Cotton Court Business Centre

Spotlight

Spotlight On Success: UCLan 190 Alumni Pt.3

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For our final special Spotlight On Success series focusing on successful UCLan alumni, we take a look at our commander-in-chief, the Managing Director of Cotton Court, Robert Binns.

 

Robert Binns – The Cotton Court Group

Current Title: Managing Director

Course Studied: Mechanical & Production Engineering

Robert is the Managing Director of The Cotton Court Group, operating a portfolio ranging from a business centre, through to leisure, property and tech. After leaving school he went on to have a successful career at BAe Systems, before starting a number of his own businesses and acting as a consultant for many others.

He’s a well-known character around Lancashire and beyond, and has a solid reputation for nurturing entrepreneurs and businesses.

What did you like most about UClan?

When asked what he liked most about UCLan Robert said:

“I studied at UCLan just as it was becoming a university, and whilst working full-time at BAe systems. Studying at UCLan was a good opportunity for me to get a new experience outside of the workplace and provided me with new opportunities within BAe and my career as a whole. Many people think of studying at university in the traditional sense; attending 5 days a week for three years. There’s so much more out there and different ways people can study. Doing it whilst in full-time employment was still quite a new and novel approach at the time, but I’m glad I did it.”

He also adds…

“I think my favourite part of studying though, was the applied mathematics class I had until 9pm after a full day of work and studying…it was certainly an education!”

What about UCLan contributed to success in your career?

“The course was critical to my progression in the aerospace industry at the time. Aside from my success on the course being directly tied to my employment, it provided me with opportunities to progress within BAe that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I went on to work alongside some of the highest level people across the organisation, worked with nearly every department and gained a lot of new opportunities as a result.”

He continues…

“The methodical and systematic approach I apply to managing the businesses and projects I work on today, is without a doubt the direct result of the solid foundation laid during my time at UCLan.”

Spotlight On Success: UCLan 190 Alumni PT.2

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Daniel Fisher – Tienda Digital

Current Title: Managing Director

Course Studied: Marketing

Years Studied: 2007 – 2011

 

 

 

 

Daniel is the Managing Director of Tienda Digital, and is responsible for the management of the team as well as relationships with clients. After leaving UCLan he had a number of senior positions within companies before starting his own successful business, which has won a number of awards and work with clients around the UK. He’s also the president of the local BNI chapter, and a well respected member of the local business community.

Working from the fifth floor of Cotton Court with his team, he’s a well-liked character and ‘go to’ source of information on web and app development.

What did you like most about UCLan?

When asked what he liked most about UCLan Daniel said:

“University was obviously a lot of fun, and a great time in my life. UCLan has a really friendly atmosphere and a community feel to it. There’s plenty of opportunity to socialise as well as work hard. I felt like i learned a lot of social and life skills that have really helped me in the business world too.”

What about UCLan contributed to success in your career?

“Again I’d say the social element. Without sounding too much like a party animal…I did study hard as well! But developing my social and communication skills have had a direct impact upon how I engage with clients and colleagues now. I met a lot of people on my course who have gone into similar lines of work who I’m still in touch with now. We often pass business referrals to each other so aside from just making friends at uni, I made lifelong business connections too.”

He also adds:

“I also learnt a lot on my placement. I took time out of studying to work in the business setting and the skills developed in this time are still used today. I’d recommend anyone going to uni to do a placement if the opportunity arises.”

 

Jack Barron – The Cotton Court Group

Current Title: Group Marketing Director

Course Studied: Events Management

Years Studied: 2011 – 2014

 

 

 

 

Jack is responsible for the development of marketing strategy within The Cotton Court Group of companies, as well as overseeing its implementation. Before attending university he had already spent a number of years within the events marketing industry. He left UCLan to work within an agency in Manchester, whilst studying part-time for his MSc in Marketing Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University.

What did you like most about UCLan?

Discussing what he likes most about UCLan, Jack says:

“The biggest thing for me with starting university after being in industry and as a mature student, was that the people teaching me had actual real world experience. I greatly respect academia, but there needs to be the balance between theory and experience actually applying it. I got that from my teaching staff. The ability to directly link the theory with anecdotes from their career and explain how it would be implemented in industry, was exactly what I was looking for.”

