and a web search on your counterparty may flag up early warnings.

Contractual protection should also be considered, including pre-payment or appropriate payment terms, credit limits (and monitoring them), requiring credit insurance to be in place, retention of title, obligations to provide upto-date financial data (which may include management accounts) and early insolvency exit and cross claim provisions.


During the trading relationship, undertake routine checks on key suppliers and customers. Look out for the following warnings:

n Delayed payments and stretching credit lines. Requests to re-negotiate payment terms and unusual requests for deposits or upfront payment;

n Chasing for payment or invoicing earlier than agreed. Spurious claims for payments, complaints, or reasons for non-payment;

n Deteriorating service or quality levels and delayed delivery;

n Late filing of accounts and confirmation statements at Companies House, extensions of accounting periods, a deterioration in and / or auditors’ qualifications in the accounts. These can be monitored for free at Companies House;

n New or additional security being registered to secure alternative funders or lenders of last resort, and sudden unexpected resignations of and / or changes in directors. Again, these can be monitored for free at Companies House. Significant changes in management, losses of staff and communication silence are indicative of potential problems;

n Regular County Court Judgments or pending winding up proceedings. These can be flagged up via credit monitoring services; and

n Industry rumours or sector specific challenges. Maintain regular contact with key supply chain partners so you are alerted to and can assess the impact of issues early. Don’t undervalue the power of knowledge.

If you are concerned about a customer or supplier, early action is key and should / might include:

1 Check your contractual arrangements. Can you use them to mitigate your risk (e.g. cease supply or credit, withhold payment on account of potential damages claims, exercise retention of title rights or liens, trigger insolvency protection clauses, call on guarantees)?

2 Understand your obligations, and remember that if you supply an ‘essential service’ (including certain IT services) you may be legally obliged to continue supply if a customer goes into administration or liquidation regardless of the termination clauses in your contract – early assessment and action is key

3 Consider taking an inventory (or possession) of any retention of title stock held by the customer and take early action to recover overdue invoices. Reminding the directors of counterparties of their duties and potential personal liability for breach of them, coupled with the threat of enforcement action, all help apply pressure for payment.

4 If you decide, or need to, continue the relationship, consider renegotiating the terms to ensure you are protected, ensuring pricing reflects risk, requiring payment on account, third party guarantees or taking security. Would an assignment of debts down chain, or trust arrangements for funds flowing through the chain (if viable), protect your position? Also consider insisting on the provision of financial information by the counterparty to allow you to assess your exposure.

Supply chains are ever more complex and managing them is often a near full time task. The above is only a snapshot, and more tailored advice would help properly mitigate and manage risks. The expert team here at DMH Stallard are able to assist.

Frank Bouette is a Partner at DMH Stallard and is recognised as an expert in restructuring and insolvency law, who provides decisive practical solutions.

For further information on how to mitigate supply chain risk contact

❛❛ If you are concerned about a customer or supplier, early action is key ❜❜


We pride ourselves on our ability to provide independent, sophisticated and bespoke financial advice.
Street, Esher,
46 High
Surrey, KT10 9QY 01372 471550

As if the global environment didn’t have enough on its plate with climate change, the UK’s rivers, beaches and waterways are under a deluge of untreated, and potentially fatal, raw sewage.



During the two years of 2021 and 2022, the privatised water companies discharged raw sewage in to the UK’s rivers and beaches for a combined total of 4.4 million hours. That’s the equivalent of one outfall pipe discharging constantly since the year 1772.

This figure derives from all water pumping outlets which have a monitoring system. Hundreds out of the 15,000 outlets have no monitoring system, including along the Suffolk Coast, so that figure is likely to be significantly higher.

As a result of these discharges, harmful bacteria enter the delicate eco-systems of Britain’s rivers, streams and chalk streams, disrupting or destroying the natural balance with in the water courses. On the beaches, these bacteria will be present when families, swimmers and holidaymakers go for a swim within a certain radius of the outfall pipe, leading to a high risk of catching harmful and potentially fatal diseases.

Under UK law, the water companies are allowed to discharge a limited amount of raw sewage into the environment in ‘exceptional circumstances’ to avoid a back up of rainwater re-entering the water supply system. The definition of ‘extreme circumstances’ has, in recent years, been corrupted to such an extent by the water companies that what they

have been doing is illegal. On a grand and revolting scale.

The release of raw sewage fell in 2022 compared to the previous year, though many are pointing at the lower than average rainfall (90% of the historical average) the UK had during the year. Now, all water companies will need to monitor their discharges, and present the data in real-time. This is a government instruction which must be in place across the entire industry by the end of 2023.

The claim made by companies that they must discharge has merit when, for instance, after a heavy rainstorm, where unusually high amounts of rainfall in a short space of time, causes the underinvested (more of that presently) sewage system to be over-run. Indeed, it is perfectly legal for them to do so.

However, that claim doesn’t hold water – literally and figuratively – for what has really been going on. They have been discharging at time of low rain, at times of official drought; Southern Water discharged during Summer 2020 after seven weeks of no rain in Sussex.



Like it or not, there is a huge political angle to this. When it was revealed in reports during the 1980s that Britain’s network of sewage infrastructure needed billions of pounds of maintenance, the Government claimed it could not afford to carry it out, and so privatised the water industry, with promises of bonuses management and shareholders for efficient work.

Unfortunately, like much of the legislation surrounding the privatisation programme of the nationalised utilities of the 1980s and 1990s, shareholders

were put at the front of the queue for finance and resources, ahead of services and appropriate work. Therefore, the law is stacked in favour of the privatised corporations.


Becca Horn is the founder and co-ordinator of the Hasting & St Leonards Clean Water Action Group, founded in July 2021, and with over 200 participants.

Her group’s story is not untypical of many around the coast of Britain. Their group monitors, as best it can given limited resources, the pollution emanating from the myriad outfall pipes along the six-mile stretch of coast from Bexhill, east to Hastings.

The outfall pipes are a range of on-beach pipes, all have been polluting and the biggest offender,

So what’s happening is nothing new. A leaked report from 2022 found that the Environment Agency knew at least as far back as 2012 that the water companies were illegally dumping raw sewage in to the waterways. Here we get to the nub of the matter.

There is a clear ‘light touch’ approach’ from the Government departments and official watchdog ‘Ofwat’ regarding compliance. The findings from the 2012 report shows that self-regulation was preferable, as the same time as thousands of jobs were cut from monitoring, staffing and regulation.

In short, the Environment Agency, a non-departmental government body within the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), knew of the illegal discharges, had several opportunities to do something about it, and chose not to.

When Defra finally prosecuted the water companies for consistent illegal discharges, the total fines since 2015

the appropriately-named Bexhill & Hastings No.2 – which discharges 5km offshore.

Alarmingly, not only did Southern Water not tell people they were discharging raw sewage, they do not know how bad the pollution is, given that they themselves undertake no monitoring.

Additionally, no monitoring is taken to ascertain the health implications for those who have unknowingly swum in infected seas. There are many reports, says Becca, of people suffering from ear infections, stomach bugs and other unpleasant

❛❛ Will the Minister force water companies to invest those profits into urgently upgrading the outdated stage infrastructure? People are so angry when water companies are swimming in cash while the rest of us are swimming in sewage ❜❜
Caroline Lucas MP, Hansard

have come to £141 million – and most of those were from one prosecution, landing Southern Water a £90 million fine. This means it’s actually cheaper for the water companies to pay the fines than to repair the sewage systems.

It is effectively, little more than a fee they are prepared to pay in comparison to any legal obligations they may face. In November 2022, the government announced its intention to ring-fence the proceeds of all fines back into paying towards environmental improvements.

However, the government is also ordering the companies to invest £56 billion to carry out the work they were supposed to do 30 years ago. Even at the fastest working rate, this project will take over 25 years – the year 2048 – to complete, and costs will almost certainly rise hugely in that time.

Campaigners are launching a judicial review against the government plans, claiming that the projects lack immediacy, and don’t cover the problematic outfall pipes currently discharging into the rivers and seas.

You can see why, to the water industry collectively, a £141 million fine looks so appetising in the face of a £56 billion compulsory repair bill. For their part, the water companies are warning that if they are obliged to carry out this work at their own expense, water bills will rise sharply. This will not sit well with anyone. side effects as a result of partaking in what is supposed to be a healthy leisure activity.

Meanwhile, there is a Victorian sewage pipe that has collapsed

Clean water campaigner, and former musician, Feargal Sharkey

Since privatisation in 1989, water companies have handed out an eye-watering £72 billion in bonuses and dividends, mostly at the expense of the repair work and investment. They were given government assistance, and they blew it. Collectively, the water companies in England made £2.8 billion profit in 2021, in the face of record water and sewage pipe leakages, yet are £56.2 billion in debt.


Meanwhile, the water companies are pointing the finger at the farming industry which does indeed have its part to play in keeping the water supply clean. New rules were brought in by the Government in 2018 regarding the treatment of waste water. However, these rules have remained completely unenforced.

for the third time in 30 years in St Leonard’s which this time allowed raw effluence directly into the streets and into people’s homes. Southern Water has finally agreed to repair the pipe, albeit with no agreed timescale.

Businesses in Hastings – and indeed, every business located in a seaside resort or coastal city – are concerned about the effect the systemic polluting will have on tourism, and therefore trade. The water companies are not obliged to offer compensation, and at present, they have little incentive to stop.

A total of 391 breaches were identified during the financial year ending March 31st 2022, up from 106 breaches officially recorded in the previous year, according to data obtained by the investigative journalism organisation Point Source.

Since the rules were introduced, the Environment Agency has not issued any fines nor prosecuted anyone under the legislation. The increasing number of documented offences and the absence of a credible threat of enforcement of the law demonstrates a clear failure by the government to protect the country’s most fragile ecosystems, according to conservation organisations.

❛❛ The Government’s strategy is nothing more than a sewage policy developed by sixth formers and delivered by overly paid five year-olds ❜❜


On a human level, the UK’s water users are as likely to become ill from seawater as they were in the 1990s, with conditions ranging from sore throats and upset stomachs to serious illnesses like gastroenteritis, hepatitis and E. coli. According to the European Centre for Environment and

Human Health, people who swim in UK waters regularly are three times more likely to have antibiotic-resistant E. coli in their guts.

Every single river In England and Wales is now affected by the polluted discharges; none are free of problems, and only 14% meet ‘good’ ecological status. The delicate eco-systems, fragile in the first place, are being torn asunder, with ecology experts naming the worst affected rivers as ‘dead’.

The Environmental Audit Committee wrote in January 2022, “The build-up of high levels of nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, from sewage and animal waste, is choking


In the end, it has now come down to The Times newspaper, which recently launched its ‘Clean It Up’ campaign, calling for faster investment and tougher regulations and punishment to repeat offenders. Additionally, comedian Paul Whitehouse and former Undertones frontman Feargal Sharkey are spearheading the campaign against the ongoing behaviour.

This time, as environmental protests go, this one has some traction with the general public who, for the most part, only look upon the water companies’ greed as the prime reason for the pollution.

For its part, the Government is seeking to bring in new legislation which may or may not resolve the problem. The perverse aspect of this is that the appropriate legislation already exists, and has done so for decades, and yet the appropriate agencies don’t seek to use the judicial routes.

Former Environment Secretary, Ranil Jayawardena, announced in October that Defra would raise the levy against water companies for pollution, from £250,000 to £250 million. However, current Secretary of State for Defra –a Government department which

could and should be doing so much more – Therese Coffey has abandoned those plans, citing that they were ‘disproportionate’.

One wonders how fast the water companies would act if the individual CEOs and company Chairs were to be held financially and legally accountable…?

rivers with algal blooms that reduce oxygen levels, suffocating fish, plants and invertebrates.

Along with the stresses of plastic and synthetic chemical pollution and climate change, this is creating multiple pressures undermining the health and resilience of freshwater ecosystems. As a result of pollution in our rivers, freshwater species such as salmon are at risk.”

At every turn, the public, wildlife, and the environment have been ignored. The principal raison d’être behind water privatisation – that the private sector paid for the repairs to the UK water supply and drainage system, with all its appropriate rewards – was little more than an outfall pipe dream, and has long been flushed away. 36 BIG STORY
❛❛ The heads of both leading watchdogs for the water industry were grilled in Parliament recently by MPs. Ofwat came across as technocratic and slow-paced, while the Environment Agency appeared more concerned with heavy fines for the sector than improving outcomes for customers ❜❜
Nicholas Earl, City AM



the combined debt of the UK water companies

18.1% increase in dividend payout to water company shareholders from 2020 to 2021

2,700,000 number of hours during 2021 the UK water companies discharged raw sewage into the environment.


combined revenue of UK water companies in 2022


the amount Anglian Water was fined in January 2023 for an illegal discharge which killed 5,000 fish


number of MPs who, in January 2023, voted in favour of allowing water companies to continue dumping raw sewage into the UK seas and rivers until at least 2038


the amount of water lost in the system the utility companies can’t account for – aka ‘LEAKAGE’

water lost

£96,300,000 Anglian Water profits in the year to March 2022


Anglian Water dividends paid out for the year to March 2022

99.95% cleanliness rating of UK drinking water


the amount of rainwater the Southern Water CEO claimed is in the raw sewage


number of water companies’ CEOs willing to drink that water upon being challenged


number of rivers rated as high as ‘GOOD’ by the Environment Agency, 2021


number of UK rivers affected to a greater of lesser degree by illegal sewage dumping


(one trillion)

the number of litres lost in the UK water system every year


It can be lonely at the top as head of any business. As a leader, your colleagues will look to you for reassurance and strong decision making, and although you may have all the answers, you can’t always easily show it.


That’s where three entrepreneurs –Richard Brinkworth of Leap Environmental, Richard Pollins of DMH Stallard and Simon Pringle of Red River – found themselves ten years ago, when they met at a business workshop set up to coach business leaders. However, they quickly realised that the traditional format of paid-for support and training wasn’t going to give them what they really needed.

“Instead, the two Richards and I went for coffee and began to talk about the stresses and strains of business, and quickly realised we could gain a lot by doing this on a regular basis,” Simon Pringle CEO of software company Red River, explains.

“Suddenly, we were in a group where we were actively supported and we became comfortable about sharing information early on. We trusted and respected each other, and it isn’t an echo chamber, we don’t just get a group of yes people. Instead, we get challenged, or can offer advice from our own experiences.”

Over the last ten years, the three has grown to 12 business leaders, all meeting on a regular basis as The Business Growth Group, the importance of which cannot be underestimated.

Simon says: “The power of 12 means we have many a trusted ear on our side, with many heads solving problems, which is far better than doing it all by ourselves.”

Some of the most successful businesses in the South East have come through The Business Growth Group, each bringing their own challenges in a strictly confidential forum. The Business Growth Group is not another networking group. It’s not facilitated. There’s no mediation. And it’s not a sales forum. Instead, there is a circle of trust and respect with all the members committed to improving their businesses.

❛❛ Some of the most successful businesses in the South East have come through The Business Growth Group ❜❜

“Trust is a huge thing for all of us,” Richard Brinkworth, Director of Leap Environmental, says. “Sometimes we can bring highly confidential issues to the group, so we have to know that what we say won’t go elsewhere – and it doesn’t.”

Richard Pollins, Managing Partner of DMH Stallard, agrees: “As entrepreneurs, we can be independently minded and outspoken sometimes, but our feedback in the group is always collegiate; we’re all supportive of each other.”

This is one of the pillars the group excels in, as well as trust, there’s the ongoing support at the monthly meetings as well as in between meetings with regular messaging between the group members. And that’s not all.

“My firm has added £18m to its turnover since we began the group,” Richard Pollins states.“I’ve tripled mine,” Simon adds.

“Our sales quadrupled and we’ve now sold the business to a global

consultancy,” says Richard Brinkworth. ‘It just goes to show what we’ve all been managing this last decade and why we’ve needed this space to just be ourselves, and to bring ideas to a group of peers who’ll give you proper unfiltered feedback.”

This support has meant the group, comprising of 12 members across 12 industries has racked up dozens of awards and sporting achievements since it started, with each business leader bringing their own different experiences.

“This is not an elitist group,” explains Simon. “It’s a group of people with a common goal that have very different businesses, but all willing to feel comfortable challenging each other and being challenged.”

Richard Pollins agrees. “It’s authentic but constructive. When we all get together, we try to focus on the person who needs the most help that month. We all have a passion for business, come from different backgrounds and work in different sectors. But there are some unifying principles around the way we run all of our businesses, and how they each can improve.”

Richard Brinkworth adds: “It’s very therapeutic, and more focused on what an individual needs than a networking club. We support each other on a journey and that can be really exciting as we enjoy each other’s successes as much as our own.”

The Business Growth Group is becoming a social enterprise and is expanding. Contact Simon Pringle by emailing if you’re interested in your business becoming a part of it.

❛❛ This is not an elitist group. It’s a group of people with a common goal that have very different businesses… ❜❜
The founding members of The Business Growth Group, Richard Brinkworth, Director of Leap Environmental; Richard Pollins, Managing Partner of DMH Stallard and Simon Pringle, CEO of Red River

SOUTHAMPTON SCIENCE PARK celebrates 40 years of innovation

The early 1980s – it was an exciting time technology-wise. Shuttles found their way to space for the first time, while down on planet earth, MTV, CD players, personal computers and camcorders began to find their way into our homes and hearts.

And, in a little leafy corner of Hampshire, the idea of a home for science and technology companies on the South Coast became a reality.

Southampton Science Park, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2023, has been integral to putting the region on the UK’s innovation map ever since.

The University of Southampton Science Park offers a wide range of quality commercial offices, laboratories, meeting and conferencing facilities across 75 acres. The employees of its 100 resident businesses benefit from coffee shops, early-years childcare, a gym, plenty of healthy open space and an historic conservation area to enjoy.

And its location in Chilworth couldn’t be more convenient: just minutes away from the vibrant coastal scene and the New Forest and South Downs National Parks for employee wellbeing, and with superb commercial connectivity to London, the rest of the UK and Europe via the local ports, airport, motorways and rail networks.


There’s no doubt that this Science Park is a prestigious environment from which to do business, but that’s not what sets it apart from other commercial property, as Chief Executive, Dr Robin Chave explains.

“Southampton Science Park has never been about just giving businesses a physical base from which to operate A big part of what we do here is to foster the growth of innovative

technology businesses and the wider regional economy. We welcome entrepreneurial people with great ideas and businesses at all stages, and work with them in a number of ways to give them every opportunity to compete on the world stage.

“We do this through retaining close links to the research-intensive University of Southampton – a global top 100 university and founder member of the celebrated Russell Group – and its graduate talent pool. This close connection provides a logical location for the commercialisation of research and spin-outs from the University. We also run multiple business support schemes and encourage knowledgeshare via our varied business and social events programme. Last but not least, we operate a flexible approach to our property strategy which reflects the specific needs of technology companies.”

❛❛ We welcome entrepreneurial people and businesses at all stages and give them every opportunity to compete on the world stage ❜❜

Business support is a core component of the Park’s – and therefore its resident businesses’ – success. Focused on connecting business founders with mentors, advisors and investors, schemes range from one-to-one growth clinics and informal CEO breakfasts to structured coaching programmes like its business accelerator, Catalyst.

Launched over ten years ago, Catalyst has so far worked with 83 companies, helping them to secure over £48m in early-stage funding and creating over 230 jobs. The Science Park is also home to the globally renowned business incubator, SETsquared, which offers bespoke support for growing member businesses alongside physical space in an Incubation Centre.

It’s an approach that clearly works. The Science Park delivers an estimated £350m in gross value added to the local economy and, despite shifts towards hybrid working practices, occupancy levels remained consistent throughout the pandemic and are at the highest level for a decade.

Recently, it has been recognised as a regional ‘Jewel in the Crown’, with the Local Enterprise Partnership noting that it is an ‘outstanding asset that plays a significant role in contributing to the economy and wellbeing of communities and offers a unique array of benefits to the wider region, making it a vibrant place to live, work and invest’.


In its 40th year, Southampton Science Park will not be resting on its laurels as it continues to invest in ensuring that its provision responds to evolving commercial and environmental needs.

In 2023, it will unveil a new Engineering Centre, an exciting bespoke development which will provide high quality workshops and offices and accommodate a new Future Towns Innovation Hub, an industry-academic Centre of Excellence to help make our towns happier, healthier, and cleaner places to live. Work conducted in this Hub will address the important challenges of energy-efficient housing, water conservation, sustainable transport, carbon neutral waste management and recycling, and improving health outcomes.

