Hybrid working is here to stay. With so many office staff working from home during the lockdowns, the business community has discovered that people don’t need to be tied to the office building to be productive.
Research from CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) shows a dramatic increase in organisations offering remote working options, with 63% of surveyed companies now offering their staff the opportunity to work regularly at home.
Even large companies such as BP, Lloyds Bank and HSBC will be adopting the hybrid working model, allowing them to downsize their physical office space.
This means that the way we use offices is going to change, and there is now a need to create practical office space that’s great for hybrid working. This gives you the perfect opportunity or excuse to revisit your office interior design and use modern, innovative furniture, such as meeting pods, to create a variety of functional spaces within the room.
The business benefits of hybrid working include:
Some of the benefits of hybrid working for staff include:
Designing a new office fit for hybrid working
At JPA Workspaces, our experienced interior designers will advise on the best use of space in your new office fit-out. You’ll have an in-depth discussion about your brand, your brand personality, how you intend to use the space, how many people need to be accommodated and for what purpose, etc with our team.
The office of the future is likely to be more socially distanced, with more space between working areas, more partitions to build confidence and reduce anxiety, better acoustics, interesting and social collaboration spaces as well as meeting pods.
If you are looking for some inspiration for your new office layout, contact our team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01727 840800. Our team will run you through our portfolio showing all the latest in quality office furniture. You can also visit our website and social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest designs and information.
Perceived Safety and Hygiene will continue to be a priority
All being well, the Government's social distancing rules will be relaxed soon. However, with the continued threat of the virus and the possibility of new variants, it could be a long time before everyone feels comfortable being in the office without full protection.
This explains why protective screens and antimicrobial surfaces (see our website for more details) are likely to be a standard feature in mots offices for many months to come.
Covid-19 aside, the protection and hygiene habits we’ve got used over the last year has resulted in a healthier workforce. There has been a worldwide drop in the number of cases of colds and flu leading to fewer sick days and an overall increase in productivity, so these precautionary measures are great all around.
Make it sustainable
Another impact of the pandemic is that people have become more aware of the environment. In the first lockdown, nature was more conspicuous, leading to a greater appreciation of the planet, as well as awareness of the effect our wasteful habits are having on it and its finite resources.
In JPA workspaces, we think sustainability and the circular economy is the only way forward. This is why we have long been active champions of environmental values. JPA has consistently been recognised for its strides in this area and received several awards for our holistic approach, environmental and community work.
Every aspect of our business is geared toward reducing carbon and eliminating project waste. By working with JPA, your organisation will significantly reduce the carbon cost of its refurbishment works. We are a certified Carbon Neutral and Carbon Reduction organisation.
Additionally, JPA only uses products from ethical and sustainable supply chains, with timber from well-managed forests and high percentages of recycled and recyclable content. Our in-house furniture re-manufacture, repair and refresh services ensure longevity for your existing furniture resources. Our award-winning furniture recycling and community rehoming programme once again will ensure that nothing goes to landfill.
If sustainability is an important part of your company values, then, when it comes to furniture, we’ve done all the research for you. Read more about our commitment to the environment (on our website – sustainable workspace solutions) – we do so much more than furniture.
Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) – Delivering positive social change backed by local philanthropy
Hertfordshire is regarded as an affluent county in the UK. It is one of the most urbanised communities while also having a beautiful countryside and fantastic transport links to major cities. Its proximity to London, the largest city and economic centre in the UK means it is also an attractive place for businesses and highly skilled labour. It is widely recognised as the best county in the UK and has a vast number of sights and attractions.
Behind this wonderful image is a deprivation that has been growing over the last decade further exposed by the events of the last year – the covid-19 pandemic. From children living in poverty to fuel poverty to winter deaths to access to medical care to homelessness, there is a massive deprivation crisis hunting our community.
The stats don’t make great reading:
This may come as a surprise to many residents as Hertfordshire is better known for its affluent communities, cathedrals, great schools and the Warner Bros Studios where the iconic Harry Potter films were made. It is also home to some of the largest companies in the UK including Tesco, Ocado, Britvic and many others.
HCF has been at the forefront of leading social change by serving as an instrument that provides support to these communities that are struggling and need assistance.
Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF), an independent registered charity, transforms donor funding into grants and support to local causes that improves the lives of the most vulnerable people in Hertfordshire county. HCF provides options and advice to philanthropists to give effectively to the community. Working with smaller charities, voluntary groups and individuals in Hertfordshire, HCF has the capacity to make your donations count.
As a community foundation supporting Hertfordshire, its objective is to:
Says the Foundation Director, Helen Gray “The past year has been extremely busy and challenging for us. There are more people that need our interventions and our main challenge is having to turn down requests for grants or support. We launched our emergency appeal and emergency grant program to support families and individuals that have been affected by the covid-19 pandemic. We have given out over £2m in the last year.”