He also continues:

“I decided to study my masters degree at a different university. Mainly because I was working in Manchester, but also because I thought there was some value in having another degree from a different institution on my CV. Whilst I got good value from studying for my masters, the uni was missing something compared to when I studied in Preston. UCLan had a great feel to it, I got great support from my teaching staff and it felt homely. I just didn’t get all that when I went elsewhere. I suppose you could say UCLan had the ‘X Factor’.”

What about UCLan contributed to success in your career?

“In my third year I decided not to do a conventional dissertation and instead opted for the consultancy project. This was still a hefty piece of work, but was more appealing as I got to spend time with people in industry and solve a real business problem for a well known client. This piece of work got me noticed by an agency in Manchester, who then approached me to work for them as their digital marketing manager. I later became a director in that company and then went on to other roles as a result. That piece of work was the catalyst for most of my success in the last few years.”

 

If you’re considering investing in your career development, and would like more information on how UCLan can help you do that; contact their course enquiries team on: +44 (0)1772 892400

If you’d like to find out more about the UCLan 190th birthday celebrations, visit the site at: https://190.uclan.ac.uk/

Spotlight On Success: UCLan 190 Alumni pt.1

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During the month of February, we’re helping to celebrate the 190th birthday of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), by looking at some of the successful past students that we work with on a day-to-day basis.

If we were to simplify what UCLan’s end product is, it would be: the keys to a successful career.

While the university has numerous famous and high profile alumni across the world, we’re going to look at the success stories of those that operate within the local area and help make Central Lancashire a great place to do business.

Amy Blundell

Current Title: Centre Manager
Course Studied: Events Management
Years Studied: 2006 – 2009

Amy is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Cotton Court Business Centre, and holds several other responsibilities across the group of companies. Managing a team, she has ultimate responsibility for ensuring things run smoothly for the centre and the clients it hosts within it.

She works closely with the Managing Director, and assists in the strategic development of the highly successful centre and group of companies.

What did you like most about UCLan?

When asked what she liked most about UCLan, Amy said:

“I think one of the main things I liked about UCLan was the city centre campus. I looked at some universities and they were that far removed from the local community it just didn’t appeal to me. The UCLan campus still provided that protected environment, but on the doorstep of the city and everything you could need “

She also added:

“I also liked the fact that the majority of the lecturing staff on my course had industry experience, and weren’t just academics. They could back up theory with real world anecdotal experiences that really put it all into context”

What about UCLan contributed to success in your career?

“There was always a strong emphasis on employability, especially in the second and third year. It can be easy to forget that university is actually all about setting you up for your future career. Just from talking to people who went elsewhere, I think some uni’s can forget that too. There was lots of opportunities to engage with industry, involvement from local businesses and plenty of workshops focused on employability skills.”

She continues…

“Many people think that event management is about wedding planning or arranging parties. In reality it’s a management heavy degree, with some event focused modules. There were a number of modules specifically around leadership, strategy, management and professional skills. I think it’s these modules that really helped me develop, and prepared me for life in the business world. I apply some of the knowledge learnt to everyday situations here at the business centre and within the group”

Eleisha Cartlidge – Tienda Digital

Eleisha Cartlidge from Digital Agency Tienda Digital, Preston

Eleisha (left) at the Women in Business Awards

Current Title: Marketing Executive
Course Studied: Marketing/Marketing Management
Years Studied: 2013 – 2017

Eleisha works as a marketing executive for Cotton Court fifth floor residents Tienda Digital. Working as part of an award winning team, she implements strategies and campaigns across the full spectrum of digital marketing for national level clients and local SME’s alike.

 

Eleisha has recently won the ‘Employee of the Year’ award at the Lancashire Women in Business Awards, owed to her ability, strong work ethic and endearing character. She’s a well-liked personality at Cotton Court Business Centre, with a sharp wit and outgoing personality.

What did you most like about UCLan?

When asked what she most liked about UCLan, Eleisha said:

“One of the main reasons I decided to study at UCLan was the clear focus on employability and the success that previous students of the course had enjoyed in their career.

It was important to me when selecting a university, that they had a good track record of students finding successful employment in a career related to their course of study.”

What about UCLan contributed to success in your career?

“After my second year at UCLan, I went on a year-long placement in industry, learning whilst on the job. This not only allowed me to gain the theoretical knowledge behind successful marketing, but gave me the practical skills to work in an agency.

This sandwich approach to learning was one of the key ways in which UCLan contributed to my future success. After my year placement and upon returning for my final year, I continued to work part-time in the agency and was taken on full time after I graduated. I’m still at Tienda now and we’re going from strength-to-strength.”

