unLTD. Connecting business across Sheffield City Region #75

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Sheffield-based start-up Herd Consulting was recently named Regional Professional Services Startup of the Year and featured in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Places to Work. UnLTD’s Phil Turner spoke with CEO and Founder, Jamie Toyne, to learn more about what’s influenced the company’s meteoric rise.


Just in case you missed it, we are launching our first ever unLTD Business Expo for the whole region! There’s still time to sign up to the biggest event of its kind in South Yorkshire, where you can promote your business, raise brand awareness, increase sales and network to your heart’s content.


Building on the success of our inaugural unLTD Business Breakfast, an early morning networking session and panel discussion held at CMS, our second instalment welcomed a panel of experts to explore the challenges of productivity for SMEs and how businesses can use tools like AI to enhance efficiency. Read our summary of the key points and find out how to get involved in the next one.


Working from the pub might sound like a dream come true for some, but could it actually offer tangible benefits for both workers and a hospitality industry still recovering from the pandemic? UnLTD’s Amy Britton investigates further…


Hello, and welcome to issue number 75 of unLTD Magazine – just three-quarters of the way to hitting a century!

We’re still feeling nice and sprightly, though, and the South Yorkshire business scene has been keeping us on our toes with plenty of exciting news and developments to cover in these pages. Finding out what makes successful businesses tick is a big part of what we’re all about, so we had to send our gaffer, Phil, to do some digging at Herd Consulting, a Sheffield-based startup that have recently been named as regional professional services startup of the year and featured in the Sunday Times ‘100 Best Places to Work’ list. Find out the secret behind the success in our cover story on page 32.

If you missed the big announcement last month, it’s worth mentioning again that we’ve been busy preparing our inaugural business expo. It will be taking place at Magna in October, and following an incredible early response, it’s set to be the biggest event of its kind in the South Yorkshire region. There’s still time to get your business involved, and we strongly recommend it. All the details you’ll need are on the next page.

Elsewhere, we’ve got some intriguing talking points in the business world covered. For example, could working from your local become the new working from home? (p.38); how can businesses make the most out of hybrid and flexible working arrangements with staff? (p.46); and what are the tangible benefits – and potential drawbacks – of transitioning your company into an Employee Ownership Trust? (p.51).

But that’s just a mere taste from the smorgasbord of modern-day business content we’ve served up this month. Dig in, and we’ll catch you in July…

Joseph Food, Editor.



Joe Food



Ash Birch



Olivia Warburton



Lizzy Capps lizzy@unltdbusiness.com


Marc Barker


Phil Turner


07979 498 034

Nick Hallam

nick@exposedmagazine.co.uk 07843 483536


Lis Ellis accounts@ exposedmagazine.co.uk


Charlotte Cassells

Ryan Connolly

Jo Davison

Rachael Flintoft

Ashleigh McCann

Becca Morris

Tim Renshaw

Laura Stead

Wendy Ward

Jill White

unLTD is published monthly by Blind Mice Media Ltd Unit 1B Rialto, 2 Kelham Island Sq., Kelham Riverside, Sheffield S3 8SD

The views contained herein are not necessarily those of Blind Mice Media Ltd and while every effort is made to ensure information throughout unLTD is correct, changes prior to distribution may take place which can affect the accuracy of copy, therefore Blind Mice Media Ltd cannot take responsibility for contributors’ views or specific listings.


unLTD Business Expo – Secure Your Space!

Last month we launched our first ever unLTD Business Expo, to be held at Magna Centre on October 2nd. The aim is to make it the largest of its kind within Sheffield and Rotherham – and there’s still time to book your space!


The unLTD Business Expo is a brand new event for companies in the South Yorkshire region to promote their business, raise brand awareness, increase sales and network. Based in the Magna Centre in Rotherham, it’s just ten minutes from Sheffield city centre and will showcase the vibrant, forward-thinking business community in the region. As an exhibitor, you will have a full day to showcase your business, make new contacts and network. The expo is a fantastic opportunity for you to interact with potential clients, customers, suppliers, industry professionals and the public. As an attendee you can book your FREE place to visit the expo at any time from 10am until 3.30pm. Make the most of your day and meet many excellent local exhibitors. You will have a great opportunity to engage in networking, learn about new products and services and make informed purchasing decisions.


October 2, 2024 10am-3.30pm


Magna Centre, Magna Way, Templeborough, Rotherham S60 1FD


Visit expo.unltdbusiness.com or email phil@unltdbusiness.com



• £350 for a 2m x 2m stand

• £625 for a 4m x 2m stand

• Stands include a table and table cloth and breakfast for two people.

• Extra breakfasts can be ordered for £3.50 per person.

• Lunch bags can be ordered for £7.50 per person.

• Access to power £25 per stand



The unLTD Business Expo is organised by the team behind unLTD Business Magazine and the unLTD Business Awards as well as the organisers of the Chesterfield Business Expo.


Simon Coy is a full-time, experienced event organiser. He has been hosting networking events for over eight years and is currently host of one of the largest monthly business networking lunches in Birmingham as well as organising the bi-annual Chesterfield Business Expo.


Phil heads up Blind Mice Media Ltd, publishers of unLTD Business Magazine and Exposed Magazine. He has run his own publishing company for 21 years and organises a range of networking events in the region as well as the annual unLTD Business Awards.




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• Andy File Associates

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• Arden Winch & Co Ltd

• B and B Vehicle Contracts

• B Animated

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• Yorkshire Air Ambulance


Europe’s largest purpose-built food hall, Cambridge Street Collective, opened its doors in the Steel City last month – and it did not disappoint.

It’s the latest opening in Sheffield City Council’s £470m ‘Heart of the City’ regeneration scheme, which has promised 1.5m sq ft of development to significantly improve the city centre.

The 29,000 sq ft venue, a venture from the award-winning Blend Family, features 20 independent food vendors, four bar areas, two outdoor terraces and a courtyard space.

Inside you’ll find everything from high-end modern British cuisine from Frérot (a new kitchen from the Luke & Joe team) to the finest Eritrean and Ethiopian dishes served up by House of Habesha. Vietnamese, Malaysian, Pakistani, Greek, Mexican, Korean, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Nepalese –these are just some of the national cuisines covered across the four floors.

Elsewhere, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied other than food and drink, with AR darts, an in-house cookery school, a kid’s play area and a stage area for live performances. Head to cambridgestreetcollective.com to browse a wide array of upcoming events including monthly indie markets, arts and crafts workshops, yoga sessions, cooking classes, business networking days and more.

If you are looking for a remote workspace, in-house vendor Locale Coffee offer £6 bottomless batch brew coffee and tea from Monday to Friday, 8am-4pm.

cambridgestreetcollective.com // @cambridge_street_collective 23 Cambridge Street, S1 4HP



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Family-run Rotherham based waste management specialist KCM is expanding its environmentally friendly services, opening their first site in Sheffield.

The company, which was launched in Rotherham in 1989 by brothers Mark and Philip Hickling, now employs three generations of the Hickling family and is made up of over 140 waste management professionals who offer a one-stop shop for all waste disposal needs.

KCM have acquired an abandoned two-acre waste disposal site at Cricket Inn Road in Sheffield and, after major upgrades, is now bringing its full range of services to the heart of the city, including skip hire, household waste, trade waste

bins and collection, aggregate and tipper hire, and much more.

Gareth Hickling, Managing Director at KCM, said: “The fact that everything is hand sorted makes us pretty unique in the area. No matter the level of waste or its source, our aim is to recycle to the highest specification, ensuring that the smallest

amount of material possible goes to landfill.

“We know that wood, metals, plastics and even simple garden refuse can be recycled if properly sorted and we even already have two biomass plants on site. For home owners and businesses, waste disposal is not always top of the priority list but with our help it doesn’t have to be

a hassle.

“From our recycling policy to the routes our drivers take to collect waste, we ensure that vehicle pollution is addressed as well as landfill reduction.

“KCM already serves Rotherham, Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley, Chesterfield, Worksop and the surrounding areas but this new site is a major step forward in our plans for major expansion.

“We are a proud family business with our roots firmly planted in Rotherham and South Yorkshire and this move into Sheffield reflects the scale of our ambitions for the future.

“We are not just a skip hire business - we are experts in total waste management.”


A flagship digital tech hub is set to be developed in Doncaster, with the aim of driving wider inward investment and growth in the sector.

City of Doncaster Council is behind the new facility and has secured Automated Analytics as a founder member, with work being scheduled to start on site in early 2025.

The development, which will sit at the heart of Doncaster’s City Gateway area, will be funded through the Doncaster Town Deal fund and overseen by the Town Deal Board, a sub-group of the new City Centre board. Work is scheduled to start on site in early 2025, with completion expected mid-2026.

The digital tech hub is designed to drive sector growth by acting as a magnet for digital and tech companies seeking opportunities to scale and grow their business to locate in Doncaster whilst enabling businesses and entrepreneurs to colocate with other like-minded businesses.

Speaking on the announcement of the hub, Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “Our city is rapidly becoming recognised for its industry expertise around Artificial Intelligence and I am keen to build this momentum and drive forward our ambition to regenerate our city centre and develop our economy for the 21st century.

“This is an exciting time for Doncaster city centre, with work taking place across several key areas and I look forward to seeing businesses across the city and region take advantage of this state-of-the-art facility.”

Mark Taylor, chief executive at Doncaster-based AI business Automated Analytics, added: “Doncaster is a city on the cusp of becoming the UK’s leading destination for innovative digital and technology businesses to locate and grow.

“The new digital tech hub will enable businesses to bring their trailblazing work in the development and adoption of Artificial Intelligence to a global customer base and put Doncaster firmly on the map. I look forward to being a part of this new era for the city of Doncaster.”



Sheffield Hallam University has been named as been awarded Training Provider / Programme of the Year at the South Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards 2024.

This accolade recognised the university’s creative industries apprenticeship courses which support people in careers in packaging, creative digital design, and digital user experience.

Sheffield Hallam is the home of the National Centre of Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships (NCEDA) and currently supports close to 3,000 degree apprentices studying across 40 disciplines, more than any other provider in the UK. In the past year it has achieved key milestones including working with its 700th employer partner and facilitating higher and degree apprenticeship courses worth a total of £61.1 million.

