Surrey Business Magazine - issue 68

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Surrey Awards winners Ethics of ChatGPT Estate disputes Fully immersive travel Motoring: The best EVs Employment law changes

TECH WEEK 2024 JUNE 3RD-5TH 2024





01483 735540 01483 735540





38 The Story of the Den Series 21 of Dragons’ Den hits our screens next year. Surrey Business Magazine looks at the history of adversarial battle of business wits


11 Surrey Chamber News A round up of Surrey Chambers of Commerce members’ news 16 Surrey Chamber Events What’s on for Surrey Chambers members 18 Surrey County Council Local authorities to take on the work currently undertaken by LEPs 19 Invuse Unlocking digital access: the power of accessibility 21 Local Skills Improvement Plan Building dynamic relationships between business and education 23 University of Surrey What’s actually going on when we ‘job-hop’?


26 Sussex Business Awards Tickets are now on sale, and they’re going fast! 28 Stop Them Dead Highlights from the latest Peter James book launch 34 The Platinum Club Now in its 15th year, and still going strong, this month featuring an exclusive talk and book launch 72 Surrey Business Awards The highlights, the fun, the excitement and the winners at Surrey’s premier business awards night 78 Plumpton Racecourse A look ahead to the festive programme at this fine sport venue



30 Gatwick Airport Gatwick’s plans could add 60,000 new jobs, plus a new Gatwick STEM centre is launched 66 MHA MHA building a presence in the Gatwick Diamond 68 On Being Men Yaron Engler on leveraging purpose and building resilience 70 Surrey Research Park Inside the Guildford School of Acting 80 Let’s Do Business Celebrating 20 years of supporting and funding local businesses 83 Cleankill Cleankill is shortlisted for a sustainability award


44 Kreston Reeves How prepared is your business for Net Zero? 58 EMC How a business owner should prepare for growth 77 Haines Watts Dan Morgan on the challenges when scaling a business


61 Hurstpierpoint College Why performing arts should be at the centre of education


54 DMH Stallard Marriage, divorce and relationships in estate disputes 56 DMH Stallard commentary Which is preferable – equity or debt? 62 Loch Associates What’s changing in the employment law and HR world? 64 Mayo Wynne Baxter The absolute necessity of confidentiality in business


84 Anger Management Maarten Hoffmann lifts the lid on who really started the Israeli / Palestinian conflict


86 Fully immersed travel Tess de Klerk suggests a few journeys that really make you appreciate Mother Earth


88 ‘Bright Sparks’ Maarten Hoffmann looks at the 15 best electric vehicles currently on the market 90 Bentley Continental Mulliner Maarten also test drove this elegant piece of engineering, and promptly put it in his top 10 all-time favourite cars


46-53 Tech Week 2024

With progressive, into-the-future articles from Watch This Sp_ce, Wired Sussex, and Sussex Innovation, Surrey Magazine presents some of the topics to be debated at next year’s Tech Week

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.



We had a great night at the Surrey Business Awards last month. The evening was a great opportunity to do what we love to do at the Chamber, which is to network with the business community. The highlight was the presentation of 16 awards, including many gained by Surrey Chambers members. Notably, Croxsons was crowned overall Company of the Year; ramsac, Large Business of the Year and Employer of the Year; and Login Lounge took Start-up of the Year. The Community Hero award went to Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey and Sussex; and Something Big was recognised as Chamber Member of the Year. Mandira’s Kitchen and Tenscare were also Highly Commended in their categories. In spite of all the challenges thrown at them, Surrey businesses find ways to continue to flourish and show incredible resilience and innovation. We had a fantastic set of entries, and those of us judging had a very difficult task of choosing winners as every single business had an amazing story to tell.

In spite of all the challenges ❛❛ thrown at them, Surrey businesses find ways to continue to flourish ❜❜ 4


Skills remain a key focus of the chamber as it is the people in our organisations who deliver the successes we are familiar with. We need them to be suitably trained, and we need to be able to access the training and skills necessary. There are more details in the magazine, but we have now launched our Opportunities tab allowing employers and training providers to more easily link up and work together to ensure the best prepared workforce of the future. Surrey County Council has announced the launch of a Careers Hub covering the whole of Surrey, ensuring standardisation in the provision available. The team has started work with the county’s secondary schools, special schools, and colleges with the aim of ensuring every young person can find their best next step. We will be encouraging businesses to get involved by offering workplace encounters, support schools directly as an enterprise advisor, or strategically guide the work as a cornerstone employer. Businesses need a strong and agile workforce to thrive and grow, and the County Council, together with the Careers Hub, will support our businesses to secure the workforce of the future.


We love making sure our members are well informed about the many aspects of running a business. Our latest signpost could be a game changer. Looking after your workforce is key and Chamber member, Crossroads Care Surrey has just launched its Employers Hub for Unpaid Caring, a new resource to help employers support carers in their workforce. Regardless of the size of a business, research shows that by supporting unpaid carers and using a flexible working approach, you will have better staff retention, reduce recruitment and training costs and increase productivity.

Louise Punter CEO Surrey Chamber of Commerce


The world of business representation has never been more important with the upcoming General Election, there is the need to make sure whichever party is elected, they understand what is needed to support businesses. The national chamber network is stronger than ever, enabling us to have an effective voice in Westminster and have a real influence on policy decisions. At the recent party conferences, we were front and centre representing business interests and will continue to challenge present and future governments to support the wealth generators of our society - the businesses. Surrey Chambers of Commerce can be reached on 01483 735540,; @surreychambers on X (formerly Twitter);

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We are Surrey's largest not-forprofit business support and networking, organisation We act as a catalyst by connecting you to opportunities, skills, knowledge and valuable contacts. All of our services and products are directed by the business community for the business community. As a member, there are many marketing opportunities available to you, designed to help you maximise your membership

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Surrey Chambers of Commerce welcomes its latest member companies

When you join Surrey Chambers of Commerce, your company details automatically get listed on this page alongside fellow new members. What a fantastic way to let the Surrey Business community know you are out there and ready to get those all-important connections. 01483 275756






SALLY RULE: THE HOME~OLOGIST 01483 205369 01293 775071 07879 653982 01483 479500

All new Chamber members are entitled to a one-off 50% discount for a company profile within this magazine. Contact for more details

If you are looking to join Surrey Chambers, then please do get in touch: or call 01483 735540. We look forward to hearing from you! @surreychambersofcommerce @surreychambers @surreychambersofcommerce 01483 735540 @surreychambersofcommerce


SURREYSurrey CHAMBERS COMMERCE Chambers ofOF commerce

EXECUTIVE PARTNERS EXECUTIVE PARTNERS & PATRONS & PATRONS Learn more about executive partner membership or patronage at

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@surreychambersofcommerce @surreychambers 01483 735540 @surreychambersofcommerce @surreychambersofcommerce


Join us for a BWiS evening of discussion and networking. We’ll explore exactly what this means when it comes to taking your business from start-up to scaleup.



If you or someone in your organisation would benefit from a refresher on all things mathematical, our courses are the ones to attend.


Do you sometimes get confused with percentages?


Are fractions confusing?


Does your budget at work or at home add up?


With or without VAT - does this tie you in knots?


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What will be covered? Calculating Percentages Profit and Loss Basic accounting VAT Net and Gross Income Financial Analysis

Because of government funding via Surrey County Council we are able to run these courses at no cost to the business

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CHAMBERS NE WS PROFESSOR BRIAN COX LEADS ACTION-PACKED BROOKLANDS INNOVATION ACADEMY 2023 Brooklands Innovation Academy brought together 400 students aged 12-14 for a day of hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) education. Led in person by Professor Brian Cox, CBE OBE FRS, and a key partner in the national Science Summer School programme, Brooklands Innovation Academy 2023 inspired and captured the imaginations of students from across the region. The workshops were hosted by Brooklands Museum and a number of well-known industry partners, including Haleon, McLaren F1, Airbus, British Airways, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Workshops covered topics from sustainable pipelines to pilot training, safety testing Formula 1 components, fighting plastic pollution, and saving lives with healthcare.

BIZZCTRL’S APP RECEIVES XERO CERTIFICATION BizzCtrl, a leading innovator in financial solutions based near Guildford, has announced that its groundbreaking application, “GetPaid,” has received certification from Xero and is now available on the Xero marketplace. GetPaid is a pioneering app, seamlessly connecting Xero clients with debt collection agencies in

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh also participated in the day. She spoke to the students on the importance of STEM careers and participated in Haleon’s toothpaste workshop with Professor Cox. She also took part in the Heritage Skills Academy workshop and addressed students from Nightingale, the F1 in Schools Team. The day’s focus was on preparing for – and addressing – future challenges such as advanced medicine, transportation, sustainable manufacturing, and the climate crisis. The Academy’s guest speakers came from diverse backgrounds, from emergency medicine, academic science, and motorsport engineering through to Kirsty Murphy, the first (and currently, only) female pilot to fly with the RAF Aerobatic team, The Red Arrows. Both parts of the day included an inspiring address from Professor Cox.

Industry support was critical to the Academy’s success in 2022, a theme that has continued this year with extensive involvement and engagement with many businesses. Haleon and the NHS are major supporters, along with a host of national and regional scientific organisations and technical businesses. Brooklands Innovation Academy is part of the national Science Summer School programme, co-founded by Professor Brian Cox and Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, and managed by Well North Enterprises.

a fully digital and efficient manner. Xero customers can now place their unpaid invoices with a debt collection service in under 30 seconds, all while enjoying competitive pricing for state-of-the-art, ethical, and professional collections.

a transformative solution to our customers,” said Oliver Stich, CEO of BizzCtrl. “Our mission is to simplify financial processes and empower businesses to thrive. GetPaid is a testament to our commitment to innovation and excellence.”

With GetPaid, Xero customers can bid farewell to the headache of unpaid invoices, allowing them to concentrate on their core business operations. “We are ecstatic to bring GetPaid to Xero’s marketplace and offer


Surrey Chambers Golf Society

Whats Coming Up? Want to get involved? Email to find out more



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SCGS MAJOR! The Addlington Golf Club

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SURREY CROWNED CYBER UNIVERSITY OF THE YEAR The University of Surrey has been recognised for its worldleading innovation in the field of cyber security after being named Cyber University of the Year at the National Cyber Awards 2023. The awards celebrate excellence and innovation in the UK’s cyber security sector across academia, defence, policing and industry, and recognise individuals and institutions who are committed to cyber innovation, cybercrime reduction and protecting citizens online.

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Surrey, said, “I’m delighted to congratulate colleagues in Surrey Centre for Cyber Security. The award reflects their expertise, leadership and contribution to the state of the art in cyber security, as well as the societal impact of their work. Tackling security threats is more relevant now than ever before, and University of Surrey is proud to be playing a leading role.”

works with industry, government and academia to establish methods and techniques which tackle cyber security threats.   Surrey is one of only seven UK universities to be recognised by the government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) as both an academic centre of excellence in cyber security research and in cyber security education.

The Surrey Centre for Cyber Security (SCCS) at the University

WINNERS OF PRESTIGIOUS FOREST AND HEALTH INNOVATION CHALLENGE During 2023, two Innovation Challenges were launched at the Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland by UpLink, the open innovation platform of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Challenge One was the ‘Sustainable Forest Economy Challenge’ which called out for ‘ecopreneurial’ startups providing sustainable forest management and technology solutions. Challenge Two focussed on the ‘Forest and Health’ and in particular, innovative approaches to adopting forest health as a pathway tackling negative effects of being disconnected with nature in our modern world. Additionally, the challenge is to tackle urban and rural environments with a community-centred and biodiversity protection approach.

A total of 21 top innovators were selected across both challenges, with 147 quality led submissions by organisations from around the world. Selected as one of the top innovators, in the category of ‘Forest and Health’,

the Forest Bathing Institute was asked to join the UpLink Innovation Network of the WEF. The Forest Bathing Institute’s vision is to replicate the Japanese research conducted over the last 30 years, and to advance the practice of Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing through its university research and community outreach programmes based on this established nature-based therapy. The institute would like to hear from anyone who is interested in its work. It is looking for more Forest Bathing guides who are interested in training with a view to helping charities and vulnerable members of society. Tel: 01932 880712.

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THEATRE COMPANY DUO WIN DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD Sarah Gobran and Matt Pinches, co-founders and producers of the Guildford Shakespeare Company, have triumphed at the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) Director of the Year Awards 2023, winning the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion category.

Jonathan Geldart, director general of the IoD, said: “It was a pleasure to host the awards evening which brought together directors from

across the country to celebrate their businesses, achievements and the communities within which they live and work.”

Covering the whole of England, the awards showcase and celebrate the leadership, achievements and contributions of business leaders across a range of categories from sustainability to innovation and Chartered Director. This year, the 120th anniversary of the Institute, the IoD celebrated the first England-wide awards held since 2018, bringing directors from all corners of the country together for a black-tie awards ceremony held at the organisation’s prestigious headquarters at 116 Pall Mall.

SUPPORT SERVICE RECEIVES ‘GOOD’ RATING Surrey Choices, an organisation dedicated to providing support services for disabled and neurodivergent people, has announced that its EmployAbility service has received a ‘good’ rating from the Supported Employment Quality Framework (SEQF) audit conducted by BASE (British Association for Supported Employment). EmployAbility helps to find work placements, volunteer opportunities and paid work for disabled people, autistic people, those with sensory needs and those with mental health problems. Surrey Choices’ dedication as the largest supported employment provider in Surrey contributes to the county’s Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) figures. The SEQF audit is a comprehensive evaluation process designed to assess and recognise the quality and impact

of supported employment services for individuals with disabilities. With its commitment to accessibility and inclusivity, Surrey Choices sets a high standard in empowering individuals and contributing to a diverse workforce.

Receiving a ‘good’ rating from the audit underscores Surrey Choices’ leadership in delivering exceptional support services. It showcases its expertise and dedication to creating an inclusive society where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive in gainful employment. Martin Farrow, Interim Managing Director for Surrey Choices, expressed his pride and gratitude towards the entire team for its hard work and commitment to achieving this recognition. He stated, “This outstanding rating from the SEQF audit by BASE is a testament to our team’s passion and unwavering dedication in empowering individuals with disabilities. We remain steadfast in our mission to foster an inclusive society where every individual can contribute their talents and skills to the workforce.”





Tuesday November 14th | 08:00 – 10:00 Login Lounge, Camberley Our bi-monthly Business Breakfasts are a wonderful opportunity to meet a range of Surrey businesses over a delicious breakfast. With a calendar bursting with interesting and stimulating events, we are sure you will find topics that are current and relevant to you and your business. We acknowledge that making new contacts is rather high on your priority list, so start your day with networking, hearing from a guest speaker, whilst most importantly, all over a breakfast!

Wednesday November 15th | 17:00 – 19:30 Guildford Pavilion Join us for a BWiS evening of discussion and networking. We’ll explore exactly what this means when it comes to taking your business from start-up to scale-up. On the panel, we’ll hear from three female entrepreneurs of Surrey businesses that have achieved scale-up success. Our speakers will share their experience, advice, and top tips for scaling up a business. An expo of business services providers will be on hand to take questions.



Thursday November 16th | 08:00 – 10:00 Reigate Manor We are delighted the All-Age Autism Strategy Employment workstream is supporting Surrey Chambers of Commerce to host three events this autumn aimed at employers. The events focus on raising awareness of the benefits of recruiting autistic and neurodiverse people and how to maximise their talent in the workplace. Along with presentations and positive case studies from autistic and neurodiverse employees, there will be stands with experts who can give individual advice on the support available in

Thursday November 23rd | 18:00 – 20:00 Tudor Antiques, Guildford Surrey Chambers of Commerce is proud to present its Surrey Young Professionals Networking Evening. Whether you are new to the world of networking or simply wish to brush up on your networking skills, the Surrey Young Professionals Networking series is here to connect you with like-minded people, all over some delicious canapés and cocktails.




Wednesday November 29th | 18:00 – 20:00 Lythe Hill Hotel, Haslemere Our Members Networking Evenings are a monthly event where we invite our current members to join us to catch up on the happenings of the previous months business calendar. These evenings are the perfect opportunity for an informal, relaxed gathering with members you already have relationships with and those you don’t.

Thursday November 30th | 14:00 – 16:00 Farnborough International Airport Surrey & Hampshire Chambers of Commerce invite you to celebrate the festive season and Have Your Christmas Cake and Eat It! An afternoon networking session for businesses located on the Surrey and Hampshire border, join us for two hours of facilitated networking over tea, coffee, and a slice of cake as you are networking with businesses. You can expect a guest speaker or a networking activity to break-up the afternoon.




Tuesday December 5th | 09:30 – 11:00 | Online Are you an SME, looking to stay compliant and up to date with the ever-changing landscape of employment law? Herrington Carmichael, in partnership with Surrey Chambers, is hosting this comprehensive training session: “Employment Law Basics for SMEs.” The session will cover a wide range of vital topics to equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively manage your workforce. Whether you’re a business owner, HR professional, or manager, this training is tailored to meet your needs.

Thursday December 14th | 12:00 – 15:00 Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher Surrey Chambers of Commerce invites you to join us for an afternoon of festive networking at our Annual Christmas Lunch. Sit down and enjoy a delicious three course meal, make meaningful connections with local businesses, hear from a guest speaker, and support a local charity through a fabulous charity raffle.


Dawn Redpath is Director for Economy and Growth at Surrey County Council


your county’s future workforce needs you In August, the government announced that Upper Tier Local Authorities will take on all the formal functions held by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) since 2011. For businesses, this will result in some practical changes and inherent opportunities. It means from April 1st 2024, Surrey County Council will have responsibility for business representation, strategic economic planning, and delivering government programmes relating to the regional economy across the whole county. This includes the Growth Hub and the Careers Hub services. Previously these responsibilities sat with two LEPs – Coast to Capital, who worked in east Surrey; and Enterprise M3, who worked in the west of the county. Both of our LEPs have accomplished a lot since being established in 2011. We are building on strong foundations and working hard - in collaboration with


colleagues at both of our LEPs - to integrate functions as quickly and efficiently as possible. In time, we are confident the bringing together of ser vices will deliver improved economic outcomes on a Surrey footprint. By positioning economic responsibilities with Surrey County Council, we know that we can maximise the benefi ts from the strategic position that local government holds, fur ther driving economic outcomes from existing capability, resources and relationships. In taking on these responsibilities, we will ensure the voice of local business continues to be heard in economic decision making. We recognise the benefits gained from ensuring that business experience can influence activity. We are committed to a swift and effi cient transition as we know that is what business needs. The first part of this

process is already underway with Surrey Careers Hub having gone live in September. The team has started work with the county’s secondary schools, special schools, and colleges with the aim of ensuring every young person can find their best next step. As businesses, you can get involved by offering workplace encounters, support schools directly as an Enterprise Advisor, or strategically guide the work as a Cornerstone Employer. We know that businesses need a strong and agile workforce to thrive and grow, working together with Careers Hubs and aligned to our wider economic interests we can support our businesses to secure the workforce of the future. Can you support the work of Surrey Careers Hub? Email: for further information.

BUSINESS In the digital world, the importance of accessibility cannot be overstated. Understanding and implementing digital accessibility can have a profound impact on your organisation’s success in the digital landscape, regardless of your role. By Lucy Bloomfield

Unlocking digital success: the power of accessibility Businesses lose approximately £2bn a month (according to The Purple Pound) by ignoring the needs of disabled people. Neglecting accessibility not only excludes a substantial consumer base but also harms your brand’s reputation. Imagine navigating the digital world with a disability and encountering barriers at every turn. For millions, this is a daily reality. It leaves them feeling isolated and incapable, when in reality, it is the platform that is incapable of serving them. Best practice not only improves accessibility but enhances the user experience for everyone, making your digital assets more inclusive and userfriendly: ■ Alt text: Ensuring images have descriptive alt text to assist users with visual impairments. ■ Heading structure: Using correct heading tags (e.g H1, H2) to create a clear content hierarchy and easier navigation with a keyboard. ■ Video captions: Including captions on videos for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. ■ Colour contrast: Maintain sufficient colour contrast for readability, benefiting users with low vision. These just scratch the sur face; advancements are always being made and there is always more that can be done. According to The Purple Pound, more than one in fi ve working adults have a disability. The spending power of disabled people continues to rise, estimated at £274bn per year for UK businesses. But beyond the numbers, it’s about creating an inclusive and equitable digital space.

Best practices not only improve accessibility ❛❛ but enhance the user experience for everyone ❜❜ Digital accessibility has been a priority in the public sector since the introduction of the Accessibility Regulations in 2018, and increasingly across the Private Sector organisations as starting to recognise that accessibility opens doors to new audiences and opportunities.

business and society as a whole. Do you truly know how accessible your digital services are? If you’re ready, find out and offer the best experience for all your users.

At Invuse, we understand the transformative power of digital accessibility. We specialise in crafting accessible digital solutions that benefit your

Unlock the potential of Digital Accessibility and embrace a future where everyone can thrive in the digital space.

Together, we can make the digital world a more accessible place for all.

For more information:


Guiding you to a brighter future In a continually evolving world we help all generations embrace change through trusted advice, support and guidance. Our passion for continued improvement ensures that we work to understand your goals, support and advise you on your journey and help you to realise your ambitions. #GuidingYouToABrighterFuture For more than accountancy, business and wealth advice. Call: +44 (0)33 0124 1399 Email: Visit:

BUSINESS ‘Facilitate responsive and inclusive curricula’

LSIP PRIORITY SPOTLIGHT Research included in the LSIP report from Surrey Chambers of Commerce showed that the area has a strong range of vocational and technical courses. However, a clear message from employers was that the courses need to be more flexible and tailored to their skills and recruitment needs. Here, we present two examples of challenges, together with some updates on work that has been, or is being, undertaken to address these to help facilitate more responsive and inclusive education and training. The imperative to understand and consider the specific skills needs of key local sectors and the green economy is a particular challenge. Roundtables that took place during the development of the report, such as the Motor Vehicle one that was held on November 1st, bring employers and providers together to identify the those needs and identify collaborative solutions to this challenge. There is also a clear need to develop clear and consistent approaches to the ways businesses can support and input on the design and delivery of education and training. Colleges often have initiatives such as industry curriculum boards where employers are able to directly input the design of current and new courses. The LSIP is working with providers to ensure more is known about these sorts of opportunities in the business community and how to get involved. The LSIP report references a ‘strong appetite’ from local businesses to support providers and the need for both parties to collaborate to increase knowledge and support is paramount.

The LSIP report ❛❛ references a ‘strong

appetite’ from local businesses to support providers ❜❜ This, ultimately, is what the LSIP is about – trying to help stimulate connectivity and collaboration between local businesses with skill issues and providers, making sure the needs of businesses can be heard to greater influence what sort of skills are being taught.


The LSIP team has launched its “Opportunities Tab” on the Future Skills Hub website. This is a fantastic way for Fur ther Education and training providers to put forward opportunities to collaborate with employers by providing industry placements, access to facilities and equipment, opportunities to share expertise, hosting events / functions, the sharing of staff and other ser vices that may be provided. Employers can then look through these opportunities and if they are able to support any of the requests can get in touch the educational provider.

If you are an employer or educational provider, look at this exciting initiative, now live on the Surrey Chambers website, future-skills-hub/opportunities


Selling, buying or starting a business? Call us on 0800 84 94 101 Offices across the South East


What’s actually going on when we job-hop? Asks Ying Zhou, Director of the Future of Work Research Centre, University of Surrey

FROM HONEYMOON TO HANGOVER Job-hopping has become increasingly more common, especially among Millennials, as we choose to more actively manage our own careers; and outdated views of rapid career change have softened post-pandemic.

However, it’s essential to carefully consider the potential consequences of a ‘honeymoon–hangover pattern’ during the turnover process and manage the transition strategically to ensure that it ultimately contributes to career growth and job satisfaction. The psychological impact of changing jobs, the phenomenon known as the ‘honeymoon–hangover’ pattern, suggests that when we transition to a new role we initially experience a significant increase in job satisfaction (the honeymoon effect), which later diminishes and returns to baseline levels (the hangover effect) as we adapt to new work environments. New research examines how this phenomenon varies across multiple job changes in a person’s career. Data indicates that the average American worker, for example, has 12 jobs between the ages of 18 and 48, emphasising the importance of studying how individuals react to a series of job changes over time. By the time individuals leave their first jobs, they will likely have developed greater self- and environmental-awareness, with successive jobs providing launch pads to further broaden career competencies, build professional networks and provide greater intellectual challenge, decision - making responsibilities, and financial reward. Individuals experience a stronger honeymoon effect each time they

move to a new job. However, the analysis also reveals a darker side to the story – the thrill of the new job is relatively short-lived. We generally experience a hangover effect after each honeymoon ef fect, which eventually reverts us back to our baseline level of job satisfaction and, despite rising career attainments over time, the happiness generated by each new job is unlikely to last. We should not expect to live in eternal happiness even if we land our dream job because adaptation exer ts a powerful force which pulls us back toward a baseline. While changing jobs can help young workers to explore their vocational interests and develop a greater understanding of their environment as well as themselves, it may have less positive effects for those who have made more substantial investments in their chosen professions, or those who are forced to change job due to external factors such as organisational restructuring and downsizing.

