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Founder of Champion Health Harry Bliss on building up his workplace wellbeing platform – and challenging society’s physical and mental health stigmas.







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INSIDE... 8-13: News A round-up of regional news, including awards wins and property news from Fourth Wall and Wentworth Woodhouse. 15-17: Appointments All the latest South Yorkshire appointments, plus Glu Recruit Office Heroes Awards update. @UNLTDBUSINESS

28-29: Highlander The tech experts on tackling staff shortages with software. 38-43: Cover story: Champion Health Founder Harry Bliss on the two people who inspired his business and outlook on life. 46-47: Skills Focus The Source suggest employers ‘act fast’ on apprenticeship talent.

52-53: Sheffield Business Awards Cut to The Chase – find out who is hosting the event! 66-69: Ask the Chambers Your questions answered by the South Yorkshire chamber leaders. 72-73: Company Culture CRM on the firm’s ‘family feel’. 86-87: Feature SYCF talk us through their Vital Signs report.

EVERYTHING ELSE: 19: The Diary 21: Financial Health 23: Legal Matters 25: Entrepreneur Support 33: Team talk Q&A 49: Launchpad 65: Finance 51: Podcast Spotlight 59: Property 60-63: New Attercliffe 71: Five Minutes With 75: Mental Health 85: Employment Law 89-90: Charity




CELEBRATING SUCCESS It’s fitting we have Harry Bliss, founder of workplace wellbeing platform Champion Health, as our cover story this month because he is a man on a mission – ‘to make things more inclusive, accessible and engaging by bringing in all areas of workplace wellbeing into one unified place’. In the feature from page 38, he tells unLTD’s Jill Theobald how he started and grew the business which now supports staff across the UK in areas of employee health including financial wellbeing, sleep, exercise, nutrition, and leadership. Harry also reminds employers of the need to support their people to ensure they are ‘thriving’ and to ‘nurture an inclusive organisation that prioritises wellbeing and performance’. And speaking of championing staff and celebrating success in the workplace, there are two opportunities for you to do just that within the pages of this issue. First off, the Sheffield Business Awards 2021, in partnership with unLTD and Sheffield Chamber, are back on Thursday December 7 – read all about it on page 52. Tickets will go on sale soon – and with TV’s The Chase quizzer and comedian Paul Sinha on hosting duties we’re sure businesses will want to reward their staff after a tough year of remote working and lockdown life to a night of celebration, food, drink, comedy, and dancing. And why not put your own staff in the spotlight – nominate your top team member who has gone above and beyond for the Glu Recruit Office Heroes Awards. They will be back with a physical awards ceremony on Friday December 3 - all the details on how to nominate on page 15.

EDITORIAL Richard Fidler Jill Theobald General 0114 252 7781 ADVERTISING Dan Laver 07867 313995 Phil Turner 07979 498034 General FINANCE Michael Johnson DESIGN Simon Waller and Simon Garlick CONTRIBUTORS Emilia Beck Christopher Brown Martin Bouchier Beth Burley Chris Coates Ryan Daniels Jo Davison Sam Leeder

Rachel Measures James Marriott Charles Neal Raj & Fiona Shah Faye Smith Susan Waple Wendy Ward Helen Williams

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



Hentons is on a roll with further award shortlisting Multi award-winning chartered accountancy and business advisory firm Hentons has been shortlisted for a coveted award at the payroll industry’s equivalent of the Oscars – The Annual Excellence Awards. Run by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP), Hentons’ payroll team has been shortlisted for the ‘Service Provider of the Year’ Award. The Annual Excellence Awards are the longestrunning, independent awards in the UK payroll and pensions industry. The team were also shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Team of the Year’ category at the 2021 Yorkshire Accountancy Awards. MD Peter Watson said: “The last 18 months have been a real challenge for businesses, due to the impact of the pandemic. The introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rebate scheme meant that the payroll team had to adapt rapidly to the changing environment and increased workload, which they did with great resilience and enthusiasm.” Hentons also scooped two top awards at this year’s prestigious Yorkshire Accountancy Awards.


TWO BRAND NEW BARS LATEST ADDITIONS TO NEW ERA SQUARE One of Sheffield’s hottest new food and drink destinations is to welcome two new bars and several new restaurants in the coming months. A sports bar will open at the £70m New Era Square development at St Mary’s Gate and opposite will be a wine and cocktail bar called La Belle Vie, set to open its doors in time for the festive period. MD Jerry Cheung said: “In the months since COVID-19 restrictions began to be lifted, we’ve worked incredibly hard to finalise deals and bring some of the most exciting

independent food and drink retailers in the UK to Sheffield. “These two bars will act as important anchors to the whole development.

New Era Square is a

430,000 SQ FT development

They will significantly contribute to both the day and evening local economy – supporting several of the other businesses within the scheme.” New Era Square features restaurants, street food kiosks, the city’s largest oriental supermarket and shops – all located around a modern public square with iconic panda art installations. The award-winning 430,000 sq ft development also includes 650 student residences, apartments, and penthouses, a Grade A office building and gym.

DONCASTER CHAMBER WELCOMES CARLTON FOREST GROUP AS PATRON Doncaster Chamber has welcomed Carlton Forest Group as a new patron. Graham White, group commercial director of Carlton Forest Group, said: “Our Chamber of Commerce is a fantastic organisation that offers endless support to business, education and employers, and we are delighted to join them

as patrons having been a member for over five years. “We shall look forward to supporting the Chamber’s activities and events to ensure business in Doncaster continues to grow and prosper.” Jade Dyer, business director at Doncaster Chamber, said: “We are delighted to have Carlton Forest Group as a new patron.

“Carlton Forest Group is truly a visionary organisation making a positive contribution within the industries it operates in and the community as a whole. “We are thrilled to have them on board and look forward to the significant impact their patronage will bring to the Chamber as we continue to inspire and support Doncaster businesses.”



B. BRAUN MEDICAL LTD SHORTLISTED FOR PRESTIGIOUS INDUSTRY AWARD B. Braun Medical Ltd’s nurses have been shortlisted for a Nursing Times award. The Sheffield-based company is a finalist in the ‘Best UK Employer of the Year for Nursing Staff’ category at the Nursing Times Workforce Summit and Awards. B. Braun undertook several projects which formed the basis of the shortlist, including launching an overseas nurse recruitment programme in response to the shortage of 40,000 nurses in the UK. David Oates, UK Group Managing Director at B. Braun, said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award. It’s a testament to the dedication of our teams who have worked tirelessly and courageously to ensure

that our patients continued to receive lifesaving treatments despite the pandemic. “To be up for a Nursing Times award after such an exceptionally challenging 18 months for the profession

is a huge honour and I am very proud of everyone who contributed to this.” The winners will be announced in a ceremony at Brewery Hall in London on 17 November.

SHEFFIELD MAN WINS SCREENWRITING AWARD After more than 20 years of making other people’s movies happen, Sheffielder Richard Knight will get to see his own script brought to life. The ex-location manager, who now helps students begin their film industry careers, entered Rotherham stately home Wentworth Woodhouse screenwriting award competition. He beat almost 100 entries and will see his script turned into a short film by a professional screenwriter, director, and crew. All scripts were anonymised and judges fell for Richard’s gentle comedy, which sees an elderly gent trick his way into leading a guided tour of the Grade I listed 18th century mansion. “I’ve been in the film industry since I was 23 but kept my writing ambitions pretty quiet,” said Richard. “Wentworth Woodhouse is stunning. Over the years I’ve



viewed it as a potential location for numerous films and TV dramas. I thought basing my script on a tour would show the house’s beauty.” Richard’s locations work includes movies Dead Man’s Shoes, This Is England and Four Lions by award-winning Sheffield production company Warp Films, and music videos for Arctic Monkeys and Jake Bugg.

The movie will debut as part of a major event at the mansion in

MARCH 2022

CEO is ‘One to Watch’ in business leaders’ programme Gary Hargraves, CEO of Sheffield-based sports tech specialist Sport:80, has been named as one of this year’s Ones To Watch as part of The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders programme for 2021. The programme, supported by The Times and now in its fourth year, celebrates the inspiring leaders behind some of the UK’s most successful and fast-growing medium-sized firms. The Ones to Watch are those destined for great things and the driving force behind tomorrow’s midsized firms, and will be the nation’s principal job creators over the years to come.


Sport:80 offers the first technology platform built specifically for National Governing Bodies of Sport, across the globe. By the end of this year, the company will have onboarded at least 23 National Governing Bodies since the start of 2020, including in the UK and US. “The last year has been an extremely positive one for Sport:80 with the total number of governing bodies worldwide with which we are working increasing significantly and the company experiencing yearon-year growth,” said Gary. “There is a realistic prospect our business could double in size in the coming years as we continue to develop our services and introduce new products to enable clients to capitalise on the power and value of technology.”



INNOVATIVE IT SYSTEM TAKES HENTONS TO CLOUD NINE A Sheffield technology company has seen demand for its services skyrocket over the last 18 months and is now winning contracts with Yorkshire businesses across all sectors. etiCloud predominantly supplied cloud hosting services to law firms throughout the UK before the pandemic but recently began working with Yorkshirebased chartered accountancy and business advisory firm, Hentons. The firm has become one of the first companies outside of the legal industry, in our area, to take advantage of etiCloud’s cloud-based IT and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony capabilities. Hentons initially began using the system in early 2020 and has since rolled it out


across its offices in Sheffield, Leeds, London, York, and Thirsk. The system replicates Hentons’ office-based IT and phone systems for the firm’s

120-strong team, enabling them to work securely, regardless of whether they are in the office or working remotely.

Mike Hague, director of customer excellence at etiCloud, said: “Nowadays it’s vital that companies and organisations across all sectors offer a digitally agile workplace so that employees can get things done, regardless of where they are. Many businesses had already embraced this concept, but the pandemic suddenly made it a requirement for all types of companies across all industries, who needed a fast, secure and reliable service.” The partnership certainly seems to be bearing fruit with Hentons winning a top award at this year’s Yorkshire Accountancy Awards and Moosa Sacha, Hentons’ IT manager, also picking up the ‘Support Staff of the Year’ award in recognition of the work he did with etiCloud.

If you are a property investor it is likely that you have already encountered a negative experience when dealing with a utility provider. Poor communication, navigating a complicated and regulated process, volatile costs or unexpected lengthy lead times are common complaints which cause delay. A delay can of course disturb your lending conditions. At Utility Source we believe in sharing information with our customers to provide ongoing education and understanding.

HERE ARE THREE TIPS WHICH MAY SUPPORT YOUR UTILITIES JOURNEY: Carry out a utilities review before you buy a piece of land or a building. The results may identify potential cost and inconvenience and in some cases can support the land price negotiation. No two jobs are ever the same. Try not to shoehorn data from your last project into your new project as it can lead to nasty surprises. Site specific data will influence an accurate budget and help mitigate any costly delays. Understand timescales! It is normal to allow four weeks to collate utility quotations and 6-8 weeks to have the work completed. There are many unavoidable factors which can slow these anticipated lead times and you need to know what they are.



CITY TOPS THE CHARTS FOR OUTDOOR SPACES Sheffield has lived up to its reputation as an Outdoor City filled with culture, the Thriving Places Index (TPI) has found. The TPI identifies the local conditions for wellbeing, and measures whether those conditions are being delivered fairly and substantially across England. This year’s results saw Sheffield come out on top for local environment, achieving the highest rating of all the Core Cities in England. To calculate the score, the TPI looked at various factors including the number of private outdoor spaces, the average distance to parks and residents’ exposure to transport noise. Culture was also shown to be a key element of Sheffield

life. The category looks at how many heritage sites, museums, parks, and gardens there are and how often people visit them. The figures also showcased the city’s commitment to sustainability, with a high rating for the energy use category, which focused on

CO2 emissions and domestic energy consumption. There were also elements which require improvement such as jobs and business. The data analysed several factors including employment levels, the number of local businesses as well as the percentage of people with low income.

Sheffield City Trust reports a boom in business Sheffield City Trust is reporting a boom in business as it opened all its venues without restrictions for the first time since the pandemic began. Large visitor attractions and facilities including Ponds Forge and the Utilita Arena Sheffield have suffered across the country with customers prevented from taking part in sporting activities or watching shows because of government restrictions. However, figures released by the Trust, which manages 13 sporting and entertainment venues across the city, show that due to prudent management there has been a saving of £4m on what was estimated was needed to ensure the facilities were able to open fully again. Andrew Snelling, chief executive, said: “The past 18 months have been challenging for many



businesses worldwide, and we were pleased to have financial support to help us through these times. “Despite lockdown restrictions meaning our venues were closed to customers, we generated revenues of £6m. “The strong management of the organisation by our

executive team and the hard work of everyone involved with Sheffield City Trust ensured we focused on our core facilities, ending contracts with venues that were loss-making due to the pandemic and maximising income from external funding to minimise impact on taxpayer funding.”

unLTD first customer at Lord Mayor’s charity shop opening Sheffield's Lord Mayor Gail Smith opened her charity shop at Crystal Peaks shopping centre with an official ribbon cutting – and unLTD was first in the queue. When taking up the post of Lord Mayor, she selected three charities to support – The Friends of Hi5 Disability Youth Group (H15), Sheffield Hospitals Charity, and The Salvation Army. The shop will sell items to raise money for all three.

The Lord Mayor Gail Smith said: "“All three of these charities are extremely important to me for a variety of reasons. I started Friends of Hi5 Disability Youth Group to help young people with disabilities and I’m hoping this shop can provide them with the opportunity to get some work experience. “My mother always told me ‘If you never support any other charity, give to the Salvation Army, they saved your grandad in the First World War’ so the charity was an obvious choice for me. “My third charity, Sheffield Hospitals Charity, was selected because, as someone who has worked in the NHS and as someone who has been a patient, I have a lot to thank them for.” Members of the group will also be working in the shop and unLTD’s features writer Jill Theobald was the first customer to be served at the till by one of their young volunteers.


AGENDA NEWS SHU secures £250k to develop digital healthcare workforce


Sheffield Hallam University has secured £250,000 of funding to deliver a healthcare digital capability project with NHS Rotherham Integrated Care System and create a more digitally literate NHS workforce.

An education and skills project spearheaded by The Sheffield College in partnership with top employers has celebrated a new milestone. This academic year sees an expansion of the College’s employer skills academies programme – which featured as our cover story in March this year – with 15 organisations from Sheffield and beyond backing the scheme. Angela Foulkes, chief executive, The Sheffield College, said: “It’s fantastic to see more top employers supporting this trailblazing programme and helping our students go further in their careers.” A celebration event to welcome the new employers joining the programme was held online. Rachel Topliss, head of employer engagement, The Sheffield College, said: “After another challenging year with the pandemic, it is really exciting to see the growth of the employer skills academies programme. “Plans are also in place to build the virtual reality placement programme giving

Sheffield move stacks up for self-service storage firm Self-storage firm UK Storage Company Ltd is to open its biggest nationwide base in a bespoke built premises at the new 24-hour facility at Tinsley Industrial Estate.

Lost Chord looking for new trustees South Yorkshire dementia charity Lost Chord is looking for trustees to provide support as the organisation emerges from the pandemic.

Innovation District partners awarded £763,000 Sheffield City Council, working collaboratively with regional partners, has secured £763,000 from the government for development of innovationled opportunities connected to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID).



all students the opportunity to take part in one of our employer skills academies. Through 360° cameras, students get a virtual reality tour of a business premises with interactive voiceovers and employer talks.” The academies cover a variety of sectors including

It is estimated around

,250 1STUDENTS will benefit

business and enterprise, construction, catering and hospitality, cyber security, engineering, information technology, professional make-up and sport. Employers co-design the curriculum to simulate real-life work and provide masterclasses, projects, workplace or industry relevant visits and placements to enhance students’ employability skills. Dan Doherty, regional director, Kier Construction, said: “Given the significant skills shortages in the construction sector, we want to inspire the next generation of young people and continue to develop a talent pool for the industry.”

Menopause health app to ‘give staff better personalised support’ The University of Sheffield has become the first higher education organisation in the UK to launch a specialist personalised app to support its staff experiencing or affected by the menopause. The University has given free access for all staff and their partners to Peppy, an app-based service providing access to expert menopause practitioners, and a mechanism for practical, emotional and mental

health support. Professor Katherine Linehan, Chair of the University’s Gender Equality Committee, said: “Around half of our workforce will experience menopause in their lifetime and symptoms can have a detrimental impact at work and at home. “Unfortunately, this has rarely been spoken about in the workplace and could mean many colleagues who experience menopause symptoms, which could

include women, non-binary, intersex and transgender people, may not have been getting the help they need.” Mridula Pore, CEO and cofounder of Peppy, said: “The education sector is one of the largest employers of women of menopausal age – offering this support shows that the University of Sheffield is a dynamic employer, committed to the wellbeing of its staff and the diversity of its workforce.”




Fourth Wall Building Consultancy is Northern England’s fast-growing, successful new Chartered Building Surveyors bringing modern ideas to a changing property market. From a lockdown idea to a thriving building consultancy, Fourth Wall Building Consultancy is celebrating its first full year of business, buoyed by the booming property market and a dynamic business model. Co-founder Josh Weston spent years working in corporate surveying firms before creating a business of his own. “Offering something new is essential to thrive in an incredibly busy property industry. We’re determined to change the way surveying is both done and perceived. "There’s no shying away from the industry’s roots in traditional practices and archaic ways of working, but it can be modernised, it can be jargon free and it can be personal.”


