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BALANCE Blue Wealth Capital’s Raj and Fiona Shah talk business, family, and their healthy approach to getting your working week into shape


if ALL you want for christmas is the world’s fastest internet, you’re in luck!

Buy your business the best christmas present it’s ever had

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Audit Team of the Year 2019

Sunday Times Best Companies To Work For

Mid-Tier Firm of the Year 2019

Enough said.












6: News Award wins, rebrands, launch events and Sheffield City Centre goes retro. 13: Competition Win a Sonos One smart speaker in our giveaway with Exa Networks. 22: Calendar All the very best events happening around the city region in December plus a festive round-up. 30: If You Ask Me With businesses picking their Charity of the Year for 2020, we ask a number of representatives about the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR). 51 & 61: Five Minutes With… We chat with tech firm Simoda and anti-trafficking charity City Hearts. 52: Success Story From a niche market to year-onyear growth, we check out Bag It Don’t Bin It (BIDBI)’s business development. 57: Regeneration A look at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park’s impact on Attercliffe. 59: International Businessman and ex-Sheffield Chamber chief Nigel Tomlinson talks Dubai – and Doncaster. 63: Business incubation How the Kollider Incubator powered by Barclays Eagle Labs is helping members tap into support. 67: Sheffield City Region A look at the Skills Bank programme. 78: Weekend Escapes Take a tour of Gdansk in Poland.

EVERYTHING ELSE... 12. Appointments 14: The Diary 17: Evolving technology 19: Financial health 21: Legal matters 27: Sales strategy 29: Entrepreneur support 37: Mergers & acquisitions 65: Charities 82: Number Crunch



BALANCE Blue Wealth Capital’s Raj and Fiona Shah talk business, family, and their healthy approach to getting your working week into shape



CHRISTMAS CHEERS And so another year is coming to a close … but we’ve still got one more month of work, tasks, projects – oh, and Christmas parties to look forward to! unLTD has already started the festive season early with not one but two glittering events though. Our editor Richard Fidler and graphic designer Simon Waller were among guests at the opening of The OEC at Owlerton Stadium, a new conferencing and events venue set to bring ‘a new lease of life to the city’s night scene’ – and, from the look of our news story on page 7, business facilities for conferences, exhibitions, and meetings to tempt you to ditch the boardroom. We were also thrilled to sponsor Cutlery Works first birthday party and raise a glass of fizz at the festivities. The venue has gone from strength to strength in its first year by offering a variety of (very Instragram-able) cuisine options – it’s a destination for coffee and breakfast, lunch with a friend, after work drinks, tea with the kids… Which leads us nicely onto our cover stars husband and wife Raj and Fiona Shah. Earlier this year Blue Wealth Capital founder Raj marked his tenth year in business with Fiona joining as client manager. We caught up with both to find out how their work/life balance is boosting the business and ensuring family time flourishes. Getting back into the Christmas spirit, our If You Ask Me feature from page 30 is all about, if not gift-giving, then giving back with a look at corporate social responsibility. And finally, as it’s the end of the year we thought we’d take a light-hearted look at the annoying side of office life! There are apparently many habits likely to irritate your fellow employees including eating food ‘al-desko’ so you’re bound to spot a colleague or two … or maybe it’s you who’s the culprit?! This is features writer Jill Theobald signing off unLTD’s December edition welcome message while removing all traces of mince pie from her laptop … Wishing all our readers and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year – see you in 2020!

@UNLTDBUSINESS UNLTD BUSINESS UNLTDBUSINESS EDITORIAL Richard Fidler Jill Theobald General 0114 252 7781 ADVERTISING Dan Laver 07867 313995 Phil Turner 07979 498034 General FINANCE Sarah Koriba and Michael Johnson DESIGN Simon Waller and Simon Garlick CONTRIBUTORS Pat Abel Marc Barker Jo Davison Charlotte Higgins Steve Knapp Sam Leeder Eleanor Morrell

Sasha Mossman Martin Ross Raj Shah Ian Snow James Tippett Helen Williams Ash Young

unLTD is published monthly by Blind Mice Media Ltd Unit 1B Rialto, 2 Kelham Island Square, Kelham Riverside Sheffield S3 8SD and HRM Unit 1a Speedwell Works, Sidney Street, Sheffield S1 4RG The views contained herein are not necessarily those of Blind Mice Media Ltd and HRM 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 and HRM cannot take responsibility for contributors’ views or specific listings.


AGENDA NEWS Metro Bank makes major moves A new challenger is arriving in Yorkshire come 2020 as Metro Bank plans to open two new stores in Sheffield and Bradford. With stores acting as hubs for local communities, Metro Bank plans to host a range of business events and charity fundraisers for locals throughout the year. This expansion will create 50 new jobs in the area and is part of an effort to inject much needed competition into the small business banking market. The new stores in Bradford and Sheffield will create around


NEWJOBS in the county

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “These are exciting times for Sheffield with international businesses confirmed for our Heart of The City II development which mixes the very best retail, residential and lifestyle opportunities to create a city centre unlike any other in the UK. “Metro Bank fit that bill perfectly – vibrant, modern and well regarded in the sector.” Combining face-to-face banking with state-of-theart technology, Metro Bank promises to provide fast, friendly and convenient banking to locals while focusing their efforts in helping local professionals grow their businesses.



SHEFFIELD ENGINEERING FIRM SCOOPS ‘BEST OF BRITISH’ AWARD Sheffield specialist engineering group SCX has lifted its most prestigious prize in its 47-year history after winning the Lloyds Bank National Business Award for Innovation. SCX specialises in lifting solutions and large moving structures, and the honour follows pioneering work on the world’s first dividing retractable football pitch at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium and two retractable roofs for the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon. The Wincobank company is also renowned for its bespoke

mechanical handling solutions and electrical control systems in safety-critical sectors such as nuclear, defence and aerospace. Nine hundred delegates from some of the country’s most successful businesses, public sector bodies, charities and educational establishments attended the glittering ceremony in London. Sarah Austin, awards director at Informa Markets, said: “Each year we’re blown away by the talent and ambition of all our entrants. To be shortlisted is a huge achievement – to be crowned a winner is to truly be the best of British business!”

Darren Falkingham, SCX group marketing manager, said: “This is our biggest award yet, and one that means so much to us. “It’s down to the truly worldclass teams here at SCX that we can compete and win on a national stage. This award recognises and proves their engineering expertise, their commitment and their natural ability to innovate. “It also takes SCX to the next level. We are looking to expand our work both in the UK and in new overseas markets, and already have numerous projects in the pipeline.”

Championing apprenticeships Does the perception that apprenticeships are the second class option to achieve a qualification still exist? The Chesterfield College Group are challenging that and calling on businesses to see the value apprenticeships can bring. Wendy Taylor, business development consultant at Learning Unlimited, part of the Chesterfield College Group said: “Apprenticeships allow people to learn new skills, gain qualifications and

relevant knowledge whilst in employment. Completing an apprenticeship helps to ensure that people are able to demonstrate a high level of competency in their chosen discipline. “I have the advantage of understanding the impact that apprenticeships can have on the individual and the organisation, having been an employer of apprentices, a parent of apprentices and now an adviser of apprenticeships.

“As a nation we tend to neglect the importance of training and development unless it is presented as a mandatory requirement. However, when I sit down with a business it is truly rewarding to help them see the possibilities apprenticeships can bring. I would encourage everyone to consider utilising the apprenticeship scheme in one way or another, taking advantage of the funding available.”


AGENDA Landmark to undergo multimillion-pound refurbishment


HOTEL ‘NEVER BEEN BUSIER’ AFTER £3M RE-BRAND The rebranding of the Royal Victoria to the Crowne Plaza Royal Victoria Sheffield is paying off, after owners revealed the venue has ‘never been busier’. Sheffield’s oldest hotel rebranded following a £3 million refurbishment which mixed grand Victorian architecture with the very best modern facilities and services, all under the umbrella of one of the world’s leading business hotel brands, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts. MD Hermann Beck said: “The hotel has a proud heritage – its external façade was always picture postcard pretty and now thanks to

Once completed, the ballroom will have room for

400 attendees

the significant investment, refurbishment and rebranding process is nearing completion. When the ballroom is completed, it really will be a magical transformation. “Customers love the changes. Not only are guests telling us how much they love the design and the quality, but business and community groups are visiting to see first-hand the changes for themselves. “We have never been busier showing individuals around the hotel, and this is translating to bookings. All the hard work and effort to bring about the refurbishment and rebranding is paying off.”

OEC brings ‘new lease of life’ to city's night scene The OEC has opened its doors as the latest attraction at Owlerton Stadium to create ‘The Owlerton Experience’. Our editor Richard Fidler and graphic designer Simon Waller were among guests who joined venue director Gary Cook and the newly established team to celebrate the opening of The OEC, set to bring ‘a new lease of life to the city’s night scene’. As well Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations and tribute nights, the venue also offers business and


The OEC's New Year's Eve Celebrations include a

6-COURSE DINNER technological facilities for conferences, exhibitions, meetings and workshops, in addition to four VIP Hospitality Boxes overlooking Owlerton Stadium.

Since opening, ‘phenomenal’ positive feedback has been received for the food and service thanks to the menus devised by head chef, Sam Lindsay, previously at Baldwins Omega. Boasting a capacity for up to 500 guests, The OEC is one of the largest licenced wedding venues in Yorkshire and fast becoming one of Sheffield’s upand-coming wedding venues with a number of couples already securing dates for 2020 onwards.

A prominent city-centre landmark, which has been vacant for over ten years, is undergoing a multi-millionpound transformation in order to support the growth of businesses in Sheffield. 32 Eyre Street, formerly known as Deacon House, is being re-developed into a beautifully designed, iconic workspace comprising private office suites, co-working spaces, event space, meeting rooms, and a fitness centre across three floors by Wizu Workspace. The official launch of 32 Eyre Street will take place in



Award-winning architect Liam Russell and workspace design company OVO Spaces are working with flexible workspace provider, Wizu Workspace who will occupy three floors of the building. Wizu, which has already developed workspaces in Leeds and Bradford, specialises in high specification, uniquely designed private office suites, co-working spaces, meeting rooms and event space to uplift and inspire creativity. COO Natasha Babar-Evans said: “In 2019, Sheffield was voted the best UK city where you could start a business, but it is still really hard to find business premises at affordable rates. “Our aim is to create a great working environment which acts as a catalyst for local enterprise in Sheffield and which is a place for start-ups, entrepreneurs, freelancers, growing businesses, professionals and corporates looking for a place to thrive.”


AGENDA HOT Schools, choirs and businesses from across Sheffield joined online educational publisher Twinkl to achieve a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Most people in a singing relaymultiple songs. Sheffield Hallam University has launched its Heart of the Region campaign to seek the views of the public to help shape the University’s future. Chinese gaming giant Tencent has taken a 10 per cent stake in Sheffield’s Sumo Group. Harrison College – a new independent business and enterprise college in Doncaster for young people with high-functioning autism – has received £9,798 from the National Lottery Community Fund, with a cheque presented by Dame Rosie Winterton MP. Omnia Property Group came to the rescue of more than 200 students in Swansea after accommodation projects fell behind schedule, by offering places at its latest development, the newly refurbished Oldway Centre, close to the university campus. Devolution is needed to reduce emissions and transition to clean energy sources, according to a report published by researchers at the University of Sheffield Energy Institute.

COOL Sheffield City Council’s proposed five-year Local Plan is ‘disappointing’ according to Rob Crolla, director of CODA Planning, who says the programme has caused ‘dismay in the development industry’ but that he recognises the challenges the Council faces.



READYMART GOES RETRO TO TAKE CITY BACK IN TIME Sheffield City Centre went all retro when ReadyMart took to the streets in a horse and cart to increase awareness of local suppliers and emphasise traditional values and lowcost transport. Environmentally focused, friendly and convenient, ReadyMart is an online hub for supermarket owners and shoppers to connect and coordinate ‘click and collect’ home delivery for busy shoppers. So, to stress their

foundations, ReadyMart went back to basics as their deliveries were made around Sheffield. Founder of ReadyMart, Mazen Musaeed explains: “When people buy from a local business, they are not helping a CEO buy a third holiday home. They are helping a little girl get music or language lessons, a little boy get his team jersey and mums and dads put food on the table.” ReadyMart quickly expanded to include Maged,

Mazen's brother, who is currently completing a Law degree at University of Sheffield, and Fran Ruiz Partida, who moved to Sheffield from Spain to follow his entrepreneurial passions. They are working within the Cooper Project at the Sheffield Technology Park, a business start-up hub established by Sheffield City Council to help generate new entrepreneurial businesses in the area.

‘Incredible’ team at local lawyers win national award A local Sheffield law firm is celebrating after winning an award recognising them as the National Firm of the Year along with a record number of industry awards. Specialising in conveyancing and property law, Sheffieldbased PM Lawyers has won a record seven trophies from numerous awarding bodies including the prestigious Yorkshire Legal awards where they won in the Residential Property category. The highlight was their

biggest win from the Modern Law Conveyancing Awards earlier this year where PM Lawyers were recognised on a national scale. Harvey Harding said: “We’re a Yorkshire business and we do a lot of work locally, but we have clients all over England and Wales. Being voted the best in the country is a fantastic achievement for a firm that’s less than six years old. “We’ve come a very long way and it’s entirely due to the incredible people we

have at PM Property Lawyers. One of our team, Kay Liddle, was named 2019 National Conveyancing Paralegal at the National Paralegal Awards this year while another was a finalist. It just shows what a brilliant job they do. I am incredibly proud of them.” The firm has also been recognised in 2019 for its innovative approach, winning Best Innovation in Conveyancing at the law Firm Services Awards and looks forward to achieving even more.



SOUTH YORKSHIRE TOOLS BUSINESS PARTNERS WITH INDUSTRY LEADER Attercliffe-based business Specialised Tools and Equipment Ltd (STEL) has partnered with professional international cleaning machine manufacturer, Kärcher UK. STEL is now an official distributor of Kärcher and joins a growing network offering Kärcher cleaning equipment and products to their UK customer base. MD Andrew Liversidge said: “Kärcher products are highly sought-after amongst facilities management companies and other businesses with industrial floor needs such as the rail sector. As we largely supply and serve the rail industry, we knew that a partnership with Kärcher would benefit both parties. “The professional range offered by Kärcher is world renowned and as industry leaders we knew that their products would be in high demand with our clients, both existing and new.” Ethan Miller, head of national accounts – distribution at Kärcher, said: “We are very pleased to welcome STEL to our ever-

Launch event for in-house lawyer network


STEL offers more than

40,000 products to the trade and general public

growing distribution channel. As a well-known tool and equipment supplier in the UK and overseas, this partnership will ensure even greater access to Kärcher’s robust and innovative range of cleaning solutions for both the trade and public.”

SYCF report shows 'signs of concerns' New research into the community by South Yorkshire Community Foundation (SYCF) has found that residents are concerned about their physical health, high levels of deprivation, visible homelessness and their personal safety. The latest Vital Signs report combines community consultation with local people in order to find out what they think are the top needs for their area with national and local authority statistics. Health, deprivation and homelessness have stayed in the top four areas that need to be addressed for the last two years.