The findings raise the intriguing question of whether job-hopping is worthwhile, given the time and resources it takes. However, the hangover effect need not be seen negatively. Returning to baseline after a while is normal and should not be seen as a failure. Social cognitive theory suggests that individuals set challenging goals for themselves, and once they have overcome these challenges, they set new goals to further stretch their abilities and achieve greater success. This adaptation prevents us from becoming complacent, and the return to our psychological baseline motivates us to take the next jump, and start a new cycle of learning and growth. With this knowledge around the ef fe cts of moving jo bs , h oweve r, e mploye r s and employees will be better equipped to manage expectations and plot more realistic career pathways.

To find out more about this research or other projects at The Future of Work Research Centre, visit:


“BILLIONAIRES SHOULD PAY MINIMUM TAX” Billionaires should face a minimum tax rate, according to a report which found some of the world's mega-wealthy are paying little to no tax. The EU Tax Observatory, part of the Paris School of Economics, said most people pay more tax than the super-rich, who, it said, are able to use complex business structures for avoidance. It suggested a minimum 2% tax rate on billionaires' global wealth would raise $250bn (£205bn) a year. There are around 2,500 billionaires with a combined wealth of $13 trillion. The report examined how successful efforts to ensure individuals and companies pay their fair share with the automatic sharing of the wealthy's account information across more than 100 countries had significantly reduced offshore tax evasion over the past 10 years.

NEWS BULLETIN PROFIT JUMP The UK's biggest mortgage lender has reported a rise in profits amid high interest rates – while also warning house prices are likely to continue tumbling until 2025. Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Halifax and Bank of Scotland, reported pre-tax profits of £5.728bn for the nine months ending in September. Higher base interest rates set by the Bank of England have yielded £13.7bn in income, a 7% increase from a year earlier. But Lloyds also warned that house prices are likely to keep falling until at least 2025. Its forecasts say prices will drop by 4.7% this year and then by another 2.4% in 2024.

MENTAL HEALTH VIDEO GOES VIRAL On World Mental Health Day in October, Norwich City FC released a simple two-minute video of two supporters - one evidently a happy individual, the other quiet and reserved, with a poignant twist at the end - to highlight suicide awareness. The video, which ended with the message, “At times, it can be obvious when someone is struggling to cope, but sometimes the signs are harder to spot. Check in on those around you,” went viral, with almost 55 million views on X (formerly Twitter). It also had over 150,000 reposts, and an international response of relatable sympathy and understanding from hundreds across the sports, entertainment and mental health worlds.



❛❛ There's no secret

about success. Did you ever know a successful man who didn't tell you about it? ❜❜ Kin Hubbard


CAP REMOVED The cap on bankers' bonuses is to be abolished, financial regulators have announced. From October 31st, EU rules that limit bonus payments to twice a banker's salary will be removed in the UK, the Bank of England's Prudential Regulatory Authority said. The policy change was initially announced by former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in the infamous September 2022 mini-Budget of the Liz Truss short premiership. It was one of the few announcements to be retained when chancellor Jeremy Hunt took charge of the Treasury. City executives had complained that the cap was a barrier to recruiting and retaining quality workers, and London was losing out on talented staff as a result.

Toyota says it is close to being able to manufacture next-generation solid-state batteries at the same rate as existing batteries for electric vehicles, marking a milestone in the global race to commercialise the technology. Its headway in manufacturing technology follows a “breakthrough” in battery materials, and would allow Toyota to mass-produce solid-state batteries by 2027 or 2028. Solid-state batteries have long been heralded by industry experts as a potential “game-changer” that could address EV battery concerns such as charging time, capacity and the risk of catching fire. If successful, Toyota expects its electric cars powered by solid-state batteries to have a range of 1,200km and a charging time of 10 minutes or less.

❛❛ Going to work for a large company is like getting on a train. Are you going sixty miles an hour or is the train going sixty miles an hour and you're just sitting still? ❜❜ J Paul Getty

HUNG JURY If there was a court case on whether society should embrace artificial intelligence (AI) or reject it, there would likely be a hung jury. No-one, it seems, can decide whether the benefits – such as automating written tasks, and sifting through vast amounts of information in seconds – outweigh the problems of biased data, and a lack of accuracy and accountability. For the legal profession itself, AI represents both a threat and an opportunity. It could lead to a savage reduction in jobs for humans, according to a 2021 report from the UK's Law Society. At the same time, AI can play a hugely valuable role in researching and putting cases together. Although there is precedent for things going horribly wrong. New York lawyer Steven Schwartz found himself facing his own court hearing this year, when he used ChatGPT to research precedents for a case involving a man suing an airline over personal injury. Six of the seven cases he used had been completely made up by the AI.







Fantastic from ❛❛start to finish...

it would have been a lovely night even without the awards we won! ❜❜ PVL

PRESENTED BY MARK WATSON. Comedian and author and star of Mock the Week, Would l Lie to You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Taskmaster, QI and Argumental

❛❛ What a fabulous event. We had a brilliant night and looking forward to next year already! ❜❜ VERLINGUE

TICKETS NOW ON SALE BOOK YOUR TICKETS ONLINE WWW.PLATINUMMEDIAGROUP.CO.UK £120 EACH OR £1100 FOR A TABLE OF 10 Ticket price includes a sparkling drinks reception, a delicious three-course meal as well as entertainment and fantastic networking opportunities Dress code is black tie Platinum definitely ❛❛knows how to put

together a successful and very enjoyable awards dinner - wow! ❜❜ LOCH ASSOCIATES GROUP



‘Stop Them Dead’ is Peter James' 20th Brighton-based ‘Roy Grace’ novel. He held a lavish book launch in the city recently, and Platinum has scooped the pictures


STOP THEM DEAD Guests gathered on Brighton Pier for the launch of the latest Peter James blockbuster ‘Stop Them Dead’. As all Peter’s books are Brighton based and involve the police, the boys and girls in blue were out in force to support the launch.

Much loved by crime and thriller fans for his fast-paced page-turners full of unexpected plot twists, sinister characters, and accurate portrayal of modern-day policing, he has won over 40 awards for his work including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award and Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger.

Peter James is a UK No.1 bestselling author, best known for his Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, now a hit ITV drama starring John Simm as the troubled Brighton copper.

To date, Peter has written an impressive total of 19 Sunday Times No.1s, sold over 21 million copies worldwide and been translated into 38 languages. His books are often adapted for the stage, with his six stage shows taking in over £15 million at the box office – the most recent being Wish You Were Dead.






❛❛ Peter has written an impressive

total of 19 Sunday Times No.1s, sold over 21 million copies worldwide ❜❜

8 7




1 Peter James on Brighton Pier 2 Peter with Sussex Police and the Police cadets 3S tuart Dwyer, Sara Lloyd, Claire Evans, and Jamie Forest from Pan Macmillan 4 Jan and Tony McCord 5 Sara Howlett and guests from RSPCA 6 DJ Mike Read 7 Peter James with Michelle and Matt Turner 8 The long queue for book signing 9 Sharon Stevens and guests from Wishing Wells Farm 10 Rob Starr, Nadia Rogers and Nicholas Taylor



London Gatwick is proposing to bring its existing Northern Runway into regular use alongside its Main Runway. This is a plan which will support a significant uplift in trade and tourism

GATWICK’S PLANS COULD ADD 60,000 NEW JOBS The Northern Runway project is set to bring industry-related employment and economic benefits to the region and wider country, with the potential to attract more overseas visitors to London and the South East, and facilitate greater import-export activities. A report by Oxford Economics suggests that this could result in the creation of an additional 35,500 jobs as a result of increased imports, and an extra 28,700 jobs through higher levels of inbound tourism.


The development of the Northern Runway is set to more than double the airport’s cargo capacity. If London Gatwick’s plans are approved, the forecast 382,000 annual Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) by 2038 will provide increased opportunities for cargo transportation. Many of the additional slots will target long-haul services, enabling greater volumes of ‘belly cargo’ to be carried by

wide-bodied aircraft between key international markets, including the USA, Middle East, and Asia. The volume of imports handled by London Gatwick is forecast to increase to around 161,500 tonnes in 2038, over twice the amount handled in 2019. It would also bring job opportunities across the airport and along the air-freight supply chain in sectors including logistics, warehousing and transportation. The Oxford Economics report highlights that if the Northern Runway comes into routine use, tradefacilitated employment across the UK would reach 167,500 jobs by 2038. This is 35,500 more jobs than without the development. The increased productivity of businesses trading globally through London Gatwick is expected to contribute significantly to regional and national economic growth. The surge in imports alone is forecast to add a Gross Value

❛❛ Increased imports

and an uplift in tourism could add a combined £4bn to the economy ❜❜



In turn, the increase in sector spending will demand more jobs, stimulating economic growth in the surrounding region where most of the related employment opportunities will be focused. By 2038, it is predicted that the impact of the Northern Runway could support a total of 130,700 tourism-industry jobs, both directly and indirectly within the tourism value chain – 28,700 more than without the Northern Runway project. This also represents a significant increase from the 84,100 jobs supported in 2019 and underscores the positive impact the Northern Runway Project will have on this industry.

❛❛ In addition to boosting trade, the regular use

of the Northern Runway has the potential to drive significant growth in the tourism sector ❜❜

Added (GVA) of £9.8 billion to UK economy by 2038 – more than twice the value in 2019 and £2.1 billion greater than without the Northern Runway development Jonathan Pollard, London Gatwick’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “London Gatwick already makes a significant contribution to the local, regional, and national economies, through direct and indirect jobs, tourism, and global trade opportunities. “Many businesses and individuals across the South East are supported by having Gatwick on their doorstep. We are confident that by bringing our existing Northern Runway into regular use – and therefore offering even more global connections – we can provide a huge boost to the region, for both people and businesses. “ These figures demonstrate the substantial benefits to be gained through increased capacity and greater resilience at Gatwick.”


In addition to boosting trade, the regular use of the Northern Runway has the potential to drive significant growth in the tourism sector. By improving connectivity and accommodating greater numbers of international visitors, inbound tourism is predicted to increase by 61%, with substantial economic impact. Forecasts suggest international visitor numbers will reach nine million in 2038 with the development – 1.6 million more than a situation using London Gatwick’s current runway capacity. With the potential to facilitate more long-haul routes, London Gatwick will attract more tourists from some of the world’s most lucrative markets, including China and the USA. The subsequent rise in inbound travel spend will benefit a wide range of businesses and is predicted to contribute £8.74 billion to the economy by 2038 – £2 billion more than without the Northern Runway development.

Alison Addy, London Gatwick’s Head of External Engagement and Policy, said: “With inbound visitors to the UK forecast to reach 37.5 million this year – and a significant proportion of these travelling to London and the South East – it’s clear the significant contribution London Gatwick plays in supporting the thriving tourism industry, alongside local, regional and national economies. “Businesses and individuals associated with the tourism industry – from family-run B&Bs and independent taxi drivers, to major tourist attractions and hotel chains – benefit from having London Gatwick facilitating visitors from around the world. “We are confident that by bringing our existing Northern Runway into regular use – and by offering more global connections – we can further boost this vital part of our local, regional and national economies, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs the tourism industry supports.”


BUSINESS London Gatwick opened its new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) centre on October 31st


The STEM centre will strengthen the airport’s existing educational outreach efforts, through the provision of a dedicated space for school children to learn about STEM disciplines and related careers. Thousands of students aged 4-18 from across schools and colleges in the South East and London regions are set to benefit from field trips and interactive sessions held at the airport’s new facility. Equipped with classrooms, quiet-spaces and lab functionalities, London Gatwick’s STEM centre provides theoretical and hands-on learning opportunities, led by the airport’s construction and engineering teams. Jacqueline Cave, London Gatwick’s Education and Skills Specialist, said: “Students will have the chance to get involved in lots of engaging and fun


❛❛ London Gatwick’s STEM centre provides

theoretical and hands-on learning opportunities ❜❜ activities in our new STEM centre. This includes water treatment experiments, bridge-building, and the construction of solar-powered electrical cars. A mocked-up engineering rig within the centre will also give students the chance to practice changing the lights along the runway under a time limit.” Aligned with London Gatwick ’s ‘Employment, Skills and Business Strategy’, the STEM centre will play a crucial role in fostering local talent and encouraging young people to explore potential STEM-related careers within the aviation industry. London Gatwick’s new STEM centre will contribute to the airport’s ambitious target of one million student engagements by 2030.

Melanie Wrightson, S takeholder Engagement Manager at London Gatwick, said: “We are thrilled to launch the STEM centre at London Gatwick. We have a proud record of supporting young people into the workplace and we aim to inspire the next generation to build their skills and access the amazing opportunities in STEM. Our new centre can help us achieve that.”

Thinkers Challengers Innovators Leaders DISCOVER THE SUS SE X MBA FIND OUT MORE

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

1 Victoria Ramsden, Director and Executive Coach, Integrity Performance; Helen Preece, Accountant, The Financial Management Centre


2 Lisa King OBE, CEO, Dreams Come True Stuart Whyte, Chief Revenue Officer, Real VNC 3 Abigail Owen, Senior Corporate Counsel, DMH Stallard Emma Lane, Partner, Positive Momentum Senda Kavindele, Director, KPMG 4 Paul Cannons, Divisional Director, RBC Brewin Dolphin Pam Loch, Managing Director, Loch Associates Group Fiona Anderson, Business Manager, Let’s Do Business Group 5 James Grantham, Senior Manager, Galloways Accounting Kristina Pereckaite, Director, South East Angels Alex Smith, Director, ForLoop Consulting 6 Maarten Hoffmann, Managing Director, Platinum Media Group Neil Laughton, Managing Director, Laughton & Co 7 Simon Chuter, Executive Director, Sussex Innovation Sophia Spencer, Founder, Callisto Associates Maarten Hoffmann, Managing Director, Platinum Media Group Charles Harrewyn, Business & Community Development Manager, UK Business Angels Association 8 David Sheppard, Director, D-RisQ Abigail Owen, Senior Corporate Counsel, DMH Stallard 9 Jonathan Grant, Head of Corporate, DMH Stallard David Martin, Joint Managing Partner, Knill James




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







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 LLOYDS BANK



Long standing Platinum Club member, Neil Laughton has lived a hundred lives and at last he has written a book about his vast array of adventures. At the start of last month’s event, we ran a Conversation with… during which Platinum MD, Maarten Hoffmann chatted to Neil about the book and his adventures and then Neil signed copies for all – and ran out of books! A rollocking great adventure and you can get your copy here: Whitefox Publishing Ltd (October 12th 2023) ISBN-13 978-1915635464

They say we stand ❛❛ on the shoulders of giants – Neil is my giant ❜❜ Bear Grylls


“Advice. Good in good times. Better in bad.” Smart advice to help you make the right decisions for your financial future.

Call our Gatwick office to arrange a free introductory meeting with Paul Cannons. Call 01293 661323 or email

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





Have you ever fancied standing in front of five well-worn, world-weary venture capitalist investors, trying to get some money out of them to help your amazing start-up take flight? Of course you have. And for the ultimate in social suicide and ritualised humiliation, since 2005, there has been the opportunity where you get to make your pitch in front of millions on television. Meanwhile, one sniff of weakness in your pitch for their time, investment and expertise, and they will skin you alive. Reputations can be won and lost in minutes. Is it worth it? Welcome to the Dragons’ Den.


BIG STORY Dragons’ Den, the reality television programme in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists in the hope of securing investment finance from them, began life in Japan. First airing in 2001 on Nippon TV, the original programme was as The Tiger of Money. The local title, ‘mané no tora’, is a play on words on “The Tiger of Malaya” (marē no tora), which was the nickname of WWII general Tomoyuki Yamashita. Sony Pictures Television International owns the intellectual property rights worldwide, and has sold the format to various broadcasters around the world in over 40 countries. The BBC was the first overseas broadcaster to buy the rights for its own market, and on January 4th 2005, the first ‘Dragons’ Den’, as the corporation renamed it, was aired on BBC Two. The 21st series of the show has been recently filmed, and is due to air in 2024. The set is a familiar one of being in an upstairs, minimalist warehouse. The first nine series were shot on location in the south of England; the first eight being shot in an actual former furniture warehouse in Stoke Newington, London. Series nine was filmed in the world-famous Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire.

❛❛ Given the usual lop-sided bias of the

business acumen of those seated in the chairs, this creates some wonderfully melodramatic, adversarial voyeuristic TV ❜❜

The format is well-known, budding entrepreneurs and commercial start-up people pitch their business ideas to the Dragons. From this, they are seeking investment, usually in return for a percentage stake in the company.

The Dragons are held in wonder and awe, for the most part, by those voyeuristic millions who tune in on a weekly basis. However, they can also be dismissed in the harsh world of social media as pantomime villains, arrogant fools and, in certain cases, egotistical know-it-alls whose prime motivation is to belittle.


Given the usual lop-sided bias of the business acumen of those seated in the chairs, each resplendent with the fantasy prop of some tantalisingly out-of-reach bundles of cash placed next to them versus the often-trembling attempt of the would-be entrepreneurs to justify their enterprise, this creates some wonderfully melodramatic, adversarial voyeuristic TV.

Because those on social media know best, obviously. Don’t the British just love to build up a character, purely to knock them down as soon as some invisible, self-appointed line is crossed? For those making the pitch, the attempt at self-justification is a big motivator. Some apply to come on to the show purely to see if they are wasting their own time with a project, or conversely, to see if they have hit potential gold. The fact that they may also be wasting the Dragons’ time is neither here nor there for them.


From series ten onwards in 2012, production moved to Manchester, where it has remained ever since. The current location is the Old Granada Studios, in the centre of the city. In this time, entrepreneur Peter Jones has been the only ‘ever-present’, with only occasional absences through mild illness.

Left to right: Deborah Meaden, Patrick van der Vorst and Theo Paphitis, 2011

Dock 10 at MediaCity, Manchester, home of the Den 2012-14


Bonded Warehouse, Old Granada Studios, Manchester, current home of the Den

Either way, the fortunes, dreams and ambitions of those who are looking for investment, advice and a commercial leg-up, are often won and lost by the mere phrase, “I’d like to invest…” or the dreaded, unambiguous codeword for ‘get lost’; the gut-wrenching, “I’m out.” Other investors are out there, of course, but budding entrepreneurs very quickly

BIG STORY cottoned on to the fact that a fledgling company making a pitch on Dragons’ Den may also believe that they have nothing to lose. It has happened more than once, that pitches rejected by Dragons became the hottest thing to have the day after transmission, purely due to that publicity of a failed pitch, sought in the heat of the Dragons’ own terrifying adversity. One suspects that the watching public is impressed by someone who, with the hide of a rhino, gets to stand up and stare humiliation – or glory – in the face, purely to achieve their business ambitions. The edit from the BBC, condensed down into a few minutes (usually about 12 minutes for a successful pitch, and shown at the end of an episode) tells nothing like the whole story. One potential entrepreneur tells of the time that, although his pitch was only featured for seven minutes, the conversation lasted for over three hours. It wasn’t so much a Q&A which sought to uncover information, more a torturous inquisition which left him exhausted. All he took from that experience was the producers saying, “Can we have someone next whose pitch will be shorter, as we’d all like to break for lunch soon?” Ouch. It’s not all hubris. Not uncommonly, the Dragons may well be impressed by a pitch, but realise either that they themselves neither have the expertise nor knowledge of the marketplace to help take that budding pitcher to the next level. Advice, well-intentioned or honestly brutal, is rarely in short supply from the Dragons. But even then, they don’t always get it right.

The ones that got away: (left) Shaun Pulfrey’s Tangle Teezer; (bottom, left) Brewdog brewery; (bottom, centre) Trunki, a children’s ride-on suitcase


Two high profile success stories which not only did the Dragons reject, but did so quite bluntly were Shaun Pulfrey’s ‘Tangle Teezer’, and James Nash’s ‘Cup-a-wine’. Pulfrey, a hair-colourist from Grimsby, had created a hand held hairbrush which easily runs through knotted hair, and pitched his idea to the Dragons in 2009. The Dragons dismissed it as ‘hairbrained’ and likening it to more to a horse brush. While dragons said no, the British public roared, crashing a fledgling website. He’s subsequently been described as

❛❛ While dragons

said no, the British public roared, crashing a fledgling website. Pulfrey has subsequently been described as ‘the one that got away’ ❜❜

‘the one that got away’. Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and Innovation and then International Trade flowed, with Mr Pulfrey being presented to Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace in 2014. The company was eventually sold to Mayfair Equity Partners in 2021 for £43.5m. Pulfrey himself is worth around £70m, ironically making him worth more than long-standing Dragon Deborah Meaden. For its part, Tangle Teezer is now described as a ‘category defining British haircare brand’. Meanwhile, the Dragons quite dismissively put a flea in James Nash’s ear for his product – a plastic glass of wine with a seal on the top. None of the Dragons were interested in his company, Wine Innovators; one of them dismissed it as ‘tacky’. Having left the Den empty-handed, Nash got a £100,000 investment from an angel who saw mileage in the product. Even a year later, after M&S had put the product into 600 of its stores, Dragon Duncan Bannatyne didn’t believe Nash would ever make his product work for him. However, now beloved by commuters and service stations across the UK over the past decade, Wine Innovators Ltd is said to be worth millions. Brewdog, Oppo, Trunki and several others are also success stories whom the Dragons allowed to slip through their hands. However, it’s not all schadenfreude…



Not including ‘Specials’

n Number of regular series broadcast: 20 n Number of regular shows: 222 n Number of Dragons: 19 n Most appearances: Peter Jones (221) n Most investments: Peter Jones (106); Deborah Meaden (103) n Lowest ever successful pitch: £10,000 n Highest ever successful pitch: £250,000 n Largest pitch request: £500,000 (rejected) n Total offered: just under £30m


The highest profile success story from Dragons’ Den surely must be Levi Roots; real name Keith Graham. A reggae star in his own right, having performed with James Brown and Maxi Priest, and the recipient of a MOBO nomination, Roots entered the Den to seek funding for Reggae Reggae Sauce. He entered by ascending the stairs with guitar in hand, singing a reggae-themed song. Dragons Richard Farleigh and Peter Jones invested the £50,000 asked for between them (house rules state that bidders can only accept the full askedfor amount; anything less means they cannot accept anything) for a 40% stake in the company. Both investors acknowledged it was a punt, but – as with many successful bids shown on the programme – the resulting publicity went a long way towards the product’s future success. Such was Roots’ high profile self-publicity – achieved through being a highly likeable character from Jamaica – he went on to write cookbooks, open a couple of restaurants, and even

❛❛ A reggae star

in his own right, Roots entered the Den by ascending the stairs with guitar in hand, singing a reggae-themed song ❜❜ 42

Deborah Meaden and Neil Westwood, Magic Whiteboard appear in an episode of ‘Death In Paradise’ on BBC One. Today, Roots’ personal worth is said to be in the region of £35m. Skinny Tan and Magic Whiteboard are two other successful investments made by the Dragons whose companies are still trading and, indeed, thriving.


As with any walks of business, there have been controversies that haven’t been satisfactorily explained. Former Dragon Simon Woodroffe left the show after the first series citing his distaste for how he felt the entrepreneurs were treated on the show, stating at the time, “The show became a battle of egos – not a forum for business innovation.” One of the most successful, and popular, pitches came in the second episode of the seventh series where entrepreneur Sharon Wright, owner of Talpa Products Ltd, accepted a joint offer from James Caan and Duncan Bannatyne at £80,000 for 22.5% after pitching the company’s product ‘Magnamole.’ She alleged that Caan and Bannatyne misled her in the Den, and that following filming, the pledge of £80,000 was merely a loan rather than a purchase of equity. It was a sum which she would have to pay back, as opposed to the Dragons each giving £40,000 as pledged in the den. Wright’s solicitor unilaterally terminated the contract, and she eventually secured a £100,000 investment from another


Peter Jones, the only ever-present Dragon in the Den investor, which led to the company’s eventual success. Tiger Mobiles, a company which unsuccessfully applied to appear on the show in 2008, looked in depth at all 143 businesses who, up to 2011, had won cash. The company alleged just £5.8m of the £13m pledged was ever invested. Dan Forster, who compiled the research for Tiger Mobiles, claimed that the issue was less about the structure of deals and more about the kind of companies that the BBC invites to take part in the show. “The problem lies with the BBC, who, in a bid to keep the viewer count high, have turned the show into a contrived affair that’s more about viewer entertainment than genuine business success. They tend to pick pitchers who are TV-friendly rather than those who are investible with a healthy balance sheet.” For their part, both the BBC and the Dragons have all expressed satisfaction at the way which they have carried out their investments and business procedures, including pointing out that not every pitch contained accurate information; data they found out after carrying out due diligence.


