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Issue 3 – Lessons - 2017

HARLOW is 70 A year of celebrations

No Regrets, Just Lessons Learnt Sharing experiences to avoid mistakes

“I want to confront the situation and send a general message of peace to the world” Cover artist Jola Kudela


No ads. No clutter.

Harlow Stories Magazine was created by Magnificent Stuff Ltd.

Harlow Stories - Issue 3

Hello and Welcome to the third edition of Harlow Stories

“No regrets in life just lessons learnt” This quote was our inspiration for the third issue of Harlow Stories Magazine, produced in Association with Harlow and District Chamber of Commerce. Not only does the quote resonate on a personal level but also reviewing our journey as a business, it couldn’t be more apt. As Magnificent Stuff celebrates its 3rd year of trading, and we settle a humungous Corporation Tax bill (BOO, HISS!), we took some time to reflect on how we’ve grown and continue to learn (an awful lot) since setting out. Our most valuable lesson learned would be to never be afraid or overly hesitant of doing work for nothing. We’ve learnt so much and have grown both as a business and personally through our voluntary work and coaching. Our partner, Lyn at Best Mailing Services, part of the newly formed Marketing Hub (just Google Magnificent Stuff Marketing Hub for more info) would say her biggest lesson learned after 32 years in business would be to always be polite and professional. As Wilson Mizner said, “Be nice to people on your way up as you’ll meet them on your way down!” We would love to have more feedback from readers and any ideas and suggestions to help us spread the Stories messages are gratefully received! For now though we hope you enjoy the read! Emma & Steve @magnificentstuf Storytelling marketers

Produced with thanks to: Magnificent Stuff Content and Production BMS Mailing & Fulfilment PDT Design Graphic Design / Art Direction Cover image Jola Kudela –



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HDCC Noticeboard Welcome to the 3rd edition of the re-launched Harlow & District Chamber of Commerce magazine. We have received a lot of positive feedback about the first two. Thanks to everyone who took the time to tell us what they thought. Join the HDCC! The Harlow and District Chamber of Commerce is where local business, public sector, education and voluntary communities come together for mutual benefit. Joining is a great opportunity to increase awareness of your organisation, find out what’s happening in Harlow and to get to know and understand local businesses. You’ll also get to meet business owners and people in all sectors.

The 2017 Harlow Business Awards launched on April 6th, nominations close at the end of June and the Awards Dinner takes place on October 5th There are 8 categories again this year. More information can be found at Many thanks to our Sponsors: Greenway Business Centre - Small Business Longmores Solicitors - Innovation Price Bailey - New Business

If you are not sure about joining the HDCC why not come along to a meeting to experience what we are all about? We welcome visitors and you will be able to network with other Harlow businesses (bring along plenty of business cards).

Oakmont Construction - Website/Social Media

The application form can be found at

Stansted Airport - Employer of the Year

Harlow College - Young Person Sir Charles Kao UTC - Medium/Large Business Bidfood - Customer Care

If you are reading this at the Harlow Business Exhibition, I hope you have an enjoyable day. Please come and see us with the team from Magnificent Stuff who put together Stories Magazine for us on Stand 9. We are keen to attract more local organisations to the Chamber of Commerce. With over 200 members, we are ideally placed to introduce people in the business, voluntary, education and public sectors to each other. Details of our monthly meetings and some other local events can be found on our website calendar. Ian Hudson General Manager, Harlow & District Chamber of Commerce 07817 778870

2017 Harlow Business Awards Entries for the 2017 Business Awards close at the end of June. Organisations in the Harlow area are eligible to enter.

HDCC run the Business Awards alongside the Heart4Harlow Community Awards.

Sponsors for this year are: Small Business - Greenway Business Centre

The awards are open to any business or organisation operating in the Harlow and District area.

Social Media - Oakmont Construction

You can enter your own organisation or nominate another.

New Business - Price Bailey

Entry is free and an organisation can enter or be nominated for up to 3 categories.


Innovation - Longmores Solicitors Young Person - Harlow College

Medium/Large Business - Sir Charles Kao UTC Customer Care & Service - Bidfood Employer of the Year - Stansted Airport

Harlow Stories - Issue 3


New Chamber Members True Measure Project Management - Leonore Lord

Dear Stories, I am writing to let you know just how much I enjoyed issue number two of Harlow Stories. As someone who has lived and worked around the Harlow area for 29 years, I think it’s about time a positive, business-oriented magazine was launched to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of the town. The fact that it has some great people stories, too, is a bonus! Particularly refreshing is your decision to make it advertisement-free; a bold move that sets it apart from most business magazines I’ve come across. Keep up the excellent work; I’m looking forward to issue #3! Chris Coyne Coyne Sales and Marketing

Smart PA Personal Assistant - Helen Green Website tbc Hyperlocal News Online News - Michael Casey Ansmann Batteries and Power Suplies - Paul Channell P3VA Virtual Business Solutions - Peggy Mosely Business Agent Ltd Finance Specialists - Khaled Khan

WOW! What lovely comments to receive, thank you very much Chris. The publication is only a success thanks to our contributors members of the Chamber and the wider business community.