HCF has been making social interventions in housing and homelessness, deprivation, health and wellbeing, local crime and safety, education and employment as a way of strengthening our communities.
Armed with local data and knowledge of the areas with deprivation in Hertfordshire, HCF partners various local charities on intervention programmes to uplift these areas in our county. For instance, HCF has been working with Recover, a local charity that provides training opportunities to people facing difficulties from drug or substance abuse and poor mental health. Through a programme that teaches them to upcycle furniture, vulnerable adults can acquire new skills, confidence, fulfilment and purpose. They are also helping protect the environment by reducing waste.
HCF, founded in 1988 is one of the 47 accredited community foundations in the UK, covering Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. Operating from its base in Hatfield, Herts, it is a member of the UK Community Foundations (UKCF), a registered charity that leads a movement of community foundations committed to positive social change in the UK through community philanthropy. UKCF has been operating for the last 30 years.
Community foundations are designed to draw donations from the public into a coordinated investment pool from which grants are made to drive social improvement of an area. The community foundation model was working successfully in the US and was adopted in the UK to promote social change in our communities.
Like most charities, fund raising is key for HCF to sustain its activities in our communities. It is looking to grow its endowment fund by £0.5m in the next year. It also wants to turn back less people that need help. After a record year of funding support from the government and private citizens, it is expected that funding in the voluntary sector will drop. “At a time when there are more mental health issues resulting from isolation and the downturn in the economy, more not less interventions are needed. We can’t lose capacity in the charity sector.”
HCF has had more success in fund raising with local family owned businesses in the area as they have strong ties with the local community and know the area well. It is keen however to expand its footprint by working with professional services organizations like financial advisers, solicitors, accountants, tax managers and wealth managers. “We are not competing with them rather we are complimenting their services.”
There is also a lot of education needed to create the awareness of how and why people fall into difficult circumstances. The general assumption is that people make bad choices and therefore become homeless, suffer addiction or fall into debt. This however is not completely true as it is very easy for anyone to fall into some of these challenging circumstances if there is a loss of employment or income, domestic abuse, medical or personal issues.
“We are encouraging people that want to give in a responsible way to community to partner with HCF. We know the area really well. We have a team of volunteers, part-time and full time staff that work for the foundation. We also have a network of vetted and registered charities that we partner with, all experts in their respective fields. We can take away all the admin that may discourage you from giving. By partnering with us, we’ll make the process seamless.”
Businesses should also be socially responsible and support this cause. HCF is providing an effective platform for giving and channelling the funds to the main areas of need.
If you want to support the great work HCF is doing please email email@example.com or call 01707 251 351
JPA are an independent second-generation family business, passionate about the environment and community. They are proud Patrons of the Herts Chamber of Commerce and active supporter of the #KeepingtheHeartinHerts campaign, promoting and supporting local Hertfordshire businesses.
They specialise in sustainable planning and refurbishing of office, educational, hospitality, healthcare and hospitality environments fostering engagement, productivity and user wellbeing.
As we plan for return to work, is it time for organisations to re-think the environments we are creating of our staff and the impact we are having on the planet?
JPA take a holistic approach to furniture supply – it’s so much more than simply the furniture provided. Every aspect of the business is aimed at reducing the carbon impact of their products, services and operation with a view to achieving Carbon Zero by 2030.
JPA address each operational area to ensure the least carbon impact and most positive social impact as a result of its activity. They operate locally and champion environmental products, services and operation.
This benefits for Clients are the reduced Carbon Impact of their refurbishment works including Carbon Neutral Delivery and Installation, Zero Waste and Zero to Landfill.
JPA are leading the way in the furniture industry with external certification as a Carbon Reduction and, Carbon Neutral organisation. This underpins Hertfordshire’s green growth ambitions and also the UN SDGs of Sustainable Cities, Climate Action and Responsible Production and Consumption.
ISO14001 and FISP:
JPA have been certified to IS014001 since 2010 and to FISP (the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme) since 2008.
FISP is much broader than the environmental systems, EMAS & ISO14001 standards. All organisations seeking FISP must demonstrate how the 3 pillars of sustainability are embedded within their organisation.
FISP is an independently certified sustainability programme tailored to the needs of the Furniture Industry supply chain, promoting best practise to drive social, economic and environmental change, via continual improvement of member’s business operations. It is the benchmark for sustainable practices in the UK furniture industry and widely referenced by procurement teams and furniture specifiers within sustainable procurement policies.
JPA’s Fiona Edwards has been an active member of the FISP Steering Committee for the last three years.
Products are sourced from ethical and sustainable supply chains with product eligible for Ska points for sustainable building refurbishments. Timber is from well managed forests. Products have continuity of parts for many years to come and are manufactured for disassembly at end of life.