As pointed out in Platinum Business Magazine in August, Steven Bartlett is the newest recruit to the Den and, at the age of 29 when he joined, the youngest. Series 21 will air in 2024, with two ‘Friend’ Dragons, entrepreneur and fashion designer Emma Grede, and property developer and former professional footballer, Gary Neville. Gary says: “It’s a pleasure to join the Dragons as a guest for the new series and see some of the amazing pitches from budding entrepreneurs from Gary Neville

Emma Grede

❛❛ The show became

a battle of egos – not a forum for business innovation ❜❜

Former Dragon Simon Woodroffe

different walks of life. It was a privilege to share my knowledge and guidance with the brave entrepreneurs who entered the Den, but you’ll have to wait and see whether I committed to any investments!” Emma says: “Joining this series as a Guest Dragon has been amazing and feels very full circle to me. Being able to share my own knowledge from the business I’ve built with the entrepreneurs is so important, there’s a lot of major talent in this upcoming series, and I hope it inspires the next generation to create opportunities for themselves.” All the while the UK continues its entrepreneurial spirit, Dragons’ Den will remain a staple television requirement for a fair while yet.



Are UK SMEs prepared for Net Zero or the 1.5ºC pathway? Here are some of the issues and how businesses can get started. By Jennifer Williamson, Partner of Kreston Reeves

HOW PREPARED IS YOUR BUSINESS FOR NET ZERO? Every business (and every business sector) is coming at Net Zero by 2050 from a different starting point, and is on a different journey of awareness. It would be helpful if there was more of a framework for SMEs as there are lots of different terminology, and it is difficult to navigate. It needs to be a clearer, more obvious journey with incentives to encourage businesses. Since we became a B Corp, we’ve had many clients ask us about it and our sustainability journey, and how we reviewed and approached it. Businesses recognise how important the journey to Net Zero is, that our impact on the planet and the environment is undeniable, and we all want to do our part to help and make a difference. We are already seeing a move to Net Zero filter down through supply chains to smaller businesses, but many don’t have the framework or resources to improve awareness, or an understanding of the financial costs, timescales, and physical capacity to begin to implement it.

❛❛ For a business to begin the move towards Net Zero, a conversation needs to begin internally ❜❜


There are also added complications if the business is part of an international group with trading operations overseas, as there is certainly a different approach to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) in different countries. For example, in some countries, we are seeing a greater focus on creating local employment opportunities whereas in the UK it is more about carbon neutrality and offsetting. Which elements do you focus on first?


There are lots of differing support materials, resources, and guidance available online but with so much information, it can be difficult for businesses to know where to start or how to progress ESG strategies. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so every business’ approach will be different, which adds to the challenge. The government could help by reducing the terminology involved and providing clearer goals for SMEs. Once businesses have a focus and a goal, they can work towards it more effectively when they understand how to reach it and what they are committing to.


We don’t know yet how and when the government will legislate for all businesses, but it isn’t something that can be done all at once. The key thing for all businesses is to stop talking about it and start looking to implement change.


It might be hard for a business to get started when it is dealing with the next immediate issue which is affecting it, whether this be staff recruitment and retention, or securing bank borrowing at a favourable rate. But these short-term issues and long-term ESG strategy are not necessarily mutually exclusive issues; employees may be asking themselves whether they want to work for a company which is unwilling to commit to change. Business leaders should consider whether they might get more favourable terms from their banks if they show they are committed to making changes and whether there might be government incentive schemes they can quality for.

❛❛ A lot of people are passionate about

ESG personally, so businesses could tap into this by setting up dedicated ESG groups ❜❜ HOW CAN BUSINESSES GET STARTED?

For a business to begin the move towards Net Zero, a conversation needs to begin internally, as this needs to be driven by either a leadership team or by a cohort of empowered colleagues. A lot of people are passionate about ESG personally, so businesses could tap into this by setting up dedicated ESG groups. S e l e c ti n g th e U N s u s t ai n a b l e development goals that mean the most to them that they can help work towards can also be a good starting point. Businesses should outline goals, and understand and communicate the benefits of making the changes required

to all their people. Understanding the benefits of it and what that change will look like will focus where attention (and time and effort) will be. They could also consider running some internal training or workshops to raise awareness and invite expert speakers in to help inspire and motivate.

Ultimately, there will be no choice in the future. So, for all businesses, it is better to progress and start the journey now than to wait and come to it late. There will be a longer-term impact for starting this journey, but it will be difficult to make decisions if economic pressures get worse for a business because they have delayed it. The ICAEW has lots of advice and support for businesses to help them get started on their ESG journey. The important thing is to make a start, understand your current position, set goals and objectives around ESG, and make these measurable so you can track progress.

If your business is looking to start its journey to net zero, Jennifer Williamson would be happy to share our experience so far: Email: Call: 0330 124 1399 Visit:










Diverse, inclusive teams are the solution Technology is about innovating to solve the world’s problems with solutions. It has powered incredible advancements, from artificial intelligence, healthcare innovations to renewable energy solutions – transforming our world in so many ways. In the midst of all this, we still face the glaring issue that needs to be addressed: a lack of diversity and inclusion in most teams. This is the unfinished code in the tech industry which undermines the potential. So many brilliant people are simply not included in the way they need to be to write the codes we need to solve problems.


The tech sector’s lack of diversity is a well-documented problem. Just 26% of those working in the digital sector are women, white workers make up 84% of the tech workforce, and only 9% of people employed have disabilities. Those are some of the recorded statistics. If we think about other factors, like education, socio-economic factors and more, we do not see people represented in tech careers. Here’s the thing though, it is estimated that more than two million tech vacancies were advertised over the last year, with many roles unfilled and even more roles required over the next year and more. Roles need to be filled, and there are so many different types of people who could be employed in those roles. To those from dominant groups who are quite happy with their careers and teams of people similar to them - why should they care? Well, this glaring lack of diversity not only perpetuates inequality but also hampers innovation. Homogeneous teams tend to have similar perspectives and experiences, limiting their ability to see problems from various angles and devise creative solutions. Diversity brings a multitude of experiences and viewpoints to the table, fostering innovation by challenging conventional thinking.


That innovation and creativity does not just happen though. You have to create teams where people feel they can belong and share their ideas and perspectives. There needs to be challenges to ways of thinking. And we need to consider how biases can get built into algorithms. Think about facial recognition software that perpetuates racial and gender biases for example. A lack of diversity in tech teams can lead to the development of products that inadvertently discriminate against certain groups. In contrast, diverse teams are more likely to include different people and perspectives early in the development process, ensuring that technology benefits everyone.


Ultimately, a tech industry that lacks diversity and inclusivity is not just hampering innovation; it’s also sending a damaging message to potential talent. When people see an industry that doesn’t value their contributions, they’re less likely to pursue careers in tech, perpetuating the cycle of underrepresentation. The unfinished codes in tech are not a small issue to be ignored. The lack of diversity and inclusion in the tech industry is a systemic problem we all need to resolve. To unlock the full potential of technology, we must prioritise diversity and include people, and actively work to ensure that the tech industry represents the diversity of our world. It’s only through inclusive teams can we write the code for a more inclusive and innovative future. Mo Kanjilal, Co-Creator at Watch This Sp_ce

“Just 26% of those working in the digital sector are women, white workers make up 84% of the tech workforce and only 9% of people employed have disabilities”

By Iain McKenna, CEO, Wired Sussex


Brighton's Wired Sussex and Brighton Dome 5G Test Beds In an ever-evolving world of technology and telecommunications, the promise of 5G connectivity has emerged as a beacon of innovation and transformation. Brighton, a city renowned for its vibrant culture and progressive thinking, is leading the charge in pioneering the future of connectivity with not one, but two, distinct 5G test beds. In this article, we will explore Brighton's groundbreaking 5G test beds, established by Wired Sussex and the Brighton Dome, their significance, and the broader implications they hold for both the city and the world.


Before we delve into Brighton's dual 5G test beds, it is crucial to understand the revolutionary potential of 5G technology. 5G, or fifth-generation wireless technology, represents a quantum leap in wireless communications. It promises to deliver higher data speeds, lower latency, and greater network capacity compared to its predecessor, 4G. This breakthrough technology is expected to power everything from self-driving cars and smart cities to virtual reality experiences and telemedicine.

KEY FEATURES OF THE WIRED SUSSEX 5G TEST BED 1.ULTRA-FAST INTERNET SPEEDS Wired Sussex's 5G test bed offers remarkable download speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second (Gbps). It showcases nearinstantaneous downloads, ultra-high-definition streaming, and seamless online gaming experiences.

2. LOW LATENCY: The test bed demonstrates the minimal delay in data transmission, making it a platform for real-time applications such as autonomous vehicles and remote surgery.

3.ENHANCED CONNECTIVITY FOR IOT The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a driving force in the tech world. Wired Sussex's test bed shows how 5G can efficiently support a vast number of connected devices simultaneously, making IoT applications more practical.

4. VIRTUAL REALITY AND AUGMENTED REALITY Wired Sussex's test bed explores the possibilities of immersive experiences through virtual and augmented reality. It pioneers applications ranging from interactive museum exhibits to advanced medical training.


Wired Sussex, a dynamic organisation that supports the digital and tech sector in the region, has established its own 5G test bed. This initiative reflects the collaboration between tech companies, local authorities, and innovators in the Wired Sussex community. The test bed provides a controlled environment to experiment with 5G's capabilities and assess the real-world impact of this transformative technology.


Alongside Wired Sussex's innovation hub, the Brighton Dome has established its own 5G test bed. This iconic cultural venue has expanded its horizons beyond the arts to embrace the transformative potential of 5G technology. The Brighton Dome's test bed serves as a platform to explore the impact of 5G on various cultural and creative applications.


1.Enhancing Cultural Experiences: The Brighton Dome's 5G test bed showcases how 5G can enhance cultural and artistic experiences. It enables high-quality streaming of live performances, immersive virtual exhibits, and interactive audience engagement.


The establishment of both Wired Sussex and Brighton Dome 5G test beds in Brighton carries profound implications for the city and beyond:


Economic Growth: The deployment of 5G technology has the potential to stimulate economic growth in Brighton. It can attract tech startups, foster innovation, and create jobs in the technology sector, and now also in the creative and cultural industries.


Education and Research: Brighton's dual test beds serve as valuable resources for educational institutions and researchers, facilitating studies on the effects of 5G technology on various aspects of life, from business to the arts.


Improved Quality of Life: The applications of 5G in healthcare, transportation, and the arts can significantly enhance the quality of life for Brighton's residents. Remote medical consultations, efficient transportation systems, and immersive cultural experiences are just a few examples.


Sustainability: As cities worldwide strive to achieve sustainability goals, 5G technology can play a vital role. Brighton's dual test beds can lead the way in developing environmentally friendly solutions, such as smart energy management and reduced emissions.

2. Art and Education: This test bed provides a valuable resource for artists, educators, and researchers. It offers a practical platform to explore the possibilities of 5G in enriching the world of art and education.


“Brighton, a city renowned for its vibrant culture and progressive thinking, is leading the charge in pioneering the future of connectivity with not one, but two, distinct 5G test beds”

Brighton's dual 5G test beds, established by Wired Sussex and the Brighton Dome, symbolise a remarkable journey into the future of connectivity and creative innovation. These test beds reflect the city's commitment to progress and innovation, and they are shaping the future for technology and the arts alike. With their significance in economic growth, education, improved quality of life, sustainability, and global recognition, Brighton is not just leading the way in 5G technology but also redefining itself as a beacon of innovation and creativity in the 5G era.

Global Recognition: By embracing two 5G test beds, Brighton has the opportunity to gain global recognition as a hub for innovation and progress, not only in technology but also in the creative and cultural sectors.


So many things we take for granted in the world today were, just a few years back, regarded as outlandish science fiction. Therefore, anything you hear of today will likely be in your home/car/office tomorrow. Here, Platinum takes a look at some of the most exciting new inventions that could change our lives tomorrow. And who knows what will be launched at the Sussex Tech Week?


A miniature generator can convert the movements of molecules in room temperature liquid into electricity. The device could one day be used to power devices like medical implants or even small household appliances. Molecules are constantly moving, thanks to the thermal energy they possess at temperatures above absolute zero, even if they appear still to the human eye. For example, at room temperature, the atoms in a glass of water are always jostling around. East Eight Energy in China created an energy-harvesting device, just one centimetre square, which consists of a top and bottom electrode with several 25-nanometre-wide strands of zinc oxide attached to each. The material was chosen for its ability to generate electrical charge under mechanical deformation.


A mixture of cement and charcoal powder could enable houses to store a full day’s worth of energy in their concrete foundations. This new way of creating a super-capacitor – an alternative to batteries that can discharge energy much faster – could be incorporated into the foundations of both buildings and wind turbines. When paired with renewable energy sources, it could also someday let concrete road foundations wirelessly recharge electric vehicles as they drive along.

“A mixture of cement and charcoal powder could enable houses to store a full day’s worth of energy in their concrete foundations”


Chemotherapy patients are at major risk of infection because they are immunocompromised. Limiting the time they spend in hospitals or clinics for treatments could therefore be a lifesaver. PixCell Medical can help by enabling cancer patients to perform pretreatment blood tests rapidly onsite — or, in the future, at home. PixCell’s HemoScreen device is FDA-cleared for point-ofcare complete blood count (CBC) tests. Using a disposable cartridge that includes all necessary reagents and requires no maintenance or calibration, HemoScreen delivers lab-accurate data from a single finger-prick of blood within five minutes.


A brain-inspired computer chip can run AI-powered image recognition operations 22 times faster than comparable commercial chips, and with 25 times the energy efficiency. The IBM NorthPole chip intertwines its computational capability with associated memory blocks that store information. This allows it to bypass the so-called von Neumann bottleneck – named after computing pioneer John von Neumann – which describes how modern computers slow down while waiting on information exchanges between more separated computer and memory units. The melding of computation and memory was inspired by the way the human brain works. IBM had previously built a chip based on this idea called TrueNorth. But NorthPole transforms the technology into a digital architecture that is compatible with the silicon chip technology used in contemporary computers.

“A miniature generator can convert the movements of molecules in room temperature liquid into electricity”


In the recent past, discerning the exact 3D structure of a single protein took around five years. Today, the same task is possible in seconds thanks to the machine learning programme AlphaFold, developed by Alphabet subsidiary DeepMind. Recently the company announced that AlphaFold had predicted the structures of 200 million proteins—nearly all known to humankind. And in what CEO Demis Hassabis described as a “gift to humanity,” DeepMind made the structures, along with AlphaFold’s underlying code, freely available to all. That will likely accelerate the work of scientists around the world trying to solve humanity’s toughest problems. The company says is now being used in efforts as diverse as fighting antibiotic resistance and Parkinson’s disease, and tackling plastic pollution.


Magic Leap sees a big future for augmented reality (AR) in workplaces. With this new headset, which can overlay 3D images and text on a user’s surroundings, the company is focused on the needs of employers in healthcare, manufacturing, retail and other sectors. Home improvement giant Lowe’s has begun outfitting workers with Magic Leap 2 so they can see what a store shelf should look like, and then tweak displays. Manufacturers are using it to speed up the training of technicians on factory floors. 50% smaller than its predecessor, the headset offers the biggest field of view of any AR device yet. New “dynamic dimming” technology creates an immersive work environment by blocking distracting light. That could help a surgeon focus during a long procedure—Magic Leap’s open developer platform lets customers create custom AR solutions to suit their needs.


By Maria Bedoya-Toro, Programmes Manager, Sussex Innovation


THE ETHICS OF CHATGPT We recently had the pleasure of working for Dr. Tanya Kant, a Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies (Digital Media) at the University of Sussex. Our market research team explored the application of generative text AI tools in the advertising, PR, communications, and marketing industries. We sought to understand what ethical practices and frameworks are guiding the implementation of emerging tools like Open AI’s ChatGPT. Is regulation or more education needed, and what role should employees and employers play? It’s a big topic, and one that is front of mind for many businesses right now, sparking interest, curiosity, anxieties and concerns. Before you read on, ask yourself: do you think there should be ethical limitations on the use of generative AI, and why?

The inherent risks in using generative AI tools are no secret to anyone. Despite the enthusiasm for generative AI, there are thorny issues to resolve, especially in the production of toxic content, entrenching biases based on gender, sexuality, race or other characteristics, copyright infringement, and changes in the labour market that we are not prepared to handle. Other risks are related to models that have been trained on inaccurate or misleading sources of information creating damage, exposing brands, or even impacting stock markets. With AI’s rapid development and adoption in various fields, it has become increasingly important to establish ethical frameworks around its usage. As both public and private organisations have scrambled to define their AI strategies, debate has arisen about the need to limit or regulate the use of generative AI tools.

Around half of news media organisations are already using generative AI tools for tasks including editing text, research and creating summaries. However, only 20% have set guidelines to govern its use. On the other end of the scale, large companies including Samsung, have outright banned their staff from conducting work using generative AI.

In just the past year, international organisations such as UNESCO have issued statements about the rapid development of AI systems and the ethical concerns that need to be addressed. The World Economic Forum held a global summit on generative AI to encourage informed and responsible leadership, concluding that open innovation and international collaboration will be essential.

“Ask yourself: do you think there should be ethical limitations on the use of generative AI, and why?”

Meanwhile, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy published a blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights designed to protect civil rights and democratic values, the EU AI Act aimed to establish a global standard of horizontal regulation, and the UK Government published its white paper describing a “pro-innovation” approach for AI regulation.


“The inherent risks in using generative AI tools are no secret to anyone” n SUM Values support, underwrite and motivate a responsible innovation ecosystem. They are used to consider and evaluate the social and ethical impacts of your project. n FAST Track Principles help to ensure that your project is bias-mitigating, non-discriminatory and fair, and to ensure you deliver safe and reliable AI innovation. The principles set out in that paper include: (a) Safety, security and robustness of AI systems and their regulation; (b) Transparency of access to the decision-making process of AI systems to promote public trust; (c) Fairness in regulatory compliance requirements between different AI systems and tools; (d) Accountability and governance established to ensure effective oversight of AI systems, and; (e) Contestability towards third parties and regulators when the outcome is deemed to be a risk-based decision.

n The PBG Framework offers transparent, process-based governance that safeguards the justifiability of your AI project and maintains accountability.

There are many more examples of organisations, global institutions or governments that are moving towards the creation and implementation of policies, frameworks or guides. The clearest advice from academic research on the issue suggests that decision makers in business must begin dedicating resources to creating industry-specific ethical frameworks guiding the use of AI, and into education and training to upskill their existing employees.

If you’d like to share your insights, want to read our research on ethical uses of generative text AI in advertising, PR, communications, and the marketing sector” or are interested in learning more about your market and how AI may affect your business, please don’t hesitate to contact our research team.

In doing so, organisations may repurpose existing frameworks, such as the Alan Turing Institute’s 2019 guide for responsible design and implementation of AI systems in the public sector. This is a three-stage approach that helps to create an ethical platform:

This is still an evolving area, and we at Sussex Innovation are excited to bring together the experiences of local businesses with the pioneering research happening at Sussex as we navigate the challenges and opportunities that AI adoption will bring.



Our relationship status at the time of our deaths plays a key role in how our estates are dealt with. However, the last thing you are likely to be thinking about when getting engaged or moving in with a new partner is what will happen when you die. By Jenny Ray, Partner at DMH Stallard and advisor on matters involving Contentious Probate and Estate Disputes

Marriage, divorce and relationships in estate disputes COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS – MARRIAGE

Firstly, it’s important to understand that there is no such thing as a common law marriage. If you have not entered into a legal marriage or civil partnership, your long-term partner will have no right to inherit your estate unless you leave a Will making provision for them. Another key point to note is that a marriage in the UK will revoke any earlier Will. If you don’t make another Will after your marriage, your estate will be dealt with in accordance with intestacy rules. These rules are quite rigid which provide that if you don’t have any children, every-

❛❛ It is important to

revisit your Will on divorce and to take advice before the divorce is dissolved ❜❜ 54

thing goes to your spouse. If you do have children, your spouse will inherit the majority of your estate and your children will get a smaller share. To avoid any unintended consequence, you should think about making a Will in contemplation of a marriage, leaving you to enjoy your wedding and honeymoon.


Divorce also has an impact on your estate, but it does not have the same consequence as marriage. A divorce will not automatically revoke a Will, but your ex-spouse will be treated as if they had died on the date that the marriage was dissolved. Yes – your ex really would be ‘dead to you’. This means that your ex-spouse could not be an executor and could not inherit under a Will dated before the divorce. If for example, you made a gift to your spouse in a Will and then divorced, they can no longer inherit that gift. It might be a substantial gift like a property. If there’s no substitution clause that says what happens if that person dies before you, then that property will fall into your residuary estate. And if you haven’t thought carefully about who your residual estate is being left to, this can give rise to unintended consequences. You could also end up with an intestate estate if your spouse was the only beneficiary of your estate and you do not have children.


❛❛ If you do not have

a Will and are divorcing, you should ensure you obtain a decree absolute ❜❜

It is important to revisit your Will on divorce and to take advice before the divorce is dissolved. If you do not have a Will and are divorcing, you should ensure you obtain a decree absolute. Your marriage will not be dissolved for the purpose of your estate until you do. Until it is obtained, your spouse would still stand to benefit under intestacy rules. If you are domiciled in another country at the time of your death or are married in a jurisdiction other than the UK, you may need to take advice from a lawyer in that jurisdiction.


Regardless of what your Will says, or whether you even have a Will, your spouse, ex-spouse, and any co-habitee of more than two continuous years may have a right to claim for financial provision from your estate. This right is set out in the Inheritance Act 1975.

To reduce the risk of a dispute arising after your death, it is important to think carefully about the relationships you have and whether reasonable financial provision has been made for them from your estate. It also important to communicate with your loved ones about your relationships to avoid any dispute arising in the future. Many cases that have come to court turn on whether someone was a co-habitee or, in fact, a lodger or friend. A co-habitee for these purposes is defined as a couple who have been living in the same household as a married couple or civil partners. Considering whether a couple were living in this way can involve a detailed examination of the

relationship including, but not limited to, your finances, your intimate and physical relations and how others viewed your relationship. Clear communication can reduce the risk of being subjected to such scrutiny and can reduce the risk of disputes arising. If you have been left unprovided for following the death of a spouse or co-habitee, you should seek legal advice quickly, as there is a time limit of six months from the date of the Grant of Probate being issued, to make a claim for financial provision.


Any major change in your relationships should prompt you to review your Will and estate planning and to obtain legal advice at the earliest opportunity. Email:



Corporate Commentary For any sale transaction, you will need legal and tax support, with many deals involving corporate finance

Jonathan Grant Partner and Head of Corporate

EQUITY OR DEBT? When the cost of borrowing is high (as now), growing businesses will look to equity investment, in order to finance working capital/growth. What should businesses consider, when looking at an equity fund raise?

n If a founder wants to sell the business, can the investor refuse to sell, or renegotiate? A ‘drag’ right has to be added to the articles or shareholders agreement, to ensure control for the founder.

‘Crowd funding’ was popular a few years ago, particularly for businesses with a strong image/link to consumers (drinks companies are the obvious example). The challenge is how to manage a large number of equity (share) investors. This requires a planned communications strategy, and a wellprepared, plain English investor pack. There are now some corporate “crowd finance” funds, which pool private money, and offer more structured facilities. Some of these also offer loans, and asset finance.

n Can the shares be recovered if an investor leaves the business? (non-executive director [NED], or employee).

At the other end of the spectrum is the single/selected high net worth investor. Often these individuals bring experience and skills as well as money. Typically, this will be an experienced investor, who requires an investment agreement/ articles of association, to protect their interest. A non-executive board role is often included. While agencies can make introductions, it is advisable to have a personal connection.


As a general rule, debt or asset finance should always be considered before equity. Diluting equity means sharing future growth, generated through the entrepreneurial efforts of the founders. If an investor can accelerate growth, through industry, or other connections, equity should again be considered. Before sharing equity, it is important to recognise and manage shareholder rights. Founders are no longer as free to make investment/decisions, or to pay themselves what they choose. The business has to be professional; no longer being able to operate as a ‘lifestyle’ business.