Acacia Associates Mortgages and Insurances - Adam Jolless Doorstep Fruit & Veg Fruit and Veg - Steven Tyson Greenline Environmental Recycling - Darryn Hodges

Dear Stories, As new members of the Chamber we are keen to explore how we can grow our business and reap benefit from the membership. Any advice gratefully received.

Roots Pod Ltd Business Consultancy - Althea Blake L’Coe Logistics Logistics - David Warrington Website tbc

Anon. There are lots of opportunities available to members of HDCC to both raise your profile and meet other businesses. Alongside the networking there are courses, free consultations, offers and events all listed on the website (and emailed regularly to members too). In addition to this you should make sure your profile is updated on the HDCC website (this is easy to do). If you’d like any help or advice on how you can get more from your membership please contact Ian, In addition Stories Magazine prioritise all content/stories from members of the Chamber and so if you would like to share your business story or need some help pulling it together please do get in touch:

WE REALLY WELCOME YOUR FEEDBACK! Please share your thoughts with us by emailing to or writing a good old fashioned letter and posting it to: Harlow Stories Magazine, Best Mailing Services, Merlin Way, Epping CM16 6HR

Chris Bedwell Photography Photographer - Chris Bedwell Dance Scene Dance - Lorraine Hodges Website tbc Business in the Community Connecting Businesses - Sharon Summerfield Adecco Recruitment - Samantha Brewington St Johns Arts and Recreation Centre Community Facility - Krizim Feltham

We’ll publish the best ones here!



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Harlow Stories Your MP Writes... By Rob Halfon MP

Theme: Lessons Learnt Dear reader, In my first speech in Parliament in 2010, I spoke about apprenticeships and the great advantages these could bring to young people all over the UK. Ever since, I have championed apprenticeships, education and skills whilst representing Harlow and the villages as MP and now as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate. One thing I am particularly proud of is helping to secure £6.3 million for Harlow College’s remarkable Advanced Manufacturing Centre and a new Technical and Professional Skills Centre. These centres will give our young people the chance to get the skills, apprenticeships and jobs they need. I have always considered apprenticeships to be the first step on the ladder of opportunity, helping people of all ages develop skills whilst earning a decent wage – the vast majority of apprentices are paid the minimum wage or more. Apprenticeships transform lives. I’ve seen it all over the country, wherever I go and particularly in Harlow. I have met people from all backgrounds who are doing level three, level four, even degree level apprenticeships, and getting the jobs and the wages that they need for the future. We can always develop as people and we can always develop the world around us for the better. The ladder of opportunity applies not only to apprenticeships and education, but the villages, towns and cities in which we live. Harlow is a wonderful town and I love living here but I still work every day to help build an even better Harlow. I’ve worked hard to secure millions of pounds of Government investment to bring more jobs, apprenticeships, housing and infrastructure back to our town and villages. £400 million is being spent to relocate the Public Health England labs to Harlow, bringing in thousands of jobs. £19 million is being spent to upgrade our roads to reduce traffic. £500,000 is being spent to support the delivery of 8,500 new affordable homes. I will continue to work hard to bring investment into Harlow and the villages and I will continue to champion apprenticeships and education. We can always improve and develop, as people and as a town. In doing so, we improve the opportunities for young people and help them get the skills and education they need. Very best wishes,

Rob @halfon4harlowmp


Harlow Stories - Issue 3


Harlow Professionals Meets on the last Friday of the month at the Park Inn Hotel. This is an informal meeting with no need to book – just turn up with loads of business cards and enjoy the (free) lunch with other Harlow professionals.

Just outside of Harlow…

Base4Business An excellent resource aimed help you to locate the most suitable local networks and groups of professional networks in your chosen area, with an informative synopsis for each local network you so can select the perfect group to suit your business.

Harlow & District Chamber of Commerce The HDCC promotes a number of events throughout Harlow: For more information, contact us on 01279 271104

Harlow BNI Meets every Tuesday at the Park Inn Hotel at 6:30 for a 7am start. BNI networking follows a strict agenda designed to maximise results – a formula that has proven itself over many years. If interested please contact Robin Stretton on

WIBN Harlow Women in Business Networking meets at Miller and Carter in Harlow. This women-only event meets at midday one Tuesday each month. More information can be found at

Stansted Business Breakfast Informal and friendly networking group which meets at the Radisson Blu Hotel at Stansted Airport every second Friday at 7am. Contact Eric Chorley on 01279 324837

BeCollaboration Run by Harlow based business owner, Jill Tiney BeCollaboration meets around London, Herts, Essex and Surrey. For more information visit

MEETUP & EVENTBRITE There are fantastic resources for info on the latest and closest events, they even select relevant gatherings based on your personal interests.