JPA underwrite warranties of all items supplied providing an on-site support service as and when needed. They also run repair and refurbishment services enabling clients to manage existing furniture resources more efficiently and cost-effectively, keep them in operation for longer, wasting less and maximising original investment.
JPA have taken steps to ensure a sustainable and ethical supply chain. Basic minimum criteria include ISO9001 for process control, ISO14001 for Environmental Management, FISP for sound Social and Environmental performance and FSC or PEFC for responsibly sourced timber from well managed forests. Evidence of commitment to eliminating Modern Slavery via policies and documentation, commitment to Equal Opportunities, Inclusion and payment of the Real Living Wage are also requested.
Carbon Neutral Installations:
JPA are an externally certified Carbon Reduction Organisation and a Certified Carbon Neutral organisation. This recognises their continuous drive to reduce carbon within their operation and means that there is zero carbon cost for all JPA deliveries, site visits and project work.
Locality Lowers Scope 3 Emissions:
JPA operate locally to their clients with head office and warehousing in St Albans. The majority of JPA’s clients are based less than an hour away so service visits can be quickly accommodated within existing carbon costs as resources are already in the area. JPA sales teams commute largely via public transport.
Eliminating Furniture Waste:
JPA work with clients to maximise existing furniture investment through a full range of repair, refresh and reupholstery services. They can also organise, supply and fit spare parts to keep furniture in use for longer and areas fully operational for their occupants.
If furniture really can’t be repaired or re-used, JPA will collect it for recycling, often backfilling vehicles to further keep emissions low. Certificates can be requested which illustrate the landfill and co2e kg saved.
To date JPA have eliminated over 25,104 furniture items from landfill, eliminating some 584 landfill tons and saving the equivalent of 788 carbon tons.
JPA wrapping materials are manufactured with recycled content and are themselves re-used or recycled after use – nothing goes to landfill.
Furniture Re-Use and Community Rehoming:
Where redundant furniture cannot be used on site, JPA seek to re-home furniture locally in the community transporting items to their new home and saving community organisations valuable funds. Local organisations that JPA have supported include Oaklands College, Rothamsted Enterprises, BRE, The Living Room, Lister Hospital, Barnet Community and Young Barnet, organisations. To date, over 4490 unwanted furniture items have been rehomed by JPA in the community, saving the equivalent of £545,000 in furniture spend enabling valuable funds to be diverted to other vital resources.
Working with Like Minded Companies
JPA work with like minded companies of all types and sizes, seeking to improve the environmental and social impact of their organisations and can be contact on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01772 840800
Award Winning Sustainability Recognition
JPA are past winners of the Inspiring Herts Green Award, the Edie Sustainability Leaders Award for Social Sustainability and Community Development and the Sustainable Cities Award for Managing Resources including the overall Sir Peter Parker award. Winners of the Inspiring Herts Green Award in 2019, and finalists the same award in 2020/12. Most proud of our Inspiring Herts, Hertfordshire Heroes nomination for 2021.
The restaurant, pub and indeed hospitality industry in the UK is due a rebound. After an extremely challenging year with so much uncertainty and three lockdowns which meant restaurants and pubs couldn’t open their doors to customers, the light must be at the end of the tunnel. The great news is that restaurants, pubs and cafes will reopen for outdoor dining from April 12, 2021. This is really exciting news on the road to recovery.
No doubt, the coronavirus pandemic had a massive impact on the hospitality sector. While some businesses became more innovative and adapted their business model to deliver takeout meals, for some other hospitality businesses it has not been scalable. The result has been the accumulation of ongoing fixed costs and debt in many cases.
The Government’s intervention schemes like the Eat Out to Help Out offered temporary relief for some in an industry that has been challenged on all fronts. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has partly offset unemployment by covering payroll costs but more needs to be done for accumulated rents and business rates. The industry plays a key role in our communities, the high street and our way of life.
Official research and data shows that the hospitality industry is a major driver of the UK economy. Out of habit and culture, we love to eat out, socialize with friends and family and celebrate milestones in our lives. Imagine all the events from work functions to birthdays and anniversaries that were scrapped last year and the impact on the industry especially over the busy Christmas period.
From publicly available data, in 2019, the hospitality sector:
The scale of the hospitality industry in the UK is massive. The impact it has on our way of life is hard to quantify. Speaking with Andy Sexton, the Business Development Manager of Certa Service, a leading catering equipment supplier and maintenance business, we got more insight into the challenges in the industry and how Certa Service is supporting other hospitality businesses through this new and exciting phase.
Certa Service specialises in catering equipment servicing and maintenance for restaurants, pubs, schools, golf clubs, hotels and care homes. They cover all major equipment brands and offer re-active breakdown support to full preventive maintenance packages. This means your business should never have downtime and loss of revenue due to broken equipment as a Certa Engineer will be dispatched to deal with your problem promptly.