A number of Sheffield Hallam degree apprentices also won awards for their individual work, including Ellie Hagen, who won Technology & Digital Apprentice of the Year, and Adam Frith, who was named Mentor of the Year.

Speaking about the win, Dan Lally, Group Director of Business, Enterprise, Skills and Employability at Sheffield Hallam, said: “We are proud to provide one of the largest and most unique apprenticeship provisions in the country.

“This award recognises the achievement of our team in building a truly one-of-a-kind programme around the creative industries. These are critical sectors and ones which will play a major role in growing South Yorkshire’s economy and making sure the best and the brightest build their careers in our region.

“Everyone at Hallam is tremendously proud to see our degree apprentices recognised for their fantastic work. It is another milestone in what has been an incredibly successful year for our staff and students.

“The exceptional work which our apprentices do with some of the region’s most innovative businesses proves how degree apprenticeships can open doors for students and boost their careers.”



Bar group Arc Inspirations, the company behind the Banyan, BOX and Manahatta brands, has confirmed plans to open a new site in Sheffield this autumn. The BOX will open later this year, bringing a new sports bar experience for the city to enjoy, as well as creating an estimated 75 jobs.


After amassing a cult following from their restaurants in Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley, the beloved URBAN Fresh Burgers & Fries has announced it is opening its doors to franchise partners. Mehmet Kent, Co-Founder of URBAN Fresh Burgers & Fries said: “People are always commenting on our social media asking when we’re going to open in places like Sheffield, Leeds – we’ve even had customers telling us to open as far as Wales – so we’re really excited to be taking that step towards it.”


After continual recent success, popular bakers Forge Bakehouse have announced they are moving to a larger unit at Sheffield Train Station. The Abbeydale-based bakery has worked with East Midlands Railway (EMR) to secure a new location in the station, which will open next month and house an even greater selection of their pastries, sandwiches and fresh bread, as well as barista-made coffee.



Sheffield-based creative design agency, Lyon and Lyon, have been awarded a prestigious Best In Show design award from Dieline, a leading media brand for consumer packaging and consumer brands, for their work on disruptive haircare brand, SITCH. SITCH (short for Situation), are setting a new standard for eco-conscious hair care brands with it’s first-of-its-kind packaging design that focuses on sustainability, with refillable bottles that were not only designed to look great, but also fit together seamlessly to save space.



Local leisure facilities are set to become more energy efficient, with Sheffield City Council securing Government funding to help them reduce energy consumption and carbon output.

The Council has obtained over £300,000 to support King Edwards Swimming Pool, Stocksbridge Community Leisure Centre and Zest, with the money being used to install capital inventions, which will improve energy efficiencies.

Matt Dean, CEO of Zest in Upperthorpe, said: “The Sport England funding will support installation of solar panels which will reduce our carbon footprint and save on our energy bills. This is a really welcome boost for our much-loved community swimming pool.”


Trustee of King Edward’s Swimming Pool, Peter Kay, added: “It has been a very challenging few years for all swimming pools and the Sport England capital grant for solar panels and a pool cover should prove extremely helpful in significantly reducing energy costs at our pool.

“The Trust is grateful to the Council for its invaluable help in securing the grant and, in general, its support over the years.”

Nationally, over 500 capital interventions in over 300 facilities with swimming pools have been awarded funding from the Government and Sport England’s £60m capital investment programme, as part of their growing commitment to support the long-term sustainability of public leisure.

Councillor Kurtis Crossland, Chair of the Communities, Parks and Leisure Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “I am delighted we have been successful in securing this funding, which will be of great benefit to these local facilities and the communities that use them.

“Swimming is a valuable life skill for people of all ages, which make facilities like this one essential for our local community. They also help to keep people fit and healthy and that is why I’m so glad to see this of additional funding.

“Not only will this money help to keep costs down in these facilities, but it will also support our ambition to transition to a greener Sheffield.”

Sheffield City Council have shown their commitment to improving leisure facilities across the city and last year announced more than £100 million in investment over the next 10-years in leisure and entertainment venues, including some of the city’s most popular leisure centres.

Sheffield’s multi-award winning and celebrated men’s grooming brand Savills Barbers has opened its new Pinstone Street branch this week. Following a relocation from Devonshire Street, the significantly bigger shop is set to become the company’s flagship store.

Savills launch is the latest opening in the new Heart of the City development scheme led by Sheffield City Council and its strategic development partner, Queensberry.

Founder of Savills, Joth Davies, commented: “We are excited to finally move into Heart of the City. It’s long been a goal of ours to be part of this exciting development and witnessing the transformation of the city centre has confirmed to us that this is the right move for Savills.”

The long-established and highclass barbers is a perfect partner to the Victorian aesthetics of Laycock House, where the barbers now boast ground and first floor workspace. In its new boutique home, Savills fit out is traditional barber shop decor with an up-to-date modern twist. Savills is also set to lead a training academy in its new home, which will open on 24th June and offer Apprenticeships, NVQ qualifications and Advanced Skills training.

Joth added:” It’s great that we

can offer our current loyal patrons a brilliant new space, as well as new services. We hope to welcome a whole new cohort of customers too. Being able to open our state-of-theart training academy will also enable us to support other businesses with staff learning and development via a robust apprenticeship programme and other training opportunities. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Savills.”

After a lot of hard work and dedication, Savills’ new city centre spot is open now, so if you’re in need of a trim, book online at www. savillsbarbers.com.

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Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber launches new property forum to combat bottlenecks in the regional planning system

Property professionals from across South Yorkshire are set to receive a helping hand from Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber following the launch of a new dedicated property forum.

Following feedback from its membership, the forum was created to unlock opportunities for businesses to collaborate and discuss issues facing the sector, as well as allowing them to work more closely with local authorities across the region in a bid to overcome current bottlenecks within the planning system.

According to the Chamber, an estimated 5,000 new homes are needed to meet South Yorkshire’s current housing needs. However, with many lengthy delays with receiving planning permission, Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber believe that the impact is not only being felt by the property sector but is also stifling regional economic growth.

Matthew Stephens, President, Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber, said: “South Yorkshire is lagging behind many areas of the UK when it comes to meeting the local housing need. Planning, by its very nature, is a complex area and to bring any planned development to fruition rightly requires scrutiny.

“Yet at the same time, local authority planning departments are facing significant challenges of their own, not least being expected to achieve more with increasingly limited resources. The inevitable result is delays in permissions being granted, which in turn doesn’t just affect the property sector but the regional economy as a whole.

“The chamber property forum will meet regularly and provide a platform to create greater collaboration between businesses working in the property sector. This will be achieved by forging stronger links with local planning departments to identify and overcome common problems being faced across the sector as a whole.”

Launches, Parties and Celebrations.

An unusual start to this month, with a visit to the University of Westminster for a special event reflecting and remembering Rwanda, 30 years on from genocide. Our work there last year matched us with some great people and it was so good to meet up with them again. It was such an inspirational event and a real privilege to be there.

Another privilege was attending the presentation and drinks reception at the newly refurbished Camellia House at Wentworth Woodhouse, hosted by Chair of Trustees Julie Kenny. What a transformation, and gorgeous food too. They even got the sunshine!

Next, it was the annual ‘Beer and Bubbles’ event, courtesy of Leonard Curtis, held at Josephine’s Lounge in Fountain Precinct. Another great crowd and good to see partners, Deborah Lockwood and Adrian Graham celebrate their 25 year business partnership.

Pride of Place Network Launch event took us back to Henry Boot’s new Head Office and it was great to see the passion and pride in all speakers, including Kate Josephs, CEO of Sheffield City Council, Tim Roberts CEO of Henry Boot and many others. The wider dissemination event next month in The Winter Gardens is already a record breaker, with over 250 places booked.

Anniversaries were a regular theme this month and our own 3D Connect session had a collective 220 years of business experience. What a panel and what an insight into starting and growing a business.

Another day, another panel and this time it was unLTD’s Quarterly Business Breakfast with more insightful and honest discussion this time looking at ‘Bridging the Small Business Productivity Gap’.

Closing the month, we sadly missed the VIP launch event of Cambridge Street Collective (we were otherwise engaged with Bruce Springsteen) but it certainly launched with a bang! Rest assured we didn’t miss out completely, we headed there the very next day.

We will be back ... and soon!

Follow Jill at uk.linkedin.com/in/jilltywhite or find Andy Hanselman Consulting at andyhanselman.com.

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FluidOne have been the trusted light at the end of the technological tunnel for many organisations, using their expertise to help navigate a multitude of IT-related obstacles. Here, Managing Director, Steve Brown talks us through the company’s latest new service and how it could benefit your business.

In a world of Copilot, ChatGPT and people constantly Phishing, it’s difficult to know if your IT spend is providing a return on investment, boosting your chances of success, or is simply keeping you as safe as possible.

Here at FluidOne, we have recently launched assessments that are helping our customers to optimise current investments and provide in life savings that create additional budget or give savings that can go straight to the bottom line.

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Having access to a comprehensive analysis of what current technology is around that can help make your business tick, plus an insight into what tweaks can be made to increase its efficiency, is such simple yet hugely important information. It’s also worth

remembering that many changes or enhancements can be easy to implement and can be at zero cost. Many organisations we speak to want to digitally transform, but budgets do not always allow for this. Over three quarters of spend for SME/Enterprise IT are consumed by businessas-usual IT projects and maintenance. This doesn’t have to be the case and, working with our assessments, we look deep into how improvements can be made and give you practical advice and

current industry examples of success.

You may want to sanity check your budgets, invest more in your technology, benchmark against current service and spend, or produce a roadmap for future months and years. Whatever your requirements we can cover these via our experts within our Business IT Centre of Excellence, based here in South Yorkshire.

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There are a huge number of events out there that require hosts. There are obvious ones that spring to mind, like awards ceremonies or company away days, but over the years, I’ve hosted events such as boxing, bingo, fun runs, comedy nights, online seminars, quizzes, Q&As with celebrities, festival stages and student darts. The student darts one I won’t forget in a hurry, as I almost got a dart in the side of the head from a fresher who had consumed too much cider. That event got discontinued due to safety concerns.