The past year has seen Fourth Wall work with a range of clients, inspecting 600,000 sq. ft of property in its first year. From investors, landlords and property managers to homebuyers and owners, the company has seen more than 150 instructions across the North of England. Weston said: “I’ve always been determined to make property accessible to everyone. From a first time

home buyer to a seasoned commercial investor, we ensure our clients understand their property and feel confident moving forward. "We could see there was a gap in the market for a company that puts its clients at the heart of everything it does, offering a personal service and direct, honest advice. I believe our honest approach and bespoke reporting is a key part of

a successful first year in business, and will be what drives forward our growth in the coming years.” Launched in November 2020, Fourth Wall Building Consultancy is a Chartered Building Surveyors offering building surveying and architectural design services to clients in the commercial, residential and industrial property sectors across the North of England.

Regeneration of Wentworth Woodhouse in new heritage report The restoration, renovation and repair of Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham is featured in Heritage Responds, a new report released ahead of the COP 26 Summit. The report has been created by heritage coalition, the Historic Environment Forum, to chart how heritage organisations are taking positive action to the response to climate change. Wentworth Woodhouse is one of 26 of the country’s leading heritage organisations featured. The Grade I listed Georgian stately home is currently on the Historic England Heritage



at Risk register. Its mansion, stables, riding school and Camellia House are now owned by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT). WWPT took on the regeneration to achieve positive environmental, economic, and social impact

in Rotherham and South Yorkshire. Repairs are being carried out to the highest conservation standards to give the buildings a new 21st century purpose and several adaptations have been made to combat the effects of climate change and seek

sustainable energy solutions: • Original roof slates have been recycled and reused where appropriate and those that can no longer be used have been repurposed. • Breathable insulation has been installed in the roofs to reduce carbon emissions. • A re-design of the roof layout to cope with climate change means large reservoirs have been introduced to catch rainfall and manage water flow and capture. • Biodiversity is being tracked and measured. • Heritage Skills training has taken place throughout the programme and is continuing.



Wentworth Castle, Stainborough, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S75 3ET Call 07876 752 860 or 01226 776 000 (ext 6013) Email

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DO YOU WORK WITH 2021’S OFFICE HERO? The Glu Recruit Office Heroes Awards are back again, and we’re on the lookout for that person within your organisation that goes above and beyond day after day! It’s been a strange year for our region’s businesses, starting the year off with a national lockdown followed by an everextending furlough scheme. But as we start to see the shoots of recovery and a more settled working environment for many, who has been your standout team player who deserves some attention? What is an Office Hero? Someone that supports you, your team, and your business, keeps everything running smoothly, and adds


extra value to make a real difference. Maybe they helped your team tackle remote working, or arranged the return to the office, or quite simply was at the other end of the phone offering emotional support. Whether they are hard workers, morale boosters or team players, it’s not about job titles or turnover– it’s about the human side to the workplace. What’s in store at this year’s awards? In the awards’ fourth year, we have teamed up with unLTD business once again to celebrate the region’s unsung heroes. Plus we will be back to running a physical awards ceremony once again, at the

Leopold Hotel in Sheffield on Friday December 3. Ten lucky finalists and their nominators will attend following shortlisting by our judges, including the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, our 2020 winner, and other key figures from the local business community. What’s it like to win? Described by the judges as ‘leading change in a challenged sector, going above, beyond and outside her expected role, and taking her job to the next level’ Charlotte Swinhoe of Weston Park Cancer Charity won the coveted title in 2020. Charlotte said: “I was absolutely thrilled. I was

shocked when it was announced, as I wasn’t expecting to win at all. I was so proud to have been a finalist among such a wonderful group of people.” Get nominating! Fill in our online form at before 4pm on Friday November 12 2021.


November 12






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As an independent recruitment agency, we focus on the long-term stick of the placement. Whether you’re a candidate looking to make a career move, or an employer looking to add to your team, our thorough and proactive recruitment and retention service ensures you are well looked after! Call: 0114 321 1873 Email:

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TWO NEW FACES FOR FIRST INTUITION Award-winning training provider First Intuition has welcomed two new members to the team. Chris Hoy joins as apprenticeship manager to lead and develop the apprenticeship team across Yorkshire. After a successful career working in high performing commercial banking teams across Yorkshire, he joined Sheffield Hallam University where he undertook various management roles and his passion for apprenticeships really began to take off. Originally from Sheffield, Chris said: “I am delighted to be able to play a key role in ensuring First Intuition remains


the provider of choice for all accountancy training in the region.” Jenna Ratcliffe joins as a customer service advisor who will be a personal point of contact for learners studying in centre.


She is Sheffield born and bred and has a passion for her home city. Jenna has gained vast experience working for local companies in front of house, administration, and customer service roles.

Chris in the red with event organiser post A new face has taken over as event organiser for one of Sheffield’s longest running networking groups. The Last Friday Club was established 25 years ago as an informal networking event for the property and construction industry and has more than 500 members and 100 monthly attendees. After a quarter of a century, founder Trevor Winslow has handed his


trademark red jumper – worn so everybody can spot him at crowded meetings – to Chris Wood, business development executive with commercial interior design and fit-out specialist OVO Spaces. “OVO has long standing links with Trevor and the club, so I was delighted to be asked to take up the challenge of taking the organisation forward,” said Chris.


Rebecca’s role helps corporate hospitality and events venue Northern College, an adult residential college in the grounds of the Wentworth Castle Gardens near Barnsley, has welcomed experienced travel professional Rebecca Jackson to deliver a full offering of corporate hospitality and events. Rebecca, who worked for many years in the travel sector, joins the college as it completes refurbishment of more than 20 guest rooms, enabling the venue to provide day events as well as full retreats and extended conferences. She said: “The natural surroundings and historic buildings at the college have an instant appeal and we have already welcomed several new clients working on personal and professional wellbeing. "I have loved being able to support yoga retreats and writers’ groups as they look to find a calm setting for their members, but I’m excited to introduce local businesses to our facilities, too."



TWO NEW FACES FOR SKY-HOUSE CO TEAM Sheffield based housebuilder Sky-House Co has welcomed two further faces to its expanding team. Joni Cotton, a lawyer specialising in property law, joins the company as a legal to help streamline legal processes. Owen Rodgers is as an apprentice/trainee quantity surveyor as part of the SkyHouse Academy. “Owen comes to us as part of our aim to recruit locally and train in-house as part of our wider commitment to the community we serve,” said SkyHouse Co director David Cross. “As we continue to develop exciting new projects across the region, Joni’s wealth of experience in all areas


Marketing consultant joins family business JONI COTTON AND OWEN RODGERS

of property law will prove invaluable. “The Sky-House Team has grown from two to over 30 in the past 18 months.” Work on Sky-House at the Waverley Regeneration

site, close to Rotherham and Sheffield, continues into its second phase, delivering the 21st-century take on the traditional back-to-back Victorian house, created by the team at CODA Studios.

BHP Corporate Finance strengthens department BHP Corporate Finance have strengthened their team with the addition of three new full-time recruits across their offices in Leeds and Sheffield. The team have welcomed Luke Harrower, who has just qualified as an ACA with a top 4 firm, Zaryab Hussain, a graduate who will be studying towards his ACA exams, as well as Charlotte Chaplin who has joined on a placement from Leeds University. In addition, Jovindra Hussnain has enjoyed a placement with the team. The new recruits take the total number of staff working in the corporate finance team to 20. Kevin Davies, partner at BHP Corporate Finance, said: “With a healthy pipeline of transactions, we’re feeling



very positive coming out of the last 18 months of the pandemic. As we continue to commit our energies to the

future of the team, we feel that introducing these new starters at this level is a great investment in the future.”

Rotherham consultancy firm Hallmark Branding has added a new staff member to the expanding family-run business with the appointment of Belinda Cocker as marketing consultant. Belinda has worked in the higher education sector for the past nine years, seven within events. Brendan Hall, MD of Hallmark Branding, said: “It is a brilliant time to have my sister Belinda on board as we expand and grow the business. “It is really important for us to provide a great service to our clients, and we need to make sure we have the right people in place to continue to strengthen those relationships. “Having Belinda in place means we can continue developing our knowledge of the market and be available to offer our support to more and more local businesses within our community.” Belinda said: “I’ve watched Brendan expand and grow his business over the years, and it is a privilege to be working alongside him. Supporting local businesses in building their brand is a great way to support the local business community, and I cannot wait to work with clients new and existing.”


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STOP THE ELECTRONIC WASTE – AND SAVE MONEY! iRepair Stop are working hard to combat the rising throwaway culture across a range of industries and are offering a range of solutions to individuals and businesses – including a discount for all unLTD readers. Sheffield’s iRepair Stop, a one stop shop for everything Apple, are calling upon the people and businesses of South Yorkshire to keep their personal phones and work IT equipment in use for longer, and they want to help people to move away from the throwaway culture that sees 50 million tons of worldwide e-waste every year. Cal Lapugean, head technician and director at iRepair Stop’s Ecclesall Road branch, said: “The equivalent of 1000 laptops are thrown away every single second, and it’s growing. The upgrade culture that monthly contracts have created over the last couple of decades has gotten out of control. “Customers have come to expect a shorter lifespan from

their phones and computers, and they shouldn’t have to. It’s also one of the reasons that monthly prices are so high, which again, isn’t really

necessary for lots of people and businesses.” iRepair Stop have offered repairs to cracked screens, failing batteries and water

damaged components for several years. They also offer upgrades to Mac products that can improve speed, memory, and storage capacity. Their services keep old equipment running better than ever and recently, they have started offering a leasing service designed for small businesses and start-ups who cannot afford to invest in expensive equipment. This November, they will also offer up to 10 per cent discount on repairs, or a MacBook MOT and Check for just £20, for all unLTD readers who produce their ad above in-store. Get in touch with Cal and the team to find out how they can help you reduce your e-waste and save you and your business money!



Our editor takes a kaleidoscopic view of the year – and ahead to 2022

THE TIMES THEY ARE(N’T) A-CHANGING And just like that here we are again with Christmas around the corner. How did that happen? Did this year go quick or slow for you? This may be a personal thing – I hope others do share it, as I don’t want to appear too weird – but time either drags for me or moves at the speed of light. For instance, how often do you get to about 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon and feel like the week has been going on for a decade? But then it’s suddenly Friday morning and you’re telling everyone that the week has flown by! I think that’s a little like this year. As we enter November this is the last, what I would call, solid month left in the calendar. December will roll round

and people rush to use their holiday days up, there are Christmas parties, school events and other festive niceties that interrupt the normal flow of work. It seems a long time ago now (or does it) that we began 2021 with high hopes of normality before a press conference from Boris on the first working day back that saw us confined to our homes for the best part of three months. Since then, mainly due to the huge success of the vaccination roll-out, it has got better to the point where our day to day lives are barely affected except for the monotonous drumbeat from sections of the mainstream media and political class that we need to go back to square one.

So where to next? There still seems to be a lot of upheaval going on. It’s almost like one of those kaleidoscopes that you may have had as a child of the 1980s which change the view constantly by just the slightest of rotations. The jobs market is like the Wild West with all industries either feeling the effects of lack of resources – an influx of HGV drivers would be very welcome right now! – or employees testing out whether a change of scenery is the right thing to do. For bosses it’s a tough time as they look to plan who will be in their team in 2022 and what extra resources they need. And in the background, there is a feeling that the North hasn’t benefited yet

from the levelling up agenda, which swept the government to power a couple of years ago. As Doncaster Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dan Fell rightly says in his response to the latest quarterly economic survey. “For too long, the North has been asked to pick between critically important initiatives and barely a week goes by without someone south of Watford asking the Chamber network if North-South or East-West connectivity is more important? I suspect Londoners were never asked to pick between HS2 and Crossrail!” Quite. Let’s see what comes our way over the final two months of what has been another crazy year.

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



Highly professional, unbiased, independent financial planning and wealth management delivering planning-led (not product-driven) financial advice Shortlisted for Financial Planner of the Year 2016

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Finalist for the Excellence in Professional Services Award 2016

Listed as one of 42 under 42 “Brightest and Best” businesses in Yorkshire 2016

Call us now on 0114 294 5353 for an unbiased second opinion on your financial needs or visit us online at

BACK OF THE NET FOR PACES FUNDRAISING EFFORTS! Paces partnered up with Sheffield United to host a night of fundraising and celebration of the lifechanging work of the leading specialist centre, charity, and school for individuals with Cerebral Palsy and motor disorder – raising £33,000! Paces have been a longstanding partner of the Blades and are one of their Academy’s nominated charities. Players, coaches, and club staff were joined by businesses and organisations from across Sheffield. Among the guests were superstar fundraisers 10-year old ‘Captain’ Tobias Weller, who attends Paces School, and 19-year old Jack Mitchell,

to move Paces School into Thorncliffe Hall in Chapeltown. Julie Booth, head of fundraising at Paces, said: “We were blown away by the incredible support shown by businesses from across Sheffield who were impressed by Tobias and Jack who showcase so well the difference Paces is making to the lives of children and adults from across South Yorkshire and beyond.” who is now supported by Paces Living Adult Services, with the event being hosted by Paces’ patron and Yorkshire legend Harry Gration MBE. During the evening, an auction of football memorabilia was held, donations made

to support the charity and two companies generously sponsored rooms at the new home for Paces School. Over the past year, the charity has moved their Adult Services provision into a new home and has ambitious plans



Our columnists ask an uncomfortable – but vital – question about investments

SHOULD THIS BE THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION? A key contributor to your family’s lifetime quest for enduring financial security and a retirement of independence and dignity is a successful investment strategy. A successful strategy must always be driven by a well thought out plan, not simply speculation as this will not lead to lasting investment success. Raj first wrote about the importance of a plan last year for unLTD.* Recent events have underlined for us that a successful investment strategy is of secondary importance only. THE most important question is this: Do you know more or less what would happen to your family financially if you didn’t wake up tomorrow?

Over the last two years, as the deadly COVID-19 pandemic left swathes of the global population in its wake, you can’t fail to have questioned your own mortality at least once. Like the majority of people though, you most probably stopped thinking along those lines as soon as you could and you may still be trying to get back to ‘normal’. You are, after all, only human. But this is a mistake because the fact still remains that if you don’t know the answer to this question, your investment concerns should pale into insignificance. Your immediate concern should be finding the answer to this question. The answer lies within your life insurance plan. You may

well find that it was adequate when it was originally put in place (such as when you renewed your mortgage or on the birth of your children) but as your life has progressed, it may not have kept up. Moreover, as your fortunes hopefully deepen, you may find that there are a number of ways to use life insurance as an estate and tax planning tool – not just as an insurance against premature death. The adequacy of the life insurance that you carry is not always the issue either. Whether you hold it optimally from an estate planning standpoint is important as well, and even whether your beneficiary designations still reflect your current wishes. The easy way to find the

answer is to sit down with a high quality financial planner between now and the end of the year and call the question. Amid all the time and energy that we spend on our investment portfolios it shouldn’t be difficult to do this. Raj Shah is founder of Blue Wealth Capital and has been shortlisted for Financial Planner of the Year and Investment Adviser of the Year. Raj can be reached at: Fiona Shah is operations director at Blue Wealth Capital. Fiona can be reached at: office@

*FINANCIAL HEALTH: Is financial advice primarily about money? October 2020.



Legal Insight. Business Instinct. With a client base and heritage of commercial lawyers combine local business and sector knowledge with legal expertise to deliver a quality client service.

Business Law Partners: Charles B Neal, Alex Ross and Matthew Rodgers

Trusted by generations.

0114 249 5969

where all Partners are recommended by the Legal 500.



BY CHARLES NEAL, BELL & BUXTON INCORPORATING IRONMONGER CURTIS Solicitor Charles with a guide to disaster planning for business owners


WHAT HAPPENS TO MY BUSINESS IF I AM ILL? Owning and developing a business can take years of hard work, but have you ever considered what would happen to your business if you were ill? Succession planning is part of any business and so should disaster planning. For most people if you are ill for a few days then as a business owner it is usually fine. Everyone gets on with what they need to do, and any important decisions will wait until you are back to full strength. But what happens if you are seriously ill for a significant period and not able to run the business yourself? How long can decisions wait before they become critical, and the business stagnates – or even folds completely? During the last 18 months,


some businesses have had to deal with their owner/ manager being off sick for a prolonged period – on top of all the other challenges businesses have faced during the pandemic. To prepare for such an eventuality business owners of all kinds should consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney. This is a legal document which gives, to somebody you have chosen and trust, the legal authority to act on your behalf. Most people are family with these for personal assets, but it is less widely known that these documents can also be used for business assets. For sole traders, partners, members of an LLP and shareholders in a family business, a Business Lasting

Power of Attorney should be considered. Having a Business Lasting Power of Attorney means the business can continue in your absence and can therefore ensure income for your family. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, the consequences could be devastating, not only for the business itself but also for your family. If there are others who can continue to manage the business, they may find they are limited in some of the important decisions they need to make or that they require your personal input, for example your signature, to deal with certain matters. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney where business partners appoint each other means that the business can

continue, and full authority can be given without needing your signature. A Lasting Power of Attorney does not affect the owner’s right to continue to manage and run the business at any time that they are willing and able to. Once made the Lasting Power of Attorney can just be left ready and available should it ever be required – providing a safety net and peace of mind for the business owner and his or her family and business partners. Our specialist commercial team at Bell & Buxton would be happy to discuss these and any other business issues in complete confidence. For further information please visit or call 0114 2495969.