With a portfolio of leading high-end restaurants in Mayfair, Carnaby Street, Soho and Fitzrovia as clients, Certa Service is optimistic about the future and is looking to extend its service and footprint across London and the Home Counties. “We are renowned for our service. You can always get our assistance in an emergency at the drop of the hat. We supply, service and repair all types of catering equipment from all the major brands and manufacturers. From your oven to refrigeration units to extractors units to gas and electrical appliances, you are covered with us. We stock spares as well. This means we can react faster to any situation than the other providers”.
After a turbulent last 12 months, Certa Service is bullish and counting on a rebound in the industry. Remarks Andy “There are a few sporting events this summer; the delayed Euro 2020 men's football championship that will take place this summer, the Olympic Games, Copa America Championships, Wimbledon, Tour de France and many others. This should drive footfall to restaurants, pubs and other hospitality units. We also anticipate all the postponed social events like birthdays, anniversaries will be celebrated. We believe it will be a busy period for the hospitality industry.
The Managing Director of Certa Service, Dan Loria has a positive outlook of the industry and has been working with his management team to support a lot of businesses as they resume trading. Certa has recently expanded its sales and marketing team as a way to broaden its client base and make the business more robust. By targeting more high profile West End restaurants with its services, he is confident of adding more clients to the books.
Certa is also the leading UK distributor for induction cooking equipment. They operate a 24-hour call-out service meaning a fault is diagnosed and repaired in minutes by their technicians. Spares are despatched promptly to the technician from their Warehouse in Hemel Hempstead. All staff use PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and disinfect surfaces between visits.
“We understand the challenges within the industry. Some restaurants may have not operated their oven or refrigeration units in months. They may have no idea if their equipment is still functioning as usual. Besides, with the loss of income, there is the temptation by restaurant owners and head chefs to look differently about their budgets. This is where we can assist with our regular servicing plans and kitchen leasing equipment option to save costs, reduce downtime and lost revenue. There is also an introductory discount on your first health check”.
There is no doubt the food sector has been hit so hard by the coronavirus pandemic over the last year. Restrictions on trading have impacted business turnover. The confidence of the industry has been shaken. However, with the Government's mass vaccination programme rollout and the staggered return to business from April 12 with outside dining and from May 17 with indoor eaters, a turnaround is around the corner. Certa Service will play a major role with a superior and better service offering.
Supporting businesses and the community is in Certa Service's DNA. They are the proud sponsors of the Hemel Storm Basketball team, the semi-professional basketball club from Hemel Hempstead competing in the second tier of the British basketball system. It is part of the great strides of a company that has been around for just under a decade.
The UK hospitality industry needs our support to thrive. We are seeing more innovation and creativity by key players in the industry to weather this storm and emerge stronger. Makeshift eateries, yurts, pods and even food vans are common nowadays. As we get through the most challenging phase in recent time, we all have a role to play by dining out while keeping safe.
For enquiries about catering equipment services, please contact email@example.com
St Albans & Herts Plumbing
St Albans & Herts Plumbing are truly the local plumbers of St Albans. They are well known for their prompt responsive service to emergency call-outs in St Albans. The team covers all aspects of plumbing, central heating and gas services. From leaking or burst pipes to leaking boilers or clogged toilets, St Albans & Herts Plumbing covers it all.
They are the team you can trust. With same-day service or within 24 hours service, you are guaranteed to get any unwanted plumbing condition under control. Their emergency services are known to respond to enquiries within 30 minutes from when the call was placed.
As the leading plumber in St Albans, you get a highly experienced team, expertise and dedication to all jobs both big or small. Whether you are embarking on a home improvement project, need repairs or upgrades of your heating and plumbing systems or want to add a new bathroom or kitchen, you can always rely on St Albans & Herts for that top-notch but friendly service.
Over the last 15 years, they have covered projects across Wheathampstead, Redbourn, Harpenden, St Albans London Colney and surrounding areas of St Albans in Hertfordshire. With a fully insured team, all work is guaranteed for 12 months. Some boiler installations are guaranteed for 10 years.
Whether you have a burst pipe, leaking tank, radiators that are faulty or your boiler needs servicing or replacement, get in touch with the Emergency Plumbers in St Albans for that guaranteed exceptional service. Call the team today on 01727 638 211
Priority Plumbers are specialist boiler and central heating engineers in St Albans. With excellent ratings from Which? they offer boiler breakdown and repair services, central heating repairs as well as plumbing services.
The company has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of plumbing, boilers and heating repairs and installations. Selected boiler installations are guaranteed for 10 years while other plumbing services have a 12-month guarantee
As specialists in boiler services, they undertake repairs, installation and servicing for a wide range of boilers by noted manufacturers. Priority Plumbers are also accredited Worcester Bosch Group installers.