Chave is highly enthusiastic about this prospect. “We are uniquely positioned to host this new facility and delighted to be at the forefront of this exciting initiative. I’m absolutely confident that the positive societal impacts arising from the work conducted in this new centre will resonate significantly beyond our region’s boundaries and for generations to come,” he says.

With sustainable development at the forefront of future planning, the Science Park is also working to minimise its environmental impacts and reach net zero carbon for scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2030.

This work includes investing in solar power, higher grade insulation and LED lighting. It hopes to take resident employees on this journey too, with a number of initiatives designed to encourage alternative commuting practices including a Science Park bus service, car share scheme, bookable on-demand hybrid vehicles and a rollout of EV charge points.

Meanwhile, across the Science Park site today, there are companies working on solving the critical conundrums of our time.

AI-powered health monitoring, gas network optimisation, nanoclay orthopaedic treatment, solar power expansion, listener-adaptive 3D audio experiences, mission-critical software, speciality optical fibres, offshore energy, drug discovery, spacecraft propulsion, digital signage, air cargo drones. All this and more is happening at Southampton Science Park today.

The early 2020s. It’s an exciting time technology-wise.

The University of Southampton Science Park,

Chilworth Southampton SO16 7NP

T: 023 8212 6580


Southampton Science Park was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Kent in 1986
❛❛ The Science Park delivers an estimated £350m in gross value added to the local economy ❜❜

Let’s Do Business highlights the work of a business network, aimed at promoting Sussex’s natural heritage


Business network ‘Our South Downs’, led by the South Downs National Park Authority, has already welcomed over 140 business members, working together to tackle climate change, shorten supply chains, protect our landscape, and work towards a net zero and sustainable future.

There are currently just under 8,000 businesses in the National Park, with tens of thousands more in surrounding towns and cities across East and West Sussex and Hampshire. With 19 million visitors a year, and being the largest National Park for commercial income generation, the South Downs region already contributes around £5.8bn to the UK economy.

Many businesses are taking active steps to reduce their environmental impact and help protect and enhance this trea -

sured landscape. This includes reducing their carbon footprint, using sustainable materials, and investing in renewable energy sources. Additionally, some businesses are also supporting local conservation projects that help to preserve the area’s unique flora and fauna.

By working together, businesses can ensure the South Downs National Park remains an important part of England’s natural heritage for generations to come.

The ‘Our South Downs’ business network brings together these businesses and provides the means for them to connect, share products and services and join forces in their quest for sustainability.

It also provides them access to a monthly newsletter with the resources, knowledge, and support they need to achieve net zero.

Membership to the network is FREE and includes multiple benefits, such as:

n The opportunity to join an internationally-recognised “Green South Downs” certification scheme that champions sustainability. The National Park is partnering with Green Tourism, which helps businesses adopt greener ways to operate, such as reducing single-use plastics, reducing carbon footprint, making it easy for employees to recycle and creating a green outdoor space to boost biodiversity. This will be open to both tourism and non-tourism businesses.

n FREE business mentoring session from the Association of Business Mentors.

n Members can access a free downloadable toolkit of business resources provided by Sussex Innovation Centre.

n A regularly-updated online portal with information for businesses to help with planning, tourism and land-based schemes, as well as search for and connect with other like-minded businesses.

n Advice and support around maximising energy efficiency and creating stronger supply chains.

n Information on new funding opportunities when they become available.

n Discounted venue hire at sites run by the National Park Authority.

Fulking Escarpment © Sam Moore

Nick Heasman, Countryside and Policy Manager, who leads Our South Downs, comments, “Businesses have had an incredibly challenging time over the past two years, but one of the positives has been a greater desire to collaborate and work together.

“Sustainability is higher on the agenda than ever before for business leaders, and we hope this new initiative will help organisations work towards a greener, more prosperous future and really strengthen their environmental credentials. We’ve also seen a real shift towards ‘buy local’ and more customers are looking at the range of products and services on their doorstep, particularly in the tourism and food and drink sector.

“We know so many businesses are passionate about the National Park, and Our South Downs brings all the information, resources and green innovation together in one place and we hope it will help strengthen the local economy over the coming years.

“Ultimately, we want to provide new opportunities for businesses to thrive and also help our precious environment at the same time.”

Businesses that have joined are already reaping the rewards on their sustainability journey.

Stella Gurney, of Woodfire Camping, which provides gastro campsites in the

National Park, says, “Our South Downs is a brilliant organisation. It makes so much sense to have a joined-up approach to supply chains, waste management and so on as we all try to achieve net zero, as well as to project this collaborative culture across the South Downs National Park to its residents and its many visitors.

“A clear, cohesive identity and voice makes so much more sense than all trying to make ourselves heard individually, drowning ourselves out in the process. Maybe we should have a South Downs anthem!”

The network has also produced six stylish ‘Meet the Business Videos’ to showcase some of the fantastic businesses in Our South Downs. The films reveal what they do, their relationship to the National Park and their journey to sustainability.

The value of economic enterprise in the National Park is immense. Businesses provide jobs for more than 54,000 people and private businesses own or manage 70% of the landscape in the National Park. There are over 800 visitor-based businesses, including around 340 food and drink businesses, plus well over 1,000 land-based businesses in a variety of sectors.

45 BUSINESS To find out more about Our South Downs and how to join visit You can also email or call 01730 814810.
❛❛ By working together, businesses can ensure the South Downs National Park remains an important part of England’s natural heritage ❜❜
Cattle grazing in Cuckmere Valley South Downs National Park © Guy Edwardes

Making the transition into management or a position of responsibility for the first time isn’t always easy. Dominic and Laura Ashley-Timms of performance consultants Notion may be able to help


Rarely are we formally taught how to behave differently when we’re promoted to a management position, although our responsibilities may be larger and the decisions that we have to make are more impactful. Most of us find that we’re on a steep learning curve as we begin to adjust to our new role, and our style tends to rely still on our experiences and lessons learnt from those who have managed us.

To begin to address changing our behaviour, we need to recognise how we typically respond in different situations.If people come to us with problems, and we continually solve them, guess what? They’ll keep bringing us more problems. However, if we start to gently, subliminally indicate to the other person that we believe they have it within them to answer those questions themselves, and can help them to take action to resolve the

issue, not only does it build their confidence, but they quickly begin to change their behaviour too.

Through a process of exploration, we can start to review different circumstances and begin to see ourselves engaging with our direct reports in a different way from our typical commandand-tell response.

These were the behavioural concepts that needed to form the first part of the STAR® model.

We recognised that managers needed to stop. They needed to think. Instead of responding immediately by directing people, and recycling their previous knowledge, their ingrained behaviour needed to change in a way that might invite new and possibly better answers. It shouldn’t rely on the overstressed

manager simply taking on the work themselves. They needed a technique for sincerely enlisting the help and perspective of the people who were coming to them for answers. It had to happen in the moment, and it had to happen seamlessly in the course of realtime conversations.

And the best way for managers to accomplish all of this was by pausing to reflect on what a better outcome could be from the situation with the other person and then asking simple, provocative questions. By deftly prompting their colleague to explore the situation and possible solutions themselves, managers could help them to define the next steps that they could take.

The answer, it turns out for most circumstances, is actually a question.

The STAR® model is a simple four-step model for adopting an Operational Coaching™ style of management:

n STOP – step back and change state

n THINK – is this a coachable moment?

n ASK – powerful questions and actively listen

n RESULT – agree on next steps and an outcome from the conversation

❛❛ While this on-the-fly coaching takes just a few moments, the effects can be profound ❜❜

Instead of changing the behaviour of the person we’re coaching, all four steps of the STAR® model focus on changing our behaviour as managers by training us to Stop, Think, Ask, and get a commitment to the Result. The STAR® model allows us to tune in to the conversations and situations we encounter every day and use naturally formulated questions to stimulate others to think in different ways, determine new actions and then carry them out.

While this on-the-fly coaching takes just a few moments, the effects can be profound: better solutions emerge, our colleagues are invested in carrying out the actions they’ve committed to and we’ve saved valuable time that we can now use to plan, manage and coach even more people.

The STAR® model is already being used with outstanding results by managers and leaders at every level in over 40 countries including FTSE and Fortune 500 companies like National Express, Mitchells & Butlers, Sainsbury’s, BT, Jewson and Hitachi. The impact of the STAR® model caught

the attention of the UK government who commissioned a large-scale study, designed and independently evaluated by London School of Economics. The study measured the impact of leaders and managers from 62 organisations across 14 sectors learning to apply the STAR® model in their day-to-day interactions over a period of six months.

The outcomes were remarkable, with those who followed the programme spending 70% more time using an Operational Coaching™ style of management leading to higher levels of organisational recruitment, improved staff retention and increased skill levels across nine management competencies. These included communication skills and handling challenging conversations and a 74 times average learner return on investment.

Dominic and Laura Ashley-Timms are the co-creators of the STAR® Manager programme, co-founders of performance improvement consultancy Notion, and co-authors of The Answer Is A Question, published by TSO and available in paperback, priced at £19.99.

The book has been shortlisted for a Business Book Award 2023.

❛❛ We recognised that managers needed to stop. They needed to think ❜❜

With almost a third of UK employees taking time off work due to toxic workplace culture, what can you do as a business to protect your employees and provide a supportive and flourishing environment?


A recent report carried out by software developer, ‘Culture Shift’, has found that two in five employees across the UK have experienced problematic behaviour, such as bullying, harassment or discrimination at work. 42% reported a ‘toxic workplace culture’ has impacted their mental health, and 61% of those affected have taken long-term leave or left their roles permanently.

The report found that since the Covid pandemic started in March 2020, employees are less willing to put up with negative environments and are more aware of what is truly important to them in terms of a strong culture of trust and respect. “There are just simply fewer employees who are willing to put up with negative cultures, problematic behaviour and the subsequent impact on their mental health.” says Gemma McCall, chief executive of Culture Shift.

With the cost of recruiting a new member of staff believed to be at least £25,000, it is essential that employers do all they can to avoid a problematic or hostile working environment in order to retain, engage and motivate their staff.

The damage caused by allowing a toxic culture to develop can be very costly to repair. Scottish brewer BrewDog carried out an extensive culture review, following claims from their workers that they were ‘burnt out, afraid and

miserable’. The company has also spent £9m investing in employees, improving salary and benefits and bolstering HR resources to combat the controversy embroiling the business.

Allegations of mistreatment are not confined to the business world, and in 2020 issues were highlighted within British Gymnastics regarding the welfare of gymnasts, the ineffective handling of safeguarding concerns and complaints and gymnasts feeling unable to raise issues with the appropriate authorities. A report has been carried out to address issues which have emerged in recent months.

The public sector has also come under intense scrutiny. The NHS is Europe’s largest employer, and in 2018 the Independent published an article highlighting that the toxic culture within the NHS is costing the public billions. The stress caused to NHS workers by the pandemic has exacerbated the problematic behaviours and in their ‘Paying the Price’ report, Culture Shift

identified that 49% of healthcare employees who have experienced bullying, harassment, discrimination or sexual misconduct are looking to leave their jobs as soon as they can’t find something better. With staffing issues already dominating the problems faced by the NHS, this paints a very bleak picture.

So what can you do as an employer to safeguard your organisation against complaints of a toxic culture?


Employees need to know that there are a number of resources available to them, should they need to encouter problematic behaviours or a negative culture to their employers. It is not enough to rely on employees reporting issues to management, as studies show employees fear the repercussions of doing so, particularly where the issues are caused by their colleagues. Creating a policy or process which provides the option for anonymous reporting is a vital first step in encouraging employees to speak up, and not speak with their feet.



McDonald’s has signed a legal agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) committing to improving its policies and procedures, taking a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment and creating an anonymous survey their workers can complete to highlight the problems they face. This comes as a result of McDonald’s’ workers reporting a catalogue of complaints to the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union.

The problem facing McDonald’s is likely to have arisen, because of a structure, where workers are on zero hours contracts, rely on the goodwill of their managers to be given the hours they need to survive, when low pay is endemic and living hand to mouth is the norm.

Employers should re-visit the policies they have in place and ensure that these are available to all workers. Policies should set out clearly the approach the organisation takes to sexual harassment, bullying and hostile behaviours and that these constitute gross misconduct.

Policies should also clearly identify the options available to employees who are suffering the impact of these negative behaviours and how they can safely and confidentially report their concerns without fear of repercussions.


Managers and other employees in leadership roles should be given specific and targeted training on how to identify issues faced in the workplace, and to take steps to combat negative behaviours. Under the Equality Act 2010, an employer is legally responsible if an employee is discriminated against, harassed or victimised by another employee, and they also owe a duty of care under the contract of employment. Managers should be provided with guidance on how to conduct one-to-one meetings with their employees to help identify problems as they arise and encourage reporting of their concerns to someone higher up if they do not feel equipped to manage them alone, rather than turning a blind eye or taking ineffective steps to resolve issues.


A positive environment is proven to boost morale and relationships within a workplace, resulting in employees contributing more ideas, feeling encouraged and believing in the success of the company. Workers are no longer just looking to achieve the best rate of pay but a place to work which reflects the importance an employer places on its employees, a culture where employees feel recognised, encouraged and valued.

Good notice of shifts, flexible working hours and arrangements and paid breaks have all been identified as significant factors job seekers consider when identifying their next role.

In order for employers to attract the best candidates and retain their staff, they have to look beyond salary levels and consider what workers require to achieve a work life balance in which they can prosper and ultimately, bring the most value to the employer they work with.

❛❛ In 2018 the Independent published an article highlighting that the toxic culture within the NHS is costing the public billions ❜❜


When society is so connected by technology, it seems a contradiction to suggest that we are more disconnected than ever before. In reality, the communication gap between young professionals entering the workforce and their potential employers is proving difficult to traverse. To explore this problem, MDHUB’s managing director Fiona Shafer facilitated a peer learning session with experienced business owners and young professionals at the Futureproof our Youth Wildcard.

The panellists, Joe Mattelaer, Robyn Burgess and Millie Green brought a variety of experiences to the table. 25 year-old Robyn has worked in numerous jobs since she began working at 17, from starting out in an office to managing junior employees. At 23, Joe has already finished running his first business, a start-up

that bought, repaired and resold consumer electronics. Millie is a freelance writer and illustrator and manages MDHUB’s social media presence (as well as writing an article or two!) Their perspectives, while different, highlighted a handful of key problems for young workers.

One of the most prominent themes was money. Young professionals from all sectors and backgrounds are struggling to make ends meet. The panellists could all bring someone to mind who was having to move back in with their family to start their first job, or having to leave a job they loved because it simply didn’t pay enough. The economy has changed in the last 30 years to such an extent that many young people doubt that they will ever buy a house. With rent costs so high, a future away from the family home can seem very distant.

While some young professionals struggle for cash, business owners are seeing others make demands for raises, or have a lack of appreciation for the time and money invested in them. Worst of all, a trend in recruitment appears to be a hit-and-run approach to training – once trained, some new hires immediately cut ties and use their often-costly training elsewhere.

Another issue making the new generation’s transition into working life difficult is the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Millie felt strongly that the pandemic affected the physical and mental health of an entire generation. “I don’t think you can overestimate how significant the impact of [the pandemic] is.”

Robyn has also observed “social anxiety and workplace anxiety… [at] an extreme high.” She noticed that younger employees found communicating their needs and worries extremely difficult. From Robyn’s perspective, this is a direct impact of formative years spent isolated from their peers.

❛❛ New employees who have never been in an office environment are often not informed about office etiquette ❜❜

These barriers also affect business owners. New employees who have never been in an office environment are often not informed about office etiquette and miss the mark with their attitude and approach to problems in the workplace. If this is not nipped in the bud, it can become a stalemate. Both employer and worker are dissatisfied, but can’t work together to find a solution.

These issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Hiring and retaining good employees is trickier than ever before. With all this in mind, how can bridges be built between the generations to forge stronger businesses?

For Robyn, her preferred tool is “a book, where [young employees] don’t have to talk to a human.” Ask questions on paper, then read the answers and use them to start a discussion. This solution makes it far less intimidating to share opinions and worries, as workers won’t have to deal with the intensity of a one-on-one conversation unprepared.

Even though it can be nerve-wracking, for Joe, one-on-one time is the key to developing good workplace relationships.

Employers have to set aside time to talk not just to their senior and middle managers, but also to their junior employees. Setting a precedent for honest communication between manager and new starter establishes the expectation to be transparent in the workplace.

Another potential solution was the use of team days focussed on communication and conflict management. Providing employees at all levels with the tools for effective communication, as well as the language to express their opinions and worries, makes it easier for teams to be honest with one another.

Using roleplay to simulate common issues was one approach suggested by Robyn. “Within that roleplay, do switch roles. Get the younger person to be the more senior person and assess from there.” She suggested that switching up roles would be a great way to

encourage compassion between the different levels of employee. Fiona suggested that we all have preconceptions about the other people in our workplace at different stages in our careers. Understanding one another’s perspective in the workplace is key to managing and diffusing conflict.

Future-proofing your business is not an easy thing to do. Add in the Coronavirus pandemic and you’ve got a real challenge on your hands. The main take-away from the Wildcard was the necessity of compassion and communication: if you can listen to your junior employees, they might be more inclined to listen to you.

If you’re looking to really understand and get the very best from your relationships with your younger employees, MDHUB can help. We can provide mentoring, coaching and peer groups to help you work through this complex topic in relation to your business.

If you are interested in finding out more about the MDHUB, please visit

Email MDHUB Directors: Fiona Shafer: or Phil Green:

❛❛ Young professionals from all sectors and backgrounds are struggling to make ends meet ❜❜

As a family solicitor with over 20 years’ experience, it is a worrying fact that there continues to be a widespread acceptance of the myth that cohabiting couples are protected under the existence of a “common law marriage” which simply does not exist, says Emma van Bunnens of Mayo Wynne Baxter


Shakespeare Martineau, which is also part of the Ampa Group, shared the results of its findings having commissioned Censuswide to survey 504 people who were looking to buy their first or second home in the 12-month period January 2022 to January 2023. A huge 47% of those surveyed believed there to be such a thing as a Common Law spouse.


The choice of couples to live together prior to becoming married or entering into a civil partnership is increasingly popular. Unmarried couples do not share the same legal rights as those who are married or have entered into a civil partnership. Different legislation applies to cohabiting couples. Unfortunately, this frequently leaves separating cohabiting couples and families both legally and financially vulnerable. Cohabitees are treated in law very differently to couples seeking to divorce.

The issues of cohabitation come into effect when cohabiting couples decide to purchase a property together or, indeed, when one partner moves into a property owned by the other. It is important that when parties decide to purchase a property together, they have

a frank discussion as to how the property is to be owned and how any financial contributions to the property are to be protected. In circumstances where one party may have made a capital contribution, for example, to the purchase price, they need to discuss how the couple are to make financial contributions to the property going forward.


Of those surveyed, 41% believed that if one of them is paying the utility bills relating to the property, that they automatically obtain a share (an interest) in the property.

This is not the case. If the property is owned in the sole name of one party, the other will only obtain an interest in the property if they contribute to the mortgage payments or pay for work undertaken to the property which increases its value. However, the legislation that deals with such matters is based on land law and how a potential beneficial interest is acquired on the basis of a trust. This is difficult to prove and can lead to lengthy, stressful, and potentially costly court proceedings. This can be avoided. There is no automatic entitlement to a share in property where parties cohabit, no matter how long they may cohabit for.



When purchasing a property, your conveyancing solicitors will request confirmation from you as to how you wish to own the property. There are two ways of owning a property jointly.

The first option is to own the property as joint tenants. This means you own the property equally. As joint tenants, you will automatically inherit your cohabitee’s share of the property if they were to die, regardless of what their Will might say.

Alternatively, you can own a property as ‘tenants in common’. The property will still be jointly owned but can be owned either in equal or unequal shares. Your Wills would then state who you wish to inherit your share of the property. It is crucial, therefore, that you make Wills should you choose to purchase a property in this way.

When purchasing a property, it is important to fully understand how you wish to own the property. If, for example, one cohabitee is contributing to the deposit – e.g. from an inheritance; a gift from parents or maybe finances from a previous divorce settlement, it may well be that they wish to protect that money.