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Our columnist on adapting to the ever-changing cycles of work and life

BUSINESS PATTERNS THAT NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE Every business operates in cycles. Let’s face it – it’s not just business, it’s pretty much everything in general. Life cycles – we are born, we grow, we live, and we die. The moon and the sun operate on cycles that we all know and love for their dependency – although maybe some of us are not so much of a fan of the winter equinox cycles, but they are cycles all the same. Products have their cycles, too, whether it’s the shelf life of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) or the life span of durability and usability of hardware and software. Or even a simple fashion cycle that we never believed to be true when our parents told us they used to wear flared jeans and we should keep hold of such items as they are sure to come back round and be in style again! Plus, our female readers know all too well that we can be affected by our own personal cycles, don’t we ladies? Some things are like clockwork, some aren’t as

clearly defined but the fact is we are surrounded by cyclical patterns – and business is no different.

Typical business cycle Idea/ Vision -> Research / Plan -> Execution -> Review -> Repeat

The key is understanding the cycle:

Typical sales cycle Network / PR -> Gain Leads -> Turn Objectives -> Sell and Close -> Deliver -> Review / R&D -> Repeat


Where are you currently within the cycle?


How long have you been there?

action do you 3 What need to continue the cycle onwards and forwards? Overall, how do you and your team perform at each step?


Depending on where you are within the cycle, your mindset and behaviour can differ dramatically. We all know the feeling of when things are going well and when things aren’t going quite as smoothly – and often it’s in this response and observation of our default mindset that we learn a lot

about ourselves. The selfawareness gained helps us deal with cycles effectively. We recognise patterns within cycles, plan for scenarios, tweak what isn’t constructive and spotlight where change and development is needed. Here’s a handy checklist for understanding your business and sales cycles: • Get to grips with the cycle itself • Understand your performance • Learn your triggers and impact factors. For more info on cycles in your business and sales process contact us via We would be more than happy to do a review with you and your business.

FREE WEBINARS November 8, 2021 Growth v Fixed Mindset November 29, 2021 Goal Setting 6.30pm start, 45 minutes duration

Get in touch today to book a consultation






Our columnist on the impact of electric vehicles on company owners’ buying habits

THE ELECTRIC FUTURE! As we start to make progress towards becoming a net zero economy, the Chancellor’s policy on company car tax is now starting to have a real impact on company fleets. With the Tesla model 3 now outselling the BMW 3 series, causing the German manufacturers to jump on the electric bandwagon, we are now seeing a real sea change in the buying habits of fleet managers and company owners. As a result of these changes we are now having conversations with clients on a weekly basis as they move away from car allowances and back into company cars. We are also seeing companies setting up employee contribution schemes to enable their staff to get into the electric car market.


This is a welcome change, and will no doubt have a significant impact on carbon emissions in the future – but what are the unintended consequences of this move for your company motor insurance? There are a few things to consider in this area, particularly as most company drivers are opting for premium brand vehicles such as Tesla, BMW, Mercedes, or even Porsche. While these vehicles come with attractive lease and finance deals the list prices are significantly higher than their petrol or diesel equivalent. As a result, most major insurers are likely to ask you to have a tracker installed in the vehicle. This is not fitted as standard and will require you to pay a fee either up front or on an annual basis.

Having test-driven some of these vehicles the performance of them is frankly scary and while some people will be experienced driving cars with such high performance, I would argue most of us aren’t. We are likely to see an increase in vehicle collisions as a result – at least until we get used to it or perhaps these cars all start to drive themselves! We are seeing extremely rapid growth in the availability of electric vehicles – however, we are not seeing a corresponding increase in the number of repairers able to deal with them after a collision. Plus, we don’t know a lot about what happens to the batteries in these circumstances. For these reasons we are likely to see many more cars simply written off rather than being

repaired.As a result, the insurance premiums charged on electric cars is significantly more than on other vehicles, and will come with much tighter driving restrictions around the age of drivers, and will probably also require a tracker requirement. These are not reasons to stop you taking the company fleet electric, but certainly some food for thought before leaping in. If you would like more information on this issue, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Sam Leeder ACII Actus Insurance samleeder@ 0114 2903624 07718 189476



DOING MORE WITH LESS Chris Muscroft, technology services director at Highlander – one of the UK’s leading IT service providers – on how Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can help tackle staff shortages. Highlander has a long history of providing the region’s organisations with technology support, from on-premise infrastructures to delivering digital transformation projects and migrating services to the cloud. However, over the last few years we have been building our software practice, providing in-house development skills for businesses across many sectors, with software solutions that empower organisations to automate and streamline their processes. The enablement of customer service portals and e-commerce platforms has further driven the need for intelligent software for those organisations focused on growth, both organic and through acquisition. Highlander have partnered with Oracle NetSuite to meet these needs.


Making resource go further An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system such as NetSuite has multiple benefits to businesses – including helping them overcome the headache of staff shortages by better utilising what they have. Below I’ll outline some of the specific areas where NetSuite can lift some of the pressures on your team, and help you squeeze the most value from every hour. CHRIS MUSCROFT

One common challenge Businesses across the UK, in almost every sector, are facing a common problem. They just can’t get the staff. A perfect storm of Brexit, COVID-19 fallout and training shortfalls means there’s less talent to go around – and any highquality personnel available is commanding a premium. When business is on the

up, the last thing you want are recruitment challenges holding back growth, or employees getting itchy feet due to high workload. So, in a difficult labour market, what alternatives do you have? More isn’t always better – so assessing the quality and productivity of the team you already have is a good place to start.

Automation – your new recruit When running separate applications for accounting, project management and resource planning, there’s work to do to join these things up. Rationalising invoices against timesheets requires human input – which also means human time and, possibly, human error. Intelligent software brings all these things into a single, automated platform, slashing



the time spent on manual processes. Automation also plays a big part in forward planning and simplifying diary management. As soon as a purchase order is raised for a job, the system can allocate the resource needed, at the next available opportunity. That’s a lot of planning time off your hands. Visibility not guesswork If your view of your resource is somewhat unclear, then how do you know if you’re using it effectively? Only with a joined-up system can you have true visibility of your workforce allocation. With automated workflows and resource scheduling, we build and develop different forms of visual representation to help you get a clearer picture – whether that’s schedule planning or a geographical view, for example, seeing a network of engineers


positioned on a map. Despite best intentions, priorities and project scope can change frequently – a crystal clear view of your resource spread provides the flexibility to make informed decisions and alterations quickly, with the least impact to other projects. And because our systems are cloud-based, it can all be updated in real-time, wherever your workers are located. Visibility isn’t just about live tracking and responding – but also making intelligent decisions about how to manage utilisation in the future. Linking the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, NetSuite can help with trend analysis based on past projects, specific types of contract or seasonal peaks and troughs. Without this clarity, allocating resource to new projects is ‘best guess’, opening the door to inefficiencies.

Analyse productivity blackspots How are your people performing? We have developed an analytics feature which allows you to keep track of project performance through realtime dashboards. With staff easily able to add time, in the office or on the go, project managers can instantly see if work is on track. Alerts can be set up to monitor when time creeps beyond what is expected – flagging any issues with productivity or enabling re-quotation before too much time (and money) is lost. Align resource with the bottom line At the heart of NetSuite is its finance application. Ordering, billing, and revenue management are directly integrated with project management and resource planning – allowing granular accuracy of costs per project.

Because billing is automated, invoices aren’t missed. Plus, it’s easy to spot if more work has been carried out than originally quoted for, ensuring that the business is properly paid and reducing resource wastage or overspend. Forecasting is improved through automation of resource allocation, allowing you to make longterm decisions about your workforce. Ultimately, all this means that businesses can make more informed decisions about whether to recruit or identify opportunities to drive efficiencies within existing structures. Unfortunately, the staffing crisis looks set to stay for some time, so powering productivity within your organisation has never been more important. Empowerment of your resources and real-time business intelligence is key to managing your growth.


The Weekly Creative

Sheffield - November 2021

Issue 1 - £1.50

Bumblebee Conservation Trust expands its offering with awardwinning digital platform.

Sheffield-based digital agency, Hydra Creative, created a bespoke system for tracking how bee-kind your garden is.

providing an overview of where the user is succeeding and recommendations on how to improve the score.

The innovative solution was created in response to the rapid decline of the bumblebee population in the UK.

The success of the Beekind Tool saw it gain coverage in a range of publications, including The Ecologist and Positive News and led to a win at the 2020 Prolific North Tech Awards, in the Tech for Good category,

The system uses an advanced filtering solution that lets users select from a range of 650-plus flowers and plants. The tool generates a ‘Bee Kind Score’,

“The Hydra team are excellent at understating what our needs

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were and making it happen. The design is great, clean and fresh and makes the user journey easy and intuitive. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust tool has now gone on to win awards. I would recommend Hydra Creative Limited.” Says Sally Cuckney, from the Trust. If you have a project that needs expert input, get in touch with the Hydra Creative team today! - Gemma Daniels

Scan to read the full case study

27/10/2021 15:48



Our columnist on how going digital can ensure tech stability for businesses

MODERN TECH – THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE DIGITAL TUNNEL? We’re still not out of the dark with COVID-19. There may be light at the end of the tunnel, but 2020 demonstrated business owners must be up to date with digital technologies to ensure stability through uncertain times. With over 20 years in the development industry, I want to share with unLTD readers my insight into how digital technologies could ensure business stability throughout 2022 – and beyond. How can digital transformation benefit today’s business leaders? It’s no secret that adopting modern technology is fundamental to remaining competitive in today’s market. The two main benefits are improved efficiency and improved customer experience, both of which can lead to a significant increase in profits. Technology helps us monitor our employees and the way they work, providing the insight needed to introduce new processes to improve productivity.



Interactive websites, chat support services, and streamlined Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can all aid in increasing customer satisfaction. How has the use of technology changed since COVID-19? The use of digital technologies within businesses accelerated throughout 2020, with the pandemic highlighting the need for a more agile and scalable IT environment. With brick-and-mortar shops temporarily closed during stay-at-home orders, it became crucial for businessto-consumer (B2C) businesses to have a digital presence and digital commerce capabilities. Many organisations also became reliant on remote working when in-person contact was limited, which required collaborative and secure cloud workspaces.


What are the key trends in digital transformation in 2022? In 2020, the pandemic fuelled a boom of companies relying


on software that enabled ecommerce, communication, and productivity. We predicted last year remote work would continue beyond the pandemic, and that is absolutely happening. With some employees working from the office and others still at home, organisations will want to implement new technologies that will seamlessly and securely enable collaboration regardless of location. We will see increased demand for operating systems, CRM systems and productivity tools, all focused on seamless collaboration. Where should businesses start with digital transformation? It’s crucial to ask the right questions. Every business needs to start in a place that reflects its priorities, so first, outline your aims and objectives. What area of your business do you want to streamline? How does this fit in with your long-term business goals? Next, establish how you will go digital. Ranging from front-


end transformations such as customer experiences to back-end transformation such as cloud infrastructure, there are many options to consider when building a digital transformation strategy. Talk to a software development agency, who can guide you on the next steps. If you’re an SME in South Yorkshire, you could be eligible for Enterprising Barnsley’s Digital Innovation Grant, which could get you up to £5,000 of matched funding towards your next digital project. The scheme opens for applications on Monday November 1 until midday on Friday November 26 2021. Hydra Creative is an awardwinning digital agency specialising in bespoke website and software solutions. Get in touch with their team of experts to kick off your Digital Grants application.


Albion Detection Systems With decades of experience, we have developed a well respected reputation for supplying fire and security systems to a wide and varied client base, including the NHS, Sheffield Hallam University and the DFEE. Your complete security is our priority and we will endeavour to ensure your property, people and assets are meticulously protected at all times by tailoring your security system to meet your exact needs. Whether you have multiple large premises or a single shop, we can install detection systems to cover almost any space to ensure your complete security.

Fire Protection

Security Systems

Assisted Living

Emergency Lighting

To completely secure your property against the risk of fire, your premises requires methods of fire detection, protection and suppression.

There are many forms of security system that can help ensure your premises is protected against intruders or unwanted visitors.

With an aging population, assisted living is becoming a more popular option of care for those that need extra support and in later life, both personal and medical.

Should a fire break out in an occupied building the main lighting supply is often the first thing to fail, which means that those inside need help to guide them to the nearest exit.


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Our Mission: To attract and retain women in STEM careers in South and West Yorkshire


COBRA SPORT EXHAUSTS What is your current role? Managing director – Cobra Sport Exhausts. What does that involve or look like on a day-to-day basis I handle the day to day organisation of the manufacturing operations at our Sheffield site. This includes health and safety, production planning, HR issues, purchasing planning, and more. Then with my MD hat on I take control of the strategic planning and financial planning and budgeting for the company at group level. How did you get started working in STEM? The family business was in the motor trade and I joined in 2004. Since then my brother and I developed the business further into what it is today.


That it is hard work at times, but ultimately one of the most rewarding industries to work in, with vast opportunities to build a successful career. What do we need to do as an industry to attract and keep more women in STEM? Highlight the opportunities available and make the jobs more relatable by offering more in-depth information on what is involved. What qualifications did you take or gain along the way? Lots of CPD, IOSH and Leading Organisational Change LGCI. Why do you love working in STEM? I love the variety of my role – no day is the same and there are always new things to learn and challenges to overcome.

What challenges have you faced in your career? And how have you overcome them? Being a female in a male dominated industry has been challenging at times. I always ignore any negativity and carry on regardless!

For the full article please visit our blog at:

What advice would you offer for someone joining the STEM sectors?




BY JOHN MOXON, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF YES TAX John outlines his thoughts on HMRC’s tough stance on R&D tax relief claims.


WHEN HMRC GETS TOUGH ON TAX RELIEF CLAIMS The Research and Development (R&D) tax advisory sector has changed enormously since the legislation’s inception. YesTax founder and director, John Moxon, outlines his thoughts on HMRC’s increasingly tough stance on R&D tax relief claims. Throughout the last decade, HMRC have broadly adopted an ‘enabling’ approach to R&D tax relief claims. HMRC enquiries into claims – a relatively rare occurrence prior to 2020 – were often undertaken with a light touch. HMRC actively promoted the relief and introduced several measures to increase take-up of the scheme. This approach has led to an explosion in the number of claims being submitted, with many claims based on questionable R&D activities. Fuelled by poor adviser conduct and false marketing claims, R&D tax relief has become something of a ‘wild west’ market. Many reputable advisers are now publicly sounding the alarm about


invalid claims and aggressive adviser behaviour. The increasing cost of R&D tax relief (the cost to HM Treasury was over £7.4billion in 2019/20) and the widely held belief the scheme is being abused has led to a change in approach from HMRC. The last 18 months have seen increased resource into policing the relief and a clear change in tone. The likelihood of a claim being the subject of a HMRC enquiry is substantially higher today than it was a few years ago. While this is broadly welcomed, many genuine claimants are embroiled in lengthy and costly HMRC enquiries. HMRC’s increasingly bullish approach has been recently evidenced by several First-tier Tribunal (FTT) cases. In 2020, hearings involving Hadee Engineering Ltd and AHK Recruitment Ltd set out HMRC’s increasingly firm stance on what constitutes qualifying R&D – with the court ruling in favour of HMRC. Recently, three more tribunal hearings involving the relief have been heard

– clear evidence that HMRC are increasingly confident of allowing disputes to go to tribunal. HMRC are increasingly focusing on whether or not a claim is based on genuine R&D (activities which meet the qualifying criteria as outlined in HMRC’s detailed CIRD Manual). The definition of qualifying R&D for the purpose of R&D tax relief is somewhat long-winded but can be summarised as activity which seeks to achieve an advance in science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty. HMRC are increasingly challenging claims on the basis that no advance in science or technology has been sought. The onus is on the claimant company to provide irrefutable evidence they have advanced technology –often not an easy task. Many advisers are still peddling myths about R&D tax relief by informing clients that they simply have to be facing ‘challenges’ in their development. Such advice

is likely to lead to more questionable claims being submitted – and more for HMRC to challenge. It’s also worth noting that HMRC can and will open enquiries into claims which have already been paid out to the claimant company. Many companies are facing significant tax repayments and penalties as a result of HMRC challenging claims which have already been processed through the system. HMRC’s message is clear. There has been a seismic shift in HMRC policy, and the soft touch approach of yesteryear is a distant memory. Choose your R&D tax adviser wisely. Contact YesTax at to discuss any issues raised in the article.


Amanda Overs Founder of I Can Make Shoes

Lıbrarıes are not just full of books. They are full of ıdeas And the UK is one of the best places in the world to start a business. BIPC South Yorkshire supports entrepreneurs, inventors and small businesses from that first spark of inspiration to successfully launching and developing a business. The Centre was first opened in Sheffield Central Library in 2015 and within the first three years helped to created almost 400 business, 320 additional jobs and generated £2.8m GVA for the region.

Each Centre is equipped with a core set of resources, such as £5m worth of up-to-date market research and business databases, which are brought to life by a tailored and highly individual programme of events, workshops and one-to-ones, delivered in collaboration with local business leaders, role model entrepreneurs and community partners.

Enabled by a major investment, BIPC South Yorkshire is expanding across the region to also include BIPC’s in Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Crystal Peaks libraries.

Whether you are just starting out, need advice on protecting your intellectual property, or are ready to take the next step in your journey, we are here to help.

To find out more, visit us at or get in touch at




THE 3 HYBRID WORKING CHALLENGES YOU HAVEN’T THOUGHT OF If your 2022 will involve permanent hybrid working, it’s unlikely you reached that decision lightly. However, it’s impossible to consider everything. We are seeing clear trends in the challenges being met by early adopters. If you’re embarking on a similar journey, ask yourself if you’re prepared for:



When you sent your people home last March, you probably sent them with laptops, monitors and other high-value assets. Did you take time to log all of these? If so, can you easily check their status or location now? Managing these valuable assets on a long-term basis requires a sophisticated

solution, plus resource to log them retroactively if needed.