Key findings show that nearly 90,000 children are classed as living in poverty with Sheffield and Barnsley having the highest numbers. Rough sleeping has also increased across the whole of South Yorkshire with the county being ranked the 14th most antisocial in behaviour out of 55 counties. SYCF CEO Ruth Willis said: “This year’s report shows that we are experiencing issues in our communities that are widespread and concerning to local residents across South Yorkshire. “Now that the report

has launched, we can put our energies into raising awareness of these findings and looking at how SYCF and the wider community can better address these issues.” Vital Signs reports are commissioned by SYCF, a local charity improving lives of local people through grants given to communities. Having distributed more than £869,287 to local community groups and charities tackling issues identified in the Vital Signs report 2017-2018, the grants have been estimated to benefit a total of 238,975 people across South Yorkshire.

Sheffield-based law firm Keebles LLP has launched a dedicated In-House Lawyer Network, K:IN. Taking place at the AMP Technology Centre in Rotherham, the event was an opportunity for existing in-house lawyers to network with local peers and receive advice on their professional development. Following a welcome presentation by Keebles Partner Matt Ainsworth, the firm’s legal director Carys Thompson introduced the K:IN network and shared insights into how it will work. Paul Gilbert, chief executive at LBC Wise Counsel – which works with in-house legal teams and General Counsel around the world – was guest speaker. Previous clients at LBC Wise Counsel include international energy conglomerates, global life sciences teams and major banks, as well as a range of FTSE and smaller UK teams. Matt Ainsworth (pictured) said: “Our hugely experienced team works with legal counsel across a broad range of industries and understand these distinct challenges. Several Keebles employees have previously worked in in-house roles throughout their careers so there is a real knowledge within our firm.” As an industry leader, Keebles works alongside and supports many in-house legal teams in Sheffield and beyond.



Doncaster speculative industrial development granted planning consent Detailed planning consent has been granted for a 409,000 sq ft speculative industrial unit in Doncaster, on Junction 4 of the M18. Trebor Developments and partner Hillwood agreed terms with Lazarus Properties to purchase the 27 acre site earlier this year and, following the consent of planning, work on site will commence in the New Year, allowing occupation of the building in Quarter 3, 2020. The speculative industrial development will cover

27 ACRES The building is highly specified for a distribution facility, incorporating 38 loading doors, up to 55m yards and extensive lorry parking facilities for up to 83 HGVs. It is equally suitable for manufacturing uses, with a 1MVA power supply, which could be increased to meet occupier requirements. Bob Tattrie, managing partner for Trebor, said: “The location is excellent and Yorkshire has seen a good take up of large industrial premises over the last 12 months. We expect keen interest from a range of occupiers.”



VIDEO PRODUCTION ENTREPRENEUR APPOINTED CHAMBER PRESIDENT Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce has appointed Joada Allen of Visualised it Video Production as President for a two-year term. Joada, an entrepreneur and mother, born and raised in Rotherham, is director of Barnsley-based Visualised It Video Production and vice chair of the More and Better Jobs Taskforce. Her work is

based on improving skills and opportunities for people in both towns. She said: “I'm really looking forward to representing businesses in both our towns. I'm hoping to develop the skills agenda further and can’t wait to get started.” Chamber chief executive Andrew Denniff: “All our Board members have committed to give Joada their full support

and I look forward on a personal level to working with her over the next two years to continue the positive progress we have made at our Chamber.” Retiring President Lisa Pogson was presented with her Past President’s badge of office for her three-year term, whilst Matt Travis of Enzygo joined Matthew Stephens of Quest Property as a Vice President.

Doctor Who cast and crew 'blown away' with SHU honorary doctorates Doctor Who showrunner and executive producer, Chris Chibnall, said he and the cast and crew of series 11 of the iconic show were 'blown away' after receiving honorary doctorates from Sheffield Hallam University (SHU). Chris became showrunner and executive producer on the series which saw the first female Doctor arrive on our screens in 2018. The opening episode, The Woman Who Fell to Earth, was filmed at various locations across Sheffield

including Park Hill flats. Accepting the award of Honorary Doctor of Arts on behalf of the cast and crew members who worked on the series, Chris was joined on stage at the ceremony at Sheffield City Hall by Mandip Gill, who plays one of the Doctor's companions Yasmin Khan, executive producer Matt Stevens and casting director Andy Pryor. Speaking after the ceremony, Mandip Gill, offered her advice to students, saying 'persistence' was the

key to succeeding. Another broadcasting heavyweight Matthew Bannister, the Sheffield-born former controller of Radio 1, also received an honorary doctorate. BAFTA-winning documentary maker Daniel Gordon said he was 'deeply honoured' after receiving his honorary doctorate. The Sheffield-based director won the BAFTA for single documentary film in 2017 for his documentary on the Hillsborough disaster.



SCX group marketing manager Darren Falkingham is pictured centre with King’s College director Julie Devonshire OBE and BBC News presenter Simon McCoy.

National success grown from Sheffield roots We are extremely proud of our Sheffield heritage. It’s the local engineering know-how that delivers the world-class projects that we’re known for. And now, we’ve taken it to the next level. SCX has just won the Lloyds Bank National Business Award for Innovation. And we couldn’t be more proud to bring it back to Sheffield.

Handling Your Future find out more at




Woodall is Home for Wayne Derbyshire-based luxury housebuilder Woodall Homes has expanded its senior leadership with the appointment of Wayne Wombwell as construction director.

Sadie joins Fenti family Sadie Henson has joined Sheffield-based design and digital marketing agency Fenti as a business development executive.

Honorary first for Forgemasters Sheffield Forgemasters' employees have become the very first collective to be awarded a group honorary doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University. The award recognises the work carried out by staff and the company's engineering achievements that have kept Sheffield as a leading centre of manufacturing excellence for more than 200 years.

Wentworth welcomes Shane Shane Spence has joined Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust as the new sales and marketing manager.


SHEFFIELD BROKER INVESTS IN GROWTH Chartered insurance broker IFM has appointed Chris Dent and Ryan Batham as commercial account executives, signalling the next phase of growth plans and its commitment to recruit and invest in its staff based in Sheffield and the surrounding area. Both appointments are locally born and bred with many years’ experience working in the local market. The pair will be well known to many in the area and are excited to provide the South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire business communities with a ‘fresh, innovative and professional approach’ to managing their insurance requirements.


Mark Barlow, MD of IFM, said: “Chris and Ryan’s appointments are for the long term and we see their involvement in the future development of the firm in the

CT strengthens Executive Team

International VP role for B&R Chamber officer Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber policy and representation officer Mark Smith has been elected at the Junior Chamber International World Congress in Tallinn, Estonia to serve as an International Vice President in 2020. JCI is a global network of young active citizens made up of 180,000 members in 120 countries that aims to provide development opportunities to empower young people to create positive change. Mark runs training and consultancy business Make Your Mark UK and is currently

coming years as crucial. It is rare to be able to attract people of their calibre these days, so we are thrilled they have both decided to join and help us towards our long-term aims.”

the National President for JCI UK this year. He said: “Since joining JCI in 2012, I have developed in so many ways – my confidence has grown, I’ve had unique opportunities to deliver training in many countries and made friends and business contacts all over the world. I would encourage anyone in their 20s and 30s to get involved in JCI – it literally has been life-changing!”

Rob Longden, formerly head of operations at CT, has been promoted to commercial director to support the company’s drive for further growth and success. After joining CT over two years ago from BT PLC, Robert has led an operational transformation to drive greater efficiencies within the service desk. MD Ian Snow said: "Rob has an impressive wealth of experience and enthusiasm and an ability to grow and build outstanding teams. He will now be leading both the operational and account management teams to enable coherent working from customer management through to service delivery."


WIN Fancy kicking off the New Year with some new tech? unLTD has teamed up with Exa Networks – one of the only Internet Service Providers delivering bespoke Internet services – to give away a Sonos One (2nd Gen) smart speaker (RRP £199) to one lucky unLTD reader! The powerful smart speaker, with Google Assistant and Alexa built-in offers rich, room-filling sound.



Sonos One can be controlled by your voice, and by the Sonos app, Apple AirPlay 2, and more. Check out the reviews: • What Hi-Fi? 5/5 stars • TechRadar 5/5 stars • Richer Sounds 4.8/5 Sonos are the leaders in their field, letting users effortlessly listen to music anywhere in their home or office, but with a total focus on sound quality.

Exa share this ethos, believing that everyone should have the ability to have not just an Internet connection, but the fastest, most reliable connectivity. Businesses are no longer able to rely on the traditional ISPs out there to deliver the speeds and reliability needed in today’s business world – this is where Exa can step in.



Deadline for entries is midnight Friday December 20 2019. The winner will be selected on Monday January 6 2020.




Our editor closes 2019 with words of support for those affected by the floods

BUSINESS COMMUNITY RALLIES ROUND FLOOD VICTIMS One of the advantages of publishing a monthly magazine is that you are often in a position to take a more considered look at events rather than having to rush to judgement. On the flip side major news stories can have been and gone between editions, leaving us with a decision whether to revisit what some may consider old news. The recent floods, which have affected businesses in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster – as well as private properties – are a case in point. We all would have been shocked to see the devastation left behind by the flood waters

and the damage caused. However, unless you have been directly involved then the world moves on. Christmas is just around the corner, there’s a general election to get through, and plans quickly turn to what 2020 will bring both personally and professionally. I get the sense, though, that victims of the floods won’t be easily forgotten though. And nor should they be. The damage caused by flood water is long-lasting and can take months – sometimes years – to be completely sorted out. It was heartening to see the way the Sheffield city region community rallied around

those who suffered. Offers of help and support weren’t in short supply whether it was providing warehouse space or even mops, buckets and cleaning equipment to those most in need. South Yorkshire Community Foundation has seen donations to the fund it set up exceed £300,000 with provision to provide grants of more than the basic £100 in exceptional circumstances of hardship. For businesses the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is providing funding for a Business Recovery Grant which gives up to £2,500 per eligible small and medium-

sized businesses which have suffered severe impacts from the floods that cannot be recovered from insurance. Lastly a word for the emergency services and local authorities who really do come into their own during situations such as this. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue were regularly given a round of applause during their work in some of the region’s hardest hit areas. And there has been great support from the various borough councils and parish councils. Hopefully the worst will be over by Christmas and people can have a relaxing festive period.

Got views of your own? Let me know: LinkedIn: Richard Fidler




WHY WAIT UNTIL NEW YEAR'S EVE TO MAKE CHANGES When do you start to think about your New Year resolutions? It’s probably closer to December 31 than it is to December 1 with most resolutions tested to the max by January 12 – that little statistical gem is courtesy of fitness social network Strava. Do you really need to wait until the dawning of a new year to change things? From personal experience I have been on what may be called a ‘journey’ if I was being auditioned to go on X Factor, or something like that. Late in August after a particularly busy summer of work, running the kids here there and everywhere and generally not looking after myself physically or mentally, I saw a link on Instagram which took me to fitness specialists One Body Athletic. I was sceptical at first. We all know how to lose weight – burn more calories than you’re


putting into your body. It’s not rocket science but most of us have neither the time nor inclination to do anything about it. However, when I summoned up the courage to attend the One Body Athletic HQ on Meadowhall Industrial Estate I realised all I needed was a little push to get me going. If not now, then when? The programme I signed up to was called Hybrid 42 – a six week scheme that provided me with the tools I needed to lose weight and generally get my arse into gear. Husband and wife owners Josh and Alice Coburn provided me with an eating plan plus access to workouts, and Ben, an ‘accountability coach’, who checked in with me regularly to ensure I was ‘doing the necessary’. The rest was up to me. Six weeks later I’d shed 20 pounds from my starting weight of 13 stone. But not

only that – which I was pretty pleased with anyway – I’d changed how I live my life. Early gym sessions ensured I was up for 6am and in the office by 8am. I missed the madness of the Parkway traffic and arrived fresh and ready for work. I have more energy, look better (so I’m told) and have more confidence. I really don’t want this to be an article that is too ‘look at me’. The reason for writing is that sometimes it only takes a small step to make a change for the better. New Year’s resolutions are great, but you can make them any time. If there’s something you want to do, a change you want to make, just get on with it. The old classic line is only regretting the things you don’t do. It’s true. My thanks to the guys at One Body Athletic. Look them up on social media to see what programmes they have on over the next couple of months.

More bus, less fuss... Hopefully! You may have read in our November issue about South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s ‘Little Big Changes’ campaign to get us out of our cars. It’s about helping people to make a change to their travel habits and as a result realising various personal and wider societal benefits. Even a change to one trip can have a major impact. It's the 3-5 mile trips that we do on a regular basis that can be – for many – easily changed…with the right support. Well, in the interests of practicing what we preach, I’ve been lucky enough to secure a 28 day pass for South Yorkshire to see if my travel habits change. I will report back in our January issue.


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Our tech expert says get cost-competitive when it comes to pay per click

WHY YOU SHOULD RUN BING AS WELL AS GOOGLE ADS Google is often considered the king of search engines. While it has the largest reach, there’s certainly a place for Bing Ads too – in fact you’ll pay far less for a click. With more than 137 million unique searchers on the Bing network, it can be a very valuable place to also run your business ads. Rather than comparing ‘Bing vs Google’, they often work best hand in hand. Here’s the lowdown on why you should try running ads on both search engines. Cheaper and less competition Google might have far more users, but that also means there are significantly more businesses bidding on the same keywords as you. With Google, it’s more


difficult to capture the traffic on those competitive keywords, and the cost per clicks are often much higher than on Bing. Bing’s average CPC (cost per click) ‘is 33 per cent lower than what we see on Google Ads’ (Wordstream). Higher engagement Not only is it cheaper to advertise on Bing, but engagement is often much higher too. According to Wordstream: ‘Bing’s average CTR (click-through rate) is about 50 per cent higher than what we see on Google Ads, and every industry had a higher average CTR than what we saw on Google.’ Untapped searchers Bing Ads adverts actually

appear on three different search engines; Bing, Yahoo and AOL. Collectively, these engines make up around 13 per cent of all searches (NetMarketShare). Most importantly, there are 60 million Bing users that you can’t reach on Google. They use Bing as their primary search engine and your ads need to be visible on Bing in order to capture this lucrative traffic. If you’re not using Bing Ads, that’s potentially a huge missed opportunity. Capture an older demographic More than 70 per cent of Bing’s searchers are over 34 years old. So if you are targeting this age group,

there’s a huge amount of potential traffic you could miss out on if you’re not running Bing Ads. Test and review While Google will continue as the most popular PPC (pay per click) platform with the largest reach, there’s definitely a place for Bing ads as well. Bing provides businesses with the opportunity to drive the traffic that would be much harder to secure on Google. The only way to know if Bing Ads is right for your brand is to try it out. If you need help setting up your Bing PPC ads, contact the Evoluted team today. Ash Young, Evoluted



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delivering planning lead (not product driven) financial advice Shortlisted for Financial Planner of the Year

Shortlisted for Investment Adviser of the Year

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BY RAJ SHAH, DIRECTOR AND PRINCIPAL OF BLUE WEALTH CAPITAL The financial planner says understanding human behaviour will always pay off

DON’T JUST DO SOMETHING, STAND THERE! In my last article, I talked about preparing to move into what I like to call the next phase of life (note I didn’t say retirement) with a sense of purpose and the ability to maintain one’s independence and dignity. When you are no longer drawing a wage, it is important to preserve the capital that you have built up during the long working phase of your life to see you through until you die and, depending on your circumstances and wishes, to leave a legacy. It is equally important, however, to be mindful and stay ahead of the ever-rising cost of living. Retirement only has two possible financial outcomes, which are mutually exclusive. Everyone who doesn’t die before retiring ultimately gets one or the other of these two outcomes. Outcome 1: The money outlives the people. Outcome 2: The people outlive the money.