The friendly team at Priority Plumbers have developed an excellent reputation across St Albans and surrounding areas. They are known for their customer service and leaving a tidy work area.
Call Priority Plumbers today on 01727 894 815
Emergency Plumbers St Albans
Emergency Plumbers St Albans have been serving the St Albans community for over 15 years with their dedicated professional plumbing services. The company employs 4 full time fully qualified professional plumbers to deal with all plumbing situations promptly.
Their services cover blocked sinks, broken boilers, burst pipe, central heating repairs, gas leaks, bathroom installations and boiler installation. No job is too small or too big. With Emergency Plumbers St Albans you get professionalism, customer satisfaction and value for money.
From St Albans to Hertfordshire to London, Emergency Plumbers St Albans have handled several projects for big and small domestic and residential clients. They offer plumbing maintenance services to lettings agents and landlords in the local area.
With 24 7 call-outs and prompt, efficient service from the dedicated and insured team, you are guaranteed an excellent service.
Call the team today on 01727 789 445.
St Albans Plumber
As a highly rated plumbing services company, St Albans Plumber offers emergency plumbing for leaks, boiler issues, heating problems, sinks, baths and toilets. They operate a 24/7 fast service and have built a solid reputation over the years.
St Albans Plumber is fully insured and have a qualified team of plumbing experts offering a range of plumbing, heating and gas services. All work is guaranteed and rates are very competitive.
According to their customers, St Albans Plumber offers very good quality workmanship and value for money. They are responsive, offer fair pricing and come highly recommended.
The team cover St Albans, Sandridge, London, Harpenden, Wheathampstead and Colney Heath.
For any enquiries call St Albans Plumber on 01727 260 211.
Harpers Plumbers are the local plumbing, heating and bathroom specialists in St Albans. This family business was established over 40 years ago and has continued to grow from strength to strength. They are the bathroom specialists that do an excellent job from start to finish. For bathroom installation for home improvement projects, disabled bathrooms and new build house projects speak to the friendly team at Harpers Plumbers.
The team also offer central heating, bathroom installations and plumbing services across Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire. You can visit their showroom on Hatfield Road in St Albans for bathroom options and ideas. They also have excellent relationships with leading bathroom suppliers so you get the best prices.
With a fully insured team of qualified engineers, you are guaranteed peace of mind. All works come with a one year guarantee.
Contact Harpers Plumbers on 01727 865 339.
Louise Pond is no stranger to travel or business. A keen travel enthusiast, she and her partner love taking regular holiday breaks exploring and seeing other parts of the world. After leaving a wonderful career in retail fashion to start a family, Louise transformed her passion for travel into a business and is now an independent travel agent. She is the proud Founder/Owner of Louise Pond Travel. Recently, the team at Herts Review got chatting with Louise about her business and the travel industry.
Louise Pond Travel is a Hertfordshire based independent travel agency that can source some of the best holiday packages thereby saving you time, stress and money. Many UK adults are time-poor juggling work, home schooling and other activities. As a mum and entrepreneur, wearing many hats and juggling many tasks, Louise believes there is a gap in the market to help other busy people like her find the best travel solutions for their budget.
“I am passionate about travel. When I signed up to be an independent travel agent, my initial goal was to take advantage of discounts I could get for myself. It was about saving money from my travels and getting rewarded as well. Eventually, I extended this service to family and close friends. It worked out very well and I thought why not help as many people as I possibly can.”
“Before I had my son, most of my time was focused on work. I was an Area Manager with a big team and lots of responsibilities. So, I have been there and completely understand that a lot of people are busy every day. With our busy lives, who wants to spend hours online searching for the best packaged holiday that is a good fit for their budget? Well, I am saying that you don’t have to. Leave it with me and I’ll do all the work for you.”
Whether you are after a short break, luxury break, group bookings, packaged holidays, cruise, ski break or a UK staycation, Louise Pond Travel can find the perfect deal for you within your budget. While the current travel restrictions to limit the spread of covid-19 had led to limited travel, it is expected that once we get through this phase, there will be a surge in demand for holidays and travel. Now is the time to get that holiday and have something to look forward to.
There are a lot of holiday deals and travel packages available right now. Many airlines, tour operators and hotels are extending their booking dates. For some airlines, you could book 18 or 24 months ahead. Some cruise operators are also taking bookings for 2024. Louise is advising that you get your dates arranged and your trip booked as soon as possible. With a lot of flexibility with bookings, you can cancel and get your money back if your situation changes. It is even better when you book through her agency.
Now a full-time mum after leaving a 12-year career in fashion retail, Louise was looking for an opportunity that offered freedom and flexibility. “Although I loved my job, it would have been very difficult to carry on with all that responsibility while also giving my young son the care he needs. I was an Area Manager looking after 45 stores. The travel alone would take me away from home. I just couldn’t do it. So while on maternity leave I had to decide on what I was going to do next. Something I am passionate about but gives me that flexibility. For me travel is it.”