Does it take your IT team longer to resolve technical issues for multiple users across multiple locations? If a device breaks – highly likely if it’s being constantly moved between home and office – what’s your process to collect, repair and return it to remote users while minimising downtime for the end user.


A UNIFIED ESTATE Effective hybrid

working requires tech that integrates seamlessly. If you’re utilising legacy suppliers and tools that don’t work together, you could be diminishing productivity and collaboration. Would consolidating your tech estate ensure that less does more?

HELP TO SUCCEED There are many choices when it comes to end-to-end tech for supporting your hybrid working environment. If you’d benefit from a dedicated adviser to guide you on tech and services that will work for your business and help you succeed, get in touch via



AWARE Founder of Champion Health Harry Bliss tells Jill Theobald how he has built up his workplace wellbeing platform to build up awareness of physical and mental health issues – and society’s resilience.




In June last year Steve Manley, MD of Universal Office Products and former Sheffield Chamber of Commerce president, emailed me and unLTD’s Dan Laver to ‘e-introduce’ a young businessperson Steve predicted was the ‘next big thing in Sheffield’. “I really think you guys should interview Harry Bliss of Champion Health,” said Steve. “Out of the young entrepreneurs I met during my time as president, Harry was head and shoulders above! “He has an amazing story, and his mission-led organisation is around workplace health.” Steve’s email inspired us to write an Introducing feature for our July magazine – where he turned the spotlight onto Harry and showcased his mission and the company ethos. Next big thing indeed – less than 18 months later and I am interviewing Harry for our cover story due to the enormous success of his


mission-led business and its impact on raising awareness of health issues, and support, in the workplace. Sheffield born and bred, Harry went to King Edward VII School which he credits for his outlook and perspective from a young age. “The reason why King Edwards was so good for me was because it was so diverse,” said Harry. “I came from a different background to a lot of other people, and you learn a lot about how to communicate with people from different backgrounds, races and religions. “That was really where I learnt a lot of the skills I have now taken into business.” Initially Harry wanted to go into teaching. “That’s where I thought I could have the biggest impact. I spoke to all my teaching friends, and they said, ‘It’s long hours and the impact that you could have could be greater elsewhere’. “So that’s when I thought ‘I’m going to go and play

cricket for a year in New Zealand and try and make it as a cricketer!’ That was always my dream – I loved to play cricket and football. “I went to New Zealand and found out I wasn’t good enough to play professional cricket! But I had an amazing time, that cliche of learning a lot about myself, and loved my time out there. “I was thinking I don’t want to spend £27,000 for three years on a degree that means nothing to me. So, what is going to be a job, first of all, but a role where there is going to be impact, more importantly. “I went into the area of clinical exercise and people with health conditions – how can we support them with physical activity interventions? “We know physical activity can be just as effective at treating moderate to severe depressive symptoms as it is giving people antidepressant medication, for example. So that was my route in, and my lecturers were incredible. I

couldn’t praise the university enough, at Leeds Beckett, and I kept the relationships with them.” And it was a tutor who first opened Harry’s eyes to mental health – and its impact. “In my first year of uni, I was really struggling, and nobody knew. I was the best actor. I was putting on a brave face, I was going out more than ever and I was cracking jokes – not very funny ones, I must admit! “But I was in a really dark place, and it was my tutor, Dr Andy Daly-Smith (reader in children’s physical activity and health at University of Bradford), who said ‘Harry, you don’t seem quite right’. I did the classic male thing of ‘I’m alright’, but he said, ‘There’s something not quite right here’ and I just broke down. “That lead to me realising there are so many people struggling, and I was one of those without really realising. He listened to me, supported me, signposted me and I’ve lived with positive mental wellbeing ever since.



“But I was on the brink of dropping out of university and I wouldn’t have founded Champion Health. Who knows what I would have gone into if I didn’t get just that one person to listen and support me?” After university, Harry went to work for the largest wellbeing provider in the UK which he thought was ‘a great opportunity’. “Very quickly I realised, although they are the leading provider, wellbeing wasn’t inclusive. It wasn’t accessible to different ethnicities, different genders, all the way through to disability or ability. It wasn’t engaging and that’s really the core of it – we need to engage those who are hard to reach, they’re the people we need to support. “I left this organisation to found Champion Health a year in, and my vision


was to make things more inclusive, accessible and engaging by bringing in all areas of wellbeing into one unified place. We had a really strong team, because I kept the relationships with my academics. “We have academics from the University of Sheffield all the way through to world-leading professors of neuroscience, and they joined this journey. I can’t thank them enough because I had zero pounds in my pocket and I said ‘Look, I’ve got this mission, this vision – do you want to be a part of it? I can’t pay you anything, I’m not paying myself’ and they said, ‘Absolutely’.” Champion Health’s Workplace Wellbeing Platform covers all areas of employee health from productivity to parenting

We had a team of volunteers basically, but these were worldleading people who said, ‘I want to be a part of this, I believe in what you’re doing’.

including financial wellbeing, sleep, neurodiversity, energy levels, exercise, nutrition, leadership, and communication. “We had a team of volunteers basically, but these were world-leading people who said, ‘I want to be a part of this, I believe in what you’re doing’. “But while we had this great team on the wellbeing front, we didn’t have a very strong team on the business side. I was 23 at the time and young and squeaky voiced! “I approached a friend of mine who was a global director of one of the largest wealth management companies in the world. James was extremely successful and not just in the workplace. He had an amazing partner and two children, and I coached his kids at cricket.






“He had raised over £750,000 for charity and really, we wouldn’t be working with the NHS through to global brands if it wasn’t for my friend. He turned into a mentor – one of those people who find the time to invest into you. “James lived with positive mental wellbeing throughout his life, and he was thriving, had great work, a great community of friends and tragically six months into Champion’s journey, my friend and mentor ended up taking his own life following a twoweek bout of stress. “That’s when it shook me – we wouldn’t be doing the work we are and I wouldn’t have, probably, put the same effort into this business. It turned from something I wanted to work on, to something I needed to work on – there was a different fire in my belly from that point onwards. “And that’s what we have always kept in mind – that impact of why we do what we do, and our focus is how we can support people, like James, whilst they’re well to continue to thrive personally and professionally. “But also, how can we get to people, like James, if they are struggling, faster and earlier than before, to be able to prevent these issues from occurring. That is really the premise – we look at all areas of wellbeing from musculoskeletal issues to the menopause through to men’s health and smashing the stigma.” And smashing that stigma is more important than ever because of the pandemic. “What the data’s showing is mental health problems statistically are becoming more prevalent, and it is getting worse. However, you could flip it and say it’s a really positive thing people


are now recognising they are struggling. “The stigma is eroding, and they go to their GP to get support and a diagnosis. So the numbers will rise because increasing numbers are accessing help which we know is hugely important.” But it’s a hugely important issue for businesses, too. “In the last five years I’ve seen a huge change. I’ve seen employers themselves, in the last two years, really realise what it’s like for their employees, whether it’s working from home, feeling isolated, or anxious and that experience has led to them becoming more empathetic and compassionate leaders. “The other thing is employees are now just leaving if they are not being treated right – ‘The Great Resignation’ is happening. It is a massive issue for businesses if they truly believe their people are the most important asset – which they always are, even if you are a digital company like Facebook, it’s the people creating that technology. “We need those people to be thriving and leaders are starting to realise that now, from a business angle and a legal one, not just a moral one. I wish everyone DID view it from a moral angle, but from a business point of view, we need to be doing everything we can to retain the best talent we’ve got, and to recruit as well. To nurture an inclusive organisation that prioritises wellbeing and performance because those two things are intrinsically linked. “Organisations prioritising wellbeing have got competitive advantage and they’re the companies that, if I wasn’t running Champion, I would be working for and would go above and beyond for. An employer that’s

The other thing is employees are now just leaving if they are not being treated right – ‘The Great Resignation’ is happening.

going to support me, be compassionate, empathetic, and they’re the organisations people with talent are choosing to work for.” And what about plans for the future? “I’ve not shared this with too many people so this can be exclusive for unLTD! We are about to launch friends and family access whereby every employee, at no extra cost, can share the platform with three friends and family members and that’s just one way we’re extending our impact. “In the next two years I’d love to start Champion Student where we can support college and university students through the transitions that I didn’t have support with. We know students have a hugely hard time when it comes to their mental health. “And we are looking at Champion Kids in the future as well, and what better partner than Twinkl to help us go global with that? Supporting children in building resilience and mental toughness going forwards, so we can have a society in the future that talks about mental health and can open up.”

‘ANOTHER TRUE INSPIRATION IN MY LIFE’ “My mum, Ros, was the first person to give me confidence. She started her business, Rosalind Watchorn Solicitors in Sheffield – which is still running to this day – 27 and a half years ago. “She already had two kids, she had me in her womb, wriggling around and being a nuisance – and I’m a nuisance in a different way now! “My mum started up her own law firm because she wanted to do things differently – as a female founder back then it was unheard of in the legal sector. “She was extremely bold and brave as the main earner in the family, going from a secure job to where she’s doing everything on her own – holding down meetings whilst breast-feeding at the table, and doing wills and probate. “My mum really is the inspiration behind me having the confidence to go ‘this is what I’m going to do’.”


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TO SUPPORT NEXT GENERATION OF ENTREPRENEURS The See It Be It in Sheffield Team are looking for volunteers to give guidance to Sheffield’s young entrepreneurs taking part in the city’s flagship enterprise competition

The BiG Challenge has been a feature within secondary schools over the last 15 years, inspiring young people aged 11-14 to get a team together, come up with an idea, take a £25 investment and see how they can make it grow. We are looking for local businesses to get involved with the BiG challenge and support participants throughout the competition. Providing opportunities for young people entering the BiG Challenge to spend time with businesses is critical, not just because of the potential to

improve life chances, but also to provide a real-world context to enterprise activities. Who better to receive business advice from than a local business person? We have three ways we’re inviting businesses to get involved: • Join our Advisory Board to support the development of the competition and provide an insight from a business point of view. • Volunteer as a business adviser and work directly with participants to help them develop their ideas

and market their products • Sponsor and judge one of the awards. You can find out more about these opportunities at vounteers-and-sponsorship or contact megancornick@ for more information or if you would like to volunteer.

Advisory group members support the development of the competition and provide insight from a business point of view.

BiG Challenge Business Advisers support the student teams with the development of their ideas and setting up their businesses. Visit or contact We are looking for businesses in Sheffield to get involved in the challenge by sponsoring one of the final awards.




The Source Skills Academy in Sheffield is passionate about bringing out the best in people. It has been helping businesses to increase the talents of their teams since 2003 and is proud to sponsor Skills Focus, a monthly spotlight on training and apprenticeship news and funding to help you develop your staff.

ACT SWIFTLY TO ACCESS A TALENT POOL OF APPRENTICES AND £3,000 GRANT, BUSINESSES URGED Instead of choosing university and the prospect of student debt, a growing tide of ambitious, intelligent young people now see apprenticeships as the smart route to a career. This is great news for businesses and the time to recruit is now, says Sheffield’s leading training provider The Source Skills Academy. “Bosses can pick from a rich talent pool and have until January 31 to access £3,000 Government incentives for every apprentice they hire,” said director of business development Dale Robinson. “The Chancellor has extended the enhanced cash apprenticeship grant to help businesses recover from the pandemic – after January it reduces to £2,000 or £1,500, dependent on age.

“In addition, an apprentice’s training for qualifications, through experienced providers like The Source, is Government-funded. “Apprentices bring enthusiasm and fresh ways of thinking. They swiftly

pick up skills and grow in maturity and confidence. We urge businesses to contact us on 0114 2635717 / apprenticeships@ and give waiting young people the chance to prove their worth.”

• Meet some of The Source’s apprentices who are indispensable to their employers and have recently had their talent recognised with prestigious award wins.

SOURCE SUCCESS FOR APPRENTICE LUKE WITH AWARD Luke Hoyle has just been named Builders Merchant Federation Apprentice of the Year 2021. The award recognised Luke’s commitment and progress since starting his Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner apprenticeship at UK cement specialist Carlton Manufacturing in Goldthorpe in 2019. Luke (23) is the company’s first apprentice and has impressed bosses with his



skills and enthusiasm so much that they hope to set on more apprentices. Marc Case,

Carlton’s commercial manager, said: “To see Luke recognised is a credit to the way he has

applied himself. He’s pushed himself to not only learn more, but to excel at supporting our customers.” Luke said: “I tried three different careers before I came to Carlton. Now I know I’m going places. For anyone thinking about an apprenticeship I’d say go for it. The experiences, knowledge and skills you’ll get will help you in the future.”




HIGHER APPRENTICESHIP TAUGHT RYAN NEW SKILLS Apprenticeships can be studied at any age – and Ryan Moore, SCR Engineering and Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year, is proof you’re never too old to learn. The 41-year-old export manager at Barnsley’s Albion Valves, a leading UK supplier, was 39 when, after years of mentoring young apprentices, he decided to study for a Level 5 in Operations Management. His last year of studies were carried out during the pandemic as he worked flat-out, looking after critical orders for customers around the world. “My apprenticeship is one of the best things I’ve ever done. It boosted my confidence and taught me new management methods,” said Ryan. “I’m so grateful to Adrian Plant, my tutor at The Source, who encouraged me at every step.”



Rebekah Birch decided she wanted a legal career during her A levels and chose a law-based apprenticeship instead of university. She joined the Sheffield offices of leading law firm DLA Piper on a Level 3 Business Admin apprenticeship in 2019, months before the pandemic hit. She became part of a skeleton team who kept the office running smoothly for employees working from home and took on responsibilities across numerous departments, all

while keeping up with her studies to achieve a nearperfect mark of 247 out of 250. Rebekah now has a permanent job with the company and wants to become a paralegal. Rebekah won Business and Law Apprentice of the Year at the Sheffield City Region Apprentice Awards in October. She said: “There are so many opportunities coming my way thanks to my apprenticeship. I have been with the practice for two years and I’m only 20.”

Studying for higher qualifications while holding down a demanding job has become a way of life for Jenny Asquith. She manages 65 retail staff and looks after the HR for 80 employees for electronic cigarettes company Mirage, all while studying Higher Level Apprenticeships. Jenny is now determined to achieve a Level 7, the equivalent of a Masters, and was highly commended in the SCR’s Higher/Degree Apprentice award. She said: “I have to be disciplined to get my studies done but it’s so worth it. The learning has taught me how to be a better manager and find strengths in people.”

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR GRACE “She came into the business with an amazing attitude, has become a valued member of the sales team and we believe we have found an exceptional individual.” These are the words of Adam Brown, sales director at Smurfit Kappa in Duckmanton, Chesterfield, an international manufacturer of paper packaging solutions. His praise is for an 18-year-old


Grace Stenson, who arrived at the company in September 2019 as a Level 3 sales and marketing apprentice with a clutch of A levels and a BTech. She quickly exceeded expectations and is now assistant account manager for two of the company’s top five accounts and aims to become a lead account manager. Grace was named Intermediate Apprentice of the Year at the


SCR Apprentice Awards and her marketing or higher-level sales qualification and management career progression at Smurfit Kappa could now include a responsibilities.



SENSORY WONDER Kim Wolverson tells unLTD how support and courses from Launchpad helped her in the ‘massive task’ of turning an idea for a sensory equipment rental firm into a reality. Tell us about your company? Sensory Wonder provides high quality and unique sensory equipment for hire, from day hire, up to a week, primarily within the Bassetlaw area, to help young people explore their sensory world and meet their sensory needs. The equipment is from two long-established UK providers which might be too expensive for some families to afford to buy outright. It is also ideal for young children learning ‘cause and effect’, so is perfect for babies first or second birthday parties. The equipment consists of, but is not limited to, Dark Dens, Interactive Bubble Tubes and Fibre Optics. When did you first decide to start up on your own and what inspired you? In 2016 my son James was born, and it soon became apparent he had special needs, with Sensory Processing Disorder diagnosed during the pandemic. Due to the pressures in my current job as a paramedic, and having a child with special needs, I needed a better work/life balance. The local knowledge, support, and services for children with sensory needs was somewhat lacking – so I embarked on the journey of creating Sensory Wonder. How has Launchpad helped you? Coming from a healthcare background and having


the benefits the equipment may bring to their child. If successful over the next couple of years, my aim would be to obtain premises to provide equipment that is not logistically feasible on a hire basis.


never studied business in any capacity, I had a massive task to turn my idea into reality. This is where Launchpad came in. I completed some of the Launchpad courses – online due to the pandemic – which gave me the knowledge and confidence to create a business plan and successfully obtain an Enterprise Business Grant from Bassetlaw District Council. Launchpad gave me the information I needed to be confident on what social media platforms would best reach my target customers and

awareness of ones I would not otherwise have considered. During the courses, I discussed ideas and concerns with other people in business, who gave me lots of good advice. It has helped me reach the point I’m at today – officially launching the business in November. What are your hopes and aims for the business? I hope we can become an established, well-respected, local business over the next year and local families can feel

Launchpad advisor Fiona Humpage said: “Kim identified a gap in the marketplace and has started to create a business that will bring her personal experiences to fruition. “She came to seek advice and support and has embraced workshops that were on offer as well as one-to-one support. The Bassetlaw District Council panel were impressed by Kim’s enthusiasm and awarded her funding to assist in purchasing some of the equipment to get started. I wish her every success for the future. “Starting and growing a business is not easy and that’s why the Launchpad programme was created. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and our partners means there is no cost to the entrepreneur, so we can get straight to work on turning those dreams into reality. “Stop dreaming and do it. Contact us for information now on 03330 00 00 39 or email growthhub@”




INCREASINGLY POPULAR EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT PROJECT: TALENT UNITED Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Barnsley College’s employer engagement initiative, Talent United, has been busier than ever. The College’s team share with unLTD the latest developments. Created in 2015, Talent United aims to bridge the gap between education and employment by providing Barnsley College students with employer-led opportunities. This is achieved by creating partnerships with businesses and individuals who may be able to provide presentations and workshops, work placements or workplace tours. In return, partners enjoy exclusive benefits and discounts including events and networking sessions, free and discounted training courses and promotional opportunities. The team has been in regular contact with its local business partners and gathering them together for nationally recognised calendar events from Deaf Awareness Day and Mental Health Awareness Week to industry weeks. Kerry Lawton, from Beacon South Yorkshire (BSY) carer support services, said: “BSY were delighted when asked by Talent United to come on board and partner with them. It gives the students at Barnsley College, our future generation, an insight into the potential career paths to choose from. “BSY are proud to be a part of this and will offer support wherever we can – with volunteer placements, or inspiring students through guest speaker sessions and



highlighting the value of becoming a volunteer in the community they live in. “Being a Talent United partner has benefitted BSY

enormously. We’ve been invited to networking events, meeting other carers, signposting and generally just making a difference within

the community, and we are looking forward to upcoming events.” Zoe Wadsworth, from Fab Events, said: “I wanted to become a Talent United partner due to the vast support that is available, as well as the facilities the College has to offer in the local community. “Being a partner has benefitted Fab Events through increased exposure and PR. My favourite part of this partnership is definitely the long-lasting relationships that are being built.” Mark Simpson, of Oh My Ganache, added: “I became a Talent United partner to give a little back and hopefully inspire others to work in a different way. Becoming a partner has given me support and new connections and I absolutely love working with students in the many sessions I’ve delivered.” Jess Widdowson, enterprise team leader at Barnsley College, said: “It’s a real pleasure overseeing the Talent United programme – it’s completely free to become a partner and there are no expectations, partners can contribute as much or as little as they like.” To find out more about Talent United or to become a partner, email talentunited@



GUEST LIST IS THE BEST LIST! In this month’s podcast, unLTD teams up with Urban Splash for a special episode, where James Marriott heads to the iconic Park Hill complex to explore the ongoing redevelopment work...