If the property was to be sold in the future or if the relationship were ever to break down and the property be either transferred to one or other of the owners or if it were to be sold, then by owning the property as ‘tenants in common’, the cohabitees could enter into a Declaration of Trust which would set out the parties’ respective shares. Therefore any financial contribution to the purchase of the property could be protected.


If a couple have decided to move in together and it has been agreed that one will move into a property solely owned by another, again it is vital that an agreement is reached as to ‘who pays what’.

It is important for the owner of the property to understand that if their partner contributes to the mortgage or house improvements, they could argue later that they have acquired what is known as a beneficial interest and therefore a share in the property.

To avoid any litigation or confusion later, the parties should consider entering into a legally binding Cohabitation Agreement setting out their financial arrangements. Whilst this may be an awkward conversation to have at the start, it can prevent many potential difficulties in years to come if the relationship breaks down.


Whether you intend to purchase a property jointly with your partner or plan to move into your partner’s property, it is crucial that you consider the financial arrangements of doing so to protect both parties. If purchasing a property, consider how the property is going to be owned and think about entering into a Declaration of Trust and a Cohabitation Agreement. If you are going to be moving into a partner’s property, you must consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement.

At Mayo Wynne Baxter, we can advise you in relation to the above and help you decide the best way to protect your money and property.
Emma van Bunnens
❛❛ To avoid any litigation or confusion later, the parties should consider entering into a legally binding Cohabitation Agreement ❜❜


Gatwick Diamond Business Awards 2023

The 2023 winners of the prestigious Gatwick Diamond Business Awards were announced on March 23rd to a packed audience at The Grand Brighton.

Now in their 15th year, the Awards are a well-established highlight of the business calendar and are strongly supported by the Gatwick Diamond business community with headline sponsors Elekta Ltd and Gatwick Airport Ltd.

Celebrating the achievements of individual businesses and business people across a wide range of categories, they also showcase the success of the Gatwick Diamond economic area as major driver of the regional and national economies.

This year’s ceremony was hosted by the charmingly straight-talking, quick-witted Kerry Godliman, one of the country’s best performers and both an incredibly talented comedian and a phenomenal actor.

The evening started with a Pre-Dinner Reception sponsored by Castle Corporate Finance and was roundedoff with the now highly anticipated After-Show Party.

The winners in each category are:





OF THE YEAR sponsored by Chichester College Group Greta Thornton (Reigate Manor) EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR sponsored by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council Ridgeview Wine Estate BUSINESS OF THE YEAR sponsored by Sussex Chamber Elekta Ltd EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR sponsored by Arora Group Sarah Lyons (Creative Pod) CULTURE AWARD sponsored by Control Energy Costs Ltd Ridgeview Wine Estate




PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FIRM OF THE YEAR sponsored by Crawley Borough Council


THE AWARD FOR COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION sponsored by Loch Associates Group



sponsored by Elekta Ltd Bakers Garden Buildings Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP AWARD sponsored by Rosemary French OBE Bakers Garden Buildings BUSINESS sponsored by University of Sussex Business School PRSNT Ltd Community Transport Sussex

For more, visit or follow @gdbizawards on Twitter

THE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE GATWICK DIAMOND supported by Gatwick Diamond Initiative Surinder Arora BUSINESS OF THE YEAR (UP TO £1M) sponsored by University of Sussex Kingsway Care THE AWARD FOR THE PLACE TO MEET sponsored by Sub-Cool FM Holiday Inn London Gatwick Worth BUSINESS OF THE YEAR (OVER £1M) sponsored by EMW Law LLP Denbies Wine Estate Ltd BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR sponsored by Richard Place Dobson Toni Chalk – Strive AV

Surrey Research Park is home to a pioneering company which sees great potential after a breakthrough in its new, non-invasive, heart screening equipment


According to the World Health Organisation, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. The most common heart condition in the UK is coronary heart disease, but the sad reality is that you might not know you are living with it until you have a heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure, and by then, it could be too late.

Detecting heart disease as early as possible is critical to saving lives, and this is why we need to harness and develop state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques. Leading the way in this field is the Virtual Cath Lab (VCL), based at Surrey Research Park in Guildford.

This medical imaging start-up, headed up by Dr Edward Leatham, a Consultant Cardiologist and Physician with over 25 years’ experience in medicine, specialises in the early diagnosis, investigation and treatment of patients with all forms of heart disease.

❛❛ The service utilises trailblazing CT heart scanning technology and software to digitally produce an exact 3D ‘virtual’ version of the heart in seconds ❜❜

Central to the organisation’s ethos is delivering an excellent patient experience. VCL, in partnership with its clinical host Surrey Cardiovascular Clinic (SCVC), operates as a highly efficient ‘one-stop shop’ offering a wide range of screening and consultation services, with appointments with any necessary diagnostic investigations that can be conveniently grouped into one consultation and visit.

Dr Leatham and the team are passionate about providing access to the latest heart scan technology to diagnose and prevent heart disease – potentially many years before symptoms would otherwise develop. In 2020, the company launched ‘Heartscan Direct.’ The service utilises trailblazing CT heart scanning technology and software to digitally produce an exact 3D ‘virtual’ version of the heart in seconds. It allows early detection and diagnosis of heart disease and other coronary issues and can save patients from undergoing invasive testing.

The independent clinic’s scanning capabilities are continually evolving. VCL’s latest innovation is a brand-new MRI facility, which opened in February this year. It is tackling the age-old problem of MRI scans being prohibited for patients with pacemakers due to safety concerns.


The powerful magnetic and radiofrequency fields generated during MRI imaging have been found to affect pacemakers, with malfunctions sometimes even resulting in patient mortality. Due to the risks involved, a ban was put in place by many MRI providers. But over time, this has created a backlog in the NHS, with many people waiting up to a year for scans or unable to get them at all.

VCL’s vision is to be the face of the solution to the NHS problem. It is offering a cutting-edge MRI service specifically for people who have got a pacemaker device, providing a safe environment with all of the best facilities, specialist cardiologists and technicians on hand to take proper care of patients with pacemakers. The first batch of patients

had scans earlier this month, and despite the snow and various technical issues on the day, the procedures went smoothly, with no cardiac arrests.

Now, VCL is encouraging other clinics to follow the lead and utilise the same model that it has developed. “We set out to create innovation that breaks down the formidable barriers to show the way for other clinical groups passionate about healthcare to join the expanding fleet of independent providers that this nation desperately needs to modernise healthcare,” explains Dr Leatham. “Our service delivery model has smashed all expectations, so we are hoping to see our service, tried and tested in the Surrey Research Park, being followed elsewhere.”

Dr Leatham says that the cooperation and support of Surrey Research Park has been paramount to the services that VCL and SCVC are providing. The Park itself, he explains, is the ideal environment to foster medical developments, which could drive innovation across the country.

So, what’s next? Dr Leatham hints towards the vast possibilities of machine learning and AI (Artificial Intelligence) that can be used to identify people at high risk of heart disease years before symptoms develop. This will be a real game changer for the medical industry and one that the Virtual Cath Lab, as a pioneering UK specialist, is perfectly positioned to be part of.

❛❛ Dr Leatham hints towards the vast possibilities of machine learning and AI that can be used to identify people at high risk of heart disease ❜❜

Humans who know how to use AI will replace humans who don’t, writes


I’ve never been one for writing essays, blogs or even reports. When tasked to write a summary on technology in education, I immediately decided to ask for help. Help can come in many forms. One could explore previous literature or articles on similar topics and possibly shift a few words around to claim as my own (isn’t that plagiarism?). I could even create a draft and check it through with colleagues, ensuring I have used the word count tool to meet my manager’s requirements.

But we now live in the 21st century where technology is developing so quickly. In fact, it is said that 85% of jobs for college and university leavers in 2030, haven’t been invented yet. So, I decided to get on the band wagon and delve into the world of artificial intelligence and the like. Hopefully he, she, it (whatever you can call it) will help me write this report.

When one thinks of AI, we might have Arnold Schwarzenegger as ‘The

Terminator,’ make its way into our conscience. The Hollywood fantasy of the world under threat from robots is an enjoyable piece of fiction. Is this where we are heading? Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and robots all seem to get mixed up into the same bag of computer processing. Yet the threat of a global takeover from robotics is very unlikely. Therefore, for the time being, we are not going to have to travel back in time and fight off T-800s. So, what exactly is Artificial Intelligence and how will it shape the way we work in education?

Recently, a colleague showed me a piece of coursework. It was a beautifully constructed concept design sheet for a new vacuum. It included scale, measurements, colour and descriptions of each design. It was something of which Sir James Dyson would have been proud. However, this wasn’t a person, this was created by Artificial Intelligence. It was a design that wasn’t plagiarised or modified from other artists; a uniquely original idea that could not be found anywhere else. As we discussed this fascinating discovery over a cup of coffee in the common room, there was a sense of unease and discomfit for the future of education and more specifically coursework.


One of the major concerns surrounding this submission was academic honesty. This is true and is something we need to treat with caution. Content checkers such as Turnitin can currently check for any copy and paste pieces of work, but with AI, it’s different. Yes, there are websites that can detect whether a piece of work has been created by AI. But these are not bullet proof.

Some universities are saying they will revoke degrees and qualifications, should forensics discover that AI has been used (even years down the line). Recently, Alleyn’s School in Dulwich has been insisting pupils complete in-depth research outside of lessons, instead of essays – a sort of flipped learning technique used in education.

But technology shouldn’t strike up fear so freely. After all, didn’t they say the calculator would end the process of mental arithmetic, or that the mobile phone would force us to no longer socialise and have a good chat? (Well,

that might be true.) The question is then, if technology can do these tasks and calculations in seconds – which would have taken students minutes – should we even be asking students to do these things at all?

As Director of Digital Innovation and Development and a Computer Science teacher, I am both invested in the use of technology via my teaching subject, but also in my busy daily administrative role. When I was introduced to Chat GPT last year, I was intrigued to see how this current free platform would develop. Chat GPT’s technology isn’t anything drastically revolutionary. Put simply, it can create new content, rather than simply analysing or acting on existing data. Backed by Tesla’s Elon Musk, since

2015 its investment has jumped from $12.75million to $93.5 billion in 2021. Something must be going well.

As there is no current paid subscription requirement, it has drawn much media attention. There are, of course, other forms of AI developing (Google’s LaMDA, CoPilot), which all have varying levels of success. The noise surrounding AI and particularly Chat GPT has led many schools to construct usage policies to ensure academic honesty and appropriate behaviour. We must be wary of this, and not fall into the trap of educators holding back students’ use of technology.

The digital divide and shortage of skilled computer scientists is rather concerning. There were more than two million UK job vacancies in tech last year, more than any other labour area. Additionally, nearly 12 million workers lack essential digital skills. Therefore, educating students in how to utilise technology inside/outside the classroom is vital.

I, for one, can see the benefits of using AI and other technologies in the classroom. As the SAMR model describes, it can redefine how students learn. It shouldn’t be a substitution with no functional change. Yes, we must be careful, but we must also be open and creative - and not so scared.

So, I have managed to write this short report through grit and determination, and for those that know me, will conclude that this was certainly something I couldn’t have done without help.

I will leave it up to your own professional judgment whether it was me writing this, or if I asked Artificial Intelligence…

Will Poole is Director of Digital Innovation and Development at Hurst College

❛❛ Some universities are saying they will revoke degrees and qualifications, should forensics discover that AI has been used ❜❜
Selling, buying or starting a business? Offices across Sussex Call us on 0800 84 94 101


Restructuring can be associated with businesses that are in trouble but actually, a regular review of your structure can help to protect your business and add flexibility that allows it to adapt with a changing market.

Your business’s structure is the foundation that allows you to reduce risk, gain granular control and evolve with an everchanging environment.


Business structure can influence various aspects of a company, including:

n Legal liability: depending on the business structure, owners can be personally liable for business debts and legal issues.

n Taxes: your structure can impact how a company is taxed, including the amount and type of taxes it pays.

n Management and decision-making: business structure can impact how decisions are made and who has the authority to make them. For example, in a sole proprietorship, the owner makes all the decisions, while in a corporation, that responsibility is shared across a board of directors.

n Raising capital: the structure of a business can impact its ability to raise funds from investors with some structures treated far more favourably than others.

n Perception: business structure can impact how customers, suppliers, and investors perceive it. A well-established corporation, for example, can be perceived as more stable and credible than a one man band.

There is no ‘one-size-fi ts-all’ approach when it comes to structure. It’s important to consider what the appropriate structure is for you based on how the above affect your goals for your business alongside your personal ambitions.


Business restructuring can involve a range of changes to a company’s structure, operations, and strategy, with the goal of improving its performance, profitability, and long-term viability. Your structure should be reviewed after any change within the business to ensure it is still fit for purpose.

Benefits of restructuring include:

n Increased efficiency: restructuring can help eliminate inefficiencies in the company’s operations, which can improve productivity and reduce costs. By streamlining operations and cutting costs, restructuring can improve a company’s financial performance and profitability.

n Refine your tax strategy: different business structures incur different taxes. Reviewing your structure alongside your tax strategy can reduce your liabilities, particularly when exiting.

n Better focus on core strengths: by refocusing the company’s strategy and resources on its core strengths, restructuring can help the company become more competitive and better positioned for growth.

n Enhanced agility: by making the company more adaptable to changing market conditions, restructuring can enhance its agility and ability to respond quickly to new opportunities and challenges.

Business restructuring can be a challenging process, but it can also offer significant benefits for companies looking to improve their performance and competitiveness in today’s ever changing business environment.

If you want to review your business structure, get in touch.

T: 020 8549 5137



Business finance provider, Let’s Do Business Finance, discusses the importance of support for new businesses, and shares its news that it will not only be continuing, but expanding its delivery of start-up loans as a business support provider of the British Business Bank


Starting up a business is a big step, and many budding entrepreneurs are nervous to take the step into business ownership, despite having solid business plans, over fears of not having enough capital to really get things off the ground. Reports suggest that starting a business costs £5,000 on average to launch, with a further £22,756 spent in the first year.

Between 500,000-700,000 new businesses are set up each year, yet many still remain unaware of the support available to them through business support organisations and business finance providers.

The Start Up Loans programme, which was created in 2012 by the British Business Bank, has just reached a significant milestone facilitating more than 100,000 loans worth more than £941 million to businesses throughout the UK.

A Start Up Loan is ideal for businesses who are just starting, or have been trading for up to three years. The loans of up to £25,000 can be borrowed over a maximum of five years, and are lent at a fixed interest rate with no application fees, set up fees or early redemption fees. Start Up Loan recipients can also benefit from 12 months of free business mentoring.

The scheme has played a vital part in helping new businesses to get off the ground, not from just a financial perspective, but also through its mentoring programme, giving business owners the knowledge and skills to continue to grow their business going forward.

❛❛ The Start-Up Loans scheme was hugely helpful to us way back when we were setting up our new business. The loan and grant coordinators expect to see a viable business plan, which led us to dedicate time to work on our figures and projections. This helped to educate us, and we were able to develop a strong plan for the future ❜❜


Let’s Do Business Finance has been delivering Start Up Loans as a partner of the British Business Bank for 11 years, helping thousands of new businesses to get started or progress, by providing loans of up to £25,000 to use for capital expenditure such as equipment, stock or marketing.

Approving a fantastic £4.7million in Start Up Loans in 2022, Let’s Do Business Finance is thrilled to be able to not only continue to support these businesses going forward but also announce it is expanding its existing area to now service clients in Sussex, Kent, Surrey, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, and Buckinghamshire.

Let’s Do Business Finance has been thrilled to be a part of so many new business journeys, supporting businesses such as FittaMamma, Half Man Half Burger, Jeavons Toffee, Ekkist, To The Rise Bakery, and RD1 Clothing with accessing vital finance to help their businesses thrive.

Let’s Do Business Finance has a reputation for its human approach to lending. It really takes the time to understand the business and the people behind it,

to help guide the client to the right loan for the business. It takes pride in its clients’ success, and acts as advocates for them, even supporting them to market themselves by creating cases studies that promote their business. Helping new businesses to achieve their goals, will always be at the heart of what Let’s Do Business Finance does; these are the large businesses of the future, so to provide the water that helps that seed grow is both a necessity and a privilege.

❛❛ The communication and support I got when I was applying for the loan was excellent. I had to get used to the process, as it was all new to me, but Emily was great and gave me a lot of help. I also got help looking over all the financials and forecasts, so I felt confident that I could make it work ❜❜

For a conversation on how we could help you, or for more information on Start Up Loans – visit

Let’s Do Business Finance is pleased to announce it is sponsoring ‘Best New Business’ at the female focused Dynamic Business Awards.

The ‘Best New Business’ category recognises a businesswoman with entrepreneurial aptitude, vision, ambition, drive and commercial acumen who has built a successful enterprise from start-up. They will be achieving great things and roaring ahead in the building of a future Company of the Year.

❛❛ Start up and early start businesses are a really important part of our business, with us helping up to 50 businesses, every month, find the funding they need to set up or grow their businesses. That’s why we are thrilled to be sponsoring the Best New Business category; I can’t wait to judge the entries and learn about all their amazing success stories ❜❜


Our focus is you

For business

We make it our business to know your business, working with you to add value and to deliver tailored legal services with energy and creativity whether you’re an established market leader or an ambitious start-up. For

Brighton Gatwick Guildford Horsham London
Your family’s security and wellbeing are your priority. And we have the legal skills and knowledge to support your plans and the challenges life brings. Outstanding legal advice for individuals, families and businesses. Our success depends on understanding your needs Please call or email to discuss how we can help you: 03333 231580


Whether you want to boost staff morale, give back to your local community, or enjoy a new perspective on a well-loved beauty spot, sign up to Castle Night Trek to enjoy a challenging, magical night trek through the grounds of Herstmonceux Castle on Saturday May 13th 2023.

Starting at sunset, participants will walk from day to night, refl ecting the 24-hour nature of the care Chestnut Tree House offers to local children with life-limiting conditions and their families.


Tiger-Lily is a sociable and fun-loving five-year-old who loves horse-riding, going to festivals and playing with friends. But when she was just six weeks old, Tiger-Lily had to be fi tted with a tracheostomy after doctors discovered she had Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS), which means she stops breathing as soon as she falls asleep. The condition is so rare that it’s thought to only affect 100 families in the UK. For Tiger-Lily’s mum and dad, Vicky and Ricky, Chestnut Tree House has been a vital source of support.

After Tiger-Lily’s diagnosis, she spent seven months in hospital, and when she was discharged Vicky and Ricky were left on their own with a baby who needed constant monitoring to keep her alive. “I was so fearful of everything that I didn’t leave the house for a month,” says Vicky. “That’s when I accepted help from Chestnut Tree House.

“Visits from the community team became a lifeline. I could step out the door knowing Tiger-Lily was safe and happy. I’ll never forget driving to town,

breathing in the air, and thinking - so this is what the world is like!

“Tiger-Lily also likes to stay at the hospice. There are loads of kids to play with and she enjoys smashing the drums in the music room, painting, and going on treasure hunts in the Woodland Walk. Seeing her so happy after the crazy journey we’ve been on is amazing. There’s no way we’d be where we are today without Chestnut Tree House.”

Last year, Vicky took part in the charity’s magical 10km Castle Night Trek in

the grounds of historic Herstmonceux Castle – and she enjoyed it so much, she’s planning to do so again this May. “I was walking with a friend who has also had experience of having a child in hospital and we absolutely loved it,” she says. “There was a real buzz and sense of achievement.

“There’s something very special about walking at dusk and there were lots of beautiful lights and things to see along the way. It means a great deal to me that people taking part in Castle Night Trek are raising money to help children like my Tiger-Lily.”

If you’d like to be a beacon in the darkness for children’s hospice care, sign up at

❛❛ I was walking with a friend who has also had experience of having a child in hospital and we absolutely loved it ❜❜

Hybrid work as a trend is here to stay, with a more empowered generation of employees appreciating the extra flexibility, free time and savings that regular work from home can offer.

Three years on from the start of the pandemic, how are businesses consolidating these two approaches to work –and are we only beginning to see the wider impact on society?

Making physical space in a virtual world

Ever since the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 accelerated the growth of virtual technology platforms, we have lived in a hybrid business landscape. This new capability has helped to make most businesses more flexible, but it has also brought new challenges and tensions. This can be from interpersonal team dynamics and workplace culture, to mentoring and management, emotional support and wellbeing, and recruitment.