FACEBOOK: Increasingly more popular for business networking groups. Some to try include: Networking Herts & Essex Networking Cambridgeshire

Business Networking At Harlow Stories we are massive advocates of business Networking and would highly recommend it to all. Please bear in mind though, that with the exception of The Chamber, a number of the groups below operate a ‘one member per type of business’ policy, so it’s always best to make contact before turning up. Remember to always take business cards. A lot of these groups will have ‘Power Teams’ or similar groups, where members of related industries work and communicate closely together. It’s often worth getting to know these people in the group most closely associated to your industry.


If you would like to list an event or business networking opportunity in the next issue of Stories please get in touch:



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Harlow Stories - Issue 3

MANNERS & TEAMS One of the core aims of The Chamber is to encourage training and education in the interest of employment and growth Sharing knowledge, strengthens our own personal development and helps others benefit too.

We have two ears and only one mouth

We should use them appropriately. Too often we are selective in what we hear and carry out the wrong instructions. When given a task to undertake; such as a brief for a project, ‘listen’. Write notes as you go along and ask questions. Never make assumptions and always confirm you understand what is required. Adjust where necessary, until you are satisfied the task is correct. It will save you time, reduce risk and possibly money later.

Manners cost nothing

My parents taught me to respect others from a young age and it has served me well in the workplace. People are more inclined to give assistance if you are polite, patient and show gratitude. Having worked to deadline-driven environments, with fast turnarounds; last minute requests were common. No one likes demands placed upon them when time is limited, even when it is part of their job role. Tell someone their efforts were valued and appreciated, they may be more willing to help you next time...There is always a next time!



Be respectful

No need to yell! Being shouted at and humiliated should be forbidden in any work environment, but unfortunately, it still happens. If this should happen to you, do not be tempted to react in the same manner. Instead, balance your emotions, compose yourself and respond calmly. It is likely the aggressor is also undergoing immense pressure elsewhere, so try to react calmly and professionally; chances are they may return later to apologize. Stress in the workplace is on the rise, be considerate of your colleagues’ needs; offering to help or carry out simple tasks yourself could relieve some pressure.

There is no ‘I’ in team

We are generally at work for at least 35 hours a week and are integrated with people from different backgrounds, status, skills, experience and personalities; thus, creating an environment to co-exist amicably should be encouraged. Know your strengths - stepping in to assist or mentor a colleague when needed will improve relationships and boost team morale. If you are working on a similar piece of work, campaign or project as

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another team, communicate regularly to ensure your work is aligned and constant. This will improve efficiency, visibility and brand consistency.

Respect other people’s time

I was employed by a company that had an agreed 7 minute ‘late’ window for all meetings. Unfortunately, this decision was unfair and affected those who turned up on time, as frequently, last items on the Agenda were either rushed or left out. Deadlines are put in place for a reason and if missed could have numerous knock on effects, for example, hefty fines by external governance for late submissions. Therefore, it is imperative to create key milestones to track progress and meet deadlines. Schedule calendar reminders to ensure that tasks are being completed as planned - stop, review and adjust.

Althea Blake

Founder and Senior Consultant of ROOTS POD Ltd A project management consultancy in Harlow.



LoCASE is a business support programme helping businesses optimise their use of resources and adopt eco-innovative and low carbon solutions in ways that improve business performance. It offers ‘Match funded’ grant support of up to £10k for upgrading energy business infrastructure, business support and advice to change to more efficient practices and support to the low carbon business sector, helping it to grow and innovate. LoCASE services can offer real benefit to your business. For more information, contact: 
Lisa Rickets, Low Carbon Business.
 Email: Tel: 01375 652271. Or visit the website

South East Business Boost (SEBB)

SEBB is available to support businesses in the SELEP region to grow. Its focus is on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and start-ups.
Funding can cover: Business Development: funding required enabling expansion of the business (for example research costs), Plant and Machinery: costs of re-t ooling (upgrades) and installation of machinery and hardware and training required to operate it, Intangible Assets: including costs of purchasing new patents, IT, software and licenses
and Consultancy Costs: including business planning and sector specialists. The SEBB programme can provide match-funded grants of up to £10k. For more Info:

BEST Growth Hub

The BEST Growth Hub is offering the following workshops in Harlow. June 13th - Develop the Person 9.30am - 12.30pm June 13th - Develop the Team 1pm - 4pm
 June 14th - Develop the Business 9.30am - 12.30pm June 14th - Make the Change 1pm - 4pm Also on offer are workshops at other Essex venues and a series of on-line workshops dealing with issues such as: Launching a Business, Instagram for Business, What Makes a Good Website, Basic Book Keeping, Cash Flow Forecasting, Creating a Business Plan, Pricing Considerations, Creating basic Info Graphics using Canva, Cyber Crime, Pinterest for Business Beginners and Time Management. The workshops are being delivered by Ignite Business in partnership with NWES and Colbea. To see the full range of workshops on offer please go to hub-free-workshops/ For more information or help with booking your place, please contact Alicia on 01376 340940 or


Harlow Stories - Issue 3


Top Tips

We’ve collated some excellent top tips from members, associates and contacts to whet your appetite for learning more.