Louise came across an opportunity to build a business as an independent travel agent, got through the training and certifications and launched her agency. She is an affiliate of InteleTravel, the US-based global travel management company that partners leading hotel and resort operators and key players in the hospitality industry. When you book a holiday or travel package through Louise Pond Travel, it is processed on the InteleTravel system and they offer 24-7 support and great customer service.
Louise Pond Travel is also ABTA certified. ABTA is the trade association for UK travel agents and tour operators. It offers protection over customer payments to travel agents. Therefore, more safety and security to clients dealing with travel agents.
“I love the flexibility that I can work from anywhere at any time of the day without compromising my service to my clients. Over the last few years, I have observed that people are spending more time on experiences than on physical items. So I see a lot of opportunity for growth for my agency.”
“We are all going through a tough time right now but we will get through this. I am positive about the future. In the next 12 months, I would like to have provided more clients with hassle-free holidays and help more families travel smarter while taking advantage of some great travel offers I have access to. I also run a special deal of the day or week on my social media platforms”
“Don’t be frightened to travel! There are better days ahead. Get something booked today”
Contact Louise Pond Travel via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @theponderingsofme.
The series of lockdowns in the UK due to the Covid-19 pandemic may be taking a toll on you, getting away from it all might be one of the things on your mind.
Where do you want to go? Tried booking a flight online? Are the options overwhelming? Can’t find the right deal that works for you and your family? Well, LevarTravel may have a solution for you.
LevarTravel is an independent travel agency offering personalised travel options across all budgets. As travel experts, they search for the best deals that match your budget thereby saving you money and time. Whether you are considering a holiday or a short break in the UK or abroad, LevarTravel can find the best holiday packages meaning you enjoy a fun-filled and relaxing break.
The founder of LevarTravel, Jamie McKay spoke briefly with Herts Review outlining why he started the travel agency and the plans for the next year.
Jamie has worked in the hospitality industry for some years. He is part of commercial sales team responsible for hospitality and sponsorship at Watford Football Club at Vicarage road. For Jamie, working for a football club is what he always wanted to do. “It was always my dream to work for a football club. When the opportunity came up I jumped at it. I sell matchday packages, hospitality tables, 5-star lounge and sponsorship packages [front of shirt or LED boards]. I make sure our guests have a great experience when they visit the stadium for events or on match days.”
“Working for Watford Football Club has been a great introduction into the hospitality industry and I have always wanted to add travel to the package. With my job, I travelled for sales and promotions projects around the world. Obviously, with the current restrictions on movement, the club’s hospitality programme has slowed down for now.”
“Offering travel packages to footballers and my clients in hospitality is an option I working on now. I offer travel and holiday packages to anyone and everyone irrespective of their budget. As an independent travel adviser, I can contact hotels and short-lets to discuss deals for my clients. So my focus isn't only high net worth individuals. “
LevarTravel is affiliated to InteleTravel, the US-based, global international travel management company serving all 7 continents. InteleTravel has over 49 partners and access to some of the best holiday and travel deals around the world. They also run a secure platform for all bookings and transactions. Therefore, when you book any holiday or travel package through LevarTravel, all payments are processed on the InteleTravel system with 24-7 support if there are any issues. It is a safe and completely seamless process.
LevarTravel is also ABTA certified. ABTA is the trade association for tour operators and travel agents in the UK and protects monies paid to travel agents. So your luxury breaks, package holidays, ski breaks, excursions, hotels, family or group bookings can safely be booked with LevarTravel.
With the uncertainty around global travel due to the pandemic and restrictions on movement, it is expected that a lot of holidays will be UK Staycations. There are predictions that there will be more visits to the Lake District, Cotswolds, Cornwall and other tourist hot spots around the UK this year. It may take a few months before we get clear guidance on what is required for international travel.
Let LevarTravel search for the best offers for your holiday. At least, you get a personalised service with a face and a name. The team are also happy to address any questions or concerns so that you enjoy a well-deserved break.
If you are thinking of booking a holiday contact Jamie by email: email@example.com
Sustainability Focused Partnership between JPA Workspaces and Rothamsted Enterprises on the Newly Refurbished Russell Building
The Russell Building at Rothamsted Enterprises, in Harpenden, has been newly refurbished to provide much-needed business office and hotdesking space for high-growth agri-tech SMEs across agriculture, innovation and technology.
The historic red-brick building, which had lain empty since 2014, has been transformed with the support of the Lawes Agricultural Trust and Rothamsted Enterprises, and the help of a £1.7m Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Herts Innovation Quarter (Herts IQ), focused on boosting agri-tech growth in the county.
The increase in workspace capacity will enable a greater number of companies to take advantage of the tax breaks, free business support and collaboration opportunities offered by Herts IQ with innovation partners Lawes Agricultural Trust and Rothamsted Enterprises.