So how important is ‘face time’ –spending time together in the real world? When it comes to developing an innovative and high-risk business model, it turns out that it’s quite valuable.

Peter Harrington, an Entrepreneur in Residence at London South Bank University and the London School of Economics, describes startup incubators as an energy ecosystem. “[The] incubator has natural appeal and attraction. Like gravity, a startup incubator draws in the lost and lonely atoms. As the atoms are drawn in, so the sum ‘mass’ and thus collective energy becomes greater than the individual parts.”

Harrington explains that the most effective incubators can efficiently generate

and transfer energy between their consultancy team, their resident startups and the wider business community. Unless personal relationships are continuously nurtured and driven by leaders and managers, trust is built more slowly, and many of the community’s problems and challenges are never brought to the surface. Useful information and training programmes certainly can be delivered virtually, but deeper coaching and mentoring relationships - which often provide the most impactful insights and skills in moments of need – are built on these more intimate and private conversations that happen one-on-one.

In a hybrid world, successful business incubators are adopting a blend of the two practices, using virtual technology to communicate fundamental concepts to their audience in group training, and organising short, regular check-ins with entrepreneurs to unearth and unpick their specific challenges.


Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, noted a rapid decrease in attention spans in her book Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity, published last year.

Mark has tracked attention spans among knowledge workers since 2004, as the number and prevalence of devices and digital distractions has increased exponentially in our work and home lives. In 2004, she found that workers switched between tasks every 150 seconds on average. By 2012, that interval had decreased to 75 seconds, and now it is just 47 seconds.

One of the biggest risks to our cognitive load (and thereby our attention) is when we fill our days with virtual meetings –the phenomenon of ‘Zoom fatigue’. During in-person meetings, we pick up on subtle non-verbal cues that can be more difficult to notice through a screen. This means that virtual meetings demand more active attention from us.

We also lose the natural attentional breaks that form in between back-toback meetings in the real world; the social chatter that happens on arrival or while fetching a tea or coffee. Virtual meetings require a clear agenda and structure, with a shorter scheduled time and inbuilt breaks to help attendees maintain focus.

❛❛ Hybrid work as a trend is here to stay ❜❜


When comparing physical and virtual appointments, it is important to distinguish between meetings that are purely administrative in nature, and those that are held for strategic, creative or problem-solving reasons.

While the structured approach may work well for any regular meetings that your team holds to share information or assign tasks, some types of work are much more reliant upon sharing physical space.

Research published by Melanie S Brucks and Jonathan Levav in Nature last year suggested that collaborative idea generation is hampered by virtual technology. In a laboratory study held across five

different countries, the researchers found that videoconferencing “prompts a narrower cognitive focus…[and] comes with a cognitive cost”. In other words, sharing a space is crucial for brainstorming, but less important for practical discussion.

This insight shows that for many SMEs, it is worth making time together in person at the beginning of unfamiliar projects, such as new product development or creative campaigns. As the project moves from this first phase (ideation and association) into the second (managing logistics and responsibilities), collaboration can start to be managed through checking in remotely and using productivity software to track actions and deliverables.


The past few years have shown that most of the modern workforce prefers flexible work, and in a tight labour market, the demand for hybrid jobs is not going anywhere. Ultimately, most SMEs need to be strategic about how they structure their time, ensuring that team members are working together face to face when it will most benefit the business. As always, trust and clear communication between employer and employee are the most important factors in finding the model that works best for you.

❛❛ One of the biggest risks to our cognitive load (and thereby our attention) is when we fill our days with virtual meetings ❜❜

£58,500 raised at The Rockinghorse Children’s Charity Glitter Ball

The Grand Brighton was the glamorous setting for the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity gala dinner last month

Three hundred guests arrived in The Empress Suite to be greeted by beautiful table decorations and a stunning projector display along the west wall, all aimed at reflecting the glittery theme.

This year’s ball was supported by headline sponsor The Agora Clinic with supporting sponsors Galloways, ILG, UnitedUs, Living Room Health, Creative Pod, Firmballs, Platinum Media Group, The Grand and Rubix VT. Their support of the event meant that every penny raised on the night can go to right to where it’s needed most.

Of her support for the charity, Dr Carol Gilling-Smith, CEO and Medical Director of The Agora said, “To us, every child is special, and so are their parents, which is why the Agora is so proud to support Rockinghorse give children the help they need when physical or emotional health issues become a challenge.”

Hosted by television presenter Marcella Whittingdale, a Rockinghorse ambassador, an incredible £58,500 was raised during the evening, all of which will be going to funding a new psychology service for children and families recovering from cancer.

Speaking at the Ball, Donna Holland, Chief Executive of Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, said: “I’m so proud of Rockinghorse’s ability to connect local people to ground-breaking and lifesaving local projects. Thanks to the incredible support of everyone at this year’s Rockinghorse Glitter Ball, we will be able to launch a brand-new cancer support service helping children and their families all over Sussex coping with the trauma and lasting effects that cancer treatment can bring. It means that families in Sussex have access to life-changing support on their doorstep. Thanks to our wonderful guests, brilliant sponsors and kind supporters, this year’s Glitter Ball will leave a lasting legacy for support for children and their families in Sussex.”

To find out more about Rockinghorse Children’s Charity and how you can help them support these mental health and wellbeing projects for children across Sussex, visit   Facebook  Twitter @Rockinghorse67  Instagram @rockinghorse67

(Above) Dr Anne Davidson, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Oncologist at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (Right) The Platinum table Rockinghorse CEO, Donna Holland The fabulous Rockinghorse volunteers
❛❛ An incredible £58,500 was raised during the evening, all of which will be going to funding a new psychology service for children and families recovering from cancer ❜❜
The Theatre Workshop The Theatre Workshop The EMC table Headline sponsor Carole Gilling-Smith, CEO of The Agora Clinic on the left, with host Marcella Whittingdale A top flight bicycle going under the hammer
FIND OUT MORE DISCOVER THE SUSSEX MBA Thinkers Challengers Innovators Leaders


In the UK, the sight of a pest control van outside a premises will make most people think there is problem or an emergency.

In the United States, the attitude is very different. People understand that preventive pest control is positive, extremely important and a necessity. So, if they see a pest control vehicle, it’s a good sign.

Having a pest prevention contract with a reputable and professional company is like having insurance, but better. With an agreed programme of visits, technicians will check in all the nooks and crannies and make sure there hasn’t been an ingress of pests since they were last on site.

Whether they have wings or crawl, pests are determined creatures and it only takes a loose tile or a crack in some mortar and there’s a chance you might get unwelcome visitors in between visits. With regular checks, the pests –or evidence of them – will be spotted, and the technician will alert the building manager so the building can be repaired and proofed if needed.

No establishment can ever be guaranteed pest free. Modern building features like stud partitioning, breeze blocks, false flooring and service voids often create the perfect harbourages for pests.

Rats go into property usually by mistake. Mice, on the other hand, want to be there

and will often have been there some time before you see them and the first signs will be their droppings. On average, a mouse will do 80 droppings a day.

Rats and mice are particularly good at sneaking into buildings and a mouse can get in through a gap the width of a pencil. The presence of rats around a premises poses an immediate risk of people contracting Leptospirosis. Left unchecked, an infestation will increase in size and extent and, once established, rats will explore their surroundings with enhanced confidence.


Normal pest control contracts for standard premises will include a minimum of eight inspections a year. Factories producing high-risk food or manufacturing pharmaceuticals will require more frequent visits. The inspections should include all of the areas where pests could harbour and reproduce undisturbed including:

n all common areas

n plant rooms

n basements

n riser cupboards

n car parks

n landscaped areas

Award-winning Cleankill has been solving pest problems for commercial and domestic customers since 2005. Using the most up-to-date pest-control techniques and technology, the company keeps its customers pest free

and makes sure it is at the forefront of the industry when it comes to the use of pesticides and non-toxic pest control methodology. The company has won many awards for being ‘green’ and for outstanding customer service.

As an Investor in People, all Cleankill’s staff are highly trained and offer an exceptionally fast and efficient level of service. The company is a proud member of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA and approved to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Cleankill is also fully accredited to SafeContractor, Exor, Constructionline, CHAS Premium Plus, CEPA, and the Achilles Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme.

75 PEST CONTROL For further information go to or call 0800 056 5477.
❛❛ Rats go into property usually by mistake. Mice, on the other hand, want to be there… ❜❜

There are few humans on the planet that can argue with the need for gender equality, equal pay, equal rules and equal treatment. What must be avoided is the pendulum swinging too far the other way, leading to men being persecuted or feeling that they are not equal to women. The pendulum must stop in the middle - total gender equality.

In the rush to equality, it is important to point out one shocking inequality as it raises its ugly head – equality means total equality and this applies to the rules of the land as they apply to men and women.

Therefore, why is the President of France’s wife not in jail? The-then 41 year-old, Brigitte Auziere was a drama teacher at the private Jesuit-run High School when she met student Emmanuel Macron, who was just 14 years old and they fell in love.

Brigitte seemed happily married to banker André-Louis Auziere, with whom she was raising their three children. She was one of the most popular teachers at the local high school, inviting her students for cocktails at her home, and encouraging them to call her by her first name.

When Emmanuel Macron’s parents found out that he had fallen in love with his drama teacher in 1994, they were desperate to avoid a scandal, and packed him off to finish his last year of high school in Paris, two hours south of


All views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this publication


their home in Amiens. But the separation only intensified the passion between Macron and Brigitte Auziere.

Every weekend, Macron rushed home, “his suitcase full of dirty laundry and only one thought in his head — to see Brigitte,” writes Maelle Brun, the author of a bombshell biography of France’s first lady. In “Brigitte Macron: An Unfettered Woman,” Brun reports that members of Brigitte’s own family found

out about the affair in the summer of 1994 after they caught the two of them sunbathing around the pool at the home of the teacher’s ageing parents.

On most summer weekends while Macron was still in high school, they would meet at the pool and Macron would hide in the bushes if anyone approached, wearing a towel over his bathing suit, Brun notes.

This phrase is often used, but l can say with total confidence that Anger Management is back due to public demand

Once the relationship between the straight-A student and his drama teacher became the stuff of local gossip, neighbours and friends in Amiens, a picturesque city of 135,000 on the River Somme, sent anonymous letters to the headquarters of the chocolate and macaron factory run by Brigitte’s family denouncing the relationship. They would also spit on the doors of the future first lady of France, Brun writes.

Her husband took the news of his wife’s infatuation with the teenager “like a slap in the face,” particularly since their daughter, Laurence, was a classmate of Macron’s at the Lycee La Providence. He immediately left town and was so embarrassed that he refused to return

for his own mother’s funeral in Amiens some years later. “He was never seen again,” a neighbour in Amiens said. “It was as if he had disappeared.”

Although Macron’s friends were at first shocked by his relationship with Brigitte, the couple decided to marry in the autumn of 2007, a year after Brigitte’s divorce. He was 29. She was 54.

Looking at pictures of them together, there seems little doubt that they are in love and devoted to each other – a beautiful romance story but for the one screaming elephant in the room.

If a male teacher fell in love with a 14 year-old female student and started a sexual relationship, HE WOULD BE IN

JAIL, added to the sex offenders list for life, barred from teaching for life, after his release from a very lengthly prison stretch.

Why is this different and obviously acceptable? Because she is a woman? It’s not only unacceptable but after the scandal had been reported for years, he went on to be voted President and the sex offender became the First Lady!

Transposing the situation to a candidate in the UK’s general election is basically impossible; it would send shockwaves throughout British politics. But as a French person, it’s the reaction that I find surprising. The Macrons’ story is unusual and interesting, sure, but it’s also no big deal. But this has nothing to do with pupil-teacher relationships, French politics or romantic behaviour. This is simply sexism.

Certainly, Macron has no regrets about his teenage coup de foudre. In a social media exchange with voters, he was asked by a student for his advice after ‘falling for my law teacher’.

With a smug smile, Macron responded: ‘You need to know if it is mutual. If that is the case, go for it! No taboos!’

If we are to reach gender equality, it has to work both ways or will never work at all.

❛❛ Her husband took the news of his wife’s infatuation with the teenager ‘like a slap’ in the face and then disappeared forever ❜❜
❛❛ If a 41 year-old male teacher fell in love with a 14 year-old female student and started a sexual relationship, HE WOULD BE IN JAIL! ❜❜


We’re fortunate to live just a hop, skip and jump from Continental Europe with its array of beauty and worldfamous attractions.

If you’ve already ticked the giants of Venice, Paris, and Barcelona off your must-see list, then look beyond. There are plenty of other gems to unveil and explore across Europe and road-tripping is a great way to discover beautiful landscapes that often go under the radar.

So, whether it’s gazing upon Lake Prespa from your Prius, witnessing the wilderness of Austria from your Audi, or admiring the beauty of Brno from the comfort of your BMW, we bring you some of the lesser-known destinations to consider for an old skool road trip.


Lake Ohrid, straddling the border between North Macedonia and Albania, is one of the world’s oldest and deepest lakes. It’s something of a hidden gem, with its Unesco world-heritage status and idyllic views. Here, you can explore the town of Ohrid, one of the most ancient human settlements in Europe, and admire Byzantine icons dating back to the seventh century.

In the afternoon, get back on the road and cruise through the Galičica National Park, a mountainous stretch of flora and fauna. Just in time for dinner, you’ll reach Lake Prespa and its quaint villages, where you can enjoy delicious fish dishes, freshly sourced from nearby lakes.


Austria is a gorgeous country with unbeatable views, unspoiled nature and picturesque cities. Its capital, Vienna, has recently been crowned the most liveable city in the world for the third time in five years. Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, is rich in history and attracts flocks of tourists all year round.

If you want to get away from all the hustle and bustle, however, hit the roads of the tranquil Salzkammergut region. Much of the area is remote wilderness, blessed with pure waters ideal for swimming, fishing and boating. Visit the picture-postcard town of Hallstatt and enjoy the dramatic scenery as you drive through the region’s carved valleys.



If you’ve already sunbathed on the shores of the popular Costa Brava, it’s time to give the Asturias region of northern Spain a whirl. With crystal-clear waters, superb beaches, hiking trails and spectacular cuisine, the Asturias have it all.

Be sure to drive to the Covadonga convent, nestled in the Picos de Europa mountains. This sanctuary is one of the most renowned historical sites in Spain, boasting unforgettable views of the surrounding peaks.


When it comes to epic road trips, the Czech Republic certainly delivers. This country overflows with breathtaking views and sights, and you’ll find surprisingly good wines too. Czech vineyards boast many award-winning white wines to sample.

Start your itinerary from Bratislava (Slovakia), driving through to the Czech Republic, as you’re welcomed by rolling vineyards and cosy chateaus.


Just an hour’s drive from the capital city of Ljubljana, Velika Planina is in the Slovenian Kamnik Alps. It’s a peaceful plateau dotted with grazing cows and authentic wooden huts once inhabited by local shepherds.

To access the Velika Planina uplands, you’ll have to leave your vehicle and hop on a cable car but it is well worth it for the views of the valley where time seems to have stood still.

That said, the drive to the car park of the cable car is worth the trip on its own, being surrounded by pristine nature and breathtaking views at every turn.


If you want to experience excellent food and splendid sights, Italy is always a safe bet. But rather than visiting the crowded cities of Rome, Milan, and Florence, why not drive along the heel of this bootshaped country?

Salento, in Puglia, is a remote area that still proudly champions its Greek heritage and is home to lush towns and local cuisines. As you hop from one village to the next, sampling homemade orecchiette and focaccia barese as you go, you’ll cruise through ochre-coloured fields and countless olive groves. If you get the chance, head towards the towns of Alberobello and Locorotondo. These pretty villages, located in the Valle d’Istria, are dotted with whitewashed, coneroofed houses called trulli.


Located in the western part of the country, the Troll Path (Trollstigen) is a lengthy stretch of road that zig-zags across the Geirangerfjord region. Bear in mind that, because of its hairpin bends and steep incline, it may be a route for seasoned drivers only.

As you cruise through the mountains, you’ll be able to spot the majestic Stigfossen waterfall plus you’ll be spoilt for choice with a photo-op around every corner. Also, don’t forget to look out for trolls – legend has it that they scout the area at night and turn back into stone as the sun rises the next morning.

❛❛ As you cruise through the mountains, you’ll be able to spot the majestic Stigfossen waterfall plus you’ll be spoilt for choice with a photo-op around every corner ❜❜



Reviewing a legend such as the M5 is a mix of trepidation and unadulterated joy. Over the years it has changed, been modified, had a new frock and generally fiddled with – but it is, was, and remains the fastest super saloon car on sale today.

The fi rst M5 model was hand-built in 1985 on the E28 535i chassis with a modifi ed engine from the famous M1 that made it the fastest production sedan at the time. M5 models have been produced for every generation of the 5-Series since 1985. Between 19921995 and 2006-2010, you could also buy the M5 as an estate that rivalled Audi’s barnstorming winner, the RS6 Avant, the finest estate car on planet earth.

Aficionados will tell you (until your ears bleed) that the new version is not a patch on the ‘famous’ one - the E60 M5

(2004-2010), which was the world’s first production car to use a 5.0-litre V10 engine and was hugely fast. In fact, and these are not words that fall easily from my lips – it was too fast. It was a monster to drive, constantly wanting to rip your face off, and reach its top speed of 205mph (unrestricted) in every sleepy village you entered. It was great fun but possibly a little too much for the average driver. Hence, the new version, which is calmer but actually faster!

It’s worth remembering that BMW did briefly give us another M5 option, though. The full-fat 626bhp M5 CS was the most powerful M car ever built when it arrived in Spring 2021 and, although it

wasn’t a limited edition, BMW only ever planned to build it for 12 months. The UK is only allowed one variant but not too much to complain about as it’s the M5 Competition.

One engine choice – the brutish 4.4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 kicking out 616 bhp and 553 lb ft of torque. It will haul this two-tonne four-door family saloon to 62 mph in 3.3 seconds. As standard, it will hit 155 mph or, with the M package, 190 mph. Pay the extra £19,000 for the ‘Ultimate Pack’ and you get carbon ceramic brakes, a carbon engine cover, heated and massaging seats, a larger stereo and digital televisions in the back.

❛❛ …in fact, and these are not words that fall easily from my lips, it was too fast. It was a monster to drive, constantly wanting to rip your face off ❜❜

Today’s cars are complex, to say the least, and BMW has cornered the market in so much tech, it leaves you dazed and confused. The M5 retains the xDrive four-wheel-drive system but if you want to be naughty, you can switch it off and leave it in rear-wheel-drive only. If you have any respect for your tyres, and your wallet, you will not do this very often.

After all these startling stats, it’s worth remembering that this is a four-door family car. It has superb road manners, is composed and calm if you wish, and will pootle around the shops and get the kids from school – and most people will be none the wiser about what you have under the hood. Back in the day, these cars were called ‘sleepers’; stock cars that looked average but had some thumping great V8 under the bonnet that would leave a smidgeon of shock and awe at the traffic lights.

Inside, it’s typically Germanic - screwed together so well there’s not a squeak



BMW M5 Competition

ENGINE: 4.4-litre, V8 twin-turbo

POWER: 616 bhp

SPEED: 0-62 - 3.3 seconds

TOP: 155 or 190 mph

ECONOMY: 25.4 mpg combined

PRICE FROM: £111,220

AS TESTED: £138,550

anywhere to be found; superb materials and a huge 12.3in screen to control it all. The screen can be touched or you can use the iDrive scrolling wheel to access. There is lots of space, front and back, and the front seats keep you locked in place for those physics-defying corners so well that you just want to keep testing those limits. Believe me, you will run out of courage long before the M5 runs out of talent.

So where’s the competition? Obviously, the Mercedes AMG E63 has to be mentioned here and it is seriously close. However, the Merc is too noisy and a tad

loutish (but so much fun). Then there’s the Audi RS7 Sportback – fabulous but not the best looking Audi out there.

Do l think the BMW M5 is the best super-saloon out there? I’ll leave you with one answer. l just bought one!

Enough said.