1. The brain’s designed to learn. If you don’t learn it will atrophy. 2. Technology changes ridiculously quickly - constant training is imperative 3. I know it’s unfashionable but... read things. Steve Chew Magnificent Stuff

Top Tips Training - You can never be ‘too smart’. There is always something to be learned from someone, no matter how ‘lowly’ you consider their current position to be. Development - One thing we can always be sure of is ‘change’. Try to be positive about change. A flexible mind-set will help you to cope with this. Growth - This ought to be contained within your business plan. Who are your ideal clients, how do you approach them, who are your competitors, how does the current economic climate affect your plans? Gary Benskin TaxLocal, Sawbridgeworth

Top Tips • For start-ups… when writing a Business Plan double the costs and half the income forecasts • Generally… Pay invoices withing 30 days and you will be more likely to get paid quickly Ian Hudson HDCC

Top Tips

Top Tips

Look - Look for changes in the sector you are operating within. Are their opportunities for new service lines, new ways of doing things or an opportunity to diversify your service/product lines? Keep things fresh!

Make sure you are embracing the right problems. There’s always stuff cropping up in business that can potentially derail you but solving the right issues that get you moving towards your goals and ensuring growth and profitability means you can go on to thrive.

Listen - there’s a reason we have two ears and one mouth and we’ve all heard it said we should use them in that proportion. But once we have mastered that difficult skill we should then listen to learn rather than listening to respond. Learn - explore opportunities to broaden your skills base and it doesn’t always need to be outside your comfort zone, that’s a cliché! Consider becoming a charity trustee, school governor or volunteer - these provide great opportunities to learn new skills - trust me I’m all three! :-) Paul Bartlet Price Bailey



Ed Pearson Entrepreneurs Network

• Build a strong relationship, get to know your client on a personal & business level. • 80% of your business comes from 20% of your client base - stay connected. • Pick up the phone, it is not all about e-mail. • Go the extra mile, be proactive and make suggestions that will make their life easier.

Top Tips Keep to your word. It¹s always best if you do what you say, and try not to over promise on what you can do. LISTEN to your client. It can save heartache down the line and builds stronger, longer lasting relationships. Trevor Stanesby Blue Pig Creative

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Top Tips

• It doesn’t have to be about something you can charge for, do it for free. It will pay Dividends. • Whatever type of day you may be having always be happy, positive and take an interest in them. Lyn Reed Best Mailing Services


HIDDEN GEMS Phoenix Digital & Creative Hub The Phoenix Digital and Creative Hub provides digital technology creators and innovators a space to COLLOBRATE, INNOVATE and GROW.

Set up in partnership between Phoenix Resource Centre and Harlow Council, the Hub is centrally located in Harlow Town Centre and offers both collaborative and supportive environments. It brings together early-stage entrepreneurs with those already involved in the industry. It offers general, specialist and innovative business support and access to technology and equipment. As well as basic business requirements such as hot-desking, wi-fi, meeting and conferencing space, the Hub also makes available technology and software, including iMacs, tablets, laptops and PCs. Uniquely it also provides access to a film and green screen studio, a sound recording and radio studio as well as a live lounge with full A/V set-up.

Digital, technology and creative industries are thriving and building on Harlow’s innovative history and legacy. The Hub provides a fabulous space for all ages to develop skills and knowledge on their doorstep. By working in partnership, the Hub is able to offer its services at both flexible and affordable rates operating a membership model (£5 per year), with hot-desking and use of the ‘Fix-it Bar’ from £2.50 for half a day. Newly launched, the ethos of the Hub is to work for its members, providing a balanced professional and collaborative environment that encourages people to talk and share experiences and opportunities. Its ultimate aim is to help develop new entrepreneurs and grow existing businesses.

For more information visit or pop in to the Hub at 15-17 West Gate, Harlow Town Centre, CM20 1JP (open Mon – Wed).


Harlow Stories - Issue 3

HIDDEN GEMS The Harlow Arena The Harlow Arena is part of (and affiliated with) Harlow Town Football Club and is situated on Elizabeth way, CM195BE. It has invented itself as a venue and social hub, benefitting the community and local businesses alike.

When Tommy Cunningham took over Harlow Town FC in February 2010 he had a vision for developing the existing premises into something that would benefit both the Club and the town in general. Since then the club has been promoted to the Premier Division of the Isthmian League, which represents the seventh level of the English football league system. The former Chelsea, QPR and Wimbledon (Crazy Gang) player rebranded stadium and its facilities as The Harlow Arena, introducing a new club shop, updating the members’ areas and sprucing up the whole ground in general. Tommy, who was also Harlow Town’s manager between 2003 - 2007, said: “Harlow’s football team have progressed really well since Danny (Chapman) took over as manager. We wanted our facilities to match that.”