 

If you’re considering investing in your career development, and would like more information on how UCLan can help you do that; contact their course enquiries team on: +44 (0)1772 892400

If you’d like to find out more about the UCLan 190th birthday celebrations, visit the site at: https://190.uclan.ac.uk/

Spotlight On Success: UCLan

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Our ‘Spotlight On Success’ series takes a look at the accomplishments of the people we work with, and the factors that make them successful.

 

As the saying goes… “You are the average of the company you keep”, and we’re big believers that one of the keys to your own success, is by surrounding yourself with successful & positive people.

 

This week we have the privilege of covering one of the biggest local success stories and an organisation we’ve had the privilege of working with over the years, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

View of St.Peters Church & the University Library from the Adelphi roundabout

Alongside working with UCLan over the years, we’re also host to many of its alumni at Cotton Court Business Centre. Many of the business owners, their employees and our own staff are past students. Starting their journey to success on their Preston city centre campus, or one of the many off campus facilities around the northwest.

 

2018 see’s UCLan’s 190th birthday, with a series of events and celebrations being run by the university and the local community to mark the occasion. In honour of our relationship with UCLan, and the impact it’s had upon our own organisation and those we work with, we’re running a special Spotlight On Success series throughout the month of February.

 

Each week we’re going to look at the successful UCLan alumni we work with, and find out how their time there influenced and shaped their future success.

 

Who are they?

 

The University of Central Lancashire are a higher education establishment based in Preston city centre, but with a presence in towns such as Burnley, Moor Row and even a campus in Cyprus.

 

They can trace their history back to 1828, 23 years before Cotton Court opened its doors, when Prestonian businessman Joseph Livesey inspired a group of locals to form the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. Over the years as it expanded, the name of the organisation changed, before finally being granted university status in 1992, becoming the University of Central Lancashire.

 

The university has a community of over 38,000 students and staff, and is an important part of the economy in the areas that it operates.

On Campus

What do they do?

 

UCLan is a public university, providing a range of higher education courses & research, and playing an important role in supporting local enterprise. It is ranked as the leading UK university for incubated start-up businesses still active after three years of trading, is ranked second in the UK for the number of graduate start-ups still active overall, and ranked third in the UK for estimate turnover for active firms.

 

It’s clear to see from those facts that the university has a strong focus on the application of its courses to the world of business, enterprise and entrepreneurship.

 

Who do they work with?

 

UCLan accepts students from across the UK, and has a strong contingent of international students. They offer a range of courses including foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study. They’re also actively engaged in research in a variety of topics, with the standard being considered world class.

 

In addition to working with students, the university actively engages and supports local business, public sector and non-profit organisations, playing an important part in the local community and economy.

 

They’ve also recently supported The American University of the Caribbean (AUC), taking on over 700 medical students after being displaced from their Caribbean island campus as a result of Hurricane Irma.

The university library

What makes them successful?

 

UCLan’s diverse course offering, its solid reputation and ability to move with the times has proven popular amongst students from around the world. Preston’s good transport links and central location within Lancashire, mean that it is within easy reach of many major cities for students travelling home for the weekend, or those that live within the northwest and commute to study.

 

Jack Barron, Marketing Director at Cotton Court and UCLan alumni says:

 

“For me, UCLan’s ability to move with the times and adapt to societal and market changes has been one of its main strengths and key to success. They offer a wide range of courses that appeal to many different audiences, but they don’t suffer from over-extending; they grow organically and ensure they do everything well. Their teaching staff and lecturers are world class, the campus is a good mix of historical and modern, and the location is ideal.

 

The universities involvement with local businesses and the connections they’ve made has been equally important and mutually beneficial. Many students go on to work within local SME’s and larger organisations, and there is a strong effort to support entrepreneurialism. Student placements within local businesses are common, and provide benefits to both the business and the student, and solidify the symbiotic relationship the university has with local stakeholders.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLan, and it positively impacted upon my future career. They’re valued partners and clients of Cotton Court, and we wish them a happy 190th birthday!”

 

Sana Iqbal, President of UCLan Students’ Union says:

“UCLan students succeed because they are given many opportunities to make the most of their student experience and develop skills to improve their employability.