❛❛ Aficionados will tell you (until your ears bleed) that the new version is not a patch on the ‘famous’ one ❜❜

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of the childcare system BIG STORY The first female Speaker of the House TRAVEL Alexander House Spa MOTORING VW ID5 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Catherine Fisher of Morr & Co WELLBEING Boost your immune system SPOTLIGHT Charity Titans APRIL 2023 #23 THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR WOMEN
4 | APRIL 2023 EXCLUSIVE FEATURES Introducing… Catherine Fisher Maarten Hoffmann sits down with Catherine Fisher, the first female Managing Partner of long-established Surrey law firm, Morr & Co 24 Help To ManagementGrow: In an exclusive offer, Dynamic is offering its female readers the opportunity to sign up for the University of Brighton’s Help To Grow course - FREE OF CHARGE. (Normally £750) 8 All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. The publisher reserves the right to change or amend any competitions or prizes offered. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit. Surrey Business Magazine is owned and published by Platinum Media Group Limited. PLATINUM MEDIA GROUP ❛ ❛ The question isn’t ‘who’s going to let me?’; it’s ‘who’s going to stop me? Ayn Rand The total number of women across the world who are Head of government, nine of whom are in Europe 17 CHARITY Charity titans Legal & General helps children’s dreams come true 28 APRIL 2023 • ISSUE 23 CONTENTS



2 Entries are open for the second Dynamic Business Awards


12 In The Right Direction: Good news stories from around the world


36 Tanya Borowski discusses whether to boost our immunity or build resilience

40 Are women more mentally ill than men? Psychologist Dr Sanah Ahsan is not so sure

Further reading

44 Yetunde Hofmann engages in the power of sponsorship, mentorship and allyship of black women in business

Art scene

46 The artworks of Dana Cowie, as described by art critic and curator Kellie Miller


48 A relaxing spa session at Alexander House Hotel on the Sussex/Surrey border

Girl torque

52 Fiona Shafer on the electric VW ID5. For once, Fiona prefers its predecessor

What’s on

50 A brief snapshot of art and culture cross Sussex and Surrey


32 Highlighting four female CEOs operating at the top of their game within the charity sector

Return to work

Women wishing to return to work could be undermined with the imminent collapse of the underfunded UK childcare sector


Time’s Up!

Remembering Baroness Boothroyd, the first female Speaker of the House of Commons


PUBLISHER: Maarten Hoffmann

EDITOR: Tess de Klerk




EVENTS MANAGER: Zaneta Bealing

HEAD OF DESIGN: Michelle Shakesby

SUB EDITOR: Alan Wares


5 APRIL 2023 |
❛ ❛
Go ahead. Tell me that I’m not good enough.
Tell me I can’t do it, because I will show you over and over again that I can Anonymous
Solutions to help achieve optimal results For more than accountancy, business and wealth advice. Call: +44 (0)33 0124 1399 Email: Visit: The key to a successful business is the right advice provided at the right time. We provide solutions without fuss at an affordable cost. • Crisis management • Turnaround management • Contingency planning • Debt advisory • Accelerated mergers and aquisitions • Exit strategies • Restructuring tax

It is difficult to believe we are in April already but the lighter evenings and warmer climate brings joy to my South African soul.

Likewise, I am uplifted by much of the content of Dynamic this month, such as the feature by Dr Sarah Ahsan where she explains why the belief that women are more mentally ill than men is a myth. In Spotlight, we focus on those strong women at the top of the region’s charities, and Tanya Borowski explains how to boost your immune system.

We have an exclusive interview with the new, and fi rst, female Managing Partner of Surrey law fi rm Morr & Co, Catherine Fisher, and the founder of YUnique Marketing, Jarmila Yu talks all things branding.

The Dynamic sponsorship of all female places on the University of Brighton’s Help to Grow programme continues and with the April and May courses now full, they are enrolling for the September course. Our sponsorship means that the cost of £750 is waived as long as one notes the code PLATINUM100. You can’t get better than free in our attempt to level the gender playing field.

Enjoy this month’s magazine – from all of us here at Dynamic.

EDITOR’S NOTE Tess de Klerk

7 APRIL 2023 |

Dynamic has a very special offer for all women who run their own business or are in a senior management role within any SME as we are determined to level the playing field.

The Help to Grow: Management programme as detailed here is normally 90% subsidised by the government and the participant pays only £750. Dynamic Magazine is sponsoring a number of places on the course therefore it will be totally free of charge to Dynamic readers!

This is a unique offer 100% sponsored by Dynamic Magazine

Helping women to grow


This mini MBA-style programme is designed for business owners and senior leaders of small and medium-sized businesses, Help to Grow: Management is a 12-week course that helps your business reach its full potential for growth, resilience and succession planning.


n In-depth training

n Invaluable 1:1 business mentoring

n Bespoke Growth Action Plan

n Low cost, high impact

n Peer-to-peer networking

n Time away from your business to work on your business

This course, accredited by the Chartered Association of Business Schools, is being delivered by the University of Brighton. Working in collaboration with industry experts and experienced entrepreneurs, the course covers strategies for growth and innovation, digital adoption, leading high-performance teams, financial management and responsible business practices. With the support of an experienced mentor, you will also create a bespoke growth plan for your business.


To facilitate busy work schedules, the course is a mix of both online and in person workshops.


n Develop your leadership and management skills, enhancing employee wellbeing and engagement

n Identify what drives productivity and growth in your market, and understand what this means for you

n Learn how to advance responsible business practices, including more inclusive and greener practices

n Understand how to innovate your business model, including adopting and investing in new and digital technologies

n Identify key domestic and export markets for your business and develop strategies for segmentation, positioning and targeting

n Generate strategies to improve operational efficiency, allowing you



Now taking registrations for September PLEASE PRE-REGISTER HERE

1 Strategy and Innovation 2 Digital Adoption 3 Internationalisation and winning new markets 4 Vision, mission, and values 5 Developing a marketing strategy 6 Building a brand 7 Organisational design 8 Employee management and leading change 9 High performance workplace 10 Efficient operations 11 Finance and financial management 12 Implementing growth plans
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8 | APRIL 2023



To be eligible for Help to Grow, the following criteria must be met.

Your business must

n Be a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) based in the UK

n Employ between 5 and 249 people

n Have been operational for at least one year

n Not be a charity

You must

n Be a chief executive, owner/founder or senior manager

n Have at least one person reporting to you

n Commit to completing all sessions


You will be supported by an experienced business mentor who will support you in producing a growth plan, and taught by experienced academics and practitioners from the School of Business and Law.

❛❛ The content was fantastic and I found the session really engaging and well delivered ❜❜

The Help to Grow: Management is delivered by leading business schools across the UK who have been awarded the Small Business Charter (SBC) by the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS).

Help to Grow is a 12-week course designed to be undertaken alongside full-time work. The time commitment is 50 hours over 12 weeks. Learning alongside other business owners,

To apply, send an email to, quoting the code PLATINUM100 to secure your place. Don’t delay, apply today and power up your business

you have the opportunity to learn from your peers and network.

Using a combination of online and face-to-face sessions alongside case study workshops, you will have the opportunity to apply the concepts being taught to real-life situations faced by business leaders. By the end of the course, you will have a tailored Growth Action Plan to help you lead and grow your business.


The University of Brighton has a long history of working with small to medium-sized businesses, and a strong track record of delivering business growth programmes.

The school of Business and Law is home to the Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management (CENTRIM), which works with partners in industry, academia and government producing groundbreaking concepts to explain, harness and improve innovation, entrepreneurship and change management.

The 2021 Knowledge Exchange Framework results place the University of Brighton in the top 10% for universities for public and community engagement, and in the top 20% for skills, enterprise, and entrepreneurship.

9 APRIL 2023 |

Help to grow programme

The Rose Review on Female Entrepreneurship reported that for women to get the same opportunities as men, we need enhanced support, networking and education. This is where the University of Brighton’s Help to Grow Programme steps in. It is really not at all expensive, and with Platinum sponsoring all the female spaces, it is totally free. The response has been fantastic and here’s a comment from just one woman l know who has completed the course.

ROSEMARY FRENCH, OBE Rosemary’s OBE was presented for services to women in business

The course was really helpful, particularly the Marketing/Branding modules. We have now refined and segmented our market, enabling more effective communication with our prospective customers. The peer group was amazing! Every week we took an assignment back to our businesses. Then, at a group session later in the week, we discussed our bottlenecks, progress and how we were implementing what we had learned. I found it really valuable to hear others’ points of view, suggestions, and practical examples from fellow business owners ❜❜

10 | APRIL 2023 HEALTH

Financial advice, built around you.

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I’m proud to represent both male and female clients. And, while it goes without saying that both can experience the same stressors, there’s no avoiding the fact that women face several unique challenges.

My 20 years’ experience has shown that women can therefore greatly benefit from highly personalised financial advice, which takes these challenges into account. This is why I’m so passionate about empowering women with the confidence and tools to help them achieve their long-term financial goals.

So, whatever your financial journey so far, let me give you the guidance, support, and stability to help you plan a happy and financially secure life.

Wellesley is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website: Wellesley is a trading name of Wellesley Investment Management Limited, registered in England & Wales No. 6530147. Registered Office: 44 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5TN. Wellesley House, 50 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9LH 01444 712672 | | Call me for a no-obligation initial meeting on 01444 712672 to find out more. SJP approved on 08/03/2023


Just over a decade ago, 152 of FTSE 350 companies had no women at boardroom level. Now, for the first time, the proportion of women in boardroom roles at listed British firms has risen above 40%, a report sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group and KPMG published in February revealed.

A target of 40% was set to be achieved by 2025 but it was hit early. Still, women hold only 33.5% of leadership roles below board level, though progress is on track.

“Reaching the 40 per cent target for women on boards early is cause for celebration,” the report said. “It also shows that more progress is possible. The powerful combination of clear goals and effective policy has enabled companies to demonstrate their commitment to positive change and reap the rewards of a diverse workforce.”



Iranian people have been protesting against oppressive state laws for months, and dancing in the streets has become the latest symbol of defiance.

According to the latest World Happiness Report, global happiness levels have remained resilient, with altruism increasing. It is suggested that the hardships brought on by Covid inspired ongoing altruism.

“For a second year, we see that various forms of everyday kindness, such as helping a stranger, donating to charity, and volunteering are above pre-pandemic levels,” noted Prof Lara Aknin, director of the Happiness Lab at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.

Researchers interviewed tens of thousands of people and tried to identify what contributes to their satisfaction. They found that social support, healthy life expectancy, the economy, freedom to make life choices and freedom from corruption were the main drivers of happiness.

This year’s edition once again ranked Finland the world’s happiest nation, followed by Denmark and Iceland. It is the fourth consecutive year in which the UK has dropped down the table. It now stands 19th.

On International Women’s Day this year, five young women posted a video of themselves dancing in the street without headscarves, an act deemed illegal in the country.

The video has since gone viral and is inspiring others to dance defiantly in the streets, in spite of the apology the women were forced to film.

“Nothing can stop the freedom of Iranian women,” wrote the IranianFrench actor Golshifteh Farahani, as she shared the video online.

12 | APRIL 2023


Spain has passed a law allowing those with especially painful periods to take paid “menstrual leave” from work, in a European first.

The bill, approved by Parliament in February, is part of a broader package on sexual and reproductive rights that includes allowing anyone 16 and over to get an abortion or freely change the gender on their ID card.

The law gives the right to a three-day “menstrual” leave of absence - with the possibility of extending it to five days - for those with disabling periods, which can cause severe cramps, nausea, dizziness and even vomiting. The new law will help combat the stereotypes and myths that still surround periods and hinder women’s lives.


The Rose Review 2023, an independent analysis of female entrepreneurship, led by the CEO of NatWest Group, Dame Alison Rose, revealed that female entrepreneurs created some 150,000 businesses in 2022. That is more than double the number of 2018. Female-led companies now represent a fifth of all UK businesses, up from 16% in 2018. The absorbing review suggests that the UK economy could benefit from a £250bn boost if women set up businesses at the same rate as men.

“It’s a testament to the resilience and entrepreneurialism of female founders that they are creating more companies than ever before, and the Rose Review is expanding its support for their work,” said Rose.

“We will continue to provide fresh initiatives offering mentorship, guidance and inspiration for founders, alongside securing new commitments from financial services institutions to make it easier for female-led companies to access vital capital.”


Karen Woods, a best-selling author with 27 novels to her name knows it’s never too late and hopes to inspire other women over 40 to chase their dreams. The ‘Manchester Queen of Crime’ astonishingly didn’t learn to read or write until she was 39 years old.

After leaving school at 15, she raised her children and worked as a cleaner, always hiding her lack of literacy until she was offered a promotion that required sending emails. She accepted and her employer sent her on an adult literacy course where she discovered her knack for writing.

Now, Karen has had book deals with publishers HarperNorth, who has published her last seven books, and has written and directed sell-out shows in Manchester while also appearing on TV shows including Loose Women and The One Show. The author credits learning to read and write with changing her life, and says she wants to ‘represent those with troubled pasts’. She is also an ambassador for Adult Learning, and for Read Easy.

13 ❛ ❛
Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for
❛ ❛
Jennifer Lopez
Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it
Ziad K. Abdelnour
APRIL 2023 |
This lack of knowledge of the state of the childcare and early-years system meant “any government claims of sufficient places are utterly meaningless in practical terms”

Sector leaders have warned of an “entire collapse” of the early years market if reported plans to expand free childcare for under-twos go ahead without adequate funding for the sector.

The imminent collapse of the childcare sector

This is not an issue that only parents should be concerned about but one that affects us all. We need working age mothers to return to work to take an oar in the battle to row this country out of the doldrums. Many such mothers desperately want to return to work, and need to in many cases, but the vast majority pay every single penny they earn back to childcare and that’s the fi rst indicator that the system is broken, and will not be fi xed with the sticking plaster that the Chancellor announced in the recent budget.

The government’s claims that there are enough childcare places in England are “meaningless” as councils collect little to no information on whether provision meets local demand, experts have said. Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006.

In February the Minister for Children, Claire Coutinho, said in a parliamentary written answer: “The department has regular contact with each local authority in England, and if a local authority raises concerns about sufficiency issues, we will support it with any specific requirements. At present, all local authorities report that they are fulfi lling their duty to ensure sufficient childcare.” But data obtained by the Early Years Alliance shows that only 15% of local councils in England collect data on the proportion of parents who are able to access the childcare they need. One might expect the minster to be hauled in front of a parliamentary committee for misleading parliament.

Last week, the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced a change to the way childcare would be funded, confi rming a £4bn expansion of support from 2025, and announced “an ambition” for all state primaries to provide childcare before and after lessons from 2026.

Pitched as part of a wider drive to help people into work and boost growth, the plan will provide an extra 30 hours a week during term time to parents of children from the age of nine months to two years, matching the existing offering for three- and four-year-olds.

Campaigners say more knowledge is needed about how many facilities are able to offer local services and where the gaps are, which leave parents unable to fi nd nurseries, childminders and other support when they need it.

The Early Years Alliance data, obtained via freedom of information, also shows 14% of local authorities gather information on whether parents can access childcare on the times and dates they want, and only one in 10 of the local councils collect the same information for children with special educational needs or disabilities. Th is lack of knowledge of the state of the childcare and early-years system meant “any government claims of sufficient places are utterly meaningless in practical terms”, Neil Leitch, the Alliance’s chief executive, said.

While the unemployment rate may be at its lowest in almost 50 years, as of April 2019, a large percentage of parents of dependent children were not working. In fact, ONS figures show that 24.9% of mothers and 7.4% of fathers with dependent children were unemployed. Th is suggests that there is a huge talent pool of people returning to work after parental leave that employers can aim to attract.

Joeli Brearley, the founder of the campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed, said: “We need to see a strong commitment from the government to rebuilding the sector sustainably if we are to increase the number of parents in work. Unfortunately, the amount of money pledged to fund the free hours entitlement is nowhere near enough and so there is a strong possibility that we may lose even more nurseries as a result.”

“If you’re a parent who, say, needs a nursery, preschool or childminding place for four days a week, but can only secure one day a week, and it’s at a setting 25 minutes away, then constant assurances from government that all is fi ne are understandably going to ring completely hollow – and this is exactly the sort of situation that families up and down the country are currently facing.” Continued

15 APRIL 2023 |
The country can’t grow if we can’t fi x childcare
over >


Parents pay according to their income; high earners pay full rates. School starts at age two and a half. There is a garderie in each school from 7am, which costs 88p an hour. The school day for all children runs until 3.30pm. There is a garderie again for the children of working parents until 6pm. Essentially, childcare costs for full-time working parents of children aged two and a half upwards, are about £35 to £53 a month.


For 34 hours of care per fortnight parents pay £205 which is subsidised 50% by the government (subsidies of up to 85% are available under the Child Care Subsidy scheme, depending on the family’s income), so we are out of pocket £102 or about £4.86 per hour.


Parents pay anything from £4.16 to £11.89 per day, which is income assessed. Most will pay less than £5.95 per child. Daycares must meet certain standards to be registered.


Parents pay around £159 for two full-time places and receive £256 in children’s allowance. It is subsidised by the tax they pay. They are provided with hot meals and healthy snacks throughout the day.


The monthly cost of childcare is capped for parents at around £250 a month. Low income parents receive childcare for free or at a low cost.

The issue in the UK seems to be the total lack of understanding of what returning mothers bring to the exchequer. For those parents wishing to return to work, it is screamingly obvious that they will add to the tax revenue for the government. In most cases, said tax revenue greatly exceeds the cost of childcare therefore, free childcare, or vastly subsidised childcare, is an income generator for the government and not a cost. Why oh why can the UK government not grasp this quite simple calculation?

The Truss administration made many missteps, but on childcare it was on the right track. Though details were lacking, the blink-and-you-miss-her prime minister was planning to rush through ‘big bang’ changes to childcare provision that would bring down costs both for parents and providers.


Every child in Finland under the age of seven has the right to childcare and pre-school by law, regardless of family income. People in Finland pay a lot in tax to fund childcare programmes so childcare is basically free. Parents can also claim paid childcare leave after the end of parental leave if they decide not to use official childcare.


Sweden spends more money on its pre-school budget than it does on its defence budget. Each child is guaranteed a place at a public pre-school and no parent is charged more than three per cent of their salary, with fees capped at just over £100 a month.

Our pre-school and childcare sector is broken. It’s unaffordable both for parents and the taxpayer and increasingly inaccessible. Providers are also closing at record levels and staff retention is poor.

Childcare is a case study in what goes wrong when government is lobbied by single-interest groups to expand its role in a particular sector. Back in the 1990s, childcare was largely private or charitable. Parents could either care for children themselves or pay for external childcare provided by private nurseries or childminders in a domestic setting.

Successive interventions in the intervening period have cost the taxpayer billions and transformed childcare into a branch of education. Th is has increased costs, created anomalies, driven out providers and failed to satisfy anyone. A vast array of other issues have been plastered onto it – the gender pay gap, child poverty, one-parent families and more recently our declining fertility rate – making reform difficult politically.

For parents, the cost of childcare has soared in the past three decades. The annual fee for a full-time place for a child under the age of two has risen by 171% since 2000, from £5,148 to £13,939 in 2021. By contrast, the rate of increase in household earnings was significantly lower, at 66% over the same period.

While parents are paying through the nose, government spending has risen from close to nothing in the 1990s to nearly £6 billion per year today. Th is growth has been justified on the grounds of encouraging mothers into formal

So if the UK cannot solve this issue, how is it that so many countries can?
The annual fee for a full-time place for a child under the age of two has risen by 171% since 2000, from £5,148 to £13,939 in 2021

employment and improving the educational attainment of young children. In practice, however, it has displaced other paid childcare and informal care from friends or family and failed to significantly increase the participation of target groups such as mothers on benefits in the labour market. The evidence of longer-term benefit to children’s development is also lacking.

The UK has among the strictest ratios in western

Europe, with some countries, including Denmark and Sweden, having no requirements at all. A 2018 study for the Department for Education found that 78% of costs in childcare are for staff : the higher the ratio, the more staff required, raising costs for nurseries and depressing wages for workers.

But we should also ask what childcare is seeking to achieve. Tory MPs have insisted reform is needed to boost female labour market participation. Labour wants to provide comprehensive support from the end of parental leave. It may be in the government’s best interest to have mothers return to full-time work after 12 months of maternity leave and place their baby in a highly-regulated childcare setting, but how many politicians have stopped to ask whether this is what women want or is in the best interests of the child?

No mother should be forced or guilt tripped into returning to work but for those who wish to, the government has a duty to enable this without sucking every penny out of her purse for the pleasure of working, paying tax and contributing to the economy.