We’ve got a range of guests from businesses based at Park Hill to find out what it’s really like being based there. And with phase two of the development now underway, there’s a load of new opportunities coming up – we take a look at those. It’s really easy to listen. Just go onto your podcast app and search for ‘unLTD’ and we’ll pop up! Guest is best! For a few months now, I’ve been working on putting together a guide to what I think are the top five ways to promote a podcast – and finally got it finished this month. Space is limited here so I can’t go through them all, but I want to highlight one. Getting guests onto your podcast is such an effective way of spreading the word, because they will tell all their followers about it.


But I realise that you might not have your own podcast, so what then? Simple – put yourself forward as a guest on other people’s shows. I mean, you’re an expert in something, right? There’s a podcast out there which would jump at the chance of having you on! Find out more about that one and my other four top tips at Podcast Spotlight: Sheffield’s Hidden Gems We all know that Sheffield’s full of amazing places and awesome people, yeah? Sheffield’s Hidden Gems is all about highlighting some of them. Some you’ll know, some you won’t. Veronica Broomes of Excel Property Partners chats to a really wide range of people, from architects to authors, charities to CEOs. It’s well worth a listen – you’ll definitely learn something new about the city.




AWARDS ARE BACK: CUT TO THE CHASE! The Sheffield Business Awards will return on Thursday December 9 to celebrate the achievements of Sheffield businesses, big or small – and with a special guest host, The Chase’s Paul Sinha! Taking place at Peddler Market’s well-known venue 92 Burton Road, the night of celebration will be hosted by award-winning broadcaster Paul Sinha. The comedian, doctor, and broadcaster is one of the six quizzers on the ITV game show The Chase. Paul started as a stand-up while working as a junior doctor in hospitals and has


performed at nine Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows. Sponsored by CMS, one of the largest law firms in the world, the event – organised by unLTD and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce – has been rebooted for 2021. Richard Fidler, editor of unLTD, said: “Acknowledging the last 18 months of virtual working and life being turned upside-down, the 2021 awards

will focus more on celebration than anything else. “As part of this, the award categories have been rebooted, the entry process simplified, and unLTD and our partner Sheffield Chamber have ensured any business, social enterprise, or charity has the opportunity to shine. “From our TV screens to the stage in Sheffield, we are really excited to have Paul

Sinha join us for the Sheffield Business Awards 2021 – he is the perfect host for new-look, new-feel event.” There are 14 award categories for the 2021 , with the following four part of our hotly contested categories:

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR This award recognises an organisation that excels


SHEFFIELD BUSINESS AWARDS in offering the most comprehensive work environment, either through the implementation of a learning and development culture, staff incentive schemes, recognition, remuneration and retention packages or health and wellbeing initiatives. Aimed at any business from any sector, based in Sheffield or a member of Sheffield Chamber. The judges will consider why learning and development is important to the organisation, the details of the investment, commitment, support, and incentives given to staff. They will also look at evidence of how this culture has contributed to the business achieving outstanding success or helped make the organisation an employer of choice by embedding positive change through inclusion and diversity at the forefront of their business.

THE GLOBAL PLAYER – BEST EXPORTER This award recognises the strength of the region’s importers and exporters. Entrants for this award must stand out from the crowd on the international stage and demonstrate that they have generated significant and/


or sustained growth in their international activity and/or presence. The judges are looking for the level of growth achieved in exporting or overseas business (generated from exports, the growth in headcount or overseas operations), the percentage of revenue generated from international activity, innovative approaches to entering and establishing new markets, evidence of barriers that have been overcome, and the impact on overall business performance and projections.

THE ABOVE AND BEYONDER – BEST PROFESSIONAL SERVICES COMPANY Entrants for this category must outline how they have shown excellence in their specific sector and show how they have planned for future growth. This is an award all about delighting customers and is open to any businesses from the professional services sectors, based in Sheffield or a member of Sheffield Chamber. The judges will be looking for what activities are responsible for sustained growth and success, details of how you have shown excellence in your specific

sector, evidence of new or innovative services introduced over the last year and evidence of excellent customer service.

THE SHEFFIELD MAKER – MANUFACTURING COMPANY OF THE YEAR This award recognises a company that demonstrates an efficient and innovative approach to manufacturing – exhibiting growth, improved commercial performance, increased market share and operational effectiveness. The judges will consider the following: • Evidence of how your organisation has generated new or improved products, services and innovative processes that successfully meet the changing needs of the customer and business. • Increased commercial growth and/or market share • How a sustainable approach has improved commercial performance, competitiveness, employee engagement and customer value, which in turn has a positive impact on the environment • Lean methodologies that improve quality, cost, productivity, and waste reduction

• Demonstrate investment in R&D that has generated good ROI The other categories are The Brand Builder, Large Business of the Year, SME of the Year, The Innovator, The Automater, The Planet Saver, Social Impact Award, Start-Up Business of the Year, The Joymaker and The Visionary. Sheffield Chamber executive director Louisa Harrison Walker said: “To reflect the changing business environment, this year the event is being run on a smaller, more exclusive, scale. As such, tickets are limited. “To join us for a night of celebration and culinary delights make sure to keep an eye on our website. Priority tickets will first be available to shortlisted businesses and sponsors and afterwards, general tickets will go on sale on November 15 2021. “We expect them to sell out swiftly – and would encourage anyone who wants to celebrate a year of doing business like no other, to join us at our event on December 9.” Find out more about the awards by visiting sheffieldbusiness


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FOR YOUR NEW CORE BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY If you are familiar with cloud accounting and bookkeeping systems such as QuickBooks, Sage, or Xero, then Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems take the possibilities of business automation to a whole new level. The team at MOORE Insight, who specialise in ERP solutions, tell unLTD all about the possibilities for tech-enabled growth. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are used across many business areas and are made up of multiple systems or one single fully integrated system. ERPs automate and connect business processes across finance, human resources, payroll, supply chain, manufacturing and more, reducing the need for human intervention and vastly improving productivity and efficiency in the areas being automated. MOORE Insight have specialised in ERP solutions for more than 30 years and have been supporting clients with the selection, design, configuration and implementation of ERP. ERP systems are an essential asset for any modern business and therefore one of the most important investments a


company can make. Due to the varying range of solutions on the market to suit all sizes of businesses, and the types of requirements and with more solutions coming onto the market every year, the choices are endless. Has your business started to outgrow your current systems and processes? As a business, you need your technology solutions to grow with you and help you meet the latest government laws and regulations including GDPR. The systems that you may currently have – a finance cloud solution like Xero, a separate payroll system, some customer relationship management, an inventory system, a couple of spreadsheets here and there – may have suited your organisation employing ten

people, but will no longer suit you at 250. You may see a need for your systems to extend across additional business areas, and you might want to adopt more modern systems that utilise emerging technologies such as Robotic Process Automation, Natural Language Processing, or Artificial Intelligence, to name a few. The Practicalities of ERP No matter your situation, investing in ERP systems costs money – not only in terms of the cost to licence the software but also to implement, design, build, test and train people to use them. So, from the very start, it’s important to make sure you not only chose the right solution to fit the growing needs of your business but

that you take time to plan and prepare for your ERP project. Buying the technology and thinking about your strategy as a second thought can lead to unintended costs. MOORE Insight help organisations of all sizes understand the systems market and what solutions would suit their organisation. We also help our clients to adopt streamlined and well thought out plans that expediate their ERP projects and reduce projects risks, enabling them to quickly start to realise benefits from better data and processes. For a free introductory session with MOORE Insight’s team of experts, get in touch at contact-us or email



Are you at risk of losing your best talent as employees reconsider their priorities? Westfield Health’s recent research ‘Emergency Exit: Preventing a talent drain in the UK workforce’ found that 16 million workers plan to change jobs within the next six months. It’s no surprise that working and living through a pandemic for the past 18 months has caused people to rethink their priorities and put their wellbeing first. Many people are embarking on a new career because they’re seeking a better work-life balance or flexibility within their role, working hours or place of work. At a time when most businesses are focusing on recovery, they could be at risk of losing their best talent. This exodus in the workforce could cost UK businesses £48.2bn in recruitment costs alone – a significant impact on the bottom line for businesses that are already stretched.

Pandemic pressures are driving people to change jobs, but what would make them stay? Westfield Health asked 1,500 people from across the UK about their attitudes to job changes, mental health, and burnout.


Since the start of the pandemic, 62 per cent of employees have been working more hours, averaging an extra 3.75 hours per week. This equates to roughly half a working day on top of a normal working week, or 8.7bn hours since the start of the pandemic. This disruption of work-life balance has a significant mental health impact on the workforce, but employees, particularly remote workers, may be struggling in silence as they strive to appear motivated and engaged — but, in reality, may be close to burnout. After months of longer hours, reduced social contact and continued disruption, 59 per cent of those looking to change jobs say their mental health is part of the reason, and 51 per cent of all employees feel they’re less than a month away from burnout. Although employees are contemplating big changes, 65 per cent have not yet started actively job seeking. The majority (83 per cent)

of employees would stay if their employer made some changes and only 17 per cent say there’s nothing their employer can do to change their mind. This window of opportunity allows managers and HR teams to start making changes which compel people to stay, as well as creating an offering that attracts new talent.

What changes are employees looking for from their employer? The top three most coveted improvements were: • Flexible or remote working options (43%) • A pay rise (40%) • More wellbeing support (35%) While employers may not be able to stretch to giving pay rises, and flexible working options are not practical for all businesses, it’s clear that HR teams need to prioritise supporting employee wellbeing if they want to retain their top talent. It’s

also an opportunity for businesses to use their wellbeing strategies as a tool to promote their brand and attract new employees. As part of their plans to support employee wellbeing, employers need to prioritise the imminent risk of employee burnout – 28 per cent said they’re less than a week away from burnout. HR teams and managers need to take urgent action to protect their employees’ mental health. Actions employers can take when burnout is imminent: Daily communication and catch-ups with employees to monitor their workload and check in on their mental health. 1

Ensure your people are taking regular breaks and working reasonable hours. 2

Encourage employees to use their employee assistance programme or Mental Health First Aid support. 3



As well as tackling the issue of imminent burnout, employers need to start thinking long-term by incorporating proactive wellbeing strategies into their culture to prevent employee burnout – rather than waiting until it’s unavoidable. Longer term strategies for employers to prevent employee burnout: Build resilience through training and coaching. For example, via wellbeing webinars, workshops, or qualifications on topics such as stress, coping with change and Mental Health First Aid. 1

Ensure leaders and managers are leading by example to set positive expectations around work-life balance and managing their own stress levels. 2


Focus on influencing company culture


through your wellbeing strategy and find out what your people need — employee feedback surveys, flexible work options, mental health days off and coaching 1:1s are a great place to start. Having an employee wellbeing strategy doesn’t have to mean that a significant investment is needed. There are several ways you can encourage your employees to prioritise and look after their physical and mental health. For example, if you have a company health cash plan, remind your employees of the treatments and health services they can access and claim money back for. Alternatively, start by creating flexible working

"People and wellbeing issues have found themselves top of the boardroom agenda throughout the COVID-19 crisis." policies that allow your employees to take time out of their day to attend health appointments. Director of HR at Westfield Health Vicky Walker said: “People and wellbeing issues have found themselves top of the boardroom agenda throughout the COVID-19 crisis. “The scale of people looking for a change — and how easily they could be retained with the right support — is a timely reminder of why a preventative, proactive approach to your team

and their wellbeing has to remain a business priority.” For a free consultation or to find out more about the employee wellbeing solutions and the exclusive Chamber member Health Cash Plan that Westfield Health can provide, email businessenquiries or visit chamber.



NEW SHEFFIELD HQ FOR ACCOUNTANCY TRAINING PROVIDER First Intuition has announced they will be adding a second permanent home in the Yorkshire region. Here director Chris Cain tells unLTD how the new city HQ will ‘help provide the best possible learning experience for our students’. Having had a permanent base in Leeds for the last five years, with such significant business growth in the South Yorkshire region, and with course numbers increasing, we have made the decision to also have a permanent centre in the heart of Sheffield city centre. From November 2021 we will be running courses from the newly refurbished offices on the 10th Floor, Block 5 Pennine Five Campus, 18 Hawley Street, Sheffield, S1 4WP. The premises Operating from the 10th floor with fabulous views of the city, our premises will have four state-of-the-art classrooms all designed to accommodate the latest advances in technology to help provide the best possible learning experience for our students. Students will be able to sit on demand computer-based exams for AAT, ICAEW and CIMA qualifications in our purpose-built exam suite. We can accommodate face-to-face meetings in our designated meeting room, enabling tutors and skills coaches to maintain their personalised, supportive role to students and clients. Students can enjoy complimentary refreshments during break times in our new kitchen and break-out area. A fridge and microwave mean they can bring their own lunch if they do not wish to take advantage of the many food outlets nearby.


Course offerings First Intuition has been running AAT and ICAEW courses in Sheffield for the past three years, achieving fantastic pass rates including global prize winners. We launched ACCA courses in January 2021 and recently launched our CIMA course programme. The above qualifications can be studied within a Level 2, 3, 4 or 7 Apprenticeship scheme or as an exam only programme, using online and classroom delivery models, to build personalised programmes for your employees. With extensive experience in accountancy training, our staff bring passion and enthusiasm to both the classroom and customer service.

A permanent customer service advisor will be based in the centre to assist students with any queries. Pennine Five will very much have a campus feel to it, with a landscaped central courtyard, onsite café and a fitness and wellbeing centre among other facilities.

Five is a 12-minute walk from Sheffield train station, the Cathedral tram stop a fourminute walk and Fargate five minutes away. For students who drive or take the bus, there are several car parks and bus routes within close proximity.

The location Truly accessible, Pennine

Have a look online:

Apprenticeship Recruitment Service First Intuition offers a bespoke apprentice recruitment service to assist employers in their search for the best talent. We use our extensive network and expertise in training accountants to consult, advertise, screen, and advise potential candidates. The service is free and available upon request to businesses recruiting accountancy apprentices who will study with First Intuition. https://www.firstintuition. To get all our latest news, updates and invitations to events and webinars sign up here:




'NEXT STEP' IN EDDISONS EXPANSION Property consultancy Eddisons has strengthened its presence in South Yorkshire with the acquisition of long-established Sheffield chartered surveyors, Fernie Greaves. Here unLTD finds out about how the two firms’ experience and expertise make them the ‘perfect cultural fit’.