It is commonly known that the government aims to keep inflation at around 2 per cent. However, if we look at the cost of an everyday item, the stamp, we can see that the cost of “living” since 1989 has actually risen at a rate of circa 6 per cent per annum. In 1989 the cost of a first class stamp was twenty pence. Now, it will cost you seventy pence. Your hard-earned capital therefore needs to be earning you a very healthy rate of growing return. In fact, simply investing in the great companies of the world over the same term (and just leaving it) would have produced almost 10 per cent per annum*. According to Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, by nature human beings are ‘failed investors’, meaning that when investing in the stock market they have a tendency to ‘buy high sell low’. Conversely, when shopping in a supermarket for example, if their favourite brand of chocolate has fifty per cent off, they will probably buy

two packs! As human beings we are led by emotion and, as such, we are susceptible to making mistakes. This is where a high quality financial planner who understands human behaviour comes in. Behavioural coaching stops us from exiting the market at the first sign of a downturn, when it may actually be better to sit tight. Or over-estimating our abilities when it comes to managing our own money. Or thinking that trying to time the markets is a good idea. But eliminating mistakes is only half the story. We have got to make sure they stay eliminated by encouraging good financial behaviour going forward. A high quality financial planner must help clients recognise when they are about to make an error and stop them before they choose a path that is not in their best interests. Your financial planner should be sitting down with you, really getting to know

you and your family and truly understanding what your goals are in order to produce a live, collaborative financial plan just for you, tailored to your circumstances and goals. Crucially, your financial planner will ensure that you stick to the plan. This is where the coaching happens, which is the most challenging bit. It is a simple idea, but not easy to implement. Stress testing the plan and being prepared is vital – one of the world’s largest fund managers (c£4 trillion under management) asked me to write an article for them on the importance of these “fire drills” we do with our clients. The right thing to do is often not the comfortable thing to do. Raj Shah is founder of Blue Wealth capital and has been shortlisted for Financial Planner of the Year and Investment Adviser of the Year.

*Source annualised return of the S&P 500 1/10/89 to 31/10/2019




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BY CHARLOTTE HIGGINS, COMPANY COMMERCIAL & CIVIL LITIGATION SOLICITOR Our Bell & Buxton columnist guides us through the use of cookies on your website


USING COOKIES ON YOUR WEBSITE Cookies are small files which are stored on a user’s computer. They collect data specific to the user of the website, e.g. tracking which websites the user has previously visited and remembering what is in a shopping basket. Cookies fall into two different categories: • Session cookies – these cookies are erased at the end of your browsing session. • Persistent cookies – these remain on your computer until the end of the expiry date for that cookie. This could be some years into the future. The use of cookies is governed by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (“PECR”), which sits alongside the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/279


obtaining consent for the use of cookies: • Users or subscribers must give consent prior to cookies being placed or used; • When requesting consent, users must have a genuine choice and be provided PECR only allow a website with sufficient and specific to set a cookie on a user’s information to make an computer if either: informed decision; • Strictly necessary – the • A failure to engage with cookie is used for technical a cookie request (e.g. purposes to allow the continuing to browse) cannot communication to take be used to infer consent; and place or provide a service the • Acceptance of cookies as a user has requested; or condition for accessing a site • Consent – the user has been (or part of a site) will only be given clear information lawful in limited situations. about the purpose of the Acceptance of online cookie and has given consent. advertising cookies is not a Importantly, the law was legitimate purpose (ICO). amended at the end of March 2019 to make it clear this To implement the guidance consent must meet the high provided by the ICO, consider standards in the GDPR. the following: • Ensure that any consent The ICO has issued guidance mechanism you put in place as a reminder on the use of allows the user to have cookies and how to go about (GDPR). PECR states that if you use cookies, you must (1) say what cookies will be set; (2) explain what the cookies will do; and (3) obtain consent to store cookies on a user’s device.

control over the cookies your website sets, for example provide the user with information about what information the cookies collect, and whether these are essential cookies, or non-essential cookies, then allowing the user to disable these cookies should they wish. • Consider the use of message boxes, pop-ups or header bars, but be careful that these do not make it hard for a user of a mobile or handheld device to read, otherwise the consent will be invalid. Many websites are using pop-ups or splash pages (including the ICO’s own website). Charlotte Higgins is a solicitor in the Company Commercial Department and the Civil Litigation Department at Bell & Buxton




Venue: Ponds Forge, Sheaf Street, Sheffield S1 2BP Time: 7pm – 2am Cost: Individual tickets - £89, Table of 10 - £870, Table of 12 - £1,020 About: These awards are the most prestigious in the region, showcasing the best businesses in Sheffield – including unLTD! Join Team unLTD and our fellow finalists and a host of leading organisations and entrepreneurs to celebrate the successes of the business community in 2019. Celebrating its 18th year the Sheffield Business Awards guarantee fantastic entertainment, exceptional food and a great networking opportunity. Contact:



Venue: Hilton Sheffield Victoria Quays, Furnival Road, Sheffield S4 7YA Time: 12pm – 2pm Cost: £15 About: 4N have a wellestablished formula for hosting successful networking events, ensuring like-minded business owners can find sales opportunities, trusted suppliers, as well as advice and expertise in the areas they need it. 4N also guarantees three 10-minute 1-2-1 conversations with the people of your choice. Contact: events/details/83090/


Venue: Novotel Sheffield Centre Hotel, 50 Arundel Gate, Sheffield, S1 2PR Time: 9:30am – 12:45pm Cost: Free


About: This brief but invaluable event will enhance the way you run your business by giving you the knowledge and advice to resolve any employee challenge. Contact:


Venue: Advanced Manufacturing Park, Brunel Way, Catcliffe, Rotherham S60 5WG Cost: Free About: Understanding what practical steps can be taken to help support employees struggling with mental health issues is an increasingly difficult task for HR departments in any sector. Join Lauren Adams, CBI HR Director, as she guides you through the keys to ensuring your practices and approaches in tackling mental health are of the standard expected in 2019. Contact:


Non-Members - £21.95+VAT About: These bimonthly breakfast events are the ideal opportunity to meet new businesses and gain new contacts across the Sheffield City Region. This event is designed to limit the impact on your working day, allowing you to make valuable connections before work even starts – the timesaver's dream! Contact: events@brchamber. / 01709 386200

Venue: Sheffield Technology Park, Cooper Buildings, Sheffield Science Park, Arundel Street, Sheffield S1 2NS Time: 6pm – 8pm Cost: Free About: This informal event is an ideal chance for the budding entrepreneur, or the seasoned solo veteran, to learn more about the experience of starting a small business. Hear about lessons learned the hard way or receive valuable advice you wish you’d received before it was too PLATFORM NETWORKING – WOMEN’S BUSINESS late, at this very popular event. NETWORKING Contact: Visit Venue: The Florentine, Tapton to book tickets Park Road, Sheffield S10 3FG Time: 9:30am – 11:30am Cost: Free CITY REGION BUSINESS About: This regularly held NETWORKING BREAKFAST – event is for anyone looking to SHEFFIELD be proactive in their approach Venue: Platinum Suite, to networking, or for others Sheffield United Football Club, looking to be that pillar of Bramall Lane, Sheffield, S2 4SU support and advice. Time: 7:30am – 9:30am Contact: Cost: Members - £14.95+VAT,






Venue: Campsmount Academy, Ryecroft Road, Norton, Campsall, Doncaster DN6 9AS About: Campsmounts Careers Fairs are renowned for their interactive events that have proved valuable for businesses looking to invest in youth. Help students gain an insight into your industry and inspire them to follow in your footsteps. Contact:



Venue: Atkinsons, 78-82 The Moor, Sheffield S1 3LT Time: 11am Cost: Free About: Atkinsons will be unveiled as the gateway event to the Sheffield Blitz Heritage Trail. A brand new book by local author Neil Anderson will go on sale at the event and entertainment will be provided by Britain’s Got Talent finalists The D-Day Darlings. Contact: 0114 276 8811



Time: 6.30pm - 9.30pm Cost: £35 payable on Eventbrite, with £10 from every ticket going to The Food Works About: With a nod to the past of the building that went up in 1794, Desk.Space are putting a historical twist on Christmas this year! In support of The Food Works Sheffield, join them for Victorian Christmas wreath making with Meadows and Mulberry, using the best of British greenery ‘grown not flown’ for a truly traditional workshop in a beautiful historical setting. Contact:


Venue: Noosa Café Bar, 1B Alma Street, Sheffield, S3 8RY Time: 10am – 12pm Cost: £5 tickets available via Eventbrite About: Informal business networking for the community of Kelham Island and beyond. A meet and mingle with new and familiar connections, sharing ideas and news, creating relationships and business opportunities without the need to pitch or sell. No single sector exclusions. Open to all businesses in the Sheffield area. Contact: 0333 355 0981 / 07977677057



Venue: Barnsley Football Club, Grove Street, Barnsley S71 1ET Time: 5pm – 6:30pm Cost: Free About: Join Oh My Ganache founder and guest speaker Mark Simpson and Barnsley College’s Talent United team for a blind chocolate taste test. There will be complementary fizz on arrival. Contact: Call 01226 216 411 or email talentunited

Venue: The Angler’s Rest, Hope Valley, Taggs Knoll, Bamford S33 0DY Time: 7:30am – 9:30am Cost: £12 About: Avoid losing any time in your day with this informal networking event for the early risers. With tea, coffee and breakfast included, you’ll have a chance to meet other professionals and experience a thought-provoking presentation from a member of the group. Contact:




Venue: Kenwood Hall, Sheffield S7 1NQ Time: 12pm – 2pm Cost: £20 + VAT for members, £25 + VAT for non-members About: Join the Simply Business team at the Laura Ashley Tea Rooms at Kenwood Hall for an extended networking lunch. Situated in one of Sheffield’s most beautiful suburbs, Kenwood Hall is a stunning location for a productive afternoon of networking. Contact:



Venue: Castle Park, Armthorpe Road, Doncaster DN2 5QB Time: 8am – 9:30am Cost: Members – Free, Nonmembers – £12 About: If you’re interested in hearing about the innovative ways in which the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce is helping locals, their businesses and the borough in general – all whilst having a lovely breakfast – then this event is a must. Contact:

Venue: Desk.Space, 117-119 West Bar, Sheffield, S3 8PT


Venue: The Hub Space, Barnsley College, Old Mill Lane campus, Church Street, Barnsley S70 2AX Time: 9:30am Cost: Free About: Join local entrepreneur James Wilmshurst, Founder of BePresentable!, and Barnsley College’s Talent United team who will be demonstrating how to showcase your business using interactive presentations and augmented reality. Guests will also get an introduction to QR codes and learn how to use them for marketing purposes. Contact: Call 01226 216 411 or email




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Unit 1a Speedwell Works, Sidney Street, Sheffield S1 4RG Call: 0114 252 7760 Email:





Venue: Fargate, Sheffield City Centre S1 2HE Time: 10am – 10pm daily Cost: Various About: A bigger and better brand-new bar is joining this year’s Christmas market with all your favourite festive tipples. Contact:


Venue: Peace Gardens, Pinstone Street, Sheffield S1 2HH Times: 12pm – 11pm About: Nordic winter wonderland in the heart of Sheffield, complete with atmospheric open fires and cosy furs. Grab some delicious wood-fired pizzas served up by The Dough Girls. Contact: Call 01904 373025 or email


Venue: Sheffield Cathedral, Church Street, Sheffield, S1 1HA Time: 6pm-10pm Cost: Adults £6, children £4, family ticket £17.50 (2 adults and 2 children aged 12 and under). Children 3 and under are free. About: This December, the Cathedral will be transformed with a Christmas-themed light show, while the interior of the Cathedral will also be home to a magnificent display telling the nativity story and the ‘true meaning of Christmas’. Contact:

6TH THE CHAMBER CHRISTMAS SOCIAL Venue: Pavillion Bar and Kitchen, Gateway Plaza, Sackville Street, Barnsley S70 2RD



Venue: Birdhouse Tea Bar and Kitchen, Alsop Fields, Sidney Street, Sheffield S1 4RG Time: 5pm Dinner and Carols / 6:30pm Carol Service Cost: Adult Just Carols: Mulled Wine, Mince Pie and Carols £10 pp / Child: Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Man and Carols £6 pp. Adult 5 Course Meal and Carols: £40 pp / Child 5 Course Meal and Carols: £20 pp About: A cosy evening of Christmas carols in a fairy-lit courtyard, welcoming The Abbeydale Singers and serving hot chocs, mulled wine and mince pies. Birdhouse head chef has also planned a delicious menu to enjoy before the singing begins. Contact: Time: 3pm – 5pm Cost: £19.95 - £24.95 + VAT About: This annual Christmas Social is well-known for its generous offering of festive food, and the presence of various local businesses which can lead to valuable relationships further down the line. Contact:


from 8:30pm. Start earlier on Saturday with an outside bar and BBQ alongside live music and a Christmas jumper competition between 2pm – 3pm. Contact:


Venue: Wortley Hall, Sheffield, Sheffield S35 7DB Time: 11:45am – 3pm Venue: Carlton Park Hotel, Cost: £26.95 - £36.95 + VAT 102-104 Moorgate Road, About: Steeped in history, Rotherham S60 2BG Wortley Hall will host the Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm Women in Business annual Cost: Free Christmas Lunch. Not only is About: Christmas jumpers are this a perfect opportunity to encouraged at this festive and meet members of the group relaxed networking event at the itself, it’s a chance to meet with Carlton Park Hotel, Rotherham. and connect with other local Stay as long as you please and businesses – all whilst enjoying make valuable connections some great food in a fantastic at this ever-popular informal festive setting. networking event. Contact: Contact: or call 01709 386200


Venue: The Blue Stoops, High Street, Dronfield S18 1PX Time: 13th – 6pm-12am 14th – 12pm-12am About: Friday 13th at The Blue Stoops features a Christmas cocktail masterclass, gin and ale tastings and a DJ


Venue: Sheffield Cathedral, Church Street, Sheffield S1 1HA Time: 12.30pm to 1.15pm About: Archer Project’s annual carol service which this year marks the start of the charity’s 30th anniversary helping homeless people in Sheffield. Soup and bread will

be served after the service and all donations will be gratefully received. Contact:


Venue: The Ballroom – Sheffield City Hall, Barker's Pool, Sheffield S1 2JA Time: 7:30pm Cost: £75 per person About: Your ticket to this event includes a champagne reception, festive nibbles, a stunning five course meal and live music and DJs to end the night. Enjoy a grand reception in the spectacular South Hall before moving across the Ballroom for a lavish meal followed by live entertainment to end your evening. Contact:


Venue: Meadowhall, Meadowhall Way, Sheffield S9 1EP Time: 11am-4pm Cost: £17-£22 About: Do something amazing this Christmas – come to the fun run and raise much needed funds for charity at the same time as spreading festive cheer and having fun. Contact:


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Our columnist and author asks if sales the industry deserves its stigma

MAKING SALES A ‘WIN:WIN’SITUATION I might surprise you when I say sales thoroughly deserves the stigma attached to it. Why? Because so many people do it wrong. I mean totally wrong. I mean they don’t have a clue! Life could have turned out very differently for me. I could have quite easily ended up as the kind of stereo-typical cockney salesperson I’ve spent a career trying to distance myself from – the very kind of people that bring about the stigma! In fact, if you ever sat down and mapped out what would have been the ideal prerequisites for the next ‘Del Boy’ Trotter I was probably pretty close to having them all. I was an East End boy – I had working class parents, I left school with no qualifications, I took a Saturday job selling fruit and veg and my wheeler dealer boss drove an ostentatious red Jag and had a pair of stone lions


perched incongruously outside his East End London home! So, where an earth did it all go wrong? How could such a start in life end up producing a man that is campaigning for the sales sector to be recognised with its ultimate record of legitimacy – its own charter mark? It would be enough to have Arthur Daley turning in his grave! Well turning or not, I probably think it’s because – even from a very early age – I realised that a ‘sale’ had to provide something of value to both parties. These days we call it a ‘win: win’ situation. Back then, in the days of my Saturday job, it meant ensuring the customers were buying the fruit and veg from me and not one of the rival shops down the road! And that really is it in a nutshell – that really is the crux of my teachings.