Childcare is a case study in what goes wrong when government is lobbied by single-interest groups to expand its role in a particular sector

From Tiller Girl, to the legislative in the USA, secretary to Barbara Castle to local councillor, and finally MP to the pinnacle of her working life, Speaker of the House of Commons, Betty Boothroyd, who passed way in February 2023, had a full and fulfilling public life.

ALAN WARES looks back on the life of the UK’s first female Speaker


Betty Boothroyd, Baroness Boothroyd OM PC was born just Betty Boothroyd on October 8th 1929 in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. Her parents were both textile workers, and she was educated locally at state schools, where she failed the 11-plus and, after before studying at Dewsbury College of Commerce and Art, became a shop assistant and a shorthand-typist..

19 APRIL 2023 |


Boothroyd was a political activist from an early age. Her parents, Archibald and Mary, were members of the Labour party and the Textile Workers’ Union. They relied on the union for the protection of their jobs in the heavy woollen industry. They did not always have work, although Mary, a weaver, was more often employed than her husband –because her wages, as a woman, were lower.

Her young life was hard, though Boothroyd never romanticised her past, even if it appears to read straight from an Alan Sillitoe play; taking it in turns with her mother to scrub the front steps, the zinc bath on Fridays in front of the fi re, sitting talking in the evening by fi relight in order to save on the electricity. It was, to all intents and purposes, a happy childhood, but Betty hated the narrow streets and Yorkshire’s dark satanic mills.

At the age of 17, Betty, nimble-footed in many ways, broke her parents’ heart by announcing she wanted to turn professional at dancing. Her parents had always harboured ambitions for their daughter to take up politics.

She had been a singer and dancer with a teenage jazz band, the Swing Stars, when she successfully auditioned for the Tiller Girls in London. She spent the freezing winter of 1946, cold and unhappy in her lodgings in Greek Street. In the end, she returned home with a foot infection and a bruised ego. “I wasn’t much good at it actually”, she wistfully remembered many years later.


Her father, whom many said she was closer to, underhandedly taught her how to roll cigarettes and, when drinking, never to mix. But it was her mother who fostered what would become her political career. Mary took Betty to political meetings in Leeds or Huddersfield on a Saturday afternoon to listen to Clement Attlee or Nye Bevan. Betty joined the Labour League of Youth at 16 and was a member of its national consultative committee at the time the Attlee government fell in 1951.

In 1952, Denis Healey made his way into Parliament, having fought and won a byelection in Leeds South East, and he recorded he took the afternoon off to judge a speaking contest for young socialists, “and chose as winner a bonny lass from Dewsbury who danced as a Tiller girl in the chorus of the local pantomimes.” That same year, Boothroyd also stood, unsuccessfully, for Dewsbury council.

On her return to London in 1952, she worked at the Labour party’s headquarters as a secretary. She then worked as a secretary in the Commons for Barbara Castle and Geoff rey de Freitas, then as secretary to a US Congressman in Washington DC from 1960-62 and for one of the fi rst Labour life peers, Lord (Harry) Walston.

20 | APRIL 2023
Betty Boothroyd on the hustings in West Bromwich, 1973


In 1973, at her fi fth attempt, she entered parliament as member for West Bromwich. Parliamentary tradition dictates that an MP’s maiden speech in the Commons is largely free of controversy. Ignoring all protocol, Boothroyd instead made a feisty maiden speech. She claimed to be able to speak for “ordinary working people” and attacked the then Heath-led Conservative government for its failure to alleviate the injustice of the two-tier society that existed in the UK.

She became the fi rst woman to be made a Labour government whip when appointed assistant whip after the October 1974 General Election. The then Labour chief whip, Bob Mellish, reportedly told her: “Keep your trap shut, girl, and you will get on.” Th is, of course, is in fl at contradiction to the role of a Government whip, but also in fl at contradiction to common decency, irrespective of how much Parliament is and was a nest of misogyny. She promptly resigned her post to serve as an appointed member of the European Assembly. Th is was in the era before direct European elections took place.

Boothroyd, a pro-European Labour MP whose politics sat on the right of the party served on many committeesboth in opposition and in government, and occupied many minor Government roles. She never made it as far as the Cabinet or shadow Cabinet.


She was serving as Th ird Deputy Speaker when the Speaker of the House, Bernard Weatherill, announced his intention to stand down at the 1992 General Election. Following John Major’s surprise victory at the polls, Betty Boothroyd came from being a back-marker to win the MPs’ nomination to take the role. She was the fi rst woman Speaker of the House of Commons in the 700-year history of Parliament.

Parliamentary protocol dictates that the seat of the Speaker of the House shall not be contested by other parties at the General Election. The main parties adhere to this, but in the 1997 General Election, an Independent Labour candidate stood, alongside a far-right National Democrats candidate. Boothroyd doubled her majority that night. All told, she won on eight Parliamentary election occasions.

Boothroyd’s style as Speaker was fairly conservative. She won many fans on both sides of the floor as, nominally, the role is supposed to be one of neutrality. It’s an overlooked consideration to many MPs and observers who forget that the Speaker no longer speaks for their ‘side’ in Parliament; they have to retain an air of neutrality. In that regard, she acquired many plaudits.

To Parliamentary observers, her style was that of a strict, but kindly and fair headmistress, with a fair amount of humour thrown in. Indeed, she broke with hundreds of years of tradition, by refusing to wear the wig while in the Speaker’s chair.

She believed that it was up to MPs to make changes in the way business was done, rather than the occupant of the chair. However, she wanted the strict protocol of Government within Parliament to be maintained, and would freely admonish, in public, any MP who fell foul of this edict. Her particular beef was with the growing practice of ministers choosing to bypass the House of Commons to make important political pronouncements to television or radio instead. Th is became a particular issue after the election of Tony Blair in 1997.

However, she ruled the Commons with good humour and considerable charm. When members spoke for too long she had a habit of clumsily stifl ing a yawn as a signal of her displeasure and at the end of prime minister’s questions she inadvertently introduced what would become her catchphrase by declaring after one of her fi rst sessions in the chair: “Time’s up!”

21 APRIL 2023 |
Much has been written about the possibility of having a woman Speaker for the first time. I say to you, elect me for what I am, and not for what I was born
Betty Boothroyd MP, addressing the House of Commons at the time of the election for the role of Commons Speaker, 1992 Boothroyd at home on the Speaker’s bench


The speaker’s primary function is to preside over the House of Commons. According to parliamentary rules, the speaker is the highest authority of the House of Commons and has final say over how its business is conducted.

The earliest records of Parliament having a Speaker in the House go back nearly as far as Parliament itself – since at least 1258, when Peter de Montford presided over Parliament when it sat in Oxford.

Power struggles between the monarchy and the people (alright, the nobility) meant Parliament - and

certainly not a democratically-elected Parliament – would not always be able to sit.

Continuous records of a Speaker of the House date back to 1376, when Sir Peter de la Mare spoke for the commons in the “Good Parliament” as they joined leading magnates in purging the chief ministers of the Crown and the most unpopular members of the King’s household.

The King’s second son arrested De la Mare and disgraced other leading critics. In 1377, a cowed Commons put forward Gaunt’s steward, Thomas

22 | APRIL 2023
Baroness Boothroyd in reflective mood in the Palace of Westminster


In 2000, Boothroyd took the surprising decision to stand down from her role as Speaker, as an MP. Her fi nal speech closed with her familiar refrain ‘Time’s Up!’ She took her seat as a crossbench peer (rather than a Labour peer) in 2001, and took up the title Baroness Boothroyd of Sandwell in the county of the West Midlands.

Tony Blair, then Prime Minister, paid tribute to her as “something of a national institution”. Blair’s predecessor, John Major, described her as an “outstanding Speaker”. She resigned as Speaker and as an MP by accepting an appointment to the position of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds. They do know how to create elaborate titles in the Establishment…

She also campaigned successfully and with great tenacity for a memorial to be erected in Whitehall to commemorate the role of the women of Britain in the second world war.

Honours and honorary degrees were bestowed upon her, by universities including Oxford, Cambridge, London and St Andrews. However, her personal interests centred on her role as chancellor of the Open University. It was a post she was invited to accept because of her support for the universal right to adult education.

In 2005, she was awarded the Order of Merit, an honour bestowed personally by the monarch. There are only ever 24 living recipients of the award, and rarely bestowed upon a politician. Indeed, at the time of her death, Boothroyd was the only member from a political background.

Hungerford, as their spokesman in retracting their predecessors’ misdeeds of the previous year. Gaunt evidently wanted a “mirror-image” as his form of counter-coup and this notion – born in crisis, of one ‘speaker’, who quickly also became ‘chairman’ and organiser of the Commons’ business – was seen as workable, and immediately took root.

Although each Speaker was elected by the MPs, it was usually the Crown’s own man. Successive King were not about to give up their authority that easily. This stand-off remained the case until the mid-17th Century, and the time of the English Civil War, when the roles for the Speaker became far more about the House than for the Crown.

The speakership evolved into its


Boothroyd never married nor had any children, something she was sad about, but she was brilliant with other people’s and had an instinct for treating them as if they were grownups. Her role as speaker probably had to work the other way.

Boothroyd passed away on February 26th 2023. The two Prime Ministers she had most dealings with led the tributes. Sir John Major said, “Betty Boothroyd was a superb Speaker, easy to like and easier still to admire. As Speaker, she was full of common sense and utterly fair in her rulings. She handled a fractious Commons with great skill. She set a standard for every future speaker.”

Meanwhile, Sir Tony Blair paid his own tribute to her as “a big-hearted and kind person”, adding: “She was a truly outstanding Speaker, presiding with great authority, warmth and wit, for which she had our deep respect and admiration.”

modern form—in which the holder is an impartial and apolitical officer who does not belong to any party—only during the middle of the 19th century.

The election of the Speaker takes place after various candidacies are

declared, and MPs vote for ‘one of their own’. It is all presided over by the Father/Mother of the House (current incumbent Sir Peter Bottomley).

Upon being chosen, the speakerelect is expected to show reluctance at being chosen; and the charade of being dragged unwillingly to the Speaker’s bench is customarily played out. This custom has its roots in the speaker’s original function of communicating the Commons’ opinions to the monarch. Historically, the speaker, representing the House to the monarch, potentially faced the monarch’s anger and therefore required some persuasion to accept the post.

The current Speaker is Sir Lindsay Hoyle (pictured left), who replaced John

23 APRIL 2023 |
I love Parliament.
I was its servant, not its master.
I wanted to do it right, and I wanted to do right for womankind
Baroness Boothroyd, 2020
LEFT: Sir Tony Blair Above: Sir John Major

The law firm Morr & Co has appointed its first female Managing Partner, Catherine Fisher, following the retirement of Paul Harvey, who had been with the firm since 1988, and Managing Partner since 2008.

Founded in 1729, the firm has grown significantly and now boasts nine branches across Surrey and Hampshire. As the reins are passed to Catherine on April 2nd, MAARTEN HOFFMANN sat down with her to find out what the future holds for this highly successful law firm


Managing Partner, Morr & Co

Can you tell us a little about your personal life before we get onto your time with the firm?

I spent many years in the Middle East from about five years old as my father was in the Navy. I think my mother had enough of all the moving and insisted he change roles. Not long after, my father called to say that he had a new role – but it was in Bahrain. It was decided that my brother and I should return to the UK and attend boarding school, whilst our parents remained in Bahrain.

I attended Upper Chine School for Girls and although it’s quite fashionable to deride boarding schools, that was not the case for me as I loved every minute of it. My mother was quite keen that I be the fi rst in the family to attend university. I wasn’t sure what to do as I really wanted to be a police officer, or to be more precise, a CID detective. Back then, there was height limit and I was too short and they wouldn’t accept me – I was devastated.

Lots of thought went into what to do next, and law seemed an obvious move. So I started a law degree at Kingston Poly, as it was back then; it’s a fully fledged University now.

My mother was appalled that I was not attending a ‘real’ university, but I had made my mind up. In the second year of our degree, all students were encouraged to begin applying for training contracts. I applied to Alsop Wilkinson (now DLA Piper) and after fi nishing my degree and law school, I started work there. Within a month, I knew I had found a career for life.

Th is was a fantastic training ground for me but it was cut short when my father sadly passed away at only 49, and I needed to return home to the Isle of Wight to support my mother. That then led into my fi rst son being born, and me taking a career break. My husband was working punishing hours in the City and it just felt right to take a few years out to be there for the boys.

It’s not easy returning to work after such a break, what did you do?

I wrote to every Surrey law fi rm, offering to work free for a month to get back into the groove – as it were – and the only person to even reply was David Foster at Barlow Robbins, now Moore Barlow. He offered me a job and I will always be grateful to him for that.

We have 23 partners, 64% of whom are women, and 50% of our department heads are women, and I am very proud of that
Continued over >
25 APRIL 2023 |

The world was diff erent back then. Did you suff er any sexism within the legal profession?

I am sure this will not make for a good story but no, not in the slightest. Even as a trainee, I don’t recall ever being asked to make the tea or faced any adverse comments. Th is is as much a testament to the fi rms and the people I worked with. To me, everyone seemed gender blind. It simply never occurred to me that anyone would treat me differently due to my gender.

So, onto your time at Morr & Co, why did you chose the firm?

I was with Coffi n Mew at the time and was not really looking to leave but, as with so much of my career, it seemed to be serendipity. I was in contact with a recruiter as I was looking for an assistant to work with me, and she mentioned that Morrisons, as it was then, was looking for a partner to join their dispute resolution team.

I agreed to the interview really just to keep the recruiter on side, so I met Paul Harvey for a coffee and came away thinking that this could be a great opportunity for me, as Paul made it clear he was looking for someone to head the team. As there was already a very capable head of department at Coffi n, there was little chance of advancement so I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and miss out on such a great opportunity to lead, what was then, a small team at Morrisons. It just felt like a shoe that fitted perfectly.

What made you go into dispute resolution/litigation?

It was my fi rst seat as a trainee and I just love the variety. Most of my clients are businesses, or Directors of, and I really enjoy getting under the hood of each business so as to be able to represent them well. It’s intellectually demanding, which I very much enjoy. Last year, I had my fi rst Bitcoin dispute which took a fair amount of study to really understand the sector. I have never been tempted by any other specialism.

Becoming Managing Partner will change things slightly as I assume you will represent fewer clients in your new role of running the business. How does that sit with you?

I sit as a Deputy District Judge, and that takes you away from representing clients into deciding the outcome of claims objectively – it’s a different way of using my legal skills.

I have always been a fan of public service when possible, and I sat as a local councillor for a while. Sitting as a judge does allow me to give something back to the community, using what I know in a very different way. I will still be doing a small amount of client work, so I will not be leaving it behind altogether, but I am ready for a new challenge. So when the opportunity came up to step into Paul’s shoes after his very successful 14 years at the helm, it was irresistible. Paul has overseen a huge number of changes and massive growth within the fi rm. His are large shoes to fi ll.

Are you planning to make any major changes within the firm?

The pandemic has been awful for many, of course, but it has also presented us with some opportunities to change. It has forced us all to be more agile and flexible with home working, remote working and trying to achieve a better work/life balance for everyone. As a fi rm, we are keen that we listen to our employees, and having asked them many questions relating to this subject, we have a mix of requests for home working, flexi-working and of course, those who prefer to actually be in the office full time. It’s a complex balance but one I am determined to meet head-on for the good of all. We must take care to retain our company culture, which can be a challenge when the team is not all in the office – but it is not impossible, and we must embrace change and all the new opportunities that come with it.

I must ask, why did the firm change its name from Morrisons to Morr & Co?

We felt we needed to reflect the changes that have taken place over the years. Our two most recent mergers with Harrops & Hepburn and Wheelers led us away from the Morrisons name that was created in 1729, as we wanted to better reflect who we are today, whilst keeping a connection to our rich heritage. The most important part of the new name is the ‘& Co’. It recognises the integration of the merged fi rms, and acknowledges and the collective contribution of the talented individuals we have across the fi rm.

I have always been a fan of public service when possible, and I sat as a local councillor for a while.
Sitting as a judge does allow me to give something back to the community

How many partners do you have now and what’s the gender split?

We have 23 partners, 64% of whom are female and 50% of our department heads are women, and I am not a fan of what the Americans call ‘affi rmative action’, the deliberate selection of women to balance the numbers. I am more of the mind of David Foster from Barlow Robbins which is to take the very best people, to promote the very best people and to be totally open minded and blind to gender.

Isn’t that a great testament to gender equality you are organically achieving that, without any form of positive discrimination, the firm has such a great balance? Absolutely, and as our clients are incredibly diverse, the fi rm should reflect that if possible, and we are very lucky that we have that balance.

What does the future hold for Morr & Co with you at the helm?

We have had some incredibly successful years and therefore I have little intention of changing anything that has contributed to that success. It is not ideal in any business when there is a change of leadership to then cause disruption. New brooms can be as harmful as they can be beneficial, so there are a multitude of things that work very well, and I have no intention of changing them.

There is a tremendous opportunity to explore hybrid working practices. I want to be open to new working methods and, hand-in-hand with that, I would like to increase smart working. IT is moving so fast, and there is so much we can do to use technology to make better use of our time. Clients essentially pay for our critical thinking and not for our internal processes. I want to use technology to decrease the time spent on process and increase the time spent on thought.

I love what I do, love this fi rm and I love the law and the opportunity to head the fi rm is very exciting.

Thank you Catherine and l wish you the very best of luck with the new role and l look forward to speaking to you next year.

Morr & Co LLP


T: 01737 854500

Offices in Redhill, Farnborough, Teddington, Camberley, Ash Vale, Wimbledon, Guildford, Oxted and Fleet

27 APRIL 2023 |
I love what I do, love this firm and I love the law and the opportunity to head the firm is very exciting

Dreams Come True is the only national wishgranting charity that solely supports children with a disability, serious illness or a life-limiting condition – and who live in the highest areas of social deprivation in our country today

Legal & General helps dreams come true for children

his brothers due to his walking being compromised, painful and he frequently falls. On his sixth birthday, we made Klayte’s Dream Come True by delivering a specially adapted trike. With a small change, we have made a BIG impact to Klayte’s life - now he can join in with his brothers, feel included and, most important of all, create memories with his siblings.

We know our dreams deliver impressive impact and bring great benefit. In our 2022 survey, 100% of our dream families said their child’s dream made a positive difference to their lives. Their mental health and well-being improved from 37.5% to 95% and their development (communication and physicality) improved by 60%, while socialisation and inclusion improving by a remarkable 80%.

There are many children in Sussex who need our attention – the county hosts eight special educational needs schools located in areas of social deprivation. We have only very recently launched a dreams programme in the county.

Our mission is to turn dreams into a reality for every child who needs our attention - the moments of magic we create deliver lasting impact for children and their families.

Right now, there are 3.9 million UK children living in poverty - that’s 27% of children in the UK. With the economic recession affecting us all, it is the children and families Dreams Come True serves who are feeling the impact the most. Our work supporting children who have it tough is needed now, more than ever.

In 2023, we are on track to support over 3,200 children – amazing children like Klayte who lives in one of the highest areas of deprivation in the UK. He has cerebral palsy and can miss out playing with

At the end of 2022, we awarded our fi rst Sussex dream to Hillpark Secondary School, Portslade – a school which supports children with moderate, severe and profound learning difficulties. It is their dream to have an unused playground relaunched with the installation of new equipment. Th is dream will benefit the 199 children who attend the school – and many hundreds more in the years to come. We are very grateful to Legal & General, Hove office, for its support of this dream and generous donation.

As a small charity, with an ever-increasing big job to do, we need new major partners to help us reach children who as yet have not benefited from our work. We are looking to enlist support from local businesses in the Sussex area to work with us to deliver dreams with purpose – and bring moments of magic with lasting impact. | APRIL 2023 28 CHARITY FOCUS
Join us - and you and your colleagues can become #dreammakers reaching children in your local area who didn’t dare to have a dream.
Right now, there are 3.9 million UK children living in poverty – that’s 27% of children in the UK
Hold your meeting at The Dance Space • Local charity bringing dance to Brighton & Hove • Brand new sustainable, accessible building • Central Brighton location • Light & airy meeting rooms • State of the art studio spaces Find out more at Why ChoOse US?
Image: The Boardroom at South East Dance. Photo by Danny Fitzpatrick


Is your branding letting you down and needs replacing, or does it just need a little TLC to optimise it to deliver you the business results you deserve? Carefully building, developing and then nurturing your brand can bring you meaningful immediate and long-term value.