The investment has breathed new life into the building, bringing forward modern, multi-use spaces, including 22 offices of various sizes, from 200ft2 to over 1,200ft2, a hot-desk hub for flexible working, and an open plan innovation space where entrepreneurs can meet and collaborate before prototyping their ideas and testing on-site.
JPA Workspaces, based a few miles down the road in nearby St Albans, has assisted with the design and furnishing of the impressive expansive hot-desking hub and reception areas. Additionally, they have worked closely with Rothamsted Enterprises to furnish a show office so that prospective tenants can get a real flavour for the spaces, with contemporary, height-adjustable desks, wireless charging and plenty of desktop power, to help attract and inspire prospective tenants.
Sustainability is central to the project and is reflected right through to the furnishings. Timber-based products supplied by JPA are from sustainable sources, recyclable at end of life, and accompanied by lengthy warranties. JPA’s furniture installation was zero waste and carbon neutral, contributing to Hertfordshire’s drive for sustainable growth.
With a heavy emphasis on design for wellbeing across the entire refurbishment, the scheme provides a working illustration of versatile, future-proofed office and collaboration spaces designed to enhance the user experience, mental health and engagement.
Furniture packages are also available to rent, lease or purchase outright from JPA, tailored to budget, design and individual tenant requirements. JPA maintain and support all furniture items installed inclusively within their service package so that all areas can be kept operational 24/7 or as required, ensuring the best long-term return on investment and value over the total cost of life.
“We are delighted to have been able to showcase the benefits of working with local partners for this project which has delivered measurable local impact and value for all parties,” says Graham Pulsford, the Managing Director of JPA, “and we look forward to building our working relationship with the team at Rothamsted Enterprises, it has been a pleasure”.
“We’re delighted that this iconic building is now back in use as a hub for agri-tech businesses and it has been great to work with local business, JPA, who have delivered a carbon-neutral, zero-waste furniture installation for us,” said Nicole Sadd, CEO, Rothamsted Enterprises. “We very much look forward to welcoming lots of innovative businesses to the Rothamsted ecosystem.”
Cherie Norris, Herts IQ Enterprise Zone Manager at Hertfordshire LEP said: “As the original birthplace of agricultural science in the UK, we’re pleased that the Russell Building will once again be home to the next generation of agri-tech and food-tech innovators. Our investment will support more businesses to join Herts IQ and take advantage of the world-class expertise available at Rothamsted Research, and we’re delighted to support their future success in Hertfordshire.”
Businesses in agri-tech, agri-food, climate change, farming, agricultural science and research looking for new office premises in Hertfordshire should contact Claire Wolstencroft on 01582 938500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses looking to partner with a sustainable furniture/workspace supplier should contact JPA Workspaces on or 01727 840800 email email@example.com.
From Press Release 03.02.2021
For families that own their homes or individuals that want to start a family soon and are looking for their first home, you have another option. Applicant Mortgage Brokers is offering affordable mortgage and protection solutions that meet the specific needs of each family. Even for people with adverse credit, multiple sources of income, or do not fit the profile of the typical high street lender, Applicant Mortgage Brokers may have a solution for you.
Families should not need to change their lifestyle because they have a mortgage. Clients are at different stages of their journey and have different needs. Therefore mortgage and protection solutions should be suitable for the family throughout their journey. It is also prudent for families to be protected for any possible financial risk that may result from the loss of income.
Daniel Baskerville founded Applicant Mortgage Brokers in the autumn of 2020. The Buckinghamshire based independent mortgage and protection adviser offers whole of market mortgage advice. With their long-standing experience and expertise in the market, they seek to find the right solutions for you even if you do not fit the typical high street lending criteria. Applicant Mortgage Brokers are dedicated and passionate about meeting the family’s needs and making sure they are fully protected from unforeseen circumstances.
“We are really passionate about our services to families. We want them to have the right mortgage solution and protection as well. Our range of protection products - Life cover, Critical Illness, Family Income Benefit and Income Protection are options that minimize the financial burden if there is a death in the family or major changes to the family’s circumstances that affect their income.”
“There have been situations where families only have life cover. When a breadwinner dies, the mortgage is paid off. That is great but what of the loss of income? Will the family stop having holidays or stop the kids music lessons? Will they have to substantially change their lifestyle as there are no longer two incomes instead of one? Assuming one parent worked part-time to help with the kids at their early stage, would their work arrangements change? There are so many different scenarios.”
“Our clients are at the centre of everything we do. Whether a first-time buyer or a homeowner, we offer the right information. As professionals, we get to know them and understand their circumstances to propose the right solutions. It could be adverse credit, they could be struggling to find the right mortgage product or they have existing protection and their circumstances have changed. We do our best to get the right solution for them.”