When both parties are getting something of equal value it doesn’t seem like selling at all – it is a totally pleasant and natural thing to do. But if you think about it, it’s the total lack of the ‘win: win’ situation that is the cornerstone of every negative salesperson stereotype you can think of. Just about every plot line for every episode of ‘Only Fools & Horses’, ‘Minder’ and any other TV programme that has hammered home the negative sales stereotype was structured around the protagonist trying to get one over on the buyer. It was always a total ‘win: lose’ situation in favour of the protagonist. The sales stereotype is no better on TV’s The Apprentice – the contestants rarely think about the buyer, they just want the sale!

If you take things a stage further, just about every sales scandal reported in the media in recent years has had ‘missselling’ as the central crux of the issue and it has, once again, ended up as a ‘win: lose’ situation. Someone has been sold something they didn’t really want, or they’d being left with a product that didn’t measure up to what it was supposed to. It’s not really surprising ‘sales’ has had a bad reputation! You can read more of my thoughts and perspective about the stigma associated with sales in my book Funnel Vision Selling Made Easy. To download my book for Kindle: To order a paperback version: Steve Knapp








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As 2019 ends, our columnist looks at how to move forward with positive progress

A TIME OF REFLECTION December, Christmas, the turn of the year – the turn of the decade, in fact – it always brings us to a time of reflection. Reflection doesn’t need to just focus on the things we haven’t got around to doing and haven’t yet quite achieved. It’s far too easy to be selfcritical on the factors that are missing from the year instead of actually appreciating how far you have come, what you have got, and what you have actually achieved. There is a noticeable difference between selfcriticism and self-critiquing. Obviously, there is a need to accept if, and when, you haven’t quite reached a goal but not to press self-destruct and prevent yourself from


understanding clearly and creatively, how to best move forward with positive progress. Appreciate every single little win that has compounded the result or current outcome. Recognise every moving part of the engine to really appreciate what it takes daily to ensure the momentum you need. It’s natural to assess and review our goals which is a fundamental task that I highly recommend you do. However, it doesn’t just have to be the end of a calendar year that this takes place. For me, reviewing progress against our goals is a consistent benchmarking requirement all year long. Twelve months is a long time to ensure you are staying on

track against goals set this time last year. And what happens when goals have been achieved, or missed? Do they get replaced with new ones? Is there an internal evaluation into what went well in order to rinse and repeat or repurpose? Or if something didn’t go as was planned for, why was this the case and how this can be improved upon? Reflection requires time. It requires honesty and ownership from you personally. This is applicable for life and business scenarios because without taking your activity seriously how are you supposed to have a realistic measure on how to plan your next year's targets? The best practise of this I recommend is to schedule

a formal review either for yourself, with your team or whoever else is concerned with your goals. Have your initial goals written down and then review the accomplishments, the process and the learnings in turn for each goal. Writing this process down helps with your mind’s cognitive functions and accepts the review as something tangible and not just a quick conversation over office drinks toasting another year in business! Here’s to constructive reflection time so that honest foundations are set ready for the next chapter of 2020! Helen Williams 07881 917665



CORPORATE SOCIAL Y T I L I B I S N O P S RE We spoke to a number of charities across the Sheffield City Region to find out why more and more firms are embedding corporate social responsibility (CSR) into their company culture – to the benefit of them, their staff and the charities themselves CAROLYNN MCCONNELL, BUSINESS CONNECTOR SHEFFIELD, SHEFFIELD BUSINESS TOGETHER There’s something special about Sheffield. The level of philanthropy and the willingness of businesses to get engaged with the community and charitable support is on another level – I just don’t think you find it in other cities. I’ve been on secondment to Business in the Community (BITC) for two years now. The focus of the last year has been on helping to establish Sheffield Business Together, encouraging businesses to get more involved with charities – but to be honest it’s been like pushing at an open door!


Sheffield Business Together unites like-minded businesses to collaborate, connect and share resources with charities to support people and communities. We’re committed to helping businesses achieve their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) objectives, help staff to volunteer, make giving back easy through our brokerage service and develop strategic projects to tackle social issues that no one business could deliver alone. We launched in March at an event at Arup, attended by more than 70 businesses and now have an amazing steering group which includes founding businesses Arup, Arm, Henry Boot, Irwin

Mitchell, John Lewis, both the universities as well as charities Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) who host SBT and South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation. Benchmark and Mantra Media have recently joined the steering group, too. It’s wonderful to have people like Louisa Harrison-Walker MD of Benchmark involved as her company have CSR embedded in their culture – their standfirst is The Ethical Recruiter. Mantra Media MD Johnny Pawlik also delivered a masterclass at our charity skills exchange and is delivering a digital workshop at one of the schools we work with.

The enthusiasm of SMEs like Mantra and Benchmark has really blown me away – the amount of input and impact they have, given their size, has been incredible. Our work with schools is all about social mobility. To make a targeted and focused difference we have partnered with a college and school in areas of low social mobility to help raise aspirations and attainment.


IF YOU ASK ME Research shows if kids have four or more encounters with an employer they are 86 per cent less likely to become NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). So for us to be able to send people into schools and colleges to inspire them and be role models is great. We are also hosting lots of workplace visits to broaden their knowledge of the jobs on offer and show them they are attainable. From an environmental point of view, we have supported Hunters Bar Infant School’s #GoGoGreen campaign to improve playground air quality by implementing their ‘Green Fence’ to block and absorb pollution. I am thrilled to say 50 plus businesses and organisations were involved in making this happen including John Lewis, Arup, Irwin Mitchell, Voluntary Action Sheffield, Henry Boot, Irwin Mitchell, BITC, and Arm – and we’re now evaluating and exploring how we scale this across the city.


PAUL FLETCHER MANAGING DIRECTOR AT CONTACT CENTRE, CC33 Community is at the core of our business at CC33 and one of our key aims is to regularly get our team involved in CSR initiatives. Fundraising for charities, no matter the cause, can be a great way to get the team together to have some fun whilst still doing something worthwhile. Each quarter, our staff vote for charities that eventually become our chosen charity. Some of the examples our team have chosen over the past year include The Alzheimer’s Society, MIND, Breast Cancer Care Awareness


Month, Macmillan Cancer Support and The Sheffield Children’s Hospital. This December, our staff have chosen ‘Alone for Christmas’ – a local charity with a mission to support people who would typically spend Christmas alone with a Christmas dinner and some much-needed company. We’ve come up with a variety of ways to raise money in the office including hosting cake sales, fancy dress days, dress down days and raffles. Our superstar footballers have also taken part in charity matches at Bramall Lane and Hillsborough! We don’t just limit our CSR

efforts for local charities as the team have also got stuck into national fundraising campaign, Children In Need. Our Rotherham and Sheffield teams took part in pyjama days and superhero-themed fancy dress days. Alongside this, our Rotherham office have held raffles and have even taken part in their very own Bake Off! Our Sheffield offices have also been getting in on the action – hosting duck races and cake sales. CSR is fully engrained in our business ethos and as a company who champion strong team values we’re delighted to support as many local and national charities as possible.


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RACHAEL DAWES CORPORATE FUNDRAISING MANAGER BLUEBELL WOOD CHILDREN’S HOSPICE, NORTH ANSTON In my eight years with Bluebell Wood I have worked alongside many inspirational local, regional and national businesses who understand the true values of giving. Without them, we simply couldn’t raise the £4million we need every single year to keep our doors open. These companies do far more than fundraise on our behalf. They encourage their staff to give us their time. Their workers come as corporate volunteers – they help to maintain our six acres of land, look after thousands of people at our biggest fundraising events, and support our charity shops. Others come to our North Anston hospice to share something equally invaluable – their knowledge and expertise. Skills Shares mean we get to benefit from the years of on-


the-job training and wealth of experience people have built up during their careers. In addition, every corporate supporter increases awareness of the hospice in their community. People not familiar with CSR might think: but why would bosses want their workers to do this, instead of the jobs they are paid to do? We know the answer because we see it every day, not only in the faces of our children, young people and families, but also in the faces of our corporate fundraisers and volunteers – the benefits go full-circle. There’s a feelgood factor to giving. Companies who go above and beyond to support charities, and encourage their staff to do the same, are proving their business focus is not solely about making a profit. They are doing their bit to make the world a nicer place and support the less fortunate. What employee wouldn’t feel

I have worked alongside many inspirational local, regional and national businesses who understand the true values of giving

proud to be part of a company which encourages that? I’m not surprised to read that research shows a CSR strategy increases employee engagement and has a positive impact when recruiting. The strong partnership the hospice has with the Sheffield headquarters of IT solutions specialists Insight UK is a wonderful example of CSR working for all. Insight made Bluebell Wood its chosen charity in 2016 and three years on, is still with us. Its staff have raised more than £132,000 from fundraising, donation of IT equipment, volunteer days and more. We work with them to make it easy for them to help us and always remember their day jobs have to be their priority. We urge more companies to visit the hospice, find out what difference their support can make and consider making us their charity of the year, or charity partner.







At first, people were really nervous – they expected a place of sadness they would One of our core values at come away from feeling Insight UK is ‘heart’. We aim to distressed. The reality was support each other and make so different. We see the love a meaningful difference every and patience the parents, day and that extends to our staff and volunteers show the partnerships, charities and the children and feel humbled and community. warm-hearted. This has had CSR has been high on our a massively positive effect on agenda for many years. We our culture. It has unified us. have a policy of giving staff two Right across the teams, days a year and have worked people are willing to work with numerous national and together for fundraising local charities and community activities. We know that projects. However, when you everything we do for the find a charity that goes right to hospice helps – this makes the heart of practically every us feel good and creates a member of staff, the effects happier workplace. are truly astonishing. I have never seen such Over the last three years, we positivity for a charity from have built a special connection our employees. Pre-Bluebell, with Bluebell Wood Children’s uptake was low for those two Hospice. It became our Charity volunteering days a year – of The Year in 2016 – a number now, it’s quadrupled and a of people in our 407-strong number of staff give their own Sheffield HQ had a child in the time too, working weekends family who was being cared for to steward at hospice football there and told colleagues how matches and take part in special it was. fundraisers.


Over the last three years, we have built a special connection with Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice

Global account manager, Owen Jenkins, has even become a regular volunteer with the Siblings Group, whilst sales manager, Dan Olsen-Saaler, ran an extreme 75-mile marathon in 24 hours to raise more than £1,300. Other staff have walked the Great Wall of China. We all feel really proud to have raised £132,000 in three years and prouder still of the awards that have come along because of it – Most Creative Fundraiser in the 2018 Master Cutler’s Challenge, and two wins already in the national Great Place To Work 2019 awards. A huge part of being a Great Place To Work comes from what we have gained by working with Bluebell Wood. I hope we can inspire other businesses to follow suit. Every employer has a responsibility to support their local community, but helping and encouraging your employees to do that builds workforce unity and pride.






As 2019 draws to an end, Pat reflects on a strong selling year for the firm

PLANNING AND CONSIDERING THE OPTIONS It’s been a busy 18-month period for us in the corporate finance department at Hart Shaw. Historically, we work more on buy-side transactions than sell-side, probably around 70 per cent - 30 per cent ratio. However, over the past 18 months this has swung the other way. On looking as to why this might be the case, we can identify several possible influencing factors: Firstly, many owner managers that could/should have exited on or before December 2007, but who decided to hold out for higher valuations, believing the strong market conditions would continue, are now 12 years older and in many cases have endured a sustained period of difficult market conditions. This has resulted in large numbers of businesses owners who are now well into their late 60s or early 70s and need to exit before their business values diminish. However, buyers often want a sensible hand-over period and many deals involve some


form of earnout or deferred consideration, thus the older the vendor is the trickier this becomes for both sides. Private Equity funds are awash with cash and needing to deploy their funds, Afterall that is what they are paid to do. They will be very particular on the types of businesses they buy, they must have a strong defensive business model with some key selling points and competitive advantage, but also allowing further growth over the next 3 - 5 years. Private equity now compete head on with corporates for transactions and they are willing, in lots of cases, to buy up to 100 per cent of the equity or a majority stake. We can’t not mention Brexit as it would appear to be having an impact, too. The uncertainty caused has meant some owners have gone to the market to find a buyer ahead of the actual outcome of the exercise. As we get nearer to the outcome, the number of new sale mandates has begun to tail off as owners now realise it’s too late to sell and

therefore need to see what happens post Brexit before deciding what to do. Another significant factor is the amount of monies available to listed companies, that are seeing opportunities to acquire businesses to grow their market share and to use some of the cash they have been sitting on during the recession. Prices are lower than they were pre-recession in a lot of cases, so some bargains are to be had. This is further value enhancing for overseas corporate buyers that also get the exchange benefit created by the devaluation of Sterling caused in part by Brexit. So, what does all this mean going forward? If you are an owner manager of a business in the region and looking to realise your investment in the short to medium term, then there is no doubt there are buyers out there for the right opportunities and the cash is certainly available. However, timing is often critical. If your business doesn’t fit the private equity model due to lower

growth prospects or not being a market leader in your sector, then you might want to look at the middle management team as a potential exit route in the form of a management buy-out. If the team is not fully capable of running the business, it might be advisable to bring someone in or indeed be the leader of the buy-out? If a trade sale is the preferred route, then look at the business as if you were a buyer and address all the areas you would expect to see. Buyers typically look at a three-year time horizon when conducting due diligence, therefore having a progressive set of financial results with a clean balance sheet is essential to the smooth running of a sale process. Planning and considering the options open to you is vital so consider taking advice early so that you can address areas that may become issues to a buyer. Pat Abel is a Corporate Finance Partner at Hart Shaw


2020’s Biggest Cyber Security Threats What will be the next global virus or serious cyber attack for 2020? Check out our article to the right to discover which threats your organisation needs to prepare for…