Share options for staff are a popular way of offering a form of equity ownership, without issuing shares. The options can trigger/vest, on a qualifying event – often a sale of the business. A well drafted option will be cancelled if an employee leaves the business. Equity investment can bring great benefits to businesses, but it should not be regarded as a simple, or riskfree option.

If you would like to discuss any of these themes further, please get in touch Mobile: 07912 087173 E:

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Michael Pay of EMC Corporate Finance discusses the commonly-raised issue of how a business owner prepares their business for growth

GROWING PAINS “How to cope with growth” may sound like a high class problem but it turns out to be a very similar question to “how to avoid stagnation”. As advisers to business owners, it is often a question that we are asked, possibly more so in recent times with management fighting inflationary pressures, changing supply chains in light of global events and increasing costs of capital from interests rates to tax and even legislation. In the world of dealmaking, buyers often want to understand how a target addresses these challenges, they are looking beyond the deal to what it means for them. So how do you cope with growth?


Perhaps the primary factor in avoiding stagnation, or planning for the future, is goal setting: invest your ambition and appetite for growth in defining a destination, and growth is much more likely to be sustained. It is important to state (write down) your objectives clearly with intermediate, time-bound objectives which are “stretch targets” but also achievable. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice discovered, “it is difficult to plan your journey if you do not know the destination”.


As business grows, the immediate challenge is simply handling the workload, often followed swiftly by funding the growth – preferably ahead of cash requirements. A stressful time, albeit with immediate rewards, this period typically involves long hours, investment in plant and equipment, relocation of premises and/or


recruitment and training of staff. From this tumult of activity and decision making will emerge the shape of a new organisation. Each decision will be relevant to the situation at the time it was made, particularly where management finds itself reacting to circumstances rather than planning for the longer term. Adjustments are therefore needed periodically along the way and, as growth continues, the changes needed may be significant. Initiating these may require greater courage – or the clarity which comes from knowing and believing in the goals.


In the case of a start-up, the organisation will transition from a founding team, within which many of the tasks are shared on a flexible basis, to an expanding organisation in which it becomes increasingly difficult to keep abreast of all the activities taking place. The scope for duplication, conflict and confusion grows ever larger. It now becomes important to define roles and responsibilities, not only for the new recruits but for everyone involved in the business. Some roles may be difficult to define; some functions or projects within the business may still need to be shared. At times, it may be necessary to redesign roles quite regularly – it is still vital for everyone to know explicitly what they are responsible for at any given moment. When recruiting, and where the budget allows, this should be taken as an

opportunity to bring in knowledge or skills which the incumbent team does not possess. For some start-ups, this effectively constitutes a transition to professional management. Ideally, as many successful entrepreneurs advise, surround yourself with people better than you. This could be a combination of full time, part time and contracting personnel, depending on the circumstances.

❛❛ It is only by

mastering the basics so perfectly that they are freed to display their flair ❜❜


As the business grows further, and the organisation matures, there may be further indications that new structure, systems or disciplines are needed, such as: n Performance gaps are recognised but appropriate countermeasures seem impossible to resource effectively n Significant difficulties arise when key personnel are absent n A large proportion of time is spent putting out fires, especially by management; a “hero” culture is taking root n There is a high level of stress, low morale and/or high staff turnover n The top line is growing but the bottom line is not n There are too many meetings, with more tactical detail than strategic content; management energy is fully absorbed in managing the status quo n A lot of finger pointing and little resolution


The changes needed to tackle these problems are various, but often involve: n Review the balance of attention and resourcing dedicated to training, root cause analysis and improvement activities • Introduce a programme of best practice methodology, such as lean thinking •F ormalise and standardise processes • Review adequacy of systems. n Review management structure, and alignment of metrics and incentives to business goals n R eview (Pareto analysis of ) contribution to bottom line of customers and value streams nR eview top management style!

The founding members of a start-up will know, understand and believe in the business mission and will share any important information there may be. In a growing organisation, however, this will no longer be the case, nor might everyone share in the entrepreneurial spirit that brought the business into being. Communication and knowledge become more function-specific and tasks become part of the day-to-day workload: defined processes, within departmental structures, are dutifully fulfilled by dedicated staff. This doesn’t sound very exciting. Is structure and standardisation, then, the death knell of flair within the business? Should a business keep roles and practices informal and loose (and invent a new way of doing things every time)? Time for some analogies: how do the All Blacks produce displays of such flair on the rugby field so consistently? Or how do world class orchestras produce such virtuosic performances time after time? Do they achieve this by doing everything differently every time? Of course not. It is only by mastering the basics so perfectly that they are freed to display their flair and push the boundaries of performance. So too in business. To define and standardise, (continually improve and occasionally transform) the core processes of the business, not only enables excellence in performing today’s activities but, in the absence of fires to fight and tactical decisions to micromanage, frees top management to focus on innovating and growing the business. By considering these not only will your business be in better shape it will also be more valuable, be it for an investor or acquirer.

Michael Pay is co-founder of EMC Corporate Finance



Why performing arts should be at the centre of an education

LIFE IS A STAGE Interviewing for your first job – possibly one of the most frightening moments in the life of any young adult. You’re put in front of a group of people wanting to test your skills and establish your competence (or otherwise), and there’s so little time to think, no chance to erase a mistake and have another go. Except if you’ve been a performer, in which case, that’s pretty standard territory. This is perhaps the most stark example of the value of the performing arts in education. A young person who regularly ventures on to the stage to dance, act, sing or play an instrument in front of an audience begins to take something like this. It lives firmly beyond the comfort zone of so many people, causing heightened stress levels and nervousness (guaranteed to cloud judgement and reduce logical thinking), and move such moments into the realms of positive experience. Instead of cortisol in buckets, there’s a healthy hit of

adrenaline to give just enough of a ‘kick’ to provide some energy, or ‘spark’ as it’s often called. Anyone who has ever been backstage at the end of the last performance of a student musical, for example, will have witnessed the pure, unadulterated joy of the cast and band as they revel in the applause and appreciation of the audience, the sense of team spirit and belonging with their fellow performers, and the elation gained from the huge self esteem boost of knowing that they have achieved something remarkable

together. The more our young people experience of this in their early lives, the more the balance of experience tips in favour of viewing challenges as opportunities, and public moments as a source of recognition and validation. In a world in which many of the jobs our students will be applying for when they leave our care don’t yet exist, down to the incredible rate of change in the world, the very best thing we can give to them is the ability to be creative, self confident, and able not just to survive, but to thrive under pressure.

❛❛ In a world in which many of the jobs

our students will be applying for don’t yet exist, the very best thing we can give to them is the ability to be creative ❜❜

Dianne Allison Head of Marketing and Admissions, Hurstpierpoint College e:



Next year there are some legislative changes coming into effect which will impact all employers. Employers not only need to be aware of the changes ahead but also be proactively reviewing and updating their practices and policies now to align with the new legislation and protect their organisation. Pam Loch of Loch Associates explains what’s happening…

WHAT’S CHANGING IN THE EMPLOYMENT LAW AND HR WORLD? One of the most significant changes to employee rights ahead is the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023. This Act will change the current legislation on f lexible work ing arrangements , introducing some key changes. Under the new legislation, employees will have the right to request flexible working from the very first day they start work. Previously they had to have 26 weeks’ service before they could make a request. Employees will also no longer have to present, what is in effect, a business case to justify their request. Employers will have only two months, instead of three months to consider the request and reach a decision. They will also be required to meet and consult with an employee before refusing a request. The Act will give employees the right to make two flexible working requests each year, as opposed to the existing one-a-year limit. This arguably recognises the fluid nature of employees’ lives and their need for adaptabilit y in response to changing circumstances. As a consequence of this change, and the anticipated publicity about it, employers should anticipate a potentially higher volume of flexible working requests throughout the year. In order to manage these


requests efficiently, employers should have in place effective processes to review and respond to applications promptly, ensuring they have trained their managers on how to deal with them too. As is currently the case, employees can make flexible working requests for any reason. The requests could relate to, for example, changing the location where they work, or the time and days they work. The employee may, for example, want to have an extended lunch hour to go home to feed and walk their dog. It’s important to identify whether or not the request could be regarded as a reasonable adjustment because the employee has a disability in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. Alternatively, the request could

be being made to accommodate c a r i n g fo r d e p e n d a n ts . W hil e employers must give all requests serious consideration, they must be particularly mindful of unlawful discrimination when the requests have been made because of a disability or due to caring for dependants. At the moment, there are eight reasons an employer can legally refuse a flexible working request and they remain available going forward. The reasons include: the cost is too significant for the business; the inability to re-organise workload among other staff members; the inability to recruit and replace staff for time lost; the negative impact on the quality of work from the individual as well as general performance levels; the negative impact on the business’ ability to meet demands; not having enough work for the individual if they are requesting to work more; and pre-planned changes to the business having an effect on the opportunity to change the working pattern of an employee. It is also worth keeping in mind that employees may be aware of the success of the four-day working week trials conducted at over 60 UK companies between June and December 2022. More than 90% of participating businesses have chosen to continue with the four-day working week, with 18 opting for permanent


❛❛ As a consequence of this change, employers

situations and take proactive steps to prevent that happening. This shift underscores the impor tance of fostering safe and respectful work environments, holding employers accountable for protecting their employees not only from internal harassment but also from external sources.

harassment of their employees. This change represents a significant departure from existing protection, placing a greater responsibility on employers to proactively take steps to protect their staff. Employers will be required to assess how individuals could be harassed in various situations, and take measures to prevent such incidents. This shift underscores the importance of fostering safe and respectful work environments, holding employers accountable for protecting their employees.

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality 2010) Act 2023 changes the approach being taken to workplace safety. Having just received Royal Assent, this legislation will into come force in 2024, and impose a duty on organisations to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual

However, employers should not wait for this legislation to come into effect. In order to protect their staff and their organisation, employers should take steps now to review their processes and policies and train their managers to avoid the costly consequences of harassment.

should anticipate a potentially higher volume of flexible working requests throughout the year ❜❜ implementation. These trials provide evidence employees may rely on to show the benefits of a more flexible approach to work, which include improved wellbeing, reduced stress levels, and increased productivity, as well as enhanced employee morale and better retention rates. The Workers Protection Bill, currently going through Parliament, will impose a duty on organisations to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment and make employers liable for third-party harassment. This change in approach would represent a significant departure from what has happened in the past, placing a proactive and significant onus on employers to protect their staff from harassment in the first instance. Employers will have to carry out risk assessments to identify how individuals could be harassed in various

Pam Loch, Solicitor and Managing Director of Loch Associates Group



If you are in business, then at some point you are likely to come across or require a confidentiality agreement (also commonly known as a non-disclosure agreement or NDA). Daniel Jenking, Partner at Mayo Wynne Baxter looks into this further

KEEPING IT CONFIDENTIAL It may be that you are about to enter into discussions with a third party in respect of a new project, commence negotiations to enter into a commercial contract or sell or buy a business. In such circumstances, it is usually readily accepted by the parties that there is a need to keep information confidential, and that they are receptive to having a confidentiality agreement.

The effect of this can be to make the agreement ineffective or result in only part of the information originally intended to be covered being protected. Nevertheless, even if the correct principal parties are specified, thought should be given to whether there are other interested parties that should be subject to or benefit from the agreement.

The chances are that you or a colleague have used one before, and the temptation can be to re-use it or to get one off the internet. As far as legal documents go, confidentiality agreements tend to be relatively short, so there is often a strong temptation to have a go yourself. But is what you are looking at fit for purpose?

It may be that the confidentiality agreement which you are looking at favours one party over the other, drafted from the disclosure’s perspective or the recipient’s perspective. Whether it is suitable will depend on your situation.

As with any contract, a fundamental consideration is who should be a party to the document. One of the most common errors in confidentiality agreements is that the wrong people or companies are specified as being a party – for example, the wrong group or a company rather than the shareholders.

As with any contract, a fundamental ❛❛ consideration is who should be a party to the document ❜❜ 64

There is often a two-way flow of information, and it may be that a mutual agreement is required, so that both parties are subject to the same obligations. Often parties feel more comfortable with this, as the other party is unlikely to seek an unreasonable term if they too will be subject to it. Being able to ascertain what information is confidential and therefore subject to the terms of the agreement is important. If it is drafted too widely, the recipient may object. There is also a risk that the court does not uphold the agreement if the information covered isn’t genuinely confidential. It is not uncommon to include provisions making clear what information is not treated as confidential.

LEGAL The best way ❛❛ of keeping information confidential is, in fact, not to disclose it


The purpose for which information is being disclosed should be considered. A properly drafted confidentiality agreement doesn’t just impose restrictions on the disclosure of information, but also restricts what can be done with the information. You don’t want to find that the information is used in a way which allows the recipient to compete with your business. Also, what should happen when the proposal comes to an end or if the parties decide to part ways? Who owns the information? Should it be returned or destroyed?

The best way of keeping information confidential is, in fact, not to disclose it. You should consider whether the information you are proposing to disclose is really needed by the recipient or whether in fact it might be appropriate to disclose information in phases, with more valuable information only being made available over time when you are more confident that the relevant project, contract or sale will take place.

Even if a well drafted confidentiality agreement is in place, one of the difficulties for the party disclosing information is knowing whether the other party commits a breach. The other party could disclose information to other competitors, or use the information for other purposes, and the disclosing party may never know. If a breach of the agreement occurs, it may be possible to obtain an injunction to stop further breaches or to obtain damages for the loss suffered. However, if a breach occurs it can be difficult to prove. Also, if information has become public, an injunction may not be available or be of no use, because if the information becomes public knowledge, it’s too late as it can’t be made secret again. Additionally, it can be hard to put a value on information and to quantify the loss suffered, as often the information’s real worth is its potential future value and not its current value. When supplying information, it can be prudent to do so by secure means to specifically authorised people. This may for example be by using a secure online platform, using encryption, or even providing hard copies. It can also be advisable to mark documents as confidential. To put yourself in the best position, the best approach is therefore not only to ensure that you have a c o nf id e ntiali t y agre e m e nt that works for your circumstances, but also being alive to the risks and where possible taking practical measures to protect your information.

For further information contact Daniel Jenking, Partner, Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP E:



Having opened a new office in Reigate at the start of 2023, the MHA team has expanded significantly and is keen to get out into the local business community and continue to grow the client base. By David Boosey, Audit Partner, MHA

MHA building a presence in the Gatwick Diamond MHA already offers a top tier professional ser vice to many vibrant businesses in Sussex and Surrey and welcomes the opportunity to help many more. Physical presence isn’t everything, but I do think it makes a difference when your accountant is geographically in the same area as you. At MHA, we become your trusted advisor for all your financial needs; a sounding board, and a confidant. That, in my experience, is greatly aided by a bit of time spent with each other, face to face – sometimes debating, sometimes disagreeing but always communicating honestly and openly.

Every town in the Gatwick Diamond has its own mix of successful, innovative, and growing businesses, radiating out from the focal point of Gatwick Airport. The Gatwick Diamond economy outperforms most of the UK’s other economic areas due to its world class transport connections, innovation, diversity of businesses and, most importantly, the people that call it home. It’s very easy to get excited about the future when you’re based here, interacting with successful businesses day in, day out. I have been delighted to spend the past year working with MHA to help build up our presence in the Gatwick Diamond. I have met lots of fantastic people and businesses, all with different personalities and drivers behind them. All of them unified by a desire to promote our region and create sustainable, profitable businesses that help support the communities in which we all live. I grew up in Dorking and, as a boy, was struck by, and was proud of, the successful businesses that formed part of the community. In some cases, it was

❛❛ I constantly drive our

teams to provide excellent client service and delivery ❜❜



Pictured left to right: Hendrik van Dyk CFP™ Chartered MCSI, Brendan Sharkey, Audit Partner, David Boosey Partner, Glen Thomas Tax Partner, Sue Rathmell VAT Partner, Martin Sweeney Business development

❛❛ Every town in the Gatwick Diamond has its own mix of successful, innovative, and growing businesses ❜❜

part of the actual landscape – such as Denbies Wine Estate. I just about remember when the vineyard wasn’t there and what a wonderful addition it has been, supporting the local community in lots of different ways, such as their apprenticeship scheme and when they housed the performing arts library. I’ve always been interested in how businesses make a profit, and with a slightly more entrepreneurial streak than some of my peers, I quickly realised how difficult it is to make those profits sustainable. I loved audit work partly because I got to see under the bonnet and see how these successful businesses do it! What surprised me is that they all had different approaches, models, systems, and processes. There is no single way to business success other than dogged determination, mixed with a healthy dose of common sense, humility, and a little good fortune at times.

David Boosey and Marc Esmade Audit Manger

My hopes for our new office and region is for us to be a standard bearer of quality, professional business services as we continue to enhance our ability to support entrepreneurs, individuals, SMEs and multi-national corporations in the beautiful towns and villages that make up our home. I constantly drive our teams to provide excellent client service and delivery, working for and with them to help create successful, sustainable businesses that contribute to a global economy that aims to achieve a better future for all. As the UK independent member firm of Baker Tilly International, ranked ninth globally by size, we provide premier accounting, assurance, tax, and specialist business advice worldwide, drawing on internationally recognised industry and service line experts in 145 countries.

If you need business services, support, or advice we will have an expert who can support you regardless of the scale of your business, be it local, national, or international. If that sounds like something that appeals to you, or you just want to share your thoughts on some of the issues I’ve just raised in this article, please do get in touch. I’d be delighted to speak to you. Contact David Boosey, Audit Partner, MHA E:



By Yaron Engler, Founder of On Being Men

FROM STRESS TO SUCCESS: Leveraging purpose and building resilience


In our daily grind, stress often feels like an unwelcome guest, showing up at work, home, and even affecting our health. We’ve come to perceive stress as a negative force which keeps us feeling lost in a maze with symptoms like anxiety, tension, irritability and fatigue.

I discovered my purpose early on: drumming. Despite the voices around me insisting I get a ‘proper’ job, I dedicated myself to it fully, and as a result, I had the privilege of touring the world as a drummer. Around 12 years ago, as I prepared to become a father, that purpose began to fade.

But what if we could flip the script and turn stress into a driving force? The secret lies in understanding the power of purpose. When we lead a purposeful life, the habitual stress that stems from frustration, resentment or anger can transform into a source of fuel that can help us live the life we truly want to live both at work and at home.

I knew I needed a new one, and I committed to finding it. It wasn’t easy, but by using the tools I’m sharing with you in this article, I found a new purpose which led to the creation of my business ‘On Being Men’ – a space for driven men to discover the clarity, confidence, and courage needed to live with purpose and avoid burnout.

Living with purpose means taking a step back from all the noise and outside pressures that often dictate your choices. It’s about digging deep into your core values, who you truly are, and what really matters to you. Purpose isn’t some fancy word; it’s a deep personal journey that helps align your actions with what you truly want.

❛❛ Purpose isn’t some

fancy word; it’s a deep personal journey ❜❜


❛❛ Living with purpose

means taking a step back from all the noise and outside pressures that often dictate your choices ❜❜

n Grow in 360º: Develop a broad range of both masculine and feminine traits. The more you can cultivate qualities such as clarity, confidence, and leadership alongside traits like e m p a t h y, c o m p a s s i o n , a n d understanding, the better equipped you will be to effectively cope with stress and challenges.

If you’re at a stage in your life where you want to align yourself with purpose, these steps can help: n Find what drives you: There are things that pull you naturally. Even when you’re tired or unclear you’re still motivated to do them. In my case, it was drumming at first, and then it was a strong desire to help others find their purpose. What’s your drive? n Be OK with your pain: Purpose often arises from the challenges and pains we’ve experienced personally. My own journey of overcoming years of depression, searching for purpose, and failing in past relationships now fuels the work we do at ‘On Being Men’. n Know and use your values: Identify what truly matters to you in life. These values act like your personal GPS, helping you make the right decisions, connect with the right people, and avoid distractions that don’t serve your goals.

n Surround yourself with like-minded people: Taking part in a supportive community of like-minded individuals can provide you with the support, encouragement and feedback you need on your journey. It’s a great source of strength. n Grow your self-awareness: Realise that every action or inaction you take has a big impact on the world around you – your family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. Understanding this can help you make more conscious choices that will align you with your purpose and lead to positive impact.

n Stay in the Growth Zone: Instead of sticking to your comfort zone or pushing yourself to burnout, aim for the growth zone. Challenge yourself and listen to your inner voice to ensure you’re pushing your boundaries in the areas where you genuinely want to grow. Do better today than yesterday and compare yourself to yourself. Not to others. In conclusion, deviating from your purpose can make stress a constant, unwanted companion—a burden you’d rather avoid. But you can change this by discovering your purpose. It might not be easy, it can take time, your challenges may actually become more significant, but so will your capacity to confront them. Living with purpose brings clarity, confidence, and courage, making life more meaningful, joyful, and fulfilling. This is where stress shifts from being a burden to becoming a source of fuel.

Yaron Engler is the Founder of On Being Men. For guidance on purpose and a fulfilling life at work and home, visit:


BUSINESS The University of Surrey’s dedicated drama school seeks to further employability and foster a better society through the arts

INSIDE THE GUILDFORD SCHOOL OF ACTING Since joining Guildford School of Acting (GSA) in May 2022 as the Head of School, Professor Catherine McNamara has brought her leadership and experience to the area of employability of graduates. Equipping students with the skills, experiences and knowledge required in the various work environments they aspire to enter is a key aspect of the education and training at GSA.


For Catherine, a focus has been the BA (Hons) Applied and Contemporary Theatre programme, GSA’s newest undergraduate degree. The course develops and trains the next generation of theatre makers, community arts practitioners, facilitators, creative entrepreneurs and cultural leaders. The programme encompasses theatre for social change, community theatre, theatre in education, the use of the arts in

outreach programmes, in health and wellbeing, disability arts, and lots more. Prior to joining the University of Surrey’s Guildford School of Acting, Catherine was part of a project researching this kind of work where students take knowledge and skills gained in the classroom to external organisations in exchange for practical experience. The project, Creative Students, Creating Business (2020-2021) was based at the University of Portsmouth and funded jointly by the Office for Students (OfS) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

positive experiences, and these ideas feed the work GSA is doing.

The aim of the research was to determine the success factors in this type of student-learning in ‘real life’ settings, specifically looking at what success looks like for the student, the organisation they spend time in and for the university too. Building mutually beneficial partnerships and engaging in dialogue across the boundary between a university and its communities is key to

As a Professor in Applied Theatre and Arts Education, Catherine McNamara’s current project involves tackling the issue of County Lines and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) and the effect it has on young people in the UK. It examines how stories and creative methods can help to increase awareness of these issues.

❛❛ Catherine McNamara’s current project

involves tackling the issue of County Lines and Child Criminal Exploitation ❜❜

Students on the BA (Hons) Applied and Contemporary Theatre engage in two types of placement learning in order to gain invaluable experience with organisations doing this work, one for ten weeks and the other is a year-long Professional Training Year. GSA is building its placements work as the new degree is becoming established.


Along with various partners, Catherine has created “Cold Chips and Money” (CCM) – an interactive digital story and lesson for 11 to 13-year-olds which engages and encourages them to explore the complex issues surrounding exploitation. It focuses on how young people can be manipulated and coerced into committing crimes, such as acting as couriers for criminal gangs involved in illegal drug, cash, and weapon transportation between cities and smaller towns. The story’s three parts follow a young protagonist’s journey from an ordinary morning to encounters with older individuals involved in County Lines activities, culminating in situations where the main character faces significant pressure to commit criminal offences. The project aims to continue raising awareness about County Lines and Child Criminal Exploitation, and



❛❛ The Guildford School of Acting is proud to be fostering a community that respects and appreciates individual differences ❜❜ Catherine is working with a number of Surrey schools and youth organisations such as Youth Offending teams until May 2024. The accessible format of the resources allows for easy implementation, empowering schools to deliver CCM independently after the initial delivery. Details are available at en/projects/student-engagementin-knowledge-exchange


In broader terms, GSA stages over 25 public productions annually across three seasons, showcasing the exceptional talents of their students to around 12,000 attendees per year. These productions are the vehicle for student learning on the Technical Theatre, Stage and Production Management, and various performance courses. Structuring student learning and teaching this way provides GSA with the opportunity to connect and engage with audiences and welcomes people

from outside the university community. Last year at its autumn season of shows, GSA piloted a new way of delivering audio-description, allowing for accessibility improvements for visually impaired audience members. Audio-description enables a blind or partially sighted person to experience and enjoy a performance through a live verbal commentary which provides information on the visual elements of a production as it unfolds. Developed in consultation with audiodescription researchers at the University of Surrey’s Centre for Translation Studies, this new way of delivering audiodescription not only means that attendees are able to connect their favourite listening device such as an induction neck loop or over-ear

headphones, they can also sit anywhere in the theatre rather than where the induction loop is installed, and use their own smartphone as a receiver. The Guildford School of Acting is proud to be fostering a community that respects and appreciates individual differences, while preparing its students to be the next generation of Creative and Cultural Industries professionals. As GSA continues to build relationships with the wider Surrey community, the school also presents opportunities for businesses including corporate entertainment and conference facilities.