The Arena now boasts a new marquee opened in 2016 which offers a unique pitch-side setting with an incorporated bar, dance-floor area and seating for up to 160 guests. It also has dedicated heating for the colder months and the ability to open up the sides for an “al fresco” setting. There is also a ‘Function Suite’ which has a large bar and dancefloor area, multiple possible layouts and seating for up to 160 people. It has hosted all kinds of events, from exhibitions and corporate events to comedy nights and private functions, such as weddings and birthday parties. There is also a Sports Bar complete with widescreen that is ideal for smaller events, and the ‘Directors’ Suite’ which offers a contemporary setting for meetings, corporate training sessions or lunches. There has been a determined push towards engaging businesses over the

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past year. The football club is proud to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce and a number of HDCC events have been held in The Arena, primarily breakfast business networking, all local business are welcome to attend and should look to book through the Chamber’s website. There are a number of sponsorship offers available to business customers too, which offer considerable benefits to businesses excluding the obvious; those of increased visibility and aiding the local community. If you would like to contact The Harlow Arena please use the links below

01279 443196


Harlow Enterprise Zone Hello Harlow…

Significant progress continues to be made at Kao Park with the completion of the steel structure and roof for the first Data Centre building at the end of May. At the same time, power was turned on at the new electricity sub-station on the site. Cladding and fit out work of the data centre will take place during the summer and autumn of 2017 with completion scheduled for December of this year. The refurbishment of the second office building at Kao Park is proceeding to plan with Pearson still scheduled to move in at the end of June. Harlow Council is also in discussions with Kao Data, the operators of the


data centre development, to look at what can be done to bring some of the world class internet connectivity that exists at the data centre to the Science Park development at London Road. It is possible that Harlow will then be able to lay claim to be the best connected Science Park in the UK. More information on the detail of this will follow in the next edition of ‘Stories’. Work continues at the Science Park site itself with completion of the main Link Road from the A414 through to London Road. This is now surfaced and fenced with some initial landscaping due to be implemented in May and June. However, the new road (which is yet to be named

– ideas welcome!) will not open to the public until the spring of 2018. This is to allow for the construction of the main road that will run south from the Link Road and also the commencement of work on the first two buildings on the site in the autumn of this year. June will also see the launch of a new marketing campaign for the Harlow Science Park – the first indications of this will be present at the Harlow Business Exhibition at the Manor of Groves on 8th June. Come and see us on Stand 58, alongside Anglia Ruskin University (our partners in the Med Tech Campus initiative) and Derrick Wade Waters, joint agents for the site.

Harlow Stories - Issue 3

Cover Story “We’re All In The Same Boat” 200m2 community mural created in collaboration with over 40 Harlow residents.

We love the large-scale artwork which was created in the town centre, to celebrate diversity in response to the death, last year, of Arhadiusz Jozwik in The Stow. One lesson we are all learning very quickly at the moment is that we actually are all in the same boat, and must stay united to promote peace. Polish artist Jola Kudela was commissioned to undertake the project as part of Harlow’s 70th birthday celebrations and tells her story: “I am an immigrant. I was born in Eastern Europe, in Poland, when it was locked up behind the Iron Curtain. When I was a child I had a chance to travel abroad once and it was a shock. The world outside was so colourful my brain was unable to process all the information, I was walking along the streets drunk on all the colour and light. On our way back to Poland we had to drive through fields of barbed wire on the border… the country itself was grey, without any colour, it felt like being in prison. “When I was 18 the Berlin Wall came down, the communist system collapsed and we became free. When I was 24 I came to France to finish my film school studies. Since then I’ve been travelling a lot in Europe. I worked and lived in



France for 10 years. I’ve worked in Belgum, Luxembourg, Germany, France, the UK and Poland of course. Up to last year I had never felt like an immigrant in any of those places, more a curious traveller, a highly skilled movie industry worker, a free European. “What happened in Harlow last year was a terrible tragedy. Unfortunately it tapped into the general post-brexit hysteria, and in some way, against the will of the people of Harlow, it was interpreted by the media as a symbol of the mood in the UK. “I’m 46, live in London, work in the film industry (I create special effects in movies), and in my spare time I do street art. Streets are my gallery and local communities are my audience. I have travelled the world with my art and I have done paste-ups in Melbourne, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Paris, Warsaw, Brighton and London.

my art should reflect what’s going on in those streets and in the society. I try to do it with a dose of humour, even when I speak about serious issues, like racism, ageism, xenophobia or homophobia. “I create huge collages with photographed models, which I then print on blue-back paper and paste up on walls. I want my visuals to become an organic component of the urban scenery. “I want to confront the situation and send a general message of peace to the world. I want to say to everyone that we are all equal and we are all in the same boat. We are all just travellers through life and in ten, twenty, or fifty years from now we won’t be here anymore. So let’s make the best of our time here and be happy together.”