It’s important to think about what you put in your body before you start a hosting job. You might not want to have a big meal and then feel sluggish; likewise, you don’t want to be starving. Much like training for a marathon, you need to consider nutrition and sustenance. It may be tempting to sink a few beers to calm the nerves – in fact, sometimes you may be offered a few free drinks as part of your rider – but be careful not to overdo it before you begin proceedings. As amusing as it might be, you don’t want to be three sheets to the wind as you step up on stage!


room that you’ll need to work hard to change. If you nail your first few minutes, everyone relaxes and they won’t mind if you forget or stumble later on in the evening (which almost inevitably will happen at some point).



Events are often unique beasts that happen only occasionally throughout the year, and because of this, things tend to go wrong. Your tech could fail, your microphone could run out of batteries, your props could go missing, you could have a wardrobe malfunction, or an unruly audience member might challenge you to a duel – anything can happen! Be prepared to roll with the unexpected and don’t get flustered. If handled correctly, those moments can become the defining and most memorable parts of the entire event.

First impressions are important, and as an event host, you want to kick off with a bang. I tend to memorise my first few minutes of chat, so I can get on stage and be as confident as possible. If you start by forgetting what you want to say, getting words wrong, stumbling around, etc., the audience gets nervous, creating an uneasy vibe in the 2 3 5


“Make some noise if you’re having a good time!”, “Who is ready to have fun tonight?!” and “Scream if you want to go faster!” are all great ways to get your crowd a bit more lively and can serve as a useful stopgap if you’re figuring out what to say next. Be wary, though – you don’t want to overdo it on the call and response, as people may get fed up and start throwing things at you.

In addition to being an excellent events host, Chris Arnold is also a radio, TV and podcast presenter – not to mention a DJ (check out Beatles Dub Club). Interested in booking Chris for an event? Send him a message on socials @ chrisarnoldinc.


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Rather than simply achieving ISO, we aim to help you implement a system that benefits your whole business; this might include ISO9001 (Quality), ISO14001 (Environment), ISO27001 (Information Security) or ISO45001 (Health and Safety). If you require additional standards just ask.

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Dragging out your recruitment process can often be detrimental to your hiring process, so in her column this month, recruitment expert and Benchmark MD, Becca Morris, explains the pitfalls of a lengthy process and gives her top tips for seamless recruiting…

With my extensive experience as a recruiter, I have seen time and time again recruitment processes that drag on a little bit too long. I know what you might be thinking; here’s a typical recruiter trying to earn a quick buck and get a bum on a seat but please, hear me out.

I believe in a thorough interview process, with my preference being two-stages to ensure both client and candidate are fully satisfied in the match and that the placement will last. I’m also a big advocate of a collaborative hire, getting your team involved even if it’s for a quick ‘hello’. But, what happens when the recruitment process is longer than expected?

I have seen this several times and unfortunately, it’s been detrimental to the recruitment campaign.

Instead of just noticing this trend, I have outlined my top tips for hiring managers to ensure your recruitment process runs seamlessly and you secure your preferred candidate in a timely manner: Strike while the iron is hot - It’s important for you to act quickly right from CV stage. If you are taking longer than 48 hours to review a CV, you risk losing that candidate. No matter how interested a candidate is in your role, their head is very turnable. Try not to lose momentum

- It can be difficult to ensure all relevant parties attend every stage of a hiring process. However, it is important to ensure that if holidays do fall part way through, this doesn’t slow you down. Taking too much time could plant seeds of doubt into a candidate’s mind. Other roles may also be shared with the candidate whilst they are waiting. Make your decisions quickly - Once you have completed your interviews, try to feedback within 24 hours. Any longer and it is going to reflect badly on your business. You may seem disorganised, or worse, indifferent to the candidate’s time and their efforts in

preparing and attending the interviews.

Think about your current team - A vacant position within your business will naturally lead to increasing the workloads of your existing members of staff. When you successfully hire, this may not be the best first impression for your new starter; a burnt-out and disgruntled team after you have worked so hard to secure your preferred candidate. A shorter recruitment process will take extra pressure off.

It’s vital to set the tone with a strong induction with relevant parties involved. However, delaying their start date due to holidays

for example may cause a problem for your chosen candidate. You are risking them being exposed to other opportunities whilst they are waiting to start.

Remember, interviews are a two-way street. No matter how amazing your business is, you have a duty to relay this, and ensure your preferred candidate is bought into you and your business. This includes being mindful of your recruitment strategy and timelines. Candidates are likely to be exploring other opportunities so don’t let your recruitment process slow you down and stop you securing your perfect candidate.


Following the success of the inaugural unLTD Business Breakfast, our early morning networking session and panel discussion held at CMS, we returned in May to welcome a panel of industry experts who discussed the issue surrounding productivity for SMEs, as well as the ways in which businesses can embrace tools like AI to improve efficiency…


unLTD director, Phil Turner, led proceedings, and was joined by Paula Gouldthorpe from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB); John Stammers, Theme Lead for Data, Connectivity and AI at the AMRC, who has real insight into how businesses in the manufacturing sector use AI and other efficiency tools to work smarter; Ian Barwick, Software Development Manager at ESP Projects, who have built a piece of software called Core – which is designed to help a wide range of organisations with their processes using automation and data analysis; and last but by no means least, Sam Newton from Gravitate, an accountancy firm with automation, AI and efficient processes at its core.

Phil began by outlining a report by Goldman Sachs that says 37 per cent of SMEs are achieving productivity growth. Meanwhile, an FSB report from last year said that seven in ten small firms have modernised processes and developed new or improved products in the last three years which have increased revenue by 15 per cent.

Paula, who covers the South Yorkshire and Humber region for the FSB, overseeing around 4,500 members, picked up the discussion here, firstly explaining more about the work that the FSB do, and her role within that, including their research and lobbying of government, before moving on to talk more about the effects of recruitment on productivity.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, their findings show that securing the right talent and skillset is more challenging than ever. Particularly, here in South Yorkshire, where we have seen long term

health conditions on the rise and people leaving their respective industries earlier.

Speaking more broadly about the challenge of productivity for SMEs, she went on to say: “We have to think about productivity beyond just innovation in tech and AI. Doing something new and innovative can actually be about just doing something differently, understanding how they can tweak something in the business to improve outcomes.”

Picking up on the point around recruitment, Sam from Gravitate, who themselves have expanded quite quickly in the four and half years since they launched, explained how their approach to recruitment is quite different. He said: “We always say we can train great people to be great accountants, but we can’t train great accountants to be great people. That’s why we always recruit great people first.

“Our industry is tarnished with a reputation for being quite dull, so just by talking about how we want to break away from that and work hands on with clients is helping us to attract really great people. The people first policy has been so important to our growth.”

Phil then opened the floor to John Stammers, who oversees a team of 14 engineers and their research into data connectivity and AI at the Advanced Manufacturing Centre.

From a manufacturing perspective, in terms of the skills gap discussed by both Paul and Sam, John talked about how there is also a gap in the age of the workforce. They have seen a lot of young people coming into the sector, mainly thanks to the increased focus on apprentice schemes; and the industry also has a lot of the older generation still working, who have a huge amount of skill but are coming to retirement age. However, there isn’t a lot of people in between those two age brackets.

The challenge, as John sees it, is to be able to extract as much knowledge as possible from the people heading towards retirement. He said: “There are ways to address this. I hate to say it, because the message will be different later in the discussion, but there is a place for AI in that, but mainly through knowledge management and


knowledge capture, trying to extract all the skills they’ve learned and things that they know, before they go.”

As the conversation had now begun to touch on AI - which is currently at the forefront of many business owners’ minds, as it may seem like an obvious solution to fill any skills gap and improve productivity - Phil asked John to talk a little bit more about the issues that a small business might face when introducing AI.

John said: “Recently, we ran a workshop to bring together people that are working in the area of AI, to have a look at projects we are doing across the AMRC. What was quite clear in the room was that AI wasn’t always the answer, and quite rarely is it the first place we go.

“It’s data first for us. It’s also about asking the question of ‘why?’ When a business comes to us and wants to implement AI, we ask them, what do you want to use it for? What is it you’re trying to achieve with AI?

“What we often find in those conversations is that the business doesn’t want AI. They think they want AI. They think they know what it can do for them. But, more often than not, what they want to do is actually discover the issues in their business that are hidden.

“All they need to do, really, is start collecting a bit more data to reveal those hidden challenges that a lot of smaller companies in manufacturing in the UK have, because they might still be running on filing cabinets full of paper.”

John went onto explain some examples of Sheffield success stories, like FourJaw, who are helping businesses unlock the hidden potential of data to ramp up productivity.

To further this point, Ian, from ESP Projects, explained in more detail some of the features of a product they offer called Core, which is essentially a flexible database tool that collects data for the business in order to help with efficiency.

Ian said: “We have a philosophy that if you if you measure the right things, then good things will follow. But the question is, what are the right things to measure? Our tool is very much aimed at being something flexible that you can use to design or to map your existing business processes.

“You can then change those processes accordingly and it doesn’t turn into a six-week software development project.

“One of the problems that small businesses face, is having to make a decision that becomes a process of gathering the information in order to make that decision. The decision itself is often quite easy, once you’ve got the information in front of you, but it might take you a week, or a fortnight, to gather the information together. Our tool is very much aimed at making that easier for businesses to do, especially if you’re in a dynamic environment where things are changing.”

Implementing new tech can often be expensive, so the conversation then turned towards the availability of grants and education. As small businesses, one of the issues surrounding productivity is having the time, headspace and knowledge to deal with some of



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the hidden inefficiencies, but in fact, sometimes it comes down to cold hard finances.

The panel went on to discuss these issues, and the sometimes lengthy process of applying for grants, a frustration experienced by Sam from Gravitate when applying for funding.

Paula ended by saying: “I’m hoping that with devolution and the mayoral approach, that we can create more consistency across local authority areas. Meaning, if you’re in Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham or Barnsley, you can actually access the same support and the same schemes, whatever industry or sector you are in.”

Returning to AI, given its ubiquity in the public narrative right now, Phil asked Ian if he thought that its prevalence was leading to SMEs appreciating the need to become more efficient.

Ian said: “There’s definitely a hunger for efficiency, people want the right data in front of them in order to make choices. If you can make that information available to the right people, they can really make a big difference within their organisation.

“But there’s also a lot of people, for who AI is just a buzzword, it’s some magic fairy dust; some people don’t know what AI is, or what it’s good for.

“There’s going to be some really fantastic software that comes out that really is game changing, but it’s probably going to take a generation to really get to grips with what it’s good for.”