The deal will see the expansion of Eddisons’ Sheffield office, which was launched in January this year, boosting the team to 13 and creating one of the largest property consultancies in the city. The office will be headed by director Adrian Lunn (pictured here) who left his role as Lambert Smith Hampton’s (LSH) regional director for South Yorkshire and the East Midlands to establish Eddisons’ city operation. He was joined earlier this year by former LSH colleagues James Dale, who heads Eddisons’ Sheffield valuations team, and plant and machinery valuations specialist Abbie Hickman. Adrian said: “Fernie Greaves is the perfect cultural fit for us, with more than 150 years’ experience in Sheffield and a multi-disciplinary approach, and we’re looking forward to welcoming George Thompson and his team as the latest addition to the growing Eddisons family. “The acquisition marks the next step in our South Yorkshire expansion strategy and underlines Eddisons’


commitment to Sheffield. We have hit the ground running – having only launched the new office at the start of the year, we are already working with a diverse range of regional clients, including banks, universities, local authorities and government departments.” This summer Eddisons was appointed as an estate management services supplier to the Government’s national procurement framework, Crown Commercial Services, enabling the business to provide property support services to the public sector. Adrian added: “It’s exciting to be

playing an instrumental role in the major changes that are happening in the region as regeneration projects take shape, making the city an even better place to live and work.” Fernie Greaves MD George Thompson, said: “We’re proud and excited to be joining forces with Eddisons who, like us, are a long-established Yorkshire business founded in the 19th century. “Our two firms have hundreds of years of experience and, along with an excellent client base, our strong agency, property management and professional team

covers the whole of the South Yorkshire business region with expertise. Delivered from our modern platform, this gives us a unique advantage and our new combined team have a deep understanding of the region’s economy. “We’re thrilled to be working with Adrian and the rest of Eddisons’ Sheffield colleagues, building on the successes and momentum that they have already achieved this year and continuing to drive the business forward in South Yorkshire.” Eddisons’ 13-strong Sheffield office offers a full range of services including agency, valuation, property management, lease advisory and building consultancy. The firm is set to expand its South Yorkshire operation over the coming months with further expansion of the team planned. The acquisition of Fernie Greaves is Leeds-based Eddisons’ second this year, after acquiring London chartered surveyors HNG in February. With further deals in the pipeline for 2022, Eddisons currently employs more than 300 people across 21 UK offices.




ATTERCLIFFE This month in our regular New Attercliffe feature we look at how the area of the city is using sport as a hook to reinvigorate the area – and several of the main players tell us about their part in its regeneration – and their plans to drive it further forward in the future.



REGENERATION DR CHRIS LOW, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF LEGACY PARK LTD Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is helping to place sport and health at the heart of the economic regeneration of Sheffield and the wider City Region. The unique site – the only Legacy Park outside an Olympic host city anywhere in the world – is already home to elite athletes and weekend warriors, family fitness fans and seasoned spectators. And developments over the next 18 months will ensure the spirit of London 2012 continues to burn brightly in Attercliffe with a host of exciting legacy projects. From athletics and boxing at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EISS); ice skating and curling at iceSheffield; rugby and football on the 3G pitch; cricket on Don Valley Bowl; junior parkrun; walking and cycling around the park and canal; or taking on the

challenge of the Altitude high ropes course – there’s already a huge choice of sporting options. Many Olympic and Paralympic athletes train at the EISS, and directly benefit from having access to worldclass support teams, research teams and facilities at the EIS Support Centre and Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre – both also located on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. And the value has been witnessed this summer with the fantastic success of EISStrained athletes at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Professional rugby and

basketball will also soon be firmly established at purposedesigned, new facilities which are being developed under plans unveiled by Scarborough Group International (SGI) and Canon Medical Systems. Construction is already well underway at SGI’s new Community Stadium which will include a three-storey, covered grandstand alongside 23,000 sq ft of business space and ancillary facilities. SGI has also committed to providing three padel tennis courts within the grounds of the stadium, further expanding the sporting opportunities available at the park. As well as becoming a permanent home to Sheffield Eagles Rugby League Football Club, the stadium will also be available for community use with completion expected by February 2022. Canon Medical Systems is planning a new, world-class diagnostic imaging lab and AI research centre for product development that promises to transform the speed and

accuracy of diagnostics for the NHS and healthcare industry. This will be housed in a new Community Arena which will also be home to the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks Basketball Team. As Legacy Park Ltd Chair Richard Caborn said: “The development of the Community Stadium and Community Arena takes us another step closer to fulfilling our ambition of making our facilities on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park available and accessible to all – from professional sport, to weekend warriors, through to the grass roots sports of our community. This will be a real partnership working in the interests of everyone.” The Autumn Budget brought great news that Attercliffe is to receive £17m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, including £9m for the planned Child Health Technology Centre here on the Park. Look out for further announcements around this major development in the next few weeks!

With the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, Attercliffe can boast some of the best sports facilities in the UK through EIS Sheffield, iceSheffield and the OLP 3G football pitch. These facilities are there

for local use and nation-wide participation and continue to improve and showcase the area and all that it has to offer. It has been important to understand the local community and its needs, and how our facilities in Attercliffe would generate interest and activity. In partnership with Darnall Education and Sport Academy (DESA), EIS Sheffield is hosting weekly multi-sports sessions and women-only fitness classes due to this local consultation. We have also partnered with Unity Gym to provide basketball sessions, under the Sport England recognised Street Games model, which focuses on opening leisure facilities on Friday evenings at minimal cost.

Additionally, iceSheffield has programmed a monthly 'This Girl Can' skating session into their calendar, including female-only staffing, which sees continued commitment to a female-inclusive environment. Looking forward, we are excited to be working with local organisations to develop a consistent offering for ice skating, with plans to maximise the upcoming Healthy Activities and Food programme for opportunistic learning. This should provide for local usage, with a link to a progressive programme that would also see us work with the sport's National Governing Body, British Ice Skating, and local primary schools.

DAVID BLY, SPORTS PROGRAMME AND ENGAGEMENT MANAGER FOR SHEFFIELD CITY TRUST Situated on the northeast of Sheffield, near Darnall, on the south bank of the River Don, Attercliffe is traditionally recognised as being an industrial suburb to the city of Sheffield. However, in recent years the area has been completely reinvigorated by sport. Using the power of International standard facilities to energise the local communities, the area, is encouraging participation in sport and physical activities.



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REGENERATION STEPHEN HARRISON, STEPHEN HARRISON ACADEMY The Stephen Harrison Academy (SHA) is a notfor-profit, community-run organisation that provides snooker coaching to children and adults with physical and learning disabilities. For me, Attercliffe has a long-standing relationship with snooker. I used to play at Top Spot Snooker Club on Birch Road when I was a kid, learning the ropes with Stuart Rhodes, the owner, and professionals like Mario Morra, who used to play there. I would catch the bus over to Attercliffe right after school and kept that up for five or six years, most evenings. We moved the SHA to Attercliffe in February this year. The area has been a great base already and I’m lucky to have met some amazing

MARK HANNIGAN, SHEFFIELD EAGLES COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR A significant amount of the club’s history is in Attercliffe, having played at Don Valley Stadium – from its opening in 1991 to its closure in 2013. For everyone at the club, our staff, volunteers, supporters and sponsors, Attercliffe is our home. Don Valley was a fantastic facility and our home for a long period, and we had great


people who shared my vision for the club and helped me find a space that was perfect. We work with young people with disabilities to help them train and learn the craft, with the dream of creating awardwinning professional snooker players. Our base in Attercliffe has already helped us reach more young players. Starting with the simple things – it’s a ground floor space with great access, which means there are no frustrations for wheelchair users. My dad was

in a wheelchair and snooker was his passion, so that means a lot. Claire Fretwell of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park has been a great supporter, helping us build links with schools and across the sporting community of the city. I’m passionate about meeting young people who we can train into the best players, not just the best disabled players. To do that, we need to work with them as early as we can and show them how accessible

success there, from winning the Challenge Cup in 1998 to becoming the first club to win back-to-back Championships in 2012 and 2013. We also had some lows, including the ill-fated merger with Huddersfield in 1999 and the club having to reform in 2000 at the bottom of the Rugby League pyramid but through good and bad, Attercliffe is our home. Don Valley was always perhaps too big a stadium for us and with the running track between supporters and the pitch, it was difficult to create an atmosphere. Now, with the Community Stadium at the Olympic Legacy Park nearing completion fans will be right on top of the action and after eight difficult, nomadic years the Eagles will once again have a base in the city in which to build the sport. While the stadium is being built, we have kept a base within the area with our offices at the John Banner Centre, supported by Wosskow Brown. It’s been difficult

to engage with supporters and sponsors while playing matches outside the city – but we are once again building links with local businesses within the area. We have continued to train in Sheffield, at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and then once again being a home for the club will give the club every chance to grow once more. After a dormant period, due to the club being nomadic, the Eagles Foundation has had a fantastic resurgence. Our charitable arm, separate from the club, is working in schools across the city to teach our youth rugby league! With support from the University Technical College (UTC) on the Olympic Legacy Park site, we held our first touch rugby schools tournament on the 3G pitch and we will continue to build links with them, the Oasis Academy and other community groups. We have – if we work hard and have the support from the local authority and others – the opportunity to make

snooker is. It takes a lot of work, but it’s a sport that can pay off for almost anyone who invests the time and effort. I’m inundated with requests from kids who want to join us at the club and making sure we were part of the community in Attercliffe has been essential. A lot of people here share a passion for creating a brighter and cohesive community and working with our neighbours has been fantastic. Snooker hasn’t been a part of the Paralympics since 1988, so I’m working with clubs nationally and internationally to help raise awareness of what we are doing here in Sheffield. The city is globally recognised within snooker, so that helps people pay attention, but it’s the quality of our players that helps hold that attention and they are coming right out of Attercliffe at the moment.

Attercliffe a fantastic home for Sheffield Eagles once more and allow rugby league to thrive here again. We have plans and aspirations in place to take this club back to the top, Super League, over a five to sevenyear period. That isn’t just for the men’s side – we have recently launched wheelchair sessions and will hopefully be launching sessions for women’s and Learning Disability Rugby League (LDRL). In six to 12 months’ time, we aim to have four sides playing under the Sheffield Eagles banner. It will be difficult, no doubt, but to go from one team to four, being back in the city and engaging once more with the local community, business and residents is exciting. We will be making big steps forward very soon – watch this space! And if anyone wishes to join the club on our exciting journey, please drop us a line at



MAKING TAX DIGITAL FOR INCOME TAX DELAYED The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) has been delayed by one year until April 2024. Jan Hall, director at Sheffield based C21 chartered accountants takes a closer look at how this will affect local businesses. MTD for ITSA will fundamentally change the way businesses, the selfemployed and landlords interact with HMRC. The regime will require businesses and individuals to register, file, pay and update their information using an online tax account. From April 2024, the rules will apply to taxpayers who file Income Tax Self-Assessment tax returns with business or property income over £10,000 annually. General partnerships will

not be required to join MTD for ITSA until a year later, in April 2025. The date other types of partnerships will be required to join is yet to be confirmed. The new system of penalties for the late filing and late payment of tax for ITSA will also be aligned with the new MTD dates. Some businesses and agents are already keeping digital records and providing updates to HMRC as part of a live pilot to test and develop the MTD for ITSA. The pilot

is not affected by the delay and will be extended in 2022-23 in preparation for larger scale testing in 2023-24. Qualifying landlords and sole traders (or their agents) can use software to keep digital records and send Income Tax updates instead of filing a SelfAssessment tax return. MTD started in April 2019 for VAT purposes only, when businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold were mandated to keep their records digitally and

provide their VAT return information to HMRC using MTD compatible software. From April 2022, MTD will be extended to all VAT-registered businesses with turnover below the £85,000 threshold. If you need any assistance in preparing for Making Tax Digital for your business, the team at C21 Chartered Accountants can help on 0114 213 4730 or info@

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FINANCIAL PLAN? Here, Jillian Thomas, MD of Future Life Wealth Management, provides her analysis of what’s happening in the economy – and what must happen to your finances…

It's never been more important than it is now to ensure your financial plan is best in class. The reason for this is simple… We all continue to live – and work – through truly uncharted times. And you owe it to yourself to ensure your investments can withstand the short to medium-term market fluctuations and volatility that we’re already starting to witness. What do I mean by this? In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed the words ‘inflation’ and, even more alarmingly, ‘stagflation’, elevated from broadsheets’ business pages to the point where they’re starting to make front page news. Let’s start with inflation, which can broadly be defined as “the rise in the prices of those goods or services that we use daily”. In the summer, the Bank of England said it expects UK inflation to rise above four per cent by the end of the year. Sure enough, in October it was revealed the UK's rate of inflation was 3.1 per cent in September and the Bank of England’s governor Andrew Bailey has warned on previous occasions that it "will have to act" soon. This is one of the clearest indicators to date that UK interest rates may soon rise from the historic low of 0.1 per cent. We’re witnessing inflation


because of soaring gas prices, as well as all the other supply chain challenges evident in shops, ports, and forecourts. It’s imperative we all remember that there’s no shortage of gas or petrol, but there is a shortage of the labour that’s required

to deliver these products – among many more – to us. And then there’s the horrendous prospect of ‘stagflation’. This is the dreadful combination of a stagnating economy and simultaneous inflation.

While we’ve not currently got stagflation once it gets established it’s notoriously difficult to resolve. To conclude, the UK’s economic landscape in the wake of both the pandemic and Brexit is truly unprecedented. And as far as I’m concerned, there’s no simple solution to these wider issues. Consequently, our financial portfolios and plans need to take these factors – among many more – fully into account. At Future Life Wealth Management, we constantly stay on top of what’s happening in the wider economy. After setting aside emergency funds of between three to six months expenditure in a place which is readily accessible, you owe it to yourself to ensure your investments are always working as hard as possible on your behalf. And while none of us know what the economy holds in store, I can vouch for this… The entire team at Future Life Wealth Management will remain dedicated to guiding you along the next steps of your journey to the most successful financial future. To get in touch with Future Life Wealth Management for an initial chat about the many ways we can assist, visit www. or call (01246) 435996.




CHAMBERS In the second part of South Yorkshire Chambers ground-breaking expansion of flagship research, the Quarterly Economic Survey, the Chamber leaders submit to another ‘Ask Your Chamber Anything’ grilling. Here they answer unLTD readers’ questions on the key issues affecting regional businesses from skills shortages to the support their network can offer.



SOUTH YORKSHIRE CHAMBERS DONCASTER CHAMBER, DAN FELL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF DONCASTER CHAMBER What are the future job prospects and opportunities looking like for the region in the coming six to 12 months, and what challenges other than COVID-19 do businesses need to prepare for? “The economic contraction we have experienced this last 18 months is highly unusual. It was not caused by a fundamental deterioration in demand, but by a global health crisis. “Consequently, the recovery looks and feels significantly different, too. Many commentators have been surprised by the business confidence statistics – including those evidenced in our own Quarterly Economic Survey – and by the record jobs postings seen across the UK. “The wide variety of vacancies at present, along with wage inflation, means that – on paper at least – we should be on the cusp of a good era for talented people seeking new careers and opportunities. “Conversely, for employers, the perennial skills shortage that has vexed our economy for years, if not decades, feels more acute than ever. In almost every industry, I would contend skills shortages – or, more fundamentally, people shortages – relate to underlying



sectoral issues compounded by Brexit and COVID-19. “To help address this, the South Yorkshire Chambers have been commissioned by the Department for Education to lead on the development of a new Local Skills Improvement Plan. By placing the private sector at the heart of skills planning, we will, in time, aim to develop a more agile and joined-up skills system that better delivers for employers and workers alike. We will focus on digital skills needs in the first instance and hope we can make a real difference through this work." Will the region be pressing the government to put more emphasis on northern infrastructure and transport improvements?

“The Chambers and our regional partners will absolutely be pushing the government to honour its ‘levelling up’ election commitments and deliver a significant uplift in transport investment. “In our region we have a broad range of shovel-ready schemes that could make a significant contribution to UK plc. In Doncaster, I would particularly like to see the Gateway East Rail scheme come to fruition and an acceleration of investment into the A1 which is becoming a major pinch point. Thinking about the north more holistically, we absolutely need to see commitments to deliver HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail in full – otherwise, economic, and

environmental ambitions will be unacceptably curtailed. “We also need to fundamentally change the way government does business with the regions. For too long, the north has been asked to pick between critically important initiatives and barely a week goes by without someone South of Watford asking the Chamber network if North-South or East-West connectivity is more important? I suspect Londoners were never asked to pick between HS2 and Crossrail! "Equally, Northern towns and cities are often forced to compete with each other for piecemeal bits of funding – this approach is divisive but also wastes finite economic development resources and a lot of taxpayers’ money, to boot. “The real solution to delivering effective infrastructure for our region, therefore lies not just in lobbying for more railway track, tarmac or cycle paths, but in securing more resources and autonomy – via effective and ambitious devolution – for our places. I am convinced that if more decisions about the North’s infrastructure are made in the North, instead of in Westminster or Whitehall, that our transport system will more adequately meet the needs of our businesses and communities.”





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SOUTH YORKSHIRE CHAMBERS SHEFFIELD CHAMBER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ALEXIS KRACHAI How do we get more people into sectors that migrants from the EU covered, the main one being HGV drivers? “The UK labour market is changing. Unless government policy changes, we will have to fill vacancies without relying on large numbers of EU migrant workers. “There will be three ways to get more people into the sectors with unfilled vacancies. We need to train more UK workers to take on these roles. Businesses and industries will likely have to pay higher salaries. We will also still likely make available visas for specific types of jobs. “It will take a while for UK businesses to respond to


lower numbers of EU migrant workers. We are going to have to invest money in more training for specific job roles. We are going to likely see higher salaries that can impact on inflation. We will probably still have to make

available visas for migrant workers. “Chambers of Commerce are demanding government invest as much as it can in helping to train and reskill UK workers. We also need to be realistic about the number

BARNSLEY & ROTHERHAM CHAMBER, CEO, ANDREW DENNIFF How is your chamber going above and beyond the usual standard benefits of chamber membership? “Our Chamber team have worked extremely hard to keep members up-to-date and informed on decisions made both regionally and nationally, along with how these outcomes impact businesses at local levels. “Throughout this critical time, the Chamber has worked tirelessly contacting members regularly, on a one-to-one basis, to offer our support and reinforce the fantastic benefits included in their membership. “A key part of our membership is our comprehensive events programme, which was shut down overnight due to the



pandemic. During this time the Chamber went above and beyond to quickly create a new online events programme which offered exciting new networking opportunities to our membership. “However, with our face-toface events returning we have now successfully combined our online and face-to-face events to create a hybrid

events programme, as some members really enjoyed the benefits offered by both types of events.” I am currently considering taking on two apprentices but don’t know where to start? “The first and most obvious place is to contact your local college. However, it is important to remember they

of migrant workers we will still need to keep the UK economy moving. You cannot expect businesses to thrive when they have fewer trained workers. Nor can you expect a labour market to change overnight.”

are not the only providers of apprentice-based training in our region and there are a number of high quality, independent and sectorfocused organisations who can help you in engaging with potential candidates. “As ever, the Chamber can also provide useful advice and guidance and will always be able to signpost employers in the right direction. “As well as sourcing the right candidates for the positions available it is also worth checking and asking about the variety of funding opportunities attached to apprenticeships – remember it is not just down to the size of the business or the age of the apprentice. These days opportunities are available across all sectors and age groups. “If unsure the first place to call should always be your friendly, local Chamber of Commerce.”