The GSA Singers is a cohort of 24 second-year students which presents a fully staged programme of material from musical theatre and popular classics, and are available for corporate functions, private and charity events and concerts. The group has performed at Buckingham Palace, the Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall, and Drury Lane Theatre as well as local organisations and charities.

Learn more about GSA Singers at



WINNERS ANNOUNCED The winners of the 2023 Surrey Business Awards have been announced at a sensational gala event at G Live in Guildford on October 17th. Business leaders from across the region attended the sell-out event, which was organised by Platinum Media Group, and hosted by comedian, Hal Cruttenden. The awards ceremony was made up of 16 categories and recognised accomplishments made across all aspects of business, from personal successes to outstanding contributions. Maarten Hoffmann, Managing Director of Platinum Media Group, said: “The awards are an opportunity to celebrate Surrey’s vibrant business community and to recognise the achievements of those who go above and beyond to deliver exceptional service, results and products. “This year, we received a record number of entries from all business sizes and sectors in the county, with the standard of applications being very high. I’d like to congratulate all the winners and shortlisted finalists.”

Thank you for putting ❛❛ on such a fantastic event

with entertainment that kept everyone laughing throughout the evening Creative Nature

The event charity partner was Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex which provides specialised medicine and knowledge to improve the health and medical outcomes of the wider community. Attendees on the night helped to raise £7,400 for the charity which will help support its fight to save lives across the South East.






Thank you for such a brilliantly organised event. Having a glimpse behind the scenes showed me just how well planned you and your team were – and that certainly came across in the quality of the ceremony, which was exceptional Catherine Fisher, Managing Partner, Morr & Co



Wow, what an ❛❛amazing night!

Thank you so much for your hard work and all the effort that went into planning this event, which we must say was executed beautifully Matt Hickey, The Health Value Alliance





Business Innovation of the Year THE VIRTUAL CATH LAB SURREY Sponsored by Surrey Research Park

Start-up of the Year LOGIN LOUNGE Sponsored by NESCOT

Businessperson of the Year SHAMIR JIWA, MAXIMEYES Sponsored by Surrey Business Magazine

Business Growth Award BAYS CONSULTING Sponsored by Morr & Co

Community Hero Award

AIR AMBULANCE CHARITY KSS Sponsored by Greatest Hits Radio


Chamber Member of the Year SOMETHING BIG Sponsored by Surrey Chambers of Commerce

Best Customer Service OPUS TECHNOLOGY Sponsored by Menzies

Medium Business of the Year

CEDA HEALTHCARE Sponsored by Partridge Muir & Warren

Small Business of the Year

THE HEALTH VALUE ALLIANCE & SYSTEMS Sponsored by The HR Dept Surrey Hills

Large Business of the Year RAMSAC Sponsored by DMH Stallard


Employer of the Year

RAMSAC Sponsored by Surrey Business School


Sponsorship opportunities are now available for the 2024 Awards, offering extensive brand profile and publicity. For more information email

Company of the Year

CROXSONS Sponsored by Haines Watts

Professional Services Award BAYS CONSULTING Sponsored by projectfive

Property Developer of the Year ANTLER HOMES Sponsored by Lloyds Bank

Most Sustainable Business KOCYCLE Sponsored by Taylor Wimpey

International Business of the Year CREATIVE NATURE Sponsored by Heathrow Airport


By Dan Morgan, Managing Partner, Haines Watts Esher

CHALLENGES WHEN SCALING A BUSINESS Scaling up your business is a common ambition for many business owners. However, sustained growth comes with a fair share of challenges and requires a careful balance between taking risks and ensuring those risks reap rewards. Below are some of the most common hurdles you may face and how to overcome them.

It will be beneficial to create a strategy that outlines your growth plans and any financial projections, which can be shown to banks. There are many funding options that should be explored, most commonly in the form of loans, investments and grants.


To successfully jump from being a startup to being an established scale up, you’ll need to expand your existing infrastructure and ensure your technology and processes are set-up for growth.

Maintaining the quality and consistency of your products/service is essential when scaling up to retain your reputation and keep your customers returning. This can be done by establishing standardised processes and implementing training programmes to reinforce the message throughout your team. Regular quality control checks will help you identify any issues promptly, allowing you to save on waste and any unnecessary costs. Setting high quality service as the standard helps to encourage repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.


No matter your method for growth, scaling costs money. There are a number of funding options which can be used, depending on whether you are acquiring another company, expanding existing premises or investing in new equipment. It is important to consider all of your options, balancing the risks and opportunities presented with each option.


Current systems may no longer be fit for purpose, requiring you to invest into scalable solutions that can meet the needs of your increased demand. This includes things like machinery, equipment, office space and any other operational elements.


Naturally, as your business expands, so will the workforce. Attract and retain top talent by offering competitive compensation packages and a collaborative work environment where employees feel aligned. When scaling, you want to ensure the core values of your business do not get lost and your culture is maintained. Throughout the recruitment process, you should be taking time to consider whether potential new employees will be a good fit both in terms of skills and mindset. Reinforcing your company values often is crucial, so that they are understood and respected by every member of the team. They should also be used as the foundations for your business related objectives to keep reminding your teams of the ‘why’ behind your decisions. Scaling a business does not come without its challenges. However, when effectively managed, it can be a very exciting and beneficial endeavour.

To find out how you can scale efficiently, get in touch. T: 020 8549 5137 E:



Christmas is a special time, and the elves at Plumpton Racecourse are busy planning for our festive racedays…

CHRISTMAS AT PLUMPTON RACECOURSE Commence your Christmas celebrations at Plumpton Racecourse, and join us on either Monday December 4th and/or Monday December 18th. With the festive season about to enter the home straight, Christmas month brings joy and excitement for all. These two days are highlights in our racing calendar, and will kick start the festive season. Gather family, friends, colleagues or clients to enjoy great competitive racing and Christmas entertainment. Off the track, there’s an abundance of seasonal fun for all with a range of festive entertainment set to delight racegoers of all ages. On December 18th, we will have carol singing with the Sussex Brass Band, a chance to meet a couple of Santa’s reindeer, and visit our miniChristmas market. Plus there is plenty of local and national food and drink offerings to enjoy. Furthermore, all guests will also be treated to a free candy cane! We will conclude the festive celebrations with the Sussex National Raceday on Sunday January 7th, 2024, so jumpstart your New Year by joining us to witness one horse, jockey and trainer etch their name into Plumpton history by landing the valuable and exciting Sussex National. With a seven-race card, this fixture is guaranteed to generate a cracking atmosphere in the stands – and really welcome in the New Year!


❛❛ Gather family, friends, colleagues or

clients to enjoy great competitive racing and Christmas entertainment ❜❜ Our hospitality and dining experiences are always high in demand for these three racedays, so make sure you contact us now to not miss out! A big thank you to all who have joined us so far in 2023, and we look forward to welcoming you to Plumpton Racecourse, heart of the community for one of our festive racedays.

To find out more please contact us on 01273 890383 or email


Business finance provider Let’s Do Business Finance (LDBF) is delighted to be celebrating a fantastic milestone – 20 years of dedicated service in providing startup and growth loans to businesses across the South East and East of England

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF EMPOWERING BUSINESSES Founded with a visionary mission: to empower businesses with the financial support they need to flourish and thrive, it has demonstrated unwavering commitment to fostering economic growth in the South East and East of England, helping over 6,000 businesses to access over £52m. Speaking to Managing Director Sean Dennis, Platinum reflects on the significant impact LDBF has had on the business community. What made you want to create Let’s Do Business Finance? Really, it was about helping businesses to access finance. Graham Marley and I both come from banking backgrounds, and we were seeing old clients come into the office saying, “my bank won’t help me anymore,” caused by the start of that ‘computer says no’ decision-making process by a lot of the high street and mainstream lenders. We had the opportunity to access some funding to set up our own finance company, which we thought sounded extremely interesting so we did it!

What was your vision for what you thought it would achieve? Originally it was quite small scale. It really was just about helping businesses across East Sussex to access sufficient funds that they couldn’t raise from mainstream routes, and to complement our other business services offer. I guess the aim to begin with was to test the water, to see what the demand was and how it would add value to the other services that we provided, then take it from there.

Sean Dennis, Managing Director


How do you think things have changed in business lending over the past 20 years? Gosh, an awful lot! When we started, our focus was very much on Start Up Loans. The Start Up Loan Company didn’t exist at that point and for the majority of businesses that were coming through the front door, it tended to be start-ups or early stage businesses saying ‘I can’t get any funding elsewhere.’ There’s been a number of iterations of our business over the past 20 years. We still focus very heavily on the start-up end of the market, but now we do that with the support of, and through, the Start Up Loan Company. Being a regional business support partner is a really important part of our business, and something we’re really proud of. Particularly over the past four or five years, we’ve seen an increasing demand for businesses that are more established, often much larger and are growing. When we started, our average loan might be £4,000-£5,000, We’re now looking at £80,000-£90,000, and we lend up to £150,000. There’s been a big transformation within mainstream lending that has centralised a lot of the funding support.


❛❛ Being able to access enough funding at the right price enables us to have a sustainable, viable business model ❜❜

What makes Let’s Do Business Finance different from other mainstream lenders? There are a few things that make it different. The primary thing, and this is where we come from, is that we’re what’s called a ‘community development finance institution.’ Essentially, what that means is that we’re aiming to provide access to finance where businesses can’t raise it through mainstream routes, typically high street banks, but also increasingly, fintechs.

FUELLING GROWTH AND EXPANSION Let’s Do Business Finance is an accredited delivery partner of the Recovery Loan Scheme through the British Business Bank. How important do you think the creation of that fund was to businesses in the UK? It was absolutely vital at the time, particularly at the height of COVID, along with its predecessor CBILS. They were absolutely crucial in saving many businesses that would otherwise have failed. The Recovery Loan Scheme is there to help businesses move on from COVID and the pandemic, and it’s still really important. An awful lot of businesses took on – well, had to take on – debt to survive. Because of that, a lot of them are struggling to move forward again. They haven’t necessarily got the security or the collateral that some of the funders might be looking for, and that’s where the loan guarantee scheme steps in and helps them access funding to help them develop and grow going forward.

A lot of traditional mainstream funders don’t provide local support now, which is where our relationship approach really chimes with a lot of businesses because we can physically meet with them. We can go to their premises, and learn and understand about them, which traditional lenders often can’t do. That personal touch is a really important and something that businesses value. I think the automation of decision making by mainstream providers, and them becoming more remote, has really helped us develop and grow our business because we’ve slotted into the void that they’ve left behind. For us, it’s not just a transactional arrangement. We’re looking to add value, not just in terms of providing finance but supporting our clients in other ways. If they need help on marketing, for example, we can put them in touch with other support that may be available in areas like that; areas that can develop and grow their businesses. But overall, the key thing that we’re looking at, and we’re really interested in supporting clients on, is the impact of what that loan means for the business, whether it’s enables them to set up, start to grow, take on staff, or safeguarding jobs. All of those things are really impor tant to us, par ticularly in geographical areas or for businesses that are facing financial exclusion. It’s what sets us apart from others.

What challenges have Let’s Do Business Finance faced over the last 20 years? I guess the main one – there’s a bit of an irony here – was access to finance. We need to access sufficient capital for us to then on-lend to the businesses, and that always has been, and perhaps always will be, one of our greatest challenges. Being able to access enough funding at the right price enables us to have a sustainable, viable business model that then helps us to support the businesses in our local community. Moving on to the future, what’s next for Let’s Do Business Finance? More growth! It is a really exciting time. We’ve developed and grown the Start Up lending. We’re now the South East region’s business support partner for the Start Up Loans Scheme, which we’re really proud of and we’re looking forward to the next couple of years to continue progressing that. We are accredited for the Recovery Loan Scheme. In fact, we are one of the few regionally-based accredited lenders in the South East and East of England. We’ve developed and grown that, and we know we can do that further. Geographically, we’re moving beyond our traditional areas of Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Essex. We’re already covering the whole of the east of England and we’re now pushing out across into Hampshire, up to Oxfordshire and increasingly into London. We’re really proud of what we have done; we’re helping over 600 businesses a year. We never would have envisioned that. It’s great and we’re really excited about the future because we know we can take things even further and continue to grow.


Visualise your future with a 360° review delivering trusted, expert advice. Pensions Investments Estate Planning Financial Management Now in the South East, Mattioli Woods will work hard to deliver the best financial outcomes for you.

Get in touch 020 8936 3970

Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

PEST CONTROL Cleankill Pest Control has been shortlisted in the category of ‘Sustainability Impact – turnover above £1 million’ at this year’s CREST23 Business Awards.

Cleankill shortlisted for sustainability award The CREST23 Business Awards are the only awards recognising and celebrating the sustainability achievements of enterprises and organisations operating in Surrey. The Sustainability Impact Award acknowledges companies taking a leading role in making a positive impact on people’s lives through their products, services, wellbeing policies, supply chains, location, investments and/or business models. Commenting on the announcement, Cleankill Managing Director Paul Bates said: “This is truly amazing. Being recognised for our commitment to sustainability and the environment is very important to us. “Working in the pest control industry, people often assume sustainability isn’t a priority but, at Cleankill, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our company was set up to fill a gap in the market for a highly effective pest control company that puts the needs of the customer and the environment on an equal footing with profit.” Over the years, Cleankill has led the way in sustainable pest control. Whether it’s introducing digital reporting to reduce paper usage, employing foot technicians in London to reduce travel emissions, or doubling the falconry team to provide an effective deterrent against roosting birds that doesn’t cost the Earth, Cleankill is always innovating to improve the company’s sustainability. Key to this has been the creation of a work culture where best practise is constantly shared between management and on-the-ground technicians.

Over the years, ❛❛ Cleankill has led the way in sustainable pest control ❜❜ Cleankill Pest Control was recently named Large Company of the Year at the 2023 National Pest Awards – the second national award for the team this year. The Large Company of the Year award recognises excellence and professionalism in the field of pest control. It puts a particular emphasis on customer service, breadth of solutions and a real commitment to staff development and was open to any pest control company employing more than 20 technicians. Cleankill also won the British Pest Control Association Sustainability Award earlier this year in recognition of the company’s deliberate and conscious effort to reduce its impact on the environment and become more sustainable.

Now employing 57 staff, Cleankill Pest Control offers eradication and preventative services for all public health pests, including: mice; rats; cockroaches; wasps; fleas; squirrels and pest birds. As a registered waste carrier, Cleankill can also remove pigeon debris and other waste. With offices in Surrey, East Sussex, Bristol and Buckinghamshire, Cleankill has many customers throughout London, Surrey, Sussex, the Home Counties, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

For more information on how Cleankill can help your company go to



THE LARGEST OPEN AIR PRISON IN THE WORLD And who started this nightmare? Great Britain!

By Maarten Hoffmann DISCLAIMER: All views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this publication

The recent horror inflicted on Israel by Hamas recently can only appal every human on the planet but there are a couple of things that need to be noted in this ongoing nightmare. Hamas say they represent the Palestinians, but they don’t. They represent Iran in their ingrained and totally illogical hatred of the Jews. But solving this age-old conflict will only ever come to pass when the Israelis, and the rest of the world, recognise that the Palestinians have a right to live, a right to peace and right to a decent life. Continuing to ignore that fact will result in this horror show continuing into the next century and beyond, with countless lives lost.

The Hamas puppet masters don’t give a damn about the dead, and the proof of that is their full knowledge of what Israel would do in response – invade Gaza, with the death and destruction of the Palestinians. Their aim is to see so many of them dead, that the US and Saudi Arabia will pull away from Israel. They want as many dead as possible to achieve their perverted and unachievable aims. Proof of this was clear when, following the Israelis order to evacuate the north of Gaza, Hamas terrorists blocked all roads out to ensure they were slaughtered. The other issue is Great Britain, the country that placed the Jews there after WW2 and drew the lines of each



UN PLAN 1947



Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv









country/state – the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. From 1920 to 1948, Britain held the mandate over Palestine. From the beginning, Britain pursued a pro-Zionist policy which facilitated the Zionist takeover of Palestine. The cornerstone of mandatory policy was to deny representative institutions until the Jews became a majority. When an Arab revolt broke out in 1936, the British army suppressed it with the utmost brutality. Palestine was not lost in the late 1940s, as is commonly believed, but in the late 1930s. Britain played a crucial, but still unacknowledged, role in the Palestinian tragedy. In 1947 the United Nations voted for the partition of Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. Officially, Britain adopted a neutral position and declined to enforce the partition plan. In reality, it preferred its client, King Abdullah of Jordan, to take over the Arab part of Palestine. In British eyes, a Palestinian state was synonymous with a state of its enemy, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the leader of the Palestinian national movement. Hostility towards this movement was a constant theme in British policy in 19471949. This manifested itself in Britain’s secret backing for Abdullah’s bid to capture the West Bank, the heartland of the planned Arab state. The regular armies of the neighbouring Arab states intervened in the conflict upon expiry of the British mandate, ostensibly to liberate Palestine. In reality,



Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion reads the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel, 1948

When an Arab ❛❛ revolt broke out in 1936, the British army suppressed it with the utmost brutality


they ser ved conflicting national agendas. The inability of the Arab states to coordinate their diplomatic and military strategies was one of the reasons for the Arab defeat. Following the invasion, the war in Palestine degenerated into a general land grab. The winners in this war were the Zionists, who expanded the territory of their state from the 55% of the partition plan to 78% of mandatory Palestine, and King Abdullah, who captured the West Bank and later annexed it to his kingdom. The losers were the Palestinians. Three quarters of a million Palestinians became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map.

After the horror of WW2, the Jews certainly needed a homeland and this was the obvious place, historically. But of all the locations in the world to re-house the Jews, an area where they were totally surrounded by Arab nations that despised them and wanted them dead – Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan, this was always going to be a tinderbox. To this day, mainly sponsored by Iran, the Jews have been under attack from all sides.

Therefore, we absolutely cannot blame Israel for defending themselves and fighting back against the barbaric Hamas terrorists but the world needs to come together and find a fix to this situation or we will have another hundred years of death, horror and destruction. The Israelis have a right to exist but so do the Palestinians.


Time is so precious. Our time on this miraculous planet is fleeting – here today, gone tomorrow. Meanwhile, if we’re fortunate, and determined, we may get to walk in wonder and experience much of Mother Earth’s greatness. Don’t let your bucket list be a list of unattainable dreams. Make that list your reality. By Tess de Klerk



With unprecedented access to private ranches and encounters with biologists, archaeologists, and astronomers, this West Texas road trip offers a chance to unplug, and experience the solitude of this beguiling region Embark on a Lone Star State adventure behind the wheel of a luxury car, shattering Texas stereotypes beyond BBQ, music, and rugged landscapes. Begin in El Paso, journey to Marfa’s contemporary art and enigmatic Marfa Lights, and race to the Chinati Mountains’ foothills. At the expansive Cibolo Creek Ranch, founded by cattle baron Milton Faver, you’ll explore 12,000 hectares on horseback, mountain bike, or ATV. Sleep beneath the starry Big Bend National Park sky during a canyons of the Rio Grande river trip, unwind at the upscale Chalk Draw Ranch in the Santiago Mountains, and discover


Treat your loved one to the most romantic voyage onboard the intimate ALEXA, a sailing yacht, a unique vessel that preserves the Phinisi boat tradition. Once a cargo ship, it’s been transformed into a luxurious intimate one-cabin sailboat, perfect for couples. Embark on a voyage to Indonesia’s

Bee Cave Canyon, the region’s largest prehistoric rock shelter. With plenty of hiking, swimming and animal-sighting opportunities afoot, this is the kind of journey that satisfies mind, body... and that insatiable need for speed. From £4,800 per person (Nine nights)

TRAVEL LIVE WITH THE BÜRTKITSHI OF WESTERN MONGOLIA In the remote corners of the BayanOlgii region, the Kazakh nomads follow in the footsteps of their ancestors on the plateau. Goats roam freely, gers (a Mongolian yurt) are assembled and disassembled, milk is shared, eagles take flight, and communities migrate to fresh pastures. This community remains one of the most secluded in the world. According to local legend, as a man trains the eagle, the eagle, in turn, trains the man. During this journey, you’ll immerse yourself in this legend, discovering both the challenges and the joys of this way of life. The pinnacle

of your experience awaits when you embark on the ascent of the Altai Mountains themselves. Here, your knowledgeable Great Eagle Hunter host, who also serves as your guide, will reveal how the community sustains itself. You’ll truly become deeply integrated into this unique way of life. Open your eyes and your heart to step into an ancient tradition that is not only surviving but also thriving and soaring, just as the eagles do. From £5,450 per person (Seven nights)

Don’t let your bucket list ❛❛ be a list of unattainable dreams. Make that list your reality ❜❜ undiscovered archipelago, where marine life thrives, coral reefs remain untouched, and countless islands and beaches await. Witness centuries-old tribal cultures, explore land and sea, seek antiques, encounter whales, and observe Komodo dragons. Be the first to step onto remote pink-sand beaches and join ancient ceremonies aboard your private Indonesian yacht. From £5,345 per night

RWANDA / UGANDA: WALK WITH THE APES OF EAST AFRICA What will it feel like to look back 10 million years? To traverse dense jungle in search of our closest ancestors. How will you feel once sitting within feet of the great apes as they peer back at you? Many say it is life changing. Touchdown in the Rwandan capital of Kigali and explore the bustling city before embarking on a trek in search of Virunga’s gorilla families. The next day is spent finding the ever-elusive golden monkeys before a short flight into Uganda to trek the mountain gorillas of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

A well-deserved massage is on the itinerary at your luxurious lodgings after your jungle journey. But this incredible adventure continues when travelling north to find the Inshasha tree-climbing lions before completing your quota of apes with a day spent chimpanzee trekking through the Kyambura Gorge. Nine nights but more wildlife than you can count. Lace up your hiking boots and come face to face with our roots. From £9,000 per person (nine nights)





£79,200 The Taycan can absolutely entertain on the right road and is a delight to cruise in - a GT with the heart of a sports car. More importantly, it’s a proper Porsche that just happens to run on electricity.

By Platinum Motoring Editor, Maarten Hoffmann The EV market gets more confusing by the day, from normal cars with the engine removed to space age rocket ships with names no-one can pronounce. There is good, bad and the downright ugly, but here is the Platinum top 15 electric cars on the market.



from £42,665 This retro XXL hot hatch bodywork conceals one of the most complete family EVs money can buy, and is downright remarkable.



from £42,000 While not without flaws, it is quite simply one of the most interesting, compelling cars in the world right now.

from £45,650 I loved the XC40 from the get-go. In battery-electric guise, it’s worthier attributes – the thoughtful packaging, sense of well-being and design – are augmented by a remarkable new turn of speed.

5. AUDI e-tron

6. BMW iX from £69,905 The iX is a big comfy home-on-wheels, and a vast amount of technology has been poured into making sure the driver is soothed while the passengers kick back. But it’s the ugliest of the bunch.

from £86,135 Is it better than a Taycan? It offers a fraction more comfort and space and a smidge less speed, but really the differences are minute. It’ll come down to which brand you prefer and which body you’re drawn to.


£44,000 This a great car to live with, before you get to the foolproof charging, frugal real-world electrical consumption, and all the other stuff that makes Teslas genius electric all-rounders.


The Megane is a car for people who know and like ‘normal’ cars. You’ll find little of the bare design or eccentricity that mark out the VW ID3 or i3 or Leaf as ‘pioneers’. It’s conventionally desirable and has a handsome, well-finished and easy-to-use cabin.

9. JAGUAR I-PACE £69,995 The I-Pace won’t be for everyone, but hats off to Jaguar for making a car that steps boldly into the unknown, and still shows those pesky Germans the way.

❛❛ There is good, bad and downright ugly ❜❜


from £29,000 The Mini Electric is a very complete little EV. It preserves pretty much everything we like about a standard Mini Cooper S, but it’s more accelerative where it matters, and has zero emissions. It proves that the hot hatch will have a future as an EV.

13. VW ID.4 from £40,415 Disappointed by the ID.3, the ID.4 plays against crossovers, and no-one buys a crossover for the driving, do they? Crossovers are family transit pods and judged through that lens, the ID.4 is right on target.


12. FIAT E500 from £28,195 The 500 is small, but if you don’t need space, it could be your only car. That’s because it’ll go far enough on a charge to make motorway trips tenable. It’s trying harder to feel normal with a stylish, recognisable design and a quality feel.