Sam added: “That’s why collaboration on the human side is so important and AI and tech won’t overtake the importance of people for us. I will always be people first.”

The panel then took questions from the packed out audience, before we all returned to the foyer of the CMS building, in Sheffield’s Heart of the City development, with a lot to think about in terms of how we can make our processes more streamlined and the possible applications of data and AI in bridging the productivity gap.

Keep an eye out online for details of the next unLTD Business Breakfast!


The Business Social is a brandnew event co-hosted by Glu Recruit and unLTD Business Magazine and provides a chance for guests to take time out and enjoy something to eat, drink and each other’s company.

Each event will be hosted by Phil from unLTD and Rob from Glu and will have a special guest to take us through their business journey.

We kick things off this month with James O’Hara, Tramlines founder and owner of the successful hospitality company the Rockingham Group.

His bars include Public, Picture House Social and Fagans while he is set to launch his most ambitious venue yet; Leah’s Yard, a collective of Sheffield’s finest makers, traders and creators and home to the new Pete McKee gallery.

He’s also one of the organisers of the Crossed Wires Podcast Festival, which launched in Sheffield, bringing

the biggest names in UK podcasting to Sheffield from 31st May -2nd June.

Each ticket includes a drink and a selection of canapes from Sheffield Plate’s food vendors.

Time: 2.30pm-4.30pm

Date: June 20, 2024

Venue: Sheffield Plate, 31-33

Orchard Square, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2FB

Cost: £10+VAT

Tickets can be booked through our ticket page here: https:// tinyurl.com/38jjbrx5




For this month’s origins story, unLTD’s Amy Britton speaks to the founders of In Good Company, a series of immersive community events designed to bring women together for conversation and connection.

In Good Company hopes to create a welcoming space to bring the women of Sheffield, and even further afield, together for a good old chat. The idea was born during lockdown after the pair became inspired by their chats about the simple pleasures in life that they missed throughout the pandemic. After being deprived of social connection for so long, Nic and Rachel set up events to get local women talking and forging connections with each other.

Nic said: “Most importantly, we were both in two very new parts of our lives where we were talking about the difficulties of making new connections as an adult and the importance of having that support. We wanted to bring together a community that lifted each other up.”

The next In Good Company event is taking place on 19 June at The Mowbray. However, if you are unable to attend this one, there is already another event in the works for October. The simplicity of the event is what makes it different. Rather than having an activity to do, In Good Company provides guests with a welcome drink and a two-course meal to share and encourage conversations. Many newcomers will go to the events alone and leave with a new group of friends.

After the meal, visitors are invited to listen to a panel of inspirational speakers. Rachel said: “Through our panels, we talk about navigating life from a woman’s point of view. We cover all different topics that generally people can relate to in some way, like the challenges that we’ve faced or the ambitions that we have.”

Aside from their supper club evenings, Nic and Rachel have held special events for International Women’s Day and Christmas parties. Nic said: “Although a Christmas party might sound quite



frivolous, actually there’s a lot of women in our community that are freelance or don’t have a place of work. We hold that event to be the Christmas party for those people.”

In Good Company tries to make their events as accessible as possible by being aware of the social issues facing women in the UK at the moment. There are no obligations to attend every event, so you can pick and choose what times work best for you.

The events also rope in local businesses. “We bring in creative partners from the city. So people like photographers, illustrators, florists, and ceramicists all bring skills to the table and contribute something. We’re also shining a spotlight on female-led businesses in Sheffield.”

The pair have already been blown away by the response to their events and want this community to continue to grow. “At the end of every night, we are always really gobsmacked by the feeling that everybody leaves with,” said Nic. “It’s really joyful and positive. It’s about women supporting women.”

Discover more about how you can get involved with the next In Good Company event at www.theingood. co.uk. Keep up to date with all the latest news on socials @theingood.


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Sheffield-based start-up Herd Consulting were recently named regional professional services startup of the year and featured in the Sunday Times 'Top 100 Best Places to Work'. unLTD’s Phil Turner spoke to CEO and Founder, Jamie Toyne, to find out more about the company's meteoric rise…

May 2024 was a landmark month for Sheffieldbased startup Herd Consulting. Not only were they named as the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber Professional Services StartUp of the Year at the coveted 2024 StartUp Awards, in the same week they were listed on the prestigious 'The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Places to Work 2024' list in the Small Organisation category.

It was quite the week to be part of the Herd, who are a specialist Analysis, Product, Change & Transformation consultancy that operates across the UK and further afield.

Their services are already trusted by leading global universities, FTSE100 companies, fast growing tech businesses and Central Government, so the recent accolades truly were the icing on the cake for the team.

Herd are already recognised as experts in discovery and recovery, as well as acting as an impartial tech broker for large organisations looking to kick off new transformation initiatives, but their company's values and ethos may be less well-known outside the organisation.

Headed up by Jamie Toyne, who has nearly 17-years’ experience working for private and

public sector, most recently as a business analyst at the DWP, he told unLTD: “We’re fortunate to have some of the best business analysis and product management minds in the country as part of our team, so I’m delighted to see Herd Consulting recognised in our achievements as a specialist change and transformation consultancy.

“Our mission for Herd from day one, was to always create an environment that brought together great folk with great expertise – we call it the ‘Power of Herd’.

“We’re immensely proud of the culture we’ve

created. It means a lot to us to get this recognition as one of the Sunday Times Best Places to Work in the UK so early on in our journey and having won the Professional Services Startup of the Year for Yorkshire and the North East.”

That sense of pride, not only in winning the gongs, is ubiquitous throughout the company and has been baked into the consultancy firm from its inception. Set up just 18 months ago, Herd now has a core team of 14 associates, who are known affectionately as the ‘founding herd’ and, while Jamie is seen as the figurehead, he encourages everyone to feel like the company is also theirs.

Jamie explained: “We want to make sure everyone feels a big part of the business and feel empowered to make big decisions. We’ve always had the idea of, not necessarily being entrepreneurs, but intrepreneurs, or internal entrepreneurs, who are helping to build the business with us.

“We don’t have hierarchies for hierarchies’ sake, and we’ll have incentives in place for the founding herd members, because they took the biggest risk in joining us as a startup.”

Jamie has worked alongside a number of consultancies over

the years and has seen firsthand the potential pitfalls of being a full-service consultancy, seeing the danger of spreading a team too thin, or not being well-rounded enough in terms of skill sets.

He said: “Between us, we’ve worked with dozens of different consultancies as clients over the years. And to be frank, we’ve seen a few too many cookie-cutter, one size fits all approaches.”

However, in recent years there has been a shift towards specialist consultancies and Jamie spotted a gap in the market for a consultancy service that offered knowledge of business analysis and product.

This realisation led to the founding of Herd and the desire to make a consultancy he would like to work with. Starting out with a small team, thanks to Herd’s success, they have grown quickly and now count many high profile, world leaders in their fields amongst their ranks. These industry experts are spread right across the country, all working remotely, in collaboration with both each other and clients.

Jamie explained: “We’ve got a small Sheffield office and we’re proud to be Yorkshire-based, but we didn’t want to limit our hiring by geography. The work we do is really

specialist and it’s very difficult to find great people with great skills and experience, so we wanted to remove barriers for people in terms of being able to work for us, and that’s been really important.

“We still get together once a month and at various events, and it will be great to be flying the flag for Sheffield and South Yorkshire, as we progress to the national UK StartUp finals in September”.

The UK StartUp Awards were established to highlight the success of startups across ten UK nations and regions, including the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and to celebrate the achievements of entrepreneurs in all sectors of the economy.

Supported nationally by Starling Bank, Airwallex, Chime Agency, Development Bank of Wales, EvaBuild, ForrestBrown, GiftRound, GS1 UK, Join Talent, OVHcloud, Project Simply, ScoreApp, SFC Capital and Welsh Government.

Harriet Rees, CIO at Starling Bank, said: “Turning an idea into a successful business takes a lot of courage and dedication. Congratulations to Herd Consulting on winning their category in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and


making it to this year’s UK national final. Start-ups need certainty to plan ahead. It’s great to see so many thrive, especially in these challenging economic times.”

Over 70,000 new firms were created in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber in 2023 and according to Professor Dylan JonesEvans OBE, creator of the awards, this demonstrates the growing importance of entrepreneurs to the regional economy.

He is also excited that the awards are, yet again, recognising the best new firms from Newcastle to York to Leeds and celebrating the amazing entrepreneurial talent from every corner of the region.

He said: “Start-ups are the life of any economy and that is especially true in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber where new businesses are contributing to job creation, innovation, and prosperity across the whole of this entrepreneurial region.

“It’s been an honour and a pleasure to read the stories of those founders who have spotted the opportunity and taken the risk to launch their own venture. All of the winners have demonstrated that they deserve to win their categories and I’m looking forward to having the ‘best of the best’ from the region competing at the UK final later this year”.

Herd Consulting’s win at the StartUp awards came in the same week as their recognition in The Sunday Times Best Places to Work nationwide workplace survey, which honours and celebrates Britain’s top


The survey uses 26 questions from employee-experience platform WorkL’s employee engagement survey, developed by behavioural scientists, data analysts, psychologists, business leaders, academics and other independent parties to most accurately monitor employee engagement, wellbeing and discretionary effort in the workplace.

To achieve a high overall engagement score, an organisation must score well across WorkL’s six-step framework: Reward and Recognition, Instilling Pride, Information Sharing, Empowerment, Wellbeing, and Job Satisfaction.

Chris Longcroft, EVP Publisher, The Times and The Sunday Times, said: “All organisations are only as good as the people they employ and retain. The Sunday Times Best Places to Work awards recognise companies that are innovating to create an engaged and fulfilling working environment for all, and in so doing they are creating the best possible platform for business success.

“To be named on The Sunday Times Best Places to Work list is a true recognition of excellence and I congratulate those organisations who made the grade this year.”

Herd’s Best Places to Work survey scores around employee well-being and pride in working for the business, in particular, put the business in the top percentile of all organisations that responded, even

scoring a whopping 97 per cent in both Job Satisfaction and Average Happiness.

As well as their unique company structure and strong company values, which have been bought into by the team (who are very proud of their ‘founding herd’ t-shirts and merch!), they also made the grade thanks to their great work helping clients kick-off new digital, change, or transformation initiatives – whether it be wanting to launch a new product, digital service, or implement a new ERP system, to name just a few.