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CITY HEARTS Grishma Bijukumar has recently been appointed as equality, diversity and inclusion lead at Sheffield-headquartered national trafficking and crime free futures charity, City Hearts.

I was inspired to join my business because… Of how much City Hearts values its people and clients. The organisation has such a welcoming and understanding culture, where every one of our staff members is passionate about their roles. City Hearts is a genuinely values-driven organisation where people are at the core of what we do.

too hard to be the polished version of what society wants us to be. When it comes to managing people, you want to be approachable and have the confidence that you can have open, honest conversations. The organisations that have supported me and my business include… We have recently become Stonewall Accredited to better support and represent our LGBTQ+ clients and staff. Stonewall has helped us set inclusive practices and lead by example within the sector.

My favourite thing about my role in the business is… The freedom I have to create and develop Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives from scratch. I see my role as building strong foundations for impactful and long-term achievements, where EDI is at the core of all our activities.

The main challenges facing my industry/sector are… The biggest challenge facing HR teams is the integration of staff back into the physical office. We are working hard to find the balance in engagement between staff who will be remote working, staff who are both remote and in person, and solely in person. The way workplace socials and interactions are arranged will have to be as inclusive and well-communicated as possible.

The three words that best describe my business are… Caring, people-focused, values-driven. Sheffield City Region is a great place to start a business because… It is a vibrant, growing city with a lot of opportunities for all ages. Sheffield City Region is a great place to grow a business because… The city is full of people who want to help and be a part of something positive. The best advice I ever got was… Rejections are just redirections. If something doesn’t work out the way you anticipated, that is because



there is a better alternative. Always have a plan B. The worst advice I ever got was… Learn to fit into a corporate

mould. Awful advice because you should always be true to who you are, even if you are in a senior position. People like people who are relatable and who do not try

In 5 years’ time I expect my business will… We started with a handful of volunteers 16 years ago, and now employ 130 staff who have supported more than 3,000 men, women and children through our network of UK safe houses. I see us supporting a lot more clients and continuing to grow and thrive.




GROWTH FOR FIRM Corrosion Resistant Materials (CRM) are considered the first of a new breed of specialist technical materials supplier within the modern-day steel industry. Having recently celebrated the company’s sixth birthday, CRM director Adam Bradley tells unLTD’s Rachel Measures how the ‘family feel’ of the company culture still drives their day-to-day business forward. CRM was formed six years ago by Lee Perry and Chris Williams when they decided to use their own experience within the steel industry to become a steel stockholder. Supplying specialist materials such as nickel, stainless, duplex, titanium, and aluminium, their materials go into oil and gas applications, aerospace, power generation, and defence applications, with their key customers being machine shops who use the steel and produce parts from it. Director Adam Bradley said: “The first year was just from the bedroom office and then the business was built up to a small unit, to today where the company has a 3,500 square foot unit full of stock. “We’ve got customers up


and down the UK and all over the world, too. We supply to roughly 35 countries, and that’s where we’re making the big leaps and bounds recently. Our export side has really taken off over the last three years when we started to concentrate on it as an extra revenue. “Traditionally in steel stockholding our competitors or suppliers will keep ten grades of materials on stock, but because we’re quite new to the market, and quite flexible, we can put packages together.” Adam explains the company’s USP is that they “deal with about 65–70 grades and we always try to bring in what customers want.” Aiming to offer a complete service – where customers can ask for any grade of material

to any specification – CRM also provide value-added services such as cutting, premachining, heat-treatment, and testing. When Adam started three years ago, CRM only had a tiny warehouse, but now they can provide these extra services. He’s seen, and helped, the company grow from 100 to 350 customers and ensured repeat business. “We’ve got a loyal customer base now and long-term contracts in place. There’s security there for the company and for our staff and now we’re becoming wellestablished, people in our industry know who we are.” The business has grown quickly but Adam says it has retained the heart and soul of a much older, longer established company.

“From when Chris and Lee started the company, it’s always been about family – they started to support their families, and it kept growing to the point that family members started working here. Both Lee and Chris’s sons are in the warehouse and Chris’s mum is in accounts. “Everyone enjoys working because of that ‘family first attitude’. We’ve all got kids – if there’s a school play or we need time off, it’s not a problem. That flexibility in today’s working environment is so important, especially with COVID-19 and people having to work from home. I know other businesses were restrictive and didn’t really support their staff. There’s no issue here. “It’s always been about looking after the staff



and our team and that’s always the priority – our staff turnover is pretty low because of that. People want to stay, and people from outside in the industry want to join us, to be part of this journey we’re on. It’s exciting. “The company’s biggest success has been in the export market, going from having nothing, to this year turning over about £1.5m in exports alone, which is about 50 per cent of our turnover. To go from nothing to 50 per cent


of the business and growing – that’s been a big success.” While other companies might have more experience than CRM, Adam believes their success comes from the company culture, which is reflected in their recruitment processes. “We’ve brought in apprentices to support their development and ours as well. It’s the start of their careers so we feel we can bring them into the family culture of the business. “You’re only as good as

You’re only as good as your staff – without the team, and the staff as individuals, it wouldn’t be a success.

your staff – without the team, and the staff as individuals, it wouldn’t be a success. Everyone’s got that drive, that determination, and the same goal to make this company bigger and better. “We want to support people and build the company together, so everyone has a say in the direction of the company, and in the processes and procedures. Everyone is treated equally, so in terms of buy-in from everyone within the company, we all know where we’re going.”




= ON THE RIGHT TRACK As the practice celebrates its fifth anniversary, Barlborough-based Dawson Radford Solicitors has continued its growth plans with a new appointment. Managing director Jo Dawson tells unLTD about making – and sticking to – their plans for success. “The last 18 months have certainly brought about some challenges, but it was really important to me that we stuck to the plans we had in place. “Providing employment law services to our clients, to me, is a key area we can support with, and it really does go hand in hand with the existing corporate, commercial and property work we undertake. “Appointing Liam Kenealy as head of employment law means we are continuing to provide high quality legal services to businesses in the local area and beyond. This is a key appointment to further expand our range of services. “Liam is well-known in the Sheffield City Region having worked at law firms in Sheffield, and most recently, Chesterfield. The task of establishing a new

department is not unknown to him, which was exactly the track record we were searching for. “It has taken some time to find the right person to join our team. Obviously, it had to be someone with the technical ability and drive, but it also had to be someone who fitted with our culture and values, and the working environment we’ve created – for me that was crucial.” Commenting on the importance of employment law, Liam said: “Anyone who has employed a team, large or small, over the past 18 months will have had to make some employment law decisions at some point – whether that be choices about flexible working, furlough payments, maybe even restructures and redundancies. “It’s such an important part

of running a business, and it is vital to get this area of law correct. I’m really looking forward to supporting Dawson Radford’s clients, existing and new, with their employment law decisions.” Dawson Radford can now offer employment law support to businesses, both on an ad-hoc and retainer basis.

Their services range from the preparation of key employment documents through to representation at employment tribunals. To find out how the firm can assist your business visit or call 01246 932100 for a no obligation chat.






Jo gives her top tips for mental health first aid training in the workplace.

COULD MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES BE AFFECTING YOUR BUSINESS? Poor mental health at work costs the UK around 15.4 million working days a year and figures show that mental health issues are continuing to rise. If 1 in 6 people report experiencing a mental health issue every week it is likely that someone in your business could be struggling. By addressing mental health issues, companies benefit, not only from less absence, but through greater productivity, improved loyalty and goodwill, better teamwork and more positive working relationships. Mental health first aid training is one of the steps that businesses can take to provide more mental health support. By training as mental health first aiders, selected employees gain the confidence to talk to others in difficult moments. They learn how to spot the early warning signs, support colleagues and signpost services that could make all the difference. One of the goals of Mental Health First Aid England is for at least one in ten people to be trained in mental health first aid skills. When more of us


start looking out for colleagues, asking how they are and offering support as needed, the healthier our workplaces will become. Training staff through my part-time online Mental Health First Aid courses can ensure that people are put in place quickly. Here are my tips on how to get started: Choose the right people Your first thought might be to give more senior members of staff mental health first aid training, but this may not always be the best approach. Some senior people may not be as approachable, or as available, as others in the business. There may also be individuals who would like the training because they have an interest in the subject, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they also have the resilience or objectivity required for the role. You need to consider individuals’ abilities to deal with sensitive subjects.


Share the load It may be better to have a selection of qualified mental health first aiders available to


employees. This can help share the load and prevent any one person taking on too much. It also means that someone can choose who they feel most comfortable talking to. Line managers of mental health first aiders should accept that their colleagues may occasionally be called upon at short notice to help someone. If at least two people are trained, this gives more options to those who need help, and makes it more likely that someone will be available. Work hours It could be a good idea to advise employees when they can access mental health first aid, preferably only during working hours. This helps to prevent issues from running over into a mental health first aider’s home or personal life.


Assess your culture If you have an open culture, but nobody is trained in mental health first aid, or staff are trained to support mental wellbeing, but your culture doesn’t support good mental health, you are less likely to succeed.


For mental health first aid training to bring lasting benefits, it cannot take place in isolation. You need to consider initiatives to make sure people feel comfortable talking about how they feel which may mean that you also need to consider toolbox talks and bitesize training to make the topic more accessible for everyone in the business. Monitor Keep track of your efforts by measuring absence and running regular staff engagement surveys, which can help to monitor whether people feel that their mental wellbeing is better supported at work. This could bring out areas where you need to improve, highlight a need for more formal mental health support, or create new ideas such as employee assistance programmes or flexible work schemes.


Jo can be contacted at to discuss the training that will suit your company and how to manage individual cases of mental ill health successfully.



COMMUNICATION AND CONSISTENCY – THE KEY TO MARKETING SUCCESS Heather Hamilton, destination and investment marketing officer for Business Doncaster, shares with unLTD her role and how she is supporting inward investment, job creation and business growth in the borough. I am responsible for the marketing efforts of a whole range of activities, projects, and initiatives. Part of my job is to develop and implement creative strategies aimed at driving and attracting inward investment enquiries and creating business interest, which, in turn, leads to an increase in the number of available jobs for the borough. It is also my job to promote and raise awareness of the business support available via the team for those businesses already located in Doncaster. Communication is key to obtaining engagement with different audiences, so my role also consists of developing creative content for advertisements, videos, business case studies and press articles – while using content that is consistent and recognisable of the tone, branding and voice of Business Doncaster. By creating and implementing marketing plans, we can identify target audiences across multiple channels, and fine-tune the marketing messages to achieve our outcomes and goals. What I enjoy most is the diverse nature of the job. My ‘day-to-day’ job is difficult to



describe, as it is such a varied mix! I can be responding to media one minute, liaising with elected members the next, writing press releases and copy, devising marketing strategies, setting up digital ad campaigns, creating brochures, updating website copy, organising events, meeting new inward investors, responding to business enquiries, assisting with social media activity… All of which means I am always very busy – and every day is different! Online/digital marketing is increasingly becoming an integral part of the job – you

have to keep up with current technology, trends and social media changes. I particularly enjoy digital marketing as it means any aspect or spend can be measured and evaluated and it can be very satisfying when something goes to plan! I also provide an insight into the world of Business Doncaster and the local business news by circulating our fortnightly e-newsletter – a well-received and integral part of our communication toolkit. I joined Doncaster Council in April 2008 and I have been fortunate enough to work on

some very exciting projects over the years such as the National Rail College bid, City Status application and the annual Doncaster Business Showcase event. The Business Showcase started in 2008 with just 100 small exhibition stands – today it has grown to be the largest business-to-business exhibition of its kind in Yorkshire with more than 280 exhibition stands across the entire ground floor of Doncaster Racecourse. The ever-popular event boasted a delegate attendance of more than 2,000 people in 2020, and 2022 looks set to be an even bigger success with more than half the stands already sold. For further information about the event, to book an exhibition stand or to check out the current exhibitor list, please visit: www. business-showcase It is free to attend as a visitor, so save the date in your diary – Thursday February 3 2022, 10am-4pm, at Doncaster Racecourse. To subscribe to our e-newsletter visit



NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT Rochelle Gilburn, managing director of Gilburn Property Group, says despite the challenges facing the industry, she is moving her business forward thanks to a combination of more properties, more contacts – and more offers.

Throwback to this time in 2020 and I spoke to so many people who wanted to start investing in property ‘after Christmas’, after ‘COVID-19’, after ‘insert excuse here’. Now 2021 is drawing to an end. A few of those people took action, but the majority of them found the next excuse. I’m not going to lie – finding properties in 2021 has been anything but easy, which you will know if you’ve tried to move home this year. Houses have been flying off the market and people have been queuing up to put in the most ridiculous of offers. But while others may have given up, I saw it as a challenge. I viewed more properties, put more offers in, made contacts with key people and moved my business forward. To this date, I’ve completed on ten properties this year with four currently in the refurb process and another five going through conveyancing. There’s no time like the present. The people I work with know their money is doing nothing for them sat in an ISA and are looking for ways they can invest wisely.



The most common thing I hear from my clients is they would love to invest their money in property, but they lack the time or knowledge to look for the opportunities. That is where I come in. We can all sit on Rightmove, we

can all watch Homes under the Hammer and think this property game is easy – well, it CAN be. If you have the time and money to go out and do it yourself, do it! I love property, but most of my clients aren’t interested

in the property itself, but the return which it can give them. They have jobs or businesses they love, and which keep them busy. They don’t have the time to be visiting properties, working out refurb costs and finding the best team of solicitors. I do all that hard work for my clients, ensuring they are achieving their property goals. For some, that might be financial freedom. Others are looking for a longterm investment ready for retirement. Whatever your short or long-term goals, I’ll come up with a plan to find you the right properties at the right price. I’ll put you in touch with my mortgage broker and fantastic team of solicitors. My team of builders will renovate the property to the perfect standard to sell on or rent out. If you’ve been thinking about investing in property but don’t have the time, think no longer. Let’s get a call set up and put that money to work! contact@ 0114 4381 272




BY WAYNE FLETCHER, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF AUSTIN FLETCHER Wayne shares his ‘open-minded approach’ to domestic property developments.

AN OPEN-MINDED APPROACH TO DOMESTIC PROPERTY DEVELOPMENTS Most of us feel a sense of trepidation when friends or family ask for advice on a personal issue that broadly crosses over with our professional expertise. Here Austin Fletcher founder and director Wayne Fletcher shares his ‘exploratory and openminded approach’ to domestic property developments. Anyone who has ever worked in IT becomes their grandparents (or parents in my case) default laptop trouble-shooter and I’m sure doctors and nurses face a constant barrage of enquiries about everything from a prolonged headache to much more intimate ailments. I try to take a more exploratory and open-minded approach when asked about domestic property developments. The scale of some work isn’t always too far away from some of the smaller commercial developments I have worked on, so I wanted to better understand why there appears to be such a divide


between the domestic market and the commercial one. Why don’t more domestic clients appoint a project manager or even a quantity surveyor? TV presenter Kevin McCloud often despairs when a first-time developer opts to take on all these roles when building their dream one-ofa-kind-spaceship-inspired house on Grand Designs, and he’s usually right. It often turns out badly. These professions, to some, are seen as an unnecessary cost. Why spend money on consultant fees when it can go towards upgraded finishes instead?! A decision which appears justifiable until they realise the build is going to take six months longer than originally thought and the contract value has just gone up another 30 per cent due to ‘unforeseen costs’ and ‘extras’. The number of domestic projects I see without a contract in place is even more concerning. “He said he wouldn’t sign one” or,

“The ones that would sign a contract were a bit more expensive.” Two responses I often receive. There could be several reasons why a builder will not sign a contract, but you can rest assured – none of them will benefit you, the client. Realistically, most domestic builds are on a much smaller scale than what we see on TV, and rarely require the level of project management support seen in a commercial setting. However, whether you are building a £50,000 extension or a new build house at £500,000, as the client you still require value for money, a level of cost certainty and an element of reduced and calculated risk. This is where the advice and support of a quantity surveyor is vital. When considering the project overall, undertaking early cost advice during the design stages and the provision of construction contracts are not costly exercises and should be considered on

all construction projects, regardless of scale. Each project, and you as the client, will have specific requirements and the consultant’s services should be tailored accordingly. Usually, the absence of key consultants in a project comes down to a lack of knowledge and/or a misunderstanding of how the process works. Unfortunately, the realisation of how much value they offer, often comes too late. There doesn’t need to be such a gap between the two styles of working. When I’m asked about home developments, I’ll be looking for the opportunities to make the process as painless, riskaverse and cost-effective as possible for my clients. If you want to bend my ear, I’m happy to chat – just not about your dodgy laptop, please! Call: 01142 138 305 Email: WayneFletcher@ Online:




BROADBAND PACKAGE Growing Sheffield business Dentech IT has introduced a new arm of the enterprise. MD Luke Denman tells unLTD how Dentech Connect provides home workers, landlords, students and ‘staycationers’ with superfast 4G Wi-Fi without any tie-ins (or hidden fees). The requirement for flexibility has never been more paramount. Meanwhile, the demand for reliable, faster, and more widely available broadband is a top priority for a variety of businesses, professionals, families and holidaymakers in the UK. Dentech Connect is a ‘pick up and go’ broadband package that is designed for both personal and professional users in the 21st century. With 60 per cent of the UK now working from home, a fast, secure, and flexible broadband


package should be available to us all. We understand now more than ever the need for flexibility so with our no contract package – unlike many providers – there’s no hefty fee for cancelling midcontract or switching during the agreed contract. You can pause or cancel with us at any time. The difference in our broadband offer compared to other companies is our use of 4G, which means you don’t need a landline and you are

guaranteed superfast Wi-Fi speeds. Our Dentech Connect package really is an easy-in, easy-out service with no hassle. And when we say no hassle, we mean it. There are no long-term contracts, just a transparent 30-day rolling contract – literally Pay As You Go – with no end of term cancellation fees. This is great, because it means hybrid workers, shortterm letters, landlords or even those caravanning in the UK can have superfast and reliable broadband wherever they are

and for whatever their specific needs. Dentech Connect is a ‘pick up and go’ broadband package that is designed for the 21st Century. If you would like to know more about the no hassle, no contract, added value internet connection package, contact them on 0114 331 0101 or Learn more about this, and other connectivity services, on the new Dentech Connect website at


GIN EXPERIENCE: MAKE YOUR OWN GIN Join us for Sheffield’s premier hands-on gin making experience using mini stills and real botanicals. Here at Locksley Distilling we are thrilled that we can share our distillery with the world, welcoming you to witness, taste and immerse yourself in all of our magic! We’d love for you to visit us in the heart of Sheffield at Portland Works, a grade 2* listed building, and the birthplace of stainless steel, where our small yet dedicated team have been creating, producing, and inspiring since 2014.