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Ian Snow, MD at CT, looks at the biggest cybersecurity threats moving into 2020 With 2019 ending, companies are having to prepare for the cyber threats they'll face in 2020. Attackers are constantly looking for new exploits to defraud and damage companies, but older strategies remain amongst the most common types of threats. Whilst many may not be new, they are increasing in frequency and more cleverly targeted. Ransomware According to the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report, a business falls for a ransomware attack every 14 seconds. Ransomware is delivered by email and renders all data inaccessible – essentially locking you out of your device. Attackers typically demand payment to release the files. There has been a growth of ‘targeted’ attacks on critical files and systems within organisations. Disconnect your device from the network to reduce the number of files lost. Contact an IT expert to investigate how and why the attack happened. Once determined, ensure good malware protection is installed and regularly carry out data backups to prevent future attacks. Phishing A term meaning to ‘fish’ for passwords and financial data, is one of the most common methods of cyber-attack. Scammers pose as trustworthy businesses or services to gain sensitive information. The point of vulnerability here is most often human. It can be hard to spot as phishing



emails/messages often look convincing. If you do receive a suspicious email, don’t respond, and take immediate action. You or your IT support should run anti-virus on the device, change all passwords for accounts using the password captured and contact the company or person impersonated. To prevent phishing, be suspicious of unexpected emails, keep spam filters turned on and check them regularly. Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) APTs are a sophisticated form of cyber-attack where a hacker enters a system network and remains there undetected. Systems aren’t damaged but, instead, financial and security information is stolen. APTs are hard to detect but installing a Firewall to block unauthorised access to your systems is

crucial to identify it, as is updated antivirus software. With luck, if affected by an APT, you’ll discover it sooner rather than later but if not, take all affected systems offline and restore them from a clean backup. Botnets A botnet is effectively a ‘robot network’. Collections of internet-connected devices that have been compromised there are used to initiate attacks on websites, steal private information and deploy malware. Botnets are free to access entire networks once a device is infected so look for strange emails, popups or software downloads. Devices connected to the internet are vulnerable to attack but taking precautions can help keep them away. Keep software updated,

avoid suspicious links and downloads and install antivirus covering multiple devices. Be prepared Every business is susceptible to a cyber-attack no matter the size of the organisation. Not only is having a backup and disaster recovery plan crucial in protecting your business in the event of a cyber-attack, so is training your team as most attacks arise from human error. This is best managed by an IT support specialist which can constantly monitor for threats and remain up to date with the latest methods being used by hackers. For more information on protecting your business call 01246 266 130 or visit


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Our columnist shares his insurance advice with those affected by the recent flooding

FLOOD INSURANCE ISSUES As South Yorkshire has once again been hit by terrible flooding, our thoughts go out to the many people who have to move out of their ruined homes for Christmas and for many months to come. Whilst the £20m spent in flood defences in Sheffield has saved many businesses and homes from devastation, it does seem to have moved the problem further down river to Rotherham and Doncaster – impacting in many of the same places that were affected in 2007. Whilst the clean up is ongoing, and no doubt there will be significant debate in the future about the best way to protect the areas going forward, it is worth considering the future insurability of homes and businesses in these particular areas. In respect of Home Insurance thankfully there is a scheme called Flood Re, which is a joint initiative between the government and insurers to make the flood cover element of household insurance more


water entering your affordable and provide cover property in the first to more households than place? There are now a would be covered otherwise. number of temporary (For more information visit barrier solutions that can Therefore be put in place when bad most householders should be weather is forecast that able to obtain cover although can be effective. it may be expensive. - Depending on the value Businesses in flood affected of the contents of the areas, however, could find property you may want to obtaining flood insurance consider more permanent more difficult. There is no changes to your property, Flood Re scheme in respect including retaining walls of commercial insurance and or earthworks to direct therefore insurance companies water away from the must assess whether they building or hold it at bay. are willing to provide cover. • Property resilience From experience following - Drying out a property the 2007 event, this could be following a flood can almost impossible for some be a big issue, therefore businesses. consider applying a water With no guarantee of resistant plaster to the being able to purchase flood walls and consider the insurance, it is therefore type of flooring in the important to consider what property. Whilst this won’t flood mitigation measures can stop water getting in, it be put in place to protect the will improve the speed at future of your business. which you are back up and running. Things to consider: • Siting of critical equipment • Water ingress - When looking at the - Can measures be layout of a factory or implemented to prevent

an office it is important to consider where the essential services or business critical items are located. Often the mains electrical board or a server room are located under stairs or in a back room somewhere on the ground floor. If these items are wiped out in a flood they could cause a severe and unnecessary interruption to the business. Many of these things are straight forward and just require some thought and planning to ensure that should the worst happen – whilst it won’t be pleasant – it’s not going to shut the business down permanently. If you want more advice on flood resilience, please feel free to get in touch. Sam Leeder ACII Actus Insurance samleeder@ 0114 2903624 07718 189476








Earlier this year Blue Wealth Capital founder Raj Shah marked his tenth year in business by welcoming a new team member – his wife, Fiona. Jill Theobald caught up with both to find out how their work/life balance is boosting the business and ensuring family time flourishes… plus the pair share their healthy approach to getting your busy working week into shape We all spend so much time with our colleagues on an average working week, many employees joke about having ‘work wives and husbands’. But how many of us actually live and work alongside our significant other? Over to a couple who are making it, literally, work – Blue Wealth Capital director and principal Raj Shah and client manager Fiona. Grabbing a coffee with the couple in their Sheffield home mid-morning, it’s clear that it does – Raj has time to chat to unLTD ahead of a meeting in the office late morning while Fiona, who has 20 years’ experience working in the corporate and private client legal sectors, is able to drop


their two young sons at school before I arrive. What’s also evident is how their different personalities, approaches and skills – but shared company and family values – are complementing Blue Wealth Capital, the company based in Ranmoor, which specialises in holistic independent financial planning and acts as trusted advisor for high net worth individuals and their families across the region and nationally. Raj and Fiona initially, and fittingly, met at a business event – the first ever Master Cutlers Challenge wine tasting and networking event in 2008, which brings us back to those different personalities and skills.

We attract clients that are similar to us who share our values – our clients become like family to us

“I am very used to selfpromotion!” says Raj. “That comes from my early days in the finance and insurance industries, engaging with clients and people local to me and getting to know them. The way I see it you have to do your own promotion, no-one is going to do it for you so I don’t mind the networking and what some would call ‘schmoozing’ because I’d learned the right tone and ways of communicating with people.” “Whereas back then for me,” says Fiona, “as a newly qualified solicitor, it was very much expected of me as part of the business development side of the role, but it wasn’t something I enjoyed as much.



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There’s pressure in running your own business so it’s all about putting those parameters in place

“Fast forward 20 years and now I relish meeting new people and really listening to them and getting to know them.” Raj moved from Hull to Sheffield to study Business and Technology at Sheffield Hallam University in 1994 but it was a work placement that put him on the path to eventually running his own business. “One of my landlords had a contact in financial services who was looking for a PA so I


took the opportunity and can’t deny the initial attraction, as a student not earning anything, was obviously the money!” laughs Raj. “After that company got taken over and everybody was laid off, I started working in a call centre for a national bank handling in-bound calls. “I got to work with the financial advisors, and while I wasn’t privy to their meetings, I found I was very good at generating appointments for

them. Many became friends – we’d go for drinks in a bar nearby on a Friday after work.” After graduating and realising, like so many other students before him – including this unLTD writer – he wanted to stay in Sheffield, Raj went to work for a high profile insurance company, again starting on inbound calls. He quickly rose through the ranks (“one of the first questions I asked was about the potential for progression”)

to become a coach and trainer and completed his training exams with the firm. Progress he did, being tasked with the challenge of turning around dormant accounts and taking on different roles in business to business and business to consumer financial sales, moving to an investment firm where he built up a client bank from zero to 80 clients through the old school approach of knocking on doors.





“I still remember the patter and how we personalised the approach by doing things like following up with thank you notes and staying in touch with potential and existing clients. I think that has definitely developed into our approach at Blue Wealth today where we like to treat clients on a personal, almost family level.” After moving back to working for a private banking firm, Raj discovered he was not a fan of the process of being minute-managed and reporting to line managers by faxing hourly updates and resigned without a job. He moved on to set up a business for financial brokers with some associates working with


mortgage advisors and estate agents – but post ‘creditcrunch’ it was a different story. “We were being encouraged to take high commissions to keep the company afloat and that did not sit right with me ethically. I resigned but it was a calculated resignation. I knew I wanted to go out on my own and in 2009 with a bit of cash flow from my dad I set up Blue Wealth. We were fee-only which was very rare back then in the financial community and was our USP. From 2013 in the industry you were no longer able to take commission, so we were four years ahead of the game, way before the playing field was levelled.” Raj has gone on to be

I have seen the business growing and becoming more complex and I could see what I could bring and how I could help it develop

named a finalist in IFA of the Year 2016, Investment Adviser of the Year 2016, and ranked among the 42 under 42 Brightest and Best Business people in Yorkshire. Sheffield-born Fiona, meanwhile, went to school in Dinnington (“it was an under-privileged area, and a pit village – some of my school friends’ dads were miners who were on strike at the time”) and after studying law and Spanish at Essex University with a year studying law in Barcelona, found her way into her legal career. “I quickly set my heart on a career in law when I was choosing my options at school and was not to be deterred. I graduated with an upper second



It’s great to have the support of It’ssignificant great to have your the other support staying of significant onyour track! other staying on track!

class honours degree in law and Spanish and, after a few part-time jobs, I secured a career development loan as my parents couldn’t afford to fund my study. I also did work experience at law firms large and small, anything to get more on my CV.” After getting her foot in the door with one of Sheffield’s high-profile law firms she was supported and championed by team members, starting a training contract and finally qualifying as a solicitor in the firm’s corporate team. “Looking back though it wasn’t really me,” says Fiona. “I found it a very cut-throat environment with a very unhealthy work/life balance, and it got to be even more competitive after I qualified. “The upside was I initially trained by two well-respected corporate lawyers and was privileged to work alongside local people running Sheffield


businesses in mergers and acquisitions and the like. I got to know the city’s business scene well, forging relationships with corporate financiers and intermediaries.” After a period commuting to work for a law firm in Leeds where she also completed a secondment at a wealth management and corporate broking firm in the city, Fiona joined another Sheffield law firm before meeting Raj and getting married in 2010. “Shortly after marrying we started a family – two small children just 18 months apart which is very demanding! – and I didn’t want to go back into law. My priorities changed and I wanted to be a mother first and foremost. “When our eldest started school I joined a small team of lawyers practicing wills and estate planning and probate at a niche private client firm

in Sheffield. The workplace generally was becoming a lot more flexible and I was part of a great team of people there. “About 18 months ago Raj and I started talking about possibly working together. Raj needed someone reliable and trustworthy and with the right skills to help him grow the business and I was looking for something that was even more flexible around the children and their school and extracurricular commitments.” Adds Raj: “After her work in the legal and commercial sectors in the city over the years, Fiona has got the knowledge and pedigree we needed to bring to the business. We share a common purpose and have complementary skills. My years of knocking on doors and cold calling…” “Which sounds like hell to me!” laughs Fiona.

“Exactly – but that has helped me develop my natural style,” explains Raj, “and means we attract clients that are similar to us who share our values – our clients become like family to us. Fiona and I have got different personalities and skills, but we share that same moral compass.” “It took us a long time talking about working together,” says Fiona. “We had to bear in mind we were going to be living together and being in business together, in the good times as well as when things might be stressful at work or at home. “But the fact is I have been with Raj since the start of the business, I have seen the business growing and becoming more complex and I could see what I could bring and how I could help it develop.”



Says Raj: “Running your own business means you put the hours in but equally there’s flexibility where there might not be if you’re working for someone else.” “The boys have succumbed to a lot of school bugs recently plus we’ve moved house in the last couple of weeks,” says Fiona, “so, I’ve been able to work around that.” The couple also share a strong passion for fitness and healthy eating. Sure enough – Raj and Fiona don’t just live and work together they train and work out together, too. “The gym is definitely one of our happy places!” says Raj. “The thing about healthy eating and exercise is it also improves your mental health,” says Fiona. “We go to the gym four times a week and sometimes the children join us on Sundays, too! “The gym in the city centre is


owned and managed by a local businessman so it’s not a big faceless national gym and there are people from all walks of life there which is good because otherwise you can exist in your own bubble. We really enjoy going there and have made real friends there. Our children are always welcome there too which means they are learning by example. “There’s pressure in running your own business so it’s all about putting those parameters in place,” explains Raj. “We have a rule where we don’t talk work before 8:30am or after 5:30pm, but the way we divide up our working week into three segments is probably the best example – this is something we have developed over the last ten years as a business and it’s great to have the support of your significant other in keeping to it and staying on track!”

RAJ AND FIONA’S WORKING WEEK – A GUIDE! FOCUS DAYS “These are workdays when you are 100 per cent committed to the task(s) in hand and on your ‘to do’ list, as well as to profit-generating and business development activities.”

BUFFER DAYS “These are admin days, for tying up loose ends. The point in the week where you need to follow up on and finish off tasks.”

FREE DAYS “These are not work-related at all – they are more time set aside for down time, recreation and rejuvenation.”


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Daniel Bumby, MD of Simoda, tells us why Sheffield is ‘the best city in the UK’ and praises the support of the tech community in driving his business

I was inspired to start my business by... I have held the desire to build my own business for many years and I often get asked ‘why now’? Well, it is quite simple really. I have always been interested in technology and how technology can help drive future innovation and today we see technology driving disruption and innovation all around us. Helping business leaders and IT teams is a real passion of mine and you know what they say – if you enjoy what you do then you will never work another day in your life! My favourite thing about running my business is… I love the variation from day to day. Over the last seven months we have had highs and lows but the key is to remain agile and as our chairman keeps reminding us – stay focused and don’t have mission drift. The three words that best describe my business are… Simplify, Modernise, Accelerate = SIMODA. Sheffield City Region is a great place to start a business because… We are in the best city in the UK so why would anyone want to locate anywhere else! I am proud to be from Sheffield, the help and support we receive from the local tech community is brilliant. Sheffield City Region is a great place to grow a business because… I really like the acceptance of a diverse workforce in our region. The tech industry is renowned for being very white male orientated but like nowhere else in the UK the


Sheffield City Region is driving diversity as well as innovation. The best advice I ever got was… Don’t be afraid to fail and always be learning. The worst advice I ever got was… Always be closing and do everything you can to get the sale – thankfully I ignored this most of the time. The organisations that have supported me and my business include… This could be a long list, almost like a Oscar award speech! I will keep it brief. Sheffield Technology Park, Sheffield Digital, Iland, IPriver, Avant, One2Call, Zerto, Secure Power, plus many more to come – mutually beneficial partnerships are the key to our success.

I have always been interested in technology and how technology can help drive future innovation

The main challenges facing my industry/sector are… Education, knowledge and acceptance. Not a day goes by when we are not talking to businesses about the opportunity that digital transformation and data intelligence brings. To summarise: ‘The key to success is through an open understanding of what is possible’. In 5 years’ time I expect my business to… Continue to help business leaders and IT teams solve issues, address challenges and achieve objectives but with advanced technologies. We are excited to see the wider adoption of A.I and the battle between the big seven players (Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, SalesForce and IBM).