At the Students’ Union, we provide a range of volunteering opportunities for students in a number of areas including: Sports, Societies, Democracy, Student Media, Inspiring projects and Academic representation. These roles allow students to explore interests, express their passions and enjoy their time at UCLan to the best of their ability – all which leads to a happy and successful future!”

 

 

How can you find them?

 

You can get in touch with UCLan course enquiries by email at: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

 

Visit their website at: http://www.uclan.ac.uk

Or call general enquiries on: 01772 201 201

 

If you’d like to find out more about the UCLan 190th birthday celebrations, visit the site at: https://190.uclan.ac.uk/

Spotlight On Success: GetStaffed

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Our ‘Spotlight On Success’ series takes a look at the people we work with, to showcase their talent and look at what really makes them successful.  

 

We’re big believers that it’s important for entrepreneurs & business owners to surround themselves with successful people. It’s not just about networking or getting advice from others. The people you interact with on a daily basis can impact upon the way you feel, think and act. We’re proud to have a wide network of successful, driven & experienced clients and contacts to surround ourselves with, and provide our clients with an environment conducive to successful business.

 

In this edition, we turn our attention to fifth floor resident success story, GetStaffed. They’ve received a considerable amount of attention recently, with a string of high value client wins and continuous growth.

 

Who are they?

GetStaffed are a Preston based staffing solution provider, with a national footprint. They’re headed by young entrepreneurs Tom Havlin & Tom Craig, two highly driven individuals who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.  

Tom Havlin (Managing Director) & Tom Craig (Operations Manager)

 

What do they do?

They’ve got a proven track record of providing high quality staff for the events and promotions industry. They don’t just recruit and supply a team, they invest in the personal development of their staff, meaning their clients receive the absolute best in service and expertise. They provide everything from bar staff and managers, to brand promotion teams and mobile bars.

 

Find out more about what they do here…

 

Who do they work with?

GetStaffed work with clients across the UK of various sizes, predominantly in the events and promotions sectors. They’ve provided mobile bars for small functions, through to large teams for established festivals like Creamfields & large venues such as Victoria Warehouse.

 

They’re in high demand, meaning that they’re constantly recruiting and training high quality staff for events across the country, 7 days a week. If you know someone who might be suitable, fill in an application form here…

What makes them successful?

The drive and determination of the directors and management is without a doubt one of the key critical success factors for GetStaffed. The ‘hands on’ approach from these individuals ensures that the company ethos is adhered to at all times, and their reputation grows from strength to strength.

 

Jack Barron, Marketing Director at Cotton Court says:

 

“In addition to strong leadership, a considerable factor in their success is the amount they invest in their own people. The training and routes of progression offered to their staff ensures ‘buy in’ from people at all levels of the business.

 

The management are approachable, but more importantly, they care about the individuals who work for them as much as they do their clients. That is how you win and retain high quality, loyal staff. It’s these staff that are their true selling point and are the foundation of their extremely good reputation.”

 

When asked what he thought made them successful, Managing Director of GetStaffed, Tom Havlin said:

Tom Havlin, Managing Director, GetStaffed

“We’ve built a solid reputation for being reliable and for providing high quality of staff to events across the country. I think our major point of difference, what sets us apart from our competitors, is the time and money we spend on the development of our team, whether that be team building and social activities, or personal professional development.

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve got a big team, but myself and Tom Craig know every single one of them, and we’re always at the events ensuring the reputation of the brand is upheld. We’ve had some big client wins recently which are helping to stimulate the growth of the business, with much of that additional revenue going back into staff training and development. We believe we’re successful because of the people we work with, and we win their commitment and loyalty by demonstrating it ourselves.”

 

How can you find them?

You can get in touch with GetStaffed by email at: info@getstaffeduk.com

Visit their website at: http://www.getstaffeduk.com/

Or call them on: 01772 921107

Spotlight On Success: UK Media & Events

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As part of our ‘Spotlight On Success’ series, we’re looking at some of the success stories from our Cotton Court community both past and present.

We’re immensely proud of the people we work with, and want to give praise where praise is due! We’re massive believers that you are a product of the company we keep, so it’s important to us to work closely with our successful clients and to nurture the up and coming businesses that call our 19th century mill home.

To launch the series, we’re looking at UK Media & Events (UKMAE) who’ve been residents of Cotton Court’s second floor for nearly 2 years.

Who are they?

UKMAE are a full service creative media & events company that operate nationally across a variety of sectors. They’ve got over 30 years industry experience, and the team is made up from a diverse set of skills and backgrounds.