In today’s crowded marketplace, having a strong brand plays a crucial role in giving you a competitive advantage. How you establish, build and present your brand is important and needs to be approached with care, so you avoid wasting money or worse still damage your reputation.

In the current world of increased competition, disruption and trust erosion, we need to get “Back to Brand” thinking – your brand could hold the key to unlocking the potential in your business, not least in attracting clients, staff, partners, investment and buyers.

We may live in a technology empowered era, but ultimately, we sell Human to Human, whether we’re a B2B or a B2C business. In optimising your brand, consider humanising it too. Also take the extra step to build a personal brand that fits alongside the corporate brand. When they work in harmony, it’s extremely powerful.


A strong brand is the foundation stone of a successful business. A strong brand will deliver value. A well-developed brand can harness your culture, values and communications into a cohesive expression that invites all to engage in your mission.


So, where and how do you start building or re-tuning your brand? Take time to think about your brand around the three steps listed below, and then consider if you may benefit from seeking professional support to guide you through the stages of brand strategy, development and implementation. People talk about brand strategy but what exactly is it? Simply put, it’s a way of prioritising the key points of your organisation into a message hierarchy that captures the DNA of your business.

1 Defi ne your vision and mission

2 Consider your key audiences

3 Prioritise your key selling points

The basics expressed in the most relevant and compelling way can then be used to guide design development, communication campaigns, web messaging and product development etc.

You need to define what your brand stands for, what messages you need to convey, what character you want to present.




You may already have a clear understanding of what your brand stands for, but do your employees and customers understand that as well as you do?



Each reader will take something different away from this article; because we are all different, our companies are all different, and at different stages of organisational maturity. Just as we each have a unique set of DNA, so too should our businesses.



You need to defi ne what your brand stands for, what messages you need to convey, what character you want to present, and you have to ensure you demonstrate this across all your assets. You also need to consider how this can translate to an appropriate visual identity (logo and other design elements) to bring your brand to life on digital, print and other communications assets.


Everyone in your business has an important responsibility in communicating your brand to the outside world. Everyone has a role to play in representing your brand, and they need to understand it to be able to do that effectively. It’s vital you set the brand defi nition from the top and then equip and enable your employees to communicate about your brand in a way that is comfortable and natural for them.


It’s vital you build your brand to your vision and WITH vision.


n Don’t be the business that does all the hard work to build your brand and then discover your brand can’t operate in that new territory you want to expand into and you have to go through an exercise of re-branding. Consider your future and plan ahead, as much as possible.

n Don’t be the brand that doesn’t protect your brand IP. It’s an additional piece of work that should be considered an investment in your business. Protect your assets.

n Don’t build the brand and then leave it. Continue to monitor it and periodically review it, check it’s still fit for purpose. Even if your product or service has not fundamentally changed, something around your business will have, and you need to consider that change alongside your brand to stay relevant.

I trust reading this you’re inspired to develop and nurture your brand, and realise how taking a brand optimising approach can help you deliver a greater customer experience to ultimately help you attract, engage and win better business.

To start to discover how to unlock the potential of your brand, why not take our complimentary Marketing Performance Scorecard?

You may already have a clear understanding of what your brand stands for, but do your employees and customers understand that as well as you do?

In our exclusive Spotlight feature, we highlight women who are doing good things in their community. They’re not always seen but we think they should be.


Donna Holland

CEO, Rockinghorse

Donna tells us how her childhood dreams turned into her dream job

When I was little, I wanted to be a digger driver. At ten, I wanted to drive a digger around town offering my digging services to anyone who needed it. I liked the idea of being useful and helping people. Like many people I was funnelled into applying to university by my school as it helped their rankings, more than it necessarily helped their students. I chose marketing as I liked art, and I liked science, and marketing was a combination that had a career path at the end of it.

As part of my degree, I needed to do an industrial placement. So, I went to the careers fair at university. As I walked round the stands of multinational companies, I felt sad. I didn’t want to work for any of these companies. They all seemed so un-useful to the world. I needed to work doing something the world needed. I came home from the careers fair worried about what I was going to do. My mum suggested looking though the ads in the paper (because that’s how you found jobs in the 1990s) and something stuck out. A local charity was looking for a marketing officer. Reading the ad, I felt excited. Not only that I was pretty sure I could do everything they wanted, but also that I’d be doing something useful.

That first job was a huge learning curve. During the days of the first websites, I built one (hit counter and all). I learnt how to run marketing campaigns, put on massive events, and make money (fundraise) for things that mattered. But most of all I got inspired by working with incredible people who were changing the world; people fighting inequality, injustice, and unkindness; people creating services and support for those who need it, and people who were doing something about the things that felt wrong in world.

I never looked back. I’ve only ever worked for charities since then. They’ve always been for causes I care about - charities that deliver services, campaign for change, and help children and young people in one way or another. As my career progressed through different charities and roles, my goal has always been to take on things that challenge me, and society. Last year I was named a 2022 Woman of the Year – a huge

honour, but also a chance to reflect on everything I’ve worked on over the years.

Now working for Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, I support children and their families all over Sussex. I work with a tiny team of experts who are passionate about what they do for their local community. I get to work with brilliant doctors and nurses who support sick children and their families every day. I get to work with incredible supporters and collaborators who want the world to be a better place for children to grow up.

Whilst I don’t have a digger, my job is to go around my town, and the county, helping people. I support people to engage in brilliant projects in their communities. I help people raise money for services that will save lives. And I connect people together to change the landscape for children in Sussex. And that makes me as excited as it did when I was ten.

32 | APRIL 2023
Now working for Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, I support children and their families all over Sussex

Claire Krost

CEO, Waking Up To Autism

Meet the woman widely awake to the needs of autistic children

In 2020, the world found itself in a very strange and unpredictable place - lockdown. For me, it resulted in having to quit a job I had been in for 16 years and finding myself for the first time, since the age of 16, being unemployed.

Although this was scary, overwhelming and a place I had not navigated before, it also brought with it a sense of opportunity and space to reconsider who I was and what I wanted from life.

In 2018, my eldest child Olivia (eight years old at the time) was diagnosed as autistic. This was after four years of assessments and a great deal of stress and worry. But we finally had a diagnosis and I was so grateful to be able to move forward and engage with help and support.

But there wasn’t any. My child was diagnosed and discharged in the same letter. It was brutal. I felt so out of my depth and not experienced enough to know what to do next. As a parent, that is a horrid place to be.

And so in 2020, when I discovered myself unemployed, armed at my dining table with a pad and paper, I sketched out the idea for ‘Waking Up To Autism’. My main aim at this point was to help support other parents of autistic children. Over the two years since Olivia’s diagnosis, I had been on a personal mission to educate myself and arm myself as best I possibly could, including completing an Autism Awareness Diploma. I wanted to give parents the space and help that I so badly needed but didn’t get.

That was just the start. When Waking Up To Autism launched, it opened up this huge world of other families going through exactly the same things and highlighted just how serious the problem is. Over the last three years, we have supported hundreds of families going through the diagnosis process, applying for an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), parenting advice, and also parental mental health – but we knew that we needed to do more.

In 2021, we launched our CPD Accredited School Training Course to train and support education staff to be able to embrace neurodivergent children in the mainstream classroom - training that has been exceptionally well received. And we are now taking our training into the workplace.

Creating Waking Up To Autism has for sure been a labour of love. I have such a strong passion for the work that I do as I want to create a world where my children (my son Adam was diagnosed autistic in 2020) and all other neurodivergent people are understood, embraced and celebrated.

The last three years have shown and taught me so much - mainly that we are so much more capable of doing things then we give ourselves credit for. Sometimes we just need a lockdown and no job to give us the push we need!

APRIL 2023 | 33
We have supported hundreds of families going through the diagnosis process , applying for EHCPs, parenting advice, and also parental mental health

Claire Irving

CEO, Martlets


Sitting down to write this article, I was struck that I’ve now had the privilege of working as Martlets’ CEO for one year. It’s been an amazing year full of learning, fun, challenge and connection. To experience the passion of the people who work and volunteer at Martlets, and the people in our community who support us is a wonderful thing and I love coming to work.

So, what brought me here? I’ve worked in the not-for-profit and voluntary sector for 25 years, mainly focussing on health care inequality, cancer and – for the last 16 years – hospice care. People often think that working at a charity like Martlets, where we deal closely with death, dying and bereavement must be terribly sad. Yes, there are sad times, but hospice care is about living as well as dying, and the humanity of hospice care is a joyful thing to be around.

My passion for the world of hospice was driven, perhaps unexpectedly, by my experience of having children. I had incredible support from the community and hospital midwifery teams in Brighton & Hove and while there were moments of uncertainty or worry through the stages of my pregnancies, I knew what the healthcare system around me would offer me and my babies. I knew when to expect scans, tests and the choices available to me about where I would give birth.

What struck me, like a lightning bolt, when I returned to work at the hospice when my maternity leave finished was why wasn’t this the case for people facing death, dying and bereavement? Th ree things are certain for each of us – we are born, we will pay taxes and we will die. We all want our death

to be long in the future, but when it comes, why shouldn’t we all feel certain of what would be offered to us by way of care, specialist advice and emotional support? And why shouldn’t we feel comforted to know that someone will support our family while this happens and after we are gone?

So, here I am at Martlets. Working with our clinical teams, our fundraisers and our support staff to try to bring that vision to life. I can see the ever increasing need that people in our community have for our hospice care, the Covid pandemic has made that need even more acute. We are using carefully saved money wisely, investing so that our hospice building is fit for the future. And we are providing care in people’s homes and in our wards all around the city and in the ‘Havens and ‘Deans, all the while dependent on our community - on you - to fund the work we do.

Thank you so much for walking alongside us and for your part in helping your community, your neighbours, your city during the most difficult of times. And if you share my thinking that our city and community deserves the very best at end-of-life, I would love to hear from you. | APRIL 2023 34
explains that birth, taxes and death shouldn’t be the only certainties in life. There’s care, for example…
My passion for the world of hospice was driven, perhaps unexpectedly, by my experience of having children

Lisa King OBE

CEO, Dreams Come True

After a career in women’s refuge, Lisa now challenges social injustice, through the lens of poverty and social deprivation

My professional life started in the world of PR – I had no intention of working in the charity sector, but when my career path changed 20 years ago, I never looked back; it has been a life-changing, life-affirming experience that has been a rock of support – professionally and personally.

I worked at Refuge, national domestic abuse charity, for 18 years. I fell into the job following a pro bono media campaign I delivered when working at Good Relations, Chime Communications Group.

I quickly became very passionate about Refuge’s work. When I first learnt about the epidemic that is violence against women, I didn’t believe the numbers I was told. I was blinkered and naïve. However, I soon learnt the horrific figures were just the tip of the hidden iceberg. I spent the following near two decades raising awareness, raising funds and working to change policy. When I started at Refuge it was a small, less well-known charity – by time I left the charity had become a household name, supporting thousands of abused women and children.

In 2022, I changed my professional pathway. I reviewed my personal and professional values and found a way to blend them all. Working for Dreams Come True gives me an opportunity to combine my passion for challenging social injustice, this time through the lens of poverty and social deprivation, alongside my passion for improving the lives of children and young people who have it tough.

My second child Tom is autistic, and has global development delay. He attends a special educational needs school in Brighton. I have seen first-hand how much support children need, which is why when the opportunity to be chief executive for Dreams Come True arose, I went for it.

I’m nine months in post and am passionate about ensuring we reach yet more children who need our support – whether

that is a child who is non-verbal and has severe mobility issues to receive an eye gaze operated computer to enable them to communicate, or providing a bed in school for a child who is bed-bound so they can access education and leave the confines of their bedroom.

As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, more and more children and young people will need our charity, and I want to be ready for us to provide that support. To date, Dreams Come True hasn’t had a footprint in the Sussex region – even though there is much need for so many children. I hope that individuals and business leaders in Sussex reading this article, and the Dreams Come True profi le in this same edition, will reach out to lend their support, connect with me and together build opportunities.

We need more dream makers to join us and make dreams come true for some of the most in need and socially deprived children in our county – because it’s never been needed more than it is right now in our country today.

APRIL 2023 | 35
In 2022, I changed my professional pathway. I reviewed my personal and professional values and found a way to blend them all

Spring has sprung, daffodils line our borders and hedgerows have awakened from their winter slumber, but our immune systems still seem to be highly vulnerable to every cough, cold and virus as if we were still in the depths of December.  Is it possible to ‘boost’ your immune system to prevent catching all these pesky viruses?

Boosting our immunity or building resilience?

While the idea of taking a ‘superfood’, medication or touted ‘immune boosting supplement’ is enticing, the truth of the matter is it is not that straight forward, simple or indeed possible.

In fact, we do not want to boost a system that is in any way infl amed already (more on this in a moment). The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity and, as such, is a highly complex web of specialist organs, cells, hormones and chemicals that ebb and flow in response to its surrounding environment. What we are actually striving for is an immune system that is resilient.

A resilient immune system has:

1. The flexibility and capacity to adapt to any challenges (microbial, dietary, environmental) that are presented

2. The fi nesse to respond appropriately (not attack self as in autoimmunity) and return to homeostasis – a healthy state of wellbeing with minimal collateral damage (tissue destruction or overwhelm).

Overall, our immune system does an outstanding job of defending us but sometimes it fails: a germ invades successfully and makes you sick, or there is a feed-forward cycle of unrelenting infl ammation that overwhelms the system

and disease states begin to occur. What tips the balance in both these situations is an already present state of chronic infl ammation.

As my diagram here illustrates, lifestyle factors alone cause a rise in unrelenting infl ammation that brings the baseline very close to threshold. If your infl ammatory burden is this close to this threshold and overtime, you experience a number or all these other triggers, or inputs indicated in purple that further raises your infl ammatory burden, then it only takes one more ‘event’ to reach threshold and immune resilience fails.

Immune system resilience is about more than simply avoiding sickness. It’s about maintaining an infl ammatory and immune response that is neither too passive nor too active, 24/7. A resilient response is the immune system responding in the right place at the right time, in the correct way. If we lose that resilience, then some sort of disease occurs.

Framed in this way, the holy grail of optimal health and wellbeing is to build and maintain a flexible and resilient immune system.

Continued over >

Science tells us that a lot of good things happen in our brains while we sleep
37 APRIL 2023 |

Contributory factors to inflammation over time



To mount an immune response is a highly energy demanding job, we need a good supply of vitamins and minerals and balanced macronutrients: carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Excess sugar in the form of refi ned ‘package and promise’ foods types (my worst is breakfast cereals) should be avoided. Sugar both disrupts the diversity of our gut microbiome which plays a vital role in the art of immune tolerance and also high blood sugar unleashes destructive molecules that interfere with the body’s natural infection-control defences.

What to eat? Opt for real whole foods, especially vegetables and some fruit that are nutrient dense in polyphenols, active chemical compounds and vitamins and minerals which help protect cells from toxins and reduce infl ammation in your body and improve diversity of the gut microbiome. Spices are a great source of polyphenols too so include more garlic, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon.

Th ink about protein as the side dish, rather than the main event and choose from fatty fish, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, turkey, lamb and preferably organic beef and chicken.

If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation: 2-3 glasses of wine a week or a couple of gin and tonics.


Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. Many conditions have infl ammation at their very core, and so pushing you further towards that infl ammatory threshold. 40 minutes of exercise to raise your heart rate four to five times a week is the goal.



The different microorganisms, particularly the bacteria within the gut lumen, are producing chemicals that act on the host. Eating in the way described above is the best way to promote diversity and immune tolerance.



Science tells us that a lot of good things happen in our brains while we sleep. Learning and memories are consolidated and waste is removed, among other things. New research shows for the fi rst time that important immune cells called microglia - which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage - are also primarily active while we sleep. The fi ndings, which appear in the journal Nature Neuroscience, have implications for brain plasticity. Adults generally require seven to eight hours sleep a night and teens nine to ten hours a night.


When to eat? Eat two to three meals a day rather than snack and graze all day. Without even realising many of us are eating up to 16 hours a day. Leaving four to five hour gaps between meals or practicing eating in an eight-hour window during the day reduces unnecessary infl ammation. 2

Th is vitamin is so important for our immune system and overall health it’s being reclassified as a hormone! Vitamin D plays a key role in facilitating a balanced immune response - and helps to fight an infection like a virus. Although we do synthesise vitamin D ourselves - it’s quite a process and the conditions need to be right. In the UK, and at similar latitudes, summer midday sunlight contains enough UVB for vitamin D synthesis while the weaker sunlight of winter provides a negligible amount of vitamin D synthesis. So getting out in the sunshine is helpful but it does need to be the correct UVB.

There are some supplemental nutrients and medications that of course bridge a nutrient gap or block an infl ammatory pathway respectively which may be needed in some situations, but the overriding message here is that we cannot live a lifestyle of taking our built-in mechanisms for granted. It’s akin to fi lling up your prize sports car with diesel rather than unleaded petrol, and expect optional health and wellbeing to be the result! Look after yourselves and your immune resilience will take care of you well into your old age!

Tanya Borowski is a holistic health practitioner.
New infection Alcohol Smoking Mould infections Stress/Poor sleep Unhealthy relationships Epstein Barr Virus Gut dysbiosis/infections SIBO Insulin Resistance Herpes virus Histamine Heavy metal burden Drug use Weight Gain Glyphosate Xenbiotics Food sensitivities or intolerances H pylori Poor diet in sugar (very close to threshold) (close to threshold) Decline in immune resilience Increased vulnerability to poor health & autoimmunity 20 30 40 Contributing factors Age Threshold

Are women really more mentally ill THAN MEN?

As a psychologist, I’m not so sure.

In the UK, being a woman means you are three times more likely than a man to have a mental health problem. Rates of self-harm among young women have more than tripled since the 1990s.

For those facing interlocking systems of oppression, it gets worse. Black British women are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health problem than white women. South Asian women are 2.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than white women. Trans women and gender non-conforming folks face a “crisis of trans mental health”. But are women really becoming more ‘mentally ill,’ or are we simply having understandable responses to a traumatising and unjust world?

I’ve previously written about the lies of “mental health” –how we are failing people by locating their problems within them as some kind of mental disorder or psychological problem, and thereby depoliticising their distress. As a

psychologist, I’ve seen how mental health services are diagnosing women and girls who have experienced injustice, patriarchal violence and abuse with ‘mental disorders’.

One example is the highly stigmatised diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ (also known as “emotionally unstable personality disorder”), which is disproportionately given to women and young girls. In my experience, those receiving this diagnosis are often survivors of extreme sexual abuse, oppression and violence, which could surely explain the “emptiness, inappropriate and intense anger, mood swings and distrust” that are so-called ‘symptoms’ of the disorder.

The psychiatric label can deny the legitimacy of emotions, sending a disempowering message that there is something inherently flawed or disordered in a survivor’s personality. It risks obscuring the violent causes of suffering. The adaptive strategies women use in the face of multiple injustices are not

40 | APRIL 2023
We are not living through a crisis of chemical imbalances, but of power imbalances

symptoms of ‘mental illness’ – they are courageous survival responses to unbearable conditions.

Women are more likely to experience poverty, sexual and domestic violence, along with the challenges of childcare and burnout. In a climate of social media hyper-visibility and body image obsession, where police are murdering women they’re supposed to protect, and two women a week are killed by their partners, doesn’t it make sense that women are suffering? At what point does a woman’s fear, rage and sadness at living on the threatening edges of a patriarchal world get labelled as madness or ‘mental illness’?

‘Difficult’ women have been labelled ‘psychiatrically impaired’ throughout history, often for refusing to conform to social roles imposed upon them. ‘Angry woman syndrome’ was a disorder classified by ‘marital maladjustment’. Women were locked in asylums for having sex outside marriage and chatting with other women. So-called symptoms of diagnoses such as hysteria (derived from the Greek hystera meaning ‘uterus’) or erotomania, were treated with freezing

cold baths, shackles, and electric shocks through the brain. Surely we’ve come a long way since then?