“My visuals are based on icons of classical paintings - I recreate them with contemporary models. “Working in public spaces forces me to be socially engaged. I feel that today artists shouldn’t produce decorative, meaningless visuals that serve only as publicity stunts. I work in the streets and

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What’s in it for me? Corporate philanthropy has a rich history in society dating back to the 19th Century when Cadbury’s developed the Bournville Village to address the welfare and education issues of their employees.

There was a time that a business would write out a cheque for a charity and the lucky charity would say thank you and goodbye. However, those days are long gone. Charities know this and accept it. The sector is now as fluent at speaking the language of partnerships as any business. Evidence shows that CSR works. Good CSR practice gives businesses a competitive edge and improved bottom line as a result. Employee engagement, greater consumer loyalty and a more robust brand image are just some of the factors that contribute to this. Unashamedly, businesses should enter into a charity partnership on a for-profit premise, because the crux of it all is that an improved bottom line fosters longevity, loyalty and a true relationship.


The strategic stuff can take years to work towards and so it is worth picking a charity that you want to invest a long term relationship in. However if you are just starting out in the CSR world, there are some easy things you can do straight away: • Seek advice from another business that has a firm CSR programme • Check out Business in the Community and the support they can offer • Find out what events your local charity is doing and see if you can help/enter a team • Hold your own event • Sign your company up to Payroll Giving • Consider an employee volunteering day

My top tips when looking into a charity partnership: 1. Listen to each other’s needs 2. Value alignment – ask about the charity’s mission statement and consider the possible match 3. Ask to meet the CEO as well as partnerships manager 4. Be honest – if you don’t think it is going to work, tell them. Charity partnership managers have thick skins and appreciate the honesty. Amy Jacobs Corporate Partnerships Manager St Clare Hospice (Reg 2951374)


Giving Something Back MICHAEL ROBERTS CHARITABLE TRUST (MRCT) MRCT promotes the value and significance of every person, empowering them to develop their potential and selfconfidence. MRCT provides opportunities for community integration, enabling each individual to help meet local social needs in a positive and practical way. The work of MRCT includes: Maybury Open Door: Based in Harlow and run by a team of community workers and volunteers. It is a drop-in centre that promotes community spirit and integration. People 18 years or older are welcome. This unique service supports a wide range of people including:

St Elizabeth’s, in Perry Green, Much Hadham is a School for 5-19 year olds and College for 18-25 year olds (supported by a Domiciliary Care Agency). It is also a Residential Care Home with Nursing. We provide education, care and medical support for people of all ages who have epilepsy and other complex needs. St Elizabeth’s is one of only two national centres offering a range of services to all age groups with learning difficulties. We provide holistic care, support, health and

the homeless, vulnerably housed, lonely, isolated, elderly, people with addictions, people with disabilities and others who just need somewhere safe and secure. The centre supports an average of 144 people each week. Harlow Foodbank: The Foodbank is designed to help individuals and families in crisis by providing free emergency food until the appropriate front-line agencies are in a position to assist. The main aim is to engage with communities, introducing sustainable projects that enable marginalised people to break their cycle of poverty. The foodbank also provides nonperishable food to front-line professional agencies and an emergency foodbox service which can be accessed by their clients over any 24 hour period. From April 2009, when the foodbank opened, to April 2017, Harlow Foodbank has fed 20,631 people with emergency food.

education services in a safe environment for very vulnerable people, recognising them to be unique individuals who should be valued, supported and enabled to maximise their personal potential in all areas of life. All referrals are welcome regardless of faith, culture or ethnicity. As a local charity, St. Elizabeth’s doesn’t have the expense of large marketing overheads and merchandise, meaning your money goes on to make more of a difference to local children and families. We run a ‘Corporate 150 Club’, which helps to generate funding and ease businesses into mutually beneficial charitable relationships. Membership of the Club shows your company’s commitment to helping local people. A suggested gift of £150 a year, around 50p

confidence, opportunities, financial situation and enable reintegration into the community.

Streets2Homes operate a day centre for those who are without homes and often isolated and marginalised in our community. We have a highly motivated staff and volunteer team who are trained, experienced, dedicated and passionate about enabling those most vulnerable to access provisions to meet their needs. They work ceaselessly to improve wellbeing,



We offer a “wrap-around” solution focused service to meet the needs of people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness and continue to support them once housed. Services we offer include; shower facilities, clean clothes, hot meal, access to healthcare, practical and financial assistance to secure housing, help to claim benefits, workshops and training opportunities to increase wellbeing, selfesteem and employability. We work with other support agencies and if appropriate we refer and support our clients to access

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Bounty Club: The Bounty Club works in partnership with local fresh food companies and helps them reduce their surplus fresh food and distribute it into the community via front-line professional agencies, charities and other voluntary and statutory groups, for the benefit of the community. The Bounty club is currently working in partnership with food companies Bidfood, Swithenban, Brakes, and 33 front-line agencies in Harlow. It distributes an average of 10 tonnes of surplus fresh food each month. For more information on the work of MRCT:

01279 724515

a day, will go on to improve the lives of our children, which to us is priceless. Members of the Club benefit from our website, social media pages and networks, 8 local shops and over 700 staff members all living locally and using local services. We will also send you updates from our children, showing how your money is being used, as well as providing certificates for your business to show that you are caring for your local community - we want everyone to know how amazing you are for supporting your local charity. If you are interested in supporting St Elizabeth’s please contact:

01279 843451

specialised services to meet their needs. Many of our clients have become estranged from their family and friends due to pride or circumstances and feel lonely and lack a sense of identity – we provide a safe and friendly environment to rest, build positive relationships and support to look to the future. To Volunteer or support Streets2Homes please contact:

01279 430011 Open: From 9am to 2pm, Monday to Friday (Open to the homeless for breakfast at 8.45am)


Alan Howick

It’s no secret to anyone who knows him, that Alan Howick loves his cricket, and Harlow Cricket Club in particular. Alan first played at the Marigolds ground in Old Harlow as a colt in 1965. “Due to my entry into estate agency in the late sixties I was only able to play Sunday cricket although, if asked, I would say that I preferred social cricket and its traditions rather than the highly competitive league version.” He was captain of the Sunday side for 5 years in the 1980s, latterly Club Chairman (twice), Club Secretary (twice) and is now in the ninth year as Club President.

Cricket in Harlow The first 139 years by Alan Howick

Alan describes himself as ‘old-fashioned estate agent’ who is now in his 50th year in the industry. He is founding director of the Howick and Brooker Partnership, which has been practising in Old Harlow since 1975, and from their current home, Gothic House, since 1978. Since formation, the agency has been instructed to sell many thousands of homes in Harlow and the neighbouring villages and as far off as Hertford, Dunmow and Saffron Walden. The company is also a member of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents.

business managing many hundreds of properties in and around Harlow. But his first love has always been cricket. In 2015 he wrote and published ‘Cricket in Harlow – The first 139 years’, and was involved in the development of the new pavilion at the ground, which opened in December 2016. “The project was kicked off by the hugely generous legacy of a former Club President, Vince Dunn, who left the Club a sum in excess of six figures,” said Alan. ‘The Club then managed to secure half a million pounds of lottery funding via Sports England and a number of other grants from charitable sources.” The resulting Clubhouse is an extraordinarily modern and stylish construct that still retains the traditional feel of a village cricket pavilion. It is not only home to five cricket teams on Saturdays but also the Sunday XI, around six colts teams ranging from U9’s to U16’s and home for the ‘nomadic’ Netteswell & Burnt Mill Cricket Club, but is also used as a facility for community and social groups who often have nowhere else to meet.

Howick and Brooker expanded in 2010 with the creation of HB Lettings Limited which has become a very successful If you would like to contact Alan or the Harlow Cricket Club, please use the details below


Howick and Brooker:

01279 418888

Alan Howick:

Harlow Cricket Club:

Harlow Stories - Issue 3

Lee Jacobson and Harry Eden

Secret Quote Tucked away amongst the fabulous scenery of picturesque Churchgate Street, Harlow, Lee Jacobson and Harry Eden are planning to take the business world by storm with their latest venture. ‘We want to help B2C business in Harlow reach larger audiences’, says Lee, 37 over a black coffee in That Amazing Place. “Secret Quote is a platform to help them do that.” The backstory behind the two business partners is well worth telling. Harry is an actor who won a British Independent Film Award in 2003 for ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ for his role in Pure. He also played Nibs in the 2003 film Peter Pan, and the Artful Dodger in Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist. He quit acting in 2010 to become a professional golfer, playing with a +2 handicap, before launching Maisons Nightclub in Chelmsford with two others. Lee has a mainly sales background. He was a business development manager and shareholder in Wowcher, before starting his own telecoms company in 2011. Later her created ‘Talent Talks’, a casting agency providing background artists to One Direction, Sheryl Cole and similar performers.

Having sold his shares in Talent Talks two years ago he co-founded ‘DogTrac’, which is a service that helps lost dog get home. Using the latest technology owners could alert people that there dog was missing and they received a map of the lost dogs location when found. It is hard to imagine business partners with more eclectic backgrounds, or who represent the spirit of ‘entrepreneurship’ so perfectly. Lee and Harry’s new venture, ‘Secret Quote’ allows companies to place offers to a digital marketplace, whilst maintaining complete control of their discounts. It is due to be launched in August this year and is already attracting a lot of interest and a substantial following. “We are fortunate in having a fair bit of social media experience,” said Harry, “and we have a good following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram already. Things are looking extremely positive”

