Local business news – September & October 2016

David Preece and Julia Fitzsimmons.

Law firm improves team

FBC Manby Bowdler has strengthened its offer to Shropshire businesses with a new appointment and a strategic move within the company. Employment lawyer Julia Fitzsimmons has joined the Telford office as a partner. She has acted for large-scale businesses and governmental departments and specialises in employee issues within restructures. Corporate associate David Preece has also joined the Telford team two days a week. Julia says, “I’m delighted to have joined such a dynamic and forward-thinking firm that already has a strong reputation in the Midlands.”

FBC Manby Bowdler now employs over 160 people at offices in Wolverhampton, Willenhall, Shrewsbury, Telford and Bridgnorth. It was named Customer Champion in the Shropshire Star Excellence in Business Awards 2016.


Hope House challenges businesses!

Local charity Hope House is offering businesses the chance to support them in their 21st birthday year by signing up to the Business Challenge. Fundraiser Sarah Johnson explains, “We give you £50 and challenge you to grow it by as much as legally and ethically possible during 2016. This is an ideal opportunity to test your entrepreneurial skills and to build team spirit while raising vital funds to help children and families.” Call 01691 671671 or email fundraising@hopehouse.org.uk.

Shifnal’s Haughton Hall Hotel is joining the Challenge, hosting a charity dinner and dance in a new marquee on Saturday 23 September. The event will feature a three-course dinner, a raffle, and Abba tribute band Mamma Mania, and tickets are £35 – visit haughtonhall.com.


Celebrating diversity

A Shropshire mum has launched the Dyslexia Awards, with the ceremony set to take place in November. Elizabeth Wilkinson’s Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultancy began after she sought information about her son’s special educational needs. After completing a dyslexia awareness course, Elizabeth realised her son and herself were both dyslexic.

Elizabeth says, “Media coverage can be so negative, with the focus on the ‘struggle’, or what dyslexics can’t achieve. The aim of the Dyslexia Awards is to turn that perception on its head by celebrating strengths, positives and achievements.”

With 17 awards available, people in Shropshire were asked to nominate in categories such as the Amazing Art Award, Best Head Teacher, and Entrepreneur Award. For more information, email elizabeth@thedcc.org.uk.


You’re hired!

Josh Podmore from Apley had just turned 19 when his mother, who’d heard of Telford & Wrekin’s work with youth unemployment, took him to Southwater Library. Josh, now 20, says, “I’d applied for jobs but didn’t hear anything back, or was told I didn’t have the grades.”

Josh’s visit led to an introductory course, Green Brigade, followed by a year-long apprenticeship – and he’s now been voted TCAT Environmental Services Apprentice of the Year. The award was presented to Josh at a July ceremony at Telford College of Arts and Technology. He says, “I had no idea it was coming until I got a letter in the post. It was fantastic to read because I was just being myself – and it turned out they really liked me.”

Josh was involved in a variety of courses including introductions to brickwork, paving, fencing and using a chainsaw, and he’s now secured a full-time job with Telford & Wrekin Services Ltd.


UK first for Telford firm

A first-of-its-kind rooftop photovoltaic system was officially unveiled at an international workplace supplies provider in June. Telford-based Lyreco saw the installation of ground mount centralised inverter technology to offset the impact of their logistics centre and 275 delivery vehicles. The huge roof covers an area the size of seven and a half football pitches.

“This type of hugely exciting technology is more commonly seen in solar farms,” explains Lyreco’s Nick Dacey. “But we were eager to embrace the very latest technology, to ensure the most efficient system possible, and to cut our annual carbon emissions by 1700 tonnes… our whole National Distribution Centre site in Telford will be carbon neutral for electricity.”


Support for rural businesspeople

Shropshire Rural Support (SRS) is a registered charity offering support to people experiencing problems arising from a rural way of life. The charity’s team can help with issues such as isolation, family breakdown and spiraling debt. Call 0300 123 2825 or find the SRS Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @ShropshireRS.


Networking for women

Network with Style is a Shropshire group who meet on a monthly basis to share tips and ideas for growing their businesses. The women-only meetings, usually held in the Lord Hill Hotel in Shrewsbury, provide a friendly, supportive environment for discussion, with a speaker session followed by networking. Visit networkwithstyle.com to find out more.


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