14. BMW i4 from £49,995 It charges fast, and brisk driving or low temperatures don’t harm the range as badly as some EVs. It doesn’t look like a spaceship, but lots of people don’t want that, which is why BMW does so well. This is a proper BMW.

15. POLESTAR 2 from £78,900 The Polestar 2 is certainly handsome. The build quality will give Audi drivers PTSD, and there’s a real sense of common sense about the car; that it’s been designed to work seamlessly, not to wow you with gimmicks then wind you up further down the line.

from £73,450 The EQE grasps all the advantages an EV promises – smoothness, peace, effortless performance and clever body packaging – and blends all of the above with everything Mercedes has learned over several decades.





By Platinum Motoring Editor, Maarten Hoffmann Since 1919, when W.O. Bentley founded the company, it has been turning out powerful, luxurious and very expensive cars. The famous Bentley Boys who raced in the 1920s made the marque famous for speed, and the legend was sealed. You often hear me say that l could have driven to Monaco, had a coffee and driven right back again, and this comes from the fact that in the 17th and 18th Century, it was traditional for young men and women of the British nobility to undertake a Grand Tour around Europe as an exciting voyage of discovery. 200 years later, this inspired the term ‘grand tourer’, hence GT, to refer to a car that combines a truly exhilarating driving experience


with the comfort to make even the longest distance effortless. And here we have another of those rare cars – a true Grand Tourer. Mulliner started as a coachbuilder for Bentley in the early 20th Century before becoming part of the company. It is now Bentley’s personal commissioning division, responsible for producing some of the most lavish and expensive models in the line-up.

TECH STUFF MODEL TESTED: Continental GT Mulliner W12 POWER: 659bhp SPEED: 0-62 3.5 seconds TOP: 208mph ECONOMY: 20.6mpg combined PRICE FROM: £214,750 AS TESTED: £240,124

Last year, l reviewed the GTC and was very impressed with the car – but the Mulliner takes it to an entirely new level. Where to start? The attention to detail in the interior stitching, the diamond-milled Breitling clock, exterior Mulliner wing vents, the huge painted and polished 10-spoke 22” wheels, bright chrome double diamond radiator grille and a choice of 80 colours that then run through into the interior accent trim. “It takes almost 400,000 stitches to deliver this quilting across the cabin of the car,” says Bentley, “with each diamond containing exactly 712 individual stitches – each one precisely aligned to point to the centre of the diamond it creates. Developing the embroidery process to deliver this process alone took 18 months.” As a GT, it is two-door of course but where you might expect the usual cramped space for adults, l invited



exhaust when pushed, and yet nearsilence when driving calmly, thanks to the highly effective sound deadening and the double-glazed windows.

❛❛ It takes almost 400,000 stitches to deliver this quilting across the cabin of the car ❜❜ two adults into the back for a 60-mile drive, and they didn’t want to get out due to the space and comfort. Engine-wise, you have the choice of the 4.0-litre V8 or the mighty 6.0-litre V12; one of the last V12s available in any car and Bentley confirm that this engine will cease production in April 2024. Mine was the V12 and really, it has more then enough power, producing 659bhp. The nose turns in beautifully due to the superb weight distribution and the all-wheel drive, affording it 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 208mph. With a kerb weight of 2,273kg, it is remarkably quick and agile for such a heavy car. The V12 is magnificent but for the buyer, the

V8 really is the one to go for as it is lighter and more fuel efficient. With a new torque-vectoring rear differential, retuned active anti-roll bars and an adaptation of the rear-steering set-up from the Flying Spur saloon, the stability of the car is superb, with very little roll – even on the sharpest of corners – and tremendous poise. The acceleration is quite unexpected for such a large car and with the pedal buried into the shagpile, it’s a fast as anything out there and is hugely satisfying, with an unbroken torrent of speed whilst you sit in supreme, calm comfort. All of this is accompanied by a symphony of growling from the

As l review over 45 cars a year for Platinum, l am often asked what my favourite car is. I can never really answer, as there are so many cars that are great for one or two reasons but not as an all-rounder. For a pure driving car that is not inches from the ground and shakes your fillings lose on the appalling UK roads, the Bentley Continental Mulliner has just dropped into the top spot. It is supreme, calming, stately, luxurious but furious when required and, with the exception of the quarter million you need to buy it, what more could you possibly ask for?

•B entley Hampshire Bramshaw New Forest SO43 7JF •B entley Sussex London Road Pulborough RH20 1AR


The Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 Saloon. This car means business. Now with 0% APR* Representative.

Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ pictured. Selected stock only.

The Mercedes-AMG EQS Saloon has sporty, futuristic apspirations. Commute in comfort and style with the high-quality sports seats made to enhance driving pleasure due to their very good lateral support. The impressive MBUX Hyperscreen rounds off the pioneering aesthetics of the Mercedes-AMG interior. The exterior proudly displays the AMG-specific radiator grille, a muscular rear end with AMG spoiler lip and large AMG light-alloy wheels with AMG brake system and painted brake callipers.

The Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 Saloon is now available with 0% APR* Representative until 3 January 2024. For more information, please scan the QR code or contact the team at Sandown Mercedes-Benz on 0330 178 1801.

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*Selected stock only. Subject to availability and change. Retail Customers only. Offers Terms & Conditions apply. Orders and credit approvals between 01.10.2023 - 03.01.2024. Mercedes-Benz Finance, MK15 8BA. Sandown Mercedes-Benz is a Credit Intermediary not a Lender.




Claudia Goldin Nobel Prize winner TRAVEL


Glorious Bath DINING

The Pass at South Lodge

Movers & Shakers

What Corporate women want Women in STEM



APRIL 29TH 2024 THE GRAND BRIGHTON Following on from the phenomenal success of the all-female Dynamic Awards, we have decided to go one step further and launch a full-day Dynamic Festival of Business, exclusively for women. In our effort to level the playing field, Dynamic Magazine will be presenting a full day of Education, Motivation and Inspiration at The Grand Brighton on April 29th 2024. This will be followed the next day by the third year of the Dynamic Awards. It will be a packed day of inspirational speakers, riveting interactive panel discussions, motivational workshops and educational seminars run by some of the leading experts in the UK, to aid women’s continuing professional development.


WE ARE DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE OUR FIRST KEYNOTE SPEAKER BARONESS MARTHA LANE FOX, CBE, HonFREng Martha was the founder of the world’s first comparison website, which she sold for £577million having started it in a broom cupboard; was the UK’s Digital Champion and created the Government Digital Service, the team that launched, and she has a seat on the board of the Cabinet Office Efficiency and Reform Board. She is also the Chancellor of the Open University; a non-executive Director of Chanel; trustee of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust; Founder of karaoke chain, Lucky Voice; Chair of WeTransfer; Board member of Twitter. She was ranked 15th on the list of 100 Most Influential British Entrepreneurs and became a crossbench peer in March 2013, becoming The Right Honourable Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho. Martha Lane Fox is currently the President of the British Chambers of Commerce.


NATASHA KAPLINSKY OBE Natasha spent many years as the main news anchor on Sky News, BBC News, Channel 4 and ITV, and was the very first winner of Strictly Come Dancing with her partner Brendan Cole; she co-hosted the second series with Bruce Forsyth. In 2014, the government appointed her a Holocaust Commissioner and in 2017, she was awarded an OBE. Natasha is currently the President of the British Board of Film Classification.


Contact to pre-register






What Women Want

Kreston Reeves

STEM education

FEATURE Stephanie Aitken researched women in the UK Corporate sector to find out what it is they really want

Alison Jones talks about planning for the future – tackling the ‘what if’ scenarios

I intend to leave after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I am skeptical as to its results Alfred Nobel, Swedish inventor





More women are studying and working in STEM-based fields, though recognition and work environments need to improve


The number of women who have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 54 years.

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. | NOVEMBER 2023




2 The Dynamic Festival 2024 Announcing our host and first keynote speaker at next year’s festival of business for women

8 Upfront: The top international news stories involving women in business 22 In The Right Direction: Good news stories from around the world


24 Highlighting four female business leaders who ought to get more recognition than they currently receive

20 The Dynamic Awards 2024 The prestigious business awards for women returns for a third year in April next year


30 The importance of a seriously good night’s sleep

Further reading

32 Desiree Anderson, HR and coaching expert, is the author of Your Voyage to Success, plus four more pertinent titles

Art Scene

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done

34 Kellie Miller discusses the colourful works of Maria Ten Kortenaar


36 For opulence, luxury and relaxation, Tess de Klerk loves South Lodge Spa

Marie Curie, double Nobel Prize winner

38 If one spa wasn’t enough, Dynamic visits an entire city built on one – Bath



Claudia Goldin

Dynamic chronicles the life and works of Claudia Goldin, the recipient of the 2023 Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences

Fine Dining

40 With wonderful views over the sea, the Grand Brighton’s Cyan Restaurant is not to be missed

What’s On

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

Girl Torque

44 Fiona Shafer, MD of MDHUB was given her – to date – most expensive car to road test, an Audi R8 V10 Coupé

CONTACTS PUBLISHER: Maarten Hoffmann EDITOR: Tess de Klerk MOTORING EDITOR: Fiona Shafer COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: Lesley Alcock EVENTS DIRECTOR: Fiona Graves EVENTS MANAGER: Žaneta Bealing HEAD OF DESIGN: Michelle Shakesby SUB EDITOR: Alan Wares



Financial advice, built around you. • Personal finance advice • Retirement planning • Business support • Generational planning • Tax year-end advice

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.

Call me for a no-obligation initial meeting on 01444 712672 to find out more.

Wellesley House, 50 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9LH 01444 712672 | | SJP approved on 08/03/2023 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.

EDITOR’S NOTE A very warm welcome to the November issue of Dynamic Magazine. This month, we feel privileged to bring you our big story coverage of Claudia Goldin, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Science this year. The citation for her work reads, “…advanced our understanding of women’s labour market outcomes.” She is only the third female awarded this prestigious prize since its inception in 1969. As always, we bring you more. We take a look at what UK women really want from the corporate world – not based on US-centric data, while Alison Jones from Kreston Reeves warns against the perils of insufficient planning for disaster management within your business. Our regular feature, Spotlight, celebrates four brilliant women as we hear their stories. You’re treated to a double Travel section this month – what can I say? We like working AND we like relaxing. Always striving for work/life balance! Thanks, Fiona Shafer for regaling us with your review of the very, very alluring Audi R8 Coupé! We hope you enjoy reading Dynamic as much as we enjoyed creating her.

Editor, Dynamic Magazine



WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE STUDY Women are more ambitious than ever, and workplace flexibility is fuelling them. Yet despite some hard-fought gains, women’s representation is not keeping pace. That’s according to the latest Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey in the US, in partnership with LeanIn.Org. McKinsey collected information from 276 participating organisations across the US and Canada. At these organisations, the firm surveyed more than 27,000 employees and 270 senior HR leaders. The headline news is that there have been deserved gains at the top, with women’s representation in the C-suite at its highest-ever. However, there is also lagging progress in the middle of the pipeline, and a persistent underrepresentation of women of colour. True parity, McKinsey states, is still out of reach.


MEXICO TO ELECT FEMALE PRESIDENT Mexico goes to the polls in June 2024 to elect a new government and president. The winner will be a woman. We know this because, for the first time, two women have been the nominated by their respective political alliances. The left-wing Claudia Sheinbaum will run off against her conservative counterpart Xóchitl Gálvez next year. Their candidacies reflect remarkable progress in female representation in positions of power across the public sector in Mexico, where women only got the right to vote in 1953. Today, half of congress, half the cabinet, the Chief Justice, Central Bank Governor and almost a third of state governors are all female.


Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men’s chivalry to give them justice Helen Keller, advocate


‘BURNT CAKE’ A WOMEN-ONLY TRADES BUSINESS Southampton-based Kirsty Henderson-Jones, an educator with a 25-year teaching tenure, has transitioned her passion for teaching into a groundbreaking venture. Embracing the world of trades, she recently unveiled ‘Burnt Cake,’ a pioneering women-only business poised to revolutionise the industry. Kirsty intends to empower women in traditionally male-dominated fields, offering an array of services from plumbing to carpentry, tiling, painting, decorating, and even comprehensive interior and garden design services, the business is set to redefine the standards of craftsmanship. Kirsty’s journey into the trades was motivated by a desire to challenge stereotypes and create opportunities for women seeking to excel in hands-on professions, coming at a time when the demand for skilled tradespeople has never been higher. For more info: | NOVEMBER 2023

FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS HONOURED AT GLOBAL EVENT Entrepreneurs from Uganda, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia took the spotlight on October 18th at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 8th Women in Business Awards in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Held during the organisation’s World Investment Forum 2023, the event honoured female entrepreneurs from developing countries who’ve achieved success and promoted business models that deliver a positive impact. “It gives me immense pride to recognise the female entrepreneurs present tonight,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan said “You have demonstrated what it truly means to have a vision steered by passion, strength and an unyielding commitment to making a difference by breaking age-old glass ceilings, introducing groundbreaking ideas and carving out new pathways.”


We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational and so disciplined they can be free Kavita Ramdas, advocate

SEXISM IN THE CITY The UK Treasury Committee, investigating sexism in the City, has heard how clamping down on hybrid work is hampering gender equality in the City of London. The Committee heard a recent deposition from Fiona Mackenzie, CEO of The Other Half, a UK-based think tank dedicated to developing practical policy in women’s interests. When the outbreak of Covid-19 forced firms to adapt to working from home, the change benefitted working parents in particular, Mackenzie told the Committee. “One problem with hybrid working is that very few people are now defending it and lots of CEOs do not love it. They know that their people love it, but they are quite keen to switch it off.”


There’s something special about a woman who dominates in a man’s world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness and the nerve to never take no for an answer Rihanna, musical artist

CALLS FOR BETTER SUPPORT FOR WOMEN EXPERIENCING MENOPAUSE The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has called for increased employer support to help those experiencing menopause to stay and progress in work. As we reported in Dynamic last month, over a quarter of women (27%) aged 40-60 in the UK, who are currently in employment and have experienced menopause symptoms – an estimated 1.2 million – say that menopause has had a negative impact on their career progression. • 36% of women with a disability or long-term health condition say their symptoms have had a negative impact on their career progression, compared with 24% who don’t have one. • 38% of women who identify as from an ethnic minority background say their symptoms have had a negative impact on their career progression, compared with 25% who are white. NOVEMBER 2023 |



What do UK women REALLY want in Corporate Britain today? STEPHANIE AITKEN found herself frustrated by the US-centric data about women in the workplace. Here she shares with us her home-grown research

As gender diversity consultant, Stephanie spent years reviewing research on women in the workplace in the UK, and had been frustrated by the fact that most of this research was US-centric; or combined data from multiple territories; and was primarily or exclusively based on quantitative surveys. She wanted to hear from UK women themselves about their wants, needs and experiences. So Stephanie did something simple that few people seem to have done before – she asked the women. The outcome is a research report that spells out exactly what it is that women working in UK corporates really want, and how that differs from their lived experience of work. Gender-based inequality is a pervasive issue, with women constituting the largest group affected. A critical aspect of this inequality is the underrepresentation of women in the workforce, obstructing the attainment of true gender diversity. The current talent pipeline for women in the corporate sector is flawed, impeding progress. While men and women enter the workforce in equal numbers, women occupy less than a third of senior leadership positions in most corporations. This discrepancy endures despite two decades of media coverage and concentrated efforts by governments and companies to address the issue. 10 | NOVEMBER 2023

Recent studies reveal an unprecedented exodus of senior women from their jobs, underscoring the ineffectiveness of the current approach. This research seeks to delve into the underlying causes of these challenges as perceived by corporate women themselves, rather than relying on external rhetoric.



Superficial support initiatives: Many corporations engage in what can be termed ‘support-washing.’ Their initiatives to support women in their careers are often sporadic, inaccessible, incomplete, or inadequate to meet women’s genuine needs. These initiatives can be seen as mere ‘checkthe-box’ exercises or superficial embellishments. Timing of support: Women often do not receive appropriate support at various stages of their careers. They are frequently treated as a homogeneous group with a one-size-fits-all approach, or tailored support is offered too late in their careers. Incompatible work culture: The working culture of senior leadership teams is often perceived as incongruent with women’s values, preferred work methods, and life priorities, casting doubt on their prospects for advancement within their companies.





I commissioned this research because even after decades of media coverage and campaigning – corporate Britain is still failing women and I wanted to understand why STEPHANIE AITKEN


Communication bias: Corporations frequently assess performance based on criteria and biases that favour a narrow ‘masculine’ communication style, where the loudest and most dominant voices take precedence, drowning out women’s contributions. The confidence paradox: Most women contend with confidence issues, which is challenging in a corporate culture that values assertiveness. Those who display confidence often feel they are not respected and are negatively perceived as a result. Mixed role models: Women seek role models within their organisations but frequently encounter senior women whose behaviours make them feel that progress with authenticity and balance is unattainable. Toxic work environments: Some women, especially in traditionally male-dominated industries, face problematic and exclusionary behaviours, including sexist comments, unprofessional advances, and outright discrimination.


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Navigating these challenges can feel like a labyrinth, and the journey is even more challenging for women of colour.

Universally, the decision to have children and caregiving responsibilities were identified as the most significant influencers on women’s careers. Women desire comprehensive and progressive maternity and caregiving policies embedded within a culture that supports mothers, ensuring their careers do not suffer as a result. Women also seek sponsors and mentors to guide them and provide opportunities for flexibility.


FOR EACH CAREER STAGE, PROVIDING TAILORED SUPPORT IS CRUCIAL EARLY-STAGE WOMEN: • Explicit guidance on career development and pathways • Skill development relevant to their roles • Learning professional approaches aligned with the corporate world • Opportunities to build their network with senior stakeholders • Sponsors to advocate for them • Confidence-building support MID-STAGE WOMEN: • Flexible working options • Coaching to manage job and family responsibilities • Leadership skills training • Mentorship on career advancement SENIOR-STAGE WOMEN: • Coaching to navigate the culture, demands, and politics at the top • More flexibility in achieving objectives • Internal and external mentors • Peer support for leadership pressures • Menopause policies and awareness training • Acceptance of differing leadership and communication styles.




Many of the support measures women seek would benefit all genders. This approach can facilitate corporate investment in initiatives that improve the talent pipeline for women, as they are seen as constructive for all staff. It avoids potential pushback from those who view it as unfair and unnecessary, reducing the likelihood of career penalties for women or others who take advantage of these initiatives.


• Engage women before implementation: Gather input from women to design and implement initiatives that will deliver tangible results at the right career stages. • Lifelong career support: Implement interventions at each key stage of women’s careers, tailored to their phase-specific needs and ensuring cohesion and progression. • Inclusivity: Make initiatives available and relevant to all employees, regardless of gender, while retaining womenonly initiatives when needed to address unique challenges. • Transparency and communication: Maintain open communication with staff regarding data, initiatives, and progress, fostering a two-way flow of information.

It’s right that we shouldn’t fi x women, we should fi x the system

12 | NOVEMBER 2023

• Caregiver accessibility: Ensure programmes and events are accessible to caregivers. • Awareness training: Provide training for managers and staff on policies to embed them within the culture and facilitate discussions on sensitive topics. • Senior support: Engage senior leaders and appoint ongoing champions to maintain initiatives on the strategic agenda, including accountability measures and incentives for follow-through. • Regular audits: Measure the impact of initiatives regularly and update them as needed. • Publicise support provisions: Promote gender-specific support provisions in recruitment materials to enhance competitiveness. Addressing the gender imbalance and supporting women throughout their careers is not only an ethical imperative but also essential for corporate success and diversity. Initiatives tailored to the needs of women at different career stages can benefit all employees, fostering a more inclusive and equitable workplace.


Could your business be part of our moving story and Help Keep Martlets Caring? If you want to discuss ways your business could support Martlets call our Fundraising team on 01273 747455 or email

Help Keep Martlets Caring Registered Charity Number: 802145 MN0041


Do you know what issues are likely to affect your business and its ability to operate in the future? How prepared are you and your business in the event of a disaster happening? If the “what if?” happens, how will you and your team respond? By ALISON JONES, Partner of Kreston Reeves

Head in the sand, or planning for the future? I recently experienced an unexpected ‘disaster’ in that, due to ill health, I completely lost my voice and subsequently ended up needing unexpected treatment. Thankfully I am making a full recovery and due to our business continuity systems in place, my colleagues were able to help me with my workload, so that client work continued seamlessly. It isn’t just a bout of ill health that can throw a business off course. A surprising number of business owners I meet haven’t thought about what broader issues are on the horizon. What if this develops into a crisis, or how an unexpected disaster can strike at any time. How this would affect the ability of their business to run smoothly? If the Covid pandemic has taught us one thing, it is whatever the size of your business, you should think about how your business can be affected by many different factors. Have business continuity plans in place as, the faster 14 | NOVEMBER 2023

you can adapt, your business will be more likely to survive. The smaller your business, then potentially the more at risk it is, and it is hard to plan for every scenario. But I would, however, like to encourage business owners to ask themselves “what if?” frequently and how their business would respond or adapt. As a further example, a client we worked with experienced a serious fire a few years ago at their premises and they lost most of the products they supply. By chance, they had a delivery due for arrival and they were able to act quickly and to redirect products out to customers without the need for finding storage for them. Their customers also agreed to store additional products for them temporarily. Not only did this help with their cashflow and save the relationships they had with their customers, but it also gave them time to organise a new premises and to restock.

They learned important lessons from this disaster which continues to shape how they do business now. Fire is an unfortunate and extreme disaster, but other issues happen regularly and can have a serious impact on your business. Before you draft a business continuity plan, you need to understand the risks your business faces and the potential seriousness of each. Drafting and maintaining a risk register is a vital business tool, and a good place to start to consider how you would continue trading if any of the things on your register happen. It should also consider changes in government policy such as tax, law etc especially as we approach the next General Election, as a change in government and government policy could significantly impact on how you conduct business in the future. Not only does a risk register help you to stand back and take a 360º look at your business and where it might be exposed, it also allows you to plan for all the scenarios that may happen. As part of this review, you should consider and document your business processes and check that you have sufficient procedures in place that would allow your business to carry on trading if one of your risks materialised. Don’t forget to ask your team for their input as part of this process as they may identify risks you were unaware of. A risk register is a document which should be reviewed regularly and, of course, some types of organisation, such as a charity, must have one in place. Once you have identified all the risks then having a plan in place for ensuring business continuity is important, and this is a plan that should be referred to and updated regularly, as it will guide how your business operates and achieves its business goals and objectives.

A key focus for business continuity planning now, especially post pandemic, is supporting the employees of a business, and maintaining their mental health and physical well-being. Businesses should also monitor the speed and impact of technology changes, especially artificial intelligence and the pace that this is now evolving. Other issues which may affect your business in the future might be linked to supply chain issues beyond your control, the impact of climate change, the ongoing war in Ukraine and continuing financial uncertainty across overseas economies. Forward thinking businesses integrate their risk register and business continuity planning to help increase their resilience and to allow them to evolve and adapt quickly. Knowing what processes to keep and what to get rid of during a crisis allows for greater flexibility within an organisation, and that often comes from educating and empowering your team to respond quickly. Those organisations which are thriving will be stress testing their business planning on a regular basis to identify and adapt to change before a situation develops and takes hold or a disaster occurs. Finally, it is frequently said that a crisis never comes in isolation, so ensuring your team can identify and prioritise all issues as they arise is essential to longer term success.

The smaller your business, then potentially the more at risk it is

Alison Jones can be contacted at Visit or call us on 0330 124 1399

Before you draft a business continuity plan, you need to understand the risks your business faces




US economist Claudia Goldin was recently announced as the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economic Science 2023. The citation for her work reads, “for having advanced our understanding of women’s labour market outcomes.” It means she is only the third female to be awarded this prize – and the first solo – since its inception in 1969. Dynamic looks at the ongoing life and work of Claudia Goldin, the groundbreaking researcher, economist, historian and egalitarian, who has blazed a trail with her work into this magazine’s prime bête noire – the gender pay gap.

Claudia Goldin


Claudia Dale Goldin was born in New York City on May 14th 1946. Born into a Jewish family, she grew up in Parkchester in the Bronx. Her father Leon worked as a data processing manager at Burlington Industries, and her mother Lucille Rosansky Goldin, who lived to the age of 101, was the principal of Public School 105 in the Bronx. As a child, Claudia had her heart set on becoming an archaeologist, but upon reading Paul de Kruif's ‘The Microbe Hunters’, she became drawn to bacteriology. As a high school junior, she completed a course in microbiology at Cornell University and, after graduating from the Bronx High School of Science, she entered Cornell University – an Ivy League university in New York State – with the intention of studying microbiology. 16 | NOVEMBER 2023

In her sophomore (second) year, Goldin went to class with Alfred Kahn, "whose utter delight in using economics to uncover hidden truths did for economics what Paul de Kruif's stories had done for microbiology.” In a ‘Eureka’ moment, she became fascinated by regulation and industrial organisation, and she wrote her senior thesis on, of all things, the regulation of communications satellites. After earning her BA in Economics from Cornell, Goldin entered the PhD programme in Economics at the University of Chicago with the intention of studying industrial organisation. She began her PhD programme in that field, but soon after, she added Labour Economics and further drifted into economic history. She received a PhD in Industrial Organisation and Labour Economics from the University of Chicago in 1972, at the age of 26.