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Bag It Don’t Bin It (BIDBI) a Sheffield based eco-friendly printing company is bucking the trend as a UK manufacturing business, consistently going from strength to strength. unLTD’s Sasha Mossman spoke to finance director Marc Larsen to delve into what makes BIDBI work 52


SUCCESS STORY More consumers are considering their carbon footprint when shopping, so for eco-friendly BIDBI who produce custom-printed reusable branded cotton tote bags, business is really booming. However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the firm. Founded in 2007, BIDBI has had an illustrious history, as finance director Marc Larsen (pictured right) explains: “BIDBI was one of the first companies to start selling 100 per cent Fairtrade cotton bags in the UK around 12 years ago and back then, it was quite a niche market. “The company has seen growth year-on-year, and when the previous owner left in 2017 both our managing director Daya Singh (pictured left) and I bought the company, as we could see the potential for further growth.” Marc and Daya were able to transform the business with help from HSBC and government funding, taking BIDBI from a small niche operation to a larger-scale modern manufacturing company. Marc explains: “Up until that point, BIDBI was renowned as an eco-bag company, which was fantastic, but when we took over, we were able to look at it with a fresh set of eyes. “In our minds, if the company was going to have a chance to benefit from market trends, we needed to upscale dramatically. “BIDBI had been growing organically and subsequentially we created numerous jobs after the takeover, our workforce eventually doubled. “However, from the onset both Daya and I quickly realised that we needed to increase the work space to reflect their further growth strategies, so plans were put in place to move premises quickly. “Before the move, we had a cramped work facility in an old factory where the staff needed better machinery to work on. So, one of the things we wanted to improve quickly was to have a better working environment, and that’s what we have given them!


“Moving production into a new unit was a huge milestone for BIDBI! The investment alone was possibly the biggest investment made into screen printing equipment in Britain that year.” Nevertheless, growth didn’t stop there, the original print factory was totally renovated and reopened in August 2019, with a view to creating more jobs for local people. For BIDBI maintaining its core company values as well as looking after staff is essential, and one of the business’ main aims is to tap into what keeps their young, career-driven workforce happy. “We encourage inhouse recruitment and

career progression in each department, keeping in line with the company’s ethical way of trading. “We are Fairtrade registered, therefore our ethos is to ensure all of our workers are treated well, this is the same for those in India and in Sheffield.” Efforts made to improve work spaces haven’t gone unnoticed by staff either, as Marc continues: “Operations are completely different to how they were previously, and we’ve definitely found it’s improved output from our staff too.” Despite going through a period of major growth by creating an atmosphere of job security, Marc acknowledges

that this hasn’t been the case for most firms. “Although we’ve seen vast improvements here at BIDBI, the reality for a lot of manufacturing employees in Sheffield and across the UK is to be worried about being made redundant. It’s been quite an experience to hear how people applying for roles here at BIDBI have been going through the mill and potentially worrying over losing their job.” As more and more consumers are becoming ever increasingly environmentally conscious, BIDBI has seen more and more customers seek out reusable products and prioritise being able to deliver quality ethical goods. “We’re focused on driving our environmentally-friendly ethos as well as maintaining a fully-fledged print factory, though, wanting to remain ethical in what we’re doing.” The company saw a rise in the demand for their Fairtrade and organic products and decided to release a premiumquality range. “We’re extremely proud of our Fairtrade and Organic ranges as we’ve found that we’ve definitely captured what the consumer wants and needs. “Everybody claims to have the best quality products, but we truly believe ours are – and the response we’ve had definitely proves it. The demand has been so great that sometimes we struggle to replenish stock quick enough.” In looking to the future, Marc and Daya have a host of ideas to continue BIDBI’s growth: “We’re continuing to make investments, revamping and utilising areas of our original building to house new print technologies, which we’re hoping to offer to our clients shortly.” Marc adds: “We’re aiming to introduce a range of printing techniques as opposed to one skill set. We will still specialise in printed cotton bags but we’re also branching out into other substrates – that should be interesting! “The main thing for our company is to keep to our ethos whilst continuing to be driven and continue our growth.”



WALK THIS WAY It’s been proven that office workers get dangerously little exercise – and Travel South Yorkshire’s Active and Sustainable Travel Team are on a mission to change this. Sasha Mossman found out why taking time out for a walk everyday could be the most beneficial addition to your routine

Arguably the healthiest and most cost-effective way of getting some exercise, walking can easily fit into even the busiest worker’s daily routine. Although it can sometimes seem impossible to leave the desk behind, Travel South Yorkshire’s Active and Sustainable Travel team are prepared to step in to help workforces set up and start walking. The Active and Sustainable Travel team are qualified ‘walk leaders’, who host regular health walks in order to

help workplaces inject some activity into the working week and encourage colleagues to socialise – which over time helps staff to keep healthier and fitter. The team, who set up the scheme back in October 2018, support businesses in setting up their own organised walks also lead the popular ‘Wednesday Health Walk’ in Sheffield city centre every Wednesday. Marketing Manager Richard Pilgrim said “Setting up your own workplace walk is easier than you think – we have a

team of qualified walk leaders providing all the support and guidance you will need. “Our leaders are there to make sure everyone taking part is comfortable, safe and – most importantly – enjoying themselves. They can scope out potential routes, help develop risk assessments – and the best part is, we can offer this at no cost to your workplace.” The weekly walks in and around the city centre are part of Step Out Sheffield – Walking for Health, which is the biggest volunteer-led walking for

health scheme in the country and offers 60 weekly options at 29 different locations across the city. These depart every Wednesday at 12:30pm from Travel South Yorkshire’s head office at 11 Broad Street West, and last 40 to 45 minutes on average – spanning a number of routes across the city. Booking isn’t necessary and anyone is welcome to join. On average, workers spent about an hour a day travelling in 2017 but spent only 12 minutes of that time walking.





WE FIND OUT WHY WALKING IS THE WAY FORWARD: Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner for the Sheffield City Region, says: “As commissioner, I am committed to working with local authorities and other partners across South Yorkshire to help make our streets safer and more pleasant for people on foot. Walking is a fantastic way to incorporate activity in to the day and can help make us healthier and happier. “To help improve walking experiences for people in the Sheffield City Region, I am asking those who travel on foot to share their thoughts with me on our Active Travel Interactive Map. Your comments will help us create a future network which is safe and accessible for all.” View the Active Travel Interactive Map at cyclewalkscrmap.


Most worryingly, office workers see the highest levels of inactivity, spending 70-85 percent of time at work sitting. Similarly, according to a survey by the Get Britain Standing campaign, the average UK office worker sits for 8.9 hours a day. This can lead to a whole host of health issues – including cardiovascular health problems, type 2 diabetes, weight gain and mental health problems. However, setting aside time each day for some gentle

exercise can reduce each of these risks significantly – even walking short distances daily can substantially boost fitness and mood levels. Richard added: “One of the brilliant things about walking is that you can easily incorporate it into your daily routine, and it can quickly return some great results. “Walking is a fantastic form of exercise. It costs absolutely nothing and gives you some amazing health benefits. It’s the ultimate form of zero emission transport, too!”



Lorna Martin, a service information officer who has been taking part in the Travel South Yorkshire led walks since last January, says: “Joining the Wednesday walk has become part of my routine and I’m much fitter for it. I enjoy not having to plan the routes myself, having a led walk means I can see different parts of the city but not have to spend time looking into routes that are achievable in the timeframe – that part is done for me.” Emily Batty, a supervisor at Traveline, likes to book walking meetings with members of her team. She says: “Getting fresh air means I feel more productive when I get back to my desk and the team feel the same way too. They look forward to their turn and the chance to step away from the phones.”



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The revitalisation of a former economic powerhouse area of Sheffield is taking further significant steps thanks to the impact being made by Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. Attercliffe – home to much of Sheffield’s engineering past – is set for a quadruple boost with the announcement of schemes totalling more than £60m. They include: The redevelopment and expansion of the iconic Banners building – now home to lawyers Wosskow Brown – on Attercliffe Road. The nearby Adelphi square site into a major mixed-use development combining bars, restaurants, shops, housing, a themed meeting venue, workspace and a branded hotel. The creation of an English Institute of Sport Sheffield 100-bedroom hotel centred on the needs of athletes and paraathletes and support staff who use the facilities at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. This


much needed hotel will help to attract more Olympic and Paralympic squads to the City. The start in December of an enhanced Community Stadium – currently used by Sheffield Eagles Rugby League Club and Sheffield United Women Football Club. The sustainable development proposals come on the back of the launch in November of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park junior parkrun. Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is proving to be a real economic, community and health and wellbeing driver for the East End and the rest of the city. Iconic buildings have sprung up in the last few years including the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, Oasis Academy School and University Technical College as well as embracing established facilities such as the English Institute of Sport Sheffield,

iceSheffield and FlyDSA Arena. In addition, high profile briefings are underway for the establishment of The Centre for Child Health Technology which will colocate at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park – providing unrivalled opportunities to work closely with children and young people to improve health behaviours and the lives, health and wellbeing of children through prevention. “We are seeing the regeneration and redevelopment of Attercliffe as a result of the expansion of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park,” said the Rt. Hon. Richard Caborn. “This truly is the return of Attercliffe delivering an exciting future for Sheffield and the immediate community.” Wosskow Brown initially opened its first office in The John Banner Building in 1989. Five staff were employed and over the past 30 years that has increased to more than 100.

Although branch offices have been opened, the heart of the Practice remains in The John Banner Centre, where all administration, accounts and supervision takes place. The proposed development will provide additional space, of a very high standard, which will benefit the Practice and its ability to continue to grow, whilst at the same time provide an excellent working environment for all the staff. The partners in the latest regeneration proposals are Legacy Park Ltd, GVL Limited and blacc. Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is being delivered by Legacy Park Ltd, a partnership between Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield City Trust, South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care System and Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network.



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– AND BACK! He has been one of the best-known business figures in the Sheffield City Region for nearly three decades. Nowadays you are more likely to find former Sheffield Chamber of Commerce boss Nigel Tomlinson in the Middle East – but he retains strong links to South Yorkshire as unLTD found out on his latest visit to the UK. From Doncaster to Dubai and back again – Nigel Tomlinson may have left Sheffield Chamber of Commerce in 2010 but he certainly maintains his links with the Sheffield City Region (SCR). After leaving the Chamber, Nigel continued working with the Chamber movement overseas and in 2015 become a strategic adviser to the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe. In 2015 he received their highest honour, the Award for Excellence in Business. “But bit by bit I have moved away, working now


through a Swedish registered company we set up which has a £15m turnover,” he says. “I am and have been working with some of the great companies and organisations in the world including the European Union. “I am doing all that work out of the Middle East, I’ve got an office in Dubai, an office in London, in Holborn, where I am also associate lecturer for London School of Business and Finance. So, I’ll be doing more work in London next year and possibly less overseas. “My company car seems to be an Emirates Airline A380! It’s just been an amazing ride and the great thing is I work three months on and three months off. When the three months are on, I work overseas and the three months off I work in London, it’s a lovely balance. “The downside of being away from the region is I’ve not seen my beloved Blades (Sheffield United) in three years. My sons have played hell with me as

they haven’t seen them either! I have missed this wonderful ride from League One to the Premier League. The last match I saw was a 2-2 draw at Doncaster Rovers – we were lucky to get a point that day!” Nigel is full of praise for how his hometown of Doncaster has embraced change. In particular, he is playing a key role in the emergence of DB4C – Doncaster Business for the Community. Started two years ago by well-known business figures from the town, it is a unique and ground-breaking charity raising much-needed funds for Doncaster-based charities and the local community which has already raised more than £70,000. “Our strength is that everyone is a volunteer and funds raised go to chosen local charities and community projects, typically using the power of sport to raise these funds,” he said. But back to Nigel and his team’s work overseas.

“It is about Business Capacity building – the teaching of skills for certification and academic qualifications – including supply chain and quality and lean management systems. My area of expertise is leadership, change management, corporate strategy international trade and now my new one, organisational behavior and development – the big subject going forward which will replace HR,” he said. “For organisations to succeed and be sustainable they have to change their culture. It’s not just about acquiring skills – it’s about how you implement them. This is why organisational behaviour and development is taking over from HR. “It’s all about how you can run things better and this is where most of the contracts are coming from now – big organisations that have become overly bureaucratic right the way down to smaller family companies which are too paternal. it’s all about innovation and leadership.”



Your monthly guide to what’s on in Sheffield






CITY HEARTS Jenny Gilpin of City Hearts tells unLTD how her ‘heart for humanity’ helped her found the Sheffield headquartered organisation which is one of the UK’s leading anti-trafficking charities I was inspired to start my business by... My own story. I knew I was adopted, but discovered at age 27 that I was the baby of a gang rape. I had to overcome a lot of issues on my own, an experience which drove me to start an organisation to help young women overcome life-controlling issues such as addictions and eating disorders. In 2010, we became part of the government’s first antitrafficking contract and have helped thousands since. My favourite thing about running my business is… Seeing people’s lives turned around – traumatised people being given their life back, mums loving babies they conceived from abusers. Their stories make you want to keep going. The three words that best describe my business are… Deliverers, freedom and restoration. Sheffield City Region is a great place to start a business because… There is a body of men and women who have a passion for looking after others. It’s our church base and we responded to the need on our doorstep. The best advice I ever got was… Never give up. If you keep doing something long enough, you’ll get there. The worst advice I ever got was… Along the same lines – just give up! People have a lot to



say when they are not in your position. One of the most useful skills I have learnt is to hold my tongue until the right time. I remember being told ‘You’re not capable of or qualified for this work’, but my heart for humanity standing against trafficking qualified me. We hire in experience, but all our team must have the right heart.

Retailers like Sainsbury’s, John Lewis and Body Shop have also been so generous … in fact, there are too many to count! The members of Hope City Church are amazing people who got completely behind City Hearts and found every penny to start the work.

The main challenges facing my industry/sector are… The organisations that have Misunderstanding of survivors’ supported me and my business situations – for example being include… sent back to their country of The Co-op, Salvation Army and origin is often not possible due Police have been amazing. to re-trafficking or even death.

In 5 years’ time I expect my business to… Be an increased encouragement to many other like-minded organisations. I’m sure if we link hands, so much more can be achieved. For our Christmas campaign this year, we are inviting unLTD readers to drop hats, scarves and gloves for men and women into The Megacentre, Bernard Road, just off Park Square. To volunteer or donate see getinvolved


Here at The University of Sheffield we have two stunning venues for your Christmas celebrations, Halifax Hall and Inox.

A stunning Victorian mansion transformed into a 38 bedroom boutique hotel.

A fabulous contemporary space, amazing atmosphere and delicious food prepared by our talented chefs.

Located only a few minutes’ from the city, Halifax Hall is the perfect place for you to enjoy your celebrations, relax and stay the night.

Whether you’re looking for a private party, lunch with colleagues or you just fancy letting your hair down with friends, do it here in style.