They also help ‘recover’ initiatives that need help putting back on the right track, applying user centred and return on investment led prioritisation approaches through ensuring there is a clear, pragmatic direction to head towards.

With regards to both the StartUp Awards win and The Sunday Times Best Places to Work recognition, Herd’s founder – Jamie Toyne – said: “To see this level of recognition as a business that’s just over 18 months old is a massive achievement. I’m in huge admiration of the team and all we’ve achieved in a relatively short space of time.”

As a regional winner in their StartUp Awards category, Herd will now progress to the UK Startup Awards final being held at Ideas Fest on September 12th, dubbed ‘the Glastonbury for Entrepreneurs’, where the national winners will be announced. Watch this space!


With the majority of city-based jobs offering their employees hybrid working, a lot of the UK’s workforce has been enjoying new freedoms such as working from the comfort of their own homes or even transforming their local cafes into their new offices.

In recent months, workers have been swapping their lattes for lager by working from their local pub. Here unLTD’s Amy Britton explores the possible pros and cons of working from your local pub compared to the office.

In a survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics, 78% of people who worked from home either fulltime or part-time found that it had improved their work-life balance. Other benefits of working from home include having fewer distractions, being able to complete tasks quickly and improving wellbeing.

In spite of the many advantages of working from home for the employees, this system has arguably damaged the UK pub culture. With fewer workers commuting into cities, fewer are staying for post-work drinks.

With pubs now being mostly empty throughout the working week, many owners are encouraging hybrid workers to spend the day in their local. Getting out of a stuffy home office

would not only benefit an employee’s health but also financially benefit the pubs. Sounds like a win-win, right?

Many pub-owners across the UK believe so, and have been offering special deals to entice workers. Unlimited teas and coffees for an affordable price are likely to get the caffeine-obsessed workforce into pubs and spending a little extra money on a pub lunch. Others are offering special WFP (working from the pub) deals that include food and drinks for as little as £15. While these pub packages may not bring in a huge amount of money, the dry spell brought on by the pandemic and its aftermath means that this extra bit of cash is a muchneeded boost for locals.

When saving on energy bills, those working from the pub will have that extra cash to enjoy a pint or two after they finish up their workday.

Some pub deals include a post-work treat such as a free alcoholic drink to celebrate getting through the day. Data released by Alliance Online has shown that working from a pub is 40% cheaper than booking a coworking space making WFP a mutually beneficial relationship.

Some pubs have even gone as far as to create designated quiet workstations with free wifi and plug points to make the WFP experience as welcoming as possible. While many people argue that hybrid working can isolate employees from their colleagues, the community atmosphere created by pubs has allowed fellow WFP workers to network. Frequenting your local pub will allow you to become acquainted


with the staff and other business employees providing you with the perfect opportunity to make new connections in a variety of industries. However, if you are prone to getting easily distracted, working from a pub may not be the best option for you. It is best to research the venue that you want to set up shop in to make sure they have a suitable space for you to work in and if the pub is particularly busy on certain days of the week. It could also be all too tempting to clock off a little earlier for a pint with friends after being surrounded by lucky drinkers who have a day off. What starts off as a casual pint may turn eventful and suddenly, you are back in the office nursing a hangover wondering if working in a pub was a good idea at all. Not all pub owners are as comfortable with laptop warriors taking up seats for hours on end.

Sharing the frustration of many cafe owners, some pubs feel that workers take things a little too far when they buy one coffee to drink throughout the day. Not everyone will opt for lunch alongside their coffee but they have no shame in taking advantage of free wifi and central heating. In these instances, the pubs are losing out.

Despite the few hybrid workers who do push the boundaries, it is difficult for most to go a whole day without eating something from the pub. All signs seem to point towards working from the pub being a mutually beneficial idea. People working from home get a change of scenery and a nice pub lunch, while pub owners get a bit of extra cash in what is usually a quiet time for business.


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A series of cheeky Augmented Reality (AR) characters designed by local steel-city artists are dotted in 15 locations across Sheffield City Centre. Following on from their hugely successful first AR event in 2019, The Children’s Media Conference (CMC) is bringing back ‘Playground’ in the form of an interactive digital art experience for children and families.

Established in 2016, the award-winning ‘Playground’ is an exhibition where children can imagine, investigate, create art and have fun. This year’s offering is ‘Urban Dwellers’, a fantastical interactive digital art experience. The trail features 15 AR artworks and animated installations from legendary Sheffield artists TADO and Lisa O’Hara.

The collaborators have scattered their exclusive artworks across 15 citycentre locations. Families can track them down using a smartphone and downloading the Artivive App. Once downloaded, open the app, point your device at the plaque standing 1-2m away and watch the characters come to life!

TADO are known

for creating fantastical, colourful and adorable popcharacters and Lisa O’Hara draws inspiration from the whimsical, bright and silly. Both collaborators have had recognised success in large-scale public art prior to the CMC project, so families might just recognise the style they’ll be looking for!

Funded by the UK Government and with support from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, Urban Dwellers character hunt is suitable for 5–12-year-olds but everyone is welcome free of charge.

Darren Chouings, Producer of “The Urban Dwellers / Playground AR Character

Hunt”, said: “Children and families are invited to explore and celebrate imagination whilst being inspired by cutting-edge artwork in our interactive character hunt. The augmented reality artwork and animated installations will be truly inspiring, and we cannot thank TADO and Lisa O’Hara enough for their incredible creations! We are also very thankful that the character hunt has been funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.”

The magical characters and creations are waiting to be discovered around the steelcity from 3rd-30th June.


1. Site Gallery

2. Showroom Cinema

3. Motore Café

4. Millennium Gallery

5. Fred Aldous

6. Sheffield Cathedral

7. Orchard Square

8. Steam Yard

9. Weston Park Museum

10. Moor Market Foodhall

11. Sheffield Winter Gardens

12. Mow’s Coffee

13. The Crucible

14. Sheffield Hallam Owen


15. Sheffield’s Children’s Library.

In the bustling world of modern business, the pressure to excel professionally often competes with the equally demanding role of being a present, engaged father. Rob Taylor, the founder of Dads in Business, understands this struggle well. Inspired by his own experience, he’s created a network where ambitious dads can find support and resources to manage both aspects of their lives effectively.


Rob’s journey began a decade ago after he was made redundant. “I had a twoyear-old kid, my wife was pregnant with our second, and I lost my job. It was a tough period, but I thought, I’m going to start something on my own,” Rob recalls. This pivotal moment spurred him to dive headlong into entrepreneurship, driven by the need to support his family. However, this single-minded focus on work soon led to burnout and a realisation that something needed to change.

“I met Angga Kara, who runs Men Up North, at a local event where he spoke about burnout,” says Rob. “I was nodding along, recognising all the signs in myself. I realised I was saying yes to everything at work but saying no to important moments at home.” This was a wake-up call for Rob, leading him to reach out to Angga and ask if they could do something together. The plan was to use structures tried and tested with Men Up North to start a discussion, one

which advocated for a balance between professional ambition and family life.


Rob started sharing his experiences on LinkedIn and his website, www. dadsinbusiness.co.uk, and soon found he wasn’t alone. “People started tagging their partners in my posts, saying, ‘This sounds like you.’ I clearly wasn’t in the minority,” he says. This growing community of dads resonated with his message, highlighting a widespread need for a dedicated space to discuss the challenges of balancing work and family.


Over time, the platform gained traction, catching the attention of major organisations like Amazon, who invited Rob to deliver sessions for their global families community. “I found that dads in Japan were talking about the same issues as dads on the West Coast of America,” he explains.

Rob eventually realised that the brunt of people's problems tended to fall into four categories of concerns: work, money, family/relationships and the self. The universal themes of guilt, anxiety and overwhelm among many working dads became clear, reinforcing the need for cathartic conversations and practical solutions.



You can find this practical approach


reflected in the resources offered on the website, including a wide series of blogs and YouTube videos on topics ranging from money management to parenting concerns and the importance of work-life boundaries. He also developed the ‘Dad Deck’ and ‘Book of Dad’ – tools designed to spark meaningful conversations and self-reflection among dads and their significant others.



Just before the Covid pandemic hit the UK, Dad in Business hosted a number of well-attended in-person meets, described as “similar to networking events but for professional dads, with guest speakers and really important conversations in a safe space.” The sessions are purposely laid-back yet structured. Everyone is invited and encouraged to share their personal experiences with the goal of enhancing not only their own lives, businesses and families but also those of the other group members.

The plan is to bring these live events back soon, but in the meantime, Rob emphasises the need for collaboration to expand further and make this a reality. “There’s definitely

a gap for this in Sheffield and beyond,” he claims, “but I don’t have the resources to do it alone.” The hope is to eventually create a thriving online and in-person community where dads can support each other, share experiences and find practical advice for balancing their dual roles. “We’re helping busy working dads bring the best of themselves to work and family life,” Rob explains.


For those interested in joining this supportive community, Rob encourages engagement through the Dads in Business website and YouTube channel. “Use the free resources, start the conversation. Awareness is the first step,” he says. As Rob continues to balance his own professional and personal life, his vision for Dads in Business remains clear: creating a space where ambitious dads can thrive in business and at home.

To learn more and get involved, visit www.dadsinbusiness.co.uk and join the conversation on their YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/@dadsinbusiness.


We need your help to raise £2million towards the build of a new world-class research and technology centrethe National Centre for Child Health Technology (NCCHT)which will be run by She eld Children's NHS Foundation Trust and based at the She eld Olympic Legacy Park.

Follow us on Find out more about the centre support@tchc.org.uk tchc.org.uk/nccht
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We recently sat down with Dr Ashleigh McCann, Associate Director at Inclusive Consulting, to discuss the ever-changing dynamics of the modern workplace.

Inclusive Consulting, based at Kelham Island, Sheffield, provides tailored recruitment and talent solutions. Their mission is not only to foster an inclusive work environment, grounded in their core values of Care, Commitment and Courage but to also offer insight into how other companies can foster similar cultures. They have been at the forefront of promoting hybrid and flexible work environments, emphasising the importance of balancing organisational needs with employee well-being. They recently held an event regarding the implementation of hybrid workplaces and its impact on employment law for businesses.