Well, not quite. History’s shadow looms over women in psychiatric systems today. Young girls are dying from violent restraint, coercion and neglect in psychiatric hospitals. Black women are more likely to be restrained or sectioned, and have their distress criminalised. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is still used across the UK (despite calls for it to be banned on human rights grounds), with women and older people disproportionately likely to experience its damaging effects. Muslim women’s cultural or religious experiences risk being labelled ‘symptoms’ of mental illness by white, eurocentric services. Psychiatric diagnoses such as ‘premenstrual dysphoric disorder’ pathologise women’s hormonal changes, and ‘postnatal depression’ risks medicalising what is, for some women, an understandable response to life-altering, sometimes traumatic changes, in a woman’s life and body. Continued over >

41 APRIL 2023 |

Shockingly, diagnoses are even being invented. Recently, a Panorama investigation revealed that at least seven pregnancy advice centres in the UK state that termination can cause ‘post-abortion syndrome,’ a so-called ‘mental disorder’ unrecognised by the NHS and an obvious attempt to frighten pregnant people.

Psychiatric diagnoses have been helpful for some women: they can validate pain, or help us access necessary support in the form of therapy, benefits or sometimes psychiatric drugs. Not getting a diagnosis prevents some women from receiving what they need. The emotions women are experiencing are very real and debilitating, requiring support.

But what if we had a bigger toolbox? One that also helps us dismantle systems of oppression that are hurting us? What if we could access all the things we deserve – validation that our pain is real, an explanation, a sense of belonging, compassion, justice, resources, relief and respite, therapy and community – without believing there is something wrong with us, or that we have a broken brain?

With these in our toolbox, a radical transformation in our approach to women’s emotional pain would be possible. We need a cultural shift – one that gives us compassionate room to feel how despair shows up in our bodies and express our rightfully messy emotions, without always rushing to fi x, medicalise or label them. Our disquieting and tangled emotional landscapes are far more complicated than a TikTok video or psychiatric label might suggest.

One thing is clear: healing cannot happen in isolation –we desperately need each other’s support. The dehumanising lies of gendered hierarchy weigh heavily upon us all. Social action can help us tend to the sometimes hidden roots of our pain – the oppressive systems that hurt us. We must prioritise secure housing and universal basic income for women and families and redirect resources to underfunded domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centres. We also need more community organisations like Imkaan and Sistah Space, working to prevent gender-based violence against black women, or Beyond Equality, which works with boys and men, dismantling the ways patriarchal violence is upheld in their behaviour.

We are not living through a crisis of chemical imbalances, but of power imbalances. Women deserve shelter, safety, community, therapy, resources, spaces to breathe and be fully human; wildly woman and deliciously rageful. When we dare to reveal ourselves, neither we nor our unruly emotions can be boxed or labelled. Our seemingly unsightly pain is longing to be witnessed, and met with love. It is only through collectively caring for our hurt, that we can move beyond survival – to cultivate the joy, pleasure and freedom we deserve.

Dr Sanah Ahsan is an award-winning poet, a HCPC registered clinical psychologist, a presenter, speaker and educator.
The psychiatric label can deny the legitimacy of emotions, sending a disempowering message that there is something inherently fl awed or disordered in a survivor’s personality
A Wild in Art event in support of Martlets Registered charity number: 802145
be sheepish - download our SPONSORSHEEP Pack today! Join our flock #BrightonFlock
part of the biggest brightest charity event to hit Brighton Headline Sponsor Big ™ Aardman Animations LTD 2022

Introducing Yetunde Hofmann, who is a board level executive leadership coach and mentor, global change, inclusion and diversity adviser, author of Beyond Engagement and founder of SOLARIS – a pioneering new leadership development programme for black women. Find out more at


The power of sponsorship, mentorship, and allyship in the career advancement of Black women

Finding individuals within an organisation, industry or wider network who provide mentorship and guidance is an important part of career progression for every employee. But the value of this support and advocacy for a black woman is doubly important. She can often be in environments where she is the only black woman at the table or has little in the way of representation higher up the career ladder. Ensuring there is someone in her corner to champion, support and listen to her can make a vast difference in her career trajectory. Here’s why…

For black women, having a mentor whom she can confide in and seek advice from regarding career opportunities, safely and without judgement, creates a sense of belonging and safety, which can go some way to addressing feelings of Imposter Syndrome. Evidence shows this hits women of colour the hardest.

Mentors offer a safe space in which to share experiences and ideas in the comfort that the response will be free of bias. Internal mentors can also provide insights into the culture, politics and unspoken ways in which decisions are made to help black women better navigate and progress within their workplaces.



Published by Routledge (2022)

This is not a book of antiracist theory but antiracist tactics – tactics that anyone, of any race, can use to strike a blow against injustice. Antiracism is not about what we feel but what we do, and there are specific techniques we can use to create a just world.

44 | APRIL 2023 REVIEW
Being an ally to black women is hugely important for contributing to the development of black leaders in your organisations

Likewise, sponsorship, which is not the same as mentorship, is an especially powerful tool for the career development of black women, as research has found they are more likely to be overlooked for a promotion in comparison with their non-black female colleagues.

Having a sponsor who will promote your talents, even when you’re not present in the room, is like having an agent seek out your next big opportunity. They act in support of, and respect for, your progression in your chosen career path and will proactively advocate for and champion you in discussions with decision-makers around promotion and development opportunities, and that network is hugely valuable for anyone looking to move up the ladder.

Being an ally to black women is also hugely important for contributing to the development of black leaders in your organisations. It’s important to amplify the black voices in your organisations and go beyond just listening to their experiences to proactively asking for and implementing their recommendations. We all have our own experiences, talents and needs that should be recognised and valued. If you are in a position of power or influence, speak up against inequalities and biases, and work with other leaders to enact changes that will make a real difference for your black/black heritage female employees.



Published by Routledge (2021)

Giving Voice to Values, under the leadership of Mary Gentile, has fundamentally changed the way business ethics and values-driven leadership is taught and discussed in academic and corporate settings worldwide.



Published by Tenshey (2021)

As the first woman to become Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at SAP, Maggie Chan Jones knows what it takes to reach the pinnacle of your career aspirations. In Decoding Sponsorship, she pulls back the curtain on the stories and lessons she learned in the journey to her career North Star as a CMO.

45 APRIL 2023 |
For black women, having a mentor whom she can confide in and seek advice from... creates a sense of belonging and safety

The Artworks of Dana Cowie

ART SCENE I see pictures everywhere I go

Canadian artist Dana Cowie has an English heritage which naturally influences her paintings. If you were to cut her, no doubt paint would flow. Art is her language and love, she says, “I need to paint. It’s an extension of who I am, how I see the world and how I declare my faith. Sometimes, I cannot fi nd the words, yet I can communicate well using pictures.”

Living in a stunning part of Canada, she doesn’t take her environment for granted. Taking walks to absorb the energy and imagery, she collects them in photographs and takes them back to her studio to document in paint.

Her faith is central to her; she takes time to pause, reflect and connect with spirit before each painting session. Her paintings are semi-abstract and pulsate with colour and texture. The palette varies according to the picture. She mixes the colours as she develops each piece, adjusting the values, tones and temperature as the images emerge.

The countryside, as a theme, is transformed into cubist shapes of colour and tone. Using classic impasto oils and her Grandmother’s 1940s palette knives, she works to create abstract landscapes that are fractured and highly textural. Dana’s loose and painterly approach distorts her picture plane and reduces the elements to a patchwork of geometric shapes. Expressionist marks are layered until the surface takes on it’s own relief pattern, and the image and atmosphere surface.

Dana fi nds strength in her motherhood and attributes her love of creating to her mother. As a child, her mother encouraged her to craft and make things. Her work ethic was instilled by witnessing her single mother raise her while working and studying. Dana balances her time between bringing up her daughters and painting. Both give her tremendous joy. | MARCH 2023 46 ART

Dana Cowie’s paintings are internationally collected. New works can be seen at Kellie Miller Arts, 20 Market Street Brighton.

Kellie Miller is an artist, curator, critic and gallery owner.

MARCH 2023 |
I need to paint. It’s an extension of who I am, how I see the world and how I declare my faith

Alexander House Hotel & Spa

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Sussex countryside, Alexander House Hotel is a picturesque and luxurious retreat that exudes old-world charm and sophistication. Th is Jacobean country house hotel offers a blend of luxury and relaxation, making it the great choice for anyone looking for a memorable and indulgent stay.

The hotel’s spa is undoubtedly one of its standout features, offering a range of facilities and experiences that are sure to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. The indoor wet spa area is rather cosy with contemporary, yet calming design achieved with natural materials and muted tones to create a soothing atmosphere.

One of the highlights of the spa is its Sensory Spa Garden, an outdoor space that offers a range of different experiences designed to awaken the senses and promote relaxation. Surrounded by lush greenery and tranquil water features, the garden features a hot tub, sauna, and steam room, as well as an outdoor shower and plunge pool. Whether you’re looking to unwind

after a long day of sightseeing or simply want to escape from the stresses of everyday life, the Sensory Spa Garden is the perfect place to relax and unwind in nature.

Of course, the spa is just one part of what makes Alexander House Hotel such a special place to stay. The hotel itself is a stunning country house that exudes elegance and charm, with spacious and beautifully appointed rooms that offer all the modern amenities you could need. Each room is unique, with its own character and charm, making your stay feel truly special and memorable.

A more recent addition to your overnight options is the modern Cedar Lodge Suites, just a short walk from the main hotel. These suites offer plenty of space, air conditioning and balconies overlooking the lush countryside.

The hotel’s dining options are equally impressive, with a range of restaurants and bars that cater to all tastes and preferences. The fine dining restaurant, AG’s, is a must-visit for any foodie, with its creative menus and stunning presentation. The restaurant’s talented chefs use only the finest ingredients, and the dishes

48 | APRIL 2023 TRAVEL
This Jacobean country house hotel offers a blend of luxury and relaxation


Yes, Alexander House Hotel has rooms specially adapted for disabled guests


Babies and children are allowed but this hotel has an adult atmosphere. The spa area is for adults only.


Well-behaved pooches are welcome in the pet friendly rooms and suites. They are also allowed to dine in the Reflections Lounge


From £173.00 in April 2023.

are bursting with flavour and creativity. Whether you opt for the tasting menu or choose from the à la carte selection, you’re sure to have an unforgettable dining experience at AG’s.

For a more relaxed dining experience, the hotel’s brasserie, Reflections, offers a tempting selection of classic dishes and light bites, all served in a relaxed and informal setting. The hotel also has a range of elegant public spaces, including a cosy bar and lounge area, where you can enjoy a pre-dinner drink or a nightcap.

Overall, Alexander House Hotel is a gem, offering a perfect blend of luxury, relaxation, and indulgence. Whether you’re looking to unwind in the spa, indulge in fine dining, or simply escape to the beautiful Sussex countryside, this stunning country house hotel is the perfect choice. With its elegant rooms, impeccable service, and world-class facilities, it’s no wonder that Alexander House Hotel is one of Sussex’s most sought-after destinations.

Alexander House & Utopia Spa, Turners Hill, East Grinstead, RH10 4QD


The multi-award winning spa booking platform works with over 600 spas in the UK and Ireland, arranging spa days and breaks for up to 6,000 people a week. As Europe’s number 1 spa specialist, the talented team works closely with spas to create packages that showcase the best each destination has to offer. Customer service is central to everything they do, with their UK-based team of spa experts ready to help individuals find the right experience for them.

APRIL 2023 | 49


Nr. Horsham

Shaun the Sheep has travelled all the way from Mossy Bottom Farm. Are you ready for the most exciting adventure of ‘Hide and Sheep’? Bringing a fun new dimension to family days out filled with photo opportunities, crafts and exploration!

Grab your flock and take part in a baaa-rilliant game of ‘Hide & Sheep’ to find Shaun whilst enjoying spring in our beautiful woodland gardens.

Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens

Until April 23rd all-events/shaun-the-sheep


A brief snapshot of art and culture in Sussex and Surrey


Sheffield Park

Meet some of Sheffield Park and Garden’s more lively residents on our duck-themed Easter trail. Have a duck-load of fun as you make your way along the trail, finding mallard-inspired activities for the whole family.

Spending time in the gardens is sure to fit the bill this Easter. It’s the season when the garden comes alive with carpets of daffodils, woodlands glowing with bluebells and rhododendron blossom.

Sheffield Park & Gardens

April 1st-16th sheffield-park-and-garden



Motoring fanatics can expect to see over 600 vintage cars, bikes, and buses on display. From turn of the century runabouts to modern day star cars and a dedicated ‘cars of the future’ section, visitors can enjoy over a century of motoring heritage with some fascinating stories behind each bonnet.

Western Lawns, Eastbourne

April 29th-30th magnificent-motors



We invite you to join us to celebrate the crowning of our new King, His Majesty King Charles III with a Coronation High Tea at our Tasting Room. Mark this historic occasion in the beautiful surroundings of the South Downs while sipping on Sussex wine and indulging in a delicious afternoon tea platter fit for a King.

Albourne Wine Estate

May 6th-7th visit-us/special-events

50 | APRIL 2023



Have you ever wondered what lies behind all the closed doors in the Royal Pavilion? Join our guide to explore and discover servants’ corridors, the King’s Bathroom, mysterious hidden staircases, kitchens, cupboards, The King’s Band Room and other secret spaces!

Brighton Pavilion

Wednesdays visit/royal-pavilion-garden



The singer-songwriter from Brighton has a unique story. As someone with autism Daniel’s forging a new path through the UK music scene, portraying a much-needed positive image of learning-disabled people in media. His mainstream popularity came through several show-stealing appearances on Channel 4’s The Undateables. Having featured on the show more than any other person, there was an overwhelming love for him and his music.

Komedia Brighton

April 13th



The Great Escape is THE festival to check out new music. This Brighton showcase extravaganza, founded in 2016, brings in over 500 new artists in 30+ venues across the city, and a festival site on Brighton Beach, for a weekend of musical discovery.

Discover your new favourite artist and see them before they become the next big thing.

Across Brighton

May 10th-13th




Make WILD memories and enjoy a great family day out at the award-winning Drusillas Park. Drusillas offers a loving home to over one hundred exotic animals, including sloths and penguins!



Singleton, Nr. Chichester

Come and experience a thousand years of rural life in one remarkable open air site. The museum offers a range of exciting seasonal activities throughout the year, although even a non-activity day is a great adventure too.




A fabulous nature reserve with stunning coastal scenery situated within the High Weald Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. countryside-nature


Haywards Heath

Borde Hill is a beautiful Grade II* English Heritage listed garden. Renowned as a plantsman’s paradise, the Garden boasts rare shrubs and champion trees, stunning herbaceous borders, a large lily pool and subtropical dells with palms and banana trees.


Coombes, Nr Lancing Church Farm itself is a fully working farm set in 420 hectares within the beautiful South Downs in West Sussex, where the Passmore family has been farming for five generations since 1901.



High above the medieval streets of Lewes, stands Lewes Castle, begun soon after 1066 by William de Warenne as his stronghold. Climb the steps to the top and be rewarded with spectacular views over the town attraction/lewes-castle

51 APRIL 2023 |

A whiteonelephant Tesla’s tail?

It’s always interesting how times and perceptions move on; no more so than when it comes to electric cars. I reviewed the ID.5’s younger sibling, the ID.4 in January 2022 and declared that it ‘was the least range anxiety-inducing’ electric car that I had driven up to that point. I enjoyed it very much and gave it a happy and healthy eight of out 10.

12 months on, the matter of ‘range anxiety’ did not even enter my head when the ID.5 arrived, such is our growing understanding, confidence and knowledge of electric cars. As a result, there is now a natural reduction in fear and worry that we won’t run out of power any time soon.

The still woefully slow but emerging infrastructure of local charging stations and shared anecdotal knowledge amongst the growing number of electric vehicle owners all

adds to the curiosity of potential ownership – also fl amed by our current off-the-scale fuel costs and both climate and cost-of-living crises.

Th is latest chapter in the VW ID family story, the ID.5 is the fi rst electric SUV coupe with in-built sustainability (more on what that means later), a focus on equipment, quality and, as ever, the expected VW practicality and safety.

The ID.5 is VW’s fi rst vehicle with a bi–directional charging function. With this technology, the ID.5 can feed electricity it does not currently need back into the owner’s home network and in the future, will be able to feed back into the overall infrastructure.

According to VW, it also has, wait for this… sustainability, quality, and ‘charisma’. The Oxford English dictionary defi nes charisma as ‘a compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in another or a divinely conferred power or talent’.

Whilst I can understand the overall devotion to the iconic

52 | APRIL 2023



POWER: 171/294 bhp

SPEED: 0-62 – 6.1/10.1 seconds

TOP SPEED: 112 mph

RANGE: 281 – 327 miles (actual 250)

PRICE FROM: £49,970


• Fantastic turning circle.

• Good looking upholstery made from recycled materials.

• Keyless entry – just sit on the seat and drive away.

• LED Light across the dashboard that shows how much charging there is to go.

• Up to 313 miles of range available but in reality, expect around 288 miles.


• It’s a heavy car that is not terribly comfortable – I found it a fidget inducing car no matter how many seat adjustments I made.

• Rear passenger windows have to be both unlocked and operated from the front by the driver.

• Rear window visibility is limited by the coupe curve and the unnecessary spoiler.

• Storage space in doors is very deep and easy to never see sight of small but very important items like phones, keys and pens ever again.

• Rocker switch – to operate the driving modes, is positioned behind the steering wheel (as in ID.4 too), which still feels unintuitive and distracting.

• Very slim arm rests which you pull down (as in ID.4) – fine if you are a figure from a Lowry portrait but very uncomfortable, if you do not hail from that neck of the woods.

• The infotainment system was not back lit at night, so not easy to navigate at all.

• Rear camera is very low down so they get dirty very quickly –unlike the brilliant James Bond ID.3 camera which keeps clean by actually popping out of the VW badge when needed and back in again – why not on all VWs?

The ID.5 is expensive for what it is and I would be tempted to stick with the nippy and fun ID.4 if I were you.


part of the VW brand, the ID.5 is absolutely not charismatic. It remains really quite conservative and uncompelling to drive but it may well be for the electro geeks that the bi–directional charging will enhance its fan base and prove that beauty really does lie within.

I wish I was not so disappointed by this car but I am. As a big VW fan, maybe this is a departure too far away from their iconic design roots and ‘edge’. If you had taken the ID.5 badge off and asked me to identify it, I would not have said VW as my fi rst choice – and this pains me.

The ID.4 was a departure but not that far. I got in it and thought OK – this is pretty acceptable given new manufacturing techniques, especially the design considerations required for electric car batteries and storage. But I fear that the ID.5 will sadly be VW’s ‘white elephant’ that they might come to discreetly retire.

53 APRIL 2023 |
I fear that the ID.5 will sadly be VW’s white elephant that they might come to discreetly retire

Articles inside

A whiteonelephant Tesla’s tail?

pages 134-135


pages 132-133


pages 131-132

Alexander House Hotel & Spa

pages 130-131

ART SCENE I see pictures everywhere I go

pages 128-129


pages 126-128

Are women really more mentally ill THAN MEN?

pages 122-126

Contributory factors to inflammation over time

pages 120-121

Boosting our immunity or building resilience?

pages 118-119

Lisa King OBE

pages 117-118

Claire Irving

page 116

Claire Krost

page 115


page 114


pages 113-114


pages 112-113

Legal & General helps dreams come true for children

pages 110-111


pages 106-110


pages 104-106


pages 100-103

The imminent collapse of the childcare sector

pages 97-100


pages 94-97

Financial advice, built around you.

pages 93-94

Help to grow programme

page 92

Helping women to grow

pages 90-91


pages 80-85, 87-89


pages 78-79


pages 76-77


pages 75-76

£58,500 raised at The Rockinghorse Children’s Charity Glitter Ball

pages 72-73, 75

Making physical space in a virtual world

pages 70-71


pages 69-70


pages 66-67


pages 65-66


pages 62-65


pages 60-62


pages 56-60


pages 54-55


pages 52-54


pages 48-52


pages 46-48


pages 44-46

SOUTHAMPTON SCIENCE PARK celebrates 40 years of innovation

pages 40-44


pages 38-39


pages 37-38


page 36


pages 34-35


pages 32-34

Action your business can take to minimise supply chain risk

pages 28-29

Selling your business

pages 26-28

What alternatives are there when liquidation feels like the only option?

pages 24-25


pages 22, 24


pages 20-22


page 20


pages 18-20


pages 16-17


pages 15-16


page 15


page 14


pages 13-14


page 13


page 12


pages 11-12


pages 10-11


pages 9-10


page 7
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