After graduating, she became assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin. She moved to Princeton University, New Jersey in 1973 and to the University of Pennsylvania in 1979, where she became a tenured full professor. She joined the economics department at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1990, becoming the first woman to be offered tenure in that department. Goldin is best known for her historical work on women and the economy. Her research had led her to realise that female workers had been largely overlooked in economic history and she set out to study how the female labour force evolved and its role in economic growth. She wrote several papers in the late 1980s on this subject, while her book, “Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women’ (1990) told the story of the rise of women's employment in the US from the 18th Century to the late 20th Century, its role

in economic growth, and why gender gaps have existed in earnings and employment and continue to exist. “I realised that what I was interested in was what portions of the labour force were doing,” Goldin told Bloomberg Weekly. “There were now freed black women and there were obviously free white women and were they doing different things in the labor force? The answer was ‘yes’. “I started working on families and immigrants, collecting data to understand what immigrant families were doing. I realised that the part of the family that no one was studying was the adult woman, the married woman, the mother, the wife, etc. That’s when I started working more intensively on that.”

Although her Nobel Prize was for the study of the women’s labour market, Goldin continued to work on various topics of current concern




In the mid-noughties, she began to focus on college women’s quest for career and family, and the reasons for the persistent gender gap in earning



After writing about the economic history of the female labour force, Goldin set out to research the history of US education. She wrote a series of articles on the high school movement and the shaping of higher education in the US that culminated in her Economic History Association presidential address, “The Human Capital Century and American Leadership: Virtues of the Past” (2001). She subsequently worked with - and married - Lawrence Katz to understand the history of social and economic inequality in America and its relationship to educational advances. Their research produced many papers and resulted in the publication of “The Race between Education and Technology” (2008). Although her Nobel Prize was for the study of the women’s labour market, Goldin continued to work on various topics of current concern, and many became part of volumes she jointly edited. These include the role of the press in reducing corruption, the benefits of providing clean water and effective sewage systems to reduce infant mortality (in ‘‘Watersheds in Child Mortality: The Role of Effective Water and Sewerage Infrastructure, 1880 to 1920”), the origins of immigration restriction, or the creation of US unemployment insurance. All of these subject matters have been of importance in US history, and - somewhat pertinently – are very much at the forefront of UK social and economic concern. In the mid-noughties, she began to focus on college women's quest for career and family, and the reasons for the persistent gender gap in earnings. Her American Economic Association presidential address, “A Grand Gender Convergence: Its Last Chapter” highlighted what the last chapter must contain for there to be equality between men and women in the labour market.


Upon being asked about closing the gender pay gap, Goldin is unequivocal and to the point. “I would focus primarily on the fact that if women do the lion’s share of caregiving, then they are not going to be able to take the same types of jobs that men take who are not required to be on call at home. “Am I saying that there’s no discrimination, that pay transparency doesn’t matter, that there aren’t bad actors in the workplace, that there is total fairness? Of course not. But we can get rid of all of the bad actors and harassment and discriminatory practices, and we would still have a very large difference. “The proof of that is that the large difference appears when women have kids. That doesn’t mean that women without kids have a labour market that’s completely balanced and fair, but things really do change with family formation and care duties that women disproportionately take.” “With regard to affordable care, we can see in northern Europe – even the UK – that preschool day care in some of these countries is heavily subsidised and it’s very high quality. “It’s expensive to subsidise that, but it has gone a long way to increasing the ability of women to be equal – or I should say more equal – partners in the workplace. It’s not clear that it completely eliminates all the problems, but it goes a long distance.”

Swedish Academy – Nobel Prize laureates are elected here


The Nobel Committee invites more than 6,000 individuals to submit names for consideration. You can’t nominate yourself! The individuals include Nobel laureates (past winners), members of the Nobel Committees, holders of chairs in chosen prestigious universities, national governing body members, and other selected notable scientists and leaders in each of the categories. The committee then screens nominations and gets a working list, up to 350 names, depending on the field (physics and economics, for example, have the most, but the peace award list is much tighter). That list gets whittled down to around 15 names in all, with the help of expert consultation.



Recommendations are given to the prizeawarding institutions, which determine final selections: the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences confers the prizes for physics, chemistry, and economics; the Karolinska Institute in Solna, just outside Stockholm, confers the prize for physiology or medicine; the Swedish Academy confers the prize for literature; and the Norwegian Nobel Committee confers the prize for peace. Once you’ve secured your victory, keep your calendar clear for a December awards ceremony, where you become an official Nobel laureate and can embrace your cash prize, diploma, and gold medal.

To Goldin, winning the Nobel Prize is recognition for a type of work that is long-term, big picture and concerns two large subjects. The first concerns women and their evolution in the labour force. As women are more than 50% of the world’s population, Goldin points out, why shouldn’t commerce and society as a whole be concerned about that? The second area, for Goldin, is gender. Workplaces and occupations, professions, much of everyday life has become gendered. That’s an area that many people have been working on. What it ultimately means to her is that this work is finally understood to be of incredible importance. Our congratulations go to Claudia Goldin on her amazing work over the past 50 years, and recognition through this highly respected and influential international award.

Our congratulations go to Claudia Goldin on her amazing work over the past 50 years


THE MOST RECENT NOBEL LAUREATES FOR ECONOMICS The past ten Nobel Economics Prize winners, or – to give the accolade its proper title – The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2022 Ben S. Bernanke, Douglas W. Diamond and Philip H. Dybvig “for research on banks and financial crises” 2021 David Card “for his empirical contributions to labour economics” Joshua D. Angrist and Guido W. Imbens “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships” 2020 Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats” 2019 Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty” 2018 William D. Nordhaus “for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis” Paul M. Romer “for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis” 2017 Richard H. Thaler “for his contributions to behavioural economics” 2016 Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström “for their contributions to contract theory” 2015 Angus Deaton “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare” 2014 Jean Tirole “for his analysis of market power and regulation” 2013 Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller “for their empirical analysis of asset prices” Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard University













Confidence is 10% hard work and 90% delusion, just thinking foolishly that you will be able to do what you want to do Tina Fey

UN INSTRUCTS WOMEN ON CLIMATE-RESILIENT FARMING The UN Women and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) partnership, ‘Empowering African Women through Climate-Smart Agriculture,’ has benefited women farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative has empowered tens of thousands of women with farming skills, business guidance, and climate-conscious agricultural practices. The programme’s goal is to provide women with the necessary skills, financial support, technology, and market access to transition into the formal economy. In South Africa, 4,560 women received training in crops such as maize and beans, while Malawi focused on groundnut cultivation for 10,461 women. Uganda taught 1,400 women fish farming, and Nigeria empowered 12,500 women with shea butter and rice production techniques. These programmes also promote climate-resilient farming and responsible land management.



The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat Lily Tomlin

MORE WOMEN IN INDIA’S PARLIAMENT On September 21st, India passed the first legislation considered in the country’s new Parliament building: the Women’s Reservation Bill, 2023. The bill, which passed both houses of Parliament almost unanimously—with just two votes against—will ensure that women occupy at least 33% of the seats in state legislative assemblies and the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament. At the time of the bill’s passage, about 14% of Lok Sabha legislators were women. “Typically, achieving a critical mass of 30% representation by women in Parliament is known to yield positive outcomes for women’s empowerment”, Susan Ferguson, UN Women’s India Country Representative, said.

22 | NOVEMBER 2023

SWISS METHANE SOLUTIONS Swedish research confirms seaweed in cattle feed slashes methane emissions. Cows’ belching and flatulence account for 3% of global emissions, akin to the shipping industry. Sweden’s Naturvårdsverket reports that feeding red algae seaweed, Asparagopsis, can reduce methane by a whopping 90%. Volta Greentech, a Swedish company, develops this innovative additive, inhibiting gas production in cow digestion. The report urges Swedish government support for further research and farmer adoption.

CALIFORNIA FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT The state of California has passed ground breaking legislation, becoming the world’s first to mandate greenhouse gas emissions disclosure for over 5,300 local corporations with yearly revenues exceeding $1 billion. Governor Gavin Newsom signed this law, compelling companies to annually report both direct and indirect emissions.

MALE CONTRACEPTION A ground breaking male contraceptive research project, aimed at impeding sperm movement and preventing their ability to fertilise an egg, has received a substantial funding boost of $4.4 million (£3.58 million) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Scientists from the University of Dundee are spearheading this endeavour, with the ambition of transforming the landscape of birth control through the use of chemical compounds. This innovative contraceptive approach would serve as an alternative to medications that disrupt female hormones and menstrual cycles. While its primary trials are slated for women, around 2026, scientists anticipate that the success of these trials will open the door to a version tailored for men.


This regulation aims to increase environmental accountability and transparency for clients and citizens. While it’s set to begin in January 2025, Newsom acknowledges that the deadline may be too optimistic. He lauds this policy as another instance of California’s leadership in addressing the climate crisis through information transparency turned into climate action.

The moments that make life worth living are when things are at their worst and you find a way to laugh Amy Schumer

PARKINSON’S PROGRESS There has been encouraging progress in the fight against Parkinson’s, as global researchers have made significant strides in early detection. In Denmark, the University of Copenhagen’s scientists found that mitochondrial DNA damage in brain cells spreads rapidly, mimicking Parkinson’s symptoms. Detecting these DNA fragments in blood could enable early diagnosis and treatment. Meanwhile, Australian researchers at Melbourne’s Florey Institute uncovered a potential Parkinson’s diagnostic tool. They introduced a synthetic compound binding to the brain protein VMAT2, making neuronal loss visible on scans. This innovation could allow screening for Parkinson’s two to three decades before symptoms surface. Professor Kevin Barnham of Florey expressed the institute’s intent to identify the disease earlier and administer treatment before it becomes irreversible, as Parkinson’s typically remains latent until old age.



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.

SPOTLIGH T Dr Olivia Hum Dr Olivia Hum is a Menopause specialist who founded Myla Health, offering women the best quality care I had always wanted to be a doctor, and General Practice gave me the variety, continuity and patient relationships that I wanted. I always knew, however, that women got a bad deal in the healthcare arena. After setting up an award-winning NHS sexual health clinic for young people in my surgery in Lewes, I became interested in menopause. Why were we not recognising the implications of this stage of life for women? I trained further to become one of (then) 160 BMS Menopause Specialists in the UK in 2019 and launched ‘Women’s Health Sussex’ as a one-afternoon-a-week clinic in November 2020, a hobby alongside my NHS work. After 20 years in the NHS, suddenly entering the private sector was a shock. Charging for my services was very new. I had never had to market my ‘product’, reach an audience, or run a business. I had to learn a whole new vocabulary and master a variety of new systems and media. Word soon spread and the clinic started filling up. The ground-breaking Davina McCall documentary in 2021 made sure that menopause was on everyone’s agenda. Patient numbers increased markedly and I could not handle the volume on my own, so I took on two associate doctors. I had always known Dr Zoe Schaedel to be a formidable force of energy and intelligence and she joined me in July 2022 to launch Myla Health.

Myla’s mission is to ensure every woman has access to high quality menopause care 24 | NOVEMBER 2023

Myla’s mission is to ensure every woman has access to high quality menopause care. We run clinic bases in Hove, Haywards Heath, Sevenoaks, Sheffield and Exeter with our team of associate doctors. We have developed a corporate education programme and have worked for a variety of local, national and international companies delivering menopause talks and training. We have trained hundreds of GPs in workshops, webinars and conference sessions, and have worked with several charities that support women. We work nationally with NHS England and the BMS to produce guidelines and systems to support doctors and patients. It has been amazing, overwhelming and exciting, and all done with both of us still working two days a week for the NHS. The future? Hopefully more of the same. Expanding our clinical and corporate offering, and continuing to teach and support doctors until every woman in the UK gets the help they need.

Mi Elfverson Mi is a photographer, founder of The Vlog Academy and creator of EyeStorm Women I grew up on a large farm in Sweden, but moved on to Stockholm, New York and London to study and work with television, film and photography, which I’ve always been passionate about. I now live in Hove, actually. After 25 years in high-end production, working on everything from Kellogg’s and Volvo commercials to Harry Potter and the Bond films, I started my own business, The Vlog Academy. I now support people to get more comfortable in front of the camera and help their brands get seen online. As I started holding corporate vlog workshops in the City of London, I noticed that men and women had very different levels of confidence in front of the camera. I saw it again and again, and it developed into a pattern; as I set up the cameras and asked the group to get filming, all the men stepped forward, ready to share their expertise, but all the women took a step back – most of them just wanted to melt into the wall. It turns out, women have very different blocks and fears than men, and need and want more long-term support and accountability to be able to step forward with confidence. If it’s like this on a high corporate level in London, I thought, what must the rest of the world look like? This is why EyeStorm Women was born in 2018 – a now award-winning community for women, offering a more holistic pathway to confidence, with a mixture of training, events and campaigning for women to develop courage from the inside out, to step forward and speak up.

I am just launching a brand-new public speaking platform for women and we’re super excited to hold our first event in Brighton My interest in gender equality matters has deepened and I’m now a UN Women UK delegate as well as part of other organisations promoting and elevating women globally. I am just launching a brand-new public speaking platform for women and we’re super excited to hold our first event in Brighton already on December 13th this year. I hope you can support us one way or the other. We’re looking for sponsors, speakers and an audience – so welcome on board!




Emma Draper Dynamic Businesswoman of the Year Emma reveals her fascinating story of success through challenging times

My story is about resilience, staying power and sheer determination. But it is also a tale of how to find the utmost pleasure from the most important things in life; a business built with passion and dedication, the joy of family life even during the hardest times, and staying true to your own beliefs and goals, and never losing sight of the road ahead. My primary business is Velvet – a large two-floor independent retail store in the heart of Hove. We sell a fantastic range of women’s fashion, delightful and affordable homeware and gifts. We really are a destination store for many of our customers, some of them travelling across the country to visit us. I started Velvet in 2000, after a move to the south coast. After many ups and downs, a recession, those dreaded lockdowns, and numerous other challenges, we enjoyed our busiest ever year in 2022. I am lucky enough to have three fabulous teenage boys. As a single mum, it has been extremely challenging to balance the demands of motherhood with the pressures of running a successful high street business, but I have come through it stronger than ever, and even more determined to push on and achieve greater things. The secret of our success at Velvet isn’t anything magical – just adhering to our principles, and empowering our colleagues to achieve greater things every day. We have a fabulous team of 16 women, including a management team of five. The most important aspect of what we do is remembering that we are a customer-facing business and we would be nothing at all without them.

All of our team are laser-focussed on ensuring our standards and service are delivered to the highest degree. We always strive to go one step further to make our customers feel valued and welcome, and that is our guiding principle. My mum still works alongside me at Velvet as my bookkeeper, and she is indeed my inspiration. Velvet has always been my overriding passion in business life but as we have grown our profit base, I have looked around for a way to invest, and now have a burgeoning property portfolio of local, high-end flats. Despite the challenges of the current market, we will aim to develop this further over the coming years. Though both these businesses give me great joy and satisfaction, I am also now looking to expand my horizons and hopefully offer my knowledge and experience to women in business, and imbue them with the confidence and courage to pursue their own goals and dreams. I want to help them realise that despite the difficulties and barriers that so many woman face, they really can succeed on their own terms.

The secret of our success at Velvet isn’t anything magical – just adhering to our principles

26 | NOVEMBER 2023

Katy Jobbins Founder and head trainer of the Permanent Makeup Training Academy, and star of two peak time TV shows, Katy Jobbins shares how she runs a busy treatment and training centre, gives free treatments to cancer patients, all whilst raising three young children

With nearly 50 major award wins and finalist places in the past decade or so, Katy has been named ‘Mentor of the Year’, ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, ‘Success Story of the Year’ and was even crowned ‘Sussex Overall Woman of the Year’ back in 2014 at the age of just 30. Only last year, she was also a finalist for both the ‘Inspirational Award’ and ‘Businesswoman of the Year’ at the Dynamic Women in Business Awards. However, it’s been far from an easy ride. After leaving home at 16, she started a new life in Sussex as an artist. Aged 19, she moved into the beauty industry and used her passion for art to turn a derelict building into a luxury beauty spa, employing five other girls. Eventually finding her niche in permanent makeup, she set up and ran over 50 private clinics, culminating in opening her own treatment and training centre in Wivelsfield, near Haywards Heath in 2011. “Having attended many of the best permanent makeup training centres across the world, I was always frustrated to have to train in a large group and be tied into buying that company’s tattoo machines, inks and supplies etc. at very inflated prices.

“It was also near impossible to get hold of any of my trainers once I left my course to answer even the simplest of questions. I set up my training centre to be different; to offer high quality one-to-one training, and unlimited help and support whilst being able to use the best equipment and supplies on the market at any given time. “For over a decade, I have been able to train people from all walks of life in both the technical skills and in guiding them on how to set up and grow their own businesses. By training this way, I give each and every student I teach 100% attention, 100% of the time, and no question ever goes unanswered.” As a result of both Katy’s success, and that of many of her students, she was approached to be the youngestever female entrepreneur to appear on the popular peak time Channel 5 TV show, ‘Rich House, Poor House.’ After the success of the show, she also recorded a follow-up show a year later. Despite her busy schedule and raising a young family of her own, with three children under the age of 12, Katy believes in giving back when she can. She achieves this by, for instance, offering free treatments to cancer patients who have had to undergo breast surgery. She finds that artistically tattooing their areolas back on helps to restore their confidence. With her ‘Pay With a Smile’ campaign, she also encourages her students to do the same.

I set up my training centre to be different; to offer high quality one-to-one training, and unlimited help and support NOVEMBER 2023 |



There is a surge of women studying STEM – but we need to tackle toxic workplaces to retain them. By LAUREN NEAL

MAKING ALL COLLEAGUES FEEL VALUED The number of women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects is on the rise, and more diversity in STEM drives greater innovation. However, this upwards trajectory comes with a caveat: organisations must engage and enable women in order to retain them. Failure to do so can lead to attrition, negatively impacting innovation and the bottom line. In 2021, ‘The Great Resignation’ became a term synonymous with the global trend of employees, particularly those from under-recognised groups, leaving their jobs. Common reasons included: •H ostile work environments •L ack of opportunities for career advancement, and •G enerally non-inclusive workplace cultures. But as a leader, what can be done? To improve these workplaces, there needs to be conscious and consistent efforts driven by visionary organisational leaders focusing on workplace behaviours, inclusion of the right skills, and empowerment of future leaders. Successful leaders understand and value their workforce, creating truly empowered and diverse teams to deliver top business outcomes and innovations.


Leaders must first acknowledge the behaviours within their organisation by gathering data from those involved to understand their experiences. • Listen to employee experiences by creating or joining an employee resource group. In these safe spaces employees can share experiences without fear of retaliation nor fear of their experiences being shared outside of the group. • Beware of inauthenticity especially in leadership. Identifying and showcasing authentic role models at all levels based on performance, behaviours, and recognitions is essential. Those individuals will feel seen, and can help build relationships throughout the organisation. • Measure psychological safety regularly to understand the team’s level of comfort with each other and areas for improvement. Leaders with high emotional intelligence who show vulnerability and authentic humility connect with their teams by building trust and transparency. 28 | NOVEMBER 2023


Recognising existing talent within an organisation is essential for employees to feel valued and engaged – it is troubling when highly competent and confident individuals are stuck in unchallenging roles. Here are key areas leaders should consider: • How much office housework does this person do? This includes sharing their screen during meetings when not presenting, booking meeting rooms, organising away days etc. Continually assigning these tasks that are outside of their job description to the same person is a problem to be solved. Ask employees regularly if their work is meaningful and conducive to career development.

Successful leaders understand and value their workforce, creating truly empowered and diverse teams to deliver top business outcomes and innovations • Is constructive feedback provided? Timely and actionable feedback is crucial for individual growth, but disingenuous feedback is unhelpful. Ask employees about the last time they received feedback and rate its quality and impact on their development. This practice helps identify areas where improvements are needed in providing feedback. • Is bias getting in the way? Bias hinders inclusion and can stifle employees, e.g. where a man is “the boss” and the woman is “bossy”. Open discussions about the impact of bias on team members are essential for creating a culture of transparency.


Leadership is evolving, and today’s leaders must cultivate the next generation of leaders to ensure the business remains competitive and employees feel recognised and valued. Key elements of this empowerment include: • Ethical leadership – Leaders who do the right thing regardless of potential short-term consequences earn respect. Showcasing role-models who speak up without any negative impacts on their careers or reputations will encourage employees to act ethically without fear of retaliation. • Diversity means nothing without inclusion – Organisations perform better with diverse teams, but diversity requires inclusion. Ensure efforts to create diverse teams are not seen as ‘box-ticking’. Leaders should cultivate a culture of inclusion, for example, requesting input from each person during meetings and ensuring each input is genuinely considered by all. • Trust and advocacy for career progression – Recognising great work and advocating for others is essential. This advocacy helps set employees up for success when transitioning into a new role and team when a leader publicly recognises their skills and capabilities. Too often, employees in under-recognised groups feel invisible, frustrated, and undervalued in the workplace. Organisational leaders have a unique opportunity to change this. Great leaders invest time to get to know employees at different levels and learn about their experiences, needs, and expectations at work. While some attrition is inevitable, the goal is to keep it within acceptable levels and be consistent across both recognised and under-recognised groups. By driving inclusive workplace cultures that benefit everyone, leaders can create psychologically safe environments where everyone feels valued. Lauren Neal is the author of Valued at Work: Shining a Light on Bias to Engage, Enable, and Retain Women in STEM (£14.99, Practical Inspiration) NOVEMBER 2023 |



Sweet slumber BY TANYA BOROWSKI Embedded deep in the brain, lies an area called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) which is known as the ‘master clock,’ controlling the timing of the sleep-wake cycle and regulating the body’s circadian rhythms. These rhythms control the daily timing of many body systems including our metabolism - how well we burn fat, heart and lung function, hormonal rhythms and various elements of the immune system. Sleep is an essential part of daily life. With research over the last few years, it has become increasingly evident that a lack of high-quality sleep is detrimental to the brain, body and especially the immune system, making it more likely to catch the common cold or the flu. Women report struggling more with insomnia during perimenopause. This is down to the hormone progesterone, a hormone women make in abundance in their cycling years, as it’s produced every time she ovulates. It has a calming, sedative effect that promotes good sleep via GABA receptors. When we enter perimenopause, we don’t ovulate every cycle and this causes a decline in 30 | NOVEMBER 2023

progesterone which has far more dramatic a decline than oestrogen and, as such both the quality and quantity of sleep is compromised. But fear not, I have some fantastic strategies to help rebalance your circadian rhythm and sleep patterns, thereby supporting your immune system as we enter this winter season. Broadly I’ll focus on two areas: sleep hygiene and lifestyle changes are necessary for managing stress and insomnia, and then certain herbs and nutraceuticals can also be an integral part of a support plan.



• You fall asleep in 30 minutes or less. • You wake up – for five minutes or longer – no more than once a night. • You fall back asleep within 20 minutes. • You’re asleep 85% of the time you spend in bed.


The ability to fall asleep is partially dependent on a drop in body temperature at night


Allowing the body to adequately prepare for sleep is important. The brain begins releasing melatonin approximately two hours before it assumes sleep, to calm and relax the body, which promotes uninterrupted sleep. Even though melatonin production decreases with age, taking measures to preserve and support its production can be beneficial. Reading books, rather than anything from an electronic device, is key as the blue light emitted from electronic devices cancels the effects and reduces the production of melatonin. While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, what blue light at night does is potent. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppresses melatonin for about twice as long as the green light, and shifts circadian rhythms by twice as much (three hours, as opposed to 90 minutes). The Sleep Council UK have these wonderful Nodcasts (what a great name) if you are more of an auditory being. A warm bath with added magnesium salts is a fantastic bedtime ritual. Alternatively, taking magnesium (in either a glycinate or malate form) can help relax muscles and encourage better rest. Finally, it is important to sleep in a dark room, void of lights and distracting pets (that jump up on the bed at 2am!), to support optimal melatonin production and uninterrupted sleep.