According to them, data provided by Virgin Media O2 Business Movers Index confirmed a staggering 92% of companies rolled out their ‘in-office’ policies in 2023, with 40% reverting to the traditional 5-day office week.

With this in mind, we asked for their expert insight about the

fate of hybrid working models.

Ashleigh explained how employers and employees can navigate the shift to full-time office work while maintaining the benefits of flexible work arrangements.

Is Hybrid Working the Way Forward?

The beauty of flexible working is that it is a fluid model that can be adapted to diverse industries, companies, and individuals.

It’s important to strike the right – and often delicate – balance between an organisation’s requirements and individual wellbeing and productivity.

The key lies in understanding the nature of the work at hand; a company may thrive or even depend upon on-site, in-person presence, while other companies and individuals flourish in a fully remote setup. Assessing feasibility for remote execution, ensuring accessibility to necessary equipment and software, and adopting seamless communication

channels are pivotal steps in crafting a successful hybrid working environment.

While hybrid models can promote collaboration, it’s imperative to maintain inclusivity, support and development opportunities for remote workers through designated points of contact and regular check-ins.

What strategies can industries use to overcome challenges associated with remote and hybrid work?

For industries where remote work poses challenges, innovation becomes paramount!

A manufacturing company, for example, is going to find it nigh impossible to offer remote working to the majority of its people. What these companies can do, however, is explore more innovative ways that they could offer flexibility to their employees.

Flexible working doesn’t have to mean working from home. It can mean flexible start times, either for individuals or teams, or offering smoother shift swapping processes to encourage employee autonomy.

For office workers, remote and hybrid working requires a company to identify and remove barriers to seamless processes and collaboration in hybrid environments.

Identifying barriers to remote collaboration and exploring alternative approaches, such as leveraging online platforms for meetings, or varying task allocations depending on when a team or individual is scheduled to be in the office can pave the way for a smoother transition.

A number of companies we partner with will have a certain day of the week in which office working is the norm, to allow for collaboration, meetings and crossdiscipline partnering to take place.

Wherever possible, flexibility is key, allowing employees to optimise their productivity by tailoring their work arrangements to suit their individual needs.

How important is personalised support in creating a successful work environment?

The journey towards flexible work is inherently personal, with each employee bringing their unique set of preferences and requirements to the table.


From providing necessary tools and technology to tailoring work schedules to accommodate varied needs, personalised support fosters a culture of equity, inclusivity and encourages a sense of belonging.

What strategies can companies implement to boost productivity and wellbeing for employees who cannot work remotely?

There are many industries where hybrid or remote work may not be straightforward, or possible at all. However, for those unable to offer remote work, embracing alternative strategies to boost productivity and well-being within the business is crucial.

Prioritising employee welfare, nurturing a positive worklife balance, and investing in professional development initiatives lay the groundwork for an engaged and motivated workforce.

How does Inclusive Consulting approach hybrid and flexible work arrangements?

At Inclusive Consulting, we’ve long embraced the power of hybrid and flexible work arrangements.

Understanding that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’, we’ve cultivated a culture that prioritises and balances both our needs as a team and a company with those needs and personal well-being.

Our fully hybrid approach is built on a foundation of trust. We encourage our team to thrive in an environment that honours individual preferences and fosters a healthy work-life balance.

We believe that by championing flexibility, we not only enhance productivity and collaboration but also nurture a culture of trust and inclusivity that defines our ethos at Inclusive Consulting.

Inclusive Consulting specialise in offering tailored solutions to adapt to the changing needs of your workforce. Contact their team to find out how they can help in navigating the ever-changing modern workplace. They can assist with recruitment strategies, wellbeing advice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and leadership training.


available until 6.00pm, SUNDay TO FRIDAY

Treat yourself to a delicious cocktail or two!


>> House Spirit Double £7.00

>> Selected bottled beers £3.50 - Corona and Super Bock

>> Selected house wines £4.25 per glass or £18.50 per bottle. Choose from Pinot Grigio White, Pinot Grigio Rosé or Montepulciano Red

>> Prosecco - £22.50 per bottle

>> Sangria or Sangria Blanca £22.50 per jug


We have extended all of the above Happy Drinks offers for a further two hours, until 8pm, Monday to Friday in the downstairs bar **only available in the downstairs bar

available until 6.00pm, SUNDay TO FRIDAY

Call in and chill out at the end of a hard day, unwind and soak up our relaxed Latino vibe whilst enjoying our ‘Happy Tapas’ deals.

–– OR ––

Fantastic value when you dine early. APPLIES TO ALL TABLES SEATED AND ORDERING BEFORE OR AT 6PM.

Please note our Happy Drinks and Happy Tapas Offers are not available on Bank Holiday Sundays

2 tapas dishes for £12.95 £5.00 off ANY Of our tapas
NOW includes Sundays
For bookings & Inquiries Call 01142 760475 HEARD about our NEW ‘HAPPY’ offers?

Cubana’s LATEST Cocktail & Drinks Menu


OUR LATEST DRINKS MENU BOASTS OVER 50 AMAZING COCKTAILS, and we truly believe it’s our best menu yet!

Discover the Cubana originals - there are over a dozen Cubana original recipes, one-of-a-kind concoctions that you won’t find anywhere else:

VERY BERRY JERRY is a divine blend of spiced rum, raspberry liqueur, fresh blackberries, and raspberries combined with cranberry juiceIt’s like sherbet, lollipops, and sunshine dancing on your palate!

We’ve crafted an entire section of the menu dedicatedly solely to the nectar of the godsRUM! Indulge in the authenticity of traditional Cuban cocktails such as, EL NACIONAL, invented in the prestigious Hotel Nacional, Cuba or you can explore our imaginative twists on legendary classics.

Let the SINGAPORE SLING; or the refreshing STRAWBERRY CAIPIROSKA whisk you away on a tropical journey of flavour.

Can’t Find Your Favourite? No Worries .. If your go-to cocktail didn’t make the cut, our talented bartenders will be happy to oblige.

Another Cubana classic is LA MANZANA MALA, made with Green Island Spiced Gold and is combined with St Aubin Vanilla rum, Disaronno, lime and apple juice and a dusting of cinnamon to finish. You won’t be able to resist the allure of this Cubana masterpiece!


So, what are you waiting for? Join us at Cubana and dive into a world of sensational flavours, incredible originals, and refreshing twists on the classics!



12 months ago, PJ Taste, a stalwart in the Sheffield catering scene, transitioned to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). UnLTD's Joseph Food had the opportunity to sit down with Peter Moulam, co-founder of the company, to discuss this strategic transformation for the business and how it could play an important role in shaping its future.

He began by explaining the context behind the transition to EOT, a model that allows employees to benefit from a company’s success through profit-sharing bonuses, fostering greater employee engagement and ensuring the longevity of the company’s values in the process.

“For 18 years, as a business, the founders, John and myself, along with my wife, Gill, nurtured PJ Taste as pretty much a family business,” he said. However, after eventually recognising that their children were not interested in taking over the reins, they began to consider alternative futures for the company that aligned with their core values of sustainability, local sourcing and entrepreneurship.

The decision to move to an EOT was driven largely by a desire to ensure the long-term viability of PJ Taste without compromising those foundational values. The

Statistics show that the total number of UK employee-owned (EO) businesses towards the end of 2023 is c.1,400, roughly a 40% increase on 2022. Source: bdo. co.uk

alternative, selling the business, seemed less appealing as it could potentially disrupt the staff and the business’s ethos.

Peter elaborated on the attractions of this model: “An EOT seemed like the only option; it offered a way to step back gradually and focus on what we’re good at, rather than selling and possibly seeing the business change dramatically.”

Implementation of the EOT was facilitated by local solicitors, chosen over potentially more distant experts to maintain the local, community-focused ethos of PJ Taste. Peter pointed out both the logistical challenges and the benefits: “The tax advantages, such as exemption from capital gains and tax-efficient bonuses, were significant, though setting up the EOT did involve some initial hurdles and expenses.”

Since the transition, Peter says he has observed an increase in employee engagement. “We kept everyone in the loop with our plans from the start, and everyone was on board with the idea, but it really hit home when we distributed the first bonuses. It’s a gradually growing sense of involvement for the employees.

We’ve always been quite democratic, but now, there’s a real sense of ownership among the team,” he explained.

This cultural shift has yielded other tangible benefits, with PJ Taste experiencing enhanced staff retention. Peter puts this down to employees being able to see a clearer future within the company, bolstered by the financial and emotional investments they now make.

Of course, such a move is not without its challenges. Peter candidly discussed the potential difficulty in sustaining bonus payouts, which are crucial for morale and motivation under the EOT model. “The first bonus arriving six months in was really positive, and a lot of employeeowned businesses don’t do that for a number of years. However, sustaining that is, naturally, the challenge as it depends on the company’s performance, but we’ll hopefully be able to do so.”

Looking forward, PJ Taste is focused on strengthening its team, particularly with the impending introduction of a new role –General Manager. This position is critical as Peter plans to step back gradually from day-to-day operations to focus on other aspects of the business. “We are looking for someone who can drive the business, particularly from a networking standpoint, while embodying the values PJ Taste stands for,” said Peter.

This new phase for PJ Taste underlines a significant trend where businesses are recognising the value of employee ownership in creating more engaged workforces. With Peter’s planned role change allowing him to focus more on the creative aspects of the business, like sustainable agriculture and beekeeping, PJ Taste looks poised to continue its journey as a leader in locally sourced, innovative catering in Sheffield and beyond.

Interested in becoming a General Manager at PJ Taste? Email ask@ pjtaste.co.uk for more info. For other enquiries, see www.pjtaste. co.uk or call 0114 312 3663.

Socials: @pjtaste // facebook. com/PJtaste



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Helen Smith a dedicated physiotherapist with over 19 years of NHS experience never imagined she’d become a business owner. Initially hesitant, a shift in circumstances led to her exploring the opportunity.

“I never thought private work would appeal to me,” Helen says. “But I decided to dip my toes in the water and see what it was like.”

Starting small, Helen offered anti-natal classes at a local church once a week. Armed with a portable couch, she also began doing home visits for a few patients. She spread the word through social media and relied on recommendations, all while juggling her full-time NHS job and school-aged children.

As her business grew, Helen needed a dedicated space for her patients. It was too early to invest in her own commercial space, but she found a room at S75 Fitness, run by Business Village tenant Victoria Hudson.