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Kollider, based in Sheffield’s Castle House, opened in April as a major tech hub. General Manager Katie Taylor tells unLTD how the Kollider Incubator powered by Barclays Eagle Labs is helping members tap into the support they need to scale and grow The Kollider Incubator powered by Barclays Eagle Labs, is part of a carefully curated ecosystem to encourage collaboration and actively engage the regions fast developing tech and digital community. The vision has always been to drive ambition within Sheffield and build an engine for future economic growth. Under the same roof you’ll find urban dining and retail experience, Kommune, Ko:Host events spaces, The National Videogame Museum, WANdisco’s new HQ, a 6000 sq ft office space which is currently in market, plus Kollider Studios due to launch in 2020. Each space in the building has been designed to play a part in this social innovation hub, and over the last eight


months it’s safe to say the building has come alive and firmly put Castlegate back on the map. Supporting businesses to scale and grow It’s a known fact that starting a business can be challenging and quite lonely at times. A key part of the Kollider vision aimed to tackle this and create a space to allow businesses to flourish. Drawing on its expertise and that of national partner, Barclays Eagle Labs, the team at the Kollider Incubator have curated a programme of activity that allows members to tap into the support they need to scale and grow. Benefits include one-toone business and technical mentoring, skills workshops, personalised financial health

checks, access to investment opportunities, and even support with registering patents and protecting your IP. Members also have access to a diverse range of events throughout the wider ecosystem in Castle House. The event spaces in Kollider’s venue, Ko:Host, have hosted a variety of events including live theatre, stand-up comedy, yoga, fashion shows, investment seminars, national conferences and digital festivals. In the pipeline While Kollider continues to support start-ups and entrepreneurs working across all areas of tech, there is clear momentum building within particular industry subsets. In the pipeline for 2020 it will start to see the emergence

of regular Hackathons, which will bring together big named brands alongside smart, ambitious entrepreneurs. The idea is to provide a testing ground to address untapped market demand in a variety of industries including LawTech, Gaming and Industrial Tech. How you can get involved If you’re an entrepreneur or start-up working within digital or tech and you’d like to explore the possibilities and benefits of working from the incubator, Kollider is currently offering a week free trial throughout December and January. To qualify, businesses simply need to submit their business idea or plan. More information can be found at




CHARITIES Our round-up of some of the great work charities are doing in the city business region – and the companies that are doing their bit to support them

CHARITY WISHES FOR STAR SOUTH YORKSHIRE SUPPORT A charity which grants ‘Wishes’ to children living with a life threatening or terminal illness is calling for support from the Sheffield City Region business community. When You Wish Upon a Star has granted more than 17,500 Wishes across the UK since

1990 and as part of its 30th birthday celebrations next year is looking for support in South Yorkshire. Ruth Wallbank, Regional Fundraiser Yorkshire and North Lincs, said: “We step in when families need it most and give our Wish children something magical to look forward to,

whilst creating precious memories with loved ones. In December we send children and their families for a magical day on our annual Lapland trip. “Some wish for iPads to keep in contact with friends and family whilst in hospital. Others wish to swim with dolphins and

meet their favourite Disney World characters. We also organise days out and treats and provide specialised equipment.” Any business who can help the charity should contact Ruth on 07545 503117 or ruth.wallbank@

Make 2020 a Happy New Year for IBS Network The IBS Network is calling on local businesses to make it a Happy New Year by choosing them as Charity of the Year for 2020. The Network provides advice and support through online self-care programmes, and accompanying materials,

to help the significant percentage of the UK affected by this debilitating condition. IBS is attributed to causing an estimated £3billion loss in Britain each year through sick days, with many reluctant to speak about their condition due to the stigma it carries.

CEO Alison Reid said: “We’ll help support employees with IBS, reducing the days lost to IBS sickness and improving productivity of those struggling at work. By committing a year of fundraising, campaigning and learning, together we’ll

raise money to help those affected and remove the stigma surrounding this condition.” For more information on how to make The IBS Network your Charity of the Year contact info@theibsnetwork. org or call 0114 272 3253.

‘CEREAL’ FUNDRAISERS HELP ARCHER PROJECT A group of long-term fundraisers from a leading PR and creative company have delivered the goods to Cathedral Archer Project – by boosting its Breakfast Club supplies with boxes of cereal. Team members from HRM, publishers of unLTD along with fellow Sheffield firm Blind Mice Media, are long-term supporters of the Sheffield city centre-based Archer Project, which supports homeless and


vulnerably housed people. HRM copywriter and unLTD’s features writer Jill Theobald said: “Over the years we have got involved in a number of fundraising activities including Wear a Woolly day, Walk In My Shoes sponsored walk and helping serve up hot meals at the Breakfast Club. When we saw the Project needed supplies for its harvest appeal, we were only too happy to do our bit.”



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Sheffield City Region’s assistant director for Skills and Employment Krysia Wooffinden explains why upskilling staff helps businesses operate more effectively It’s an issue that can affect any business from digital start-ups to multi-national engineering firms and everything in between – skills gaps blocking growth. A skills gap is the difference between skills that employers want or need, and skills their workforce offer. It can lead to firms having to rein in their ambition, decline client requests, or outsource what they need – often at a high cost. Similarly, training or upskilling a workforce can be costly and time-consuming, taking up valuable time better spent on the day-to-day work that is of course a priority. However, there are initiatives that are there to help businesses to plug the skills gap and secure their future growth, but without the headache. We know that one of the barriers to business growth is skills. Businesses can have a


sought-after product, a unique offer for customers or a service that only they can provide. But, if there is a gap in the skills of their team, this may affect their ability to take a product to market, strategically plan or undertake developmental activity. As a region we are facing a low productivity challenge. Upskilling staff and re-training is just one way to improve productivity and allow businesses to operate more effectively. However, pinpointing where the skills gaps in a company exists, finding the right training courses, training providers and funding can be time-consuming and confusing. Businesses often tell us that publicly-funded training and support appears complicated and difficult to access and that’s where Skills Bank can help. Skills Bank is an example of an innovative, locally designed

solution and shows the benefits of devolving resources to local areas to meet economic needs. The Skills Bank programme was purposely designed to directly respond to businesses, allowing for the delivery of flexible and responsive training that meets identified training needs there and then. Its focus is on helping employers to grow their business by developing the skills they need and puts employers from across the Sheffield City Region in charge of their own skills and training plans. Skills Bank’s expert team is dedicated to providing the right support, advice and direction to businesses with specialist Skills Advisors who will help businesses to cut through the jargon and red tape associated with training. They help businesses understand the impact

training their staff can have on their growth ambitions, productivity and staff retention. Businesses that work with our Skills Advisors receive a personalised service which helps them to identify the right training and support them to decide for themselves who they want to deliver that training. And where existing training does not exist, Skills Bank can develop tailor-made programmes specifically designed to address the needs of that business. Further information on the programme, for both employers and training providers, can be found at which outlines some of the training on offer as well as details on the range of training providers already involved in the scheme.


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A GOOD BUSINESS BAROMETER Mark Barlow, MD of IFM Insurance, tells unLTD how in uncertain and challenging times his company is acting as a ‘good barometer of current business sentiment’ Tell us about IFM insurance? IFM Insurance Brokers have been based in Sheffield for over 40 years providing insurance advice to many local businesses. As a chartered broker, we support these firms by making sure they have the right protection in place so they can trade even if the unexpected was to happen. Whether it’s creating an insurance programme for a manufacturing firm across multiple sites or dealing with a goods in transit claim, our clients know that they are in safe hands every step of the way. What are the main insurance challenges your clients face? As a local broker, we are a good barometer of current business sentiment and every day we speak with business owners from all industries and sectors across Sheffield. In these uncertain and challenging economic times, protecting a business and its reputation is vital for any business owner. In the event of a claim


being made against you or your business, it’s crucial to have the right protection as this could be the difference between staying solvent and going out of business altogether. Sheffield firms want a broker who is going to be a business adviser and not just talk to them about insurance. So our team at IFM always spend time trying to understand what the key challenges and issues are that affect a business today and in the future. What are the emerging risks Sheffield firms should be aware of? Sheffield firms are now exposed to ever changing risks, whether it’s stringent regulations, progressive technologies or the changing needs of customers and employees. This means there is huge demand for advice from a broker who is professional and independent. GDPR, for example, has created many questions on

how firms process, handle and store any personal data. Cyber crime continues to be a growing threat to all businesses in Sheffield and the tactics employed by hackers are becoming more sophisticated. However we are seeing more firms taking out cyber insurance to help protect their brand reputation and profitability. The ramifications of Brexit are significant and firms want advice on preparation. The issues are wide-ranging, from the delivery of goods on demand, stockpiling, driving in Europe and the impact on supply chains to name a few. Although we can’t always promise to know exactly what is going on, our role is to make sure we have the most up to date information and to leverage our insurer relationships to help our clients. What do your clients say about IFM? IFM saved our business from going under following a large

fire loss at our factory. We couldn’t have dealt directly with the insurer ourselves and even if we could, it was almost certain that our claim would have been turned down. We have always relied on the professionalism of IFM to ensure our insurance cover meets the demands of the business. They ensured that our insurance policy performed exactly as you would expect when you make a claim. Tony McNeill, managing director – Antiquity GRP Ltd, Sheffield How can Sheffield firms get in touch with you? We’d love to hear from you and learn more about your business. Please call Jamie Harvey on 0114 268 4606 IFM Insurance Brokers Limited 1st and 2nd floor Parkway Works Kettlebridge Road Sheffield S9 3BL





From kicking off the new year with healthy organic eateries to binging on burgers, and Sunday dinners to Friday sweet treats, it’s safe to say the unLTD team has spent 2019 trying and testing some of the best places to dine out in Sheffield City Region (you’re welcome!) James Tippett looks back over the year and selects the unLTD team’s venue highlights … don’t agree? Tweet us your faves @unLTDbusiness and we’ll check them out!





HEALTHY EATS Fusion Organic Café Address: Butcher Works, 72 Arundel Street, Sheffield S1 2NS Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 8am-8pm Social Media: Twitter: @fusioncafesheff About: Serving biodynamic, organic and sustainable foods, The Fusion Café is one of our top picks from January’s ‘Healthy New Year’ issue of unLTD. Not only will you leave knowing you’ve topped up on some of the healthiest, most nourishing sustenance Sheffield has available, you will have made a valuable contribution to this social enterprise that’s run by students with learning difficulties from the Freeman College. By giving fantastic opportunities and work experience to these students, alongside the fantastic food on offer, is what cements Fusion Organic Café in our top three healthy places to eat.


The Cabin Address: 20-24 Fitzwilliam Gate, Sheffield S1 4JH Opening Hours: Mon: 10am-5pm Tue-Fri: 8am-5pm Sat: 9am-5pm Sun: 10am-4pm Social Media: Facebook: @thecabinsheffield Twitter: @cabinsheffield Instagram: @ thecabinsheffield About: Sheffield locals may see this as a surprise top three pick from January’s issue but, according to unLTD designer Simon Waller, this café isn’t just for the sugar junkies among us. If you look past the highly-Instagrammable stacks of pancakes and indulgent milkshakes on The Cabin’s menu, you might just find some secretly sweet, yet healthy, sugar-free smoothies. Simon was sure to highlight the Strawberry Delight and the Raspberry Heaven as his go-to favourites, but the exotic Green Reviver holds true to its name as it’s packed full of

vitamin-rich kale, lemongrass, banana and mango. The Cabin’s smoothies are fantastic alternatives to their trademark decadent fare. Just Falafs Address: 87 Chesterfield Road, Sheffield S8 0RN Opening Hours: Mon: Closed Tue-Thu: 12pm-8:45pm Fri-Sat: 12pm-9:15pm Sun: 12pm-5:45pm Social Media: Facebook: @ JustFalafsSheffield Instagram: @just_falafs About: Heeley bottom, Meersbrook and Abbeydale road are quickly becoming recognised as Sheffield’s unofficial vegan quarter, with Just Falafs playing a major part in this insurgence of plant-based cafes and restaurants. However, the one thing that makes these falafel specialists stand out is there DIY approach and their commitment to serving a 100 per cent plant-based menu –

almost everything is made from scratch. From the iconic signage, to the delicately spiced vegan shawarma, you can feel the pride that the owners have for their institution as soon as you walk into their appropriately green-fronted haven. You won’t miss the meat.

‘AL DESKO’ Birdhouse Address: Alsop Fields, Sidney Street, Sheffield S1 4RG Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 8am-10pm Sun: 10am-6pm Social Media: Twitter: @birdhouseteaco Facebook: @BirdHouseTeaCompany Instagram: @birdhouseteacompany About: We’d be lying if we didn’t say we were slightly biased towards the Birdhouse Tea Bar & Kitchen here at unLTD, but we implore anyone and everyone to sample their menu. With breakfast served all day and a full brunch menu also



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available, it’s a fantastic place to go if you’re feeling particularly indecisive on what to have for lunch. Calling it a ‘safe option’ does the Birdhouse an injustice but let’s just say you won’t be disappointed when you bring back a generously loaded halloumi and avocado bagel back to your desk. The Grind Café Address: Cornwall Works, 3 Green Lane, Sheffield S3 8SJ Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am-5:30pm Social Media: Facebook: @TheGrindCafeKelhamIsland Instagram: @TheGrindCafeKelhamIsland About: Now open for nearly a decade, The Grind has seen Kelham Island grow and grow whilst fuelling the ever-growing population of this popular area. The Grind features some fixed menu items but their incredibly inventive rotation of delicious salads and accompanying items, such as their quiches and famous sausage rolls,


is what keeps locals coming back. Turn up to The Grind on any given lunch time and you’re guaranteed to be met by two things; a bit of a queue, and some cracking options perfect for an ‘al-desko’ lunch. Fanoush Address: 98 Pinstone Street, Sheffield S1 2HQ and 103 London Road, Sheffield S2 4LE Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 11am-5pm Social Media: Facebook: @FanoushSaladBar Twitter: @FanoushFalafel About: Like many cities in 2019, Sheffield is spoilt by a seemingly never-ending shortage of fantastic middle eastern cafes, takeaways and restaurants but, at unLTD, we hold a special place in our hearts for Fanoush. In the battle for supreme falafel supremacy, Fanoush edges the competition because of its multiple locations (Pinstone Street and London Road), fantastic selection of fresh salads and garnishes, and its consistency.

Perhaps this is purely a result of its longevity in Sheffield, but we’ve never had a bad meal from Fanoush. With multiple lunchtime meal deals available, handheld falafel wraps stuffed with salad and sauce, or carbfree salad boxes with the same delicious fixings, are perfect remedies for a lunchtime lull.

MINE’S A PINT Abbeydale Brewery Address: 8 Aizlewood Road, Sheffield S8 0YX Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm Sat-Sun: Closed Social Media: Twitter: @AbbeydaleBeers Facebook: @abbeydalebeers Instagram: @abbeydalebeers About: Now found much further afield than just the city it was founded, Abbeydale’s creations are still staples in many of Sheffield’s most popular pubs. There’s just something about drinking a beer in the city it’s made; knowing that it hasn’t travelled far from tank to tap makes it all

the more delicious. The brewery itself is located just off the main Sheffield road from which it gets its name and is open every weekday 8am-4pm for locals to buy their favourite lagers, pales and stouts to enjoy at home. Neepsend Address: Unit 1-3, Lion Works, Mowbray Street, Sheffield S3 8EN Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm Sat-Sun: Closed Social Media: Twitter: @NeepsendBrewCo Facebook: @neepsendbrewco Instagram: @neepsendbrewco About: Let me paint a picture; it’s the cold, miserable first Friday of December and you’re searching Kelham Island and Neepsend for refuge whilst you wait for the inevitably large queue into Peddler’s Market to subside. You see a warm and inviting light in the distance and are instantly drawn to it and, when you get closer, you see what you think are the fermentation tanks found in most breweries. You step inside




and realise that you’re in the haven that is the Neepsend Brewery taproom. Peddler’s Market becomes a distant memory as you settle into your new favourite monthly spot to drink, with your new favourite pint of blonde. No pretence, just good beer. Thornbridge Address: Buxton Road, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1GS Opening Hours: Mon-Tues: 9am-5pm Wed-Thu: 9am-6pm Fri: 9am-8pm Sat: 10am-8pm Social Media: Twitter: @thornbridge Facebook: @thornbridgebrewery Instagram: @thornbridge About: You’ll find Thornbridge’s fantastic range of beers throughout Sheffield’s drinking hotspots, but if you like their beers that much, then we definitely recommend having a day out to Derbyshire and tracing it back to the source. Located in the quaint town of Bakewell, Thornbridge now has an astonishing 350 industry-recognised awards since its beginnings in 2005. You can also book a tour of the brewery itself and see how all of your favourite tipples come to be, alternatively, pop over to Bakewell on the weekend for a day out and stock up on Thornbridge’s latest creations


while you’re at it. Whether it be the classic Jaipur IPA, or the hazy flavours of Green Mountain; Thornbridge really does have something for everyone’s tastes.