Secondly, there are a number of botanicals and nutraceuticals that can help promote sleep: Nervines are the botanical world’s answer to insomnia, with actions that have a beneficial, and sometimes tonic effect on the nervous system. Some of the herbs promote relaxation supporting a natural sleep, while nourishing and restoring balance to the nervous system. • CHAMOMILE Chamomile is well-known and commonly used for anxiety and insomnia. Having carminative properties, the herb is also often used to settle the stomach in bouts of indigestion or gastritis. The flavonoid constituents of chamomile have demonstrated anti-anxiety and slight sedative activity without muscle relaxant effects in mice, likely due to modulating GABA receptors. . • GLYCINE This is another amino acid that helps with sleep. The magic dose is 3g, 30 minutes before sleep. When glycine binds to glycine receptors in the brain, it inhibits the firing of neurons, allowing the mind to feel more at ease and become less responsive to certain stimuli. • L-THEANINE This amino acid found in tea leaves increases the levels of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine – calming neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate emotions, mood, concentration, alertness, sleep, and energy. For a proper punch take this in supplement form. The ability to fall asleep is partially dependent on a drop in body temperature at night. Taking glycine has been shown to promote sleep and shorten the time to get into non-REM sleep through mechanisms entirely related to a drop in body temperature resulting from vasodilation of blood vessels. By following some of these tips I hope this helps you to get some extra healing ‘Zzzs’ in for your immune system this autumn/winter season. NOVEMBER 2023 |




YOUR VOYAGE TO SUCCESS: How to Ride the Crest of a Wave & Reach your Full Potential in Life & Work by Desiree Anderson

Desiree Anderson is an international No.1 bestselling author and founder of Crest Coaching & HR. She is an HR expert and Master level Coach, and works with ambitious customers to help them reach their unique version of success.

Desiree encourages you to become the captain of your ship as you transform your life and career TWELVE AND A HALF

LEVERAGING THE EMOTIONAL INGREDIENTS NECESSARY FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS By Gary Vaynerchuk Harper Business (2021) In his sixth business book, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and investor Gary Vaynerchuk explores the 12 essential emotional skills that are integral to his life and business success, and provides today’s (and tomorrow’s) leaders with critical tools to acquire and develop these traits. For decades, leaders have relied on ‘hard’ skills to make smart decisions, while dismissing the importance of emotional intelligence. We’ve been taught that emotional intelligence is a “nice to have” in business, not a requirement. However, Vaynerchuk argues that soft skills can actually accelerate business success.

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This Amazon No.1 bestseller gives a formula for reaching your unique version of success whilst navigating the inevitable ups and downs of life and work. The book is aimed at those who have achieved success, but don’t always acknowledge it. They’re currently feeling stuck and overwhelmed by pressure, battling upstream. They feel undervalued for the contribution they make and often doubt themselves. They see others effortlessly pass them by and reach the success they dream of.


HOW TO GET UNSTUCK WHEN IT MATTERS MOST By Adam Alter Simon & Schuster (2023) A guide to breaking free from the thoughts, habits, jobs, relationships, and even business models that prevent us from achieving our full potential. Adam Alter has spent the past two decades studying how people become stuck and how they free themselves to thrive. Here, he reveals the formula he and other researchers have uncovered. The solution rests on a process that he calls a friction audit—a systematic procedure that uncovers why a person or organisation is stuck, and then suggests a path to progress.


One of the key aspects to consider is the areas of self-sabotage that are currently holding you back, keeping you trapped in a limiting version of yourself. Perfectionism, procrastination, comparison and fear of success will limit your ability to move forward. By understanding the role these beliefs have played in protecting you, you begin to show empathy for your shadow self, and develop new neural pathways towards growth.


TURN YOUR BIGGEST FEARS INTO YOUR LEADERSHIP SUPERPOWER By Morra Aarons-Mele Harvard Business Press (2023) A timely and compelling guide to managing the anxiety that comes with succeeding and leading, from entrepreneur, mental health advocate, and top-rated podcaster Morra AaronsMele. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the world. But in our workplaces, anxiety has been a hidden problem – there in plain sight, but ignored. The Anxious Achiever is a book with a mission: to normalise anxiety and leadership. As leadership expert and self-proclaimed anxious achiever Morra Aarons-Mele argues, anxiety is built into the very nature of leadership. It can, and should be, harnessed into a force for good.

Re-looking at a timeline of the significant moments in your life can help you recognise sabotaging patterns as well as your unique strengths. By using a combination of visualisation, meditation, success habits and empowering goal setting, you will be able to improve you relationship with yourself and others. Packed with practical but easy to follow activities, Desiree is your coach and guide. She encourages you to become the captain of your ship as you transform your life and career.


A USER’S GUIDE TO THE MIND By Phakchok Rinpoche & Erric Solomon Shambala (2019) In Radically Happy, a meditating Silicon Valley entrepreneur teams up with a young, insightful, and traditionally educated Tibetan Rinpoche. Together they present a path to radical happiness—a sense of well-being that you can access anytime but especially when life is challenging. Using mindfulness techniques and accessible meditations, personal stories and scientific studies, you’ll get to know your own mind and experience how a slight shift in your perspective can create a radical shift in your life.





Colours of the seasons THE WORKS OF MARIA TEN KORTENAAR Internationally recognised ceramicist Maria ten Kortenaar started her creative path as a goldsmith, but once she encountered clay in 1995, she became devoted to porcelain. Porcelain is a medium that allows her to express what she perceives, feels and experiences in everyday life. Happiness, sunsets, rainy days, seasons and landscapes observed in real life all find their way to her creations. Even her cat features in her pieces; recently, she has included its tail as a motif. Inspired by the cat’s character, she calls this series Curiosity Kills the Cat. The titles of Maria’s pieces are links to personal memories and places. The Flower Bomb series, for instance, was a response to visiting Wakehurst Place and seeing the stunning explosion of flowers. Continuing her fascination with flowers, a recent visit to Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris inspired her Waterlilies works. She works on small sections like a jigsaw puzzle, meticulously creating a bigger picture, piece by piece. The intricate patterns are visible inside and out using a technique called nerikomi, also known as neriage. Developed in Japan, it is a process that involves colouring and cutting clay, stacking it and either moulding it, hand building or throwing it on a potter’s wheel. She talks of two distinct layers in creating her ceramics— the ‘Visible Layer’ and the ‘Emotional Layer’. The Visible Layer refers to the form, which are simple cylinders to emphasise the many colours. She says, “The cylinders are built up from smaller fragments. To draw the attention of the viewer, I disturb the pattern. There is harmony, and there is disharmony created with a rhythm. This uneasiness catches the eye.”

Drops from Heaven

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With the Emotional Layer, meanwhile, colours and composition are applied to tell a story. The white porcelain serves as a sheet of paper on which her narrative is written. Maria aims to translate her inner life so that it becomes visible to others. Maria is a widely celebrated artist whose work has been exhibited extensively worldwide and is held in museum collections. She has won and been shortlisted for competitions in China, Korea, Japan, Holland and Taiwan. Kellie Miller is an artist, curator, critic and gallery owner.

Flowerbomb Purple

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Maria talks of two distinct layers in creating her ceramics—the ‘Visible Layer’ and the ‘Emotional Layer’






A luxurious country retreat for both business and leisure Situated amidst the picturesque West Sussex countryside is the venerable South Lodge Hotel. Known as much for its unique blend of luxury, relaxation and impeccable service as it is for its historic charm and superb dining. I was absolutely delighted to be invited to go and see for myself - on behalf of our readers, of course! This grand 19th Century country house, set amidst 93 acres of sweeping lawns, lush gardens and the biggest rhododendron you’re ever likely to see, exudes timeless luxury and serenity. Its rich history envelopes you at every turn. A true country get-a-way. Spoil yourself, spoil your loved-ones, spoil your team.


The rooms at South Lodge are spacious and elegantly decorated, each featuring modern amenities and many with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The suites, in particular, offer an added touch of opulence; perfect for special occasions.


I absolutely loved the beautiful, well-equipped on-site spa that is undoubtedly one of the hotel’s crown jewels, merging seamlessly with the natural contours of the land. Enjoy a sauna with a view and a dip in the wild swimming pool for the ultimate wellness thrill, or simply laze in the large heated outdoor hydro pool and let it do its magic. An array of treatments ensures that there is something for everyone in this world of relaxation. My hot stone massage was fantastic while the Sacred Nature Facial delivered by the deft hands of therapist Lee Zondi went well beyond my expectations.

+ EVENT SPACES • THEATRE STYLE: from 10 to 170 • BOARDROOM STYLE: from 8 to 50 • CABARET STYLE: from 8 to 88 • FORMAL DINING: from 8 to 130


If you can manage to drag yourself away from the lovely spa, pop upstairs to the Botanica restaurant for a healthy lunch or freshly squeezed juice. A state-of-the-art gym is also part of the centre with, you guessed it, another gorgeous view.


For business and conference guests, South Lodge provides a comprehensive range of facilities and services that cater to your every need. The hotel boasts a mix of meeting and event spaces, from intimate boardrooms to grand spaces, all equipped with the latest technology and high-speed internet access. Whether you’re hosting a corporate meeting, a product launch or a gala dinner, the hotel’s versatile event spaces can accommodate various requirements. South Lodge also prides itself on its professional and attentive event planning team. They are dedicated to ensuring your event runs smoothly, from initial planning to execution, leaving you with peace of mind. Customisation is key, and the team is adept at tailoring every aspect of your event to meet your specific requirements.

I’m not sure what the kitchen did – alchemy, magic, each bite a delight WINING & DINING

Dining at South Lodge is an experience in itself. The Pass restaurant, with its Michelin-starred status, offers a gourmet culinary journey with its eight-course taster menu. Chef Ben Wilkinson and his team who uniquely serve and explain the dishes themselves, are not only artists but absolute perfectionists too. The open kitchen concept delivered the thrill of watching the chefs at work, all evidently in the zone, creating the most intricate little dishes, each eventually destined to burst with a symphony of flavours. I’m not sure what the kitchen did – alchemy, magic, each bite a delight. Who would have thought of freezing delicate morsels of crumble topping? What did they do to that jus to awaken tastebuds I hadn’t even realised I had? Of course, sourcing the finest local ingredients, often from its own kitchen garden, combined with its innovative techniques is part of what creates a dining experience that is unique and likely to linger with you long after you’ve bid the passionate and knowledgeable staff good night. Three AA rosetted Camellia is your choice for a la carte dining. Head Chef Josh Mann, along with his brigade of chefs, delivers seasonal lunch and dinner menus inspired by the fresh fruit and vegetables from the hotel’s garden and the finest local Sussex ingredients. Try not to miss Camellia’s traditional afternoon tea either, served outside on the terrace in the warmer months or in front of a blazing fire in The Drawing Room when its chilly outside.


Firstly, as we know, staff can make or break a place. At South Lodge, they only add to the experience. Each encounter I had, from the spa to the restaurants were warm, welcoming and professional. Secondly, the gardens are a given – just stunning with touches such as a love seat hanging from an old oak. Plus... South Lodge has B Corp status. From £415 for a double room per night (breakfast inc)

+ GOOD TO KNOW • DISABILITY ACCESS: Yes, two rooms are fully adapted. • FAMILY-FRIENDLY: Family rooms and cots available. Little ones can borrow board games and gaming consoles but there is plenty to do outside too. Over 12s only at The Pass • PET-FRIENDLY: Dogs are welcome




THE GLORIOUS CITY OF BATH Bath is one of the most beautiful cities that just grows on you the more time you spend there. The architecture is sublime, the history is all around you and the range of bars, restaurants and coffee shops are abundant. By TESS DE KLERK

Built for pleasure and relaxation, Bath has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times. The waters are still a big draw today, both at the ancient Roman Baths and the thoroughly modern Thermae Bath Spa, which houses the only natural thermal hot springs in Britain you can bathe in. Plus, it’s on a rooftop with a view of spires, other rooftops and distant hills! Bath’s compact, visitor-friendly centre is overflowing with places to eat and drink, plus it has some of the finest independent shops in Britain, making it the ideal city break. Immerse yourself in Bath’s remarkable collection of museums and galleries, and enjoy year-round festivals, theatre, music and sport. The city’s stunning, honey-coloured Georgian architecture

is straight from a Jane Austen novel; highlights include the iconic Royal Crescent and the majestic Circus. There’s plenty to see beyond the city too, with beautiful Somerset countryside to explore, as well as attractions including Stonehenge, Avebury, Wookey Hole caves, Castle Combe, and Longleat Safari Park. I stayed in the superbly located Hotel Indigo Bath, which is just around the corner from the centre of the city, and just a one minute walk to the Roman Baths. Indigo is part of the IHG Group of hotels, and the company has a reputation for stylish hotels, great service and fine attention to detail. I was not disappointed on any point. Indigo is a boutique hotel set within a Grade One-listed Georgian terrace with 154 individual bedrooms, all with wonderful Hypnos beds, Egyptian cotton linen and very-well equipped en-suite bathrooms. Part of the hotel, The Elder restaurant and bar is independently run and owned by restaurateur Mike Robinson with a focus on sustainability, seasonality, locally-sourced and wild produce. This is where breakfast is served, and hotel guests can book a table for lunch or dinner or have a drink and snack at the bar during the day and evening.

The city’s stunning, honey-coloured Georgian architecture is straight from a Jane Austen novel

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Royal Crescent

Sally Lunn’s Bun Shop

If you haven’t been to Bath, do go…

Thermae Bath Spa

As I stay in countless hotels around the world every year, I expect many things, and demand others. I am failed on the demands so often, as they are the small, picky things that, to me, make all the difference, such as the lighting in the bathroom, the amount of tea, coffee and sugar in the room, room service that comes missing one vital item. These sorts of things drive me nuts, and any good hotel should be paying attention to such things. Well, ‘Bravo!’ the Indigo Hotel as I couldn’t pick at anything like this – and I tried – as someone had thought it all through, and that is such a wonderful relief. The hotel is a three-minute walk from Bath Spa station; direct trains from London take 1h 20 mins, with easy access on the roads from London via the M4 corridor – and IHG Business Rewards can be claimed. Interestingly, the hotel also has a private house for up to ten people. I don’t have enough pages here to list all the great dining locations but I will note the close proximity of the Indigo to my favourite funky dining location, Sally Lunn’s Bun Shop, the oldest house in Bath. It was built in 1482, and is the producer of the famous and original Bath Bun. A Huguenot refugee, Solange Lyon arrived in Bath in 1680 to escape persecution in France and found work in a bakery. Moving on a few years, she moved into the house in North Passage, known as Lilliput Alley, and began baking a generous (read huge!) brioche bun similar to the French festival breads, which rapidly became a popular delicacy in Georgian England. Eaten with sweet or savoury additions, it is a triumph and, if you go, ask for a takeaway that comes in a beautiful single serving box and wow your friends. One particular attraction of the city I love is the Roman Baths. I can never quite get over the fact that absolutely nothing has changed in 2,000 years and where you stand is where the ancient Romans stood in their togas, ready to take

the health inducing thermal waters that bubble up hot and steaming from the earth’s core. They are accepted as some of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe. The Romans came to the site to worship the goddess Sulis Minerva. The water arrives at 46ºC, which is hotter than your bath water at home. The spring was thought to be a direct link with the Underworld, and people visited to pray to Sulis Minerva, throwing presents like jewellery and money into the spring. If you haven’t been to Bath, do go – and if you have, do revisit as there are so many things to do and see. When you go, check out the Hotel Indigo Bath as there is no better place to stay in town. Hotel Indigo Bath, 2-8 South Parade, Bath BA2 4AB T: 01225 460441 M: W: Rooms from: £149 per room (season dependent)

Hotel Indigo Bath NOVEMBER 2023 |



The Grand Hotel’s

Cyan Restaurant Within the storied walls of the iconic Grand Hotel on the Brighton seafront lies Cyan, a restaurant where classic elegance meets modern innovation. By TESS DE KLERK We had visited Cyan before, and it was fine back then but changes have been made – and this time around we were truly impressed. Walking through the heavy doors into the high-ceilinged bar area felt like being invited into the inner sanctum of an exclusive club, all plush and decadent. The décor seamlessly blends contemporary design with elements of the hotel’s historic charm. Period touches such as beautiful crown mouldings and marble pillars remain, married with modern amenities and my favourite touch, two stunning images that will make you do a double take on plastic waste.

Of course, the challenge for a hotel restaurant has got to be catering to the differing needs of the many – those celebrating a special occasion right through to guests who had just returned from a day at the beach and just want to grab a casual bite. Cyan does that successfully. The lounge dining area has the feel of indulgence while the terraced dining area with its large windows overlooking the seafront feels more casual but no less special. No matter where you choose to be seated though, you’re likely to feel like a valued guest.

The lounge dining area has the feel of indulgence

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The service at Cyan Restaurant was warm, welcoming and attentive. Wellversed in the menu offerings, servers were eager to answer questions, and their recommendations were spot-on. It’s clear that the restaurant places a strong emphasis on providing top-notch service to its patrons and this added to our lovely evening.


Now, onto the star of the show – the cuisine. Cyan tantalises the palate with seasonal dishes centred upon experimentation and exploration. Quality ingredients are non-negotiable, while fresh seafood is delivered twice daily. Menus change but you will find classic crowd pleasers such as thyme roasted chicken breast as well as more daring dishes – the likes of lobster and macaroni cheese croquettes with bisque mayo. Our supper was superb. From my succulent pan-fried scallops with bearnaise foam, peas, tempura shallots and crispy chorizo, to the perfectly cooked rack of lamb, with carrot and beurre noisette puree accompanied by radicchio with honey and garlic. My partner’s plate of chicken, potato and garlic puree, confit baby gem, crispy onion and prosciutto, asparagus, parmesan, pulled chicken leg and bacon croquette felt like a gastronomic journey. He loved it and his palette is not easily pleased! Dessert did not disappoint either. The bitter chocolate plus ginger sponge perfectly complemented the citrusy flavour of my creamy satsuma cheesecake while my companion lazily enjoyed his cheese plate.


Cyan boasts an extensive wine list that complements its diverse menu. Alongside award-winning international wines, you’ll find a superb selection of English sparkling wines from a choice of vineyards. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, you’re sure to find a bottle that suits your palate. If cocktails are more to your liking, fret not. The cocktail menu is exciting with seasonal drinks designed for your pleasure, in addition to the classics.


For sure. In fact, we’ve already booked in for Cyan’s Sunday roast. We could not fault Cyan and would happily recommend it to not only hotel guests but also everyone else fancying a lovely meal in a beautiful location. Plus, prices weren’t preposterous and well-worth the spend.

Cyan tantalises the palate with seasonal dishes centred upon experimentation and exploration





Life of Pi is the popular story of an epic journey. Lolita Chakrabarti’s stage adaptation stars an extraordinary life-size puppeteered Bengal Tiger. After a storm in the Pacific Ocean, Pi is stranded on a lifeboat with four other survivors – a hyena, a zebra, an orang-utan, and a Royal Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive? Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester November 16th - December 2nd

WHAT’S ON... A brief snapshot of art and culture in Sussex and Surrey


FUNNY THAT! Join a high-calibre comedy line-up Stephen Grant, Ria Lina, Eric Ruston and Jeff Innocent - in Hassocks for Funny That! Laughs a-plenty, together with the usual brutal treatment of those sitting at the front! The Hassocks pub, Hassocks November 11th



Martin Hopgood works tirelessly to prove life is a continuation by bringing through messages of love and validation from your loved ones who now reside in Spirit. Join him for an evening of happy tears and laughter and a very alternative way of working…without the ‘pink and fluffy’!

SteamLights returns in 2023 with a sparkling new theme and a new lighting up performance to capture your imagination. Before boarding, witness the new, big switch-on performance as we light up the darkness of Sheffield Park Station. Arrive at Horsted Keynes Station to disembark, take photos of the lit-up train, before returning to Sheffield Park.

Civic Centre, Uckfield November 17th events/an-evening-with-martin-hopgood




Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park Station November 17th - December 30th whats-on/steamlights






Join Caz from CJ Yoga to offer an exclusive autumnal yoga event; a morning of calm and relaxation nestled right in the heart of the stunning Sussex countryside overlooking Bolney’s Eighteen Acre Vineyard. Enjoy a blissful hour-long yoga session followed by a delicious Breakfast in our Eighteen Acre Restaurant. Open to all abilities but please ensure you bring your own mat.

The Sussex bonfire season goes out with a bang with the Robertsbridge Bonfire and Torchlight Procession. Don’t leave until you’ve watched the explosion of this year’s controversial effigy – top secret until Saturday afternoon! Look out for the Robertsbridge Bonfire Society in the procession – they’re the ones dressed as monks.

Celebrate a greener Christmas this year with the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink. Stunning, twinkly, romantic, child-friendly…and ice powered entirely by Green Energy, Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Ice Rink is open to the public this season.

Bolney Wine Estate, Haywards Heath November 15th product/autumn-yoga-bolney


Throughout Robertsbridge November 18th

Royal Pavilion, Brighton From October 28th 2023 until January 7th-15th 2024


LEONARDSLEE ILLUMINATIONS Walk through the beautiful grounds of Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens as they come to life with spellbinding illuminations, large scale projections, and music. Leonardslee Gardens, Lower Dicker November 24th - December 21st





Audi R8 Coupé V10 The last thing Maarten said to me before this Lioness of a Super Car arrived was, “I took it round the Nürburgring 12 times and ripped the backside out of it – 0-60 in 3 secs and 210 mph. You go, girl…” By Motoring Editor Fiona Shafer, MD of MD HUB So, no pressure then, to break the law, whilst trying to keep myself alive and stop my eyeballs falling out in the midst of Storm Babet skirting over Sussex when the R8 finally landed with me. I welcomed a rather classy Kemora grey R8 as its V10 engine quite literally growled and prowled its way into my drive. My immediate note to self was, “best start the engine after people have had their morning muesli to avoid risk of choking, and make sure I return home before any blood pressure tablets are administered - to avoid any trips to A & E.”

It is glued to the road, so easy to drive and is a supreme piece of automotive engineering 44 | NOVEMBER 2023

Th is is the fastest car – 0-60 in 3 secs with a top speed of 204 mph (so Lord only knows what naughty things Maarten was doing), and most expensive car at (£154,957) – I have ever driven, so forgive me if I had a little anticipatory moment before actually getting in it. Th is in itself was a feat of personal engineering and flexibility as it is very low and I am very tall. I would challenge even Houdini to get out of it quickly. Not a stranger to low slung cars and having thought I had sort of mastered the art of getting in and out of sports cars, this was at a whole new level, not helped by the pretty tight bucket seats. If you have a pair of gorgeous hips, this car is not for you. If you are built like the first whippet out of a race trap, then please buy one. To be clear – this is not a sports car. It is a very manageable, iconic Super Car with a space frame chassis, up there with the comparable but lot less stylish, Lamborghini Huracan. The fact that it is so manageable to drive to mere mortals such as myself felt rather disingenuous but really rather fabulous. The main problem I encountered was the uncanny testosterone effect of the car on others. I have had this with a couple of cars that I have previously reviewed –Mercedes AMG and the Jaguar F-Pace – but this was in a different league. It was only when rather too many young men thought it would be a jolly jape to try and race me in their Toyota Yarises and Golf GTIs, that I decided to put my foot


This thing is fast if you have the courage to floor it

POSITIVES • It is an iconic R8 V10 (that is not going to be around for much longer) • It corners beautifully, better than any other Audi I have ever driven. • The brakes are like emergency stops – every time. • It feels and is solid and safe. • It is truly exciting – when driven on the best roads you can find.

down and… hell, yeah! I really will see you in another life time boys… Good Lord! Th is thing is fast if you have the courage to floor it. It is glued to the road, so easy to drive and is a supreme piece of automotive engineering. The absolute star of the show is the V10 engine – the rest of the car is built in formulaic Audi style. I actually preferred the Audi TT RS Sport to which I gave a 9.5/10 and I am pretty sure if those super talented Audi engineers could combine the latter with a V10 engine, I would give it my first 10/10. But sadly, Audi have said that this will be the very last of this R8 model to be made. Rumour has it that they are potentially going to be looking at comparable electric versions – but can it ever really be comparable? I suspect not.

NEGATIVES • Very poor visibility angle from driver windows at road junctions (hence why it should really be on a race track) • In low sunlight, the reflection off the V10 engine in the back on the window reduces visibility to nil. • Water gets into the car doors - I opened both doors after Storm Babet, and rainwater had clearly got in, and poured out of the gap between exterior and interior. • Storage for drinks set too far back at your elbow so you can’t reach them. • Noise – unless you LOVE listening to the engine all the time – I had to turn up AC/DC to drown the roar out.

Like many Rock Stars, their amazing performance often hides the flaws, that we always forgive them for in the end




NOV/DEC 2022 #19




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