After renting the room for a year, Helen realised The Business Village was a great location for her business. In April 2023, she left the NHS and took a leap of faith to focus solely on private practice. By the following month, she’d found her own treatment room at The Business Village.

“I looked at other commercial spaces but ideally wanted to stay at The Business Village. I spoke to Reception, and the right

space became available in May 2023. The location is perfect. It’s on the ground floor and close to the entrance which is good for patients with mobility issues or prams.”

Working from The Business Village is ideal, and I can easily get there after doing the school run. The rent is also affordable, which is especially important as a new business.”

Since leaving the NHS behind, Helen’s practice has gone from strength to strength. She now balances home visits, classes, and appointments in her treatment room. Specialising in women’s health and paediatric physiotherapy, Helen fills crucial gap in the market.

“I’m not aware of any other private women’s health or children’s physios

in the area. It’s something I specialised in while working at the NHS and enjoy doing, so it makes sense to offer privately. But I also treat other musculoskeletal injuries, and long-term conditions which need ongoing maintenance.”

Helen says that transitioning to selfemployment has been a big learning curve. Unlike the NHS where patients came to her, she now has to actively find and attract people. She’s also had to adjust to the fluctuating demand in bookings throughout the year. Because of this, Helen values the advice and tips she’s received from others with business experience.

“So far, patients have come to me via social media and word of mouth. My long-term special needs children have their own

We provide small businesses with a supportive environment that nurtures business growth with our wide range of meeting and office space in Barnsley. Visit: www.business-village.co.uk

networks, which gives valuable referrals. But I’ve also received helpful marketing tips from other Business Village tenants and staff members.”

Looking ahead, Helen has ambitious plans for her business. Her long-term vision is a multi-disciplinary practice. It would bring together allied health professionals such as occupational therapists, podiatrists, and alternative therapy practitioners. She also dreams of having larger premises with her name prominently displayed.

“I want to be happy in what I’m doing, provide a good service, and make my business work,” she says. Her dedication to ethical practices is clear. “I may be too honest for my own good but I can’t justify booking people in for six sessions if they don’t need it.”

Helen complements her physiotherapy services with other holistic therapies. She’s undertaken extra training, meaning her patients can book appointments for body massage, Indian head massage and Hopi ear candling. It gives them a well-rounded offer of both acute and long-term treatment options.

Website: www. hstherapyphysio.com

Phone: 07931 935438

Email: info@hstherapyphysio. com

Facebook: @ HSTherapyPhysio

Instagram: @hs.therapy

Steel Cactus Ltd, Unit 8, President Buildings, Savile Street East, Sheffield, S4 7UQ Tel: 0114 287 0652 // info@steel-cactus.co.uk // www.steel-cactus.co.uk



An ambitious new vision for Doncaster, developed by the local Chamber of Commerce with substantial input from local businesses, has recently been unveiled. The document, titled “Doncaster ‘35: A Manifesto for a Winning City”, lays out a comprehensive plan for the next decade, aiming to position Doncaster as a leading small, modern city with an industrial heritage.


The manifesto is a forwardthinking plan that anticipates the challenges and opportunities Doncaster will face over the next ten years. It outlines practical steps to ensure a prosperous future, emphasising the importance of collaboration between the Chamber, the private sector, local authorities and regional government.

Doncaster ‘35 is built on four major themes: City Centre, Workforce, Transport, and Strategic Institutions & Partnerships. Each section details the current state, the desired future state and the actions needed to achieve these goals.


• The manifesto highlights several key areas of focus, including:

• Improving the cleanliness and safety of the city centre.

• Developing a “South Yorkshire Airport City” scheme.

• Increasing local access to higher education.

• Enhancing strategic partnerships across South Yorkshire.

• Addressing transport infrastructure issues.

Dan Fell, Chief Executive of Doncaster Chamber, explained importance of maintaining momentum and striving for continuous improvement. “Through characteristic Yorkshire grit and determination, Doncaster – and the key partnerships that make it so strong – has accomplished much over the past twenty years. From securing City Status to opening a renowned University Technical College and valiantly pulling together to reboot Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA); we have a lot to be proud of. At the same time, we know that we cannot afford to dine out on past glories forever.”


The Chamber sought extensive input from local business leaders through in-depth interviews and a

roundtable workshop. These discussions covered a wide range of topics, including the state of the city centre, skills gaps, strategic partnerships, investment needs, and transport infrastructure. Businesses not only articulated their concerns but also offered potential solutions.

Sarah Naylor, Head of Commercial and Dispute Resolution at Switalskis Solicitors, expressed optimism about the manifesto’s vision: “The future envisioned by Doncaster ‘35 is one in which businesses are not only flourishing but actively driving the changes they want to see and making our city a better place in the process.”


The manifesto also stresses the importance of aligning education with industry needs to prepare the workforce of tomorrow. Gemma Peebles, Principal of Harrison College, highlighted the need for greater collaboration between education and business: “The education system cannot be viewed in a silo, and it’s imperative that schools, colleges, and other providers are working closely with the business community to ensure

that our young people are getting set up for prosperous futures.”


Mark Taylor, Founder and CEO of Automated Analytics, called for bold and ambitious thinking: “We need to be brave and ambitious when thinking about what the next decade holds for our city. If we get this right, then Doncaster can be leading the charge in emerging sectors like AI, cyber, and digital, eventually becoming synonymous with those fields.”


As Doncaster ’35 sets out an ambitious path for the future, it calls for bold leadership and a united effort to overcome challenges and seize opportunities. The manifesto was unveiled at the annual Doncaster, What’s Next? Business Conference, marking the beginning of a decade-long journey towards a brighter, more prosperous Doncaster.

The full manifesto, “Doncaster ’35: A Manifesto for a Winning City,” is available to read online at www.doncaster-chamber. co.uk/doncaster2035/.






Refurbishing an office space can be a daunting task, especially for those already juggling day to-day responsibilities. Fortunately, companies like The DL Company are here to alleviate the stress and ensure a smooth process from concept to delivery.

“That’s where we come in,” says Daniel Lowe, DL Company’s managing director. “We take care of the hard yards, using our knowledge to ask the right questions and ensuring the whole process is done as efficiently as possible.”

With over 50 years of industry experience, the Sheffield-based family firm specialises in commercial office furniture, fit-outs and bespoke refurbishments. They’ve worked with a wide range of businesses across Yorkshire and further afield, offering full project management while priding themselves on a creative approach and a friendly, professional service.

Last month, unLTD spoke with DL’s managing director, Daniel Lowe, who shared a few pointers on what companies should be thinking about when refurbishing or fitting out their working space.


As well as our ability to build strong, trusting relationships with our clients, we believe that we offer particularly good value by looking after all the important elements of the job: sourcing and selling the commercial furniture, project management, design work and co-ordinating the tradespeople. You sometimes spend so much time on a project, it almost feels like you’re part of the company. That’s the commitment we provide –we want to create spaces where we would feel proud to sit at that desk and be part of that company.


No company is the same, and there are so many different sizes, styles and types of workspaces we have to ensure that we’re adaptable enough to respond to the varying needs of

our clients. It’s important, therefore, that we spend time asking the right questions and getting to know our customers so we can offer the right solutions. We also ensure to stay up to date with the latest trends so we can bring some of the most innovative ideas out there to the table. From a design perspective, it’s about providing a working environment that people are proud to come to and businesses can achieve what they want to achieve.


When refurbishing an office, people can forget about or leave the most boring and/or practical bits until last. Every business works off Broadband and it can take time to get that sorted, especially in a new-build where cables might need to be laid! So, my top tip would be to get your phone lines sorted as early as possible – you don’t want to be starting life in your new office space without internet!


These days, offices are less about packing a space with as many desks as possible and much more about creating hospitable, friendly environments for people to work in. When you’re competing with remote working options, it’s important that the office space can allow people to feel as comfortable as they would do at home.


Having a thorough reflective process at the beginning is key. The more information we receive at the start, the easier it becomes later on. How many sockets do you need on a desk? How many floor boxes do you need? What kind of lighting do you want in your

meeting room? All of these might seem like really boring functional questions, but once we’ve got the answer, we’re good to go – we’ll get it all sorted.”


More so than ever. A lot of businesses will now have regular video calls in the workplace, whether that’s connecting with their own staff working from home or with others as part of day-to-day meetings. This is one of the main challenges of modern-day office design – how do you accommodate both open-plan office designs but allow people the privacy to do video calls without distracting others. That’s why spending quality time with a client to find these details out is so important: it helps us to understand a company’s working culture and ethos, so we can show you a creative design brief that meets its functional needs.


If you’re a business of 20 but hope to grow to 50 members of staff in five years’ time, that’s something we’ll factor into the design brief. We ask clients to talk to us about tomorrow as well as today. Your premises should be able to achieve your objectives over a number of years, not simply tick some boxes for how a business is set up now.

The DL Company have been providing professional office refurbishments and interior design since 1974. To find out more about their services, call 0114 358 6248, email sales@thedlcompany.com or visit thedlcompany.com.



The Doncaster-based charity YWCA Yorkshire is marking 20 years of partnership success in Doncaster.

The charity was appointed by Council Leaders in 2004 with the purpose of offering support to young women and their children across Doncaster, helping them to thrive.

YWCA’s first purpose-built building was established in Green Gables in 2004 and housed eight self-contained apartments and the first women, and their children. Since then the charity have managed, strengthened and grown the Green Gables service, demonstrating the value and impact achieved for communities through long-term joined-up provision and partnerships.

In 2011, Doncaster Council scaled-up the contract to include specialist support for a further 75 families across the city and in 2014, YWCA Yorkshire secured funding to expand their team further,

becoming key delivery partners in the Stronger Families Programme.

Over two decades, Project Workers have supported and housed hundreds of people grappling with homelessness, mental health, domestic abuse and financial hardship.

Today, the charity partners with Together Housing to provide safe accommodation and wrap-around support for young women with children in five houses and eight self-contained apartments, with specialist project workers delivering bespoke

mental health and wellbeing support, tenancy, parenting and relationship programmes and pathways to skills training, qualifications and employment.

Jessica Pell-Taylor moved to Green Gables with her baby when she was just 18. Speaking on the impact Green Gables has had on the trajectory of her life, she said: “It’s very emotional to think back to that time and everything I’ve achieved since. Green Gables gave me sanctuary and hope when I really needed it.