Although we know we are never going to be the biggest distillery we will always aspire to be the best; we love nothing more than sharing our passion with our fellow artisan drinks enthusiasts!



HOW SMEs CAN COMBAT THE CYBER THREAT The pandemic has changed the way many SMEs operate with a move to digital as businesses responded to the new way of working. Jamie Harvey, a director at Sheffieldbased chartered insurance broker, IFM warns about the rising risk of cyber-crime. Cyber risk has dramatically increased over the duration of the pandemic as hackers took advantage of the continuous shift towards business digitalisation since the initial lockdown last March. As we ease out of the pandemic, it’s worrying to discover many SMEs remain unaware of the threat of cyber-crime to their business. What’s more, many have no protection in place to combat being the victim of a data hack. Rapid digitalisation Research by insurer AVIVA shows more than threequarters of British SMEs do not have any cyber insurance – even at this time of rapid digitalisation. Statistics also reveal 41 per cent of SMEs updated their website in response to the pandemic, while 39 per cent moved online or improved their online offering. Cyber-crime is a growing threat to all businesses across South Yorkshire and the tactics employed by hackers are becoming more sophisticated. Cybercriminals will continue to take full advantage of any security vulnerabilities with more advanced attacks. Local SMEs should evaluate their


IT security and protection requirements to ensure they remain secure, particularly when many are digitally renovating their business processes. Moving forward it is likely that having cyber protection in place will become a necessary part of doing business. An increasing number of companies are already making it a contractual requirement, forcing their suppliers to take out cyber cover. Businesses are also still liable for notifying their customers of a data breach, even if an IT supplier suffered an attack. Insurance solutions The insurance industry offers a range of solutions to help SMEs combat the threat of cyber hackers so business owners should contact their local broker for advice. Available insurance policies can provide a wide range of covers to help protect firms if they fall victim to cyber-crime, including a phishing attack, an accidental release of data or ransom demand. Policies can also cover business interruption losses that might arise – for example, if a manufacturing firm's production line is stopped because its systems have been compromised.

Top tips to combat cyber-crime Ensure your business has proper internet security in place including firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spam.


Test back-up plans and business continuity procedures.


Don’t open files on a website or in an email from an unknown or suspicious source.


All personal and business data should be stored and disposed of securely – including information your business holds on suppliers, business emails, and employee data.


Laptops and monitors are common targets for thieves, leading to lost data and productivity. Lock servers in a room and move laptops into a secure drawer at the end of a working day.


Encrypt important information for extra security so only authorised users can access them.


Purchase legitimate software from reputable companies and be careful downloading free software.



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Just honest marketing that delivers results.

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0114 218 0626



FURLOUGH FURLONG? After more than 18 months of state intervention in the economy, government support for business has begun to be withdrawn. Here Christopher Brown, Hart Shaw LLP business recovery & insolvency partner, tells struggling businesses the key is always to take advice before it is too late. After more than 18 months of state intervention in the economy, government support for business has finally begun to be withdrawn. On September 30 2021, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (commonly known as the Furlough Scheme) came to an end. Since its introduction it has undoubtably saved many jobs, with more than 11 million workers having benefited. At the peak of the pandemic in May 2020, nine million people were on furlough, reducing to 1.6 million in July 2021. With the scheme ending, many businesses will now be deciding whether they can afford to bring back all their staff. For those that can’t, declaring redundancies can be an expensive and timely process. Staff must be put on notice of redundancy which, at a minimum, will be one week for each year worked up to a maximum of 12, and rules around consultation and selection can be complex. Statutory Redundancy Pay is based on the number of years an employee has worked for the business and their age, with the weekly amount currently capped at £544 per week. When a number of employees are declared redundant it can be expensive and impact on businesses' cashflow.


In my role as insolvency practitioner, I have seen many cases where a business had not made the necessary redundancies at the right time because it couldn’t afford to do so, and this contributed to its ultimate failure. If a business can’t afford to make the redundancies necessary to help it survive, the Redundancy Payments Service (“RPS”) can, in certain circumstances, give a loan to meet the costs, which must then be repaid as soon as possible. Another area of support to businesses in trouble over the last 15 months has been the suspension of creditor winding up petitions. From October 1 2021, this came to an end and was replaced with targeted support for companies with relatively small debts. Until at least March 31 2022, winding up petitions can now be served, but only for debts of £10,000 or more. In addition, creditors must first seek proposals for payment from a debtor, giving them 21 days’ notice for a response, before issuing a winding up petition. If your company is considering redundancies and unable to meet the costs, or facing a potential winding up petition from a creditor, seek urgent advice

from a business recovery and insolvency specialist as there are things that can be done to help. One option is a Company Voluntary Arrangement ('CVA') which will enable a struggling company to continue trading debt-free having dealt with its creditors in a manageable way. When approved, a CVA will prevent a creditor from winding up the company and enable the RPS to pay all the costs of any redundancies and

claim the cost back from the CVA fund, and not from the ongoing company. A CVA can be implemented in as little as four weeks, and over the last 25 years Hart Shaw has helped many companies restructure and prosper going forward. If you have any queries or require any help please contact: Tel. 0114 251 8850





HIDDEN NEEDS South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF) is taking action after publishing its latest Vital Signs research, by piloting a new themed programme to help young people onto the employment ladder.



FEATURE Using a combination of local knowledge and official data to measure the vitality of a community, Vital Signs identified that crime and safety, disadvantage and inequality, work and the local economy and mental health were the top four priority issues for communities across South Yorkshire. The Employment and Employability Programme will support young people aged 14-30 in gaining skills and learning of the opportunities available to them in the world of work, aiming to inspire the next generation and removing the barriers to employment. The ambition of SYCF is to raise £500,000 over three years allowing community organisations to apply for grants of up to £15,000, with a maximum of £5,000 per year over each year. This funding also aims to support young people to connect and engage with local employers and businesses. This support could include job coaches, workplace visits and interview workshops. Where possible, SYCF will aim to facilitate a link between employers and those working with young people to develop mutually beneficial partnerships. While the four outcomes from the Vital Signs report are all huge problems in society individually, they are all intrinsically linked and the themed programme targets the issues holistically and calls on everyone – whether a community group, business, or someone with a vested interest in South Yorkshire – to take affirmative action. In the Vital Signs research, South Yorkshire residents were given the opportunity to voice their perceptions of life in their local area which amplified the meaning behind the official statistics: • Nearly one third of residents said they do not feel safe in their local area with 50 per cent saying not enough is done to address the causes of crime. On average, South


Yorkshire has 20 more crime incidents per 1,000 people than the rest of England • 65 per cent of people feel the gap between those with the most and those with the least has gotten noticeably wider. The four local authorities across South Yorkshire rank within the lowest 14 per cent of all local authorities in England against key deprivation indicators, which has gotten worse over the last five years • Half of all respondents said businesses struggle to survive in their local area. The employment rate is on average five per cent lower in South Yorkshire than the rest of England • 60 per cent said they struggled with their mental health in the last year yet 40 per cent said there is not a good level of professional care to support them. The four issues are explored in detail in the report as well as the ways to tackle them. Speaking at the Vital Signs launch event, held at the University of Sheffield,

community organisations tackling these issues all described how their work involved trying to guide young people into seeking training and employment best suited to the individual. John Barber, chief executive of The Work-Wise Foundation, a local employer-led charity supporting young people to gain the skills and attributes needed for employment, said: “At the end of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) programme, you can see the difference in those young people, particularly with their confidence. “It’s so rewarding when I’ll bump into a young person in the street I probably last saw when they were 14 and now they have completed their apprenticeship or are studying in higher education.” Ruth Willis, chief executive of SYCF, said: “We were keen to publish this year’s Vital Signs report with a strong commitment to tackling all of the four needs and we do so with this themed programme. “There are many variables behind a young person’s journey into employment and we hope community groups,

supported with multi-year funding, will be able to guide them on a pathway to success.” Businesses are encouraged to get involved in this themed programme by joining the growing network of SY100 and make a difference South Yorkshire wide. SYCF’s creation of the SY100 Network allows like-minded businesses and individuals to support their communities by matching their passions and values with projects that are meeting needs in the areas they work in. Chris Booth-Mayblin, chair of SYCF, said: “The launch of the themed programme has shown there is a great opportunity for businesses, through the SY100 Network, to influence change across South Yorkshire and get to the crux of the issues facing the communities they work in.” High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Martin McKervey, and director at AESSEAL Plc, said: “The Employment and Employability Programme devised by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation is a sign of intent to tackle the most important needs highlighted in the Vital Signs report. “Attending the launch of the report, I was inspired listening to examples of young people breaking down barriers and making their way into employment, through the support of a local community organisation. “But we can and need to do more – that’s why I would thoroughly encourage our business community in South Yorkshire to join the SY100 Network to work together and help build sustainable community development.” Businesses interested in finding out more about the SY100 Network, should visit: Community groups can visit the website to apply for the themed fund: uk/employmentthemedfund To view the Vital Signs report, please visit:


SUPPORTING SUSTAINABLE CANCER CARE SERVICES – AND YOUR BUSINESS As health and wellbeing becomes a corporate responsibility, and priority, following the pandemic, a local independent charity, Cavendish Cancer Care, offer their expertise to provide much needed support in the workplace. For over 30 years, Cavendish Cancer Care have provided care for those affected by cancer within South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire. We are an independent charity, with extremely limited statutory funding, and are exceptionally grateful for the incredible partnerships we have with local organisations – and individuals. The global pandemic has pushed the health and wellbeing of people to the forefront of the corporate agenda with 46% of UK workers feeling ‘more prone to extreme stress levels’ than last year.


Kirsty White, strategic partnerships manager, said: “More and more businesses are sharing the pressure of having employee wellbeing at the top of their agenda. “We are pleased to be one of few local charities able to offer something back to our partners by using our expertise to respond to the growing demand for wellbeing support in the workplace. “This is an exciting new direction that enables us to provide value to our corporate partners while also providing much needed funding to our Tim Pryor Centre.” Our values in Corporate

Wellbeing echo those of our brand as a charity – long term positive wellbeing, communication, and individuality with no judgement. Our objectives include an increase in employee engagement, an improvement to local economy (ROI of corporate wellbeing interventions is up to 8:1) and additional therapeutic care, along with a general boost of Yorkshire community pride! We’d love to connect and discuss how we can work together to support your team’s wellbeing needs. To find out more email Chloe, our corporate wellbeing manager via





HENRY BOOT CONSTRUCTION’S £400,000 GIFT UNLOCKS COMMUNITY SPIRIT IN BARNSLEY Charity groups across Barnsley have been able to safeguard and extend their life-changing services thanks to the generosity of Henry Boot Construction. The construction company, a major partner in The Glass Works scheme to re-develop Barnsley town centre, has donated nearly £400,000 to good causes over the five-year lifetime of the project. As The Glass Works’ shops and leisure destinations prepare to open, Henry Boot Construction has revealed the transformative impact of its philanthropic work in the borough. One of the charity projects to benefit from a recent cash donation was Penistone Knitting Group which created

more than 40,000 mask extenders for NHS and front-line workers during the pandemic. Henry Boot’s donation enabled volunteers to buy cotton to make the extenders which stopped masks rubbing and improved comfort for exhausted staff. Sheryll Dixon, the group’s founder, said the 197-strong team of active knitters were able to supply 15 hospitals and 38 nursing homes, and 5,000 mask extenders were delivered to Great Ormond Street Hospital. “The donation has helped me concentrate on running the group instead of worrying where the money was going to come from to fund our projects,” said Sheryll.


Another charity helped by Henry Boot Construction is Station House Community Association in Thurnscoe, which provides childcare and support services to families living in poverty. Henry Boot Construction sent two

employees to tackle odd jobs which subsequently made a huge impact. “They listened to what we needed and exceeded our expectations,” said Station House Community Association chief executive Charlotte Williams.

JENX TAKE ON SHEFFIELD 10K RAISING ALMOST £200 FOR PACES Representing Jenx, one of the UK’s leading postural support specialists, leading operative Steve Blake and national commissioning manager, Maddy Palmer, have raised £165 for Paces by taking on the Sheffield 10K. Maddy Palmer said: “I wanted to run the Sheffield 10K back in 2018, and after pregnancy and the pandemic, it feels like it’s been a journey to get here! I loved every minute of the race and even shed a few tears on the finish line.” The money raised via JustGiving will be donated to Paces - a specialist centre, charity and school for individuals living with cerebral



palsy and motor disorders based in High Green, Sheffield. Paces was chosen by Jenx, and Jiraffe, their UK distribution division, as their 2021 Charity of the Year. As part of the partnership, the organisations work together to arrange events and fundraisers that support Paces’

transition into their new home at Thorncliffe Hall which will allow them to support three times as many families. Holly Jenkins, Director of Jiraffe, said: “I’d like say an enormous thank you to Steve and Maddy for helping to raise money for such an important charity.”

David Hall, Paces’ Corporate Fundraising Manager, added: “Our partnership with Jenx and Jiraffe means so much to us. The money they have raised is life changing and will ensure our families can continue to receive first class support. We’re really grateful for Steve and Maddy for getting involved.”




Wendy Ward of Let’s Save is ‘fired up’ for an ‘amazing end’ to 2021

BE PREPARED AND GET ‘BID-READY’! This month there are far more clients wanting my ‘bid-ready’ services. Maybe October – back to business month – has got people fired up to have an amazing end to the calendar year. Or perhaps businesses are preparing to get all their compliance done to be in the best place, ready for a fresh start in January 2022?

Whatever the reason, I have been asked for reviews of policies and procedures, to arrange funding strategy sessions, as well as undertake full-on business planning for the next one, three and five years. Strategy is the name of the game, currently – which is music to my ears as applications for funding done on a whim hardly ever work out. Being prepared and fully briefed on

what you need, why you need it and choosing the funder to approach who you feel will support you and your cause in the best way – that is how to do it. It may take some time to be this prepared, but you

should be aiming to have systems, policies, practices, and procedures that make applying for funding a joy and not something that makes you pull your hair out! For all your strategic or kneejerk applications – call me!

CITY SUPPORTS FIRST RESTORATION HUB FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING SURVIVORS Warm-hearted businesses from around the city rallied to support Sheffieldheadquartered slavery survivor support charity, City Hearts set up a Restoration Hub to help some of the city’s most vulnerable people. Backed by Sheffield Chamber and philanthropic partnership Sheffield Business Together, the business community created what City Hearts’ head of development, Phill Clayton called ‘a food bank for care packages’ which were given to trafficked men, women and children as they enter safe houses. Kyle France, the charity’s accommodation manager for South Yorkshire, said: “Almost

all our clients arrive with either very few belongings or just the clothes they stand up in. For many survivors, the first step in getting anywhere near back to normality is to have personal items such as clothing, bedding and toiletries that allow them to feel a sense of normal life starting again. “Most, if not all of our clients will not have slept in fresh bedding for a long time and nothing new to wear. Having supplies in our safe houses for all of our clients as they arrive would have an instant impact on their mental health and go a long way to helping them feel safe and valued entering our services.”


Among the first businesses to collect donations and pledge support included Andy Hanselman Consulting, HLM Architects, Sheffield City Council and unLTD. CEO of City Hearts, Ed Newton, said: “We are so grateful to the people

of Sheffield and its businesses for their generosity and speedy response to our vital appeal. These care packs will have an immeasurable impact on improving the quality of life of all survivors of modern slavery that come into City Hearts.”

Give Wendy at Let's Save Consultancy Services a call on 0772 9481010 or email





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