If you would like to make contact with Lee or Harry you can reach them on

07956 616864 secretquoteSE



07723 024865



Samaritans Harlow 01279 421110



Contact: Alison Wils


01279 421 308 admin@mindinwestes www.mindinwestesse

Crisis at Christmas 0300 636 1967 enquiries@crisis

Harlow Stories - Issue 3

LY N Around the back of North Weald Airfield, within earshot of the drone of classic planes and highperformance cars speeding along the runways, is an un-prepossessing eighties warehouse which is home to our Marketing Hub and Best Mailing Services UK (BMS), in turn HDCC member, Lyn Reed. Lyn has been managing director of BMS for “more years than I care to remember.” But it wasn’t always thus… Her working career began at Rank Hovis McDougall, once owned by the famous J. Arthur Rank, who at one time employed over 3,000 people, many of them in Harlow. “I began as a punch card operator. I am not sure how many people today even know what that was.” She quickly progressed to NCR, tape encoder, operator and supervisor. The role was repetitive and she became disillusioned. “I needed something different,” she said, ‘something to get my teeth into!”

R E E D At this point, Lyn’s new husband had left the army and had a role within the security services, and she was approached by MI5. After an extensive interview and vetting procedure she was given a position at the Joint Computer Bureau and tasked to set up a Secure Remote Location in London, to take the manual registry records and computerise them. At the time all the records used to identify the potential connections of individuals to groups identified as a risk to National Security were kept on card. She sourced, interviewed and managed a team of twenty-five 18 and 19 year old girls who were employed to facilitate the three-year job. “It was a fantastic time,” Lyn laughs, “unfortunately I can’t tell you too much about it, or I’d have to shoot you☺” After 5 years with the security services she moved on, having been ‘headhunted’ for a role with the famous Bowker Publishing House in Epping – employed as their chief computer manager and programmer. However after 6 years, the company was asset-stripped by its American owners, Rank Xerox, and was forced to close. Lyn’s business brain went into overdrive and she approached Xerox and convinced them that they should support her new venture, Best Mailing Services. That was in 1985. BMS are specialists in mailing services, print management, order fulfilment and data processes for all businesses. They were one of the first mailing and fulfilment houses to be accepted into the Royal Mail Strategic Partnership Scheme and have grown to become a respected provider of Direct Marketing Services throughout the UK and Internationally. Some of their clients include Kier, BAFTA and Kuoni. In March of this year she launched a Marketing and Fulfilment Hub with a local marketing agency, “One of the great lessons I have learnt in business,” she said, “is to try to be innovative, to move forward and try new avenues.” A very big part of Lyn’s life is her charity work. She has been a Samaritan since 2009, a ‘Befriender’ at Mind, mentoring and leads a homeless centre for Crisis at Christmas. ‘ homelessness is not inevitable, we work together to end it ‘. The main image shows Lyn in the Himalayas on a charity trip with other Samaritans in 2012.

To contact Lyn at The Marketing Hub 01992 524343 @BestMailingUK



07723 024865


Harlow is 70 Street Carnival

Harlow Council is pleased to announce that a Street Carnival will take place on Sunday 23r d July 2017 as part of Harlow’s 70th birthday celebrations. The Carnival will start from The Stow at 12 noon and travel along First Avenue before ending in the Town Park in time for the start of the popular Linkfest Music Festival that is being held at The Bandstand. The theme for the Carnival is ‘Harlow through the Decades’ - from 1940s right up to the present day. It will include floats and walking groups.

If your business would like to get involved and support the Carnival please keep an eye on the Council’s website, as well as Facebook and Twitter, for more details in the coming weeks. You can also contact Sarah Swan on 01279 446449


Harlow Stories - Issue 3

70 things we love Harlow Council have been responsible for a fantastic social media campaign which we would like to reflect back on. Visually it’s a great reminder of what a superb town Harlow is, we hope you agree. The campaign has been incredibly successful in raising awareness and promoting the town across both Twitter & Facebook and is a good example of how social media can really add value to your marketing campaign.

70 things we love about #Harlow no. 4: @GibberdGallery2 supporting emerging & established artists & highlighting our cultural heritage #art

70 things we love about #Harlow no. 50: @bush_fair, the town’s second neighbourhood shopping centre & home to some great #local businsesses. 70 things we love about #Harlow no. 1: The beautiful garden of the man who started it all, Sir Frederick Gibberd! @GibberdGarden #Harlowis70 70 things we ❤ about #Harlow no. 5: @HarlowEZ supporting #local #business, creating opportunity in #MedTech #science & #AdvancedEngineering 70 things we ❤ about #Harlow no. 48: @HarlowStow the town’s 1st neighbourhood shopping centre. Summer fair in June!

70 things we love about #Harlow no. 2: @harlowplayhouse, providing a stage for everyone from community groups to international stars!

‘70 things…’ Tweets attained a total number of 125,621 impressions and 2,076 engagements (likes, retweets, comments, link clicks). Facebook, posts reached an average of over 1,000 people per post. With thanks to Paul Keen at Harlow Council @harlowstories


07723 024865


STORIES Issue 3 Lessons  

Harlow Stories Magazine published in Association with Harlow District Chamber of Commerce

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