What do they do?

UKMAE don’t like to be pigeonholed. One week they may be running a conference, the next they’re doing a Christmas light switch on. No two weeks are the same, which is owed and contributes to their varied experience and adaptability over 30 years.

They conceive, plan & manage events, and they do it well. Their client base ranges from SME’s and local councils, to international brands. Their services are truly scalable and bespoke to the requirement of each client.

Their wide ranging experience means they’re well positioned to design & create every aspect of the print, digital, merchandise and display materials that accompany your events or marketing campaigns. In addition they can even arrange sponsorship opportunities at major events, aligning your brand with the perfect target audience and gaining you maximum exposure.

Find out more about what they do here…

 

Who do they work with?

UKMAE have a long client list from small SME’s, through to brands like Vauxhall, United Utilities, UCLan, Lancashire County Council, Kia, international giants Bauer media group and many more. Their scope of operations are national, but their home is here in Lancashire, and we’re incredibly happy to have them as part of the community here at Cotton Court. They’re certainly well known and considered some of the bigger personalities within the building!

   

What makes them successful?

Their wide range of skills and experience make them adaptable and of course contribute to their success. But from an outsider looking in, it’s clear that the personalities within the team, as well as their drive and passion for events is what really gives them their point of difference and ‘X-Factor’.

Jack Barron, Marketing Director at Cotton Court says:

“From a business perspective the ability to scale their services and overall operation is a huge asset, as is their extensive network of contacts and suppliers.

In an ever changing marketplace, and indeed world, the ability to adapt to the environment & requirements of the market is the key to success, and these guys have a great ability to do that”

When asked what he thought made them successful, Managing Director of UK Media & Events, Danny Bee says: “ We have spent years within the industry harvesting a network of suppliers that we wholeheartedly trust, enabling us to leverage their varying skill-sets to produce the best service possible for our clients, offering great solutions for any budget. Our business model is based on our great relationship with our suppliers enabling us to provide one element of an event, from a single piece of equipment hire to absolutely everything often at a price no more than if our client was to source it all themselves and doing all the work in the process.

How can you find them?

You can get in touch with UKMAE by e-mail at: hello@ukmae.com

Visit their website www.ukmae.com

Or call them at: 0800 999 4414

 

Guest Blog – Doug Melia Safer Handling

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The Department for Education document entitled “Use of Reasonable Force – updated advice for head teachers, staff and governing bodies” isn’t a new thing. Variations of it have been around for some time now and I have yet to meet two organisations who interpret it in the same way.

Tonight I want to invite you to join me on a journey and using the principleground rules from the 1999 (make you feel old?) film “Fight Club”, to examine further some of the challenges staff may face when dealing specifically withmanaging children fighting.

#1 The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.

The DfE guidance document addresses issues surrounding the use of force without discussing them in detail. The document highlights that staff are allowed to use force to:

“prevent a pupil from attacking a member of staff or another pupil, or to stop a fight in the playground”

This artfully vague statement gives the nod to staff having the power to“stop” fights, it doesn’t then give any further detail on the matter.

In one of my earlier posts I discussed duty of care and keeping yourself safe whilst weighing up the duty owed to those in your care, the guidance explains this as:

“The decision on whether or not to physically intervene is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned and should always depend on the individual circumstances.”

Reasonable force is something we have discussed in detail before, staff must ensure that any actions they take are reasonable in the circumstances. Meaning, should they be intervening in the first place? Could the circumstances have been avoided?

#2 Second rule: DO NOT talk about Fight Club

So important was its secrecy to the integrity of the club, it was listed twice. So lets look at a different angle. Don’t talk about it?  The guidance skirts around questions such as: At what point do we stop the fight? With how many members of staff? What determines a fight? Play-fights also? Verbal warning first? Using which holds?

Staff  are told to use their professional judgement, without the necessary information, instruction, training & supervision that decision may not necessarily be in the best interests of the child. So perhaps we should talk about it, I always ask when delivering training if anyone has had to break up a fight before, and if the person is comfortable enough, I get them to discuss the circumstances. Without fail, the person describing their experience always animates their disclosure using hand gestures, often which resemble a person swimming or attempting to swim.