"Applicant Mortgage Brokers offers a dedicated and professional service that helps people. The mortgage and protection industry can seem complex. There is always new information and it can be challenging to keep up. Our clients must have a smooth journey from that initial contact, through completion and throughout the period they are paying off the loan."
Dan took a different path to a career as a mortgage broker. “I was working in customers homes on behalf of the Flooring department of a well-known retail brand. Engaging customers and helping them make the right decision is what I enjoy. In some cases, the customers had limited knowledge of the products they wanted to purchase. Helping them make the right decision for items they will have for a long period can be rewarding.”
“When I considered a career change, it was always going to be about helping people make the right decisions in otherwise complex situations. I decided to become a qualified mortgage broker. Since becoming qualified, I have also worked for a Specialist Master Broker. I also knew that I wanted the flexibility of working for myself. With the changes in market and industry, I thought what better time to strike off on my own.”
“Our office is in the business park in High Wycombe. We are getting more recognition and enquiries in the local area but can assist clients throughout the UK. The team will expand over the coming months as we add more clients. With all the uncertainty and movement restrictions, we are still getting our message out there through videos, social media and our website. At the moment, we do short videos addressing a particular topic as a way of educating and informing the public.”
“Our product range also caters for a wider demographic. For example, we can also advise on lifetime mortgages for over 55’s. Through our networks and other relationships, we enjoy working with families and those thinking of starting families. We want to help them get the best possible start. Finding the right house and an affordable mortgage are important. We are here to help.”
Contact Applicant Mortgage Brokers for independent mortgage and protection solutions.
Urben Technologies Ltd (Urben Tech) offers seamless efficient solutions that enable virtual collaboration in businesses and organizations. With a suite of well-designed practical video conferencing solutions, making key business decisions is easier, faster, cost-saving with minimal disruption. These solutions are flexible and easy to install making them perfect for businesses, the education, and healthcare sectors. Herts Review had a demo session with Mike Entwistle, the founder of Urben Tech.
Mike is passionate about technology and its use to make life simpler and tasks more efficient. He has successfully undertaken several key projects including designing and building meeting rooms and ideation rooms for Ford Motors in Basildon. The rooms facilitate group collaboration, sharing of ideas, and quick decision making. Ideas can be shared on screens easily, people are connected, there is more interaction and communication is simpler.
Some of the available tech hardware are extremely complex. It is not unusual to visit offices and see ideal video walls and audio-visual equipment abandoned either because end-users do not know how to operate them or troubleshoot when there are issues. It means that organization is not realising the real benefits of that investment. At Urben Tech, the objective is to design simple tech solutions for end-users to improve efficiency and productivity. Orders are fulfilled within 24 hours with excellent customer service and after-sales support.
Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdowns has accelerated hybrid working (working from home and the office). It is the new normal. Workspaces, meeting rooms, and collaboration areas are being redesigned in line with social distancing requirements. Fortunately, Urben Tech had anticipated these changes and has launched a range of solutions for reception areas, huddle zones, operation centres, e-learning, and meeting areas. These solutions are flexible and can be adapted for multiple purposes. For corporates, Urben is a brand with a different proposition.
The Urben Lite model is a perfect and affordable fit for the needs of SMEs. They help a business adapt while working effectively without any interruption to their operations. Within this package are 4 options namely:
Urben Tech also offers after-sales support for enquiries or troubleshooting. There are also training videos, helpdesk support, and a 24-7 helpline. The versatility and the ability to use any screen are additional benefits of the solution.
Urben lite solutions work well for flexible shared workspaces, virtual co-working spaces, start-ups with a tight budget, universities, other tertiary institutions, and the healthcare sector. They can also be used for virtual training programmes (for gyms, yoga instructors, training centres, schools). Networking groups will also benefit from these solutions with many physical networking events called off due to lockdown.
Unlike some other virtual conferencing solutions, with Urban Lite, more people can interact and see each other in real-time. To solve the affordability challenges to smaller businesses or organizations with tighter budgets, flexible financial payments are available to reduce the impact on cash flow.
Presently, there is a real buzz and excitement in the video conferencing and collaborative solutions industry as there will be more demand to create flexible workspaces and meeting rooms. Board rooms and larger rooms will be divided into smaller rooms as more offices adapt to the new normal. Huddle rooms will be ideal for local businesses.
A key challenge for the industry is explaining to customers that the service is not complicated and expensive. For most CIOs/CTOs, monitoring, measuring, and reporting on how successful the implementation of these solutions are to their organization has not been easy. It is about understanding the way tech is used and if colleagues are making most of it. The savings on travel, carbon, time, and the ability to make quick decisions are not easy to quantify.
Urben’s unique solutions improve the productivity of any business or organization. The user experience is excellent. Personalised solutions are also available for businesses or organizations that have specific needs. For enquiries, contact Urben Tech.