“I was at a low point when I arrived with my baby but over the months, with help from my Project Worker, I was able to piece myself back together. I grew stronger, healthier and happier and I was more determined than ever to make something of myself.”

Looking back at the past 20 years, Chief Executive of YWCA Yorkshire, Tracy Gollins, said, “Our families have benefited greatly from the longevity and continuity of the Green Gables contract. This has enabled us to invest in long-term partnerships and uphold commitments to people we support and other professionals.

“It’s been our privilege over the last 20 years to support the resilience and progress of women, children and families and I’d personally like to thank our partners, staff team and volunteers for the central part they’ve played in so many success stories.”

Sheffield solicitors raise over £5,000 for local charity

Wake Smith Solicitors have raised a grand total of £5,227 for Sheffield PACES, a local charity which offers life changing support for children and adults with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders.

The team have raised the funds after a year of activities including a quiz night, wreath making event, murder mystery evening, a sky dive, Bake Off-style cake sales, sweepstakes and more.

Their biggest fundraisers of the year were their annual Christmas lunch, staff participation in the Wolf Run and Sheffield Half Marathon, the popular staff quiz and a wine tasting evening.

Kate Lax, solicitor at Wake Smith and charitable board member, said: “Employees at the law firm voted for

PACES to become its chosen charity for the last year. Everyone has worked hard to raise this fantastic amount through various events over the last 12 months.”

PACES is a leading specialist centre in Sheffield for children with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders, established in the 1990s by a group of parents who

recognised the benefits of the holistic approach of Conductive Education. It also offers support services to families and carers through school and adult services.

David Hall, fundraising and communications manager at PACES, said: “We would like to say such a heartfelt thank you to the whole team at Wake Smith Solicitors for their lifechanging support of PACES over the last 12 months.

“We have had the pleasure of getting to know so much of the team as they have tackled Wolf Runs, thrown themselves from planes, hosted business luncheons, joined our own business club, ran marathons and championed PACES throughout the partnership.



Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont have raised over £100,000 to support The Children’s Hospital Charity in support of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust through their second instalment of Jon and Lucy + Friends Comedy Night.

The sold-out event returned to Sheffield City Hall in May, as thousands of people packed out the seats to help raise vital funds to support children’s mental health.

This year’s lineup included The Children’s Hospital Charity patrons, Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont, as well as fellow comedians Maisie Adam, Fatiha El-Ghorri, Russell Kane, and Alan Carr.

Speaking on the event, Jon said: “It was amazing to return this year and raise even more money for Sheffield Children’s. The atmosphere was just electric. There was so much love in the room for The Children’s Hospital Charity because people know how much the work they do means to children and their families.”

The event was also sponsored by Redtooth, Guardian Electrical Compliance and Sheffield City Trust.

John Armstrong, CEO of The Children’s Hospital Charity said: “It means so much to the Charity team to see so many supporters of Sheffield Children’s all in one room. Knowing we also had staff, patients and families contributed to an unforgettable evening.

“We are so grateful to our sponsors, volunteers, Jon, Lucy, and their fellow comedians for making the night possible. The vital funds raised for Sheffield Children’s will help to change children’s lives.”

The money raised will support children’s mental health and wellbeing at Sheffield Children’s and beyond, through the patron-led campaign Bright Young Dreams. Jon and Lucy have joined forces with fellow Charity patrons, Dan Walker and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, to help tackle the global children’s mental health crisis, raising money in support of The Children’s Hospital Charity.


Summer is upon us and it is time to get out into the community to rub shoulders with your supporters. Summer months are an ideal time to raise awareness of your good cause, making the general public understand what you do, how you do it and why. It is a great way to get supporters subscribing to membership schemes you have running, getting them signed up to give a small monthly amount to support your cause.

A few hundred people paying £3-£5 per month by direct debit soon mounts up and, as it is unrestricted income, you can spend it on what your not for profit most needs – towards overheads, a capital project or even salaries. Volunteers enjoy getting out and about

during the summer to promote the nonprofit they support. Some of the local galas, festivals and events are an ideal way of getting affordable space to set out your stall - quite literally. Investing in a gazebo, some marketing materials, having plenty of leaflets and goody bags to take away is a great way to get people interested in you. Freebies sell! You get the chance to promote your fundraising schemes, educate and even recruit more volunteers.

Look on social media for events happening close to where you are based or check out www. StallFinder.com to book onto these low cost events, some of them only charge £10-30

For more ideas relating to community fundraising please get in contact Wendy.

If you need more help with this or any aspect of Business Planning/Funding Strategy, call meWendy Ward, Let’s Save Consultancy Services, 0772 9481010. wendy@letssave.biz


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For this month’s spotlight on an organisation making a difference in Sheffield, unLTD hears about the vital work done by the Snowdrop Project - a charity that supports and empowers survivors of modern slavery and exploitation in South Yorkshire.

How did the Snowdrop Project come about?

The Snowdrop Project was formed in 2012, when a group of volunteers came together to provide longterm support to women who had experienced modern slavery. At the time, these women were the only survivors in the UK to receive longterm support. Our name was actually chosen by this first group of clients. As different ideas were discussed, “Snowdrop” stood out. Snowdrops are incredibly resilient - they are one of the first flowers to push through in the spring. This was important for our clients as a symbol of new beginnings. 12 years on, Snowdrop has supported hundreds of survivors, enabling them to build futures free from modern slavery.

Could you talk us through some of the services offered by the project?

Snowdrop supports and empowers survivors of modern slavery and exploitation in South Yorkshire to recover from their experiences and rebuild their lives. We do this by providing a holistic package of support. Our services are free to access, and clients can access support for as long as they wish. Our caseworkers help clients

navigate next steps, including housing, education, benefits, legal issues or police investigations. Snowdrop’s counselling service helps survivors process the psychological impacts of their exploitation. Community activities help survivors build confidence, meet new people and reintegrate into the community. Finally, we help survivors transition into independent living by cleaning, decorating and furnishing accommodation.

Can you talk about some of the positive impacts and achievements of the Snowdrop Project?

We’ve achieved so many milestones over the last twelve years. We’ve seen individuals arrive at Snowdrop with no money, mental health issues, no permanent accommodation, ongoing legal battles and no hope for the future. However, we have seen these same clients exit our support systems with newfound confidence, plans for the future and the ability to cope with everyday life. It’s an honour to walk alongside such resilient, tenacious and inspirational individuals. In 2023, we supported 274 adults and 119 children on their journeys towards recovery.

How can people get involved to help the Snowdrop Project?

There are lots of ways to support Snowdrop. We have an amazing community of supporters – Friends of Snowdrop – who give regularly and help fund long-term support for survivors. You can make a difference to those we work with from as little as £3 a month. Find out more at snowdropproject. co.uk/regular-giving. We also have an amazing team of volunteer caseworkers, befrienders and childcare volunteers. Find out more about our volunteering opportunities at snowdropproject.co.uk/ volunteering. Finally, we complete one renovation per month with the help of volunteers. Renovations take place across three days in Sheffield or surrounding areas. No experience is necessary - just enthusiasm and the drive to make a difference! Even if you can only spare a few hours on one of the days, it’s still a big help. If you’d like to be added to our renovation volunteers list, please email info@snowdropproject.co.uk.

Finally, why are organisations like Snowdrop so important in today’s world?

Modern slavery is a hidden crime that’s happening all around us – including in Sheffield. It could be happening in a home on your street, or at a car wash, nail salon or restaurant. It could be happening to the cleaner in your office, or to the person working in your local shop. It’s impossible to know the full extent of modern slavery in the UK, but the Home Office recorded 16,938 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2022 – the highest number since records began in 2009. Snowdrop is committed to ensuring that every survivor has access to the support they need to process their experiences and build brighter futures. However, Snowdrop literally wouldn’t exist without our supporters – we depend on donations to fund the services we provide.

snowdropproject.co.uk // @ snowdropproject // 0333 880 5008 // info@snowdropproject.co.uk


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New ways of making work more flexible to fit around people’s constantly more hectic schedules have been cropping up over the past few years. Fully remote jobs and hybrid roles have been taking off thanks to a variety of online meeting apps popping up and adapting to the needs of businesses.

But could the rising trend of chronoworking be the answer to improving the workforce’s productivity? Let’s take a closer look… Searches for chronoworking have increased by 600% year on year with a handful of businesses already implementing the system. In a nutshell, it lets employees choose their work hours based on when they personally work best. Their hours will usually match their chronotypes. These are based on whether someone works best in the morning, in the middle of the day, in the evening or around a more erratic schedule.

The idea of chronoworking is not to reduce working hours but to increase productivity on a personal level. Allowing workers with families to match their commitments around their children’s school hours will give families more quality time together and hopefully, reduce the likelihood of burnout.

The managing partner at UK consulting and recruitment experts Interval Group, Kim Napeñas, states that there are three key benefits to using chronoworking: flexibility, motivation and productivity. Vit Koval, HR expert and Cofounder at B2B marketplace platform Globy, concurs, adding: “Such customisation will lead to employees being

satisfied for feeling respected and valued for their personal needs and rhythms.

“This flexibility will, moreover, bring up the morale of the company and, at the same time, bring in more employees to the teams needing differences and diversities who may prefer flexible hours of working for their own or health reasons.”

Chronoworking may also help to eliminate the need for overtime, which would only benefit workers and companies alike. Current stats show that a whopping 84% of Britain’s workers feel pressured to work overtime

to be able to meet their job’s demands.

The Interval Group, who have already started to use chronoworking, have begun to see the benefits. Kim said: “We’ve seen an overall increase in productivity and job performance from chronoworking, as out employees can plan their working days around their natural body clock and balance their working hours with personal commitments.

“Our employees also feel more motivated thanks to the improved flexibility offered by chronoworking.”

However, Kim recognised the limitations of

chronoworking. She said: “Whilst this trend is relevant in the professional services space, within which Interval operates, it probably won’t work for all sectors and industries.”

It may be difficult for some companies that need to have regular meetings or be in contact with all employees at once to use chronoworking due to its inconsistency.

Whether or not you agree with chronoworking or prefer the regularity of a 9 to 5, the number of companies implementing this system has been steadily increasing. Is it something that could benefit your business?


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