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In the heat of the moment where a fight breaks out next to them or they round a corner and a member of staff is confronted with an advancing pupil, then the immediate physical reaction to separate or “hold back” an individual can often be instinctive. Pushing, pulling, stopping a child running in a corridor, catching a chair from tipping back or even turning a pupil by their shoulders and diverting them away from a confrontation all involve gross motor skills. Separating two parties is often a more preferable approach than wading in with some kind of fine or moderate motor skill based single person restrictive hold, which aside from having manual handling and personal safety implications, may result in more serious repercussions to explain.

Imagine sitting with Mum, explaining how you held her dearest Tyler whilst the other child hit him as hard as he could in his ear, with the  “free shot” you granted his aggressor. Might not be your finest hour at this year’s parents evening 

#3 Third rule: If someone says “stop” or goes limp, taps out the fight is over

Now, one thing I have observed about the majority of young children and fighting is; they aren’t very good at it.

Proportionately (which if we do need to intervene is exactly how we should be thinking) it may not be the best idea to wade in and try to stop the fight physically.  Take me for example, I am 6ft 3, 17 stone and have hands well, to give a clue to a nickname I once had “like shovels”. If two small children were fighting and I grabbed them and dragged them backwards separating them – I guarantee I would cause more harm to both of those children than if I had just let them carry on fighting!

I’m not saying that I would stand and watch, The point here is just because you have a power to do something does not mean you must use it, your duty of care both to yourself and the children  is absolute.

#4 Fourth rule: One fight at a time

Admittedly, sometimes there’s a lot of effort, a lot of shirt pulling, spinning round and grabbing but generally there is usually one party (or both) that have entered into this bout of fisticuffs fairly reluctantly. I’m not suggesting we just stand and watch or take a sweep-stake perhaps. If there is time to look at a less intrusive method, which is likely to work, resulting in a lesser harm occurring then surely where it isn’t necessary to use force, we shouldn’t? The very presence of an adult can sometimes be enough, or a clear confident and audible command could stop children in their tracks or even less than that? I mean, ask yourself why the children are fighting?

Not why they have started fighting, now that could be a variety of things, from misappropriated Match Attaxx cards in a primary school setting to a negligent“Like” on Facebook in secondary. No, why are they continuing to fight? In the film, one fight at a time meant having an audience – it may be more appropriate (and far more effective) in some circumstances to evict the crowd chanting“Fight, fight, fight!” before you consider physically intervening. Once the eyes are away from them, the fight in the duo often fizzles out.

Then sanctions against those encouraging the fighting could be a good way of instigating a cultural shift in your establishment, condemning fights as a spectator sport to being a thing of the past.

 #5 Fifth rule: No shirts, no shoes

As specific as the character in the film Tyler Durden was on fightwear, the guidance put out there by the government is specific in the detail of the fight’s location. Why a playground was my initial reaction? Don’t fights occur in other areas? Is there a difference that we need to be made aware of? Is it only “a fight” if it takes place on the ground area allocated for children to play? Location may affect your assessment of the situation but other than that plays no significant part in lawfully intervening.

Escorting a child from one side of a school to the other for example – legally is there a power to do so? Yes, absolutely the power exists. I have previously written posts explaining the legalities of restriction of liberty and the use of time out rooms, practically though is it always the best option to attempt, with their resistance to get them there? Police stations, prisons and hospitals are all ergonomically designed to allow staff to easily escort people who don’t want to be moved from one place to another. Think about it, wide corridors, ramps, laminated wall displays instead of pictures and ornaments, doors that open electronically or both ways and what is on the floors? Nothing. What happens to said floors in the evening? The floors are cleaned and buffed, partly for hygiene but it is easier to move those resisting than if they had the purchase of carpet beneath their feet.

Classrooms? Rows of chairs housing other children. Corridors? narrow, with amazing wall displays, doors that open inwards with fiddly handles and stairs. Yes stairs – I have a talent of falling UP stairs when I am at home, happy and calm. What then are my chances of successfully managing a challenging student and collaborating the movements of another colleague DOWN a flight of stairs when I am in a state of high emotional arousal? That risk assessment is not even worth attempting.

So as with any manual handling activity we must ask – do we need to move the object (child) in the first place? What is so urgent that we must immediately move the child?

#6 Sixth rule: Only two guys to a fight fellas

Do numbers matter? Numbers of staff? Number of people fighting? Well let us look at other activities, take moving a box for example. Your employer asks you to take a box down a flight of stairs, you survey it and on testing its weight find the object to be far heavier than you feel you could safely lift.