SUNDAY LUNCHES The Broadfield Ale House Address: 452 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield S7 1FR Opening Hours: Mon-Thu: 11:30am-12am Fri-Sat: 11:30am-1am Sun: 11:30am -11pm Social Media: Twitter: @TheBroadfield Facebook: @TheBroadfield About: As a well-known sanctuary of comfort food throughout Sheffield, The Broadfield serves up some of the best pies, sausages and roasts in the city. Originally opened in 1890, the old school façade of the building leads you into a surprisingly chic dining area and bar, where you’ll be well looked after by the Broadfield staff from start to finish. With all the usual Sunday Lunch suspects lined up, the highlights come in the form of the supporting cast – it’s the amazing local vegetables and comforting Yorkshire puddings that steal the show here. If you’re brave enough to get into the, ‘who does the best roast’ discussion in Sheffield, The Broadfield is bound to be brought up in the debate without fail.

The Milestone Address: 84 Green Lane, Sheffield S3 8SE Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 11am – 11:30pm Social Media: Twitter: @TheMilestone Facebook: @TheMilestoneSheffield Instagram: @themilestonesheffield About: As featured in the ‘After Hours’ section of our April edition, The Milestone still sits proudly atop its perch as the city’s premier gastropub. Classic roasts are given the Michelin star treatment at The Milestone, without compromising on any of the stick-to-your-ribs satisfaction that you expect from a Sunday dinner. In addition to serving their take on British classics, The Milestone also hosts an eclectic variety of guest cooking courses; including an ‘Introduction to South Indian Cooking’ course, which would give valuable insight to any chef on the pillars of traditional Indian cooking. The Rutland Arms Address: 86 Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 12pm-11pm Sun: 12pm-6pm Social Media: Twitter: @RutlandArms Facebook: @rutland.arms Instagram: @rutland.arms About: As we said in the April

edition, traditional is not what you’ll be getting at The Rutland Arms. But that’s not to say that it won’t be utterly delicious. The Rutland, or The Rutty as it’s affectionately called by its faithful regulars, has become a shining example of what an independent pub kitchen should be; serving inventive, quirky takes on British pub grub and pulling it off, all at a fantastic price. The Rutland was even featured on indie news outlet Vice’s ‘Food Guide to the North’, and if that’s not an indication of the type of place this is, then I don’t know what is. This isn’t a gastropub as you know it – it’s something quite brilliantly different, and definitely worth experiencing.

FRIDAY SWEET TREATS Steam Yard Address: Unit 1-2, 97 Aberdeen Court, 95-101 Division Street, Sheffield S1 4GE Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 9am-5pm Social Media: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @Steamyard About: Steam Yard boasts one of the most exciting selections of sweet treats in the city centre, specialising in delicious filled doughnuts and, the relatively new confectionary hybrid, the cronut. Aside from its vast array of pastries, one of the greatest things about this spot is its location. Steam Yard




sits neatly tucked away in a small courtyard on the popular Division Street, giving you the option of getting cosy inside, or embracing the beautiful outdoor setting by taking a seat in the courtyard. Sit in or takeaway – Steam Yard will forever be an unLTD favourite. Marmadukes Address: 22 Norfolk Row, Sheffield S1 2PA Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 9am-5pm Sun: 10am-4pm Social Media: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @marmadukescafe About: Situated on the pristine Norfolk Row just off of Fargate, approaching Marmadukes feels closer to entering The Rambles in York than it does a side street in Sheffield City Centre. However, the setting is only a small part of what makes this café one of the city’s finest hidden gems. Marmadukes use exclusively local ingredients to create their perfect bakes, often accompanying them with Our Cow Molly dairy products for that extra hit of luxury and Sheffieldness. When you just really fancy a coffee and a cake, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Marmadukes. Forge Bakehouse Address: 302 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield S7 1FL Opening Times: Mon: Closed


Tues-Fri: 8:30am-5pm Sat: 9am-5pm Sun: 9am-3pm Social Media: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @ForgeBakehouse About: Blink and you’ll miss ‘em – Forge Bakehouse’s sweet treats and breads are often depleted before 11am every weekend. For us, that’s one of the best endorsements possible. As one of a number of emerging artisan bakeries opening all over Sheffield, Forge serves those on the southside of the city centre with some incredibly well-crafted pastries. Time and technique are as essential as flour and yeast to the team at Forge, as their breads and pastries are slowly fermented before baking to add some truly unique characteristics to the finished products. Trust us; you’re definitely not going to regret an early morning trip down Abbeydale road to visit Forge Bakehouse.

COCKTAIL BARS Kuckoo Address: Leopold Square, 7a Leopold Street, Sheffield S1 2GY Opening Hours: Sun-Wed: 6pm-12am Thu: 6pm-1am Fri-Sat: 5pm-2am Social Media: Facebook: @KuckooSheffield Twitter: @KuckooRocks Instagram: @KuckooRocks

About: No matter the time of night, no matter how much you’ve had to drink – it’s unlikely that you’d forget stepping foot in Kuckoo. As stated in the August edition, Kuckoo’s style is certainly memorable and, some might say, accurately fits its name! However, with a great atmosphere and fun cocktail menu, Kuckoo has been extremely popular in Sheffield ever since it opened. Here at unLTD, we love the creative cocktail concoctions on offer, such as the Wham Bar Sling and the Ten Dollar Shake. You’ll definitely have a night to remember at this joint. The Great Gatsby Address: 73-75 Division Street, Sheffield S1 4GE Opening Hours: Sun-Thu: 12pm-2am Fri-Sat: 12pm-3am Social Media: Facebook: @GatsbySheffield Twitter: @GatsbySheffield Instagram: @GatsbySheffield About: A well-loved latenight Sheffield institution, The Gatsby is a go-to spot at the weekend for locals and students alike. With a diverse and inventive selection of cocktails, we suggest trying all of them once – perhaps just not on the same night! The Gatsby also has a secret function room upstairs equipped with its own bar, and very 70s décor, that’s perfect

for any special occasion, as well some fantastic DJ’s playing the usual classics guaranteed to fill the dancefloor downstairs. Over the years, The Gatsby have perfected their version of the classic Amaretto Sour that has rapidly become an unLTD go-to cocktail. Picture House Social Address: 383 Abbeydale Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1FS Opening Hours: Mon-Wed: 4pm-11pm Thu: 4pm-12am Fri: 4pm-1am Sat: 12pm-1am Sun: 12pm-12am Social Media: Facebook: @PictureHouseSoc Twitter: @PicHouseSocial Instagram: @picture_house_social About: Iconic Sheffield building? Check. Awardwinning cocktails? Check. Separate rooms for games and gigs? Check. The Picture House Social really does cater for any sort of evening that you fancy. Owned by the team behind Public, another one of Sheffield’s finest cocktail bars, The Picture House has led the way for the flurry of independently owned bars popping up around the Abbeydale Road and Heeley areas, but continues to be the Godfather. Located in the basement of such an iconic Sheffield landmark, this spot is arguably one of the most well-


AFTER HOURS 0114 553 3330 Charity registration number 509803





rounded cocktail bars in the city, combining great drinks with cosy-come-chic interiors – you could easily spend an entire evening here. Be sure to check their gig listings to catch some great live music and one of their expertly made cocktails.

BURGERS Five Guys Address: Unit 2, Valley Centertainment, Broughton Lane, Sheffield S9 2EP and Unit 3, The Oasis, Meadowhall Way, Sheffield S9 1EP Opening Hours: Centertainment: Sun-Thu: 11am-10:30pm Fri-Sat: 11am-12am Meadowhall: Mon-Sat: 11am-10pm Sun 11am-9pm About: Founded back in 1986 in Virginia, USA, Five Guys’ signature Subway-esque ordering system finally established itself on UK soil a few years ago and was an


instant hit. Sheffield is now spoiled with two restaurants and, with burgers so good that some locals are beginning to turn their noses up at other fast-food chains, everything seems to pale in comparison. However, the highest of praise, as mentioned in our September edition, comes from our chainaverse designer, Simon Garlick; this is his favourite spot in Sheffield for a burger! Five Guys is definitely worth a visit when you’re particularly ravenous as, along with every delicious burger you order being made from scratch, their portions of fries are enormous. Fat Hippo Address: Kommune, 1-13 Angel Street, Sheffield S3 8LN Opening Hours: Tue-Sat: 9am-11pm Sun: 9am-9pm Social Media: Facebook: @FatHippoSheffield Twitter: @fathippofood Instagram: @fathippofood

About: Despite only opening at the end of March, Kommune has become a hotspot with us at unLTD and taking a look at Fat Hippo’s specials board is always everyone’s first instinct whenever we make the trip over. After expanding throughout Newcastle with a small chain of restaurants and Street Food Trucks, Fat Hippo have brought their signature burgers and gargantuan eating challenges to Sheffield’s newest foodhall. However, not only does Fat Hippo satisfy meat-eaters, their vegan chicken burger is the best that this veggie has ever had; a crunchy, well-seasoned coating with a satisfying texture inside, complemented by a sharp, fresh slaw and fiery hot sauce. It’s the real deal. Church – Temple of Fun Address: 4A Rutland Way, Sheffield S3 8DG Opening Hours: Mon-Thu: 10am-11pm Fri-Sat: 10am-1am Sun: 10am-11pm

Social Media: Facebook: @TempleOfFun Twitter: @TempleOf_Fun Instagram: About: There is one Sheffield burger joint mentioned in our September issue that immediately stands out from the rest, and it’s not just for its 100 per cent vegan menu. Entertainment, in the form of various games consoles old and new, and plant-based delights come together at this incredible riverside venue. As an expansion of his Drop Dead store/ warehouse in Kelham Island, Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes has made Church a true vegan sanctuary. Grab a drink, play some video games and eat some inventive burgers and sides that riff on junk food and street food classics; all whilst minimising your impact on the environment. For example, why not pair the Tinsley Tower southern fried ‘chicken’ burger with some poutine or okonomiyaki-style fries? Crazy? Yes. Delicious? Also, yes.





Gdansk, located on Poland’s Baltic Coast, can easily be overlooked in favour of more glamorous Central European destinations such as Prague, Vienna and Budapest – Joe Bamford is on hand to explain why it shouldn’t be



GDANSK Stunning architecture, countless things to do, fascinating history and heritage and incredible food and drink – it’s all here, and all within a couple of hours of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, with flights starting from a little more than £20.


The more popular destinations of Krakow and Warsaw often steal the limelight, but Gdansk is a beautiful city in its own right. The city has endured a difficult and extremely complex past – as was pointed out during my visit,

it’s currently at peace for the longest time in its history (74 years), a harrowing figure considering the city itself dates back to the 12th century. The mixture of cultures which have impacted Gdansk over the years is incredible in its own right – with obvious

influence from Germany, added to that of The Netherlands, Italy and Britain among many others. A walking tour is the best way to explore the city in all its beauty – we started ours from the city’s famous Dutch mannerism-style Golden Gate (Złota Brama) in



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the north west corner of the city’s old town. The tour took us around all of the city’s Old Town, exploring several of the other landmarks including St. Mary’s Basilica, Motlawa River Embankment, The Great Arsenal and the Old City Hall, among others. The more you learn about the city’s history, the more apparent its war-torn past becomes – more than 90 per cent of the city was laid to ruin during World War II. Stark sideby-side pictures emblazoned on the walls underneath the stunning Golden Gate showing its transformation since 1945


are a must-see. There are many other ways to find out more about Gdansk’s past, with buggy tours dotted about all over the city centre and the likes of the Museum of the Second World War a mustvisit. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not venture outside the city centre? Sopot, a small seaside resort city just a 15-minute train journey from Gdansk Glowny (main station), boasts the longest wooden pier in Europe – plus a (literally) Baltic Sea breeze! You’ll not be stuck for places to eat and drink in Gdansk,

either – I sampled plenty of the local cuisine in my time there including traditional Polish dumplings and sour soup – the latter served in a bread bowl and packed full of meat, herbs and spices. Head to Dluga Street for the best selection of restaurants serving traditional Polish food, or if you’re feeling brave, venture off the beaten track! Niepokorni Restaurant is actually located just outside the city centre, but if you get chance to go I’d highly recommend it. The same goes for T-Bone Steakhouse by the Green Gate.

The city’s nightlife is as vibrant as you’d expect – with bars like Chmielna 101 Cooltura, Cathead Multitap Bar and Pub Pixel a few personal highlights – and believe it or not, the city actually has a road named after beer – Piwna Street. As you’d expect, the street is a beer lover’s dream, and with No to Cyk round the corner – where we lapped up a large beer for as just 5PLN (£1.03) – you can’t go wrong. Needless to say it was a personal highlight among so many others in an incredible city. Gdansk for the memories!



SEVEN BAD HABITS DRIVING YOUR CO-WORKERS CRAZY! It’s the last mag of the year so we thought we’d have a bit of light-hearted fun and take a look at the annoying side of office life! According to recruitment site Monster there are seven particular office habits likely to irritate your colleagues. From eating smelly food ‘al-desko’ to the office chatterbox, we’re sure you’ll spot one or two of your team members below. Or maybe YOU’RE the culprit…hands up who’s guilty of at least one of these?!

2 CONFERENCECALL CHAOS: Busy and often noisy enough but adding in extra distractions like crinkling your crisps packets constantly isn’t going to put you in anyone’s good books.



If you’re doing too much small talk and not enough work, you’re not only slowing yourself down but everyone else too. Keep it short and sweet!

TOO 6 BEING TOUCHY-FEELY: If you’re a very physical person then that’s great but you should keep in mind your coworkers might not be so enthused about that.




Most office workers don’t expect complete silence throughout the day, excessive noise becomes annoying so don’t take those voicemails on loudspeaker.

OF THE 3 SOURCE SMELLS: If you’re bringing in extra garlicky foods or layering on the axe body spray chances are your co-workers have noticed and they aren’t happy. Tone it down.



Clipping your fingernails in front of everyone, picking your nose or coughing on everything around you is never good. The short solution is to stop.

7 INVADING PERSONAL SPACE: If your things are all over someone else’s desk we can guarantee you they’re not happy. Elbows, knees and stationery all count so keep to your own spacing!


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Profile for unLTD magazine

unLTD. Connecting business across Sheffield City Region #20  

unLTD. Connecting business across Sheffield City Region #20