So, having been asked you lift it anyway and carry it through a classroom, stumbling due to its weight or shape. Subsequently, you and the pupil who broke your fall are now injured.

Would the staff member concerned be apportioned some of the blame? Yes of course the employer would have to by law produce a risk assessment for this activity but should the staff member themselves not have raised the fact that this assigned work activity was outside of their range of capabilities?

#7 Seventh rule: Fights will go on as long as they have to

The key is to stop incidents, but only when safe. If we look at two teenagers or even year 6 pupils in a primary school settings and make a bit of a threat assessment. Are the fighters big? Strong? Quick? Are they more able than ourselves? Or to rephrase, do we think that we actually could control them? Could we physically over power them to make them stop fighting? Is the likelihood of us succeeding in stopping the fight alone outweighed by these factors?

Removing classes of students using strategies to win time to call for help through containing pupils, moving objects and potential weapons out of reach, reminding pupils that the police are on their way are sometimes better alternatives than exercising your power to intervene, getting injured and failing in your duty of care.

#8 The eighth: and final rule…

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I hope it has been helpful if the links a little tenuous at times. Even if you aren’t a teacher, or you don’t work in schools, I’m sure you can see how this conveys to other settings and promotes an overall compliance with the human rights act. Ideally if we can isolate the triggers and target low level behaviours looking at sanctions & rewards rather than threats, we can minimise the residual risks of fights ever happening in the first place.

So, are you ready? Oh didn’t I say? As this is your first night at fight club.

Diecut UK grows from strength to strength!

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Diecut UK is a global company that specialises in the supply of Corrugated, Packaging, Print & Print Finishing Machinery.

What is diecutting? – Diecutting is a process of anything cut to shape out of corrugated board or card, rigid PVS and plastics using a steel rule die.

We have machines placed all around the world that vary in shape and size, depending on the material being cut.

We strive to be innovators and work tirelessly to stay at the forefront of our industry and with over 20 years of experience, we have developed a global network of distributors and customers.

In recent months the team at Diecut UK has been revitalised, with additions made to the Operations, Commercial and Marketing teams and representatives worldwide, Diecut UK is going from strength to strength.

Andy from Billboard PR1 – Big Fast for a Big Cause

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One of our great customers Andy Neale is taking part in a Zimbabwean style fast this week to raise money for a charity that is close to his heart- Progressio.

Andy has just returned from spending six whole months in Nicaragua living off rice and beans helping a remote community adapt to Climate Change. The fast is part of a project called ZimFast. ZimFast is a fundraising challenge to raise vital funds for Progressio’s work alongside people living in poverty. The challenge allow you to stand in solidarity with communities in poor and fragile countries like Zimbabwe, and take a glimpse into the lack of choice that extreme poverty brings.

Andy is just wanting £3 from 11 people to reach his target with his partner and friend. So if you haven’t done your ‘good dead of the day’ do it now!

You can read more here and donate here!

Remploy Celebrate 100,000 job successes!

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Remploy, the leading provider of specialist employment support for disabled people and those with health conditions, celebrated International Day of Disabled People at Waterloo.

Remploy, the leading provider of specialist employment support for disabled people and those with health conditions, today (3 December) celebrated International Day of Disabled People and passing the milestone of supporting 100,000 people into work since 2010.

Celebrations were held in the Preston branch here at Cotton Court.

Beth Carruthers, Remploy Chief Executive, said: “IDDP is a day to celebrate the talents and achievements of disabled people around the world.  It promotes ability and showcases what is possible in order to break down barriers through increased understanding.

“IDDP is also an opportunity to challenge ourselves and others to do more to create an inclusive society and workplaces that truly benefit from the ability of all. We are immensely proud of having supported 100,000 people into life-changing employment.

“Achieving this remarkable milestone is testament to the strong relationships we have with employers large and small, who recognise the business benefits of employing disabled people.

“But we all agree there is still so much more to do,” Mrs Carruthers said.

Referring to the Government’s Disability Confident campaign, Justin Tomlinson said: “We have to make businesses confident enough to introduce them to organisations like Remploy. We can provide the support to employers if they make the investment and they will find that it makes good business sense.

“Our commitment, personally from the Prime Minister, is that we will halve the disability employment gap and that means improving the lives of a million people.”

(courtesy of Remploy.co.uk)

We’d like to congratulate the Remploy Preston team, it is great so see their hard work paying off.